1. Playbook
  2. Apprentice

Apprentice Program

The Datopian Apprentice Program is a rigorous training regime to develop you into a fully operational Datopian Engineer aka Datanaut 👩‍🚀.


We set a high bar for the quality of our work, as do our clients. We also have a special structure and culture: distributed, autonomous, self-organizing. Whilst our approach is highly effective and productive, it is still unusual and it can take time to discover if it works for people.

Secondly, it is our philosophy to seek out undiscovered talent. Furthermore, we believe that it is much harder to develop character such as initiative or coachability than it is to develop skills such as how to code in Python. As such, we are happy to hire technically inexperienced people with the right attitude and an ability to learn – and in fact, we prefer them to someone who is technically expert but a poor fit for our culture.

Putting this all together means we regularly meet – and seek out – potential Datopians who we would like to work with but who will need some training to be "fully operational".

We therefore created the Datopian Apprentice Program. It is a rigorous training and development program designed for new joiners who are less experienced technically and may also be unfamiliar with some of our working practices, e.g. remote working, self-organization, etc.

Through the program you will be brought fully up to speed as a fully operational Datopian aka Datanaut 👩‍🚀 and be able to operate autonomously in self-organizing teams, using your skills and knowledge of our tools and patterns to deliver great solutions on schedule for our clients.


The purpose the Apprentice Program is to empower you to be a "Fully Operational Datopian". Someone who can reliably and effectively deliver high quality work for clients as part of a self-organizing team. That means you know your way around Datopian, are technically competent and are starting to actively live our culture.

Participation in the Program

Participation is by our normal application process and we are always open to applications. We will occasionally run dedicated hiring rounds for apprentices.

Normally, participants in the Apprentice Program are paid though compensation will reflect the fact you are being extensively trained and have not yet proven yourself. Part-time or full-time participation is possible.

The Apprentice Program is just as much about discovery of mutual fit as it is about training. Mutual fit is hard to predict in advance, even with an extensive selection process. Thus, we do not expect that 100% of apprentices will become full Datopians and we can decide to part ways. Even in these cases, our experience shows participants will have gained a lot of value from the program and will be in a strong position to apply elsewhere.

Who is it for?

You are curious, eager and hard-working. You are committed and have a willingness to learn and be trained.

Technically you are comfortable digitally e.g. with email, Google Docs, chat, finding things on Google, etc. Coding-wise, a basic knowledge of Python or JavaScript is desirable but we will accept candidates with little or no knowledge if you demonstrate passion and ability to learn rapidly.

Finally, you are comfortable communicating in spoken and written English.

What will I do?

Our work focuses on data – collecting, managing, processing and presenting it. Thus, whatever you do with us, you’ll be working with data in some capacity. There are a range of roles you can develop into longer-term: data engineer, web developer, designer, scrum lead or even operations work. As part of a small team, you will have the opportunity to contribute in multiple areas and grow your role. We believe talented people can become many things and need time to discover what they are best at. Thus, we specifically allow people to evolve their jobs and try out different areas.

Initially, in the apprentice program you will receive intensive training both in the basics and in our specific areas of expertise. Next you will start to contribute on client projects under the supervision of a mentor.

We provide apprentices with a guide during onboarding that helps them get comfortable and have the best apprentice program possible.

Commitment and Agreements

The program last approximately three months. As people enter the Apprentice Program with very different levels of experience and skill there is no absolute timeline and some people may complete well before three months.

During this time you will attend a 1h classroom 5 times a week on average. This classroom is part of your normal working time. In addition, you will be expected to take on up to 2h of homework a week which you will complete in your own time.


  • Attend 1h classroom 5d a week.
  • Be on time.
  • Do assigned homework.
  • Bring aliveness and curiosity.
  • Be coachable.

What is a Fully Operational Datopian

A Datopian is someone who can reliably and effectively deliver high quality work for clients as part of a self-organizing team. Specifically, they are:

  • At Home: Know their way around our organization and how to get things done.
  • Skilled: Have sufficient competence in key technical skills and familiarity with our patterns and products to contribute productively on our client projects.
  • Acculturated: Aligned and connected with our culture and principles and actively living them in their work.

Areas of Competence

A (Fully Operational) Datopian has competence in the following areas.

Finding your way around

  • Running the Org: key processes and patterns of how we function
    • Where to find things "in the kitchen"
    • Being set up
    • How we communicate
    • Agile
  • Foundational Capabilities
    • Meetings and communication
    • Collecting and processing information
    • Self-learning
    • GTD
  • About us and Our Culture

Technical Skills

  • Basics
    • Markdown
    • Git
    • HTML / CSS
  • Analysis
    • User Epics
    • Estimation
  • Coding
    • Core programming
    • Python
    • JavaScript
  • Our Patterns and Products
    • CKAN
    • Frictionless Data


In addition they are starting to live and exemplify our culture and principles in their way of being.


Further information about the program is available in the Guide for Apprentice Program Participants.