How to Successfully Run a Digital Apprenticeship: The Programming Boot Camp Case Study

Alina Patelli, Tony Beaumont, Gareth James

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Digital and Technology Solutions (DTS) is an undergraduate-level apprenticeship designed to bridge the skills gap in the digital sector, by embedding computing education in the world of work. To this end, employees complete a work-relevant academic course spanning several years, however, most employers would like their apprentices to start adding value to the business far sooner than that. Their short-term driver is to see their (mostly very young) staff equipped with the right mix of technical and soft skills, and meaningfully contributing to live projects. To address this, Aston University's DTS programme debuts with an 8 week residential computing boot camp, meant to teach essential object-oriented programming and database management as problem solving tools. As the apprentices' marks and progression data show, this provision is an effective equaliser of widely varying initial skill levels and successful at getting apprentices client-ready, whilst offering a supportive learning community experience. In this paper, we analyse our boot camp success story and argue that its core elements are worth considering by other institutions seeking to set up or improve their digital apprenticeship offering.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 4th Conference on Computing Education Practice, CEP 2020
ISBN (Electronic)9781450377294
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-7729-4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


  • Computing education
  • Degree apprenticeships
  • Digital
  • Technology solutions


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