Inviting Tomorrow’s Engineers to Join the Team for Zukunftstag in Zurich
For Zukunftstag, the team invited young coders to enjoy a day in the life of a GetYourGuide engineer. Featuring presentations, programming, and pizza, our guests’ busy schedule was devised by Senior Security Engineer and father of four, Philipp Sieber.
A Switzerland-wide initiative established in 2001, the Zukunftstag — or National Future Day — invites children to gain insights into the world of work by accompanying a parent, relative, or other adult at work. One of the program's goals is to let girls and boys discover gender-atypical fields of work, which helps promote equality between women and men in career choices from an early age.
Zukunftstag at GetYourGuide
Since it was founded in 2009, GetYourGuide has grown significantly. As a result, we don’t only have more and more parents working at the company, but also plenty of aunts, uncles, guardians, and so on. After checking with the team we found that from our family and friends network we had several kids interested in visiting our Zurich office for the Zukunftstag.
For this reason and because the Zukunftstag aligns perfectly with our values of diversity, equality, and inclusion, we decided to organize a program. We built a team and put together a schedule for the curious kids. On the big day, we were happy to welcome two girls and five boys.
In the morning, several presentations were held by various GetYourGuide staff. The kids learned what we do, how and by whom the company was founded, and who works here. They also learned:
- What a backend engineer is;
- Why our servers are hosted in the cloud;
- How many tickets are sold on GetYourGuide each day;
- Why the main language in our office is English;
- That the members of the Ticketing team represent twelve(!) different nationalities;
- Why we have phone booths in the office;
- … and much, much more!
We played a couple of Kahoot quizzes in between to spice things up, and the foosball table also got a lot of traction — not to mention the Lego spaceship the Infrastructure team had built during a team event a couple of weeks prior. (If you look carefully, you can find it in one of the pictures!)
After a typical IT company lunch (pizza, what else?), the long-awaited second part started: programming exercises! The first exercise was to implement a simple web page from scratch, not by using an easy-to-use editor, of course, but by putting together HTML code. The kids learned how to structure a website, embed images and hyperlinks, and how to apply styling.
After the web page creation, Scratch was on the agenda. Scratch is a programming language developed for students to get into the world of coding and programming. It teaches many concepts about programming without the need to write actual program code. Instead, programs are created visually, by combining colorful command blocks.
We gave the kids some ideas as inspiration, but they were free to program whatever they wanted. Despite the short time frame, many great programs were created: dancing letters, short films, jump-and-run games, a ‘dodge-the-asteroids’ game, and a cat race!
The Zukunftstag was a blast! It was great to see the happy faces of the kids throughout the day — they were the ultimate indicator of a successful event. In particular, our young guests were fascinated by the fun programming exercises. The time flew by, and when it was time to wrap up it was hard to get the kids to stop. We will definitely create a program for next year’s Zukunftstag, and are already looking forward to it.
Last but not least, a big thank you to the entire Zukunftstag team and every one of our inspiring speakers!
Other articles from this series
The Road to an Engineering Career: Learning to Code at 27
Behind The Journey: Laurence Rega - Full Stack Engineer
How to Empower Engineers with Infrastructure as Code
How we find and fix OOM and memory leaks in Java Services
From Interviews to Onboarding: Insights From an Engineering Manager