SNCF* provides programming courses, leading to long-term web developer contracts

Published on 17 June 2019

Reading time 2 minutes

*French National Railway Group

A tailor-made training for the public company that uses professional reorientation as a recruitment tool. 

The first students joined the adventure on June 3rd and it is the Wild Code School team that supports them in preparing their new career.

They arrived at 9:15 sharp....

...some overly dressed for the occasion, with serious faces like for a job interview, others nervously pulling on the sleeves of their sweatshirts. Twenty students who don't know each other yet but who take a curious glance at each other. On this first day of school, they have all joined the one-month preparatory class launched by the Wild Code School and SNCF Développement.

"I have the impression that some other students already have more knowledge on programming than I do," one student whispered to her neighbour. The remark is caught on the fly by David, the instructor: "This month's goal is to code your first web page to make sure you like it. And from tomorrow, everyone does programming in socks.” 

They decide if programming is right for them before being hired 

The last sentence of the instructor triggers laughter, their shoulders relax. It must be said that for these twenty job seekers from the priority districts of the Plaine Commune territory (Paris Region, France), the experience is new and exciting: they have one month to learn the basics of web development, while most of them have never written a line of code. Ten of them will have a spot in the five-month training programme as JavaScript web developers at the Wild Code School funded by the national railway group, then a permanent contract with Oui.SNCF, France's leading e-merchant.

"At the end of the programme, they will become full-fledged developers, ready to work on their jobs at Oui.SNCF," explains Pauline Laburte, head of training for the Wild Code School's partner companies. An opportunity all the more beautiful, as our junior web developers will start their careers with a gross salary of 36,000 euros per year. An investment in the future for the company and its employees.

How did the company change from an employer to a talent producer?

"There is now a dual opportunity: on one hand, talents who are just waiting to change career, and on the other hand, companies that are struggling to recruit in key technical professions," explains Pauline Laburte. 

A win-win situation that the Wild Code School wishes to develop on a larger scale, as Pauline Laburte explains: "Today, companies can no longer be satisfied with recruiting employees already trained in the skills they need. They are more and more willing to train before hiring." The challenge is no longer to recruit on the basis of technical skills or experience, but to select future student-employees based on their learning potential and motivation.

"This has been our mission for more than five years and is a model that has already proven itself in previous partnerships." For companies, it is the key to access a pool of untapped talent. 

For more information on the creation of tailor-made training programmes by and for companies, our B2B Training Manager, Pauline Laburte, can be contacted by email

[email protected] .