“Another life? My team might say a Buddhist monk…”
Every Monday morning we fire five questions at a leading C-suite figure in the business technology sector. Today we’re pleased to be joined by the CEO of the Makers software bootcamp, Evgeny Shadchnev.
Evgeny – What’s the Biggest Challenge for your Clients?
We’re a marketplace and so we have two client sets – the software developers who train with us and the companies who hire them.
For our software developers, the biggest challenge they face before they come to us: they want to switch careers into tech but don’t know how. It costs money to retrain, you lose money when you leave your established job, and you want to get your new job as efficiently as possible. And how do you start all over again? We help them to do that.
For our hiring partners, they’re hungry for top tech talent – they want software developers who can hit the ground running.
We see companies struggle in the competition for talent and we help them to look in places they might not have thought of. Ultimately we help them source, attract and integrate software developers into their organisations. Figuring out how to use the Apprenticeship Levy has been a challenge for some clients but we’ve helped them through it.
Technology that Excites you Most?
In the next few years or decades, the world will likely see AI-based technologies that will have a genuinely profound effect on how our society works (beyond what’s possible today).
Personally I get excited to witness an AI conceived and designed by people who appreciate the interconnectedness of all life on Earth, who are deeply compassionate, who wouldn’t build systems that favour some people at the expense of others, who wouldn’t exploit people’s psychological vulnerabilities with software just because it’s profitable. I’d like to think some of our developers are going to help build that.
Also, geoengineering technologies that allow capturing carbon and storing it in the soil, combined with blockchain-based marketplace that ensure the farmers are rewarded for doing it are really exciting.
Our education system doesn’t set us up for success as well as it should.
I firmly believe that you shouldn’t leave school with a five-digit debt then struggle to find a job that pays the mortgage. So I’m excited to be playing a part in fixing education – which is so important yet so broken. We’ve trained over 1,500 people to become software developers.
Before Makers, they were accountants, lawyers, painters, waitresses, flooring contractors… the list goes on. But now they’re helping to build the future of tech. And their lives have changed dramatically for the long term.
There’s plenty of advice on the internet on how to do things: “This is what productive people do in the morning, you should do it too”… “This is what successful founders do”, and so on. The irony is that our actions are driven not by what we read online yesterday but by our deeply held beliefs and assumptions about ourselves and others.
Our values and beliefs don’t change easily — it’s a slow work of introspection, radical self-inquiry and being genuinely open to different viewpoints that makes a difference.
However, this internal work is the only thing that can drive a meaningful, long-lasting, authentic change in how we do things on the outside. If I could go back, I would not only have done more of this internal work earlier on, I would have encouraged all of our team members to do the same.<
In another life, I’d be…?
My team might say a Buddhist monk! I am a strong advocate of meditation and sometimes use it before starting board meetings so that everyone comes into the discussion in a calmer headspace. I believe that the way to do is to be and I’m proud to be creating a company that values trust over fear.