As summer approaches, SummerQAmp is now matching tech companies with 18- to 24-year-old student interns in the field of quality assurance (QA).
The program was cofounded last year by GroupMe’s Steve Martocci, Jon Bon Jovi, former White House CTO Aneesh Chopra, and Kevin Haggard of RetailMeNot.
By focusing on QA, they’re offering an alternative to the 25+ hacker schools that teach people to program. And they’re raising awareness for a relatively unknown field: many students don’t realize QA is an option and many recruiters have trouble hiring, says Martocci. QA involves making sure software works properly – testing code and checking for bugs – but it doesn’t require much technical background. As a result, SummerQAmp can create near-entry-level jobs for students that give them an introduction to the world of programming.
“Programming’s hard. For a lot of people, jumping right into it on their own and seeing errors on the screen and not knowing what to do next can be really intimidating. So I think this is a really great way to get in [and] understand the process,” says Martocci. His brother, who didn’t have a college degree, was actually hired as a QA intern at GroupMe and eventually became a full-time employee.
“Smaller startups wait too long to hire their QA department,” adds Martocci, who brainstormed SummerQAmp during a chance meeting with Bon Jovi.
SummerQAmp places students at tech companies like Foursquare, Gilt Groupe, Airbnb, and eBay. After launching in two cities last year, the program is expanding to eight: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Austin, DC, and Atlanta. Students start out with online training in QA.
Tech companies can apply to host students here.