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Accounting for More Than Numbers

Spring of 2017 brought with it a sterling opportunity to enact one of Cougar Mountain Software’s core values: to be “Accountable to our Communities.” Robert Geier and Dave Parvin, two of the company’s best programmers, offered their time and extensive knowledge to assist aspiring developers on the 4th and 5th of April 2017. In conjunction with Boise CodeWorks, Southern Idaho’s premiere coding bootcamp, Geier and Parvin conducted mock interviews for trainees in the final week of their Boise CodeWorks training. The programming-language school covers HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Twitter, Google, .NET, SQL, and Git. The mock interviews covered all of that, as well as workplace etiquette, resume construction, and the difficult art of self-promotion. The half hour interviews occurred between the hours of 1 and 4 pm and were hosted on-site at the CodeWorks facility.

Proving the old adage that goodness breeds goodness, the benefits of this exercise were two-fold. Students were questioned, advised, and in some cases championed by Cougar Mountain Software’s veteran programmers, bolstering these new computer linguists, web developers, and analysts entering the local job market. This, in turn, will elevate the performance of the entire area and hopefully foster innovation. The second benefit impacts Cougar Mountain Software clients more directly, in that for each student, mock interview, curriculum question, and out-of-the-box answer that Geier and Parvin were exposed to, their own knowledge was stretched. Their enhanced perspective was taken back to the Cougar Mountain Software Dev department and applied to how their teams think about or will execute future projects. If you ask them, they’ll confess that they only teamed up with Boise CodeWorks to help. Plain and simple. Especially for a profession that is often associated with loners and dark cubicles, Geier and Parvin recognized this as an opportunity to use their experience to engage with the future talent in their field and help the local community.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on being an “old-fashioned” kind of company — culture wise,” said Chuck Gosset, CEO. “We believe in treating our employees with dignity, making sure people go home to their families right at 5 o’clock, and listening — really listening to the folks we hired. A handshake still means something here. Giving back to the community like Robert and Dave have is commendable and somewhat expected. It’s the decent thing to do.”

The two volunteers inspired a lot of talk around the office of other ways the company could give back, with several teams brainstorming and pitching service projects to their department heads in the ensuing month. There is a popular saying (author unknown) that‘s heard with increasing frequency around the office. “Making money just isn’t enough, you know?” It’s said quietly, matter-of-factly, and has become part of the culture.

Geier and Parvin working with Boise CodeWorks invigorated Cougar Mountain Software’s employees. If their efforts have incubated a fraction of that passion and excitement in the CodeWorks graduates, then Boise’s tech future is going to be very bright indeed.

For more information about Boise CodeWorks or the courses they offer visit https://boisecodeworks.com/.

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