Life at Jama

How to Recruit Great Talent in Your Own Backyard

Intern program with Portland State University helps Jama find exceptional developers

Ania Osinska-Bulloff | November 26, 2015

As all fast-growing software companies know, recruiting talent can be a big challenge. You’ve probably hired some of the best and brightest nation-wide and paid their moving costs, and are ready to sponsor working visas, all to keep your business innovative and moving forward.

At Jama our recruiting efforts were eased this year when we found a great source of wonderfully bright and talented software engineers in our own backyard!

In July 2015, we began participating in the PSU/PDX Cooperative Education Program (PCEP) in which PSU Computer Science students work at our office (or another local partner company’s office) in a series of defined, practical internship roles, while completing their degree. The two-year program offers a major jump-start for a CS student’s career–a phenomenal opportunity to gain exposure to practical business operations and an opportunity to grow a professional network locally and beyond. Only the most accomplished students gain acceptance to the PCEP program among a highly competitive candidate pool.

For us at Jama we appreciate working with fresh-minded, highly enthusiastic software engineers, eager and efficient, open and ready to soak in as much product knowledge as possible. We also strongly value the reoccurring semi-annual pool of candidates who continually refuel our team. PCEP interns widen our point of view as a business, add to our efficiency, and bring  a sharp eye to the status-quo-questioning team we are known for in the market.

Khaosanga, Souriya
Souriya Khaosanga started at Jama as a software engineering intern through the PSU/PDX Cooperative Education Program

Meet Souriya Khaosanga, a PCEP Intern, who completed the QA, DevOps, and Developer tracks at three different software companies in Portland over the last two years.

Souriya is enthusiastic about the intern program, and appreciates the real-world experience. “You get to work for some of the best software companies in Portland,” he said. “This is the best place you can get the essential experience you need to be successful in any software company.  In addition, participants are mentored throughout their internship. It’s like having a private tutor walk you through the inner workings of a software company. These are concepts that school will not give you and you can only gain through work experience.”

The exposure to many different methods and software languages has been invaluable, Souriya said. “Because I was changing technologies so frequently, I always found myself learning new tools, languages, etc.  I pretty much learned that in software, I’ll always need to be exploring and learning new tools.”

The biggest surprise to Souriya was the fact that he was actually contributing to each business: solving real problems, learning new concepts and checking off big ticket items during his internship.

The best part for us? Once the PCEP interns are finished with their two-year mutli-company rotation, after they graduate local companies present offers to these exceptional–and now experienced–software developers.

We were honored when Souriya joined our team. He says he was attracted to Jama because of the cutting-edge tools and methodologies we employ. “But I’d say the biggest reason for coming to Jama is the people.  Everyone I meet at Jama is the type of person I wanted to work with.  I am learning a lot from these people and it has been great for my career.”

There you have it! A total win-win for Souriya and Jama. We couldn’t be more excited to continue our partnership with the PCEP program. We found software developers in Portland and so can you!