Yes! You can schedule a live online info session with one of our team members at your convenience here.
Can I speak to someone there?
Applications are due the Wednesday before class begins (see dates below).
When is the application deadline?
When Are the next classes?
Onsite and online classes run at the same schedule as follows.
All classes: 6pm-9pm, M-Th
Mar 4 — Eastern Timezone
App Deadline: Feb 29
Mar 18 — Pacific Timezone
App Deadline: Mar 9
Apr 1 — Eastern Timezone
App Deadline: Mar 21
Apr 15 — Pacific Timezone
App Deadline: Apr 8
Note: Week 1 is M-F
Where are classes held?
Onsite: At our office in San Francisco, the address for which can be found at the bottom of this FAQ.
Online: Online (anywhere).
What is the schedule?
Week 1 Is held 100% remotely, M-Th 6pm-9pm EST/PST (depending on your class).
Weeks 2-5 is held M-Th from 6-9pm EST/PST (depending on your class) for both online and onsite classes.
Is this program right for me?
We've had senior engineers from Apple, engineers who score in the top 1% of HackerRank, and PhD's go through and find great value in our program. We've had fresh bootcamp grads from nearly every bootcamp, CS grads from Stanford, Yale and Harvard grads, and fresh community college grads all go through our program and find great value. And of course, we've had many engineers with anywhere from one to twenty years of experience go through our program and land a job that they are excited about.
Outco is designed for engineers at all stages in their careers, with backgrounds ranging from QA, back-end, front-end, full-stack, data science, and even a few engineers who strayed into product management and are returning to engineering. What makes the program right for you is whether you feel like you're reaching your full software engineering career potential, or if you think you're capable of more. We're here to help those of you who identify as the latter.
The common thread between our most successful engineers is that they are committed to their personal growth and take the program seriously.
What is the application process?
We are committed to setting all of our engineers up for success, and this begins before we've even met. After you submit your background form, we'll review your engineering background and any portfolio materials you provide. If we don't think you'd get enough traction with your current experience level/portfolio, we'll give you actionable feedback for what to work on and you'll be welcome to re-apply once you've executed on the feedback.
If your background looks like a match for our program, we'll schedule you for a fundamentals check. This is a one-hour online session with one of the Outco technical coaches. During this session we’ll be checking to see how well you communicate your thoughts and respond to feedback, as well as ensuring that you have mastered the fundamentals of your programming language of choice. Think string manipulations, traversing arrays, writing and utilizing functions -- pretty fundamental programming skills.
This admissions process has been developed over the 3+ years, 35+ classes, and over 1,000 software engineers, to ensure that engineers maximize their time and value throughout the program.
Note: Some aspects of the application process are further illuminated in the answer to the question "What makes for a successful Outco applicant?"
how do you determine who qualifies?
While there is no exact formula, we'll try to break it down in digestible chunks here. (Regardless of where you think you might fit in below, it never hurts to apply anyway. We provide all of our applicants with feedback that can be used to better your portfolio/skill-set that will be useful on your job search, with or without Outco.) The application process is broken into two parts, the background review and the fundamentals check. In each, we describe what typically makes for a successful applicant.
Mid-to-Senior Level Engineers
For this level of engineer, we will be looking over your resume to ensure meaningful software engineering experience. Relevant coursework will also be taken into consideration.
Junior Level Engineers (Including Internship Experience)
For engineers who have on-the-job experience, including most internships, experience found on the resume is usually what guides our decision making process, though if the experience was brief we may request any additional programming projects that the engineer has been involved with if not listed on their resume.
Recent CS or Related (BS and MS Level) Grads
& Recent Bootcamp Grads (Without Dev Experience)
The projects are typically most important here. What sort of projects has the applicant built? Do these projects extend beyond basic CRUD operations, i.e. do they have API tie-ins, do they manipulate data in some sort of meaningful way, and/or is the UI well done? Many engineers who fall within this category have built simple CRUD apps such as to-do list applications, Twitter clones, restaurant menu display applications, and the like. While it is possible to get limited traction from these types of projects, in our experience these projects will result in traction that is typically frustratingly slow, resulting in the student needing to take time off from their job search to improve their portfolio. We try to front-load this with actionable portfolio feedback via the application process, thus enabling you to have an empowering portfolio that gets you traction during your time at Outco.
When we started Outco in August of 2015, we would accept anyone who applied. We were surprised to learn that some engineers--both junior and senior alike--would often struggle with fundamental programming concepts such as defining and calling a function in their language of choice, or traversing an array, or manipulating a string. Given that these are foundational software engineering concepts, and that Outco is not a software engineering school/bootcamp, we realized we needed to ensure that all of our applicants' fundamentals were firmly in place so that they would not fall behind or even drown entirely in our program. Thus, the fundamentals check was born, and it is a requirement for all applicants regardless of skill level or experience.
The fundamentals check is a one-hour virtual session scheduled at your convenience with one of our technical coaches. During that hour, we'll spend 5-15 minutes getting to know you a bit better in terms of your goals, what you think you'd most benefit from with the program, etc. We'll then dive in to 30-45 minutes of pair programming, where we'll check your ability to write functions, manipulate strings, and/or traverse arrays in the language of your choice with some simple problems guided by our staff member. We're not looking for the right answer necessarily, just to ensure that you have a strong grasp of your language's syntax, basic operations, and foundational data structures. The last 5-15 minutes will be reserved for feedback and any questions you might have.
Note: You are welcome to apply and take fundamentals checks multiple times. If you do not perform well on one, we'll give you feedback that enables you to learn and practice what you need to on your own, and then return and successfully pass. This can even be done when applying to the same class, which is one of the advantages of submitting your application as early as you can.
HOW MUCH DOES THE PROGRAM COST?
We have three different payment plans tailored to your needs:
$0 upfront + 10% of your first year's salary paid over 6 months after starting your job.
$1,500 upfront + 5% of your first year's salary paid over 3 months after starting your job.
We find that by tying our success to yours, we're forced to evolve our product to ensure that you are getting job offers that you want and are excited about as fast as possible. This is why we've had payment choice #2 since the beginning of the program. We introduced payment plan #1 in order to eliminate financial barriers from preventing you from joining our program and getting the support you need. Finally, we introduced payment choice #3 for those who would prefer to pay a lower payment overall by paying for the entire program up-front. It is important to understand that with both choice #1 and #2, we're taking a risk by reducing our fee up front -- and thus the program is more expensive overall for choice #1 and #2.
When considering the price, it is worth considering that our negotiation support alone typically yields a 5-10% base salary increase (and we can often help negotiate higher bonuses and stock options on top of that), in addition to the fact that you'll likely be getting offers that you wouldn't have otherwise received, and especially if you're unemployed and we help cut the unemployment period by even one month -- Outco generally more than pays for itself.
What is the time commitment?
We treat the job search as a full-time process, and there is an expectation that our engineers spend approximately 10-20 hours per week working on job-search related activities such as attending class, working through homework, applying to jobs, company code challenges, etc. While this number may fluctuate on a engineer-by-engineer basis, our most successful graduates have spent this much time or more, and we do have certain requirements that engineer need to meet.
All of that being said, we recognize that each of our engineers have different circumstances, and we try to accommodate and tailor the program for each engineer as best we can.
What does the program consist of?
Pre-course: Complete resume and LinkedIn overhaul with our resume team, who have optimized over 1,000 software engineer resumes (and reviewed countless others) using the process they've developed over the past 3+ years. Additional preparatory material includes preliminary ramp-up coursework and outreach guidance.
Comprehensive Curriculum: Technical and interpersonal-skills topics are covered alike, including (but not limited to) data structures, algorithms, system design, salary negotiation, presentation and speaking skills, confidence development, and much more.
Exercises: Whiteboarding, pair programming, mock phone screens, 1-on-1 mock interviews, and more.
WHAT does a typical night at outco look like?
Most classes begin with a thorough technical lecture and homework run-through. This includes a technical instructor diagramming out the problem, whiteboarding the solution, and then live coding the answer, followed by a Q&A for any areas of confusion.
Thereafter, class can comprise of anything from pair/small-group whiteboarding, pair programming, and interpersonal skills lectures/exercises.
Can I attend your Online course instead?
Yes! We've worked hard to make our onsite-remote course, which is our onsite course live-streamed, just as interactive and valuable as our onsite class, and we're having great success! You participate right along with the class, where you can ask questions of the instructor and give answers to the instructor's questions to the class. Pair programming, whiteboarding, and all of our other exercises are available to you just as they are with our onsite program.
Given that this is live, it is held from 6pm-9pm PST with our onsite class. 1:1 coaching is available to our online engineers just the same as our onsite engineers.