LYONSCG University: A Graduate’s Perspective
Since 2014, the LYONSCG University program has transformed talented developers into certified eCommerce professionals ready to tackle complex projects and deliver world-class experiences for clients.
I’m proud to call myself a graduate of the fourth – and most recent – LYONSCG University class, and hope to explain just how valuable this program is: not just to the company, but to my career.
Here’s a bit about me: I loved to code, and came into the program with a bit of prior web development and consulting experience. Before I joined LYONSCG, I found it was difficult to gain the requisite platform experience required for a full-fledged developer career. I wanted to find a company that would train me on a premier eCommerce platform and would support my career.
From this career perspective, LYONSCG was a very interesting prospect. The company was winning awards, growing its client base, and rapidly expanding. I spoke with a recruiter about any openings and learned a bit more about the LYONSCG University program. However, given my non-existent experience in proprietary software development (e.g. no help from Stack Overflow!), I wasn’t without reservations. How would I learn this new platform (Salesforce Commerce Cloud)? What kind of support would I receive? Would focusing solely on Salesforce Commerce Cloud hamper my career growth?
The program answered these questions and then some. The LYONSCG U curriculum is lead by platform experts who work to gradually familiarize me with the platform and help earn my Salesforce certification. Furthermore, the company has a clear career path for LYONSCG University “students,” enabling them to expand their roles and responsibilities as their skills continue to grow. Along the way, mentors would advise and guide my progression, and with the role transitioning right into client work post-graduation, their help ultimately helps our clients.
At the end of the day, the most impressive aspect of the program is LYONSCG’s commitment. From top to bottom, the company supports this program and its big investment in growing and nurturing talent is felt each and every day.
Needless to say, when I was offered the job, I was thrilled. Now that I’ve completed the six-month program, I can look back and identify three specific components that prepared me to get where I am today.
Step One – Leveling Up
In some cases, I was polishing my already established skills, and in other cases, I was building new ones. The training was hyper-focused and really helped me become a much more well-rounded developer. For example, styling exercises reminded me how dependent I had become on front-end frameworks to handle layouts, and these exercises really forced me out of my comfort zone.
Along the way, we’d be given small challenges or skill-reinforcing projects to complete on our own time. Being able to take these at my own pace really helped me focus on developing new talents the right way instead of just rushing through the coursework.
Step Two – Platform Introduction
Our initial introduction to the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform was through client-side training. The LYONSCG corporate trainer guided us through the same platform training that our clients receive.
Next, we were introduced to the Integrated Development Environment (IDE), learned how to set up and work in the platform sandbox environment, and were assigned small tasks to expose us to different platform features and functions. This included both front- and back-end work and utilized real-world project tools like Jira and Zeplin.
In completing the tasks, I spent a good deal of time learning how to efficiently navigate the documentation and debug the server-side code. My work was then reviewed by LYONSCG Technical Leads who then provided constructive feedback on ways to improve the code.
Step Three – Mock Project
The program culminated with a mock project that tested our accumulated knowledge and our ability to apply that knowledge to tackle common platform issues. My project comprised of a series of full-stack tasks mirroring those of real LYONSCG projects. These tasks varied from implementing a new payment processor to full-page custom styling. Time and time again, I found myself referring to the tips and tricks I had picked up working with the platform and other employees in Step Two. Our projects were then graded, and after I passed, I had officially “graduated” from LYONSCG U!
Having successfully completed the mock project and graduated, I’m now studying to take my Commerce Cloud certification exam and learning about implementing Salesforce Marketing Cloud on a future project. The eCommerce industry moves FAST, and as developers, we need to stay sharp to continue to deliver great code and greater experiences to our clients. LYONSCG University has put me in a position to stay out ahead of this industry and see how far I can take my skills. It’s hard to believe how far my development skills have come already, and I know that this is just the beginning.