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A review of LaiOffer as a software engineer interview prep tool

Updated in 2023

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now software engineering mentor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of software engineers to help them land their dream job. Check out my review of LaiOffer.

What does LaiOffer do?

LaiOffer is a Chinese company that works with people on their software engineering technical skills and job search. The courses are completely in Chinese as are all of their online resources (blog posts and videos). So, if you do not speak the language, you will not be able to participate. 

They offer courses in software development essentials, full-stack development, AI & data engineering, and planning and decision-making for self-driving cars. Recently, LaiOffer created a UX design bootcamp as well and they are working on a C++ in production course.

Who is LaiOffer for?

The mission of LaiOffer is to help Chinese young professionals break into the tech industry. By keeping their courses and resources in Chinese, they ensure that they are only working with those who speak the language. The software development, full-stack development, AI/data engineering, and UX bootcamp courses do not have prerequisites required. But, previous knowledge of the field is needed for the self-driving car program as well as the C++ course.

What does LaiOffer cost? How much work is involved?

Users register for a course to get started and then complete an assessment so that they know their skillset. For example, with the software development course, if a student comes in with no experience, then they can do a 1-month bootcamp to learn Java and then join the next cohort. For students who already have the necessary skills, they can go right into the 3-month program.

The courses cost between $5,000 and $8,000. They last between 12 weeks and 16 weeks, depending on the subject matter. Students are expected to spend around 8-15 hours per week on the classes alone. They are also assigned homework assignments on a separate platform similar to Leetcode, which is only open to their students. They do not share recordings of the classes for the most part. So, students must attend every class in order to receive the information.

Ratings and reviews

There are no reviews of LaiOffer online in English and very few in Chinese that can be translated. Anecdotally, though, they are known for engaging in some predatory practices on college campuses. 

They typically host information sessions for college students from China and hammer in on their fear of being unable to find a job in the United States. Even online, the founder has posted fear-inducing stats, such as “98% [of the Chinese college students in the US] have to return to China” because they cannot find a job that will sponsor them. 

LaiOffer is known for their offer board, where they post their students’ accepted positions each week. A large number of these positions are at Amazon, some at Google, Lyft, and other tech companies.

Alternatives to LaiOffer

  • Online courses, like the ones offered at Springboard and Udacity, are more well known and English-based alternatives to LaiOffer. For users looking to learn or advance technical skills, there are a lot of options that are less expensive or less time needed than LaiOffer.
  • Codeacademy, for example, teaches courses in computer science and coding for free. They also offer memberships that are around $20-$40 per month.
  • Similarly, there is Coursera, which provides college courses from $29 all the way to $25,000.
  • Udemy is an online learning platform with over 100,000 online video courses in a wide variety of topics. Udemy students can pick & choose the classes, often paying around $10 per class.
  • For more advanced software engineers who are mainly looking to practice technical interview questions in preparation for their interviews, there are websites that compile software engineering questions, like HackerRank and Leetcode.
  • Software engineers can use the tracks offered by Educative to brush up on skills or practice for specific-language interviews.
  • In terms of Chinese-language programs, the biggest alternative to LaiOffer is a company called Jiuzhang. This has a much shorter timeframe and lower price tag ($199). It is more focused on technical prep for upcoming interviews. 

We compiled a list of resources to practice software engineer interview questions that you can use to decide the best one for you.

How does LaiOffer compare to Pathrise?

There are a fair number of differences between LaiOffer and Pathrise. Of course, one of the main elements is that LaiOffers only operates in Chinese and their program is focused on only Chinese users. Since they have such specific classes and schedules, LaiOffer is less personalized than Pathrise, which tailors the curriculum and sessions around each fellow’s background, experiences, and needs. LaiOffer does provide more technically heavy instruction than Pathrise. But, they don’t spend as much time on their resume guidance or behavioral interview instruction.

In addition, the time commitment for LaiOffer classes is often 15+ hours per week, with a regimented class schedule. But, at Pathrise, our fellows spend 4 hours a week on dedicated sessions with their advisor. We have a flexible curriculum that gives our fellows the opportunity to work 1-on-1 with their advisors on their own schedule,with the opportunity to schedule ad hoc sessions when they need help the most (ex: before an interview or when they receive an offer). The personalization and 1-on-1 guidance is one of the elements that sets Pathrise apart from LaiOffer, which has a much higher ratio of students to advisors, making it difficult for 1-on-1 interactions.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, we’ve seen our fellows interview scores double.

If you want to work with any of our mentors 1-on-1 to get help with your software engineer interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow. 

Apply today.

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Brian Wong

Brian Wong is an experienced senior software engineer and has worked at top bay area startups and organizations. In his free time, Brian works with Pathrise SWE fellows to help them land their dream job and learn insider tips on how to ace technical interviews.

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