Outco is a FAANG-style interview prep program. I attended it starting in November of 2018. It was a major factor in my ability to get several offers from tech companies.

This post will only lightly touch on the content of Outco - you can get that from their website. This is about my unbiased experience.

About Outco

Outco is a 5-week program. You can pay for it in 3 ways:

Outco pricing

If I remember correctly, classes are from 6-9PM PT. There is additional homework every day. It’s a tough program, but it works.

Interview Prepping

By Myself

In September of 2018, my last iOS contract wrapped up. I decided I would give myself 3 months to study for interviews and take a job at a large tech company. I planned to begin interviewing in December of 2018.

I did the normal things. I read Cracking the Coding Interview and practiced on Leetcode. I bought a 6’ wide whiteboard to simulate the interview environment.

In the middle of October, I was halfway through my 3 month studying hiatus. I wasn’t even close to interview-ready.

I’m not sure if I wasn’t ready due to slow learning ability, lack of discipline or a combination of those. But I wasn’t going to be ready by December. I looked into Outco, and decided to join.

With Outco

I wanted to join FAANG companies or companies of similar comp. Namely Uber + Facebook. On levels.fyi, for the level I was targeting (E4 at FB), salary is around $160k. If I got a job with 160k salary, the Outco packages would work out as:

  • $0 upfront + (0.1 * 160,000), $16,000
  • $1,500 upfront + (0.05 * 160,000), $9,500
  • $5,000 upfront, $5,000

$5,000 upfront was the clear winner, so I went with that.

Starting the Program

The program is hard. Luckily, I saved up I planned ahead for this, so I had money saved up to cover me for 3 months. I didn’t have a full-time committment, so I could go to all the office hours + do every homework exercise.

If you attempt to do Outco with a full-time job, clear everything from your weekends. It will be very hard to do otherwise.

Around the end of week 2, there was a huge difference in my interview performance. I could see it was going to go well.

Interviewing Starts

Outco helps you schedule your interviews. I ended up having around 12 interviews with 10 teams.

As Outco suggests, I put my most desired companies at the end. That accomplished two things:

  1. I got my nerves out of the way!
  2. When my initial interviews poked holes in my interviewing ability, I could fill them up for later interviews.

I end up with a few offers. I begin negotiating them, which is another place Outco really adds value.

Negotiating Offers

As detailed in this post, my offers mainly came down to Uber and Facebook.

At this point, Uber is pre-IPO. Given the estimated range of their IPO price, the offer Uber gave is much higher than Facebook’s. Especially given that the Uber position is in Seattle, Washington, where there is no state tax.

Outco’s COO, David Hopper helps talk me through the negotiation and decision between these two companies. He pushes me towards Facebook - I’m quite sure if he wasn’t there I would’ve chose Uber.

Choosing Facebook over Uber ends up grossing me an additional $92.7k in my first year, as detailed here. By far one of my best financial decisions.

Overall Assessment

Choosing Outco was a hugely positive decision for me. Even if I excluded the Uber and Facebook decision (that is a rare situation), that $5k is a drop in the bucket. If I get one additional question right during the interview, that’s another $20k I can add to my signing bonus.

It’s absoutely worth it. I highly recommend it.


If you want to join Outco, please send me an email. If I refer you and you join, you will get $100 and I will get $200.


Caveats

1) At first, I was embarassed to tell my colleagues that I took an interview prep class. It felt a bit like cheating.

On the other hand, I didn’t do computer science in college. CS classes at UT Austin are much more expensive, and much longer. Outco was my very mini version of a CS degree. That feels ok.

2) It may not be the right program if you are targeting a company with lower pay. From a pure ROI perspective, the cost may not be worth it. However, I believe the lifetime value far outweighs the cost regardless of where you work.