Building future leaders in software through hands-on experience

Start your journey to becoming a software Craftsman today. Place yourself on a long-term track to jump-start your career, avoid expensive schooling, and gain hands-on experience, all while learning from the industry's best.


Launch your career in software development


Hands-on training and mentorship


Get paid while learning and honing your craft

What is the Craftsmanship Academy?

The Craftsmanship Academy is a development pipeline for RoleModel Software to regularly add junior developers to our team that can grow into long-term employees. The goal of the Craftsmanship Academy is to provide hands-on learning to eager participants who have some level of previous programming exposure. The mentorship model of the Academy gives participants the chance to work on real-world projects under the direct coaching and supervision of the industry’s best developers, our ‘Craftsmen’. 

We're not simply a program looking to launch students into the software development field, but rather are focused on investing in the next cohort of promising developers to make an impact at RoleModel. We take a maximum of five Academy participants each year. Those who don't make it all the way through to apprenticeship will still have received a solid foundation in Software Craftsmanship principles.

Our long-term goal is to continue growing the experienced Craftsman that RoleModel is known for by investing in and training our own talent. This is demonstrated by Academy graduates John Calvin Young and Kyle Smith having achieved the level of Craftsman at RoleModel after several years of faithfully serving our customers.

Follow our 2024 Cohort

This year with our Craftsmanship Academy we are doing regular updates where you can hear from the participants on their progress and what they are learning. Check out playlist below.

Think you might be a fit for the Craftsmanship Academy?
Whether you are interested in our next cohort or a future one, we'd love to connect so can help you determine if Academy might be a fit for you
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As part of RoleModel's culture, our foundation is on growing people and seeing them provide value for our customers. This starts with the Craftsmanship Academy.

Caleb Woods
RoleModel Software

Craftsmanship Academy vs Traditional College Degree

The Craftsmanship Academy is an alternative way to launch a career in software development. Through years of leading teams and helping people accelerate growth as software developers, we've seen that software development should be taught like any other trade -- working alongside experts. Because of that, we've designed a program based on ultralearning and apprenticeship as a way for us to grow our team at RoleModel. 

A traditional computer science degree is not a bad thing, but it won't prepare you to be immediately productive as a software developer when you graduate. If we compare the timeline of a traditional 4-year degree vs the Academy we see that a few years into their career they've covered the cost of their training and have advanced several levels in their career.

Academy vs College Net Earned over Time

Academy SummaryCollege Summary

We recognize the need for new team members to have a solid foundation to be able to contribute to high-performance software teams. That foundation isn't common to find in the industry which is why we focus on farming our own talent. If you are curious to learn more about how we structure our ultralearning environment and how that compares to academia check out our 4-part blog series.

If you're looking for a hands-on, immersive educational experience with top leaders in the software industry, then the RoleModel Craftsmanship Academy might be the perfect opportunity for you. Dive into real projects, and get active feedback from your fellow students and mentors. Set yourself on a long-term path of personal and professional growth!

Are you a fit for the Academy?
Are you a strong critical thinker that is self-motivated with exceptional communication skills? If this sounds like you, then you might be the perfect fit for the Academy!
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Our Philosophy

A Craftsman is an Expert in his field. The Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition details the progression of Novice to Expert in a set of skills, but it has been demonstrated that many people never get past the Advanced Beginner (or “unconscious incompetence”) stage. They do not recognize important context in a problem space. They do not sense that acquiring or applying a certain skill (or skillset) would modify their approach to problem-solving, and they deny the value of those skills. These are the sort of people you might describe as "having had one year of experience five times."

In software development, Advanced Beginners that are satisfied with their small skillset end up producing code that is difficult to maintain or evolve. They miss opportunities to conceive of and produce code that is designed to better fulfill the real desires of the sponsors and users of the software. The goal of the Academy is basically to produce people who are well-equipped to go beyond the Advanced Beginner stage and gain the first set of skills on their road to Mastery.

Our approach is to expose participants to themes, concepts, and skills through teaching and examples. Then, we help them establish their ability to recognize and apply what they are learning through repeated application in increasingly complicated contexts. Many of the skills we concentrate on are not taught (or at least not emphasized or put in their proper perspective) in colleges or other boot camps.

Next Steps

We're actively seeking participants for our next cohort who are willing to study initially at our office in Holly Springs, NC. Ultimately, our goal is to turn our Academy graduates into influential members of the RoleModel team working at one of our locations in:

Holly Springs, NC / Menomonie, WI / Allentown, PA / Knoxville, TN / Virginia Beach, VA. 

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