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As pioneers in the software apprenticeship movement, 8th Light was founded in 2006 by a mentor and his apprentice, and our Modern Apprenticeship Program has continued to evolve ever since.
Apprentices join 8th Light with a diverse range of skills and past experiences, necessitating an individualized curriculum designed to cater to the specific needs of each apprentice.
Our software crafters are software generalists who rotate regularly through client projects that feature new and interesting problems in a wide variety of technologies. They must be confident entering projects with substantial unknowns and comfortable asking other software crafters for help when needed. Our apprenticeship program is designed to prepare all software crafters for the challenges they will face in their day-to-day work.
Mentors are training their future team members, so they are personally invested in the success of each apprentice. They seek out candidates to mentor, and curate a curriculum that is specifically tailored to their individual needs.
Mentors work closely with their apprentices to provide guidance and feedback. All 8th Light software crafters are eager to share their knowledge and help others solve problems.
All apprenticeships work toward the same goals of proficiency in applying the principles and practices of software craftsmanship, and gaining the collaboration and client service skills required for a long and successful career as a consultant at 8th Light.
Apprentices work alongside other apprentices and software crafters in 8th Light's open office setting. They have full access to our extensive library of books, presentations, and internal educational resources and initiatives.
In addition to writing code, apprentices augment their learning by working through an extensive list of software books and writing blog posts on a regular basis.
The culture of apprenticeship extends throughout every software crafter's career. Read more about our culture of continual learning on our Careers page.
8th Light offers three types of apprenticeship programs. The direction and duration of each apprenticeship is agreed upon beforehand, but can change during the program when required.
Student apprentices have some experience writing code and are eager to learn more, but they don't have experience writing production code in a professional environment. Student apprentices are relatively new to software development.
A student apprenticeship is a great option for individuals in any or all of these situations:
Student apprenticeships focus on achieving proficiency in one programming language and introducing the principles and practices of software craftsmanship.
Some students join this program with the goal of advancing to residency, while others focus on improving their software development skills before moving on to another opportunity.
“Before coming to 8th Light, I had very basic HTML and CSS experience. My mentor helped teach me from the ground up, essentially teaching me from my first bits of computer science to what I know now.”
Resident apprentices have experience building software and most have done so in a professional setting. Residents generally have at least one year of software development experience. It is recommended that a resident apprentice enter with the following skills:
Throughout their apprenticeship, residents will become comfortable applying the principles and practices of software craftsmanship in many different languages, frameworks, and technologies. They gain theoretical knowledge through self-study, and learn to apply those technical skills while collaborating with other apprentices on projects.
Resident apprentices also refine their client service skills by pairing on large-scale client projects. They learn to answer the questions a client doesn't ask.
At the end of a resident apprenticeship, residents demonstrate a portfolio of their work, which is evaluated by a group of software crafters who decide whether or not to offer them a full-time position as a software crafter.
“I came to 8th Light after earning my CS degree because I was more interested in furthering my knowledge and education, rather than joining a product team and becoming conversant in only the technical aspects. I was more interested in holistic growth as a craftsman.”
Journeyman apprentices have worked as professional software developers for multiple years and are proficient in multiple programming languages. Journeymen typically possess the following skills and traits:
Journeyman apprenticeships are abbreviated but intense periods of learning that allow experienced developers to focus on holistic self-improvement in order to become a multi-disciplined software crafter.
Journeyman apprentices give and receive honest feedback frequently, and hone their collaboration, client service, and coding skills by pairing on large-scale projects. They learn to lead by example, and answer the questions a client doesn't ask.
At the end of a journeyman apprenticeship, journeymen demonstrate a portfolio of their work, which is evaluated by a group of software crafters who decide whether or not to offer them a full-time position as a software crafter.
“8th Light takes craftsmanship seriously. That makes the work more challenging in some ways but more satisfying in the long run. 8th Light's emphasis on learning (and teaching) new skills, new languages, and new techniques keeps our work interesting.”
Minimum weekly time commitment in 8th Light's office
Visit our Careers page to learn more about what it's like to work at 8th Light.