Frequently Asked Questions.
Here are some common questions about Elegant Studio.
WHAT is RBK?
RBK is an immersive career accelerator (coding bootcamp) focused on producing professionals with market-ready technical and non-technical skills.
WHERE will the training take place?
RBK’s campus is located in El Gazala Technopark, Tunis, Tunisia.
HOW LONG is the training?
The immersive phase is divided into two, 6 week periods separated by a solo week where participants work off-site. The first 6 weeks of the immersive phase is called the Junior period. The last 6 weeks is called the Senior period.
WHAT skills will I learn at RBK?
You will learn a variety of technical and non-technical skills across the 5 months.
You will also learn Silicon Valley best practices including workflow, documentation, testing and other technical knowledge required to produce professional grade full-stack web and mobile applications.
Far more important than the technical skills are the non-technical skills you will learn. These are baked into every minute of the 1,400 hours of training and include team building, English, problem solving, self-learning and 150 other skills that correlate with success in industry and life.
RBK graduates don’t get hired because they can run your tickets and fix you broken code. Yes they can do this. They get hired because they are good people who possess the social and emotional intelligence companies need to remain competitive in a rapidly changing world.
HOW MUCH does Bootstrap cost?
Bootstrap is $500 USD. Candidates completing this phase successfully and admitted to the immersive phase will have this amount credited towards their immersive tuition.
Once I complete Bootstrap will I automatically be eligible for the immersive phase?
No. Bootstrap is still part of the admissions process. Candidates will be evaluated and assessed at the end of Bootstrap. Only those who pass will be invited into the immersive. Candidates will be evaluated both for their technical and non-technical abilities.
Assuming I am invited to participate in the immersive phase, what is the tuition?
The tuition for this program is $XXXX USD. ALL participants accepted into the immersive phase must pay up front unless donor partners are fronting the expenses.
$XXXX USD is a lot of money! How do you justify this?
RBK uses a team of 20 staff to shepherd a cohort of 30 students through its software engineering program. The curriculum comes from Hack Reactor which charges $18,000 USD for the exact same program.
RBK is a bootcamp in the true sense of the word. Think army special forces training. We need participants close to the training grounds. As such, RBK is a residential program meaning we provide food, housing and local transportation for our participants. This is a $27,000 USD value in the US and signals RBK as one of the best values on the planet.
Consider that a university degree is far more expensive and takes 4 years instead of 4 months! If time is money, RBK’s training is essentially free.
I don’t have $XXXX USD. Is student financial aid available?
Yes, RBK has partnered with several banks in Tunis to provide student loans to those candidates accepted into the immersive program unable to pay out-of-pocket up front.
RBK is working with donor partners to provide scholarships. Generally, partners have a preference for certain vulnerable groups such as women, refugees, LGBTQ, physically disabled, ethnic or religious minorities.
All scholarships are performance-based meaning candidates must successfully complete the program AND find employment within 6 months to qualify. Subsequently they will be reimbursed for their training.
WHAT is the value of this training?
RBK graduates are starting their careers with salaries up to $6,000 USD per month. The average starting salary in Jordan (similar in size and economy) where RBK was founded, is $1,300 USD per month. RBK graduates’ salaries starting on the lower side typically double after 1 year on the job.
The lifetime earning capacity of a software engineer working locally in Tunisia is $1.5 million USD. Internationally, earning potential increases to $6 million+ USD.
WHAT are the program requirements?
- English at A2 level or better for admission into Bootstrap. (Test yourself HERE or HERE.)
- The ability to commit 16 hours per day for 3 months during the immersive phase
- A pledge to adhere to the Code of Conduct
- Ability to commit to a one year contract with RBK as a trainer for future cohorts in your region
Great! How do I get started?
- Verify your English level (see above).
- Apply HERE.
- Fill out the biographic data.
- Read the commitment agreement closely and respond honestly.
- Once you submit the form, if you qualify, you will receive an email with next steps.
If you do not qualify because you did not agree with the Terms and Conditions or, your English is poor, you will receive a notice to apply at a later date once you have met the conditions.
- Complete the assessments and tasks.
- If assessments and tasks are completed timely and satisfactory, you will be notified for an interview where you will be assessed on your knowledge of the prep materials. If you pass the interview, you will be invited to participate in the final phase of the admissions process – Bootstrap.
How should I communicate during the admissions process?
Email. Check daily for updates. Check your spam or junk mail folders too.
What is the Code of Conduct?
This is the rule book. All learners pledge to respect themselves, their classmates and staff during the program and beyond. Any behavior that is deemed disrespectful is grounds for immediate expulsion. You can view the Code of Conduct HERE.
I didn’t get a university degree. I never even finished high school. Do I qualify to participate?
Yes! There are no educational prerequisites (other than those mentioned above in terms of English) required for this program.
I have a degree in psychology. Can I join your program?
Absolutely! Students with degrees in the liberal and performing arts – history, dance, music, theater, art, literature, classics, philosophy, sociology – and other non-technical degrees make GREAT software engineers.
Students with non-technical degrees/learning certificates are highly encouraged to apply.
I heard this program is 16 hours a day. Is this correct?
More or less, yes. There are 12 hours of programmed activities, 6 days a week. Additionally, around 4 more hours of “hacking” (programming) is required to complete the daily course work.
Although this may seem extreme, there is plenty of rest designed into the curriculum. Learners work in pairs and by doing so share the mental heavy lifting which averages only 6-7 hours each per day.
My sister is getting married in a few weeks after the program starts. If I get accepted, will I be able to attend their wedding?
If the wedding is on Sunday and you can arrange to travel and return the same day, then yes. Otherwise, daily attendance is mandatory. Missing one day is like missing a week. With the exception of a death in your immediate family, no absences will be granted.
Unapproved absences will result in immediate expulsion from the program. This is non-negotiable.
I heard you kicked out a couple students for cheating. Both had taken out $8,000 USD loans. This seems severe!
We have made a promise to our industry partners: our graduates are of the finest moral character, trustworthy, honest and grounded in integrity.
Cheating is a symptom of depravity which runs counter to our promise.
Bottom line is, read the Code of Conduct. If you do not think you can live up to this code, do not apply. Otherwise, internalize it. Live it. Breath it and you will find great success in life.
My English is poor (I’m translating this document using Google). Can I participate in this program?
If you are an extremely fast learner with high self-awareness, maybe. Bootstrap is an opportunity to move from A1 to B1 provided you speak, read and write NOTHING BUT English for the entire 6 weeks.
Intermediate level or better is suggested to succeed in this program.
A2 is the bare minimum required. Students typically jump up at least two levels through this course, but you must have a decent, basic understanding of English to start. If you are A2 or less at the end of Bootstrap, you will not be invited to the immersive.
I have 5 years of software industry experience but feel like I have hit a ceiling. I want to kick up my game. Can I skip Bootstrap and test directly into the immersive?
Yes. The exam is around 6 hours and will cover all the Bootstrap topics.
What can I do to increase my chances of being accepted into RBK and succeeding in the immersive phase?
Brush up on your English
- BBC Learning English – Simple English to get you started. Lots of English lessons and simple news articles. Updated often.
- Britsh Council – A favorite for Arab learners.
- Hacker News – Silicon Valley news for software engineers. This is one of the most popular web pages in Silicon Valley.
- UpWorthy – Only good news
- Duolingo English
- Speak Method – English lessons for beginners
- Khan Academy’s Computer Programming courses – Fantastic for beginners. Highly recommended.
Shift Towards Growth Mindset
At RBK, we believe a ‘growth mindset’ is essential to success and happiness. Learn more about ‘growth mindset’ and how it can influence your life.
Learn To LOVE Failing
RBK celebrates failure as a pathway to knowledge. Learn about how failure is an important pathway to knowledge and how it can become your best friend in being an effective engineer.
Still need help? Send us a note!
For any other questions, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +39 123 456 789