As technological innovation evolves at an accelerated pace, yet many are striving to attain skillful traits to function and contribute to society to their full potential. It is increasingly true with computer programing and data interpretation. Nicolas Genest, Founder and CEO of CodeBoxx, inherently understands this diﬃculty and went on to propose a solution to the problems posed by the changing human labor landscape. Through his venture CodeBoxx, he teaches individuals with many diverse backgrounds, the tools and practices to become ﬁrst-class developers and he oﬀers them opportunities to gain signiﬁcant experience through series of projects. By collaborating with many start-ups, Nicolas and his team help aspirants with potential ﬁnd the right position within their elite circle of renowned enterprises.
With a keen early interest in technology, he graduated in Technology Management in 1999. His journey started in Quebec City, Canada where he embraced the early days of emerging Business Intelligence with a startup of his own. Later he added a Business and Public Administration degree in 2009 to the resume. His career so far took him to Paris, New York and San Francisco.
Audiences to Target
In an interview, Nicolas states that the company adapted its training programs so they become a suitable alternative for three main groups of people:
Dropouts of traditional school system: Many college/school dropouts are not compatible with the pace and approach of the classical school system yet they undeniably possess a certain potential, which could contribute signiﬁcantly to volatile technological trends. The gap in the skills of today’s workforce forces big corporations alongside small startups to show greater pragmatism in their search for valuable and capable collaborators. CodeBoxx has become a reliable alternative source for quality proﬁles in technology, some of them coming with a less educated background.
Immigrants: Immigrants are the important contributors to local workforces and many aspire to improve their conditions. CodeBoxx is a four-month boot camp enabling such individuals to get a shot at a better job without taking on too much risk. The supportive nature of the program in the way it is delivered and the design of a truly result-oriented classroom enables focus and productivity through which immigrants learn how to ﬁt in, how to build and leverage a network of peers but, most of all, how to stand out on the modern technology stage. CodeBoxx has already changed the lives of many immigrants in the Quebec City region.
People re-orienting their career: The Fast-paced nature of the Boot Camp lowers the barrier to entry and enables experienced individuals to ﬁnd modern ways to learn new skills. Some are seeking ways to grow faster in their existing job by oﬀering their employer new capabilities they can build on, some others have an idea in mind and lack the tools to make it a reality in a digitally native era. In all cases, CodeBoxx enabled many adults to reconnect with a continuous learning mindset and they ﬁll their head with new valuable sources of information that will beneﬁt them for the rest of their career. Many got new jobs right out of the program.
Portraying the Role of Forerunner
Nicolas claims that, at start, he lacked entrepreneurial talents but he believes that an entrepreneurial zeal emerges when one ﬁnds a calling. He also believes that responding to such callings and making them a cause moving forward is an accomplishment in itself. Looking back on this successful three-time CTO experience, he strongly feels like he needed to experience the weaknesses and opportunities of the technology landscape in order for him to understand how to reshape human capital. He is now committed to doing the hard things as he changes the course of one individual at a time. He exempliﬁes the above statement by quoting, “The way it is meant to be”.
To tackle various situations, Nicolas advices that one needs to surround oneself with the right people. An eﬃcient leader must promptly identify the character traits that people possess which will make them ﬁt for a certain context or task at a given moment of the lifecycle of a business endeavor.
Moreover, a leader needs to put him or her in a position where he/she can trust by default. In other words, clearly state the deﬁnition of success and reinforce that statement with the pillars of a culture that will empower everyone to aim for the company’s current, mid-term and longer-term goals.
A Walk of Self-Evolution
Nicolas always tried throughout his career to remain on a constant learning process and currently, he is pursuing a Business Analytics Course with Harvard Business School. He also mentioned that he completed his Business and Public Administration degree while serving a full time job at Microsoft. Another way of staying up-to-date on trends has been through a weekly collaboration on a popular podcast where he shares his thoughts on technology. Thursdays come back often and the steady sustained rhythm forces him to stay tuned to new services, new players and new products of his landscape.
“What makes you a good overall executor is a general awareness of what is going on everywhere within your company coupled with a general awareness of what the best and greatest do to solve the problems you are likely to face,” says Nicolas.
This awareness puts him in a position where he can always be helpful by highlighting what matters, making relevant suggestions and save a tremendous amount of time by putting people in charge on the right path right away.
A Glimpse into the Future of CodeBoxx
In the near future, Nicolas states that he wants to secure the growth and footprint of CodeBoxx Technology by allowing a greater number of people to simultaneously seize the opportunity to start a career in technology and introduce the best graduates to a growing number of pragmatic partners and companies.
He also suggested that CodeBoxx Ventures was also an important part of the endeavor for him because this branch of the company incubates and helps jump-start ideas, which might become the unicorns of the next decade. CodeBoxx could also contribute to bringing back some balance to a developer community that has become excessively elitist to Nicolas’ taste and too much aware of its inﬂuence. He has witnessed many times situations where, for the sake of attaining technical purity, many entrepreneurs saw their companies high jacked by technologists losing sight of what the company was in it for. Through CodeBoxx, Nicolas aspires to bring balance to such phenomenon.