How to Get Into Code Chrysalis — All About Our Admissions Process

Your guide to Code Chrysalis admissions success!

Do you have what it takes to get into the Code Chrysalis Immersive?

Here is a step-by-step guide about how to get into the Code Chrysalis Immersive if you are an absolute tech beginner through self-study.

One of the questions that we get the most is how to get into our Immersive. A lot of people think that our course is only for those who have prior technical experience, but many of our graduates (and me!!), come from completely non-technical backgrounds.

Self-Study vs. Foundations

We have a part-time, five-week introduction to programming course called Foundations. It is absolutely not necessary to take Foundations to get into the Immersive.

You should consider taking Foundations if:

  • you like learning in a structured, classroom setting
  • you need to add consistency to your studies
  • you would like to progress at an accelerated pace

Otherwise, this blog post covers what you need to do in order to self-study your way into our Immersive program.

Our Admissions Process

Our process is divided into 2 parts:
(1) passing the admissions coding challenge, and
(2) completing the technical assessment with the support of our instructors.

After that, you just have to work on precourse before class begins!

1. Learn Coding Basics

DO: An online JavaScript-only coding course

We recommend Codecademy or Khanacademy Intro to JavaScript courses, but there are definitely a lot of other great ones out there! These programs are a nice way to ease yourself into learning JavaScript’s syntax, but they should be considered supplemental resources.

Our admissions process does not involve any HTML or CSS, so you don’t need to learn them to get in.

ALSO READ: Read Eloquent JavaScript 2nd Edition Chapters 1 through 3

Please use the 2nd edition and not the 3rd edition.

  • The 2nd edition does not contain something called ES6, which is a newer version of JavaScript. We love ES6 (and use it and its successors for everything at Code Chrysalis), but we don’t recommend it for beginners.
  • Introducing a different syntax before being fully comfortable with the original syntax and functions can lead to a lot of strange gaps in understanding.

We highly recommend the online version because there are a lot of code snippet examples that you can play around in.

// Original syntax
function addOne(num) {
return num + 1;
// ES6 syntax
const addOne = num => num + 1;
// You can also do ++num, but we wrote it out for beginner-clarity.

ALSO DO: The exercises at the end of EJS Chapters 2 & 3

Do all of the exercises WITHOUT looking at the solutions. At this point, it is entirely reasonable to spend at least an hour on each problem. Please avoid looking at the solution by all means possible.

If you are struggling or lost, go back through the current (and previous) chapter to look for clues.

2. Complete the Admissions Coding Challenge

READ & DO: Start reading Chapter 4 after you finish Chapter 3 & do exercises at the bottom

  • As always, do not look at the solutions before coming up with your own.
  • This chapter gets much tougher — -so go back and reread it. I suggest hopping back and forth between the exercises at the bottom of the chapter and the chapter itself.

ALSO DO: Work on online coding challenges.

Here are some suggestions:

  • CodeWars — Start with 8kyu, the easiest level.
  • Coderbyte — They provide 10 free coding challenges so do those 10!
  • CodeSignal — Their tutorial leads you through a series of coding challenges that are great practice.

LATER, DO: Try to complete our online coding challenge and submit your application!

The coding challenge will cover the following concepts:

  1. basic data types
  2. arrays
  3. loops
  4. conditionals
  5. function declarations and invocations
  6. objects

If you’re having trouble figuring out the coding challenge, it’ a good indication that there are still some gaps in your knowledge. We suggest doing more exercises and making sure you are understanding all of the new concepts.

3. Prepare for the Technical Interview

After you successfully apply, it’s time to start preparing for the next step. The technical interview is a one-on-one pair programming session with one of the instructors. We work with you through some short coding challenges to see if you have met our technical bar.

Additional topics the technical interview covers include:

  • higher order functions
  • the `return` keyword
  • callbacks

DO: Review Chapters 1–4 of EJS

Be patient with yourself and do a thorough review of previous chapters, including redoing past exercises WITHOUT looking at your old code or the solution.

READ: Chapter 5 of EJS

This section is the most confusing of them all, so take your time. Avoid the following sections:

  • JSON
  • “The Cost” through “Binding”

Don’t be afraid to try to break or play around with the examples that are provided in the chapter.

DO: Complete the exercises at the bottom of EJS Chapter 5

No looking at the solution! If you’re stuck, go back up the chapter to help yourself.

4. Complete the Technical Interview

Applicants who fall short will be provided with homework and advice for what to work on and invited to take the interview again.

Our admissions process is free, and we almost never truly reject someone, rather we tell you to study a bit more then try again. There is no limit to how many times you can try again.

We support all applicants as long as they show perseverance, growth, and improvement.

Here is what we look for in our technical interview:

  • are they nice people to work with?
  • how well do they communicate?
  • how open are they to feedback?
  • how do they respond to frustration?
  • how well do they understand the concepts?

If you meet our technical bar, you will be admitted into our Immersive program. Congratulations!


Please note that despite this article being only a few paragraphs, the above can take anywhere from 1 month (if you’re studying full-time) or longer depending on your attitude, consistency of study, and aptitude.

For working adults, you’ll find that learning how to code is a good test of your patience and perseverance.

Learning how to code is really hard! For many of us, we are changing the way we think and that’s often something we haven’t experienced since we were children.

Overarching Tips & Advice

  • Coding is not the same as reading. You’re never going to get anywhere by just reading online materials — -the real progress comes from writing code, getting errors, and fixing them.
  • Don’t ignore the red squiggles — -they’re there to let you know something’s wrong.
  • Be careful of syntax — -make sure your opening (, { and [ have a corresponding ], }, and ) in the right place.
  • Errors are friends! It’s tough to see them this way in the beginning, but you’ll soon find that having an error that you are warned about is better than having a silent error.
  • Be patient. A common error that beginners make is jumping into using complicated technologies before they even have the basics down. Ignore React, ignore Node. You’ll learn those faster and easier once you understand the code that builds them.
  • Stick to one language for now. Beginners often get the peculiarities of a language mixed up with overarching programming concepts. A way to avoid that is simply focusing on one language very well in the beginning and then moving onto another.

Tips from Current Students & Graduates

“Actually read Eloquent JavaScript, don’t just skim through it. And do the examples. Be ready to study hard. And Codewars.” — Charles Liu, CC6
“If you want to apply for this course and you have [a full-time] job, you should focus on getting into the course.” — Toru Eguchi, CC6
“Review the basics and understand your fundamentals. Put your time in on learning these things!” — Dustin Tran, CC5

Code Chrysalis is a coding and English school located in the heart of Tokyo. Our programs include a 12-week advanced software engineering bootcamp, a beginner coding course, and an English communication immersive.

See why we are an industry leader in tech education in Japan.

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