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Frequently asked questions

Committing to a one-year course is a big deal.

That’s why we want to give you the answer to every possible question.

If you cannot find the answer to your question on this page, please reach out to us at Looking forward to talking with you!


Who are you?

QUEST is a non-degree, tech education program for migrants in Berlin. 

We are based within CODE University of Applied Sciences, an accredited Berlin university that offers an innovative, curiosity-driven approach to tech education.

Through CODE, we can support our participants in their pursuit to become a:

  • Full-Stack Web Developer
  • User Interface Designer

QUEST works to support migrants in overcoming any obstacles left standing between them and their careers in the German tech industry!

Why are you only offering places to migrants?

People with a migration history may face particular barriers when trying to establish their careers in the German tech industry. And these obstacles can be even greater for migrants who are from populations that are historically underrepresented in the industry. In addition to that, the migrant community in Germany is, by its nature, diverse.

In targeting our support towards migrants to Germany, QUEST is able to focus its resources where they can have the biggest impact while simultaneously working towards its vision of a thriving, diverse and inclusive future of digital product development in Germany.

Why is this program important?

Many talented people with a migration history may face particular barriers when trying to establish or continue their careers in tech that are not being addressed by existing support structures. 

At the same time the German tech industry is currently searching for 10s of thousands of skilled IT workers to fill open positions so that it can continue to grow and remain globally competitive.

With easily accessible vocational education, a supportive community, and networking opportunities for our program participants, we create opportunities for both:

-> untapped, diverse talents to [re-]enter the German tech industry
-> companies to find skilled. diverse talents to grow their teams.

What does the free one-year program include?

Participants at QUEST receive:

  • University education
  • 1:1 job search coaching
  • Career workshops
  • Soft-skills training 
  • Community and events 
  • An extensive professional network within the vibrant start-up ecosystem in Berlin
  • One year access to CODE’s state-of-the-art campus
  • The opportunity to gain official ECTS credits 
  • A certificate and micro-credentials verifying their new skills

How are you different from other programs?

We offer a well-rounded, holistic approach to vocational training that better prepares our participants for their future careers. We don’t just teach (soft) skills, we offer a learning environment that encourages these skills to blossom organically.

Prepare yourself for fantastic networking opportunities. Our position within CODE provides our participants with access to a vast professional network within the vibrant Berlin start-up ecosystem.

QUEST offers an individualized learning plan. Although you will receive lots of guidance, there are ultimately no one-size-fits-all options here at QUEST. Our participants can adapt their education and training plan with support from the experts at CODE and the QUEST team. Our participants are all individuals with their own strengths, challenges, learning styles, and personal ambitions, and their journey at QUEST will reflect that.

Where are you located?

QUEST is based within CODE University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, and we are located on their campus.

The campus is currently on the 4th floor of the Factory Berlin building at Görlitzer Park: Lohmühlenstraße 65, 12435 Berlin

Soon, CODE will move to a new campus which will be located in Berlin-Neukölln, Karl-Marx-Str. 101 (nearest metro station: U7 Rathaus Neukölln). We will be part of the new real estate project named KALLE Neukölln.

How are you funded?

We are funded by the Andreas Gerl Stiftung and CODE University of Applied Sciences.

We receive no funding from the German state.

Interested in joining forces with us at QUEST? Your support drives lasting impacts for individuals while shaping the future of technology.

Connect with us to explore funding options and exclusive partner benefits.

What is Techstart - are you the same program?

No. QUEST is a new program. However, it evolved from Techstart which took place from 2021-2023 at CODE University of Applied Sciences.

Techstart was discontinued in June 2023.


Who can apply?

We are on a QUEST to support migrants in their pursuit for a successful career in the German tech industry.

You are eligible if you:

  • Have a migration history 
  • Are a member of a community that is underrepresented* in the German tech sector
  • Are facing particular obstacles* that are preventing you from career success in Germany
*Underrepresented communities such as womxn, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, people with a history of forced migration… (Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and we welcome all applicants to explain why this program is perfect for them.)
*Barriers and obstacles are, by nature, personal; therefore, we don’t define specific barriers. Instead, we invite you in the application to tell us about your challenges and why you believe that you are a great fit for QUEST.



In addition to that you must have:

  • A valid residency and work permit in Berlin*
  • Conversational English skills
  • 30hr/week on average depending on your skill level
  • Basic tech literacy and preliminary skills in your field of interest. Whether acquired through work experience, self study, university, bootcamp, etc. doesn’t matter.
*If your are in the process of applying for your residency/work permit please apply anyway. We need you to have those two papers by the beginning of the semester in September 2023.

Do I have to be in Berlin

Yes. To participate you have to be in Berlin for the duration of the program. There is no remote option.

Do I need any knowledge in tech?

Yes. Basic tech literacy is required. And any previous experience in your field of interest is a plus (the more the better)! Whether acquired through work experience, self study, university, bootcamp, etc doesn’t matter.

Do I need to speak German?

No. But you should be able to understand and communicate in English without problems.

Do you require proof of English language proficiency?

No. But you should be able to understand and communicate in English without problems.

If you are unsure about your level, we recommend just taking a chance and applying anyway. Your English doesn’t need to be perfect – we believe that you can improve your spoken and written language skills during the program. Bear in mind that the entire admissions process is in English and all communication with the QUEST team will be in English from the moment you apply to the moment to “graduate”.

Which documents do I need to apply?

During the application process we ask you to submit the following documents:

  • Your CV
  • A photo
  • A scan/photo of your residency and work permit in Germany/Berlin


-> We do not ask for any school, university or language certificates.

I didn’t graduate from high school. Can I still participate in QUEST?


Although you get the full university experience at QUEST, we don’t actually enroll you at CODE University of Applied Sciences. Your status as a guest on campus means that you don’t have to have a higher education entrance qualification in order to participate at QUEST.

I’m already an expert software developer. Is QUEST the right place for me?

Well, I guess we should first talk a little more before we can answer your question. What do you want to achieve by participating in our program? Did you feel something was lacking in your previous education? We are up for anything, as long as we feel that QUEST can honestly help you learn something and get where you want to get in your career. Let’s have a cup of coffee or tea and talk it out.

Can you summarize all admission requirements again?

Sure!  🙂 

The admission requirements are:

  • A migration history
  • Underrepresented in tech and/or facing particular obstacles
  • Eligible for residency and work permit in Germany 
  • Conversational English level
  • Time commitment of 30hr/week on average depending on your skill level
  • Basic tech literacy and preliminary skills in your field of interest. (Whether acquired through work experience, self study, university, bootcamp, etc. doesn’t matter.)
  • Must be in Berlin for the duration of the program

What is the deadline for submitting my application?

Applications open in March 2024. We will publish the exact dates soon.

We only accept online applications that are submitted through the form we provide on our website.

Yay! I meet all criteria. How can I apply?

Applications open in March 2024. You will then be able to apply online through this website. The first step is to answer our questionnaire about your motivation, background, and professional goals.


How do you teach?

QUEST is embedded in the structures of CODE University of Applied Sciences and therefore follows their curiosity-driven and project-based learning concept.

This learning style is probably very different from what you may know from your past experiences.

Please take a look at the website of CODE ↗ University of Applied Sciences to have an idea of what it means to learn curiosity-driven and project-based.

Hint: You must have a strong sense of discipline to learn on your own and the courage and motivation to reach out for help when you need it.

Who are my teachers going to be?

As you will be attending the same academic events as the regular students at CODE, you will also be taught by the same professors, researchers and lecturers who share CODE’s drive for excellence and support our educational approach.

You can see the academic team here!

Is attendance mandatory at QUEST?

Yes. Attendance is mandatory but there is flexibility depending on circumstances. You will need to speak to the professors of your study path if you have specific personal issues that interfere with your attendance.


Do I need a laptop?


Your most important tool will be your notebook computer. It should be less than three years old and reasonably equipped for the tasks that await you.

If you won’t be able to afford a suitable computer, please get in touch with us. We can offer a limited number of notebooks for you to use (for free).

Will I get student status at CODE?


Although you’ve got access to everything CODE offers, as QUEST participant you are not enrolled as a student but invited to learn at CODE as a guest.

What kind of software are we going to use during the program?

We won’t tell you what the right tool is for the projects you are going to work on. Find out for yourself. You probably already have your favorite, don’t you? Then continue to use it.

Are there any breaks or holidays?

Yes. Of course! No one can work 365 days a year, even if you love what you do. We take a break over Christmas and for the whole month of January.


Is this a full-time course?

QUEST is designed as a part-time course. We ask you to invest on average 30hr/week depending on your skill level (beginners will have to invest more time than intermediate or advanced participants).

If you have more time to spare, that’s great! Depending on space available, you may even have the option to add more classes to your schedule.

How is QUEST inclusive?

QUEST at CODE sees diversity, equity and inclusion as an opportunity to cultivate a culture of participation for everyone and their specific skills and characteristics. We provide a safer space for migrants with varying backgrounds to feel welcome and a sense of belonging in our community.

For this reason, respect, recognition and empowerment of all members of the university and QUEST have the highest priority—regardless of gender, abilities, cultural or ethnic background, religion or belief, age, sexual identity or preference or other reasons that may lead to discrimination and/or exclusion

Which concrete steps do you undertake to foster inclusivity?

  • Using pronoun stickers we choose for ourselves at community events
  • Name and pronoun changes are always possible and embraced
  • We have everyone sign our Code of Conduct
  • Our campus offers gender neutral and accessible bathrooms, as well as bathrooms for women only
  • CODE has a DEI Task Force you can join or submit requests or ideas to for change!
  • English-language use by all students and team members while on campus
  • Learn whenever you like: Campus is open 24/7
  • Our campus is family and pet friendly. If you ever struggle with child or pet care obligations, just bring your kid(s) and/or pet(s) with you
  • DEI events throughout the semester

If you have any suggestions or general feedback regarding our DEI policies, we would love to hear them. Together, we want to learn from and with each other, identify blind spots, and challenge ourselves to become more inclusive as an organization and as a community. Connect with the DEI Task Force for more information.

Do you offer any soft-skills courses?

Yes. All classes from CODE’s Interpersonal Skills Program are open for you to attend if there is space available and if you have the time.

In addition to that we at QUEST organize a few complementary workshops for you.

Do I have to speak English at QUEST?

Yes. We are an English-speaking community. In order to include all our diverse participants, we ask that everyone at QUEST (including faculty and staff) speak only English with each other.

If you are unsure about your level, we recommend just taking a chance and applying anyways. Our entire admission process is in English, so please be aware of this fact..

Do you help me find housing in Berlin?

No. Unfortunately, we can not offer assistance with housing.


What exactly do you offer in terms of career support?

We offer one-on-one mentoring sessions and complimentary workshops by former tech recruiter and job search coach Annie Li. Annie offers end-to-end job search support, including a diagnosis of each student’s main challenge throughout the job search process, the creation of a job search strategy, CV reviews, mock interviews and debriefs, and additional resources for job boards or networking groups.

Dedicated Slack channel

Access to CODE’s job slack channel where students, alumni, CODE partners, and team members post current job opportunities

Partner Day

Every year, CODE invites its partner companies to campus for a fantastic Partner Day. This special event is designed to give you and our partners the chance to get to know each other better and to find out whether you might want to work together in the future.

Workshops & Networking Events

Throughout the year we organize career-related workshops and talks for QUEST and invite you to attend networking events together.

Can you guarantee that I will get a good job offer after I graduate from QUEST?

There are no guarantees in life, you know that. But we are super confident about your prospects. At QUEST you will have ample opportunities to get in touch with tech companies in Berlin and Germany.

On top of that, all Questers become part of the CODE community upon admission. Being a member of this network really sets you up for finding lots of valuable opportunities, contacts, and future colleagues/employers.


Is QUEST really free of charge?

Yes!  The tuition fees and program costs are covered by our funders.

However, during the program you must still cover your costs of living (rent, public transport, etc.) by yourself.

What about tuition fees?

Your tuition fees are covered by our funders. You don’t have to pay anything in order to attend our classes.

Are there any other fees?


We are fully transparent about this. No application fee, no admission fee, no examination fee. There are simply no fees.

Can I get a discounted BVG ticket?

No. Although you’ve got access to everything CODE offers, as QUEST participant you are not enrolled as a student but invited to learn at CODE as a guest.

Therefore, you don’t have an official student status and are not eligible for any discounts offered to students, including the BVG student ticket.

Can I be a working student for the duration of the course?

It depends. To become a working student you must be enrolled at a university.

As QUEST participant you are not enrolled as a student at CODE and therefore participating in our program is not sufficient to be eligible for a working student position.

In the past, however, some participants were enrolled at other universities at the same time that they were learning with us. If this is the case for you, then you are eligible to apply for working student positions.

Can you pay my rent?

No. As much as we would love to hand out full scholarships we simply can’t afford to do that. You have to cover all your private expenses on your own, including your rent.