We don't place talent, we enable it.

I'M A...

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the Purpose

The purpose of The Software Residency is to build a bridge between ambitious  developers and companies who want to support their technical teams.

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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 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. The program was designed and developed through a tenured partnership between ZEAL, an established software development consultancy in the field, and LEARN academy, a prominent workforce training education institution. This combination of talent has allowed us to create a unique program that addresses a company’s need for a strong and sustainable talent pipeline and a training program focused on a developers growth mindset.  

Through an efficient and effective onboarding process residents begin project work immediately while being guided by mentors to ensure the best outcomes for your company. Additionally, Residents experience expert educational mentorship opportunities that cement their learning, so that team integration and long-term growth is a success for both the resident(s) and your company.

How does the Residency work?

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12 Months of Curriculum

For the duration of the Residency, your organization works directly with a Software Residency Success Coach, who communicates and guides the company partners through the process.

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Residents are Employees of the Company

Residents are employees of the company during the program period, with the intention to continue on after the program concludes. Residents can be existing internal employees who the company is looking to level-up, a newly hired developer, or an open position that we assist with hiring.

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Residents are Paired with a Mentor

The Software Residency pairs Residents with either one of our partner mentors or incorporate your senior-level engineers in our mentorship training. The mentors then work side-by-side on various 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.

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Career Growth and Professional Development

A portion of the Resident’s time is focused on shaping the Resident's ongoing career growth and professional development through educational mentorship and one-on-one coaching. The Software Residency creates a replicable team management program to support the resident post-program and the company's long-term talent growth initiatives.


Learn it. Do it.

Teach it.

The most effective method of learning is immersion. It's the act of putting information into use that makes it so impactful. We built the Software Residency around the idea that we learn best when we do real work. But it doesn't stop there. We integrate what we learn by teaching others. Through the process of "learn it, do it, teach it," - we develop expertise.

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We focus on why and what over how

Through direct mentorship in both technical and professional growth, 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 career progression of a software developer, each Resident is paired with an experienced mentor. Both the mentor and the Resident are part of the same project team, working together on real world problems and delivering features.

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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 with direct support from our expert instructors, each Resident spends time with code school candidates mentoring them on the same habits, practices, and architectural decisions they're immersed in throughout the week.


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

Start the Process


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.

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.

Software Engineer and Former Apprentice
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Who is the ideal candidate?

Candidates for Residency are not new to software development. They typically have 6-36 months of work experience, who demonstrate ambition, an eagerness to learn, and a high capacity to work. If The Software Residency is assisting with hiring, candidates are vetted and selection is based on being a good fit for the program and your company. Most importantly, ideal Residents are professionals on a clear path to technical leadership and/or engineering management.

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

How is the Residency Program structured?

Residents dedicate four days a week (32+ hours) to work on project(s), supported and guided by a mentor. Through direct mentorship, Residents are guided through 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 through educational mentorship, ongoing professional development, and one-on-one career coaching of developers-in-training within a classroom setting. 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 Management and Mentorship

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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 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

How do you involve our design / development team?

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


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.


The Software Residency is remote first. We can work with Residents and companies throughout the US.


The order of operations for interviewing and hiring is a collaboration; depending on your companies needs, we can assume responsibility for filling the candidate pipeline, initial screening, and all technical interviews. There would be a long-term intension to train your team on how to perform these functions 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.


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.


Contact us to become a Partner


Becoming a Partner is easy. Just send us a message and we set up a call to discuss if the Residency is a good fit you and your company.

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