Give us 20 weeks and we'll help you change your life. Prime’s Full Stack Engineering curriculum has already helped hundreds of graduates launch rewarding careers in software engineering at some of the most innovative companies in the midwest.
The program’s immersive approach plugs you directly into the most relevant technologies and methodologies and rewires your mind to deftly take on the exciting challenges of a job in development. The relationships formed with your fellow students, industry mentors, and guest speakers provide you an invaluable network of passionate, diverse tech allies to call upon throughout your career. Explore this page to learn more about our Full Stack Engineering program or check out the important dates for our next cohorts below.
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The world’s very best software engineers all have one thing in common: they all started with zero experience. Prime’s accelerated learning program prepares high potential students to begin their careers in software development and provides them with a toolset to keep developing themselves while they develop software to solve real-world problems.
You don’t need to be a seasoned coder to succeed at Prime. Our program is designed to ensure that even if you come to us with no experience, you’re ready for your first job come graduation day. If you’re new to software, our application process includes links to resources you can explore to make sure software engineering is indeed the right future for you.
Here’s what we're looking for in Prime applicants:
Prime's admission process starts with an online application. You'll answer short essay questions, logic puzzles and you'll be presented with a challenge where you'll show you're comfortable picking up technical skills. The process is designed to be fun–there's no timer and you can complete your application over as many sessions as you'd like. Once submitted, if your application looks good, you'll be contacted by Prime to schedule an interview where you'll have the chance to come to our campus, get a tour and sit down with someone from our admissions team to confirm that the program feels like a mutual fit. Generally speaking, you'll know whether you're offered admission within 2 weeks of completing your application.
Students come to Prime from different backgrounds with varying levels of technical experience. Tier 1 is our way of ensuring everyone shows up to the first day of in-class instruction ready to speak the same language and successfully learn together. You’ll ramp up for your classroom experience over 6 weeks, learning on your schedule through online training and coding assignments. You’ll also be checking in weekly via video chat with your instructors and fellow students. You can even start to build camaraderie with your peers through study sessions at Prime if you’re available.
As you begin your in-person classroom experience, you’ll dive headfirst into fundamental software engineering concepts. You’ll learn from instructors, mentors and each other as you apply concepts from lectures in hands-on challenges. Each day is a unique adventure, but here’s what a typical day during Tier 2 might look like:
Software engineers learn by doing—that’s why Prime dedicates the final third of the program to project-based learning. In this tier, you’ll have the chance to work a project of your own design as well as help a real-world organization solve a real-world problem. You’ll get a chance to dive into a project you’re passionate about and build an app from top to bottom on your own and you’ll learn how to be part of a successful software development team, practicing behaviors and techniques you’ll use every day as a working software engineer.
Your solo project is an incredible opportunity to spend two full weeks sharpening your development skills while showcasing your passions. You’ll be working solo, but you’re far from alone. You’ll do daily “standup” meetings where you discuss what you’re tackling and get support where you need it from your peers and your instructors. In the end, this project will be an excellent tool to show prospective employers who you are and what you’re capable of.
For your capstone project, you’ll tackle a real-world project for a local nonprofit, startup or small business. The project begins with a client kickoff where you’ll hear about the organization and their specific challenges and then break out the whiteboards to sketch potential solutions and get real-time client feedback. After the client heads out, you and your group will develop a project scope detailing your objectives for the project you’ll be working on together over the next three weeks. Three weeks of client calls, clever coding, long days [and probably some long nights] and collaborative learning the project will culminate with live presentations of your project in front of your classmates, mentors, and hiring managers eager to interview you later that afternoon.
Prime’s emphasis on communication and collaboration runs through the entire experience. Students take the Clifton Strengthsfinder and learn how to build on their teammate’s abilities. Sessions on effective team-based communication methods help to set the stage for positive interactions. Weekly public speaking and leadership training will help you find your voice and practice critical but often overlooked skills.
Each week you’ll add to your professional network when Prime hosts a wide variety of friendly speakers from the Twin Cities and KC dev community. Guests share context on the industry and expose you to new, different and sometimes opposing perspectives on the technology, techniques and philosophy shaping modern software. All this will help you to develop your own unique outlook on the field you’re entering.
Prime is always looking to encourage students to apply what they’re learning about programming in different ways. We’ve collected a treasure trove of technologies ranging from microcontrollers to quadcopter drones to virtual reality gear in what we call our “toy box.” The toy box gives interested students a chance to see their code at work in a different context whether it’s blinking LEDs or piloting a drone.
Prime connects students with employers searching for fresh talent, but we don’t send you in unprepared. We’ll work with you to build a resume and a portfolio of work that you can show off with pride. You’ll receive coaching on interviewing strategies from your instructors as well as actionable feedback from industry recruiters and local hiring managers who spend time with you at a mock interview day. Prime’s industry network team are always connecting job seekers and alumni with fresh opportunities.
Success after Prime sometimes depends more on who you know than what you know. Through our mentor program we introduce you to smart, supportive professionals from the local tech community. During your first week in the classroom, we pair small groups of students with a few working professionals (including one Prime alum who understands exactly the rigors and rewards of your education). You’ll meet bi-weekly with your mentor group for advice and insights to help kick-start your new career.
The culmination of all this preparation is career day, a remarkable opportunity to interview with multiple employers excited about Prime and eager to speak with you. Prime’s huge network of employers means there are always companies ready to talk to you about open positions. Not every student lands their first breakthrough connections from career day, but every graduate benefits by shaking off their entry-level interviewing butterflies and gaining confidence in speaking about themselves and their portfolios.
Prime is committed to maintaining real relationships with our alumni and providing support and advice that spans your entire career. Whether you’re swinging into Prime to say hello or touch base with friends on Slack, alumni are part of our community forever.
We provide free co-working space for alumni to ensure that no grad goes through their job search alone. We also operate a weekly session for alumni who are currently job searching called the Alum Scrum. These sessions focus on technical interviewing tips and advice on navigating the tricky situations that arise in a development job search.
Beyond job search support, Prime encourages alumni to continue to hone their skills through regular development challenges, coordinated user group attendance and by keeping in close contact with your classmates as you all make your marks on the local development industry.
Your tuition supports Prime’s industry-leading instruction staff, excellent student-to-teacher ratio, development of our employer network and ongoing curriculum development. Tuition covers instruction and required software. Students are responsible for their own transportation, meals and living expenses during the program (though our lunchroom is always stocked with bananas). Note that financing need not be finalized when you apply. Once accepted into the program, we’ll work with you one-on-one on your best option!
For students paying out of pocket with their own funds or planning to secure a personal loan through their bank or various lender options.
Having access to a computer you call your own is a critical part of achieving mastery as a tech professional. To provide a consistent experience we've standardized on Apple laptops (running a current version of OS X). If you aren't sure if your computer meets these specifications or want help selecting a laptop for Prime . Prime will provide you with an external monitor for use in the classroom.
We’re proud to partner with the city of Minneapolis, the city of St. Paul, Ramsey County, and Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis to bring Prime to diverse Minneapolis and St. Paul residents who would be otherwise unable to afford the program. The application process screens and verifies eligibility for student aid (household income must be "very low" based on the CDBG income table). Eligible students may receive grants to cover up to 100% of tuition. Funds are available on a first come, first served basis so apply today.
Prime and our partners are committed to building a diverse tech community. To encourage people of color pursuing tech careers, Prime Digital Academy grants a $500 scholarship to each person of color accepted into the program.
The Prime program is eighteen weeks overall, six weeks of prework followed by twelve weeks of classroom. If written notice of withdrawal is received before the end of the second week of prework instruction, the student will receive a full refund of all tuition paid. If written notice of withdrawal is received after the second week of prework but before the beginning of the ninth week of classroom (fifteenth week overall), the student will receive a partial refund of tuition paid based on the remaining classroom days in the term. No refunds will be given after the beginning of the tenth week of classroom (sixteenth week overall).
Prime is about preparing people for jobs designing and developing software and we’re working hand-in-hand with industry employers to produce excellent outcomes for students. Below are just a few of the well over 100 companies that contribute to student success by providing curriculum feedback, offering apprenticeships, mentoring students and hiring graduates.
We're always happy to meet organizations excited about emerging talent. Interested companies can reach us at to learn more about how to get involved.
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