Candidate Questions

Am I qualified for a placement?

That depends on what kind of jobs you are willing to work at. There are many different tech jobs that we place candidates in. Some of them require more advanced skills than others.

For all programming jobs, we expect you to have basic skills in at least one imperative (C/C++, Java, JavaScript, C#, Python, Ruby, etc.) or functional language (Haskell, Scala, F#, Clojure, etc.) prior to applying. HTML, Markup Languages, not meet the language requirement. Make sure you understand basic control structures and elements of programs like loops, variables, functions, and potentially objects and classes.

For business intelligence jobs, we expect a working knowledge of at least one query or database language (SQL, MySQL, MongoDB, etc.) and basic fluency in one scripting language (python, r, etc), along with a grounding in general programming concepts, and an aptitude for math and statistics.

If you want a programming or business intelligence job, we would like to see an impressive project (personal, school, work etc.) that proves your drive and technical skills.

Other tech jobs (such as quality assurance, IT project management, user support) don’t require very advanced programming skills, but may expect different skills.

What kind of jobs do you place candidates in?

We place candidates in many different tech jobs, not only programming. Here is a list of positions we place people in:

  • Software Developer
  • Front-End Developer
  • Back-End Developer
  • Mobile Developer
  • Data Scientist
  • Business Intelligence Developer
  • IT Project Manager
  • Quality Assurance Analyst

Where are the jobs located?

LaunchCode apprenticeships are located in our hub cities and the surrounding areas: St. Louis, South Florida, Kansas City, Rhode Island, Seattle, and Portland. In rare occasions we have placed people into apprenticeships outside of our hub cities.

How do you evaluate candidates?

We are not fixed on traditional credentials like a CS degree or relevant work experience. We evaluate candidates on their drive, potential to learn new skills quickly, ability to work with others, and technical skills. The process has three phases: online application, online coding puzzle, and an interview. Interview has a behavioral part and a technical part. If we believe the candidate can be a good LaunchCoder, then we start connecting them with the kind of jobs that they are interested in.

I live outside of the US, can I apply?

No. Right now, we are only placing the candidates in the US.

I live in the US, but I need an H1B visa sponsorship, can I apply?

No. We have seen that employers are unwilling to take on LaunchCode candidates who need a visa sponsorship, so we encourage candidates to try other methods of employment.

Are any of the jobs part-time?

No, you will be working with a full-time professional, this is not an internship.

I am a student, can I apply?

We have placed many people who have not completed an undergraduate degree. As long as you accept to be a full-time apprentice with the end goal of being hired as a full-time employee, you can apply and go through our process. We don’t offer internships.

If you want to finish your school or are not ready to start a full-time job, we recommend you to apply when you are close to graduation or are ready for a full-time job.

How long does the apprenticeship last?

Most apprentices are hired full-time in 3 months, but it mainly depends on you. The apprenticeship will last as long as it takes for the company to decide whether they want to keep that candidate, or let him/her go. We have seen some candidates hired after a few weeks, and others take longer than 3 months. It all depends on the individual candidate, and his/her company.

What kind of companies do you match candidates with?

We have more than 300 company partners, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to tech start-ups.

What if the company doesn’t offer me a job?

The company has a strong interest in your success. 90% of our apprentices are offered a full-time position. Once you are ready, the company should offer you a job. If they don’t, let us know and we’ll help you locate other opportunities.

What is the most important thing I can do to succeed on the job?

The biggest things companies will be looking for are motivation and potential. Once you are given a chance, it is up to you to prove yourself. This means doing all of the little things while at work to make sure you are as productive and helpful as possible, and doing all of the necessary things outside of work to make sure you are learning and improving. Ask questions, and take advantage of all the knowledge and experience of the developers around you. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes - just don’t make them more than once!

Company Questions

What does the company need to provide the apprentice?

Based on our analyses of past successes, we suggest a pair programming model for mentorship. If you don’t prefer that work setup, at the minimum, you need to have a mentor on staff, who can answer programming questions and whose job description includes the success of the apprentice and making sure that the apprentice wants to stay with your company.

How are you different from other recruiters?

We are a nonprofit aiming to expand the talent pool. We are not interested in shuffling people around and we do not actively recruit anyone. People, who are skilled and are driven to prove themselves, apply to LaunchCode. We have a careful evaluation process to make sure you are speaking only with people who are a good fit and will be dedicated to your company.

Where are the candidates located?

We have candidates from all around the US. We are headquartered in St. Louis, but we have candidates from different states and we have candidates who are willing to relocate for a job.

LaunchCode Questions

Does LaunchCode do the training or teaching?

No, we don’t train any candidates.

Once a company agrees to take you on, you will be trained by your company. You will only be placed at a company that agrees to dedicate resources to train and develop you as a programmer.

As for candidates who are not ready to be placed, check out the collection of online resources we have prepared for you on our learning page.

How does LaunchCode make money?

LaunchCode is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization. We ask for a contribution from the companies involved once a candidate is hired full-time.

Is LaunchCode an educational program?

No. We have offered various classes and opportunities in the past in efforts to reduce barriers to learning for people. We do not intend on becoming an educational institution. We are simply trying our best to provide opportunities for people to take advantage of resources, and for them to have a legitimate chance of translating those skills into a job.

How many people have you placed so far?

As of December 2016, we have placed more than 500 people. The number increases every day.