Interview with Davide Neve, CEO of Aulab
Interview with Davide Neve, CEO of Aulab, the innovative Italian SME specialized in programming and software development courses.
Sites, apps, software, everything starts from the hand of the web developer. It is a fundamental profession for the world of information technology and has been at the top of the rankings of the most requested figures on the job market for years.
The web developer is responsible for creating websites or web applications taking care of various aspects: programs the code that is the basis of the site, creates the interface and manages the databases. It is certainly a very fascinating job especially for all those young people who love information technology and the world of the web. If you too want to try becoming a web developer, then it’s time to discover Aulab!
What is Aulab
It is the first Italian coding factory dedicated to the world of programming specialized in training courses. It is also a software house, which is a place where many former students have the opportunity to put into practice everything they have been able to learn during the course.
Speaking of numbers, as many as 95% of Aulab’s students find work! And 70% even within 60 days of the conclusion of the Hackademy, an intensive 3-month course which can be enrolled with graduates, university students and anyone looking for work or an opportunity for professional retraining.
The time has come to find out a little more, by continuing to read this article you will find the interview with Davide Neve, CEO of Aulab.
Hi Davide, it’s a pleasure to meet you and thanks for the time you are dedicating to us. Tell us more about Aulab. How and when did Aulab’s idea come about?
Aulab was born from my vision and that of Giancarlo Valente and from our desire to change the world of education in the tech field. The idea was born in 2014 in Bari. It takes shape among the tables of a coworking, where Giancarlo and I started to get to know each other and share ideas. We had similar visions born of completely different experiences. I, a graduate in business administration and passionate about innovation, had just returned from Milan where I had started Skillbros, an education startup incubated by Officine Formative di Intesa San Paolo and then by Telecom Working Capital, and I was deciding whether to embark on a new professional path in the United States or Italy. Giancarlo, software architect and Agile Methodology coach, came from professional experiences in the United Kingdom in Huddle and in Italy in what would become the Yoox unicorn.
We started from 3 common assumptions: the certainty that the education sector would be transformed by the growing digitization, the increasing need for web developers in the world of work (according to the Observatory of Digital Skills in Italy, over 100,000 resources in the tech field are missing) and the need for a much more practical, accessible and “smart” training.
How did you launch Aulab? Have you used crowdfunding campaigns?
In 2014 we founded Aulab after winning a tender from the Bari Chamber of Commerce. We immediately started making customer discovery starting from high schools and finding a gap between the needs of the tech world and the training models offered by schools. The Hackademy was born in 2016: a new training model idea inspired by American coding bootcamps, capable of training web developers in 3 intensive months and then accompanying them into the job market.
In March 2021 we launched the first crowdfunding campaign on Mamacrowd which ended with great success. Over € 600k was raised compared to the initial goal of € 500k and a pre-money valuation of the company of € 6.5 million. The main goal was to expand nationally and internationally and expand our training offer, to respond to the lack of tech resources in the Italian landscape, and then develop plans for the expansion of personnel, products and the market. This is why we decided to launch the equity crowdfunding campaign on Mamacrowd to directly involve our community and make it an integral part of a rapidly growing project. Today Aulab has a headquarters with over 50 resources including employees and consultants and a team present in Spain since 2019.
Can you tell us what the guys do after completing the Hackademy path?
Once the course is completed, aulab career advisors accompany students in the job market, guiding them in creating an effective curriculum and LinkedIn profile, as well as preparing them for their first job interviews.
Through the recruiting platform, aulab offers a placement service to help students get in touch with hundreds of companies looking for web developers.
Consider that – based on a sample of 134 students who attended the course in the second semester of 2020 – 95% are already working, of which 73% have found work in the first 60 days after the course. We know exactly what IT companies are looking for, which is why our students usually receive multiple job offers to choose from.
What is the innovative aspect that you have brought to the world of edutech?
Surely one of the innovations we are most proud of is the possibility for students to carry out all pre, during and post course activities totally online. In fact, students can enroll in our courses, make payments and / or request a loan on our e-commerce portal; follow the entire training path through the e-learning platform and access the placement services with companies offered after the course through the recruitment platform. All the platforms have been “tailor-made” by the internal software house in which many Hackademy students have the opportunity to put into practice what they have learned during the course.
Another important innovation concerns the pro-active approach to the placement service offered after the Hackademy course: in addition to providing one-to-one mentorship to prepare students for their first job interviews, aulab career advisors organize weekly online events with the ‘goal of creating a match between students and the hundreds of companies on the recruiting platform looking for web developers.
The Hackademy bootcamp aims to bridge the gap between supply and demand for ITC resources: in this logic, the training course offered during the course is constantly evolving based on the demands of the labor market, always keeping up with the latest novelty of programming languages. The innovation that Aulab brings to the edutech sector is precisely the ability to scale in terms of classes and trained students, while maintaining a continuous dynamism in the teaching program.
Projects for the future?
Aulab continues its growth path, certainly Education, E-Learning and Artificial Intelligence are the three pillars on which our vision of Aulab focuses for the next few years. Education to continue to consolidate the corporate mission: to work on experience design, creating an impact on the job market and developing computational thinking in our students. E-learning to facilitate the scalability of our products and increase their usability. Artificial Intelligence to improve the personalization of content, make the learning process more effective and maximize the learning experience of our students.
Curiosity: what are the skills that every professional working in the IT sector must have?
Without doubt the “problem solving”. Today all the information is available on the web, so the most important skills – beyond the knowledge of the specific language – are motivation and the ability to understand problems, know how to look for solutions and understand how to integrate them into one’s work.