Varsity Dev is a career accelerator designed to help new software developers break in to the industry with skills and experience!
We have a long list of projects from non-profit orgs, startups, open-source community and our own ideas. Currently we just keep them on a waiting list, but we want use that list (which is always growing) to feed various product teams. No fake products or meaningless tasks to waste time.
Devs are never alone, but work as part of a larger "Delivery Team", which is led by one of our project management staff. Devs are held accountable for their work just like a "real job".
All devs are awesome!! But even the best devs need support at times. So, our more experienced devs are available passively in chat and actively in code-reviews. This access to experts and more senior devs is a big deal for devs who have gaps to fill. It also means no one has to stay stuck or in "tutorial hell" for too long.
We run projects using Scrum and Kanban methodologies and stick to strict Agile processes. If you're new to the profession, working in an Agile team could be a big boost to the resume. It would also teach you how to work with a mature, delivery-focused team.
Skill Gap Analysis and Training
We assess the skills of our devs, find their skill gaps and assign training to address those gaps. Training and acquiring skills is a constant theme, and our devs are non-stop, neck-deep in it. But no one is stuck training in things they already have mastered. We're looking for real growth, not just class attendance.
We are constantly scrubbing the web for companies who hire juniors and building relationships with them. We work with our devs to pimp their profiles , build portfolios, and improve resumes. We even help them know where and when to apply for jobs.
Devs can join the career accelerator on a full-time or part-time basis. Devs can also set their hours from week to week. Of course, the more time you can commit, the more experience you get. And, the more value you bring to your team, the wider your network will grow and more backup you'll receive from your teammates.
Real Job Experience
Full-time or part-time, we expect our devs to count their time in this career accelerator as "real job experience". We encourage our devs to proudly claim the title of "Full-Stack Developer", not "intern" or "student". Our devs actually build real products! Why down-play that experience with an "lesser" title?
Is this a paid position?
No, this is NOT a paid position. Unlike a normal job or internship, participants in our career accelerator receive constant training and coaching in order to help them prepare for their career ahead. Varsity is more like a school than a job, but we use real projects (that affect real people) to provide real experience. On the other hand, Varsity expects excellence and commitment and holds its participants accountable VERY MUCH like a real job.
How much does this cost?
ZERO! There is no charge or financial liability for this career accelerator. But, it will cost you your free time. During your enrollment in the career accelerator, you should expect to put most of your extra curricular activities on hold... maybe that represents a "cost" to you, but not one coming from Varsity Dev.
Can I keep my day-job?
If you need to work to support yourself, by all means, keep going with that! If this is the case, you might need to make a part-time commitment and just give extra time when you can. On the other hand, if you can afford to participate without working an outside job, then you can give more time to your team and you'll get more experience.
What is the time commitment?
We accept devs on a part-time or full-time basis (20 or 40 hours a week, respectively). This is a commitment that you make to the accelerator and your dev team. And we will be sure to hold you to your commitment. You can always give more time to your team, of course! The more time you put in, the more experience you get back!
Will this be hard?
Yes. In fact, by the time you get a job and exit the accelerator, you'll be so exhausted that your new job will feel like a nice nap in a hammock. Does that make you nervous? Well, maybe this isn't going to be the right program for you. What you're doing requires an extraordinary effort to succeed! You're trying to break into a very competitive industry that, at times, is over-saturated by people with similar profiles and skills. You've got to get serious about standing out, and it will start by your own intense effort. We'll help you along the way, but the work will be yours!
Am I guaranteed to find a job?
No, but we will make sure you have awareness of what needs to be done on your end, experience in real projects to give you a boost, and help finding the right companies that hire devs with your skillset. The rest will be up to you and your investment in yourself!
Is this free labor?
Yes, it definitely is. We will labor on you and we won't charge you a dime. You will also labor, and you'll take away skills and experience that you can exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars once you land a job. While you're with Varsity.Dev, you will work on real projects because thats the experience your resume is missing! Those projects might be with non-profits, helping save the world. Or you might get assigned to an open-source project. You might even get assigned to a commercial project where someone else gets to make money from your labor. In any of these scenarios, you take away agile team experience that will help you land a job!
Can I choose the projects I work on?
In Varsity.Dev, projects are assigned to devs with the appropriate skillset. Devs always have the option to decline an assignment for any reason (ex: "I only want open-source projects."). However, be careful. The more projects you reject, the less likely you'll get assignments in the future.
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