Is it possible to work part time while doing the Powercoders Bootcamp?2024-04-22T11:02:50+02:00

The Powercoders Bootcamp is a full-time program and takes place three days per week in person and two days per week remote (in total 5 full days per weeks). The in person days take place in Bern (one day per week) and 2 days in your nearest training location (Bern, Lausanne or Zürich) depending on the city of residence. We suggest stopping all income earning activities and other courses during the Bootcamp, as it is seen as a very intensive program. All the internships that follow the training phase are usually only possible with a workload of 100% (decision of the companies). Therefore, in most cases, it is not possible to work part-time during the Powercoders program.

Are people from refugee backgrounds from Powercoders allowed to work in Switzerland?2024-04-22T11:04:18+02:00

Yes. The majority of our participants have a refugee state B or F and thus have a work permit and are considered almost like Swiss welfare recipients. The state wants them to be integrated, have a job and become independent.

Our other participants have an S permit. For these people, a work permit must be obtained, although it is not a problem to get this because the cantons want these people to work.

How much money do people from refugee backgrounds get from social welfare per month?2024-04-22T11:05:28+02:00

The social welfare law of each canton regulates the amount of money social welfare recipients get. They follow the SKOS (Schweizerische Konferenz für Sozialhilfe) regulations. A recognized person from a refugee background with permit B or F living alone receives around 1000 CHF per month (accommodation and health insurance expenses not included).

Where and how do the participants live?2022-11-19T11:14:39+01:00

Most of them are living in flats offered by their social service. A few of them (mainly the ones who have not been granted asylum) are living in refugee homes.

How does Powercoders select the candidates?2023-01-26T15:08:39+01:00

We invite applicants to apply online through a form, and if the application looks promising, we invite them to a Recruitment Day, where they are asked to take an IT-test, an English-test and a personal interview. We look for participants with high learning skills, motivation, passion, talent in tech & IT and good team working personalities. Only the most promising ones are selected.

Who are the participants?2024-04-22T11:08:25+02:00

The participants are talented and motivated people from refugee backgrounds or migrant backgrounds, and they are from various countries. Most of them already have a background in IT or engineering. But, the most important strength they bring to the table are their quick learning skills.

What is the recommended salary?2022-11-19T11:15:01+01:00

After the internship, we recommend a salary between CHF 60’000 and CHF 90’000 per year.

What level of English is required for application? Do I need a certificate?2022-11-19T11:15:16+01:00

As all lessons are held in English, it is important that the participants can follow the course content well in English. You should be able to express yourself well orally and have a good understanding of the language (min. level B1/B2). Certificates are not necessary; we check the participants’ English skills individually during the application process. We recommend various learning resources to improve your language skills here.

I am not supported by social assistance. Can I still apply for your programs?2022-11-19T11:15:26+01:00

Our programs are aimed for candidates of diverse backgrounds who are facing barriers to enter the IT job market. The goal of the program is not only to teach, but also to support our participants to integrate in the IT job market. The majority of our seats are reserved for people with a refugee status, but if you also face barriers to enter the IT job market, you are welcome to apply to one of our programs.

Do the participants get a salary during their internship?2022-11-19T11:15:32+01:00

Yes, the amount depends on the individual situation and the company. Usually it is a low internship salary according to the cantonal regulations.

How do the participants find the right company for the internship?2022-11-19T11:15:38+01:00

We work to ensure that this is achieved at the Career Day, where we simulate a real job seeking event. Every company presents the internship they are offering, after which each company has a booth where participants are expected to stop by and ask questions about the company and internship. The goal of a participating company is to invite 3 to 5 participants for a second interview in the following week.

Does every participant secure an internship after the training?2022-11-19T11:15:45+01:00

If a participant receives a diploma, we can usually provide an internship. However, this is also dependent on the participant’s willingness and on the market situation, therefore there is no guarantee for that. In the past, more than 90 % of our participants were able to secure an internship.

In what ways can I expect support from Powercoders?2022-12-20T08:09:55+01:00

Besides the training and network, we offer support to our participants for laptops, transportation and food when needed.

Where does the training take place?2023-11-27T15:40:47+01:00

For now, all our programs are run in a hybrid model. This means some part of the training will be remote and the other part in person in one of our training locations (at the moment Bern, Zürich and Lausanne).
The Powercoders Bootcamp (full time program) takes place three days per week in person and two days per week remote. The in person days take place in Bern (one day per weeks) and 2 days in your nearest training location (Bern, Lausanne or Zürich) depending on the city of residence.

What can I expect in the application process?2022-12-20T08:21:32+01:00

The application process for our programs can differ between the programs. Usually, the application process consists of (a selection) of the following steps:

  • online application form
  • additional task to do from your home
  • online interview day
  • testing weeks

We usually receive more applications for our programs than we have places to offer. The aim of our selection process is to choose the participants who can benefit most from our program and need our support the most to enter the IT job market.
We accept re-applications, which means that if you are not selected for a program, you can apply again in the future. If you plan to apply for a second (or third) time, please make sure to show us the progress you made and your learnings since your last application already in the application form.

Online application form
In the first step we ask you to fill out an application form and answer specific questions about your skills, your motivation and your background. Make sure to answer the questions carefully so that we are able to learn more about you. We recommend that you draft your answers first in a different document and copy them in the form. As part of your application, we expect a well written and presentable CV. You can find CV instructions & example by University of St. Gallen.

Additional task
After a first selection, we will send you additional tasks to do from your home. Usually these tasks consist of a language task and a technical task to show your communication and technical skills.

Online interview day
On our online interview day, we assess your skills in IT and English. Alongside this, we would like to get to know you better in a personal conversation and discuss whether the specific requirements of our programme and your expectations match.

Testing weeks
Testing Weeks usually consist of 2-3 weeks with around 8 hours creative tasks do on flexible hours. You will be working in a team and on your own.

I want to apply for one of your programs. Where can I send my application?2022-12-20T08:24:50+01:00

There are specific application periods depending on the programme. We do not accept applications all year round. You can find more information on the detailed pages of our programs.
If you sign up with this form, we will inform you as soon as the next application process for one of our programs starts. During the application period, we will also host info sessions with additional information about the program and the application process.

What kind of residence permit is needed to participate?2024-02-19T17:07:11+01:00

For our job-integration programs the condition is that you have a work permit for Switzerland (or the prospect of obtaining one in the near future). Therefore, persons with a residence permit C, B, F or S are eligible to apply for our programs. Persons with a residence permit N can only be admitted to the programs in exceptional cases, as work permits are limited in this case. Persons with a residence permit N who have been resident in Switzerland for at least 12 months can also apply and will be assessed on an individual basis.

What kind of programming skills are being taught during the first 3 months of the bootcamp?2022-11-19T11:02:51+01:00

Participants at Powercoders learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in the first seven weeks. They also learn about GIT, UX and Agile Project Management. The second part of the course – after Career Day and internship placements – focuses more on server-side technologies, programming languages and frameworks that are being used by our internship companies.

Who can become an IT trainer?2022-11-19T11:03:04+01:00

IT professionals who want to support participants in solving IT challenges and help with the teaching. There is no teaching experience needed.

How long is the job coaching period?2022-11-19T11:17:30+01:00

Coaching starts towards the end of the bootcamp and officially ends once the candidate has found a job or apprenticeship. We ask for an initial commitment of min. 6 months (while we know that circumstances can change).

Who can become a job coach?2022-11-19T11:03:32+01:00

Everyone who is familiar with the Swiss business context, motivated to learn about other cultures and willing to regularly spend time with their coachee (e.g. once a week). There are no IT skills needed, just an open and supportive attitude!

Why offer an internship for Powercoders?2023-03-16T17:17:24+01:00

An internship for Powercoders is a way to offer talented people from a refugee or migrant background the opportunity to access a doorway into the IT labor market of Switzerland. It is the unique chance for companies to get access to raw talent, get in touch with a person from a refugee or migrant background, and have a strong impact on his or her unusual life story. Almost every company who offered an internship has told us that it was a very enriching experience for all their employees.

How are the participants selected?2022-11-19T11:05:25+01:00

If the application looks promising, we invite the applicant to take an IT-test and participate in a personal interview. We were looking for participants with high learning abilities, motivation, passion, talent and team working personalities. Only the most promising applicants will be selected.

What does it cost?2022-12-20T08:33:57+01:00

Our programs are fully funded and free of charge for the selected participants. We finance the program costs with donations from companies and support from the authorities (social welfare). Even people who are not supported by social welfare can apply for one of our programs and if you are selected, we will not charge you any money during the programme. As our programs are based on volunteer support and donations, we ask our participants to commit to giving 100 hours of their time to people and organisations that will benefit from their support in the future.


Are your programs only for refugees?2022-11-19T11:09:33+01:00

Our programs are aimed for candidates of diverse backgrounds who are facing barriers to enter the IT job market. The goal of the program is not only to teach, but also to support our participants to integrate in the IT job market. The majority of our seats are reserved for people with a refugee status, but if you also face barriers to enter the IT job market, you are welcome to apply to one of our programs.

How long should an internship last?2023-03-16T17:18:17+01:00

Out of our experience, the ideal duration of a Powercoders internship is 6 – 12 months.

What is the English level of Powercoders participants?2023-03-16T17:19:01+01:00

In the recruitment process we check the English of the candidates. We take candidates who have skills between B2 – C1.

Do participants speak the local languages?2022-12-07T09:01:18+01:00

Most of the participants speak the local language in their residence canton. Some are very advanced and some are between B1 and B2. They are all very motivated to improve their needed language skills

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