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Case | Youth Work Centre of Expertise of the Guides and Scouts

Eficode created a digital service called Competence Disc on a tight schedule

Together with Finland’s Youth Work Centre of Expertise of the Guides and Scouts, Eficode’s Digital Builders team developed a digital service called ‘Competence Disc’. The service demonstrates how skills acquired in your free time can be applicable to a formal education setting. Eficode implemented Competence Disc’s entire user interface (front-end) and database (back-end), not to mention its user and content management functions.

“We got the service out on a swift schedule, cooperating smoothly throughout. We’re delighted that we chose Eficode specifically!” says Julia Parkko, a digital producer at the Centre of Expertise.

The Guides and Scouts’ Centre of Expertise exists to provide tools and methodologies for other organizations and educational institutions. It develops and promotes knowledge, expertise, and communication in the field of youth work in accordance with Finland’s Youth Act.

One challenge faced by Finland’s education system has been to recognize and acknowledge skills acquired during extracurricular activities.

“Young people are constantly gaining new knowledge in their daily lives through hobbies and extracurricular activities: knowledge which could prove useful in their pursuit of a degree. However, there’s no suitable tool available for demonstrating the parallels between competencies gained in one’s spare time and in degree programs,” says Timo Sinivuori, the Director of the Centre of Expertise.

Eficode helped realize the vision of a digital Competence Disc

The Center of Expertise had an idea for a digital service that would solve this challenge.

“We had a specific vision of how the Competence Disc should work. We then gave Eficode the freedom to offer best-in-class technical solutions to deliver that service,” says Parkko.

Eficode helped the Center of Expertise to realize its vision, and the end result was a digital service called Competence Disc, which allows young people to explore how their hobbies can be used in different studies. The application also facilitates the work of teachers and youth workers as they guide young people. The Competence Disc has been developed to be used by young people, youth organizations, educational institutions, and employers.

Eficode implemented the Competence Disc’s user interface (front-end) and database (back-end). The interface was designed to be clear and responsive right from the get-go and a strict set of accessibility requirements were taken into account for the service. As for the database, Eficode chose a technology that would allow for seamless development and the integration of external interfaces in the future.

The entire application was broken down into microservices that operate on containers. This makes it easy to migrate the different parts of the application to different production environments.

The user and content management functions for the application were also implemented by Eficode. These allow the Center of Expertise to easily update the content themselves.

"We also received suggestions from Eficode on how to improve things further and other things we might need to consider for the app," Parkko comments.

Communication and collaboration as important factors of success

The Center of Expertise found that communicating and cooperating during the project went particularly well.

“A key reason this project was so successful was the clear communication we had about what was currently being worked on and what was up next. The collaboration tools and working methods we used were especially noteworthy! We used Slack and Jira to communicate with one another. Additionally, as the product owner, I had daily meetings with Eficode and was kept up to speed on what the team is currently working on and what’s up next," continues Parkko.

“We got a very nice team from Eficode for this project, one that radiated out enthusiasm for the project. We were left with a very professional impression of the Eficode team even after the very first meeting!”, Parkko happily remarks.