guide to coding bootcamps and coronavirus

Schools and universities may be scrambling to figure out remote learning, but coding bootcamps have essentially been preparing for this since 2013. Online coding bootcamps already use Zoom video, Slack, GitHub, and VS Code Live Share for pair programming, online lectures, and to connect mentors and instructors with students. Of course, you can learn to code online – but it doesn’t stop there! Maybe you’ve needed to learn SQL for a while, or sharpen your data science skills, or wrap your head around UX Design. All of these digital skills are being taught online (not to mention, these are jobs that can be done remotely). Online bootcamps have been perfecting the online learning experience for years – and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many in-person bootcamps are launching remote options. If you’re dreaming of a career change while stuck indoors, working from home, or quarantined, then here are our tips:

4 Tips: Choose the Right Online Bootcamp

  1. Start with this list of every bootcamp with an online campus and our picks for the 22 best online bootcamps.

  2. Figure out your own goals.

Your Goal: To completely launch a new career in 3-6 months

How to get there: Choose a full-time, remote coding bootcamp with career services. Hack Reactor Remote, Thinkful’s Engineering Immersion, and General Assembly’s Software Engineering Immersive Remote. These bootcamps teach digital skills like UX design, data science, and software development and require a full-time commitment. Look for outcomes-oriented curricula that include one-on-one instructor/mentor guidance, interaction with classmates, and targeted career coaching. Ask to see the school’s graduation rate, placement rate, and median starting salary, preferably via a framework like CIRR.

Your Goal: You have a full-time job, but want to eventually work in a technical job. 

How to get there: Look for a part-time online bootcamp. This will take more time and self-discipline, but you can still land a job after a part-time bootcamp. Eg. SpringboardThinkful's Flex CoursesSoftware Guild OnlineCareerFoundry or Flatiron School Online.

Your Goal: To add a new skill to your toolbox, but not necessarily transition to a new career.

How to get there: Complete a self-guided online course. Udacity, Udemy, codecademy. If you can learn from recorded lectures and self-direction, then these low-cost options are perfect. If you need more support, look for a program with live instruction and interaction with mentors.

  1. Decide on your price range using this breakdown of online coding bootcamp costs. Worried about the job market after graduating? Look into online bootcamps with Deferred Tuition options like Springboard and Money Back Tuition Guarantees like Thinkful and Flatiron School.

  2. Attend Info Sessions Before Committing. For example, attend a JavaScript The Hard Parts workshop on Tuesday evenings before committing to Codesmith's Part-time Remote Software Engineering Immersive

 

Learning online is certainly different than learning in the classroom. When The Software Guild expanded into an online classroom (after offering in-person bootcamps for years), they took this lesson: “The most critical lesson we've learned from our online program is the importance of building a relationship and community with the students. It's easy to leave someone to their own devices to go through the material on their own, but having that personal touch of a mentor relationship, progress evaluations, feedback, and checkpoints to show they are moving in the right direction, is key to successfully finishing the program and finding a career as a software developer.” Luckily, online bootcamps have been perfecting the online classroom for years. 

3 Tips for Success while Learning from Home:

  1. Carve Out Time for The Online Course

    • Be aware of all your obligations, then set up your Google calendar before the course. Block off time to deal with family, day job, & other obligations and then defend your study time!

    • Know when to ask for help. As a general rule, after 30 minutes, it’s time to ask for some help.

    • Choose Your Environment! If you’re surrounded by other people, it may be distracting. Find a coffee shop, coworking space, or library. Get away from everything so you can focus without distractions. And if that's not possible (ahem: maybe you're quarantined), then take Georgie Gow's advice: “I used noise-canceling headphones. I found it handy that I have two computer monitors at work and a laptop. I would pull up the video on one monitor and study materials on another.”

  2. Make The Most of Your Support Network

    • You need a network of support to help you go through a coding bootcamp. Make sure your family and friends know you’ll be working really hard and that they’re rooting for you

    • Work closely with staff and your peers at the bootcamp. These people are your first level of technical support, moral support, and will help you build soft skills. Leverage these systems to help you get through the program

    • Share the projects you make and show people what you’re doing, like this Thinkful team which built a virtual drum circle. Share projects on Facebook or social media

  3. Always Be Coding. The only way to get better at writing code is to write more code. Contribute to open-source projects, work through practice problems and real interview questions on Coderbyte, Hackerrank or Project Euler.

Bootcamp Scholarships for Anyone Impacted by COVID-19:

At Course Report, we have been keeping tabs on how coding bootcamps are responding to and meeting the needs of their current and upcoming cohorts. We’ve seen in-person coding bootcamps transition to delivering live remote instruction, and also a lot of new hardship scholarships and initiatives to support students breaking into tech now. 

  • Promineo Tech is giving away 3 full-ride scholarships to their online software developer program.

  • Codesmith gave their current students $1,000 remote stipends to set up their homes for remote learning

  • Lighthouse Labs announced their COVID-19 Scholarship Fund of $500,000 for people whose jobs, or studies have been impacted by the recent COVID-19 crisis. These scholarships will help provide many people across the country with skills that can launch new careers, and get them back to work during these unsettling times. These scholarships are open for both full time and part time courses, with $5,000 being offered for full time, and $750 being offered for part time. 

  • Thinkful announced $1.5MM in scholarships. For those whose livelihood has been affected by COVID-19, Thinkful is offering the first 30 days of Flexible courses for free. If you have been impacted and want to commit to a full-time program, Thinkful is offering $4,000 off the total cost of Immersion programs in Engineering, UX/UI Design, Data Analytics and Data Science.

  • Launch School announced a $25,000 fund in initiatives that cover 3 areas: 1) hardship scholarships, 2) tuition-reimbursement work opportunities, and 3) no-interest loans.

  • Coding Dojo had to make the difficult decision to do layoffs, but also launched a volunteer-led program called Developers for America to help support businesses needing web development services during the COVID-19 crisis.

Updates from Coding Bootcamps Regarding Coronavirus:

General Assembly

From General Assembly’s blog: “In light of COVID-19 developments, we have put in place precautionary measures to keep our community safe. As we all make sense of the evolving situation, General Assembly is guided by two priorities: ensuring safety and health while minimizing disruption to our learners. As of March 16th, like many education providers, we’re offering all of our workshops and courses remotely. The good news is, we’ve done this for thousands of people across all of our programs and know how to do it well. Our instructors and teams are laser-focused on maintaining a high-quality experience for our students. To learn more about our approach to online learning and best practices for remote classrooms, check out this video.”

Galvanize/Hack Reactor

From Galvanize’s blog: “As of Monday, March 16th, our in-person bootcamp classes will be temporarily shifted to being Live Online. We are doing this to enable greater social distancing by reducing the number of people and interactions on our campuses. Our full-time remote data science program provides the exact same Python-based curriculum, real-world case studies, and machine learning concepts as the in-person programs. The full-time remote Hack Reactor software engineering bootcamp offers the exact same modernized curriculum as the in-person program, which is optimized for academic rigor and efficiency.”

Codeworks

For now, all Codeworks classes in Spain have been moved to remote. They are supporting all students who haven't worked or studied remotely before, and helping them stay in line with the local rules.

Brainstation

BrainStation moved all learners to online on March 12th, and officially closed its physical campuses on March 17th, with students transitioning to online formats. All students that were enrolled in our programs and courses are now completing their studies online through Online Live. BrainStation has over 70 Online Live courses kicking off this spring. Brainstation’s monthly industry events, including panel discussions, workshops, and info sessions have also moved online. BrainStation’s courses, programs, and events will continue online as per the suggestions of local governments and public health agencies. Brainstation will continue to follow updates and developments closely to determine an appropriate resume date for in-person digital skills training. Please send questions to contact@brainstation.io and it will be forwarded to the appropriate BrainStation department.

Flatiron School

From Flatiron School's Blog: "Based on guidance received from local and national governmental authorities, we:

  • Transitioned our Seattle campus to remote instruction on March 6th, 2020,

  • Transitioned our New York and San Francisco campuses to remote instruction on March 11th, 2020, 

  • Transitioned our Tampa, Colorado Springs, and Denver SecureSet campuses to remote instruction on March 16th, 2020, and

  • Transitioned our remaining campuses to remote instruction on March 16, 2020.

The move to remote-instruction across all our campuses is temporary, and we expect to reopen on-campus instruction as soon as it is safe to do so, based on guidance received from the authorities in each of the cities where we operate; We intend to keep all previously-published campus program start-dates, where applicable, and, where necessary and permitted by local regulators, have students begin their program with remote instruction, for as long as it is recommended for the safety of our community;  Online programming is continuing as expected."

Project Shift

From a Project Shift Email: "As an organization, we're making every effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in accordance to the advice and guidance of our public health leaders. This means that as an "in-person" program, we've adopted some remote strategies but in a way that continues to encourage a small, tight-knit classroom and hands-on learning environment. Here's what this means for current students and staff:

  • Our current immersive program (they're on Week 10 of 13) is working via a remote classroom.
  • All our staff is able to work from home.
  • Our Prep Course, like our immersive program, is being offered remote.
  • If you're applying for any of our upcoming programs, we invite you to interview with us remotely via video chat."

Tech Elevator

From Tech Elevator's website, "due to today's COVID-19 climate and recommendations and mandates from state governments, we have made the following decisions:

  • All in-person learning has moved to live, online classes
  • All in-person interviewing events have moved to live, virtual interviews with hiring partners
  • All in-person Open Houses have moved to virtual Open House events
  • All Learn to Code events are postponed until further notice
  • All interviews for summer 2020 and fall 2020 bootcamp applications will be conducted virtually"

Sabio

From Sabio’s blog: “In-person campuses are open for students that are feeling well, and that are able to come into campus. All of our locations have ample cleaning supplies like soap, warm water, and plenty of Clorox wipes to keep the facility clean… We are 100% confident we will begin new cohorts (April 11th and April 13th cohorts) in April online and at our three locations. VA students get paid a monthly housing allowance while they are students at Sabio. If a student trains with us in-person their monthly housing stipend is larger than those VA students that train with us via Remote Login. For this reason, our three residential locations are still open. We do not want to put our Military Veterans’ financial well being in jeopardy by closing our physical locations. We would only close our physical training locations if the U.S. Veteran Administration allows us to do so and we are given certainty that our Military Veteran Students will not be negatively impacted… Our online course is open and 100% free for anyone that is looking to pick-up awesome tech skills during this difficult time. Also, our Free Online PreWork class does come with 6 hours of weekly live support via Zoom Video Conference.”

DevMountain

Remote courses are still scheduled and running.  

DigitalCrafts

From Digitalcrafts’s blog: “All classes are in session and enrolling classes will proceed on schedule.  Classes are currently being delivered remotely until further notice, with April 10th as our current target for a return to in-person instruction.”

Metis

From Metis’s blog: “Metis does not plan to delay start dates or cancel programs due to COVID-19. Metis has temporarily transitioned at least the first two weeks of the in-person Spring program, which starts March 30, to live online (remote, synchronous) instruction. While we hope to be back in the classroom after week two, we will make that decision based on guidance from local and national governmental authorities, as we want to ensure we are taking responsible action and doing what’s right by our students and staff to keep everyone safe and healthy. For students who are already enrolled in an upcoming cohort, we will communicate any details about specific classes via email and Slack.”

Codesmith

From Codesmith’s blog: “All onsite events will transition to a remote setting, including pair programming sessions, info sessions, and JavaScript workshops, beginning March 12th. The onsite Software Engineering Immersive Program at our New York City and Los Angeles locations will be completely remote for a minimum of 2 weeks, as of March 13th… In order to provide the most seamless transition for our onsite Software Engineering Immersive to a remote learning environment, we are making the following updates: extended option to defer (valid until April 2nd); extended prorated refund policy (valid until April 2nd); $1,000 remote stipend for students to create a productive remote workspace; upcoming cohorts in Los Angeles and New York start one week later.”

Fullstack Academy

From Fullstack Academy’s blog: The New York City campus has now gone fully Remote. Fullstack Academy has extended the tentative date to April 20 for returning to in-person classes and events.

Lighthouse

All Lighthouse Events and Classes will be delivered via a Live Online format. Lighthouse is offering fully waived application fees and a fee reduction of $3000 for our Data Science and Analytics or Web Development Flex Programs starting on May 5, 2020. Lighthouse is offering 50% discount in fees. Lighthouse is also offering free workshops to get you started on your tech career journey, including up to 4 week workshops on Web Development, Data Science and UX Design.

NYC Data Science Academy

NYC Data Science Academy has transitioned all of in-person classes to Live Online instruction and temporarily closed their facilities. They are continuing to accept applications and enrollments for future bootcamps and individual professional development courses.

Lighthouse Labs

From Lighthouse Labs’s blog: “As of Monday, March 16th, 2020, all in-person programs and events have been suspended and are now available in an online format. We are responding with our COVID-19 Scholarship Fund of $500,000 for people whose jobs, or studies have been impacted by the recent COVID-19 crisis. These scholarships will help provide many people across the country with skills that can launch new careers, and get them back to work during these unsettling times.These scholarships are open for both full time and part time courses, with $5,000 being offered for full time, and $750 being offered for part-time. They will be offered for both of our bootcamps, and all four of our part-time courses.”

Nucamp

From Nucamps’s blog: Nucamp is offering students the option to take their courses completely online or online with in-person lectures.

Red Academy

From Red Academy’s blog: Red Academy’s upcoming start dates on April 4th, April 20th, and April 25th in their Work-Study and Full-Time Professional Programs and Part-Time Programs will all move online. These classes will run remotely from the start of April until it is safe to re-open the Red Academy campus. 

Momentum

From Momentum’s blog: Momentum has officially moved into a fully remote working plan for their campus. Their current course and career services have been taken virtual with methods that keep it live and face-to-face. The upcoming Demo Day scheduled for Friday, April 10th will be shifted to a completely virtual experience. 

Launch Academy

From Launch Academy’s blog: “Beginning Monday, March 16, we’ll be operating all of our current classes virtually with the aim to resume onsite instruction on April 21… The Launch Academy team will continue to deliver all aspects of the daily Launch experience virtually. This includes all instructor-led facilitations and clinics, morning discussion groups, afternoon project-based work, and staff support and guidance.” Pair programming and career services have moved to a virtual space as well. 

LearningFuze 

LearningFuze has transitioned all in-person classes to live virtual classrooms. These virtual classrooms include live instructors and support, and are not pre-recorded sessions.

Noble Desktop 

From Noble Desktop’s blog: “All classes are running live online only until April 17, 2020 (subject to change based on guidance from local health authorities). You can sign up for live online classes on or before April 17th, or for in-person classes after April 17th. In any case, you can retake the class for free within a year. Our live online training is interactive and hands-on, just like our in-person classes. There are no extra fees and we'll work with you to ensure your setup is perfect. We have extended the free retake period to up to one year for any signups or class dates between March and April 2020. This allows you can attend live online now and come back in-person anytime within a year of the class date. We are allowing attendees to reschedule at no charge or keep class credit for up to two years. we are providing hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and washing stations, cleaning each room before and after each class, requiring all students and instructors to follow hygiene guidelines before entering a classroom, limiting in-person attendees per class to keep spacing between students, and not allowing any students or staff to enter the facilities who exhibit symptoms. We are now offering free seminars in design, coding, business, and more.”

Launch School

Launch School is putting in place $25,000 in initiatives, including hardship scholarships, tuition-reimbursement work opportunities, and no interest loans. For those needing financial assistance, apply here.

Promineo Tech 

From Promineo Tech: “We are proud to announce that we will be giving away 3 full-ride scholarships to our online software developer programs. And beyond our own scholarships, we will be partnering with others to increase the number of scholarships available. For those who aren’t able to secure a scholarship, we’re suspending enrollment fees for new students. Students will pay $0 to enroll in our programs and will start paying back tuition only after finding employment in the technology industry. By doing this, we hope to give individuals access to the technology education they need to reskill for the future. The deadline to apply for this scholarship is May 14th, 2020.”

Product School

From Product School’s blog: “With many locations putting new rules in place around events and large gatherings, we moved our in-person local events online. You can access talks by Product veterans from Google, Adobe, Facebook, Amazon, TripAdvisor, LinkedIn, Tesla, Masterclass, and hundreds more. And the best part is, they’re all completely free. Check them out here. We also run exclusive Ask Me Anything sessions with top PMs in our Slack and Reddit communities, so you can chat with experts and get your burning questions answered. In response to the crisis, we’ve opened more online cohorts than ever before, to make sure you get the training you want from the safety of your own home. You’ll still get the same quality information from a dedicated instructor as before, but you won’t need to move from your couch! We’ve also moved our existing campus cohorts to our online campus, to ensure the safety of each and every one of our students.”

Code Chrysalis

From Code Chrysalis’s blog: “Last Saturday, we moved our part-time courses fully remote. Today, we announced to our staff and students that our upcoming full-time Immersive Bootcamp will start remote, with plans to bring it back on-site as soon as key indicators show that it is safe.”

365DataScience

All courses are completely free until April 15th.

Burlington Code Academy

From Burlington Code Academy’s blog: “As a result of recent events, and out of an abundance of caution, we have transitioned our bootcamp and part-time programs from in-person to online.”

Thinkful

From Thinkful’s blog: “Thinkful is announcing over $1.5M in scholarships and a range of new programs to help those impacted get back on their feet and back to work. For those whose livelihood has been affected by COVID-19, we are offering the first 30 days of our Flexible courses for free. During that time you’ll have access to a mentor and the full range of our student support. If you choose to continue once the 30 days are up, you’ll be fully supported for the length of the program with the addition of personalized career coaches and success managers. You will also have the opportunity to defer 100% of your tuition costs until you land a job making over $40,000 a year.”

Spiced Academy

From Spiced Academy’s blog: “Last week, we closed the Spiced campuses in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne to protect students and staff alike. Our team has worked hard to move all our cohorts online and we are proud to say that Spiced is up and running. Our current cohorts are all successfully continuing their studies...We have converted to teaching in virtual classrooms with students participating remotely. We are also proud to inform you that our remote teaching has already been certified and is therefore available for students using a Bildungsgutschein from the Agentur für Arbeit. We are, however, sympathetic to the disruptions caused. We will therefore offer a 20% pro-rata rebate on the course tuition for current and future students who are self-financing their education with Spiced. The rebate applies to every week that Spiced courses take place online. We will resume campus classes as soon as it is made possible. For future and current students attending our courses using a Bildungsgutschein: you can still go ahead! The Agentur für Arbeit have approved our application to move all classes online, for the duration of the distancing measures. Additionally, we will be postponing our cohorts which were due to start on March 30th until April 20th.”

Makers Academy

From Makers Academy: “Our April and May cohorts will be fully remote and are now open for applications. Our team has trained hundreds of students online, from our technical coaches who deliver world-class remote workshops, to our careers coaches who prep you to shine in online interviews - we deliver the same level of peer-to-peer support virtually as any onsite bootcamp.”

Ironhack

From Ironhack’s blog: “To ensure the safety of our students and staff, we have migrated all ongoing and upcoming classes to a remote learning environment. Classes will be held at their regularly scheduled dates and times in a virtual classroom. We will resume on-campus courses as soon as possible.”

Holberton School

From Holberton School’s blog: “The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Therefore, we have decided to make adaptations to our programs to optimize remote learning and facilitate remote collaboration across our community.”

  • Holberton’s San Francisco Campus has been shut down effective Sunday March 15, 2020. Remote learning has been implemented. SF June 2020 cohort has been postponed to September 2020. Depending on the situation, we might need to postpone the September 2020 cohort as well. For current students - we do not anticipate that the postponing will have an impact on your ability to carry on with your learning. We will continue to function remotely for the time being. For applicants that have already been accepted - your accepted status has not changed. For now, you will be enrolled in our program starting from September 2020. Should September 2020 also be cancelled due to the ongoing circumstances, your accepted application will be moved to January 2021. For Level 0, 1, 2, and 3 applicants - keep working hard! We will be moving all San Francisco June 2020 applicants to our September 2020 cohort. Should September 2020 also be cancelled, your accepted application will be moved to January 2021 and you will be enrolled in our program starting from date.

  • Holberton’s New Haven Campus has been shut down effective Monday, March 16, 2020. Remote learning has been implemented. Currently, we do not have any plans to delay our June 2020 cohort.

  • Holberton’s Tulsa Campus has been shut down effective March 14th, 2020. Remote learning has been implemented. Currently, we do not have any plans to delay our June 2020 cohort.

Carolina Code School

From Carolina Code School’s blog: “We are one month away from our next cohort starting on April 27. Despite everything going on with COVID-19, we look forward to hitting the ground running with a virtual classroom until in-person instruction is safe to resume. This upcoming course is our standard 12-week program diving into front and back end software development. Carolina Code School is proud to offer a $2,000 scholarship to anyone who has been affected by the coronavirus. Enroll in the spring course now.”

Prime Academy

From Prime Academy’s blog: “Prime is currently delivering instruction through remote immersion training. Minneapolis based cohorts will continue remote immersion through at least April 13th. Kansas City based cohorts will continue remote study through at least April 24th. We will continue to adjust timelines based on federal and local guidelines (taking the more cautious of the two approaches to ensure the health and safety of the Prime community). We continue to accept applications for future cohorts and will update applicants about changes as they are necessitated by government guidelines. Prime is now offering a $1500 scholarship for prospective students who lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By offering this scholarship, we hope to make it possible for students to make the most of this period of involuntary unemployment. By building an in-demand skillset and laying the foundation for a new career, students can be better prepared for the future.”

We’ll keep this guide updated with new coding bootcamp scholarships for Coronavirus, closures, and bootcamps that are moving online. Leave a comment below with any updates or questions!

About The Author

Liz pic

Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students considering a coding bootcamp. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube

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