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Volkswagen AG Coding Camp goes into the 6th round

How VW builds up qualified software developers internally together with U4I

Volkswagen AG increasingly needs employees with software development skills for projects such as autonomous driving or the development of intelligent products. Therefore, the automotive company has taken the initiative and, with the help of University4Industry, has developed a company-specific training program that prepares employees and thus also the company for the coming changes in the industry with regard to digitalization and decarbonization. In this successful program, more than 100 employees have now acquired skills in programming, data science and machine learning.

Find out how self-learning and project phases have successfully imparted both theoretical knowledge and practical skills, enabling employees to implement company-specific projects.


What was the initial situation of the project at Volkswagen AG?

“With the challenges in the automotive industry in terms of decarbonization and digitalization, the job profiles of employees are also changing. Tasks that are important today will no longer exist in this form in a few years and new skills for other use cases will be needed. The increasing demand for employees with software development skills in all departments of Volkswagen AG required a scalable and digital training program that can be integrated into the daily work of employees. The goal of the “Coding Camp” project was to make employees “fit for the future” by equipping them with software development skills and getting them excited about and qualified in programming. The aim is to ensure that employees are well prepared for the changes in their profession and that the company remains fit for the future thanks to staff with software development skills.”
Jan Veira, Founder and Managing Director University4Industry


How do you build a coding camp that is varied and hands-on, empowering employees for the future?

“The initial question was: How do we ensure that all participants are motivated to take part in the training, learn real skills, and are able to put them to good use in the company? We came up with training concepts that allow for variety and exchange. These included the boot camp, for example, where the motivation and team spirit of the participants is ignited right at the beginning of the training by immersing them in the subject area full-time for one week. After that, the work-related self-learning phases (4 hours per week) alternate with the full-time project weeks, so that the daily work routine is not affected. In the project phases, the employees put their theoretical knowledge into practice in two working weeks at a time and program small, autonomously driving Raspberry Pi cars – thus also a real use case for the company. Another innovation is the so-called Coach Market, where the topics of the week are summarized and consolidated. Participants can clarify open questions with the trainers and share their experiences with the group. The trainers also conduct exercises with the participants to further consolidate their knowledge. We, University4Industry, conceptualize the coach market in the form of an “embedded trainer team” and implement it organizationally in order to keep the effort for the trainers and the customer to a minimum.”
Taylor Kowalchuk, Project Manager at University4Industry


How did the cooperation between Volkswagen AG and University4Industry work out?

“We have been working closely with University4Industry since 2021. From the start, we recognized the ability of the team from U4I to understand our needs and provide us with workable far reaching learning solutions. With the digital transformation, we as a group are faced with the challenge of driving forward the digitalization of internal tools and processes but also developing digital products and services for our digital-ready customers. Our cooperation with U4I has been a huge bonus to us during this transformation journey. We have developed customer-specific learning content and learning paths to up-skill and re-skill our workforce in the various areas of software development, with the support of U4I. The trainer teams have been accompanying our students on their software development learning journeys via live online learning sessions, practical hands-on projects, and self-learning content. At all times the trainers offer a wide-reaching knowledge base, professional work ethic, and a positive learning environment for our students. Our camps are very well received with very positive feedback. We have seen our students take their new-found skills directly into the workplace and actively use them to drive digitalization within the group.”
Grace Looby-Weller, Learning Consultant Volkswagen AG

A total of 440 hours of learning content were developed for the project and more than 100 employees of Volkswagen AG have already been trained in software development. Due to its success, the program is being carried out for the sixth time, as of 2023.

Are you interested in the detailed process, content and special features of the learning program? Download the case study here for free.

Download the CASE STUDY as a PDF document

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