Alchemy Code Lab
The application process involves a long-form questionnaire detailing the applicant's work, educational background, and coding experience, along with informational and technical interviews. Students must complete 25+ hours of bootcamp prep before class starts.
Alchemy Code Lab seeks to collaborate with the experts and organizations that are powering Portland’s tech community, providing insider access to the industry. Career development support is provided to all students and alumni, both in the classroom and in one-on-one coaching. Students will establish a compelling online brand, network, and resume featuring professional knowledge, experience, and practices gained during the course, and will be able to demonstrate the skills to drive a successful job search.
Alchemy Code Lab (formerly Code Fellows PDX) is powered by Code Fellows.
Recent Alchemy Code Lab Reviews: Rating 4.96
Recent Alchemy Code Lab News
Deposit 0 FinancingThis is a free class; n/a Tuition Plans n/a Refund / Guarantee n/a Scholarship n/a
Minimum Skill Level Beginner, self taught, CS degree new graduates Prep Work Requires pre-work (provided after registration) Placement Test No Interview No
OnlineFull Time40 Hours/week23 Weeks
Start Date September 21, 2020 Cost $24,000 Class size 30 Location PortlandOnline-Live training, Excellent curriculum, and all day access to expert instruction and your cohort. Great tech careers start with strong trajectories. Alchemy's professional software development training program launches grads toward exponential opportunity and salary growth. Whether you've never looked at code or have already completed a bootcamp or online course prior, Alchemy graduates emerge as industry-ready software developers after 6 months of rigorous, in-person training from industry-experienced Senior Development instruction.
Deposit 1000 FinancingFull tuition available through our partner Skills Fund. Tuition Plans Installments, ISA, GI Bill, and private lending Refund / Guarantee pro-rated per the State of Oregon's recommended refund schedule Scholarship Multiple diversity scholarships available! Kindly inquire with admissions.
More Start DatesSeptember 21, 2020 - Portland Apply by August 20, 2020January 4, 2021 - Portland Apply by December 4, 2020
Alchemy Code Lab Reviews
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I found the coursework to be very challenging and I really appreciated the strength of the Alchemy community in supporting each other through it. I really feel like I made some true friends in the coding crucible there. I was able to continue on with a small study group after the program ended in order to keep up and build on my skills.
Six months later, I've accepted an offer for a great job with a startup after receiving a great deal of interest from several potential employers.
So wait, why only 4 stars for curriculum? As a cohort, we expressed some concerns about the timing and methods for the introduction of React.JS into the coursework. To Alchemy's credit, they listened and adjusted things for the very next cohort. This wasn't a huge deal and curriculum in a good bootcamp should always be evolving to fit the needs of the market and the students. If I could give 4.5 stars I would, it's just difficult to be perfect in this area.
One thing that I've heard from other bootcamp grads in town is that they are a little jealous with the career support that Alchemy offers. Job hunting can be very emotionally challenging and it was nice to know that I could always reach out and get help when I needed it. I frequently reviewed materials we'd been provided with prior to interviews in order to be well prepared. And, as an alumnus, there were fireside chats and other events to keep me in touch with developer life and the job market in a more direct way.
Challenging (and fun!) program with really strong network/community. Unparalleled instruction quality and career support. Went from having virtually no programming knowledge to being a confident software engineer in about 5 months. Found first role within seven weeks of graduating despite having completely unrelated professional background and seeking work in the midst of a global pandemic. Couldn’t be more grateful for decision to attend Alchemy.
Instruction and Curriculum
During the technical interview for my current role, I was asked to architect an app based on product requirements from imaginary project managers, wireframe it, and build it out on the spot. For an Alchemy grad, this is a breeze; I did a version of this every day for months and really deepened my skills during project sprints. What really sets Alchemy students apart is our ability to break down a process and execute each step from start to finish. The language itself could be learned through online courses; it would take longer, and the lack of accountability would limited the format’s effectiveness for me personally, but it would be possible. But becoming really comfortable with processes — through demos in iterative practices, projects and many hours of hands-on experience every day — is not an ability I think I could have learned through other means.
Staying up to date
Alchemy’s curriculum is always changing to keep up with the industry. My current software engineering role is with an established retail company that is transitioning its model to focus more heavily on software. At my job, we use the most popular library for building UI components and the most up-to-date syntax. The fact that my current role is using a similar tools to what I learned at Alchemy — and is using them the same way that I learned — highlights Alchemy’s strengths. When the latest JS version was nearing release, we knew what to expect and were able to implement some of its features immediately.
Instructor quality and support
I felt so supported throughout the program by Alchemy’s primary instructors, Dani and Ryan. They are skilled at finding ways to present information that can be absorbed by different learning styles. Several TAs were also available to offer assistance, and one was officially designated to review my work. When I needed assistance, I was always be able to connect with a member of the instruction staff — both while the program was in person and after the pandemic abruptly shifted us to remote learning. This is a huge asset compared to other programs, where you may find yourself beating your head against the wall for hours.
Among the greatest strengths of this program are the one-week sprints on small teams. During each of these four sprints, you will collaborate with your peers to design, build and deploy an impressively professional app. These experiences prepare you for working on teams at software companies: You pair- and mob-program to build features and squash bugs; put test-driven development principles into practice; learn how to implement effective project management strategies; navigate snags in a high-pressure environment; learn new technologies really quickly; and develop approaches for working with colleagues who don’t always share your style or perspective.
These projects become professional portfolio pieces and provide real-world experiences to discuss during interviews. But even more, they prepare you for your future job. In my opinion, they put Alchemy head and shoulders above other bootcamps.
Shannon is an impassioned advocate for grads in the network that she is diligently growing. (I have her to thank for my acquiring the interview that led to my current role.) But she also teaches you how to advocate for yourself as a software developer. She provides you materials to consider your strengths and weaknesses and how you’ll fit in the tech community. This helps you grow your confidence about what you have to offer, which in turn allows you to converse comfortably at both networking events and interviews.
The Alchemy community believes in you when you have doubts. Megan and Shannon will always remind you of just how uniquely awesome you are. That sort of personalized attention simply doesn’t exist at most bootcamps and figured prominently into my decision to attend Alchemy. The community of grads is also ridiculously supportive of current students. (That includes me! Please reach out if you have any questions. I did the same before choosing a program.)
My cohort transitioned to remote learning almost halfway through our program due to COVID-19. I could not have been more impressed with how seamlessly and professionally Alchemy handled the pivot at a really ambiguous moment. Communication channels were completely open with students to ensure that we were well supported, and staff were quick to heed our suggestions. Our actual schedule was unchanged; we simply switched to Zoom lectures in the mornings and worked on labs from home in the afternoons. “Zoom rooms” were available during lab time for students who wished to simulate the in-person experience, when we would often work independently at the same table.
As someone who had to commute at least an hour each way to reach Alchemy’s physical location, I found that I had more time to complete labs and maintain work-life balance. I also found it easier to focus than I did when we were in person. That said, those of you with families at home may have a different experience.
So is it worth it?
Alchemy is more expensive than many bootcamps. Given the depth I wanted from a program and the networking that I considered imperative, that expense was well worth it. The tuition was a big chunk of change that I didn’t have, and as someone with a master’s degree that was already going unused, I wasn’t willing to increase my debt unless I was really confident that I would 1) enjoy the work, 2) be trained adequately to actually do the work, and 3) find a job after graduating.
Through my time at Alchemy, I developed not only the technical skills to be a competent software engineer, but also the ability to collaborate effectively on software teams and confidence in myself as a woman in this male-dominated field.
I was offered a job within two months of graduating that almost tripled my previous salary — and I was actively interviewing for other positions at the time of the offer. I expect to pay off the loan I took out for this program in six months.
So yes! Alchemy was so, so worth it. If you are confident that software development is the right fit for you, then look into Alchemy.
More than anything else, what sets Alchemy apart from other schools is their stellar career services. They have spent years forging relationships with companies, and have built up a strong reputation for graduating students who are ready to hit the ground running and be contributing members of engineering teams. They go above and beyond to make sure students are prepared not just technically, but also ready to translate their existing skills for a new tech career. I graduated Alchemy feeling 100% ready to interview successfully and thrive in a technical career.
Alchemy’s incredibly personable staff ensure that you’re confident and ready to begin your new career, not only as a programmer but also as a tech professional thanks to the provision of career services that start right as your studies begin and continue well after you’ve completed the program.
If you are considering making the transition to a career in software development, I can assure you there is no better choice for making the change than Alchemy.
I came in with zero coding experience and I had a rough, but rewarding time. It's a very challenging course that really encourages the students to grow as much as they are able to. It was scary and overwhelming for me to risk so much on an unknown, but the tightly knit crew of faculty were always willing to hold space, offer support, and help keep my head above water. With their help, and that of the greater Alchemy community, I was able to emerge after 6 months as a competent developer with a relevant tech stack in my toolbox. Then, with help from their amazing Career Services Director, Shannon Rasimas, I was able to land an internship and then a fantastic fulltime role as a Software Engineer.
The teaching staff is extremely knowledgable, compassionate, and up to date with the modern state of development. Alchemy truly cares about the success of their students and they work very hard to cultivate a strong community that helps connect all students and alumni into a network of mutual support.
Again, I couldn't recommend Alchemy more.
Beyond the people, the curriculum at this school is wonderful. Everything you learn will be what is in the highest demand at the time you attend. I feel that the knowledge we received at Alchemy is greater than that of other schools. My roommate attended a different bootcamp and said that he was impressed by all that we had learned and that he felt I was at an advantage for having chosen Alchemy.
As for the cons, they are hard to come by. All I can really say is that if you choose this program, be prepared because it is definitely not easy, but if you're ready to put the work in then I don't think you can make a better choice.
After completing their full-stack program, (with ZERO technical or computer knowledge previously), I was able to land a dream job as a software developer just two months after my graduation.
Alchemy gave me such a gift and I enjoyed my time there so much that I frequently return to catch up with teachers, talk with new students, and make myself available to meet with students who are considering the program or wanting some support while in the program. And I am only one alum that is part of a larger network who does the same. If that doesn't speak to the lasting community they are building, I don't know what does.
I joined Alchemy Code Lab with no prior programming experience and no undergraduate. I was sort of the free spirit type who travelled and held various types of jobs. I mention this because it does not matter what your background is - if you commit and dedicate yourself to this program it will provide the knowledge and skillset needed to obtain a fulfilling career in software development in a relatively short period of time. I've done it and have watched several others do the same.
The school provides an excellent learning environment and an amazing community. It's open, bright, filled with plants, offers a variety of sitting arrangements, and located in a cool location. Beyond the facility you'll be surrounded with an amazing team that is passionate, knowledgable, kind, and there to provide the education and resources needed to reach your goal of becoming a software developer. Within the six months you'll go from not knowing how to open your terminal to writing full-fledged full-stack web applications that incorporate frameworks, component architecture, testing, servers, databases, and APIs. I can personally state that you'll leave with the skillset to contribute day one on the job, and have a solid foundation to continually build upon. Not only will you leave with the ability to build web applications, but you'll receive invaluable insight and resources on how to market yourself, network, and interview.
Lastly - I'll mention, for your success, it's important you are in a situation you can fully commit to the time obligations and are mentally in a place where you want to change your life, be challenged, continuously learn, and solve puzzles. The program moves quick and you'll most likely experience highs and lows. That being said - it's DOABLE and well worth the grind. Alchemy Code Lab has helped many lives (mine included) accelerate in obtaining rewarding careers in tech - now it's time they help accelerate yours. Best of luck!
Even with a programming background, I was encouraged to start from the beginning with Alchemy’s curriculum and I’m glad I listened. Within the first week of the program I was already being introduced to test driven development, which was something that hadn’t been touched on in college and ended up being really valuable to use and talk about during interviews. Trying to pick up concepts like that while being introduced to something like Node or React would have been quite a bit more difficult than while we were learning the basics of JS. The instructional staff is really great. Alchemy has some very experienced industry professionals teaching, who are super passionate about the students. One of the most valuable parts about Alchemy Code Lab was the amount of time spent working on projects with your peers. Building projects is one of the best ways I learn things and I was often able to draw on my experiences working with my peers during interviews.
Alchemy also provides a lot of non technical opportunities and education as well. During the Career Track, there is a Career Week where the students learn all about the job hunt from industry professionals who are often graduates of the program. From the beginning students are heavily encouraged to explore the tech meetups in Portland to grow their network. Alchemy does a lot to help with this by hosting tech meetups in their space after class is over. They also host monthly socials for current students, graduates and employers in the area. Talking with other engineers about their experience was really valuable for me and only made the job search and interview process easier. Alchemy was able to do a lot for me during my job hunt from scheduling mock interviews, to introducing me to hiring managers or recent graduates to network with.
I just recently accepted an offer as an Associate Software Engineer a few months after graduating and if I could go back in time, I would still make the same decision to attend Alchemy Code Lab. I learned a lot of really valuable things and made great connections with some wonderful people.