I learned about TechNation a year ago and spent the last two months collating evidence for my application. I have about 3+ years of experience as a Software Engineer and would love your feedback.
Application Category: Exceptional Promise
CEO of a Telecommunications company I have known for over three years and knows my work personally, as we have worked together previously.
Head of Business Transformation at a bank in my country, which I have known for over three years, mentored me and knows my work personally.
CEO at a fintech where I worked previously.
NOTE: My LORs are about 5-7 pages as they are signed using DocuSign and contain my DocuSigns’ certificates, log files & recommender’s CVs.
UK EdTech Startup A I currently work at:
It consists of being the #1 contributor at the startup, pictures of a few features I have built at the startup that prestigious schools have used, traction at the company, documentation, and architecture diagrams I created.
YC Fintech Startup I worked, lead the frontend team:
It consists of being the #1 contributor at the startup, pictures of the product’s dashboard I built that show metrics of the product’s success, and the product with a 4.5-star rating on playStore and appStore, my appraisal for that year with a 98% score, backed by LOR 3.
It consists of a portion of my contract at EdTech, my increment in the past 18 months, equity, and bonuses. It also compares with my country’s average pay of software engineers from Payscale & glassdoor.
The reference letter from the CEO backing the pieces of evidence in MC 1 is in a format similar to my LORs.
Hackathon I competed in and became Top 8 of hundreds of applicants nationwide.
It consists of email threads getting accepted to the hackathon, successfully scaling through the preliminaries, pictures of me presenting my solution on stage, the audiences & judges, and me receiving my certificate from a judge from making the Top 8.
NGO I was part of that taught digital skills to students across universities nationwide.
It consists of pictures of me presenting/teaching students about VR, a picture of myself and the team, an email thread from the NGO regarding the outreach, and student feedback.
The reference letter from the executive director of the NGO confirming my contributions and is in the same format as my LORs.
Another EdTech I worked at:
It consists of being the #1 contributor at the startup, pictures of the product/dashboard, tasks assigned to me while working there (used a snag tracker, linked attached with date created), documentation created with architecture diagrams (dated also, link attached), links to videos I uploaded on youtube years back about the product.
The reference letter from the COO of the EdTech above confirming my contributions and is in the same format as my LORs.
Another fintech I worked at:
It consists of pictures of the repository, figma board, jira board, pictures of the product.
Ensure that they were senior in the Digital Tech and know your DETAIL work for more than 12 months. Read more in the TN guideline.
MC: You will need to do some revise/rework on your MC a bit more.
#1 contributor?? Does it mean you were the first one? What was the impact of your work?
High remuneration: You will need to compare it with the same country average salary.
OC 2: I think this is still too weak.
hackathon: Not winning #1 winner is still a weak evidence.
You contribution/presentation needs to be in a famous digital tech event with more than 100 people joined.
I can only see the list of work you did in the past, but not business impact. OC3 is mainly about the impact. The best form of evidence are reports, presentation, figures, graphs, dashboard or anything about numbers. LOR can only support and confirm the authenticity of those.
Overall comments: You are still not meeting the exceptional promise yet. Or you may need to adjust your application evidence and try to build your profile a bit more. I hope this helps @ibrahim
LOR 1: I have worked previously (directly) at a previous startup, and he knows my work. I will make sure that is emphasized.
MC 1: #1 contributor, meaning highest contributor to the codebase with X commits. In my evidence, I spoke about how I was a critical engineer in increasing the valuation from X to Y. I would love to ask what example of picture evidence would be suited for MC aside from images of the products./tasks carried out?
High remuneration was compared with my country’s average salary from Glassdoor and Payscale.
Letters of recommendation:
You need to fit everything into 3 pages or there is a risk. I advise you to use a paper signature or a signature with a pdf reader. There are a lot of problems with docusign (logs, etc.).
In MS you need to prove leadership in the industry. Contribution to a startup needs to be proven in OS3. If you through working in a startup want to show industry leadership, the startup should be very outstanding in my opinion. Try to reflect those proofs that emphasize you specifically in the context of industry leadership.
High remuneration can validate your leadership, but it needs to be compared to official statistics in the country of receiving it. Subjectively, it should be 2.5-3 times the average among similar professionals to be relevant.
In this criterion you need to show a contribution outside of work to the development of the industry.
Participation in a hackathon does not develop the industry. If you organize a hackathon - then yes.
Teaching digital skills to students may be suitable, but it is important to emphasize that it was not work. Show the number of students trained and the value. It may be worth breaking this information up into multiple evidences if there is a lot of content.
Why exactly are you a significant person in this startup(s)? Try to answer the question “why couldn’t the average employee do this” with this evidence.
Really weak case so far, hopefully was able to help. But the main thing here is not to give up. If you have this goal - you will achieve it.