For any startup it is important that the products get adopted by the intended users and this happens more effectively if the users find their problems solved with the use of that product. In effect, startups are problem solving machines. What powers this machine is a key elements that is required in the stages of product creation, to think the product through from the user’s perspective and how it is going to benefit them. This onus has moved more and more towards the designers.
We, ColoredCow, as the flagbearers of bringing world changing products to life, feel the need of designers who can empathise with the users, understand them and their problems well, to come up with solutions that can translate and transform great ideas, into softwares that are made to work. The world need designers who can understand people first, their needs and match it with their knowledge of creating interfaces and experiences and take them down the path of deliverance. As we continue to make ourselves better equipped to help startups build great products, we also find ourselves rethinking our hiring strategy or coming up with innovative products(like codetrek) that supports the hiring strategy as a response to the challenges in hiring empathetic designers.
With the onset of this need or requirement which we believe is a turning point for a successful product, designers have a huge role to play. Hence, the world has moved onto a strong collaboration between tech and design but it continues to remain fragmented; there aren’t many Apples and Googles in the world that can beautifully integrate technology and design under one universe.
In the wake of this great need and realization, comes also a meeting of challenges. While there is a great supply of software engineers, programmers and coders, there’s only a fraction of designers to support the other product need. This maybe because of the contribution India has made in the tech needs of software development, leaving a legacy of great software engineers, but not many designers to match.
The challenge extends to what the design students traditionally learn at design schools which is mostly the older discipline and methods of design such as print media and other subjects which are purely about graphic design. The hopeful thing is that the scenario is changing as new courses are being introduced. There is still a need for alignment with technology changing fast and there is much literature(here  and here ) on how students at design students fresh out of colleges have to learn much more in order to contribute for the real world. But we’re not here to disprove the credibility of design schools. We’re here to find solution and move past.
To pave the path between our mission to create meaningful products and the challenges of filling the gap with designers, required us to think as designers and solve this problem. And to answer this we came up with CodeTrek, a product through which we are building the talent pool that can contribute in designing impactful products. An example of how we do it is that we are connected with design colleges such as UPES and HNB University (in the hills: read hill story here) through CodeTrek and conduct design training sessions. This solution also benefits the education ecosystem as the students get exposed to how the industry is working. If the students can learn it while they are in school and connect it with the fundamentals then it can be more beneficial.
This solution is more sustainable than one time workshop sessions, and hence makes our positioning as product creators stronger. And helps us repeat the value that was once generated by Indian IT hub.
 Though it talks about American schools, situation in India would not be much farther away.
 It is an insight into why codeterk was started.