A safer apprenticeship than Johnny Tremain's

Chad Pytel

Announcing the new Apprentice program at thoughtbot

We’re looking for both designers and developers who are students, recent graduates, or more experienced candidates making a techology or career change to come on as Apprentices. If you are interested in applying, please visit our jobs page. If you know someone who might be a good fit, please pass it on.

The paid apprenticeship lasts for three months and during that apprentices will work alongside members of the thoughtbot team on actual shipping software and be paired up with individual developers and designers at thoughtbot who will act as their mentor. They also get to take any workshops we offer during their apprenticeship at no charge.

At the end of the apprenticeship we may offer them a position as a web designer or developer at thoughtbot.

How the Appentice program came about

We’ve had interns, particularly in the summer, for several years now. Over the past few years we’ve increasingly been contacted by more experienced developers who are just getting started with Ruby and looking to find a place where they can be effective, while still learning.

At thoughtbot, we also don’t have different levels of developers or designers. Everyone should essentially be capable of operating at the level of senior developer or designer (or be able to soon after starting). We do this to ensure that we can operate effectively without project managers or salespeople. However, from time to time we interview people who we think may be a good fit eventually, but need more experience. In the past, we’ve sometimes offered these people an internship as a chance to learn on the job and potentially quickly grow into the developer we need them to be.

When offering these people an internship, it never quite felt right to call them “interns” but it was the best word we had. Additionally, over time we refined the internship program to really be a path to potentially getting an offer to be a full web designer or developer at thoughtbot.

With this in mind, along with some other lesson’s learned from the previous interns, we sought to have a more structured program in place. Out of that emerged our new Apprentice program.

We think that the changes we’re making now should make the Apprentice program worthwhile to everyone involved, and we’re looking forward to the first batch of Apprentices joining us in May.