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Inside the DigitalCrafts Live Online Coding Bootcamp

By Jess Feldman
Last Updated June 12, 2020

Inside the DigitalCrafts Live Online Coding Bootcamp

DigitalCrafts launched its online coding bootcamp program with live online instruction, and is now accepting applications for its summer cohorts. Led by a team of instructors with industry experience, the live online format at DigitalCrafts ensures that online students receive all of the same attention and benefits as in-person students. Plus, the DigitalCrafts team shares their tips on how to stand out in your job search post-bootcamp graduation.

What you need to know:

  • DigitalCrafts will now offer fully online coding bootcamps to students across the United States. These begin July 2020 and are taught in real time (not on-demand).

  • Curriculum for the online program is the same as in-person classes. But the Immersive program covers Python during the first two weeks, while students who enroll into the Flex program jump right into JavaScript.

  • Expect to use tools like Zoom, Slack, and VS Code Live Share.

  • Online admissions standards will be the same as the in-person bootcamp – but applicants should also be able to thrive in an online classroom.

First, tell us about DigitalCrafts’ reaction to COVID-19. Have all classes moved online?

We have traditionally offered only in-person classes, but we were forced to move all cohorts to a remote classroom due to COVID-19. Right now, all classes are underway and being delivered remotely with live instruction via conferencing software. Our plan is to return these classes to an in-person delivery as soon as we can safely do so, and we’re keeping current and prospective students up to date on how we are adapting to COVID-19 on our blog. 

We’ve worked hard to maintain our high quality educational experience during this transition, and the positive feedback we've received since going online has accelerated our decision to offer fully online coding bootcamps to students across the United States. This project has been in the works for some time, and we're proud to announce that we have launched online classes that begin July 7, July 27, and September 8 of this year. These classes are being offered in real time (not on-demand) and will give our online students the same experience as our in-person classes, but in the comfort of their own homes, or wherever they choose to learn.

Who are the instructors for DigitalCrafts’ online program?

As always, we want to make sure we have the right team in place to support each and every student who comes through our doors, even if those doors are virtual. The lead instructor for DigitalCrafts’ first online Full-Stack Immersive program will be Sean Reid, an instructor from our Atlanta campus. Sean has a larger-than-life personality that isn’t limited to the four walls of the classroom — if you’ve been watching our Instagram stories and YouTube videos, you will have seen “Spokesperson Sean”!

Sean has led three classes for DigitalCrafts, training close to 70 students, and he’s just getting started. As for our part-time bootcamp kicking off on July 7, we recently hired two senior software engineers, Matt Day and Dan Stough, to lead this class. Matt and Dan are onboarding as we speak, and we couldn’t be more excited to have them as part of our instructor team.

DigitalCrafts Online Bootcamp Instructor Luis

Is there an ideal student for DigitalCrafts online coding bootcamp? Are admissions standards different from the in-person immersive?

Everyone learns differently, so we are excited that this program will open the doors to the DigitalCrafts community for students across the U.S. and to those students who prefer learning from home. Our goal is to bring the same rigor, intensity and collaborative educational experience we’ve built in the classroom to our online classroom. Everything about our online program will remain the same in terms of admissions and the expectations we have for our students. That said, learning remotely brings different challenges. If you are considering an online bootcamp, I would encourage you to really think about whether you can thrive in the online format, or whether learning in an in-person classroom is key for your success.

What advice do you have for students on how to set up their online workspace? 

It is important to be comfortable and have the right tools for you. For me personally, my work station consists of all the right chargers, two monitors, an ergonomic keyboard and a mouse. Other than that, it’s nice to have proper lighting and be close to the coffee machine!

One of our TAs has put together a quick video with more tips for learning online: try to keep a set routine and schedule, go outside every day, drink water, and take regular breaks from looking at screens.

How do you ensure that online students won’t miss out on anything that in-person students receive? 

That’s a great question! Students who enroll in our Online program will receive all of the benefits that an in-person student receives. Our Campus Operations and Student Success Teams are here to ensure that students are networking with one another regardless of campus, and our Student Success Team will bring in guest speakers, employers and alumni throughout the cohort for networking and additional learning opportunities.

All current students and graduates also receive continued learning opportunities through our monthly Elective Workshops. These workshops are delivered online and are open to students and graduates across the country. We will cover topics outside of our curriculum during these mini lectures, including topics like containerization & microservices, deep dives into the job search, introduction to Java, and even additional JavaScript frameworks like Angular or Vue.js.

DigitalCrafts Online Bootcamp Classroom

How does the Online Classroom function? What kinds of tools do you use to teach online and allow students to communicate with the instructor and their peers?

We use a number of tools to deliver our online program. First, every student will have access to the DigitalCrafts Learning Platform, which has all of our course curriculum: detailed lessons, exercises, projects and even interview practice. We also use Zoom for live instruction, Slack for chat and file sharing, and VS Code Live Share to work with one another.

Since this class is led live by an instructor, students will have the ability to ask questions on the go, just like they could in person. Students will use Slack and VS Code Live Share for sharing files and working with each other's code base. Instructor Sean Reid, who I mentioned earlier, has put together a video that outlines our approach to online learning.

Will online students learn the same curriculum as the in-person cohorts? 

Our goal was to design this offering to reflect exactly what students learn and experience on-campus, just online, so yep, the curriculum for the online program is the same as our in-person classes. At DigitalCrafts, we have two program formats, the full-time Immersive bootcamp and the part-time Flex bootcamp. Other than being full or part-time, one key difference between these two programs is that the Immersive program covers Python during the first two weeks, while the students who enroll into the Flex program jump right into JavaScript.

Our team’s goal during these initial weeks is to teach the fundamentals of programming, regardless of the language. Students focus on learning concepts that are transferable from one language to the next, which sets a good foundation for the rest of the program. Python and JavaScript are by far the two most popular languages for software and web development, and we aim to give our students what they need to know for today’s (not yesterday’s) work environment.

DigitalCrafts Online Bootcamp - Live Online Instruction - PyGameDigitalCrafts has an excellent history of getting students jobs in Atlanta and Houston – how will you help students across the country in the job search? 

Our Student Success Team supports all of our students with resume and portfolio review, mock interviews, talks from industry leaders and more, and they do a great job. We have also always stressed to our students the importance of owning your own job search. With the coding education from our instructors and the support they receive from our Student Success team, our students have found job opportunities across the country. After five years, we now have alumni working in major cities like San Francisco, New York and Chicago, in addition to Atlanta and Houston. We’re confident that their experience at DigitalCrafts will prepare students in our Online program for their job search as well. 

We will continue to leverage the power of our employer and alumni networks in order to support our online students with their job searches. Our alumni are always happy to help new grads by identifying career opportunities at their companies. We will work with the employers already in our network who have offices across the country, and we’ll begin partnering with recruiting firms who have a nationwide footprint. 

What’s your best advice for getting a job after graduating from an online bootcamp? 

The best advice for landing a job is to stand out. Here are a few tips for students so they can set themselves apart from the pack:

  • Create a public GitHub repository for practicing algorithms and showing the work behind your projects. You can also demonstrate your skills by contributing to open-source projects on GitHub.

  • Speak at a local Meetup or software-related event.

  • Write 3-4 technical blog posts during your bootcamp (OOP vs. Functional Programming, for example). Share them on your social media accounts and ask others to do so as well.

  • Supplement your GitHub repo with a polished portfolio site. In addition to giving you the opportunity to showcase your work, you can demonstrate other skills like communication and team leadership. Your site can be a home to your projects, talks and blog posts as well.

  • After graduating, mentor a student who is just starting out.

Employers want to hire junior developers who can add more to their company. Show the employer how you can teach through writing blogs or speaking, and how you can mentor other junior developers who might be hired after you. Get creative and demonstrate your skill set!

Find out more and read DigitalCrafts reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with DigitalCrafts.

About The Author

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Jess is the Content Manager for Course Report as well as a writer and poet. As a lifelong learner, Jess is passionate about education, and loves learning and sharing content about tech bootcamps. Jess received a M.F.A. in Writing from the University of New Hampshire, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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