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DevDegree: Work at Shopify and get a free CS degree in parallel (devdegree.ca)
364 points by PandawanFr 9 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 157 comments

Reminder that this exists, which is a Software Engineering MSc from a reasonably well-known uni, that you're meant to do while working:


all-in cost was something like £25,000 for me including accommodation, and they're open minded about accepting people without undergraduate degrees.

EDIT: happy to answer questions by email

"reasonably well known", isn't Oxford considered one of the best universities of the world?

British understatement.

Ah yes of course, thanks.

"Oxford's a complete dump!": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKuHYO9TM5A

I thought that was Cambridge? ;)

> they're open minded about accepting people without undergraduate degrees


> As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications:

> a first-class undergraduate degree with honours in a subject with a significant component of mathematics and/or computing.

So, is an undergraduate degree required or not?

> A typical applicant will have at least two years' experience in a professional environment, and an undergraduate degree in a related subject. However, more extensive experience may compensate for a lack of formal qualifications, and a strong, immediately-relevant qualification may compensate for a lack of professional experience.


From the linked page:

> Applications are welcome from anyone with an appropriate combination of academic achievement and industrial experience; a first degree in a related discipline may be useful, but is by no means necessary.

> Each MSc within the Software Engineering Programme is available only to part-time students; there is a separate MSc in Computer Science for full-time students.

I believe the full time study noted here is what you linked to.

You have linked to the page for the full-time MSc in Computer Science, which is a different course with different requirements.

Maybe they meant and undergraduate degree in Computer Science is not required?

I'd love to hear more about this.

I've been working as a dev for 3 years and looking at senior positions; do you think this course would augment my practical experience.

I wonder what level they teach to.

Not likely seeing as this program is basically training you to become a dev.

Yes, very much so

That looks amazing. Do you know of any write-ups on the part-time MSc from students?

It’s said to be a bit of a cash cow for the department

This looks a lot more like an apprenticeship to me than a degree.

Which I think is fantastic, Universities are generally terrible at teaching practical skills and fantastic at teaching theory.

In the UK it's both, 'degree apprenticeships' were introduced recently (couple of years ago):


('Higher' being 'degree equivalent', and 'degree' being with an actual degree conferred by an actual university.)

At Arm I had a colleague who was on that programme, and so was also studying at a university. I think it started off part-time, 2 and 3 days of a week or something, and then switched to term-here/term-there.

I agree, great scheme. (Icing on the cake: I believe the education is paid for (subsidised by government and paid for by company?) in addition to the work being paid.)

This is so great. I would have preferred to do something like this when I was fresh out of High School instead of going the traditional route of studying full-time or immediately entering the workforce.

You still can, im doing this now.

That's what we call 'Duales Studium' in Germany. You just do your semesters normally and in between instead of springbreak etc you work for the company.

This is like part-time studies at a university of applied science in Switzerland. You can work up to 60% but the bachelors degree takes a year longer.

It's popular in France too, "Alternance"; you spend two or three days in the company per week and the rest in school. It's mostly for senior grad students.

Yes, and the founder of Shopify is originally from Germany, I bet he got inspired by that.

Yeah, I guess so too. Toby told in a podcast [0] that he finished an apprenticeship as "Fachinformatiker für Anwendungsentwicklung". Though it's not the same as "Duales Studium" (which gives you an academic degree while former doesn't) I guess this program was highly influenced by his experience. Though I'm asking myself if this kind of program is common in Canada or is Shopify doing something unique here?

[0]: https://fs.blog/tobi-lutke/

This is what RIT has always been about, where you MUST complete PAID cooperative education for degree credits. Typically after year 2, you're going to school some semesters, and then working the other semesters at a company in your field. It's a great stepping stone to get into the workforce

Waterloo does this where they mix internships and study throughout their time.

And this is why I always love having a Waterloo intern / new grad on the team. They are just so productive.

They hit the ground _sprinting_.

But then the intern experience counts for nothing in terms of "years of experience" for stupid HR departments and most companies usually refuse to give a better than new grad offer to wloo coop grads. Others who instead finished school in 3 years without internships and then started working already have a promotion at that point. I don't recommend anyone talented go coop, just do the normal program, grind leetcode and maybe do one internship if it leads to a good return offer.

Also one big reason some Waterloo grads hit the ground sprinting is because Waterloo attracts talent with high cognitive ability and interest in tech. Be careful not to confuse that with the coop program (which may have its own benefits, but would not work nearly as well without talented students).

I’ve never ignored co-op/intern experience with folks I’ve interviewed, nor has any HR/recruiting department I’ve ever worked with.

From big company recruiting I've seen like here at Amazon they definitely do at least consider it inferior to "real" experience. SDE2 is not given for new coop grads or returning interns with 2 years exp, but you can get SDE2 if you worked at another place full time or at AMZN for 1-2 years. It's pure BS.

Here is an example for you of explicitly requesting non-intern experience:

> BASIC QUALIFICATIONS · 2+ years of non-internship professional software development experience


+1 to waterloo. So many successful and productive individuals come out of there.

So is UBC and other Unis in your hefty country.

I'm currently in the program and it is very much both. We work 20 hours a week at Shopify, and take three classes per term, including the summer, at the university. We are paid a salary and our tuition is covered. At the end of the program we will have had 4 placements at Shopify, and receive a Comp Sci Honours degree from the University.

It's wonderful to see this on the front page. I'm currently a student at the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University studying software engineering and heavily involved in the school community.

The Lassonde School of Engineering opened 8 years ago with a fervour for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. I suggest folks give the school a Google search as it has rapidly developed to become a phenomenonal environment with its own startup incubator and entrepreneurshi' degree with courses from VCs. I digress, but feel free to ask me any more questions about the school.

The dev degree program started its first cohort last year actually and it now is in its second year.

It is structured so students work 20 hours a week at Shopify and take 3 courses per semester at school. Students are required to work and go to school through the summer which allows them to complete the degree in the standard four years.

My peers in the program have I said great things. One of the key parts of the program is how one switches between different teams to get a better understanding of the software engineering landscape. Moreover the mentorship is very helpful and not only developing your technical skills by yourself skills.

One question that students and parents asked me a lot is if there is a requirement to work at Shopify following the completion of the program. Luckily Shopify has made it clear that they will not be expecting students to stay once they complete their degree, but it is my intuition that many people from the program will stay on after their large time investment into the Shopify ecosystem.

Overall, I would have entered this program myself for it for engineering students as well. Sadly, the program is restricted to computer science students as the Canadian accreditation requirements for engineering are not fulfilled while in the dev degree program.

Although people may say "why do you need a degree?", it is difficult to find a job without the qualification of showing your ability to complete post-secondary in a field of candidates that did.

With initiatives such as Silicon Valley trip for students run by the Lassonde co-op Department, I am sure that lassonde will continue to innovate and engage students in meaningful ways beyond the traditional methods.

How do you feel about York's CS program in terms of helping students be competitive candidates? At some Toronto companies it sometimes feels like they prefer U Waterloo CS or Engineering grads.

I hadn't heard that York had expanded so hard into Engineering. Fantastic to see, given Toronto's growth in software in the last decade.

i am wishing i could go back 15 years and do this now. i was dumb enough to go to an ivy league for an unrelated degree, then change careers and go thru a bootcamp, and i'm now still 100's of thousands in debt. if i was growing up today i would absolutely drop everything to do this. kudos to shopify but it really feels a little bittersweet.

I don't have the amount of debt that you do but I also did a career change after some years of doing dead end jobs. I have the same feeling that I wish this was an option for me when I was looking to start university but I'm also aware I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I was 18. Chances are I would do these 4 years then decide I want to be a sky diving instructor or something instead.

Curious and want to ask: if this were available 15 years ago, would you have done it? It seems like you'd need to 1) have CS as your goal, 2) know about Shopify and their program, and 3) get in.

I know a lot of people don't even have CS on their radar when they enter college.

yeah of course, 15 year hindsight is 20/20 :)

Graduated from an unrelated degree more recently, but had the opportunity to write a whole lot of code while there. Got my first dev job right out of school.

There are much more opportunities nowaday to use coding in almost every major, sadly, the schools haven't changed, ending up imo ruining a lot of career.

While my debt load is not nearly as much I did the same thing. I studied economics even though when I got home from class I would spend hours and hours tinkering with hardware, Linux, and programming. Everyone I talked to thought I was silly for not sticking with my CS major and doing Economics. They were right. I am learning on the job and it’s been kicking my butt but I am learning and it’s been good though I would go back and tell my old self to stick with CS.

Don't put yourself down too much about past decisions. I also went to school for Econ, and did IT support and web design jobs on campus. But I wanted to set my career up for finance and did summer analyst internships. Then, 2008 happened and all the finance jobs dried up with some companies skipping campus recruitment entirely.

A decade later and I'm working in UX research and digital strategy and the finance stuff feels like a lifetime ago. Everyone's journey is going to be different.

Economics could have been a gateway to a high-earning career, but you'd have had to work in finance.

That was the plan. But I went to a no-name school in the eyes of the finance world but also my heart wasn’t into it so my performance wasn’t great. And it occurred to me almost by the end of my studies that I didn’t want to work in finance. Economics is really interesting though.

i went to wharton and it didnt work out. finance is really brutal man.

I'm sorry. What do you do now? Since you read HN I am assuming you're in tech

Just never pay the debts bro. Forget that shit and let it all go, and start stacking to live a debt free stress free life.

I know you’re downvoted for saying something that’s basically unethical, but I’m interested: how do you propose to buy a home using this strategy? All cash? In my area, I’d need around $200,000 cash. I know there’s trailer parks and etc. but they may not work for everyone.

Loans originating in the US for education are generally not discharged in bankruptcy. Not paying them is a good way to get your wages garnished or worse. I have no idea what recourse there might be from a loan through Singapore.

That being said, discharging debt in bankruptcy will haunt your credit for 7 years, or so I've heard. Being forced to not finance anything for 7 years is a decent way to save money if you've got a good paying job, I suppose, as you don't fall into the trap of only looking at the monthly payment without thinking of the total cost.

I don't think it is unethical. If people get overwhelmed by student debt because their degree doesn't actually result in job opportunities that allow them to pay that debt back then they have no obligation to pay the debt back. It was the lender's decision to invest their money into such an obviously money losing strategy and yet they did so despite the high risk. The word "undischargeable" made the lender blind but the reality is that the lender was just plain irresponsible with his money and no government guarantee can change that.

> If people get overwhelmed by student debt because their degree doesn't actually result in job opportunities that allow them to pay that debt back then they have no obligation to pay the debt back.

The debt is the obligation to pay back. As far as I know, education loans don't include the clauses you mentioned.

> It was the lender's decision to invest their money into such an obviously money losing strategy and yet they did so despite the high risk.

That's true, but that doesn't absolve the person who took the loan from the responsibility to pay it, and doesn't make not paying it any less unethical.

Ethics and causality are not the same. If you don't lock the door of your apartment, that can dramatically increase the probability of being robbed, and your actions would be the cause of this robbery. But it wouldn't by any yota affect the ethical side of it. (I'm not saying that not paying back the loans is the same as robbery, I'm just explaining the logic using a more obvious example).

> It was the lender's decision to invest their money into such an obviously money losing strategy and yet they did so despite the high risk.

I have 100k+ of unsecured credit available to me at any given time. If I go and spend that on hookers and blow is that the lenders fault or mine?

I believe the lack of personal responsibility is problem that will not be fixed by absolving even more responsibility.

It's a bit of both isn't it? They gave you so much credit because they assessed you as the type of person who wouldn't do that. If they were 100% sure that you would be spending recklessly, you'd probably have a limit of a few hundred at most. Part of their job is making that assessment correctly.

You're conflating "fault" with "responsibility". The second you signed up for the line of credit, the manager who evaluated your application became responsible for what happens afterwards. If you squandered it, it might be your fault, but the manager is the one who'll be getting grief for giving it to you in the first place.

I know you’re downvoted for saying something that’s basically unethical

It was unethical for the system to push an 18 year old down the route of taking on huge loans. I'm not sure that finding a way out of that is.

> the system

So we are going to absolve all 18 year olds of decision making because of 'the system'?

As an 18 year old I was keenly aware of debt. My college experience was going to a local school while working 20-30 hours/week and living at home. All because we didn't have much money, and I wanted to take as few loans as possible.

So maybe this persons parents and primary school failed them, but I don't buy it was the system.

In the US we ban marketing tobacco and alcohol to minors, if that is largely okay with everyone, we should consider extending it to ban marketing -anything- to minors.

When I hear someone say 'the system,' I wish they would be more specific.

I think a small group of corporations being in direct control of the mass dissemination of corporation serving behavioral role models and information is a problem that needs to be addressed in order ensure the quality of freedom in the marketplace.

Taking the oceanic volumes of weapons grade, artificial psychological pressure off the kids seems like a great place to start.

When listings for unskilled or low skilled jobs state things like "must have a degree and be able to life 50 lbs" then I think you can conclude there is a problem with the system.

Blaming the parents or primary school is useless because this person had no control over who their parents were or what school they went to.

I'm glad you had some self awareness at 18 but that isn't the norm as we can see from the rising student debt.

I just can't get behind the idea that 18 year olds are nothing but drooling idiots who can't understand anything they are doing and student loans are something that "just happens" to people.

I knew full well what I was doing when I took out my student loans. I knew how much I was borrowing. I knew it would have to be paid back. I knew loans would have to cover both tuition and living expenses because I had no savings and I knew my parents weren't going to help very much. I also knew I could reduce my loan burden by starting at community college and/or going to state school. I still went to private school for my entire degree.

While it was scary to jump into my adult life with debt, and it was a bit of a leap of faith, the risk was obviously worth it, both at the time and definitely in hindsight. Once I graduated I put my head down and aggressively paid off my student loans, kept living like a college kid until they were paid off.

Its not like you have gun pointing to your head when making the decision to take the loan.

Be responsible. At 18 you're not a kid anymore

don't the majority of 18yo guys have parents or adults around they can refer to in helping their decision?

oh hey i recognize your user name :)

Took me getting a doctorate in an unrelated field before I realized I was in the wrong place and changed careers.

I don't have the debt (just the opportunity cost of wasting a decade doing something I didn't really want to do), and this program wouldn't have saved me, but I understand your regret.

If we ignore pedigree and networking, how good (high quality material/curriculum, good lecturers) do public/affordable/free universities and colleges provide (in US)?

It's pretty hit or miss. I went to community college, and some classes were amazing others were a complete joke.

> now still 100's of thousands in debt

Is that hyperbole, or literally your debt is that much?

My brother's ivy league tuition was subsidized based on income, and my dad still paid over $300k over four years. Though that did include housing as well.

That seems really high. The entirely unsubsidized tuition rate for Ivies is between 45-50k per year. With room and board and all other school related fees that usually rises to 65-70k per year.

That is entirely without subsidy. It leaves out other living expenses that can come with various club activities and other activities of that nature. But 300k would leave about 5k per year for other incidentals. Again this is entirely unsubsidized.

The only other factor here is summer breaks, but those are usually filled in by paid internships/research positions at Ivy schools.

not hyperbole. there were some compounding factors i didnt mention, but the bulk is quite literally college tuition. i dont need to put my screwed up financial life on display but it's the single worst decision of my life, all for imagined prestige. i'm lucky enough that i will earn my way out of it, but it is quite literally preventing me from starting any businesses right now, which is what i actually want to do.

this Shopify program would have been a lifesaver. we need way more Shopifys in the world.

I made the mistake too, going $128k in debt to pursue a unrelated master's degree at an Ivy only to end up pursuing software engineering.

Are your loans from the government? If so, you can likely qualify for the Pay-as-you-earn program where your payments are capped at 10% of your disposable income, and debts are forgiven after 20 years (though you have to pay taxes on the amount forgiven I believe). Of course it still stings to see $1.3k/month get sucked out of your bank account to pay the interest on this student debt scam, just know that the pain is mostly psychological. I just choose not to think about it, because it's too depressing otherwise.

I honestly believe that student debt will be forgiven within 10-20 years. Candidates like Elizabeth Warren are already pledging to eliminate student loan debt. Once the younger generation is in power, they will likely kill this giant pyramid scheme and forgive all student loans. And no matter what happens in Congress, if all of us collectively strike on our student loan debt, then the government will have no choice but to fix this problem they created.

$128k for a master's degree? Surely it had to be an MBA or a business school degree (MFin etc) of some sort? Most other Master's programs are research-oriented and paid for with grants, stipends and TA work.

It was expensive because it was at an Ivy League school. Most masters students at Ivy League schools do not receive any form of financial aid. It's basically a money printing machine for the university, and I fell for it.

I could've gotten a M.S. for free at my state university, but I wanted the prestige. Dumbest decision ever.

GP went to an Ivy league. Totally possible

Given the amount, that's actually fairly unlikely to be from the Ivy League education. Generally Ivy League schools cost less (sometimes way less) than public schools unless your family makes more than ~130-150k combined and/or has fairly substantial assets.

One possible way for it to happen is if a student's parents have a high income, are unwilling to pay for the student's education and force the student to shoulder the financial burden, and the student does not argue his/her case to the financial aid office. Another possible way is if the family has a relatively high pre-existing net worth, but low income, and is unwilling to spend the income, and again the student shoulders the debt.

I was accepted to MIT and could not realistically afford it despite my parents having a low-medium household income. I chose a lesser private school that offered me a full scholarship instead.

I'm in my 30s-40s - was entering college before need-blind was a thing. It absolutely happens.

Oh I don't doubt that top-tier universities can still be a tough call when the alternative is a free ride, especially from 20+ years ago. In retrospect my comment left out the fact that a substantial portion of students admitted to Ivy league schools (or MIT, all part of the Overlap Group that got prosecuted by the Justice Department back in the early 90s for student aid price-fixing) do in fact get full scholarships for other schools, which can make the calculus for these schools less rosy (e.g. 8k per year, while cheaper than a 20k state school, still is a lot more than 0).

It's just usually not the case that you'll graduate with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, at least these days. It's quite rare IIRC among students receiving financial aid to graduate with more than several thousand dollars of debt from an Ivy over four years, and if you go back several decades I'm fairly certain those numbers go up, but I'd be rather shocked if they went up by more than an order of magnitude.

The OP got really screwed by the Singaporean situation, where if you don't fulfill the post-graduation government work posting obligations, the Singaporean government will claw back all the money it gave you for college plus interest.

I'd be that most Ivy League students have parents making more than $130-150k combined, probably substantially more. That's only a middle class income, and at least anecdotally most Ivy League students I know tend to come from upper class families.

Tuition alone is $50k/yr, which would equate to $250k for a 4-year degree not accounting for living costs. Even at 50% off the sticker price, you're looking at over $125k in debt upon graduation.

That is twice the average household income in the US. Less than 20% of all households have combined earnings over 130k.

You may want to reassess your understanding of middle class.

> Pew Research Center defines middle-class or middle-income households as those with incomes that are two-thirds to double the 2016 U.S. median household income of $57,617. According to this formula, Pew determined that middle-class Americans have incomes ranging from approximately $45,200 to $135,600.

Call it whatever you want, but there's a huge difference between $135k/yr household income split among 3 kids in an expensive metro area where a house in the suburbs costs $600k+, and $300k/yr with 1 kid in a low cost of living area.

in my case this is pretty much what happened, except with the singapore government loaning money at 10% compound interest via a scholarship, which i had to break due to being assigned to a terrible job post graduation.

i may be book smart but ive made some colossal screwups in my life.

Oof. Yeah that'll get you. I've heard quite a few horror stories about the post-graduation work obligations that get attached to Singaporean government scholarships and that'll probably get you hit with a double-whammy since the school may discount part or all of your financial aid based on the government scholarship.

The Ivy no-loan policies are a relatively recent development.

My impression is that at least for the last two decades, loans have made up a significant minority of Ivy league financial aid and most of it has come in the form of grant money. I think loans started getting phased out right around 15 years ago.

More than possible. Highly likely.

This is cool. But very conflicting for me personally. Here I am, deciding whether to apply to the Mississippi Teacher's Corp, which would give me a free Master's degree while getting paid to teach. Probably like $35k per year. And then here is this program, which is very tempting to apply to, partly because of the salary. It should be the other way around. Teaching is so much more valuable than coding.

As a somewhat weak rule, compensation seems to be inversely proportional to social value.

Not to shill a book, but Bullshit Jobs goes into this... those 'jobs like teaching are FUN' therefore they don't get paid as much.


I don't know about the pay differentials between Toronto and Mississippi, but I'm very sure that the cost of living is a lot lower in the latter. Developer salaries in the Toronto area are also lower than the US-centric numbers you see bandied about on HN.

Wait is this for Master's degree too?

Master of Arts in Teaching. https://www.mtc.olemiss.edu/about-us

Oh. No. The DevDegree looks like a bachelor's degree

Here is some history and background about why Shopify did this and the success they saw early on.


Disclosure: recent hire at Shopify, not through this program. Just learned about it, actually today from HN. After mentioning it to my team, was pointed to this link and thought I'd share it here.

Kudos to Shopify! You are leading the way!

I offhand mentioned a previous program they ran (letting people out of the field get an internship) to someone I knew, and it made a huge difference. Creating/sustaining jobs/incomes in this way is actually very cool in my books.

As someone who went the bootcamp route, got a job, and absolutely would love a structured CS education that would expand my skills and experience beyond my day to day coding I do now this is very tempting.

The site isn't very specific about location, are there location requirements?

There are two universities involved: Carleton (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) and York (Toronto, Ontario, Canada).

You must apply and qualify for the university degree, in addition to being selected by shoppify themselves. If I remember correctly when I asked about it, the University also had some say in the selection process.

When I looked into it, the number of accepted was quite low (I believe less than 15 per year), which to me indicates they are quite selective.

The people I met were exceptionally friendly, and genuine. It seems like a really excellent place to work, at least from the outside.

I'm currently in the program; the university side of the application and Shopify side were separate. The Shopify interview consisted of several interview stages, while York & Carleton looked at your academic transcript, same as any Canadian program.

Shopify's HQ is in Ottawa, hence Carleton University.

York is in suburban Toronto.

Those schools are not quite in the same league as Toronto or Waterloo, but they're adequate.

The Lassonde on School of Engineering at York University started eight years ago. Within the last 8 years The Faculty has made major growth and acquired world-class faculty. The school is more than adequate and was named as one of three schools worldwide to watch in a report by MIT. I suggest you look at the teaching methods of the school and you will see how it differs from traditional ciriculums.

In my personal opinion, the education received in many areas. Lassonde stronger than both the traditional education of University of Toronto and University of Waterloo. I think there are benefits to each school, but they are different benefits. I strongly feel as your statement about the school's not being in the same league are without an understanding of educational institutions in Canada for engineering and computer science.

Source: President of the Engineering Student Union @ Lassonde where I am involved in all parts fo faculty operations.

> the education received in many areas. Lassonde stronger than both the traditional education of University of Toronto and University of Waterloo

How is it stronger? It is a bit misleading to label UofT and Waterloo as "traditional" when both provide extensive coop programs and highly relevant courses.

> Those schools are not quite in the same league as Toronto or Waterloo, but they're adequate.

I had offers from both Carleton and Waterloo. I don't regret choosing Carleton.

I watched many friends go to Waterloo and burn out from the intense academic workload. My degree has gotten me into all the same doors, but I was able to take more electives, go on an exchange, just generally enjoy my time more.

First glance makes me think you would need to attend either Carleton University or York University.

Yeah, they mention that you have to apply to (or currently attend) one of these two universities to apply to this program.

That was my theory as well. Understandable.

Says $160,000 salary. I’m guessing that’s total over the 4 years, so $40k CAD per year. Still a great deal.

It says salary, tuition & vacation. So I wouldn't be surprised if that's a $160k estimation for the whole thing for the 4 years! But yeah, either way, better than $60k/y in tuition you end up owing!

Tuition in Canada is around $10k-20k/year depending on school and status.

Sounds a bit high. From a brief search (computer science bsc tuition, CAD, domestic (non-quebec) student): $6500 UBC, $11000 (McGill), $12500 (UofT), $15500 (Waterloo)

$10k tuition at York U, for the CS degree mentioned in the link.

40000 Canadian per year is correct. You are given vacation days and are expected to work like a salaried employee. Plus they cover the tuition which is approximately 10 thousand a year after fees.

Source: Lassonde student (where the dev degree program exists)

Wait how do they make money out of this. They're paying salary to people that can't yet code?

I've seen companies strugle to make money with mid level devs.

When you’re the first large provider of tech apprenticeships, you want apprentices to stick around after graduation. The problem is that Shopify generally can’t force employees to stay (companies hate suing over breach of contract for education subsidies). One work around is to pay a low salary during the training period. That’s exactly what Shopify is doing (160K over 4 years = 40K per year).

This could be a cheap way of boosting Shopify’s workforce and reputation. Tech companies have high revenue per employee. If Big Tech follows suit with other apprenticeships, Shopify could be known as the company that made white collar apprenticeships a thing in the U.S. and Canada. The apprentice program would become less expensive for Shopify over time as it captures apprentices from other companies.

> On top of this, Shopify pays students' tuition, a competitive salary, and vacation, for a total financial support of more than $160,000.

From https://devdegree.ca/pages/student-experience. It appears that you dont get paid 40k. 40k per year is the total they will expend on you, with tuition being part of that.

It seems like a good deal. Carleton is around 10k to 12k CA a year in fees. So let's say 40k total for the accelerated program. That leaves 120k for about 4500 hours, averaging out to about 27 an hour. Sure that's not competitive with top paying cs internships. But they get a free cs degree, come out with significant work experience, and get offered this with little to no programming experience.

I need to move to the states if 40k is a low salary for a junior over there. I started on less than that.

I'd say 40k is a bit low for a junior with a degree and the states does pay some of the highest salaries for developers, so not wrong

this program is in canada

So it is a PR stunt.

They’re not paying them that much- $160 000 over four years, including tuition. So it’s $40 000 a year, which is a great deal imo (for both parties).

I assume that, with sufficient screening, you can get someone contributing relatively quickly, and start getting value. I think the key is the screening- they’re not giving this offer to every CS student. At the places I’ve worked, we’ve definitely got value out of interns comparable to a junior developer.

For 40k you can hire senior engineers with degrees in Europe.

Europe is a big place. Certainly can't hire a senior engineer with a degree for 40k where I live. Even for a junior it would be low.

Lucky for you living in a high GDP country, in Central and Eastern Europe you certainly can.

That’s 27.5K euro.

Depends on the 'intern' culture they have here. They are basically paying people 40k per year. Combine that with an actual program for entry-level hires (like a bootcamp), and I can see the value. I'm not sure what Dev salaries look like in Canada, but in the US, 40k is extremely low. I think Shopify is a rails shop, which is super quick to get productive in. Also, given the stack, it's probably not as easy to just throw H1b (or whatever Can equivalent) at the problem.

This is also a great value for the applicants, as you get actual experience, with no tuition. Very interested to see how this works out. Kudos to Shopify for forward thinking.

I'm going to tackle this from the perspective of an apprenticeship (which is what I'm doing). In general it seems similar to hiring tech interns - they're expensive but can pay off if you really invest into it. Few things to note:

1) Usually they pay apprentices less but apprentices can still provide huge value to the team they're working on (after a while).

2) I have no solid data on this, but I assume apprentices have a lower churn rate/stay at their company longer.

3) The biggie: Some countries basically force companies to have an apprenticeship programme. In the UK, there's a levy which effectively makes a company put aside 0.4% of their payroll for funding apprenticeships - which nicely incentivises companies to do something that would otherwise be unprofitable.

Would be nice for (a) company/ies to do the same and allow for remote work while partnering with online program(s) (a la udemey & co or even some Harvard online). That way, it would let people all over the world access it and pool some really dope talent for the company(ies)! The students would be thrilled for the free or subsidized education while having some real world practice from real world companies. I remember hating how dumb some of the projects were in school and how going out of your way to make the project really awesome didn't really earn you much.

Remote work can be difficult for experienced engineers. I imagine it would be a huge burden for new engineers.

This looks really neat. I wish I had the foresight years ago to join something like this or even do a straight cs track to a large company.

My path has been less linear. Finished college with an accounting degree then worked at two fortune 500 consulting companies. I spent my nights and weekends doing web development work on the side (even did a failed startup with a buddy). A full-time opportunity opened up from one of these gigs and I've been there since. Now I run all their applications, websites, IT, and digital advertising.

Whenever I see programs like this pop up I'm always intrigued to supplement professional work with an academic mark in the hat as I know things could wind-down here and will be on a job search leaving me nervous as a 30 y/o developer whose has been working at small businesses (and not anything like FAANG). This is why I'll still pick up freelance work from time to time.

For sanity about 2 years back, I did apply and went through a series of interviews and tests for a remote software engineering position at a hot bay area company. It came down between me and one other guy. They conducted additional interviews because it was quite close. I ended up getting beat out, the other guy had a few years on me.

We dont have accreditation from universities, but this is the direction we are going with the RedCarpet ROCKS program .


we do active placement here (unless we hire them). We have an above 90% placement rate here.

Interested. Final year I.T. engineering student from university of Mumbai.

At my university there are a number of math requirements for the CS degree. A couple calculus courses, a couple linear algebra courses and a discrete math course. Each of them is the foundation for other CS courses, such as discrete math is for analysis of algorithms. Is this the case with these newer schools / approaches to becoming a software engineer? I for one really appreciate the math, but is it appreciated in industry? Curious to know.

Does having a degree matter for majority of developer roles? I've gone down the apprenticeship route (UK) and went into web development. Getting a degree would be very unlikely to affect my chances of getting a job (should I move away from freelancing), or a higher salary, not everywhere, but probably 9/10 places.

Keen to hear other experiences and opinions

Web dev is different from others, but I think that it's not a huge help. Or at least, a comp sci degree isn't going to help too much. Web dev is more about presenting content than about "serious comp sci stuff". A comp sci degree is useful if you need to work a job where you have to remember which sub-type of trie is best for such and such data.

That said, you can learn just fine without a degree. Much of what I learned, especially the stuff that most developers use, was before college. The biggest barrier is that many employers consider college a test of "not being a fruit loop", but if you've got work experience, that should help overcome the barrier.

What are "mature students"?

Usually students who already have a degree and/or life experience. Generally older than the demographic for "college age student"

any opportunity like these for someone looking to move in australia?


I honestly don't know what the context of your comment is.

There are bots via streaming Elasticsearch clusters that auto downvote HackerNews comments. I have the data so not really arguable.

Probably discovered by tons of people before me FYI. I’m a mediocre engineer who happens to occasionally uses Shodan / BinaryEdge. The fact that you get treated like absolute garbage if you’re wrong (even if there is nothing to be gained financially) I think suggests why others haven’t spoken up. That and Elasticsearch isn’t the easiest.

Hmm seems like the bad neural nets from reddit are coming here now?

GPT-2 trained on own Reddit profile and deployed to HN perhaps?

I think you might be on the wrong thread here. That said - are you saying there is an alert mechanism to encourage brigading?


I'm not your guy. I find it to be an intriguing claim tho.

Great idea, it's a shame that they had to add this 50/50 nonsense. I know a lot of guy that would kill for that opportunity.

They probably just put that on there for marketing. I highly doubt it will happen in practice. It's as ridiculous as stating that a nursing problem will be 50% male, it's just not going to happen. People are slowly starting to awake up (again) to the fact that men and women are biologically wired differently and will generally pursue different things in life, and that that is OK.

And I know a lot of women who have been successful graduates of the program, what's your point?

I dont understand these split of opportunity based on something(race/sex etc). Its more PR move than anything

If people truly want equality, it shouldnt even be a factor. No prejudice. Just treat all as of us one thing, human being.

If everyone starts from the same place it's fine to say "give everyone equal opportunity". If you really want to have equal opportunity given the historical and social background you have to acknowledge that everyone doesn't start from the same place.

And how exactly does it translate to gender? If anything, I would argue that most women have much better background. Not that it matters anyway. If an immigrant from 3rd world country can come to US at age 30 and be better than the competition, then you pretty much have no excuse if you were born here.

I suspect that they would not be if there would be an equal opportunity. Not giving people a chance just because of ideology is despicable. That's my point.

Lots of people don't have a chance. There's a fixed number of slots and many more qualified applicants.

That's true. World is not a fair place. No point in making it more unequal though. Let just the best and more dedicated win.

"kill for the opportunity" and "successful graduate" seems pretty different

If you keep upping the entry bar, the ones that would "kill" to enter have higher odds of entry.

Being able to graduate is a much lower bar, so what's your point?

> get a free CS degree

Why? Learn stuff thats out of date from some one who has never don it. Even without the debt academia is pointless, just learn to learn.

"because the parents want it. I'm not joking, that's the actual reason."


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