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Scaler Academy Review - Program Features, Curriculum, Outcomes - InterviewBit




InterviewBit was founded in 2014 to solve a massive problem. The founders, Abhimanyu Saxena and Anshuman Singh, both IIIT graduates with enviable jobs in the US, found that there exists a gap between what the education system has to offer to software developers and what the ever-changing tech industry needed.

While Anshuman worked directly with Mark Zuckerberg and led the teams that built Facebook Messenger, Abhimanyu hired hundreds of engineers across NY-based fashion ecommerce Unicorn Fab.com’s offices.

With a free platform to practice coding problems in a gamified manner, their initial idea bore fruit.

But Saxena and Singh soon realized that it wasn’t enough. While they wanted to solve for the majority, only the top 1% were able to really gain from the platform. Working with multiple recruiter partners over time, they realized that there was one link between those who were getting hired by the good product-based companies via InterviewBit. Majority of them had a mentor-like figure in their lives, be it through a sibling or a senior or a relative.

That’s when they started building out the roadmap for InterviewBit Academy (now Scaler Academy).

Scaler was the obvious next step in the evolution of InterviewBit Academy. The name went back full circle to the idea that every individual is capable of achieving great things if they have the right kind of guidance. As a company, it truly meant scale. Whether it was about scaling up skills, careers, communities or the personal lives of millions.

From a small office in Pune, Scaler has now moved bases to the tech hub of Bengaluru with over 4,500 students across all batches (1,500 of them already placed at top tech companies!) and triple the number of employees compared to early 2020.

What is Scaler Academy (Previously InterviewBit Academy)?

Put simply, combine the idea of an online Stanford with the mentor-like figure added in, and you have what is now Scaler Academy. The best of what really makes Stanford what it is, be it quality content, experienced teachers or a talented peer group, everything was brought together seamlessly to create a learning experience that would produce the finest software engineers.

Five Pillars of Scaler Academy

The course is designed to cater to the needs of working professionals in tech hone their skills and become better. Separating Scaler Academy from other edtech programs out there are multiple features.

Structured Curriculum, Built For Flexibility

Scaler Academy has a curriculum that is vetted by top industry professionals and is constantly evolving to suit the industry needs. It solves for the lack of updation in relevance of what is taught in colleges today.

Flexibility is a very important part of the Scaler Academy program considering that working professionals have to juggle between work and learning:

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If one misses a live class, he/she can watch the recording later, with teaching assistants available to solve doubts.
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If one needs some time, there is an option to pause the course!
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Access to assignments/notes is lifelong. Even recordings can be accessed upto six months post course completion.

Live Classes by Top Instructors

All teachers in the program have been part of some of the best technology companies out there and have overseen scaling of systems first-hand.

Facebook, Hotstar, Snapdeal, Media.net; these are all companies which have achieved phenomenal success in the industry and some of the techies behind them are now instructors at Scaler.

1:1 Personal Mentorship

All learners get the opportunity to choose a mentor who would guide them throughout the course. These are professionals themselves who currently work at some of the top tech companies. Currently, Scaler has over hundreds of mentors from top companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Myntra and ClearTax.

The addition of this feature was from the early learnings at InterviewBit, where the best of the lot, who were able to crack good product-based company interviews, all had a ‘Guru-like’ figure in their lives to guide them.

Aspirational Peer Group

With more than 1,500 placed learners and thousands of others currently enrolled in Scaler Academy, the internal community network is vibrant and fulfilling. This community is a lifelong access to a peer network of talented individuals doing groundbreaking work at some of the best technology companies in the world.

Through multiple channels, alumni and current learners use this platform to share information on job opportunities, collaborate on projects, helps others with authentic interview experiences as well as tips about competitive programming contests

Career Support

Along with the aforementioned alumni network which is strong in itself, Scaler Academy also has a dedicated placement support team to help students get to their dream tech companies.

Scaler Academy Curriculum and Modules

Scaler Academy’s curriculum is designed to ensure that each learner gets thorough knowledge of Computer Science fundamentals (including Data Structures and Algorithms) and attains specialisation in backend or full-stack while gaining proficiency in System Design (High-Level Design and Low-Level Design) through a project.

Batches are broadly categorized into three basis existing proficiency: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

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The Advanced batches have a 30-week course which covers Problem Solving and CS Fundamentals apart from System Design, which is part of the specialization (Backend or Full-Stack) and is common to all batches.
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The Intermediate batches, apart from what Advanced covers, also gives learners thorough knowledge of Programming Constructs. This is a 37-week course.
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The Beginner batches have an additional Introduction to Programming module before starting on everything that the Intermediate and Advanced batches learn.

You can find more details about the curriculum and various modules here.

Optional Electives

One new addition to the course are optional electives (4-weeks-long) in the form of Advanced Data Structures and Algorithms, Concurrent Programming and Product Management.



Whether or not a learner chooses any one or all of these, there is no price difference.

InterviewBit vs Scaler

Are InterviewBit and Scaler the same? No. InterviewBit is the parent company with Scaler offering upskilling courses to software engineers.

The InterviewBit platform in itself is free-to-use and lets learners practice coding problems through a gamified process, and get better. It also helps one connect to other coders anonymously and for free to have mock interviews.

Scaler Academy, on the other hand, is a paid program worth INR 2.5 lakh which allows software engineers to upskill themselves through structured learning and scale up in their respective careers.

Other courses under the Scaler umbrella include Scaler Edge and Scaler Academy Plus, for college students and experienced working professionals looking to scale up to tech leadership positions, respectively.

Is Scaler Academy Worth It?

To find out if Scaler Academy is worth it, it is necessary to focus on what the alumni have to say about the course. While thousands of learners are now placed at top tech companies, there are some whose lives were truly changed after enrolling.

Take, for example, Ahrarul Haque. The son of a farmer in Bihar and the eldest of five, Ahrarul was sent to Delhi to his uncle’s place to study. After self-funding most of his higher education via tuitions and pursuing computer science engineering at a tier-III college, he was placed at a service-based company.

But his ambitions were bigger. Always the one to work hard, Ahrarul took the chance when he found out about InterviewBit Academy (now Scaler Academy). He is now doing rockstar work at Amazon.

Like Ahrarul, Naman Ruhela too is placed at Amazon today. But his journey was fraught with challenges as well. As a district topper in the CBSE 12th board exams, Naman had big plans for himself. But circumstances and lack of knowledge about processes ended up making it difficult for him to find a good college.

And after he did find one and thought things were going to be alright, a personal tragedy and failure to land good jobs had him down. That’s when he found Scaler Academy. “There’s not one thing I can pinpoint and say this was the best feature. It all comes together so seamlessly as one, and each part of the process was a big help,” he says.

But Naman and Ahrarul are both two within thousands of other happy, accomplished learners who followed the process and have results to show for.

Scaler Academy Outcomes

The mark of any good course is measurable outcomes. In a very short span of time, Scaler Academy has managed to achieve phenomenal numbers with a strong focus on quality learning.

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Of all placed students, 45.6% work at top multinational companies including tech giants like PayPal, Amazon and Microsoft. The remaining continue to create a big impact at startups.
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43.8% of these placed learners are currently in SDE-2 positions or higher, a clear sign of the continued impact that they have been a part of.
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Return on investment for Scaler Academy learners is 4.5X. For folks who joined the course while at product-based companies, the number becomes 5X. RoI is salary increase pre- and post-Scaler divided by the price of the course.
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Amazon hires more from Scaler than India’s top 20 engineering colleges, including the IITs
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CTC buckets (CTC post-Scaler): < 3 years of experience: INR 16.5 LPA, 3-7 YoE: INR 22.5 LPA, 8+ YoE: INR 39.5 LPA
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The highest salary package secured was INR 1.5 crore at a global tech firm

Conclusion

Overall, Scaler Academy, which started with a vision of bringing the finest learning experience to software engineers and bridging the gap between college education and industry needs, has been able to live up to the promises.

Curriculum, teachers, mentorship, community and placement support; everything comes together to make a course that wishes to change the face of tech education. Behind the scenes, hundreds are working to make things happen everyday and with the right approach, things can only move forward from here on.

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