Project Shift Blog


Where We've Set the Bar for Admissions


Two Models Have Emerged

It seems that two distinct models have emerged when it comes to immersive coding schools. For some programs, “applying” may actually mean, “registering”. In other words, they’ll let anyone into their program. These schools tend to have a larger growth model (multiple campuses across the country) with less of a focus on career prep.

Other schools focus on setting the bar high for admissions and might even have a rigorous technical interview, which means that they’re technically not accepting “complete beginners”. Usually, these schools focus more on training their students to be career ready upon graduation because they may have a higher caliber graduate than the others. The downside to this is that these schools can come across as “exclusive”.

Project Shift unashamedly leans toward setting a higher bar for admissions, complete with technical and non-technical interviews. As we’ve said before, we’re setting out to build the nation’s top intensive software engineering education program, so it’s important that we’re careful to only select students that we believe will be successful, for your sake especially, and ours as well. However, this “selection” process likely looks different than you might think.

A High Bar for Character

First of all, the high bar that we’re talking about isn’t so much related to accolades, but character. In other words, we don’t require that you have a college degree or anything like that. Rather, we require that you display humility, teachability, curiosity and a hunger to learn. As we’ve heard from many VP’s of Engineering, they like the hire developers from “alternative backgrounds” (non CS degree) because they have a drive, hunger, willingness to learn, and get things done that many others don’t. This is because you had to work for a seat at the interview table and learn the hard way. A degree or certificate didn’t get you there, only code. On Freund, VP of Engineering for the $20 billion company, WeWork once told me that he’s never fired a Junior Developer because what they lack in experience, they make up for with passion and determination.

In addition to character, we also test for technical experience. We don’t expect you to have work experience as a developer or to be any kind of expert, but showing us that you know something already is a great indicator to your hunger and drive to learn on your own. This shouldn’t scare you away, but it should encourage you that if you do make it through the admissions process that we insist that you’ll make a great software engineer, despite the lies you’re sure to believe at some point in the course that you won’t.

Don't Know Where to Start?

For those of you that really don’t know where to start, we’re offering a short Coding Foundations Course aimed at kickstarting your journey. It’s purely there as a resource for you to get some in-person guidance, and at $200, but we don’t make anything off it. It’s a great entry path into our admissions process and is sure to be a big help through the technical part of our interview.

If you’re considering a career-change, we’d encourage you to apply. You’ll never feel “ready”, so let us help you determine if now’s the right time for you to take that huge leap toward becoming a software engineer.

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