Our commitment to personal growth is embodied in the approach we take to learning and development, mentorship, and even in our company values. Our company value of “Be real with yourself and others,” encourages employees to take our commitments to each other seriously, give feedback, and treat ourselves as whole people at work.
We’ve put several programs in place to empower every Asana to grow personally and professionally—and recognize that the two are very closely intertwined. These are just a few of our company-wide programs to support employees’ growth:
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As a small team, we really encourage people to stretch themselves and try new things. More importantly, we provide opportunities for you to do so without fear of reprisal or reprimand. For example, Sean expressed an interest to learn Golang and to take on increasingly bigger projects to stretch his architectural design skills. We said, “Of course!” This is also what we told Steph when she said that she wanted to design and implement a feature end-to-end.
Despite being a small team, we’ve set aside a budget for leadership training, coaching, and Learning and Development. We also provide a therapy benefit to all of our team members through Kip, and provide peer learning and coaching. Everyone at Range is encouraged to choose a coach (another person at the company) who can help them with their personal growth goals. Coaches set up regular 1:1s and run a periodic forward-looking feedback process, though each coaching relationship is defined by the 2 individuals. Coaches can be switched up at any time (for example, if your goals for growth shift or once you've achieved the milestone you set out).
Seamlessly create, send, and track video emails
Colorado Springs, Denver, or Remote in CO, NY, PA, WI
During our interview process, we do our best to assess where someone's skills currently are, but more importantly, where we think they can go (aka aptitude). By aligning someone’s interests with the needs of the business, our engineers often work on things that are new to them and learn along the way.
We have annual professional development stipends, which folks can use to attend conferences or pursue further education in any topic of interest. We also have both organic mentorship and a formalized interdepartmental mentorship program that we started at the end of 2019. Research informs us that organic mentorships are for “people who remind me of myself” and can be inherently exclusive. Furthermore, approaching someone to ask for mentorship can be daunting for someone new in their career, so this program also helps overcome such fears. Our mentorship program is opt-in only and pairs our leaders with mentees to try to align both interests and different business units. We look forward to iterating on our program throughout our initial cohorts.
Finally, our engineers have ample opportunity to teach and learn from one another beyond any mentorship relationship. We have ~35 engineers who are split into smaller product-aligned teams (i.e. mobile, integrations, web app). Each team has a dedicated product manager, works directly with designers, and has high accountability, ownership, and visibility.
Change.university is Change.org’s peer-to-peer learning program. It creates an opportunity for Changers to teach and learn skills from one another. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join. Additionally, all new hires join a group of other Change.org newbies to go through a month-long onboarding process. As part of this process, everyone in the group from around the world gathers together for a one-week retreat, called Generations. It’s a time and a space for the new team members to get to know each other and learn more about Change.org from our leaders.
Part of personal growth and development here at Change.org is creating an environment where we’re not afraid to try new ways of doing things. That means our culture allows space for failure. To get the best end result, we’re big on testing and learning from what doesn’t work. An example of this can be seen in product development – we use both Optimizely and bandit algorithms for feature testing before deploys. Making mistakes is part of human nature, but we like to take the opportunity to grow from it in a way that is safe and comfortable for everyone involved.
Don’t be surprised if you get pulled in for a brainstorming meeting to generate ideas on new products, global communication across offices, or the next book club book.
At Lever, we use “Individual Impact Plans” and “Team Impact Plans” each quarter as written guides for what you, and your team, want to accomplish and what your growth goals are.
We have continuous coaching conversations between managers and their teams that take place more regularly than just once or twice a year. We believe that having these ongoing conversations helps us identify what concrete things will help us work towards our goals, and helps us create an environment where coaching and feedback is a complete norm.
Lastly, we also provide an annual stipend for employees to attend whatever conferences help them develop. From groups attending Lesbians Who Tech together, to workshops or panel discussions on management.
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As a new hire, you will start off by working with your manager to determine which areas you want to grow: technical mastery, bias to ship, mentorship and collaboration, systemization and automation. Do you want to become a React expert? How about leading projects to deal with potential scammers via understanding message intent or devising some interesting application beyond Bayesian classification? We will match you with projects that align with both your personal career goals and the business objectives for the team. We also provide stipends for conference attendance and online courses.
Despite coming from various backgrounds, everyone at Seesaw shares one thing in common: we all love learning. Not only is our product dedicated to enhancing learning, but we are also committed to growth and development as individuals and as a team.
A great example of how we demonstrate personal development is through our internship program for individuals pursuing a career in engineering. Unlike most companies where internship programs are largely run by engineering managers, our engineers drive Seesaw’s entire process from start to finish. It is a great opportunity for engineers (who may not have experience with hiring or managing) to identify which projects the interns work on, design appropriate interview questions, shadow one another during interviews, and ultimately make the decision about which applicants to extend offers. Independent contributors (ICs) get the chance to onboard and manage interns, and everyone gains a deeper understanding of what recruiting and hiring entails. While we are only in our second year, we’ve found this unique, engineering-driven internship program to be successful for everyone involved and we plan to continue evolving the program.
To further support professional development, we also offer educational stipends ($500 per year), for all Seesaw employees. In the past, folks have used their stipends to attend conferences, take online courses, or purchase books. We also take advantage of how knowledgeable our colleagues are and regularly host Lunch and Learns where team members can lead a presentation or discussion around a topic of their choice. Recent examples have included Understanding Equity and Stock Options, Advocacy (how to be an advocate for others), and Owning Your Career Growth.
We’re looking for people who don’t just want to simply climb the ladder, but are passionate about how they’re growing and developing. If that sounds like you, we highly recommend you learn more about how Seesaw enables K-12 students to better engage with both their teachers and parents and also learn more about the team behind it.
We are intensely passionate about personal growth. We crave and thrive on feedback, and we all self-identify as avid learners. This insatiable curiosity and desire to improve every day is at our core.
Continually giving and receiving feedback is a commitment we have to each other. It’s a relationship, and each person needs to uphold it. Where we can’t get inspiration from one another, we venture beyond Universe to find it. (One reason why we cover a museum membership of your choice.)
Each of us is personally committed to the growth of the company at large as well. What this means is that we hire people who are better than we are, and look for individuals who want to be active co-creators of this company. As an employee, not only do you get the opportunity to shape our culture, our processes, and our product, but we also expect you to.
Our intention is for anyone who works at Universe to be better positioned to start their own companies, build their own teams, and create their own products. We want to equip each person with all of the skills and experience they need to truly be the best versions of themselves. Kaizen, the Japanese term for continuous improvement, is almost an obsession of ours, and one that we extend to our users. Even the first welcome email our users receive from us talks about kaizen.
At Routific, our team members have a lot of flexibility with their schedules. While we try to all be at the office between 10 a.m and 6 p.m. on weekdays, team members take the opportunity to work remotely when it suits them and we have a “Work From Home” tradition every Wednesday. We provide stipends for courses, conferences, or workshops that our employees wish to attend.
At a recent all-hands, we shared stories about personal growth. One of our full-time engineers, Jonathan, talked about how he first started out as an intern at Routific: “I was just a co-op intern, but I was trusted to work on the core algorithms,” Jonathan said. “The founders flew the entire team, including me, to Chicago to participate in the Techstars program.”
We also commit to personal growth and development in a very public way, in line with our core value of transparency:
At a recent company-wide feedback session, each team member wrote down a few lines of feedback for every other team member: one thing they should keep doing, and one thing they can improve upon. We went around the room and shared this feedback – publicly – with one another. The person receiving the feedback was encouraged to say ‘thank you’ out loud because receiving feedback is like receiving a gift. It is also important not to become defensive and start explaining. Just listen, acknowledge, and be thankful.
After we received this feedback, every team member wrote down what he or she wanted to actively improve upon, starting the sentence with: “I commit to…” We collected everyone’s commitments in a document, printed it, and stuck it on our kitchen wall. Our commitments are public, and our team members give each other permission to help them and to hold them accountable.
We wholeheartedly want everyone who joins Cameo to grow and learn during their time with us. There are a number of ways in which people can stretch themselves, too. For example, once a week, we have technical show-and-tell meetings via video conference. Engineers present on new tools or techniques they’ve learned or are implementing to help uplevel their team members. We also strongly encourage reading, whether it’s technical and non-technical, and have libraries in both of our LA and Chicago offices for team members to check out.
For anyone wanting to engage with the greater engineering community, we are happy to send you to any conference you may be interested in. Some of our team members have even given talks at conferences such as App.js Conf. Career development is important to us which is why we are heavily biased toward promoting from within rather than hiring externally. We are particularly proud of Marcus Molchany and Davide Curletti who have moved up quickly into leadership roles at Cameo.
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We’re also proud of Automattic TV, which is full of video series such as Code Like Gold (programming presentations and demos), The People Lab (a speaker series featuring Diversity & Inclusion and HR topics), Flash Talks (short talks we give at Grand Meetups on a range of topics), our regular Town Halls, and more. Automatticians have access to a professional coach and up to 10 coaching sessions per calendar year (16 for team leads).
Learning at Automattic starts with a hiring process that hopefully removes stress and bias, and helps candidates become familiar with how we work, so you can hit the ground running. Onboarding starts with a friendly welcome and self-introduction to the entire distributed team. You'll then embark on a two-week support rotation to learn about our users and our incredible customer support system, Happiness.
We embrace a two-sided process. Our distributed team and culture need to fit your goals, lifestyle, and values just as much as you fit ours.
Angaza believes so strongly in mentorship that we deliberately scale our hiring rate to our mentoring capacity. If we feel we can’t provide the proper support for our engineers to grow into confident and independent colleagues, then we’ll dial back until mentoring bandwidth increases again.
As you can see, we expect a lot from our senior engineers. Not only must they be strong technically, but they must also be able and willing to help grow the next crop of leaders. In return, senior engineers have the opportunity not only to hone their own technical skills (spearheading our most challenging projects), but also level up their leadership skills, and convert to a management track if so desired. And while it so happens that our senior engineers each average ~15 years of industry experience, it’s demonstrated depth and breadth that we care about, not length of tenure.
From individuals pairing on a specific problem to our bi-weekly engineering practicum led by our CTO, our culture is infused top to bottom with a commitment to helping engineers maximize their rates of personal growth.
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Every employee gets 12 days per year for personal development. Software developers, for example, can work our open-source toolings, internal toolings, or come up with their own ideas on what to work on. In addition to that, everyone is provide with a budget for visiting conferences and workshops. For the last 10 years, we have hosted an internal company conference once a year and since about 4 years we also host a public version called the unKonf, an unconference for web- and software development in our office in Mannheim.
Whenever we need to uplevel our knowledge, skills, and abilities, we leverage outside experts and consultants. When we first started in 2015, ML were getting more accurate and AI was becoming more accessible to developers. We weren't experts ourselves, so we hired one as a consultant to help us ramp up our timeline. Together, Daniel and the consultant built face identification models (matching faces) that work on adult faces. Our models perform as well as the ones in leading academic research papers. Now we’re working to train the model to perform face identification on baby faces - a unique challenge!
Joining Precious is an especially good opportunity for any developer that wants to apply their current skill set while also learning about computer vision.
As a company, we would like to see our products thrive, and as developers, we want to be able to unleash their creativity. This means that there will be times when people won’t be 100% aligned with our current product in the short-run, but in the long-run we believe that giving people time to do whatever they want will result in innovation and a healthier life. We encourage people to use roughly 20% of their work time to research or build anything they want, be it related to Hash or not.
As for the company's growth, we dedicate time to understand if our processes are still attending to people's needs. We value context over blindly repeating processes, so we have to dedicate time to study the context continuously.
Whether it’s product management, UX, management, or a specific expertise, we work closely with the individual to get there. Currently, we only have one hands-on engineer, so the room to take on a lot of responsibility is tremendous. Libby joined our team as a graphic designer, but she realized through working here that she prefers to work in client facing roles and move projects along, she now is an account strategist.
Employers typically discourage their employees from working on side projects, or at least it seems as if people are shy to share this information with their managers and coworkers. The fact is Monograph started as a side project, so of course we encourage you to work on something on the side!
To us, side projects are canaries in the coal mine. The company benefits from your working on a side project just as much as you do, and truthfully, all of our SEO mastery has come from our side projects. We have a 4-day workweek so that there can be an abundance of creative time. Here are some:
Feature flagging and toggle management for continuous delivery
Oakland, CA / London, UK
LaunchDarkly is a place where everyone can learn and grow. We're dedicated to the professional and personal growth of all our team members which is why every team member has a $2500 annual educational stipend. People use it to attend seminars or conferences, some folks have taken classes as well. Even non-engineers have a stipend to further their personal or professional development. Taek, Talent Acquisition Lead, used his stipend for food, airfare, and lodging to attend SourceCon (a conference for recruiters to share tools, strategies, and ideas).
If you have a strong interest in something, we want to hear about it. That way we can help give you the reins to bring your creative ideas to fruition and develop new skills in the process. We’re open to engineers working on projects they’re passionate about and want people to feel free to express their interests.
We’re transparent in terms of where the business is, and given this information, we want individuals to contribute their ideas and solutions to the challenges we’re facing. For example, Alberto started as a backend engineer and has become our primary infrastructure engineer over the last year. This progression stemmed from a conversation about the infrastructure we wanted to build (microservices based backend and Continuous Deployment in place), and he stepped up and said, “I think I can figure out how to do this.” The rest is history.
Career network for college students and recent grads
San Francisco, Denver, or Remote (US)
Handshake is an education technology company, so it’s only natural that one of our core company values is “Learn. Grow. Repeat.” In order to build an amazing team that is relentlessly curious and constantly striving to excel, we have to invest in each individual’s personal growth. To do so, we provide support for learning both internally and externally.
Within the company, we have Handshake Academy courses that both new hires and veterans can attend including everything from “Intro to Elasticsearch” to “How to Story Point.” These courses cover all aspects of the company, from engineering, to sales, to design. For the engineering team, we heavily encourage pair programming, and have weekly Lunch & Learns where engineers present on learnings and new technologies. This could be a talk on a new idea for how to write automated tests or how to practice nonviolent communication.
What’s more, each new hire is paired with two Onboarding Buddies for their first month at Handshake. The buddies come from across the organization and are responsible for helping new hires make the most of life at Handshake. Though the buddy program eventually ends, we continue to encourage cross-team pollination. For example, we have bi-weekly #donuts, where each person across the company is randomly matched with someone else for coffee. This is a great opportunity for personal growth since employees can learn more from one another, develop relationships outside their immediate team, and feel more connected to the Handshake community.
For external learning opportunities, we provide a generous annual conference stipend ($1,500) and encourage conference attendees to write up their takeaways and share them with the team. We also have a partnership with “Udemy for Business” for employees to take free classes at their own pace on topics ranging from data science and machine learning, to finance and business development.
Personal growth means something different to each person and everyone faces different obstacles in reaching those goals. Box has a number of groups that organize monthly events that aim to build community and provide support. For example, the Women in Tech group organizes internal events, sends female engineers to Grace Hopper Conferences, and has various tracks that include community outreach, networking, and career development workshops. Other groups at Box include Pride, Black Box, and Latin, to name a few. We also host Coffee Conversations where speakers are invited to speak about their career paths and provide insights about their personal journeys.
Learning and development is also embedded into our engineering operations. We have Agile Coaches who closely mentor individual teams as they adopt Agile practices, providing feedback and answering questions as they help the team deliver high quality more efficiently. There is always something to learn and we expect everyone to be growing during their time at Box.
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We’re a very experienced team, much more so than the average startup, and we all regularly take on new roles and learn from each other. We’re committed to personal growth out of necessity, and also because we love it in our own lives. On a small, start-up team, you need people willing to try everything, and the team needs to create a safe place for people to try new things. We couldn’t get everything done any other way.
When you first join our team, you’ll be matched up with at least one mentor based on what we learn about you during our hiring and onboarding process. New employees meet one-on-one with their mentor every week. These meetings are just to run through the events of the day/week, and are often taken outside during short walks and coffee breaks.
Our bi-annual performance-review is an opportunity to have a very open, honest, and focused discussion on strengths and areas of development. It’s a 360-degree feedback process, which consists of a self-reflection, peer-feedback, and a follow-up 1:1 conversation with your manager. GustoFIED is not just a reflection of previous work - we also use this as a time to look forward and help Gusties develop both professionally and personally.
Our engineers also have a $1,500 annual learning and development budget. Engineers have attended classes or workshops, worked in new parts of our stack, and attended conferences. Many of our engineers have even been featured in media and at technology conferences. At Gusto, personal growth isn’t just something we think about twice a year with GustoFIED — it’s every day.
We incorporate a lot of opportunities for collaboration, code review and you will work very closely with the other members of the team. We always try to push developers with harder challenges and couple it with support from our CTO and others on the team. Through our performance reviews and 1-on-1’s we keep track of your growth and help you get to where you want to be, both in the short term and the long term. Not everyone wants to or is supposed to become management, so we try to accommodate for independent contributors too. The most important person for defining the growth trajectory of your career is yourself, and we are there to support you.
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Enable immigrants to use their data to land on their feet
San Francisco, CA or New York, NY
Novans can leverage their $1500 professional development budget for personal growth. For example, Jaime used a part of his budget to attend JSConf in Hawaii! Nova also invests in professional events, tools, and resources and provides access to an extensive network you can tap into. You can leverage our network by having matcha 1:1s with peers and mentors or joining community events, where we've met many new friends, accelerated our professional growth, and discussed hot topics.
In the spirit of being an international company serving an international community, Nova encourages employees to take a vacation and explore the world with our anniversary gift. On your Nova anniversary, you’ll get a roundtrip ticket to anywhere in the world; we believe traveling can be one of the best ways to grow as a person, (emotionally, spiritually, and professionally) through being exposed to how different people in the world live and seeing things. People have used their anniversary flights to visit the Maldives, Thailand, New Zealand, and Greece, just to name a few destinations!
You can see a full list of our benefits here.
At Dark, we have career switchers, people who are self-taught, and those looking to move into leadership roles. We’re committed to supporting all of those situations for our employees, and will do whatever we can to help you grow as an engineer.
By actively practicing feedback and having a bias toward transparency, we do our best to align each individual’s personal and professional goals with the goals of the business. In 1-1s you’ll talk about your future goals and the skills/experiences you might need to get there. When we do more aggregate reviews (like the 30/60/90 or when asked), we provide specific insights and quotes from the rest of the team. As a collective, our team members have a wide variety of skills and experience, so one of the most valuable sources for growth is the person sitting next to you. Thus far, we’ve all become more well-rounded as we learn from each other and are able to get insight into other pieces of the company.
We support our employees by providing a generous and flexible educational stipend. You can use your stipend to learn about whatever interests you the most that will help you succeed at Ribbon. Many of our engineers have taken introductory real estate courses at one of the many universities near our New York office, or attended a Dribbble conference because design piques their interest.
We also have a number of culture initiatives at Ribbon and encourage one another to grow through giving back. We try to tie our mission of making home ownership achievable to everything we do, including our volunteer opportunities. For example, we’ve volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House (which helps families who can’t be home while they seek treatment for their children).
We also support whatever drives you outside of Ribbon. There are many ways to develop, grow, and stretch yourself, and we do our best to provide each team member with the resources, time, and/or support to do just that.
As a small team in a high-growth business environment, it’s important that everyone on the team is bettering themselves both in and out of the office. Working intensively all day mentally should be complemented by a healthy amount of physical exercise. That’s why we provide a monthly wellness stipend ($50) to be spent however you’d like (e.g. gym, fitness classes, meditation). We also provide a monthly education stipend ($25) for continuous learning to be used on books or courses. And if there is a conference or seminar that’s relevant to what you’re working on – we’ll cover the cost! To round it out, we don’t want getting to and from work to be stressful so we provide monthly commuting benefits ($100) so you only start sweating once you get to that fitness class ;)
At Minerva Project, we place a strong emphasis on professional development. This begins with a structured 90-day onboarding, which includes a plan for shipping code during week one. By day 90, you’ll have a comfortable foothold on one (or more) of the products outlined in your professional development goals and will be working with your manager to line those up with pods and projects.
The relationship with your manager is a two-way street. You should feel comfortable to regularly discuss potential areas for growth so your manager can advocate for you to take on appropriate stretch projects. You and your manager will regularly revisit your professional development goals. Just like we split product planning into multiple chunks during the year, we have multiple layers of professional development from high level year long goals to per project initiatives to make clear how your efforts at Minerva will grow your career.
We also have a budget to expense any technical book needed to help you learn more and a tuition assistance program of $3K per year for professional development events such as conferences, trainings, and workshops. For example, our teammates have been involved with Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC), PyCon, and more. We also run internal book clubs and workshops, with recent examples including book clubs on The Manager’s Path by Camille Fournier and Switch by Dan and Chip Heath, and an introduction to Docker and Kubernetes workshop.
Staff and faculty at our all-company event in 2019.
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Take classes on videography, or even music lessons! We actually kind of have a band at GoodNotes, and since we didn’t have a drummer, Gabriel is taking drumming lessons!
Our research team members are not traditionally software engineers, but they’re using their stipend to learn how to code through online classes (advanced Python and iOS). You can also use your budget to purchase books. Whatever you want to do to learn and stretch yourself, we support it.
We're tackling a problem that has no known solutions and no best practices, which means it isn’t even possible for us to hire someone who already has all of the necessary knowledge. Therefore, we have to embrace the idea that our very success as a business depends on our ability to learn and grow, both as individuals and as a team.
At Covariant, it’s not about how much you know, but rather how much you are willing to learn. We all strive to become better versions of ourselves every day, and more importantly, we all see it as our responsibility to help our colleagues do the same. Domain experts host discussions and organize reading groups around topics they have a deep understanding in – from machine learning to goal setting – in order to help others expand their skill sets. Maximilian Sieb started a discussion group to get people up to speed in the basic methodologies related to computer vision (and more advanced topics that specifically relate to what we do at Covariant) and reported “how exciting it is to see people with no prior background in computer vision come up with innovative ideas only a few meetings in!”
We help each other break out of our comfort zones and encourage one another to take on tasks we're interested in, even when they fall outside of our wheelhouse. Our strong internal support network and our desire to uplevel the people around us fosters an atmosphere where everyone feels encouraged to take on new tasks without ever being siloed.
Cloud-based observability platform
San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, or Los Angeles
As a starter, all of our training materials and workshops are tailor-made. Our onboardings are not only customized to New Relic, but also for the specific department you’re joining. (People Ops, Sales, Technical teams all have their own training material.) For those of us who have been in the industry for many years (or in some cases, decades), we were all blown away by the amount and quality of content that helps new hires ramp up at New Relic.
You’re also assigned to a buddy when you get hired. Buddies have a whole list of things to work with you on to help you get oriented: tours of our nap rooms, how to schedule an appointment with one of our in-office masseuses, or going over our rooftop yoga schedule. There are also so many tools available for Rookie Relics (as we call them) to help you understand how we do sprint planning, write a good story, and find out what team someone is on (or what a team does!).
Once you’re situated, there continues to be many opportunities for growth. So many, in fact, that you probably won’t have enough time to take advantage of everything that’s offered to you! Even when the unexpected happens (like with COVID-19), we make a big effort to support one another and stay connected as a team.
People in LoyLap have different domains of expertise, so training means having someone able and willing to impart that knowledge. For example, an iOS dev expanding his domain may learn the Android SDK with the Android dev overseeing it. We also encourage our employees to make time and participate in community events. Some people attend a weekly programming book club, and we also have members participate in activities like five-a-side football. We celebrate the interests of our employees and hope to continue this culture of development both inside and outside of the workplace.
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As developers, we have a wide range of interests and at mindmatters, we’re encouraged to pursue them. Some people have hardware projects, while others are interested in topics like programming Alexa skills. Some people want to work on building internal tools for the company to use, like a dashboard to track working hours or a tool to log vacation days. Of course, we also have interests that extend beyond engineering, which is why some of us have started special interest groups for things like brewing beer.
The flexibility we have to decide when, where, and how much we work allows us to pursue our personal interests and learning. We also have an annual educational budget of 1000 € for people to get training and attend workshops, seminars, or development conferences in Germany (or other European countries).
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