Introducing Counter: The Story Behind the Launch

It occurred to me whilst building a new brand and image for our latest proposition, that Northcoders has actually pioneered a counter-route into technology. By transforming people who only had a passing interest in tech into fully-fledged technologists in 13 weeks, we challenge the more formal and recognised paths such as university degrees and apprenticeship schemes. Since 2016, over 3000 people have chosen this route and gone on to have successful and rapidly progressing careers at more than 600 organisations across the UK.

Not only have we made the road to tech quicker and more accessible, we’ve also heralded a new type of technologist in the process. Our partners tell us that the Northcoders they work with regularly out-perform newcomers to tech from other avenues. They can turn their hand to unfamiliar codebases, pick up new technologies quickly, embed modern working practices, solve a myriad of tech problems and collaborate seamlessly with colleagues.

The majority of the people we introduce to technology haven’t jumped straight into IT straight after leaving school which is precisely why they have an advantage. They arrive at tech with a wealth of experiences from a vast array of alternative backgrounds and careers. They bring diversity of thought and varied perspectives to the technical problems that they are empowered and equipped to solve. Not only does this help them when they land on their first engagements, but it also makes the entire tech industry a richer and more diverse space by having people with these experiences within it.

This same counter-narrative can be applied to the Northcoders Group’s Tech Returners proposition which offers a way back into tech for experienced software engineers who have taken a break from their career. Supported by progressive businesses, these programmes help an often overlooked talent-pool breathe life back into their careers and provide a much needed pipeline of more senior professionals for companies struggling to fill tech roles. We’ve seen Tech Returners become an alternative route into tech, introducing diverse technologists with layers upon layers of valuable and often unconventional (in tech) skills and behaviours.

So, what is Counter and why are we launching it?

We are launching Counter to be a new kind of tech consultancy: To ask the questions, to change the narrative and to deliver affordable value. Counter is here to provide a fair way for organisations to create amazing tech solutions with highly skilled people at the heart of it. We’re here for those organisations to never fear that the valuable knowledge they pay to create does not walk out of the door at the end of engagements.

Broadly, we embed teams of highly engaged, tech problem solvers from diverse backgrounds into the very fabric of organisations. Each team has a dedicated Tech Lead to orientate and integrate the team into their new environment empowering them to start solving challenges quickly and deliver on Statements of Work effectively. At the end of engagements, organisations can choose to absorb our Counter-Consultants as employees at no extra cost, ensuring that the people with the knowledge who brought value and deliverables can remain within those organisations, continuing to grow and progress from within, for years to come.

We can act as a Counter-Partner for larger tech consultancies, working with them to support their clients with a seamless handover partnership at the end of engagements. Ensuring the work delivered by said consultancy can be passed to our Counter-Teams who can assimilate the knowledge and ensure it’s embedded within the fabric of the organisations.

Our teams provide a counter-offer for organisations using off-shore and near-shore agencies, providing teams that can co-locate, work in the same time zone, speak the same language and will be selected based on their cultural alignment. Our Counter-Consultants collaborate directly on workload, become a part of ceremonies and aren’t afraid to get round the table to generate the right solutions whilst embedding modern best practices in everything they do. Keeping the Counter-Consultants as employees at project-end becomes a remarkable added benefit that could never be an option when working with a partner based in another country.

We are also creating a fairer, counter-initiative to the traditional two year Hire-Train-Deploy model. We assemble Counter-Teams with experienced Tech Leads ensuring support, direction and progression for the Consultants, on tap. Our teams are chosen from people who put their hand up for a particular client or project and they genuinely want to be there for the long-term. We never charge a Counter-Consultant an exit fee if a project isn’t right for them and lastly our engagements are determined by the project requirement, rather than an arbitrary length of time.

At Counter, we are your partners for progress. We are flipping the script to become an alternative, cost effective technology partner without ever compromising on people, quality, speed, location or practices. It is a fair and genuine counter-approach that we believe will help UK Tech and UK technologists to thrive for many years to come.

If you’d like to learn more, or work with us. Get in touch with us today.

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