Course Spotlight

The New Part-Time Bootcamp at General Assembly

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Jennifer Inglis

Edited By Jennifer Inglis

Last updated on May 7, 2024

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This just in: General Assembly is launching a new, part-time software engineering bootcamp! Packed with the same expert instruction, curriculum, and community support as the full-time immersive, the eight-month, part-time bootcamp is aimed at those who need more flexibility. We talked with Beatrice Partain (Senior Product Manager) and Lauren Perez (Software Engineering Instructor) to find out how students will be prepared for software engineering roles while balancing life’s other demands. 

💸 Take $1,500 off your General Assembly Bootcamp! (Offer ends May 31st and the course needs to start before June 21st, 2024.)

Why was it important for General Assembly to offer a part-time format for the Software Engineering Bootcamp in 2024?

Beatrice: General Assembly’s mission is to create alternative pathways for people to get into tech, offering them opportunities to change their lives and join the world of tech without going through the traditional, undergraduate computer engineering route. However, most people realistically cannot take three to six months off from their regular life to change careers—it’s a big commitment to attend a bootcamp and then look for a new job! We created the part-time bootcamp to extend the same curriculum, learning goals, and outcomes in a way that is compatible with a full-time job, part-time job, or other life commitments. 

Who is a General Assembly Software Engineering student in 2024? Are they still career changers or more up-skillers? 

Beatrice: Students at General Assembly are both career changers and up-skillers, but to me “career changers'' are already industry professionals, just not software engineers. This part-time curriculum is built with both core content and opportunities to level up in key places for students who want to move a bit faster or deeper into certain topics.

What is the time commitment for the Part-Time Software Engineering Bootcamp?

Beatrice: The part-time bootcamp will require students to dedicate about 15 hours a week, and that includes lectures and homework.

How is the part-time curriculum taught? Is there still live instruction in the part-time bootcamp?

Beatrice: The GA instructors delivering real time feedback are imperative to our students success! There are two live lectures per week in a standard instructional week for a total of six hours, then we supply an additional 10 hours of optional support time to do your asynchronous work, work on labs, ask questions, and do pair programming with your fellow students. Overall, it’s a mix of office hours, a supported lab, and the general availability of a Senior Instructional Associate. We offer 16 hours a week on the schedule, but we're expecting that it'll take a little bit less than that to get through your work. 

What does the daily or weekly schedule look like in the part-time format?

Beatrice: Currently, it differs a bit throughout the unit. The first week has more live time. We have a live lab where we work through the beginnings of that unit. Every week on Mondays and Thursdays from 6 PM to 9 PM is the dedicated live lecture time. We have support time on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday evenings. 

The exception is the last week of the unit, which is a dedicated project week that takes a bit more time and ends with a full day on a Saturday for a live presentation. There's also one Saturday commitment for each unit, to dive into presenting your case study and to receive and give feedback. After every unit, we have a “catch-up week,” where students can finish any remaining labs. If you're caught up and ready to go, that's an opportunity to take a breather. 

We supply students with a full schedule before they start so that they know exactly what the commitment is.

Realistically, can this bootcamp be completed while working full-time or balancing other life commitments?

Beatrice: That's the plan! Flexibility is built in. If you can't show up to a live lecture one week, it will be recorded and you can watch it later. We are asking that students show up once a week so that we can keep tabs on everyone, make sure they’re doing okay, and make sure no one's procrastinating until the end of the unit because you cannot do an entire unit in one week! 

The part-time bootcamp is not an easier offering than our standard immersive bootcamp. It’s just a different format that requires a lot of self-regulation. If you are a person who already has a full-time job, you already know about juggling those requirements in your own life.

What can students expect to learn in the part-time Software Engineering Bootcamp?

Lauren: The curriculum is exactly the same for the part-time and full-time bootcamps; it’s just spread out over a longer period of time for the part-time bootcamp. There are four units in the bootcamp:

  1. Front end fundamentals in JavaScript
  2. Back end fundamentals in JavaScript
  3. React (a highly in-demand front end framework!)
  4. Python and its frameworks

What kinds of learning support are built into the part-time program?

Lauren: In both the full-time and part-time experiences, you’ll have access to a Slack channel to get in touch with your classmates and an instructional associate or a lead instructor. For example, if you’re working through a lab or a homework problem and you get stuck, you have the same access to reach out for help.

How are part-time students connected to the larger General Assembly student and alumni community?

Beatrice: Part-time students have access to the same resources as full-time bootcamp students! They have access to all Slack support channels, networking events hosted by GA, career services support and connections through the Linkedin alumni group.

Will part-time students complete projects and build a portfolio like the full-time cohorts?

Lauren: Yes! For each unit, we ask students to complete a project that reflects what they have learned in that unit. 

  • For the front end fundamentals unit, students build a front end application, usually a web-based browser game.
  • For unit two, they build a full stack application. This will be something where they can save a user's data to a database.
  • In both the React and Python units, students build a full stack project that reflects what they learned in that unit. 

By the time they graduate, students will have built a portfolio that includes at least four impressive unit projects, both individual and team-based, that demonstrate their knowledge and ability to code which they can show off to potential employers! There are also other labs and homework assignments, like “mini projects,” that they can add to that portfolio, so it's possible that by the time they graduate, they'll have those four big projects, plus a lot of smaller ones to show off as well!

Will part-time students work on group projects in the part-time bootcamp, too? 

Lauren: Three of the projects are individual and one is a group project. It’s up to the discretion of the instructors to choose which of those projects they want to be the group projects. It's usually unit three or four, once students have a couple of individual projects under their belts.

What are your tips for students who are trying to decide between the full-time and part-time Software Engineering bootcamps at General Assembly? 

Beatrice: There are benefits and challenges to both. It’s an individual choice that will depend on your learning style and what you are looking for. Overall, ask yourself if you are looking for flexibility, or regulation and guidance. You should also consider: 

  • Speed. How quickly do you want to be done? There is a difference between completing the curriculum in three months versus completing it in eight months. 
  • Learning style. How willing are you to juggle responsibilities? Some people learn better by fully immersing themselves and diving into a new life for the next three months, while some people learn better by letting information soak in before moving on to the next piece of information. 
  • Endurance. How many hours a week do you have? Are you able to self-regulate? Each minute of each day is structured in the immersive program, while the part-time bootcamp requires self-planning. There’s less that is mandatory, so it’s easier to procrastinate in the part-time program. You cannot procrastinate with the immersive—it’s just not possible!

What is the admissions process like for General Assembly’s part-time bootcamp? Is it the same as the full-time bootcamp?

Beatrice: They look the same! Applicants will meet with our admissions team to go over their career goals and complete an online application. 

Do you recommend that applicants have a certain level of technical skill before enrolling in the part-time bootcamp?

Lauren: This is truly a “zero-to-hero” program and we do not expect you to come in with any prior knowledge. Obviously, students that do some self-study and a little bit of tinkering with code beforehand will have a bit of a leg up, but it’s not expected. The students who are really passionate, excited, and have a clear vision of where they want to go are the ones who make it through these programs.

Beatrice: Looking at software engineering bootcamp students, the number one predictor of success is grit. The students who jump in with both feet and run at the thing that they want will get there regardless of where they're starting. 

Does the part-time bootcamp have a pre-course to complete before day one?

Beatrice: Yes! Part-time students go through the same pre-work and readiness assessment that the immersive students do. We are also working on some brand new additions to the pre-enrollment experience in the coming months!  

Do part-time students have the same access to General Assembly’s payment options or financing?

Beatrice: Yes, part-time students get access to the same financing plans. One of the most popular ones now is that students start paying 12 months after their loan is funded with the 0% Interest Fully Deferred Grace Period (FDG). You can find out more by talking to the GA Admissions team.

What is your advice to incoming students on making the most of this part-time bootcamp experience?

Lauren: 

  • Spend as much time as you possibly can in the live sessions. Don't skip those!
  • Immerse yourself in the community. Keep in touch with your classmates, become part of community groups, chat about it, and talk about code constantly. Fully immerse yourself in the culture of becoming a developer, which will help later on with things like impostor syndrome. Students who are the most immersed in the community are also the most successful.
  • Put yourself in the mindset of “I am a developer” when you first arrive in the course, then try to maintain that throughout. Start to talk like a developer and talk to other people like they are also developers. Adopt the persona early. Tell yourself, “I'm going to make it through this program. I am becoming a developer. This is me now.”

Beatrice: The bootcamp is a marathon, not a sprint. You're going to be in this for a long time, so get to know people because you don’t make it by yourself. Utilize all of the resources that you have available to you, such as your career services, student success team, instructors, community groups, and the people you're studying with. You have so many resources, but fundamentally no one can learn these things for you. 

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

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps. With a background in writing, teaching, and social media management, Jess plays a pivotal role in helping Course Report readers make informed decisions about their educational journey.

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