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Spend your summer learning to code

The Less Annoying CRM Coding Fellowship is a summer program that teaches coding skills to people from underrepresented groups in tech

About the fellowship

The Less Annoying CRM Coding Fellowship is a summer program for people from underrepresented groups in tech. You'll spend the summer working in the LACRM office learning to code with the help of our programmers. You don't need to have any prior coding experience at all. We'll start with the very basics, and by the end of the summer, you'll have built your own personal fully-functioning web app.
The whole idea behind this fellowship is really great. The opportunity is amazing. We heard from so many great speakers and learned about so many things. You gain a lot more than just coding skills.
Elly Sim
2018 Coding Fellow
This is a full-time (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) program that runs from mid-May through mid-August.
Our office in downtown St. Louis at Olive & 11th.
Fellows receive a $1,800/month stipend.
Note: We've already filled all of our fellowship positions for this summer. If you're interested in being a fellow next year, feel free to reach out!

Why are we doing this?

The tech industry has a problem. Only 25% of programmers are women, and only 5% are black, and those numbers aren't really improving. Technology will be the driving force behind much of the change we see in the future, and it's essential that people from underrepresented groups have a stake in that change.

We started this coding fellowship in the hopes of providing a new path for people who are interested in technology but come from groups that have traditionally been disenfranchised within the tech industry.
Sound good? Keep reading to learn more.

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Less Annoying CRM is the best work environment I've ever been a part of. It's fun, inclusive and everyone gets their work done.
Malia Jones
2017 Coding Fellow

What's in it for you?

Learn to code
Regardless of your major or your interests after college, knowing how to code will be an incredibly valuable skill. Whether you want to go to grad school, get a job, or you have absolutely no idea what you want to do with your life and you mostly just want your parents to stop bothering you about it, this fellowship will put you in a unique position to accomplish your goals.

This can also be a great option if you've been considering taking a computer science class but you're nervous about how you'd do. After this coding fellowship, you'll breeze through a computer science class in college.
Build your resume
This is an exclusive fellowship program which will look impressive and unique on your resume.

You will spend the summer building your own personal website which means that in addition to being able to say you can code on your resume, you'll have tangible proof of your new skills.

Additionally, because it takes experience to get a job, finding your first internship can be difficult. We're looking for underclassmen and don't require any prior experience, so this can be a great stepping stone.
Have a great summer
At Less Annoying CRM, we take pride in having an incredible team, and we make sure everyone here enjoys their jobs and their lives outside of work.

As a coding fellow, you'll be treated just like any other member of the team. You'll work in our awesome office in downtown St. Louis, sit with the full-timers and interns, regularly meet directly with the CEO of the company, and participate in all company events. This includes weekly lunches, a float trip, demo ball, a Cardinals game, board game nights, and much more!

Who are we looking for?

The fellowship is open to anyone who identifies as a woman, as black, or as a member of any other group that is disenfranchised in the tech industry. Most people come in with absolutely no coding experience, but we also have a track for computer science majors who aren't experienced enough to get an internship yet.

Whether you already have some coding experience or not, you will need discipline and self-motivation. This isn't school. You won't be given a grade at the end, and no one will be looking over your shoulder. We'll provide you with all of the resources and mentorship you need to succeed, but coding can be frustrating at times and it requires a tremendous amount of self-direction.

Who are we?

We are Less Annoying CRM, a tech startup based in downtown St. Louis. We make Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software which helps small businesses stay organized and productive. If you'd like to learn more about what a CRM is, you can read up on it here.

We were started in 2009 by two brothers, Tyler and Bracken King, and we now have over 18,000 paying users because we're focused on helping them succeed. When we're not obsessing over our customers, we're obsessing over our employees. We've got an awesome team that works hard and has a great time together, and we'd love for you to join us this summer! Read more about us.

As a coding fellow, your time will be spent working on your own personal project rather than anything related to the company, but you'll still be a part of our team!
How is this different from other ways of learning to code?
There are plenty of computer science classes and coding bootcamps out there. This fellowship is a completely different experience. Here are some reasons why.


Hi, I'm Tyler, and I'm the co-founder and CEO of Less Annoying CRM. I think the coding fellowship is one of the most important things we're doing as a company, and I'm going to make sure that you have absolutely everything you need to make it a success.

We only accept about 5-8 coding fellows each summer. We aren't able to accept more because we spend so much time working personally with each fellow. You'll still receive all of the standard coding lessons you'd get in any bootcamp or computer science class, but as an LACRM fellow you'll also get a ton of one-on-one attention from me and other members of our engineering team. I'll schedule regular meetings with you where we'll look over your code and make sure you're following best practices. You can also ask me or any of the other developers at the company (you'll be sitting right next to all of us) for help anytime you get stuck.

Additionally, I know that everyone has different interests and goals, and we'll tailor the summer so that it's a perfect fit for you. After you've finished the introductory coding lessons and have a decent foundation, I'll meet with you and talk about what you're most interested in, what you want to learn, and what things you're thinking about doing professionally after college. Together we'll plan a summer project tailored to your specific goals, and I'll help you put together a roadmap to ensure that you can accomplish all of those goals before the summer ends.

If you have any questions, concerns or doubts, feel free to email me at tyler@lessannoyingcrm.com and I'll be happy to chat. I can also put you in touch with some of the fellows from previous years if you'd like to speak with someone who has already been through this program.

Applied skills

This isn't a college course. You won't be doing homework, and there won't be any tests. You'll be exposed to a variety of different learning styles that you probably haven't experienced in college classes. Everything you learn will immediately be applied towards your personal project.

When you finish the fellowship, you'll be comfortable with at least five different languages/technologies (HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, and Javascript). That may sound scary, but don't worry, we'll walk you through everything you need to know, and by the end of the summer, you'll be a pro. These are all very common languages which you can almost certainly use in whatever field you choose to go into. If you ever need to learn another language (R, Python, etc.) you'll have the experience and confidence to teach yourself.

More than just coding

Spending a summer at LACRM will expose you to much more than just code. We'll hold classes on related concepts such as project management and online marketing. You'll sit in the training we give our interns where you'll learn about our business model, how startups work, how employee benefits work, etc. We'll have a few outside guests who code for a living come in and talk about their experiences. We have a regular speaker series where anyone at the company (including you) can present on a topic they're passionate about. And at the end of the summer, you will give a group presentation with the other coding fellows to the company and members of the community.

Oh, one other thing. Instead of you paying us tens of thousands of dollars, we pay you!
Results from previous years
2017 was our first summer hosting this coding fellowship. We've had a total of 11 fellows since then who all did a great job. Here's a bit more info about how their summers went.
If you didn't already watch the video at the top of this page, check it out here to get a sense of what previous fellows have experienced: We surveyed the fellows at the beginning and end of summer to get a sense of their confidence in their abilities. We asked them to rate their confidence on a scale from 1 to 10. In just one summer, their confidence changed significantly:
More confident taking a computer science class
* The average rating went from 4.8 to 8.6 out of 10
More likely to work in the tech industry
* The average rating went from 5.6 to 6.5 out of 10

Examples of projects

The first few weeks of the fellowship are spent learning the general concepts, and then each person can pick a project of their own to work on for the rest of the summer. Here are some examples of what previous fellows worked on:
  • Kelly wanted help staying organized so she made a task list tool that lets you create multiple lists, add tasks to them, re-arrange them on the screen, and hide lists once you're done with them.
  • Alia was working on a research project that required collecting police data from all over St. Louis. She made a tool that visualizes all of the St. Louis municipalities on a map and makes it easy to dive into specific data for each municipality.
  • Malia wanted to work on something related to her education major, so she made a tool that lets students self-assess at the end of each day to collect data about the progress each student is making.
  • Sami wanted a better way to learn about events happening at her school, so she made a tool that lets anyone submit new events, vote on the ones that seem interesting, and see who else is attending.
  • Amanda was interested in applying to programming internships the following summer, so she worked on a variety of different projects that would round out her resume and prepare her for coding interviews.
  • Jenny made a tool to let users enter and rate recipes. She then wrote an algorithm that looks at what you've rated and suggests new recipes for you based on your preferences.
See what previous fellows have to say about learning to code
What will your summer be like?
We want to make sure that you get the most out of your summer. That means working hard and learning a lot, but also having fun and enjoying your time outside of work. Here's what you can expect to do this summer.
Click on an image to see it full-sized
Learn to code
The majority of your summer will be spent coding. In the beginning, this will mean learning the basic concepts in a group setting and working on simple exercises. As the summer goes on, you'll start branching off into your own independent project. Throughout the entire experience, you'll have unlimited access to the developers at LACRM to help you when you're stuck, but you'll also become a pro at debugging and solving problems yourself.
Learn about the business
Even though you're working on your own project, you'll still be invited to attend a number of training sessions we do with all new employees. This will include learning about entrepreneurship, various startup business models, what we do to set ourselves apart, how we handle employee benefits, and more. You're also welcome to sit in on our weekly company-wide meetings where you can hear what everyone else is working on at the company.
1:1s with the CEO
Tyler, the CEO of the company, will be your personal coding teacher. You can meet with him as often as you want to ask questions, brainstorm ideas for your projects, and get help with anything else you need. He'll also do code reviews with you to make sure you don't develop any bad habits and that you're writing professional-level code. By the end of the summer, you'll have more practical software engineering experience than most computer science majors.
Learn about other topics
Everyone at LACRM likes to constantly learn and challenge themselves, and we try to facilitate that. There will be a number of talks for the coding fellows about topics that might interest you such as marketing your website and project management. We'll also invite outside speakers to come describe their experience working in tech. Finally, every week or two a member of the LACRM team presents to the company on a topic that they're passionate about. You can even present if you want!
Fun activities
We have a really close-knit team, and we want you to feel welcome. Your first couple of weeks include a number of breaks during the work day for you to get to know the team over coffee, board games, darts, and other fun activities. And if you're not sure what to do with your personal time, we plan a ton of optional events outside of work including a Cardinals game, a float trip, demo ball, and regular board game nights.
Weekly company lunch
Every week, the company pays to bring in lunch from different restaurants. It's a great way for everyone to take a break and have a good time together. Even better, once or twice per summer the founders' mom makes food for the entire office. She's a professional food blogger and the meals are amazing. She's especially known for her creative ice cream sandwiches such as homemade dulce de leche ice cream with churro cookies, or peach ice cream with molasses cookies.
See what previous fellows have to say about the summer
The work environment at LACRM
People are most productive when they're comfortable, happy, and stress-free. Our office is set up to give each employee the environment that suits them best.
Click on an image to see it full-sized
Collaboritive office space
At LACRM, everybody sits in the same space. You'll be sitting right next to the developers and the CEO so it's never hard to find someone to help you with your code.
Flexible spaces to fit your mood
The open office is great for collaboration, but sometimes you need a bit of privacy. We have a number of different places you can work including private offices, bean bag chairs, standing desks, smaller tables in the break room, conference rooms, and more. Whatever mood you're in, we have a space that will make you feel comfortable.
Powerful workstation
Every desk comes with two 24” monitors (in addition to your laptop screen) and a keyboard and mouse. Just plug your laptop into the docking station, and you're good to go. Whether you're working in the open office, a private office, or a standing desk, you'll have a full workstation available to you. You can use your own personal computer if you want, or we can loan you a Windows laptop for the summer.
Work with great people
It doesn't matter how great an office is if you don't like the people in it. That won't be a problem here. LACRM is a small company and we're a tight-knit group that enjoys working together as much as we like catching a Cards game together. We have a number of events planned at the beginning of the summer to make sure you meet everyone and feel comfortable being a member of the team.
Work from home
Even if you love our office, it can be nice to get away from it and work by yourself from time to time. After your initial training (i.e. the first 2-4 weeks) you can spend one day per week working from home (or anywhere else you want).
Perfect location downtown
Our office is at 1017 Olive Street in downtown St. Louis. We're right by a metro stop and there are tons of great restaurants, coffee shops, and other attractions within walking distance. You may not know much about downtown, but you'll be an expert by the end of the summer. Our past fellows have come away from the summer with a whole new appreciation for St. Louis.
See what previous fellows have to say about company culture
Apply now!
Note: We've already filled all of our fellowship positions for this summer. If you're interested in being a fellow next year, feel free to reach out!

Applying for the fellowship is easy. Just fill out this form, and we'll be in touch soon! If you have any questions you'd like to discuss before applying, you can reach us at fellowship@lessannoyingcrm.com.