Campus Spotlight

What Learning In-Person at Sabio’s LA Campus Looks Like

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Liz Eggleston

Edited By Liz Eggleston

Last updated on November 10, 2023

Course Report strives to create the most trust-worthy content about coding bootcamps. Read more about Course Report’s Editorial Policy and How We Make Money.

Sabio offers online and in-person coding bootcamps, so what can you expect from their Downtown Los Angeles campus? Selva Miranda, a Sabio instructor (who is also a Sabio graduate!) gives you a personal tour of the LA campus. Get a glimpse of the classrooms and communal areas, and hear Selva’s advice for choosing between Sabio’s in-person and online bootcamps. 

Selva, you are actually a Sabio bootcamp grad from an in-person cohort back in 2017! What inspired you to switch your career from education to software engineering?

I was in the fields of education and nonprofit before I enrolled at Sabio. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after college and I was working at a law firm thinking maybe I’d go to law school, but the attorney I worked with told me I should study coding instead of law! 

First, I looked online for in-person coding events so I could see what the coding world was about. Sabio hosted a women’s coding meetup a couple blocks away from the law firm where a panel of four women spoke on their experiences at Sabio and recommended taking Codecademy classes before enrolling in a bootcamp to see if I liked coding. Turns out I did! I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life, but this seemed like a great opportunity with great pay, so I decided to take the risk!

When you were looking to make a career change into tech, what set Sabio apart from other coding bootcamps?

What stood out to me most was Sabio’s focus on diversity and inclusion. Sabio is not only passionate about teaching and giving students the tools necessary to be successful, but they also care a lot about making everyone feel included in the program and giving everyone accessibility to a booming field. 

Having worked as a software engineer, what continues to make Sabio’s coding bootcamp unique?

  1. Community. The number one thing that makes Sabio unique is its community. It’s important for us to keep our students engaged, even after they graduate. Many graduate’s first job out of bootcamp results from a connection to another alumni!
  2. Teaching styles. We have a set curriculum that students follow but the way each of us teaches is special. I like to integrate different teaching styles in my approach, so some days will focus more toward a lecture while others are heavy on questions and working through problems.
  3. Career services. Graduates are partnered with mentors that are graduates from previous cohorts who encourage them to apply for jobs and finesse any non-tech skills that are necessary to be successful in the field as well.

How would you describe your teaching style as a bootcamp instructor? 

Sabio is instructor-led as well as student-led. If we’re covering a new topic, I’ll do most of the talking and give a lot of examples. Many of our students enter the bootcamp with little to no experience in coding, so it’s important to have examples that make sense to those with no tech experience. After that we move into implementation, where I ask students to teach me what they learned so I know what they grasped and where to focus my next lecture. We also break into group activities so we can see different solutions and determine together what is the best one and why. 

Do you find that you rely on your past teaching career in your new role as a bootcamp instructor at Sabio?

My students are the ones that point it out to me when I tell them I was an education major — they say they can see it in the way that I teach!

How does your on-the-job experience as a software engineer inform your teaching at Sabio?

My experience as a software engineer and a former bootcamp student both inform my teaching style at Sabio! Since I can relate to where students are coming from, I can help them out of hard places. The experience that I have in the field helped me understand how intimidating it can be. Imposter syndrome is real and the last thing I want to do whenever I'm interacting with students is make them feel dumb. If you have a question, it’s likely that others have it, too!

What’s the biggest misconception about changing careers into tech that you notice from students these days? 

That you have to be a genius to be able to enter the tech field, which just isn’t true. You have to be dedicated to the field and to constant learning. You'll never stop learning in tech — there's always something new to learn. You'll never get to a point where you know everything. There will always be areas to improve.

Tell us about Sabio’s in-person campus in downtown Los Angeles! What does the in-person space offer to students?

Our Downtown LA location is equipped with dedicated offices to work with an instructor, a kitchen, a community space, personal booths where they can make personal calls, and a gym. We also have access to a shuttle that connects public transit. 

How do most students get around?

A lot of students take the public transit system, but we also have a parking space that students can use. 

Are there study spaces in addition to classrooms?

There are communal spaces, the classrooms, and then there are cubicles in the communal spaces that they can take advantage of. We prefer students to be in the same room when class is in session, so they can collaborate with each other.

Does the in-person campus host events or Demo Days?

We don’t currently hold in-person demos — those are all done online. 

For prospective students who are interested in Sabio, what is your advice to them on how to choose between learning in-person versus learning online at Sabio?

It definitely depends on what you can afford. Remote learning is less expensive than learning in-person if you consider paying for the commute. Collaboration still happens whether you’re in-person or remote, but I think it’s better to do in-person. Learning to code in-person offers the ability to reroute wrong directions and bond with each other. Overall, it largely depends on your personal preference. 

What kinds of projects have your in-person students worked on at Sabio?

Right now we are working with a company that wants us to create a website that builds a roadmap for students in high school to plan what they want to do in those four years so they’re positioned to apply for college and be as successful as possible. 

Typically, a product stays in cohort for about 3 months, so multiple cohorts touch the same project, which I think is really cool because it allows them to pick up code other students worked on. They need to learn how to understand it, how to collaborate with one another, and how not to affect someone else's code!

How do you support students who may be having difficulties with the coding bootcamp curriculum? 

If we see students that are struggling, we make it a point to check in with them to see what’s blocking them — is it mental, motivation, comprehension, or a difference in expectation versus reality. Once we know what’s going on we make a plan of action with them to help them through their block. If they have imposter syndrome and a lack of motivation, we might break down their work into smaller bite-sizes to build up their confidence. If it has to do with not grasping the curriculum, sometimes we’ll offer extensions if we see that they’re putting in the work and just need a little more time. If a student determines the program is not right for them, we help them exit the bootcamp. 

What about those students who are excelling and need an extra challenge?

We have a set curriculum, but we have a couple of extra tasks set aside for those over-achieving students. Once they complete our entire curriculum, they move early into product where they can get more difficult tasks assigned to them. 

Do in-person Sabio students have the opportunity to work with Sabio’s online students?

In-person students constantly collaborate with online students! While I’m hosting a lecture, I’ll put all my students in one call so everyone can work together. When we break up into groups, it’s a mix of remote and in-person students. It is crucial that students get used to working together because by Phase 3 they’ll have to collaborate and hold each other accountable. They need to know how to follow standards and that if they don't keep them the consequences affect the whole team.

It’s been such a volatile tech job market this year — What sets Sabio bootcamp graduates apart in the tech talent pool?

Compared to a recent college graduate, a Sabio graduate already has real world experience: they know how to do stand-ups and sprints, how to meet a deadline, and how to collaborate with one another. They know that it reflects poorly on them if they mess up someone else’s code! 

And I’ll say it again: the Sabio community and the way they connect each other to jobs that align with them makes Sabio unique. It’s how I landed my job after bootcamp and how I’ve seen countless others do it. When I went to the interview for my first job, there were three other Sabio alumni there!

Do you have any tips for new bootcamp grads on how to excel in their first tech role? 

Interview the people that you are going to work with because they are the ones that are going to shape your experience in this field — they'll either make it miserable or uplifting for you. Find someone who will be willing to mentor you because you’ll never know everything. 

Do you have any recommendations for grads working their first tech role in-person versus online?

I think hybrid would be ideal since you can get the best of both worlds, but whether you work in-person or remote, you’ll get experience either way.

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

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.

Also on Course Report

Get our FREE Ultimate Guide to Paying for a Bootcamp

By submitting this form, you agree to receive email marketing from Course Report.

Get Matched in Minutes

Just tell us who you are and what you’re searching for, we’ll handle the rest.

Match Me