Exceptional Promise, software engineer trained via coding bootcamp?


I am considering applying for the Global Talent visa under “exceptional promise”. I am currently a Senior Software Engineer at a large fintech company based in America. I have been working in software for about 5 years. I went to a large, well-known university (UC Berkeley), however I studied Political Science/Economics - then got my start in software afterwards via a 4-month coding bootcamp.

In addition to working in software for 5 years, I started a side business in the crypto world (not huge revenue, mostly stopped now), and have spoken at several meetups to groups of 100-150 people. I also believe I can get good referral letters from, and can provide excellent proof of earnings/promotions.

However, I have not contributed significantly to open source projects, and got my start outside of academia – meaning I have no CS degree of any level.

Will this make my application less likely to succeed? I am just starting the document collection process. I would also love suggestions about how to make my application stronger.

Thank you!


I think you stand a solid chance. Emphasizing your entrepreneurial venture and speaking at meetups as contributions to your field would be a wise approach. If you’ve made any online contributions (personal website, technical blog posts, code tutorials, even projects from bootcamp if they were shared anywhere), that could count as evidence for technical contribution or recognition if those works received accolades.

Having a decorated degree or how you became a software engineer should not matter as much as the fact that you have achieved the position anyhow. Some of the best programmers I’ve known had liberal arts degrees in college. Like you, I went to a large well-known university (UCLA) in addition to a well-known private graduate school, however I did not stress the brands of the schools as much as my own achievements while I was there. Did you receive any merit-based scholarships? Maintain a high GPA? Those could be moulded to count as evidence if they are within the 5-year time frame.

I think the side business in the crypto world is potentially strong enough evidence to get you through the door. Do you have a vision to pivot or grow the business? The UK has great tech accelerator programs and government investment schemes into small businesses that are worth looking into and perhaps incorporating into your application.

Hope this is helpful and good luck!

If you haven’t already, read the brochure multiple times.

You non-CS degree doesn’t matter. Aside opensource project nas a senior developer have you made extensive contribution to GitHub?
You need to read the suggested evidence for the mandatory and optional criteria then you will get more ideas on how to present your evidence.