How to Get Work Experience Before You Graduate from Coding Bootcamp

Imogen Crispe

Written By Imogen Crispe

Last updated on March 23, 2017

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Get work experience before graduating coding bootcamp v2

How do you get a job after coding bootcamp if you have no relevant, real-world work experience? Only 1.4% of bootcampers have worked as developers in the past, but most career-changers have little – if any– client experience when they start looking for a developer job. Some bootcamps help students overcome this hurdle by offering opportunities to work for the bootcamp itself, or with real clients through projects, internships, and apprenticeships. These opportunities can give students substantial experience to add to their portfolios and resumes, and kickstart the job hunt.

Here we outline a number of ways bootcamps provide students with extra opportunities:

Teaching Fellowships

A number of coding bootcamps hire their graduates as TAs; while this practice is somewhat controversial, there are a few bootcamps that have built selective, elite teaching fellowships. Graduate duties can include mentoring students, teacher assistance, doing code reviews, working on internal projects, and conducting admissions interviews.

Fullstack Academy

Alumni from both Fullstack Academy and The Grace Hopper Program can apply to be Fullstack Fellows. Fellows spend their time mentoring current students and working on internal software projects for Fullstack Academy and The Grace Hopper Program for 13 weeks after graduation. Students apply during their Senior Phase and are required to submit a written application and pass a technical interview.
Location: New York, Chicago, Online
Bootcamp length: 13 weeks, full time
Fellowship length: 13 weeks
Paid: Yes
Meet a Fullstack Fellow: Maggie Neterval

Hack Reactor

Hack Reactor graduates apply for the Hacker in Residence program, a 3-month post-grad program where HIRs are assigned to duties like helping online and onsite students succeed, lecturing, gathering student feedback, and conducting admissions interviews.
Location: San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Online
Bootcamp length: 12 weeks full time
Residency length: 3 months
Paid: Yes
Meet a Hacker in Residence: Alon Robinson


Bootcamp-Arranged Internship

Some bootcamps place students in an internship at a partner company as an integral part of the course, to give students real-world experience inside a tech company. While most of these internships are a required part of the course, students may sometimes opt out if they find a full-time job instead.


Ada is a not-for-profit software school for women. The course consists of 27 weeks of in-class instruction and then up to 5 months of internship at an external company.
Location: Seattle, WA
Bootcamp length: 27 weeks full time
Internship length: 5 months
Paid: Yes

23 Code Street

23 Code Street is a 12-week, part-time web development bootcamp for women. After graduation the bootcamp offers a 2-week internship placement to hone in on skills learned at the bootcamp
Location: London, UK
Bootcamp length: 12 weeks part time
Internship length: 2 weeks
Paid: Unknown

Cleveland Codes

Cleveland Codes is a 16-week IT Fast Track Program in C# and .NET. After successful completion of the full-time bootcamp, students have a chance to complete a 12-week full-time, paid internship.
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Bootcamp length: 16 weeks full time
Internship length: 12 weeks
Paid: Yes

Code Platoon

Code Platoon is a coding bootcamp designed especially for veterans. Graduates of the bootcamp have the option to apply to an internships/apprenticeships program that has been coordinated by Code Platoon upon the completion of the course.
Location: Chicago
Bootcamp length: 20 weeks (6 weeks remote part-time, 14 weeks in-person full time)
Internship length: No limit
Paid: Yes

Coder Academy

Coder Academy is an Australian coding bootcamp with campuses in Sydney and Melbourne. As part of the course, each student partakes in a one-month internship placement in a real dev environment with a startup or tech company.
Location: Sydney and Melbourne, Australia
Bootcamp length: 6 months full time
Internship length: 1 month
Paid: No


Epicodus offers a broad range of coding courses which combine to make a full-time bootcamp experience. Following the intro course, students choose 3 courses to complete, plus an internship in order to graduate.
Location: Portland, OR; Seattle, WA
Bootcamp length: 27 weeks full time (including internship)
Internship length: 5 weeks
Paid: No


EpicU is a free, one-year digital trade school located in Dallas, TX. EpicU is intended for students with at least a high school diploma between the ages of 17 and 25. The year includes a full-time, paid 9-month apprenticeship placement after the first 3 months of the program, with a Dallas-based partner company.
Location: Dallas, TX
Bootcamp length: 1 year
Apprenticeship length: 9 months
Paid: Yes

Holberton School

Holberton School’s two-year curriculum includes 9 months of intense training, a 6-month internship, and 9-months of specialization. Holberton staff help students find their internships, which can lead to full-time roles.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Bootcamp length: 2 years
Internship length: 6 months
Paid: Yes
Meet a Holberton Student in an internship: Steven Garcia


LaunchCode offers a 14-week full-time course on in-demand technologies and skills in St Louis, and a 16-week, part-time, live version of Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science (CS50x) course in multiple locations. At the end of each program, LaunchCode matches students with one of their 500 employer partners for a paid apprenticeship.
Location: St Louis, KY; Kansas City, KS; Miami, FL
Bootcamp length: 16 weeks
Apprenticeship length: Indefinite
Paid: Yes

LEARN Academy

LEARN Academy is a 3-month web development bootcamp, followed up by a one-month internship where students will get genuine real life coding experience at a San Diego-based company.
Location: San Diego
Bootcamp length: 3 months
Apprenticeship length: 1 month
Paid: Unknown
Meet a LEARN Academy student who did an internship: Jenny Pletner


TurnToTech is a 16-week mobile development bootcamp where students can choose between Android or iOS development. The 16 weeks includes 12 weeks of coursework and 4 weeks of internship project where students work on a real project with real clients
Location: New York City
Bootcamp length: 16 weeks
Internship length: 4 weeks
Paid: No
TurnToTech student who did an internship: John Bogil

Zip Code Wilmington

Zip Code runs a 12-week full-time Java coding bootcamp, with user-friendly financing options. Graduates are funneled into a 26-week paid apprenticeship with Zip Code’s partner companies such as Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One and JPMorgan.
Location: Wilmington, DE
Bootcamp length: 12 weeks
Internship length: 26 weeks
Paid: Yes


In-House Apprenticeships

A number of coding bootcamps offer their graduates in-house apprenticeships working on projects for real companies to as a way to get experience before they start the job hunt.


After the 12-week part-time coding bootcamp, graduates spend up to four months as part-time developers with Actualize’s in-house nonprofit agency The Difference Engine, building projects for clients, gaining real-world experience, and creating portfolios they can show to prospective employers.
Location: Chicago, New York City, San Francisco
Program length: 12 weeks part time
Apprenticeship length: up to 17 weeks
Paid: No
Meet an Actualize Apprentice: Luke Evans

Craftsmanship Academy

Craftsmanship Academy students are trained by software craftsmen and immersed in a software studio in Holly Springs, NC. Students who successfully complete the skills immersion portion of the program are eligible for a 3-6 month residency at parent company RoleModel, developing real world projects.
Location: Holly Springs, North Carolina
Bootcamp length: 3-6 months
Residency length: 3-9 months
Paid: Yes

Operation Spark

Operation Spark offers a 4-6 month programming course for students who are unemployed, underemployed, or looking to begin a new career. Students work on real life projects for Operation Spark’s Dev Shop.
Location: New Orleans, LA
Bootcamp length: 4-6 months
Paid: No


Students who successfully complete Revature’s 12-week coding bootcamp are guaranteed employment with Revature’s in-house dev shop which serves a wide range of Fortune 500 enterprises, government organizations, and systems integrators.
Location: Reston, VA, Scottsdale, AZ, New York City, Online
Program length: 12 weeks full time
Apprenticeship length: indefinite
Paid: Yes


Bootcamps That Incorporate Client Work

A number of bootcamps find real client projects for their students to work on for their final projects. The clients are often early-stage startups or nonprofits who are happy to let bootcamp students learn by building a working prototype for their company. The work done by the students is typically unpaid.


Sabio is a developer community offering 12-week full-time coding bootcamps focusing on .NET/C#. The intensive bootcamp includes a real-world project for a client, and 4 weeks of career support and guidance.
Location: Los Angeles, Orange County, CA; Seattle, WA
Bootcamp length: 12 weeks
Meet a Sabio student who worked on a real project: Dan Tutolo

Prime Digital Academy

Prime is an intensive full-time 20-week program focused on JavaScript and related languages. For students’ capstone projects, they work on a real-world project for a local nonprofit, startup, or small business.
Location: Bloomington, MN
Bootcamp length: 20 weeks

Startup Institute

Startup Institute offers 8-week immersive programs in web design, web development, digital marketing, and sales. Students from all tracks take part in a real project for one of Startup Institute’s partner companies.
Location: Boston, MA; New York, NY
Bootcamp length: 8 weeks
Startup Institute student who worked on a real project: Warren Longmire


Lambda School

Lambda School is a 6-month, immersive, online school with focuses on Web and Mobile Development. Lambda School incorporates a software engineering apprenticeship into the course. Senior devs and project managers organize projects, while students squash bugs, solve problems, and close out tickets for real software.
Location: Online
Bootcamp length: 8 weeks


Other Apprenticeship Programs

A number of non-bootcamp companies also offer apprenticeships for coding bootcamp grads.



About The Author

Imogen Crispe

Imogen Crispe

Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves exploring technology and education in her work. Her strong background in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites, makes her a contributor with professionalism and integrity.

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