It’s a brisk Tuesday morning, and the students arrive to launch the next chapters of their lives. They’ve been working to get hired as a software developer for eighteen weeks now. Twenty-six Boston-area hiring managers arrive shortly after them to meet our new alumni at our 26th end-of-cohort Postgraduate Kickoff Event. With companies like Harvard University, Wayfair, and Intrepid in attendance, our latest graduates have the opportunity to make an impression and land their first software development job.
A Program Focused on Outcomes
How does this event work? Well, first, let’s talk about what matters: the results. This event is the start of the job search for all of our graduates. Because Launch Academy is a member of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR), we can see from the latest report that 83% of the graduates found a job within 6 months of completing our program. These graduates received a median base salary of $67,000. The most common job title is “Software Engineer.” The latest event yielded 25 job interviews, and we’ve already placed seven Boston 26 cohorts in development roles.Now that you have those details, let’s talk through the specifics of the event.
An Introduction to the Boston Technology Scene
The morning begins with an introduction to the hiring managers and the companies they represent. We’ve been in Boston since 2012, so alumni often come to represent the companies that helped establish them as professionals. Each hiring partner introduces themselves, and shares why they are the place for Launch Academy graduates to thrive and grow as software developers.We then divide the cohort and hiring managers into smaller “pods” to create a warmer atmosphere.
An Opportunity to Tell Your Learn to Code Story
As hiring managers arrive, team members hand them a booklet of profiles for each presenting student. Hiring managers also have access to Launch’s hiring portal, which allows them to review coding projects, backgrounds, and GitHub profiles of each student ahead of the event. Once hiring managers are settled in each pod, each student has the floor for 2 minutes to share their story. There’s a display behind the students, where a personalized and pre-recorded video of their capstone project accompanies their presentation. We often coach our students that “you are not your demo.” While other programs emphasize presenting the details of a final project, Launch Academy encourages you to share your whole story. From life before the program, to all of the challenges and triumphs in the final weeks, there’s more than just an application to discuss. If you want to get hired as a software developer, be ready to answer questions like: What were your proudest accomplishments? What were some of the challenges working within a small group project? Why is your application different architecturally? Hiring managers can then ask follow up questions to learn more about our grads.“Great job! Really liked the opportunity to ask questions immediately after each Launcher presentation." - Felipe @ Smarter Travel
Meet Boston Technology Hiring Managers
After each pod has presented, there’s open networking time. Hiring managers and graduates can connect with each other to learn more and establish next steps. The energy in the room is vibrant, and the noise level indicates that there are great conversations happening.
Land Interviews and Get Hired as a Software Developer
From there, hiring managers and students follow up with our Career Services team to facilitate phone screens and interviews. Launch is with you the whole way, before and after the event. From whiteboarding practice to mock interviews, grads are ready for the job search. The career services curriculum runs from the beginning of Ignition to eight weeks after you graduate. It also ensures students create strong first impressions with the hiring market.
It's Just the Beginning
The event itself is just the kickoff of the job search and a rewarding career in software development. Launch can help you to land opportunities, perform well during interviews, and level up your technical skills as you consider positions. With curriculum, coaching, and peer support baked in after you graduate, Launch sets you up for success.“I received two job offers within a week of graduation, and feel fully equipped to jump into my new career." - Shani, Boston 26Curious about what this actually looks like? You can check out a live video from one of our 2019 events and get some tips to help you in your learn to code journey.