success stories

Are you ready to apply to Onramp?

Are you a good fit for an Onramp apprenticeship? Read on to see if you're ready to apply for our open apprenticeships.

Onramp is exactly what it sounds like… an “onramp” into the tech industry. Rather than making a big leap into a new field, Onramp helps participants who already have some experience make that transition more gradual. Candidates get accepted to Onramp for a specific role, complete Onramp training with a cohort of peers, apprentice with a partner company working with real technologists, and then, if all goes well, move into a full-time role. 


So, how far along the “ramp” do you need to be to be a good fit for Onramp? How much experience, and what kind, is enough? In short, folks who are ready for Onramp:

  • have completed a bootcamp, or
  • done extensive self-teaching, or
  • have coding experience in a different language than the focus of the apprenticeship
  • have a tech adjacent role with some coding experience. 


Folks who are not ready for Onramp,

  • just started coding, or 
  • are interested but have never codified, or 
  • don’t have any experience in the tech stack that the specific apprenticeship is looking for. 


Need more specific examples? Meet five candidates, Bianca Bootcamp, Self-Taught Sloan, Tech-Adjacent Troy, Just Started Jaden, and Curious Carla. Which of these five candidates are you most like?



Bianca Bootcamp: Bianca is ready for Onramp

Bianca recently finished a coding bootcamp and is looking for her first tech job. Her bootcamp was three to six months long, and she completed a technical track, such as front-end development or data science (not, for example, sales or marketing). 


Before her bootcamp, Bianca worked as a customer service rep at a tech company. Through her job, she met some of the engineers and it occurred to her that software development might be a good fit for her next step. She hadn’t coded much before, so she started taking a few online workshops to gauge if she enjoyed it. She did, so she applied to a local rigorous bootcamp and took a leave of absence from work (though there are part-time bootcamps too!)


Now, post bootcamp graduation, Bianca has started applying for jobs but feels like she needs another boost and a little more support. Onramp is a great fit for her because her bootcamp provided a great foundation and Onramp will add some job-specific skills and match her with a paid apprenticeship.



Black Woman March
Self-taught Sloan: Sloan is ready for Onramp. 

Sloan was working at an afterschool program after college. They loved working with kids and helping young people explore their interests. One day, they were working on some Scratch tutorials with their students and got really excited about the capabilities the program had. After googling for a bit, Sloan realized Scratch is a really basic drag-and-drop program and learned about the broader ecosystem of coding languages out. 


They started watching YouTube videos and doing short tutorials online. Getting more invested, Sloan set up a calendar for themselves to keep learning, doing an hour of Coursera and Udemy every evening and more on the weekends. They started to find meet-ups and work on open-source projects with friends. 


Sloan felt like they wanted to make coding their career, but weren’t sure how to translate the many months of self-teaching they had been doing into a job in tech. Finding Onramp’s apprenticeship program was a great fit.


Tech-Adjacent Troy: Troy is ready for Onramp.

Troy works at a research firm as an analyst. Through his work, Troy started learning SQL to better pull the data he’s assigned to analyze. He also became an absolute whiz at Excel, and loved the feeling of teaching the computer how to fulfill his elaborate requests. For him, it felt like learning another language–speak computer and you can get it to do your work for you, and to do things you wouldn’t be able to do yourself.


Troy likes his job as an analyst a lot, and has gotten pretty good with SQL. He started dabbling with other languages too, realizing there’s a whole world of code out there working behind the scenes. He’s asked his manager to use his professional development money to take some coding classes, and has started shadowing more advanced folks at work. 


Troy knows how coding works. He understands the basics and the principles, but he hasn’t much exposure to other languages yet. He’s a fast learner, though, and it seems like the rules he’s already digested are transferable to other languages, as long as he can learn the new vocabulary. 


Just-Started Jaden: Jaden is not ready for Onramp. 

Jaden enrolled at a bootcamp a few weeks ago and is super excited to land his first job in tech. He’s having a blast in his program, but hasn’t really gotten very far yet. He’s looking ahead and sees Onramp apprenticeships posted on Twitter, so applies right away. 


Jaden probably won’t be accepted at Onramp just yet. He should finish his bootcamp, continue learning, and apply again in a few months when his skills are a little sharper. 


Curious Carla: Carla is not ready for Onramp. 

Carla has never actually coded before, but she is really excited to get started. She’s read a lot about the tech industry and has a few friends that are software developers. She’s smart, creative, and a quick learner and she knows she’ll pick it up as soon as she has some time to start taking classes or doing courses online.


Carla is not ready to apply to Onramp yet. Although she’s really enthusiastic, and will probably thrive once she gets there, she doesn’t have enough experience coding to be a good fit yet. Onramp expects that candidates have some coding experience before they start the training, so Carla should do as much online self-teaching as she can, and then re-apply. 


What to do if you’re not ready?

Onramp has some amazing free resources and recommendations for you! You can check out the free training resources from our past apprenticeship opportunities on the Onramp site. If you're really wanting to dive deep into the training to becoming a software engineer, we recommend you check out the many online and in-person bootcamps as well as online courses from companies such as Udacity. Most of our successful apprentices are bootcamp graduates or self-taught using online programs!

Written by
Dana Breen

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