I recently completed the Leap apprenticeship program at Microsoft and would wholeheartedly recommend this route to any junior developer. Many apprenticeships are specifically geared towards transitioning or "non-traditional" developers. So if you graduated from a bootcamp or are self-taught, an apprenticeship is another great way to get your foot in the door and land that FTE role.
Apprenticeships also provide additional mentoring, structure and support in addition to what a company typically provides their employees. Leap, for example, offered three weeks of C# and other training before we joined our sponsoring team. Once on the team, we also had weekly group calls that included panel discussions, networking tips, and more.
Below is a list of 3 apprenticeships I think would be a great way to launch your career as a developer.
- Leap is a 15-week apprenticeship, with 3 weeks' training and 12 weeks with our sponsoring team. My cohort of 9 engineers was spread across Microsoft and Github. Once we joined our teams, we were all assigned an area of focus to work on. We were also assigned a mentor, a program manager, and two code buddies for additional support.
- To keep us on track, we also had a manager who held weekly one-on-ones, as well as a weekly review with all the Leapers every Friday.
- This was the first apprenticeship I learned about and being in NYC, it made perfect sense. Unlike Microsoft Leap, the REACH program is longer and seems geared towards professional development and on the job training towards becoming a software engineer.
- Apprenticeships can join at different levels, based on their technical prowess, and will ultimately graduate to become an engineer. This is an interesting approach to the apprenticeship and, as a result, much longer (1-5 years) than your typical apprenticeship.
- I only recently learned about the Google apprenticeship but would highly recommend it to everyone getting into programming. Not only does a Google apprenticeship provide all of the benefits I've listed so far. But unlike many apprenticeships, there is a guaranteed full-time offer at the end of the program. Get through the year and then transition into a Google FTE role.
- The Google apprenticeship seems like a great midpoint between Leap and REACH. Being only 1 year long, it offers enough time to find your footing as a developer and explore different roles within the organization. But unlike REACH, converting to a full-time SWE should only take 1 year.
Are there any apprenticeship programs you think should be on the list? If you completed one of these (or other) apprenticeships, let me know how your experience was.
I also have a longer list of apprenticeships to consider during your search. But this post was getting longer than I wanted. Definitely look forward to part 2!