Software Residency
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Hiring is risky. Onboarding is tough. Training is expensive.

Building an internal tech team is full of gotchas. And to limit those new hires to "senior" folks leaves out thousands of exceptional junior and mid-level people. There's a better way, and we can help. So, let's build your team, together.

Questions? Learn more...
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What is the Residency?

The Residency infuses a tried-and-true, principle-driven development process with a people-centric approach to talent development and company growth. This is accomplished through a tenured partnership between ZEAL, an established software development consultancy in the field, and LEARN academy, a prominent workforce skills education institution.

Through an efficient and effective onboarding process under the mentorship of ZEAL, residents begin project work immediately while being mentored and guided by expert consultants to ensure the best outcomes for companies. Additionally, LEARN academy provides expert educational mentorship opportunities to the residents to cement their learning, so that team integration and long-term growth is a success for both the resident(s) and the partnering organization.

How does the Residency work?

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12 Months

For the duration of the 12-month Residency, an organization works directly with both LEARN academy and ZEAL.

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Residents are Employees of the Company

Residents are employees of the company during the 12-month program period. Residents can be existing internal employees who the company is looking to level-up, or a newly hired junior or mid-level developer.

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Residents are Paired with a ZEAL Lead Engineer

ZEAL pairs Residents with a ZEAL lead engineer, who works side-by-side on various internal company projects to ensure that the process is followed fully, the work is delivered completely, and the quality standards are met through the length of the program.

Career and Professional Growth

Career Growth and Professional Development

LEARN academy focuses on shaping the Residents ongoing career growth and professional development through educational mentorship and one-on-one coaching. LEARN supports the partnering organization with a replicable team management program to support the resident post-program and the companies long-term talent growth initiatives.

WE FOLLOW THE CLASSIC MODEL

Learn it. Do it.

Teach it.

We focus on why and what over how

Through direct mentorship by ZEAL, we guide each Software Resident through the habits and practices of agile development, architectural decision making, and effective in-person and remote collaboration with product owners and fellow developers.

We use immersion more than lecture

With a hefty focus on the path from junior- or mid-level to senior-level software developer, each Resident is paired with an experienced mentoring developer at ZEAL. Both the mentoring developer and the Resident are part of the same project team, working together on real world problems and delivering features.

We encourage mentorship to embed knowledge

One day a week, we turn the tables and the Resident becomes a mentor themself. Under the supervision and direct support of LEARN academy's instructor core, each Resident spends time with code school candidates mentoring them on the same habits, practices, and architectural decision they're immersed in throughout the week.

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At gap, we have over 10 different web and mobile applications that are written in 6 different languages and use various different frameworks. It was quickly apparent to the gap prod development team that Emma's experience at LEARN and ZEAL gave her the comfort level needed to approach complicated business logic or new technologies with confidence. She also perfected her communication and collaboration skills due to the regular pairing she did at LEARN and ZEAL which is not a skill set that many developers offer.

Jenny Pletner
Software Engineer @ Gap Intelligence
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Start the Process

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The first step is to tell us about who you are and we'll reach out and schedule an appointment.

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Representation Matters

As pointed out in a recent Forbes piece, “The people creating this technology have the power to influence how it works, and that’s too big a responsibility for any single demographic to have full control. A lack of diverse ideas and representation could lead to further disparities between gender, race, and class.” Cultural diversity is at the heart of society, and it must also be at the heart of those technical teams reshaping the landscape of the world.

Representation Matters

As pointed out in a recent Forbes piece, “The people creating this technology have the power to influence how it works, and that’s too big a responsibility for any single demographic to have full control. A lack of diverse ideas and representation could lead to further disparities between gender, race, and class.” Cultural diversity is at the heart of society, and it must also be at the heart of those technical teams reshaping the landscape of the world.

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This internship has shown me the different parts of a tech company as well as the different roles within a development team. It has been a very warm and friendly environment to grow and learn in and I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with the Zeal community.

MARY REDLINGER
LEARN Alumni
Mary Redlinger
Emma Castor
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Everyday I’m exposed to new content. I’m participating in code reviews on a daily basis. Learning is accelerated through immersion, and I’m progressing exponentially faster than I would be trying to learn on my own.

EMMA CASTOR
Software Engineer and Former Apprentice

Who is the ideal candidate?

Candidates for Residency are not new to software development. They are mid-level professionals (with typically 6-36 months of work experience) who demonstrate ambition, an eagerness to learn, and a high capacity to work. Candidates are vetted by ZEAL and selection is based on being a good fit for the program and partnering company. Most importantly, ideal Residents are professionals on a clear path to senior technical leadership and/or engineering management.

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Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap,
but by the seeds that you plant.
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

How is the Residency Program structured?

Residents dedicate four days a week (32+ hours) to work on the partnering organization’s project, supported and guided by a senior engineer at ZEAL. Through direct mentorship on an organizations project(s), ZEAL's senior engineers work side-by-side with the resident and guide them through a real-world approach to building scalable software. Throughout the program residents will develop tangible replicable skills. Focus areas include:

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    How to run successful recurring planning meetings, daily stand ups, and reflection meetings

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    How to breakdown large features into small defined increments

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    What successful pair-programming strategies look like

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    How to communicate successes and challenges to less-technical stakeholders

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    How to present complex ideas to technical and non-technical people

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    How to adapt to changes in technology

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    How to craft quality code in a scalable and maintainable way

Residents spend one day each week (~8 hours) reinforcing their hands-on learning at LEARN academy through educational mentorship, ongoing professional development, and one-on-one career coaching. of developers-in-training within the classroom. Residents receive a significant amount of training and support to strengthen them as model professionals within their organizations including:

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    Professional One-on-One Coaching - 2 - 4 hours/month

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    In-Person Trainings on Self Management, Leadership, Communication, Team

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    Building/Relationship Development, and Documentation & Optimization Topics

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    Professional Development Plans (PDP) with Monthly Check-Ins led by the partnering organization

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    Mentorship of LEARN students (new developers)

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    Team Management Practicum - Managing the Development Process

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    Outside Learning Events - 1/month

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you work with our existing team?

Yes. The Software Residency is available to pre-existing teams of junior- and mid-level developers. If your team includes senior-level developers, we can adapt the program to incorporate them into the mentorship training portion, ultimately bettering the entire team.

Is the Residency for designers and developers?

We strongly believe designers are pivotal to a successful development experience; however, at this time, Residents are software developers. We can integrate an existing design team into the program as mentors and domain experts.

Does the resident need live in a certain area?

Due to COVID-19, LEARN and ZEAL will continue to operate remotely, as well as support residents throughout the US.

What is the order of operations when vetting candidates?

The order of operations for interviewing and hiring is a collaboration; however, we assume responsibility for all technical interviews, with the long-term intension to train your team on how to perform these technical interviews in the future. Depending on your company's process of interviewing new team members, we do multipart interviews that strive to understand these three characteristics: (1) alignment of values with a general desire to do this type of work, (2) technical abilities with a clear capacity and interest to grow, and (3) a collaborative communication style.

Is one senior engineer from ZEAL and one resident an option?

Yes, it's an option. Over the years of mentoring less-experienced folks while maintaining consistency in delivering code, we've found being too heavily weighted towards junior decreases the productivity of a more experienced person (more mentorship = less time writing code). It is an option, but we want to be mindful of a long-term imbalance.

What happens if in 4, 6, 8,... months the Resident moves on?

Change and attrition are inevitable. First and foremost, two goals of the Residency are to develop a sustainable pipeline of new residency candidates and to establish a support system for those people on a technical team. With that, our first stop when attrition happens is to rely on our system to find new candidates. However, if there's a change in the first four months, we need to reflect on our collective hiring and support practices and look for what we missed that lead to a person moving on in such a short time. 10-months may reflect the high churn throughout the tech industry, which is also okay; however, we expect turnover to be much lower for people working to establish themselves in this industry.

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Contact me about future opportunities

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This position is now closed. Submit this form to be notified about future Software Residency position openings.

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Get in touch by email

HELLO@SOFTWARERESIDENCY.COM