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 January 4, 2021 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 DatesJanuary 4, 2021 - Portland Apply by December 4, 2020
Alchemy Code Lab Reviews
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When I transitioned into software development I evaluated several code schools available in Portland, and chose Alchemy. It was definitely the right choice for me, and the best thing I've done for my career satisfaction.
I talked with people at Alchemy (Code Fellows PDX at the time) early on, and had a really good feeling about it. But I wanted to understand what I would get for the somewhat higher cost than other options. I already had a strong technical background and programming experience, but no web development. Self-study was not a problem for me, but the field was so wide open that deciding what to focus on was problematic. Here's why I feel Alchemy stood out above the rest:
First, Alchemy provides instruction (in addition to lab and project work) from industry-experienced developers. While self-study and learning from peers are great things to do, experienced developers have valuable knowledge to share. For example, one thing prospective employers are often concerned about is the ability to write not just code that works, but code that's suitable for production in a large-scale application. It's very beneficial to have coaching from someone who's been on enough projects to impart that knowledge and wisdom.
Third, your time at Alchemy will be split between classroom instruction, lab work, and group projects. The labs and projects are great opportunities to work collaboratively on a codebase, and the skills (technical as well as interpersonal) to do that are critical on real software development teams.
Finally, Alchemy provides guidance and assistance not just with technical education, but also with the whole process of finding opportunities and managing your development career. The decent-sized cohorts provide a great "starter network" of people who are or will be working in the software community in Portland. And Alchemy provides guidance on interview preparation, the tools for the job search, and how to deal with the offers you receive.
While the job search is always a potentially stressful experience, I can attest to Alchemy's placement track record. This is a field with very high demand, and graduates are certainly finding work that pays quite well. I've continued to be involved with Alchemy's students - networking, mock interviewing, mentoring - and they are certainly well-prepared to venture out into the industry and make their valuable contributions.
Alchemy bills itself as the toughest bootcamp in Portland, and it certianly lives up to that expectation. If you are interested in getting a great start in tech and you are willing to work for it, this is your place. Staff are super helpful, community is great, and the curriculum is rigorous. Highly recommend!
I decided to pursue programming as a career because I lacked mental stimulation and the ability to make an impact in my day to day job. I researched all the bootcamps in the Portland area and it took one conversation with Megan, the school director to make my decision. The questions that were asked were so different than other schools and were focused around me and my learning style-- I knew this place was special. Alchemy's commitment to diversity and inclusion in making everyone feel welcomed despite your background was a huge indicator to me that this was the right place for me.
The curriculum was difficult and challenging, but no one's ever built a six pack by sitting on the couch. And this is the secret to Alchemy's success. The program does an excellent job by forcing you to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. It's a bootcamp in every facet of the word, constantly pushing you to learn and overcome. You have support available to you at every step of the way-- instructors, TAs, fellow classmates, adorable doggies, school director, and career services.
Oh yeah, career services. Shannon is a magician behind the scenes pulling strings to get you in the door and nail the interview. I've had two jobs post-graduation, and both interviews were secured because of-- you guessed it, Shannon.
If you have the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful family, don't hesitate. It was truly a special experience, one I only wish I could go through again.
Coming from a microbiology background in academia and transitioning to coding, I learned a ton of things at Alchemy that I didn’t learn in a traditional school setting or coding by myself online. For example, I learned how to code using agile practices with a variety of people in creative group projects with deadlines. I learned how to talk about code, not just to do it. I learned about the Portland tech scene and got a much better idea of how I fit into it. I learned to expand my network and push myself out of my comfort zone to make meaningful connections. Finally, I learned a ton about the job application process. Mock interviews and a week of career prep wasn’t easy or fun for me as an introvert, but it really helped prepare me for the job hunt.
Alchemy gave me the knowledge and confidence to get and perform well in job interviews. My Alchemy experience allowed me to have a much better idea of the salary I could ask for. Shannon was such a positive support throughout the process that I always felt someone had my back. Both Megan and Marty also provided invaluable support and advice even after I completed the program.
A huge plus was the Alchemy community. My fellow cohort (19 people total) was such an interesting and wonderful group of people from all different backgrounds and ages. A highlight of my experience was mob programming with them, in groups of 3-5. The TAs were graduates of the program and also provided emotional as well as instructional support.
It is a big money investment and there are times when you feel the collective struggles of the group and individuals. There are times when you may struggle a lot yourself. It’s not easy, and outsiders (like your friends and family) may not understand what you are going through. However, I found it to be a huge personal growth experience that has paid off. I just accepted a job offer (with higher salary than I have ever made before) this past week, and I am so excited to continue to code because I feel like I can actually contribute and excel at it.
This wasn't an easy ride, let me tell you! I had never set foot in a school before and Alchemy kicked my butt! It was really worthwhile, they supported me through my most difficult days and my "I don't understand, aaahhh!!!" moments, always pushing me to be the best I could be while understanding that sometimes I just needed a few words of encouragement to get me through to the other side of competency. I left with a community of peers, mentors, and friends, excellent technical competency, and the confidence to take on any challenges that come my way.
- Injoong Yoon • Software Engineer • Graduate • Campus: Portland • Verified via LinkedIn
The course itself is extremely rigorous and intense - more than fulltime, Monday thru Friday from 9am-6pm, and I often found myself doing additional work or studying after I came home. However, I can't imagine it working as well any other way, since you're learning an enormous amount of specialized and complicated skills in an extremely condensed timeframe. Knowing your own limits and taking care of yourself when you need to are key to succeeding in the program.
The people are wonderful. I was lucky enough to be in an amazing cohort and my peers were all extremely supportive of each other. Marty and Ryan were both great instructors, patient and helpful and able to explain the more difficult concepts well. Shannon, the career services director at the school, was vital in helping us stay connected to the larger tech community in town and make the connections necessary to get our foot in the door for job interviews. I was able to land a job at a software development firm roughly three months after I'd finished Alchemy, and I apply what I've learned from the program on a daily basis. I genuinely don't believe that I'd be where I am today without having attended Alchemy. The price is high (in terms of money, time, and work required) but I found it to be absolutely worth it.
This school has been amazing. The instructors know what they are doing, and they really put in 100% for each student. The school space is cozy and welcoming, the location is right in downtown, close to transportation and there are so many tech companies just within blocks of the school. The education you receive is indispensable and how fast they teach almost seems impossible, but it isn't! You learn the MERN stack as well as much more! When I talk with recruiters and hiring managers, they are so shocked at how much I have learned and know from a boot camp! They really care about the welfare of each student, and they want you to succeed. They have an amazing support system even after you graduate from the program. Megan and Shannon (school director and career services) are truly fantastic! Shannon is really connected in the area and is such a great coach/champion for you! Schedule a tour or go into their weekly open house and you will see for yourself how fantastic this program is! Marty and Ryan (CEO and lead instructors) are so talented and more than equipped to teach you what you need and more. Both of them have worked in the industry for decades so you know you are in good hands. If you are considering a school in the PDX area, you need to come here. I was able to get a job within 4 weeks of graduating and I cannot be happier with the outcome!
The curriculum is created and updated to reflect the demands of the job market. The instructional staff is carefully selected by Marty, the CEO, who himself is a seasoned developer and an exceptional teacher. The facilities are world class, with plenty of monitors, bottomless coffee, tea, quality snacks and comfy couches. Megan (my favorite person there) does a wonderful job of making the place a pleasant work environment and supports your development throughout your whole time there. You also get all the support you need to land your first job from career services with Shannon who is truly dedicated to your success.
I enrolled in ACL straight from Puerto Rico without visiting the place first, which I now know was a really risky thing to do, but I feel extremely lucky to have chosen them. Having worked as a TA on another boot camp after graduating, visiting other boot camps and meeting graduates from various coding schools, I've learned that not all schools are created equal and I can confidently say that ACL is simply the best choice
(TL;DR at bottom)
Backstory: I have a degree in business, approximately a decade of work experience in an unrelated industry, and I made a personal choice to switch to something I've always been very interested in: software development.
Prior development experience: None, really. A lifetime ago I dabbled in HTML, Adobe's creative suite, Flash, and Dreamweaver (while it was still under Macromedia, if you're old enough to remember that). I maintained a few basic web sites but it was hobby stuff at best. I should note this was long before Wordpress, CMS, YouTube, the abundance of online tutorials, etc. and while the passion was real, this prior experience didn't impact my success in the program.
How I found it: Like you, I ended up here (e.g. CourseReport, SwitchUp) among other sites reviewing different bootcamp programs. I came across Code Fellows in the Seattle market while I was actually searching for online bootcamps. That led me to Alchemy as they were once affiliated with Code Fellows (ACL is fully separate now and running it's own thing here in PDX).
The reviews were encouraging and I quickly realized that for my preferred learning style and desired timeframe, I would need to commit full-time to an in-person program. I did not tour any of the other code schools in Portland (I only reviewed their online materials and/or reviews) but I've heard plenty of great things and met awesome people that attended other schools. In the end though, Alchemy was clearly the choice for me once I was introduced to the owners and the space.
The experience: Marty and Megan (ACL owners) put their heart and soul in to this school. The right attitudes, levels of support needed, staffing, and relevance of the material is constantly evaluated when making changes to the school or curriculum. On the career and networking side of things, Shannon has been an amazing addition to ACL--she started when my cohort began last year--and she has also been instrumental in the success of grads getting hired at awesome companies around PDX, time and time again.
Like the industry in general, the program is not necessarily meant for everyone. Marty and Megan do their best in advance to ask the right questions of interested candidates and ensure the rigorous nature of 'bootcamp-style learning' is clear to all prospects. They are fair-minded in all that they do and as someone who has spent almost a year with them, I can say they value people, diversity, and student outcomes above all else; if you think about it, their success quite literally depends on your success.
The other side of things: Programming is hard. Technology moves fast. Bootcamps are not a slower-paced program like University. While candidates with 'non-traditional backgrounds' will at times struggle with the material, it is incredibly rewarding watching your ideas and code come to life. Even after the program, what you learn today will likely be going 'out of style' or become obselete tomorrow (or a few months, a few years, whatever) and you will likely need to continue learning while managing a career, a personal life, and all the other things that require your attention. That's true of most developers, regardless of how they got their start.
In terms of what you learn, how you learn it, etc. I'll just encourage you to set up a call or visit to the school. The material and methods of delivery are constantly evolving (in a positive way!) so your cohort will learn differently than mine did. Marty is an incredibly talented developer with years of experience as a software architect so he's always aiming to improve the program. Ryan, Lead Instructor has been amazing to work with and he's an amazing developer as well so you're in good hands.
TL;DR: Alchemy was exactly the program I was looking for. I went through the program and five months later had two offers, one of which was my top choice for entering the market here in PDX (title of Software Engineer).
Full disclosure: As I write this I am currently a TA at Alchemy Code Lab for the remainder of the week. I completed the program around October 2018 and spent the following months TAing the next cohort to help reinforce concepts, mentor, and keep 'close to the code' during the slow holiday season while applying for jobs. I have no doubt that you could be employed in less than 5 months with the right dedication to the job application process (Shannon can share other student success stories with you so feel free to ask her!).
If you're ready for a change and willing to give it all that you have, make the call. Good luck!
Alchemy's main assets are its co-founders, Marty and Megan, who remain incredibly dedicated to the school's mission and advancement. Marty is constantly improving the curriculum to remain cutting edge in tech's fast-paced environment, and either personally teaches each course or has carefully vetted the instructor. Megan helms the school's culture, constantly steering towards more inclusion, diversity, and productive professionalism, and personally helped me find extra funding to pay my tuition. The result is a really cozy and productive environment, where you are constantly being pushed further as a developer, but equally surrounded by resources to support and encourage you.
I had the great fortune to work with Shannon, the career counselor, who works overtime spreading Alchemy's reputation and making networking connections for each student, personally. She helped me get multiple contracting positions after graduation, and eventually my full-time position.
But really, the reason to go to choose Alchemy Code Lab is its curriculum. You will not find a more intensive or competitive code school in Portland. I have been told many times since graduating how impressive my skills are, and how myself and other Alchemy grads are consistently exceptional. I am a huge advocate for the school and my classmates, who are impressive, diverse and growing into a wonderful community in the Portland area. I highly recommend the program to anyone invested in changing Tech culture, and who is willing to work hard.
- Web Developer- 3/31/2018Jennifer A Elton • Graduate • Course: Career Track: Designer UX Engineer • Campus: Portland • Verified via LinkedIn
When I started, I knew nothing about coding, I came from a non-tech industry. This program, from fundamentals to career tract was what I needed to get a solid understanding of web development. This is a rigorous coarse that requires a dedication to learning.
All of the Instructors at Alchemy Code Labs have years of web development experience and it shows in their passion for code and teaching. The TA's have a deep understanding of the coarse work and are dedicated to helping students. The career service staff helped me with a resume, LinkdIn account and a game plan on my job search.
The number one priority of Alchemy staff, from school director to TA's, is your success. With that said, be prepaired to work very hard. Everything you need to become a highly developed web designer is available to you, but you have to do the work.
- Toughest, most advanced code school in Portland- 1/17/2018Maryus Martsyalis • Graduate • Campus: Portland • Verified via LinkedIn
If you want to get a job and willing to work for it, you will love this place.
They really push you. There was close supervision during entire program. we had 2 TAs and an experienced instructor for 11 students at the final 2 months of the program. TAs and instructors change from course to course. I had 2 instructors: Marty Nelson and Sera Joy and they were phenomenal. I would strongly recommend checking out the instructors at any school before applying there. Some of the TA's where amazing, but even if they aren't brilliant they will still be helpful and work through problems and documentation with you.
Since Graduating i met a lot of graduates from other code schools like Epicodus and The Tech Academy. Both are shorter in duration and they have much looser and less intense schedule. They also cover a lot of different Techs and languages. You'll do a a little of everything there. In contrast ACL is more specialized and indepth. Cant speak for Python course but JS track was very advanced compared to others. You will learn a lot of cutting edge tech in modern web: React, Redux, MongoDB, end to end testing and so on. You will be expected to be proficient at latest version of JS (ES6) and things like async-await. The result is that you will know these JS and especially React well enough to contribute to companies right after graduation which I think is the main point of trade schools.
Most importantly their job search support is awesome! they have two full time employees to help you search for work and introduce you to potential employers. Its also a nice community, Im still in touch from fellow students and staff from Alchemy code, and come in to the office to work with fellow graduates weekly.
On a side note I would really recomend doing your reaserch on job placement and starting salleries before aplying to code school. Statistics can be tricky and what each code school considers employment is different. so dont be afraid to ask concrete questions. like "how much do they earn, how quickly did they find a job, do you caunt short term contracts or minimally paid internships as a "job". My reaserch lead me to ACL but do your own, you are programmer now independent reaserch is part of the job!
P.S they have cavalier King Charles as a code school pet!!!!