“What is Xccelerated? An interview with Bart Wetselaar”
What is Xccelerated? Bart Wetselaar Explains
Many companies have difficulty finding the right people, especially the right data scientists and data engineers for their projects and internal teams. So we created Xccelerated, a "data-vast service” company that bridges the gap between the search for talent and the development ambitions of talented individuals.
We help motivated data professionals who already have one to three years of working experience accelerate their careers. After an intensive, month-long boot camp, we match them with an international company under our ongoing mentorship and guidance. After twelve months of working and continuous training, they then join that company directly. In that way, we provide a longterm solution for both parties.
How are you different from other companies?
We're not actually a consultancy firm or a recruitment company or a training company—maybe more like a mix of all three, and so the best of all worlds. Of course, if you need a senior consultant for your project, you might need to work with a consultancy firm instead. But if you want to build your team through a journey, with junior to midlevel people, Xccelerated is the right partner.
Some other companies do offer a comparable "data-vast" construction, but they take people straight from university, who have no work experience, and train them. Those individuals do not always add value right from the start. Also, they will get the opportunity to join these consultancy firms after 1 year instead of the company they are working for, which decreases the chance of a longterm solution.
How does it work?
To ensure that our Xccelerators (as we call them) add value immediately from the start, we have a strict recruitment policy. We handpick the best data engineers and data scientists and only begin a new cohort of six twice a year, so there's a limited capacity. We have two interview rounds, and everyone has to do a technical assessment, which takes about 15 hours of their own time to prepare. They have to present in front of our data science lead or data engineering lead, which gives us a good impression of their current skill level. Additionally, before they ever start working for a company, they have to complete a month-long boot camp. It's very intense and pretty tough, but it also dramatically boosts their skills. The boot camp focuses on topics such as writing clean code, optimizing machine learning, cloud solutions and productionizing. In this way, we ensure that our people add value from the start.
Then, after that first month, they work onsite with one of our partner organizations four days a week, with a "return day" once a week here at our Wilbaustraat office. They spend half of that return day working on the client case, with support from our data science and data engineering leads. The other half consists of training on topics that weren't part of the boot camp—both technical skills and also soft skills.
Mahlia, our talent manager at Xccelerated has a background in social psychology, training, and development. She provides a full day of personal development training once a month—things like how to give and receive feedback, how to work in a corporate environment, how to present yourself. So, our Xccelerators attend 12 sessions during the year to improve their personal skills.
In addition, Xccelerated is an employer for just these 13 months without the opportunity to extend the contract. In this way, we increase the chance of a longterm solution for our partner-organizations. Currently, we work with a diverse range of international organizations, including KLM, Schiphol Group, Heineken, Vattenfall, Nationale-Nederlanden.
For the future, we plan to grow horizontally. Next year we're going to do a cloud program. We're also thinking about opportunities for Agile coaches or Scrum masters, and possibly a separate machine learning engineering group. So, many possibilities and exciting things ahead.
Curious about the whole interview? Check our video