Kudos for at least providing an opportunity for people to improve themselves though. And the sentiment of course.
This can turn into an advantage once you leave, though. Once you join a decent company you get very motivated to do your best, because you never want to go back.
And honestly? I don't believe Citi management knows enough to know who their bottom 5% are.
If 100 is the typical productivity of a smart person when she's making the technical calls, picking the tools, and writing a new system, most corporate environments expect software engineers to function at 5-10-- maybe 20-30 when they get to senior dev roles. The problem is that if you're used to 100+, that feels like being at 0. It's demoralizing when your productivity is a rounding error for environmental reasons that aren't your fault.
(I named it for Jack Welch, father of rank-and-yank.)
Consequently, companies tend to lay off from the middle, not bottom.
I wouldn't quite write someone off because they worked at a bank. It can be hard to walk away from 33% of your salary to do something more fulfilling. Just because they exist in that environment doesn't mean their passion is dead.
EDIT: By the way, I work at a Silicon Valley engineering driven startup working to fix financial software. If you have passion and want to start solving the problem rather than contribute to it, we're hiring great engineers. I know there are some in the big banks. http://careers.addepar.com or R2@addepar.com
As to the potential in the talent pool, you're judging people on the wrong factors: Big banks may not have the slick interfaces of a Square or Simple, but they also have the most complex, least-error tolerant customers and regulators.
Banking functions without downtime, and the world in which does so is extraordinarily complex. Ignoring either of those when you discuss the potential of the people that make it work is silly.
One fun fact about working in banking: customarily you're required to take at least 10 consecutive days off every year.
Also, don't stereotype. There are a lot of IT people in banks and stereotypically boring financial companies like Bloomberg and Reuters who think the way HNers do, who would love to torch their 1980s-era version control systems in favor of Git, and who spend half their time on Coursera boning up on machine learning.
About 35 percent of the fourth-quarter costs are tied to eliminating 6,200 jobs in consumer banking, with operations set to be sold or scaled back in Pakistan, Paraguay, Romania, Turkey and Uruguay, according to the statement. Branches will be reduced in five other nations, including 44 in the U.S.
That said, it does make Thinkful's offer to "ex-Citi employees" a little less likely to be taken up.
It's a PR play for the training outfit, and not a terribly good one, IMO.
Thinkful only get paid when a hiring manager employs somebody that they introduced. If I were to be an old curmudgeon, this is PR off the back of bad news, to try and scalp potential leads and resumes.
Sure it was tightly controlled with various security precautions, change control and the other banking regulator requirements which made it impossible to be a hacker and to get things done quickly.
But as a workplace it left me with fond memories.
In my view the good opportunity for other companies in these situations is that a number of stronger performers decide to leave by themselves when this happens, for multiple reasons - they are overworked because their teams are reduced, low morale, etc.
These are the ones that are interesting to capture.
Simply put: We follow where growing companies are looking for talent. That's our indicator.
Banks, hedge funds and other parts of the financial sector use a hell of a lot of fancy tech (they're the first "big data" after all), and there's a lot of expertise that's been locked up there for too long.
When I left finance (4.5 years, 4 years ago... hells yeah) I had all sorts of engineering skills, but knew nothing of the companies, how to evaluate employers, or what exact tools were most in demand or growing.
Helping people answer those questions more quickly than I could is our mission.
The problem with the developer economy is that paid work has very low career efficiency. There's just a lot of glop work to go around, and most engineers don't have the political pull to get past it and on to the interesting stuff, which they're perceived as underqualified for because of their track record of crappy work (even if done well). Most engineers have about a 75% slack ratio in their careers, which prevents them from ever getting really good. But give a decently smart and motivated engineer 5 years of full autonomy and you'll have the guys and gals that people make Chuck Norris jokes about.
"it would provide discounts of up to 60 per cent"
They should teach more than just the latest (popular) concepts/languages like node, ruby, python. There seems to be little mention of important concepts such as data types, pointers, and OOP.
It's also a little overkill to cover Django, Rails, AND Node.js in one course, isn't it?
I guess I'm not sure if the ad is targeted at Citigroup's software/IT people (who already know a lot of this stuff and are probably not the folks getting laid off) or the other (finance/accounting/admin/sales/customer service/operations) people (who probably need to start from the square-one basics of web programming).
Our candidates are basically already very employable, but there's an extra risk we help employers avoid: that a new hire won't enjoy or become proficient in this new subject quickly (read: cheaply).
Thinkful is all about cost savings for employers, and candidates finding what they're really interested in.
Know java really, really well? Maybe you'll enjoy scala. But perhaps give it a trial run for a few weeks (along with some other cool stuff) before jumping in to a job for several years.