The Tech Interview Process

Landing a job as a software engineer in the Bay Area is a difficult and daunting process. Keeping up with relevant skills can be overwhelming, even when you’re a veteran. The tech industry is changing rapidly, and many bootcamps and universities have generally not evolved their curricula enough to match the need for more advanced junior developers. Top companies expect you to have experience before they give you a job, but you need a job to gain that experience––a seemingly impossible dilemma.

We know how frustrating it is to spend hours carefully branding yourself with a flawless resume and a personalized cover letter only to have them disappear into the abyss; or that practicing algorithms when you haven’t touched binary trees in years of building software is an arduous task; and that coding on a whiteboard isn’t something you do every day because you’re used to coding on your laptop.

CS fundamentals––data structures and algorithms––are not something you use regularly to build software, and so your skills atrophy. But companies expect you to know this stuff and they expect you to demonstrate your capabilities. And then on top of all this, there are the recruiter calls, the pressure of having to nail the interview, and, if you get this far, negotiating for a better offer––skills that engineers are never taught. It’s no wonder that you’d get anxious, overwhelmed, or experience imposter syndrome.

The Program

We’ve seen firsthand too many software engineers struggle with all the demands of a highly competitive job search. That’s why we created Outco––a structured solution that helps you focus on all the facets that go into finding a great job. Our team has experience in every step of the process required to get a great software engineering position––from the technical to the non-technical, and everything in between.

“Outco is a great distraction from all of the noise. Week after week, I had to focus on sending out job applications, staying on top of my phone screens, revising my resume, getting my homework done, and going to class every night. There's no time to wallow, and there's a solid structure in place to make sure that you're maintaining forward momentum.” - Ricky, Outco graduate, Yelp Review

Coaches guide you through how to manage your time, energy, and psyche so you can stay on track and level up. We shorten the time that it takes to apply to companies and have a system in place to help you manage and track your progress. Here is what you get out of the Outco program:  

Resume Overhaul

Your resume is most likely going to require significant work. Our main goal is to make you look as good at a glance as possible to get you as many phone screens as possible. Your portfolio and resume are streamlined to achieve the highest ROI. With a professional resume writer and a former recruiter at Google on the team, we’ve seen thousands of resumes and know how to make them stand out. It’s not uncommon for Outco students to quadruple their phone screens after a resume overhaul, and get an offer before graduating the program.

Mock Phone Screen Calls

If a recruiter or hiring manager has reviewed your resume and wants to talk with you, it means you’re preliminarily qualified. There’s no reason you shouldn’t pass the phone screen. Outco teaches you how to sell yourself technically and socially, and how to be compelling when discussing the projects and experience on your resume. We’ve designed a mock phone screen program that will help you recognize the “gotcha” questions and circumnavigate them with ease.

“The staff, especially Andy and Ron, were great about explaining concepts and being accessible for questions. You solidify not just your understanding of the concepts, but you get better at explaining your thoughts and discussing them, which I was not good at. Of all the things I gained from Outco, getting better at discussing technical problems and concepts was probably the biggest level up in my interviewing skills.” - Joseph, Outco graduate, Yelp Review

Training in Data Structures and Algorithms

This technical training is the heart of our program, and our main goal is simple: educate you on CS fundamentals. Taught in the classroom and with detailed online videos, you get in-class whiteboarding and pair programming practice, as well as exercises to do at home––starting with the theory you need to be more efficient on the front end or the back end. We provide you with training that starts with simple time and space complexity and moving all the way through more dynamic programming. We also cover software architecture and systems design.

Real World Whiteboarding Practice

An interviewer wants to hear your thought process. Showing confidence and communicating your ideas clearly are essential to your success––otherwise your answers are just abstract concepts. We have developed a four-step process for whiteboarding that reduces the cognitive load so that you can focus on problem solving. Having amazing skills and arriving at correct answers will not get you offers from top companies if your communication is poor. At Outco you get plenty of opportunities to practice your whiteboarding.

“Although I could write JavaScript pretty well at this point, I definitely was not prepared to solve arbitrary algorithm questions on a whiteboard. That’s one of the key areas Outco tries to prepare students for, because, for better or worse, whiteboarding remains a favorite interview tactic of tech companies. In addition, I could defer payment to Outco until after I got a job.” - Sean Smith, Outco graduate

Instruction on How to Negotiate for Better Offers

This service alone routinely more than pays for the program. Our goal is to help you leverage your offers against each other, and maximize the value of each individual offer. We give you one-to-one support when you get a new offer and help you navigate step-by-step through the negotiation process. Outco graduates typically get a 5–10% base salary bump (sometimes as high as 25%) along with higher signing bonuses and more attractive stock option packages.

Increasing Traction

Our team is very well connected to companies large and small. Our structured program is designed and has been proven to move you quickly through a comprehensive plan of action and land you offers at companies you want to work for. In just four weeks with Outco, you will spend less time applying for jobs while getting more traction, grow your network and opportunities, get farther through the interview stages, and get paid for what you are worth.

“At the end of the day, joining Outco was about making an investment in my career, and learning how to put my best foot forward in a process that's just as difficult for companies as it is for job seekers. Outco is a great experience, and I appreciated the framework that they put in place for my job search. I was pretty skeptical going into it, but now I'm really proud that I made the investment.” - Ricky, Outco graduate, Yelp Review

Delivering Results

In addition to all the technical and non-technical training mentioned above, Graduates of Outco are much more confident in themselves and they are more motivated to reach higher levels of achievement and success. All the skills you learn with Outco are directly applicable to your next job and throughout the rest of your career. By the time you finish the four-week program, you will have shaved months off your job search.

And, if for some reason you don’t get an offer by the end of the program, you don’t get an offer that you’re happy with, or you’re holding out for a particular company, you continue to get unlimited one-to-one support from us, as well as access to all of our material and the workspace.

All of our services are offered for as long as you are a software engineer, including our weekly “Outcomes Class” where we provide technical assessments, as well as helping you stick to your goals with the non-technical aspects of the job search and interview process.