Software Apprentice

Position Title: Apprentice
Status: Available
Reporting Relationship: VP of Engineering

Principle Responsibilities

  • Present at Daily Stand Up
  • Schedule paring time with your assigned mentor.
  • 10 hours of assigned virtual pair programming a week with expert mentor, and 30 hours personal programming on various projects.
  • Learn to: design and develop software applications, produce deliverables and working software, inside of an agile project practices virtually. {skills checklist will be provided and worked through}
  • Weekly team Retro/Planning meetings, and daily team stand ups to define requirements collaboratively.
  • Other duties as assigned by leadership.

Technical Skills
  • Basic understanding of computer programming logic in at least one language. *Ruby on Rails”

Other Skills
  • Ability to effectively communicate technical concepts to other technical staff members virtually.
  • Ability to make your self work in remote environment.
  • Ability to communicate well with non-technical members of the organization.
  • Ability to communicate well with clients.
  • Demonstrated aptitude for learning new technologies.

Apprenticeship Overview

Big Astronaut Apprenticeship provides software development novices with a unique opportunity to learn from experienced software developers working on real-world projects. We expect Apprentices to be self motivated, hard working, and passionate about their learning and growth. Structured as a 6 month contract-to-hire position, Big Astronaut's Apprenticeship offers a sustainable pace of work and ample time for Apprentices to demonstrate that they have a passion for software development, share Big Astronaut's core values, and deserve to be called an Astro.

- Work Assignments: Work assignments will be varied and broad. Apprentices may work on teams, in a programming pair, or independently. Their work may be billed or unbilled. They may interface with clients or they may not speak much with clients. They will normally work in the Big Astronaut shared workspace or virtually and in rare cases on a client site. It is the Apprentice's responsibility to take advantage of the learning opportunity in each work assignment.

- Personal Project: At the beginning of the program the apprentice shall propose a personal project (breakable toy) including a basic product definition and development goals for a 2 month period. The apprentice will work on one or more personal projects throughout the apprenticeship. Demonstrated progress on the project will be a key factor in Rocket Fuel Labs hiring decision at the end of the apprenticeship.

- Blog: Apprentices share their experiences by regularly posting to a blog either internally or preferably publicly.

- Tracking Progress: Apprentice progress is assessed and tracked continuously during the apprenticeship. Apprentices meet weekly with the CTO to discuss the previous week and to determine direction for the coming week. 

Apprentices will be provided with a Skills Checklist. The checklist includes a number of mandatory skills and optional skills. Apprentices are expected to demonstrate independent capability in each of the mandatory skills by the end of their apprenticeship. Each mandatory skill must be signed off by a Senior Developer indicating achievement of independent capability.

Apprentices will conduct a milestone review at 2 month intervals. For each review the apprentice will:
  • Prepare and deliver a 15 minute presentation on a topic that they recently learned
  • Conduct a code review of their personal project and review their development goals for the next 2 month period
  • Conduct a retrospective on their Big Astronaut project work over the past 2 month period

After each milestone review several members of the Big Astronaut's leadership team and a senior developer will assess the apprentice's progress and make a go/no-go decision on continuation of the apprenticeship. 

The Apprentice is a contract-to-hire position lasting up to six (6) months. Compensation includes a stipend and access to shared work space. 

After the third and final milestone review Big Astronaut will make a hire/no-hire decision. If a hire decision is made the apprentice will be presented with an offer letter to join Big Astronaut as an employee.