Israeli startup Wilco describes itself as “an immersive upskilling platform for software developers,” and snuck out of stealth this week with its first public version, and a stash-box with $7 million worth of fresh seed funding. It’s just weird enough that it’s the kind of thing I completely love.
The problem the company is trying to solve, is the bewildering array of options available to a freshly minted, wet behind the ears software developer. It turns out that being able to write software is only a small part of the job. In addition, you need to develop a wide set of sills that are not writing code, but just as important. These might include strategies for debugging complex systems, team communications, responding to high-pressure crisis situations. The theory is that these skills are both hard to get without experiencing in the real world, and they can be daunting. Why not do the same thing airline pilots need to do before they take the steering wheel on a plane? (Can you tell I’m not a pilot) That’s right, Wilco developed a simulator of sorts.
On Wilco’s platform, developers join a made-up tech company, and are put through their paces ina game-like experience designed to accelerate their professional growth. At their “new workplace”, engineers go on quests that challenge them to navigate complex life-like scenarios while utilizing real tools and technologies.