Matt Elledge, Former U.S. Army Colonel and now Director of Military Affairs for Galvanize, says that military experience of any kind is great preparation for a challenging job in technology. “Veterans have already accomplished a great deal by the time they return to civilian life,” he says. “Compared to going through basic training, learning to code is easy. Compared to serving our country, maintaining a career in tech is simple.”
We asked Matt about some of Galvanize’s programs for military members and how they can help with the transition into the civilian workforce.
As a Veteran, what attracted you to work at Galvanize?
Galvanize has such a great heart for Veterans. The people will do just about anything to make sure our Veterans are set up for success.
What is Galvanize doing for service members?
We have two different programs. One of which is the Active Duty Program, in which we train or upskill active duty members in software development. We just had a Capstone event that highlighted our program. The students had two weeks to develop applications that DOD can put into operation. I was really impressed with what they produced and yes, what they developed can be applied to DOD operations right now.
What is the Operation LevelUp program and who makes up its student population?
Operation LevelUp is our 2nd program and it trains transitioning service members in Full Stack Software Engineering. It is an 18-week immersive program and is followed by a support team that supports them in finding a position in the industry.
What do you think makes a transition for Veterans into the civilian workforce successful?
Two things: a job and a community. Galvanize does an incredible job of bringing these two things to our Veteran Graduates. A team of individuals supports them in finding a job and the Galvanize community supports them for a lifetime.
What benefits do you see for tech companies in hiring Veterans? Why should tech companies hire Veterans as software engineers?
There are many reasons but I will just highlight three things:
- Life experience. They have been successful in serving in a profession that is known for extreme stress. They can handle just about anything that can be thrown at them in this industry.
- Determination. They can take on any task and they will ensure that it gets done on time and to standard on their own or as a member of a team.
- Leadership. Either formally or informally, they will help lead the team to a successful outcome—no matter the problem set.
What do you wish people knew about working with Vets? What is something people might not expect?
They will rarely talk about themselves and their past successes. It is in our nature to focus on the team. Any success that they have realized is because of the team that supported them to complete the mission. They have a different perspective on life. That perspective will lift up the organization or team to have the confidence to take on any mission and successfully complete it.
What can tech companies expect from a hiring partnership with Galvanize?
The program is not for the weak of heart. A lot is thrown at them and there are a lot of gates that they have to successfully pass through to become a graduate of our program. As a hiring partner, they will quickly see that our Veteran graduates are technically competent and bring so much more into their organization. They will raise the bar for excellence in the organization.
The Galvanize Operation LevelUp Program is designed to take any soldier from their active-duty assignment to become a career-ready, full-stack software engineer in 18 weeks.