Offshore Development Centers “Off the Beaten Path”

As promised and following up on my recent Intel post, here are a few words about Enclave Offshore Development Centers, a small forward-looking U.S. IT company in Danang.  For some background information about Enclave, check out this 2008 article entitled Da Nang’s transformation into Vietnam’s ‘next place’.”

While Enclave obviously doesn’t have the resources Intel has, it does have leadership with vision, energy and extensive knowledge of Vietnam.  It is finding other cutting-edge ways of addressing some of the shortcomings of Vietnam’s higher education system, including a 12-week “boot camp” for new engineering graduates that transforms them into production engineers. 

In order to be employed at Enclave, candidates must: have a 4-5 year degree in computer science from an accredited university, pass a professional engineering examination, demonstrate indicators of success, pass two interview panels and pass Enclave’s engineering boot camp

The Enclave Boot Camp encompasses the following, excerpted from the company’s website: 

  • Capability and capacity
  • Knowledge/skills sets
  • Professional process
  • Standards
  • Discipline and teamwork
  • Delivery skills
  • Professional communication
  • Secondary language
  • Efficiency gains
  • Results and progress
  • Teamwork
  • Professional diligence
  • Mission mindset
  • Project practicum
  • Real life projects with all the challenges and headaches: deadlines, change requests, catch-22s, and ambiguous instructions. Interruptions, reassignments.
  • Boot camp is a rude awakening for most new engineering graduates. School is over.  Now it’s time to work.
  • It is stressful, overwhelming, and challenging.  Individuals must successfully adapt to working in teams and roles.
  • Those unsuited quickly drop out. What remains are dedicated, capable engineers with pride and professionalism in their work and their team.
  • Boot camp boosts efficiency.
Photo Courtesy of Enclave

In addition to this innovative approach to bringing new employees up to speed on multiple levels, Le H. Hung, the CEO of Enclave, is active in higher education in the region, including as an instructor.  This is a wise investment of time and talent that will pay off in spades for Enclave and other IT companies.

One thought on “Offshore Development Centers “Off the Beaten Path”

  1. Many thanks for your kind words Mark.

    Bootcamp-originally “re-boot” camp-was a practical necessity. We’d spent countless hours speaking with experienced ITO clients for their impressions and assessments of Vietnam’s engineering workforce. From that some fairly familiar patterns emerged. By and large, clients were upbeat about Vietnam; but, there were also also some oft noted maladies. Bootcamp was designed to remedy many of these. Substantial improvement could be attained, and quickly, via a Bootcamp.

    Many of these shortcomings were issues of culture, or maturity; such as teamwork, collaboration, & passivity which could be forcefully addressed with an ‘in-your-face’ education experience.

    Vietnam’s universities have long been the target of unfair criticism by the industry. Enclave, in contrast, believes Vietnam’s post-secondary institutions have done remarkably well under the circumstances, with sparse resources. To be fair, those in the industry are the immediate beneficiaries of graduating talent, and are those who best know the professional and commercial demands that will be brought to bear. Firms ought not expect to avoid sharing in the burden or responsibility of transitioning graduates.

    In a wider perspective, client criticism actually goes well beyond the engineering workforce, striking directly at the management & organizations in the VN industry as well. It’s more than a ‘skills gap’; hence, the MESS acronym: Management Gap, Efficiency Gap, Skills Gap, and the Spoken Communication or Soft-skills Gap. Yet, Post-secondary education remains the whipping-boy.

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