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 4.97
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
More Start DatesAugust 31, 2020 - Portland Apply by August 27, 2020
OnlineFull Time40 Hours/week21 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 FinancingIncome Share Agreement (ISA), and
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, 2020
Alchemy Code Lab Reviews
32 reviews sorted by:
- Intense Immersive Experience- 3/30/2018Grace • Graduate • Course: Career Track: Designer UX Engineer • Campus: Portland
Myself: I came from an entirely different background from tech and did the 301 and 401 tracks. I had some knowledge from self study for a few months prior to starting, which was why I jumped in at 301.
The school is fast paced but receptive to feedback from weekly surveys. Many times adjustments to the curriculum were made due to feedback.
301: Lecture was around 3 hours long, and lab time was variable depending on how long it takes you to finish it. You are given the time after lecture into the evening to finish it. You also have readings every night and codewars assignments every week or so. There are TAs available during lab time until 6pm, who are very approachable and willing to help. The instructor often stuck around in the evenings to help with questions as well. Overall difficult but not insane. Readings may take 10-20 minutes every night. Labs 2-4 hours. The instructor (Sara Joy) was fantastic. She would stop for questions during her lecture, and provide answers in different formats for better understanding. She was always positive and upbeat, never showed frustration with students. The final week of the class was spent on a team project meant to show a culmination of our understanding. All labs were pair programming.
401 (Devsign): Lecture was around 3-4 hours long. Every Friday was spent whiteboarding with data structures and algorithms. This class had two parts. The first 5 weeks were with Anwar Montasir and we went over design concepts / css / vanilla JS / design tech. I was part of the first devsign course at ACL. Since we were guinea pigs, there was lots of room for improvement and feedback, but the instructor was extremely receptive to feedback and addressed it every week with changes. I have no doubt the second time Devsign is put on that there will be significant improvements and I highly recommend it. Anwar is a strong resource of knowledge and attention to detail when it comes to design and accessibility on the web. He also had a strong understanding of the pace of bootcamps as he went through the full-stack program at ACL himself prior to becoming an instructor. The readings would take around an hour every evening, and the labs took 2-4 hours during the week, and 10-15 hours over the weekend. The pace was very intense and allowed little room for other kinds of activities. There was little pair programming labs except for the midterm project.
The second 5 weeks were with Marty (the business owner) and went over react / redux. Marty is a fast-paced instructor full of knowledge. If you have questions you need to ask them because he will not stop in lecture to check in on the audience. Marty was also extremely responsive to feedback. This section of the career track was the most intense and difficult. Readings are a minimum of 1 hour every evening, and labs take 3-5 hours during the week, and 12-15 hours on the weekend. Sometimes people were paired together to do week-long labs that built on each prior day. The final project was done in a group with 5 days to prepare and then present in front of representatives from companies.
There was one week in between the two halves of Devsign for career services which included resume / linkedIn / github workshops. This part of the course could be improved upon. The school does not have internship relationships with businesses, but does have an in-house internship program called App Lab that takes top career track graduates and has them work with real-world clients with app ideas.
I highly recommend this school if you take the program seriously. It is intense and does not allow room for much else at the same time.
The things I appreciated most:
- receptive to feedback
- willing to work with and help students improve who are struggling
- availability to answer questions, even over the weekend
- TAs that are always willing to help
- relevant new technologies (react / redux / firebase)
- beautiful space and friendly / studious environment
- in-house scholarships for diversity
- career track that is a step beyond what any other bootcamp offers at this time in Portland
- you can use the space all days / all times
In 2017 I decided that I wanted a complete career change and I was looking to the tech field for that. I had a biotech background but no real web tech knowledge. I needed to go back to school and I wanted to take the short but intense route. I began looking into different bootcamps in/near Portland. I knew that I wasn't going to do well with a school that just offered online teachings. I'm a hands-on learner and I wanted personal interaction. This, alone, narrowed the candidates for me. Then I needed to consider the curriculum. Well, I wanted to learn a language and learn it well, as opposed to learning a little bit about several languages. From everything that I'd heard about coding, it mattered more to "master" a language than to simply "familiarize" oneself with many languages. This is because the basic bones of most languages are similar and the knowledge is highly transferrable. This made a lot of sense and, again, narrowed my options. When I looked into Alchemy Code Lab, it was associated with a tried-and-true code academy from Seattle. One with great reviews. Alchemy Code Lab seemed to pump out very successful graduates who often entered their first job at a level higher than a junior dev. How was this possible? Come to find out, their curriculum offers more depth and material than other bootcamps and the material is also always current or ahead of the trends. Lastly, the actual physical environment of the academy is quite inviting - friendly people, natural light, modern, spacious, and a plethora of drinks and snacks rewarding all the deep thought that happens there. It also impressed me that so many alum liked to revisit their old 'digs'. I immediately enrolled in the program (literally). I quickly became part of a family of like AND different minded people. I was fortunate to have 2 amazing teachers throughout my studies. Both are not only extremely knowledgable about the tech world/scene, constantly keeping abreast of the topics themselves, but they are also both quite accessible to help guide, teach, and answer questions outside of lectures. This was what I needed. I won't lie, this bootcamp is not for the weak or lazy. It's tough, grueling even. But the proof is in the pudding and what you come out knowing will blow your mind. If that wasn't enough, the school also takes seriously their commitment to helping you find a job. They have an in-house career-services sector. They also bring in outside coaches to offer guidance on salary negotiation, resume writing, job searches, etc. And recently, they introduced a mentor-program for their graduates. This program allows graduates to work on real client apps and get paid while doing it. I'm incredibly impressed and grateful to have found ACL.
- Best Bootcamp in PDX- 12/22/2017Claire Follett • Web Developer • Graduate • Campus: Portland
I graduated from Alchemy Code Lab in March of 2017. I can say with great confidence that going through the program at Alchemy was one of the best life decisions I have ever made. Marty and Megan strive every day to make it the top bootcamp in Portland with continuous encouragement and support. They always stay on top of the trending frameworks/texhnologies and it is seen through out the whole entire curriculum. If you are considering a code school in the Portland Metro-Area and are on the fence about which one to choose, I highly suggest you check out Alchemy Code Lab.
I graduated when I was only 20 years old with no experience in the software industry and I am now a web developer full time at an awesome company. And I would not be here without Alchemy.
That said, a coding bootcamp is an all-consuming experience. I met with several students, TAs, and alumni before I chose this program, and everyone told me that I would be working from 9am through 6pm every weekday, then doing more homework each night, and also working one or two days of most weekends. Somehow I still didn’t really believe them, but they were right. You will get out of this program whatever you put in. It is not cheap, even with scholarships, but it is worth that money if you go in committed to putting forth the effort.Other thoughts:
- There was a higher ratio of women and other minority groups in tech representation. It meant a lot to me to be learning in a more diverse environment. I believe this is due to the diversity scholarship program and other initiatives they pursue toward bringing in those less represented in tech.
- I was looking for a full-time, intense experience that I could complete in 5-6 months.
- The environment was welcoming and professional. In class and during labs, I felt that my background, interests, and contributions were respected and appreciated. The owners of the school work hard to create an environment that works for the students as they go through the bootcamp process.
- Students complete four large group projects if they do the whole program. This was important to me since I had spoken with several industry professionals who told me that when they consider less experienced hires they pay attention to evidence that they can work well in teams. This program let me have ample experience coding individually, pair programming, and working in teams of 3-4 to build working apps from start to finish.
- Size of the classes. My cohort generally had 12 students (it varied somewhat between the courses), and it didn’t take long for us to become very close. In addition to the instructor, we had a TA that had been through the program.
There was definitely stress. Don’t go into a program like this thinking that it will be a cakewalk, because you are setting yourself up for disaster. Even coming in with some prior knowledge of HTML, CSS, and C#, there were times I was struggling to get through and topics that were harder for me to understand. It seemed that everyone in my cohort struggled at different times throughout the courses, so it was really important that we could rely on each other for help in understanding.So where am I after all of this? I didn’t find a job right off the bat, but I was lucky not to have the financial pressure that would require me to get one immediately. Still, it has been less than three months since I finished, and I have one offer on the table and other jobs for which I am in various stages of the application pipeline. It is a different kind of stress, but a good position to be in. They are all regular, full-time positions with the title Software Developer or Software Engineer.
- I took the full-time version of the bootcamps, but I know plenty of students who took the night classes and loved having that option. They are also quite grueling, since the course length doubles and you give up one full weekend day for class/study for the length of those courses. It is an important option for those who can’t afford to quit their day job right away and dive into a career change. The advanced career track is always full-time, as far as I know.
- The instructors collect feedback from students every week, with an anonymous section of the survey for comments you don’t want associated with you. Most of the time I didn’t have too much to say, but the couple of times I did, it was addressed right away. They are quite responsive to the feedback they get—the direction of the week can change on a dime (within reason) to include a general course interest or address a lack based on those comments.
- They have a floating advisor/experienced pair-programmer who is there at certain times to help you on labs and projects. This was immeasurably useful, not just for the advice from a senior engineer, but also so that I could learn different ways of doing things from what the instructor might show.
- The career services involved set times to work on resumes and cover letters, have presentations from industry leaders and recruiters on breaking into the Portland Tech job market, networking, and all things job hunt-related. There is no internship associated with this program, but on the other hand, most of the graduates I spoke with (who went all the way through the advanced career track) landed a job that was above internship or junior-developer level. Interviewing, white boarding, and algorithms practice is also part of the advanced career track curriculum, which I felt was pretty important practice. There is also a new consultancy practice that they are starting with some of the alumni, which is kind of like an in-house internship on lower price tag projects, as far as I know.
- Since I had some experience with HTML and CSS (and C#, but I didn’t think that would apply) beforehand, I considered skipping the first bootcamp level and testing into the second bootcamp. I didn’t end up doing that and instead took the full set of courses from start to finish. There were a couple students in my cohort who did that at either the second bootcamp or the career track level. Though there were some things we had learned by then that those students weren’t really familiar with, they caught on fairly quickly. In any case, I was glad I had gone through the whole program.
- The school is really involved in the Portland tech scene—they host regular events like DonutJS and the Women Who Code Algorithms study night, and then other sporadic events. It makes it easy to stay a little later at the school and then attend an event and practice networking.
My experience with alchemy code lab was nothing short of awesome. Their curriculum is intense and if your a new comer to coding definitely learn some basics before going because they do move fast. The instructors are very experienced and know any question you can throw at them. I got a job shortly after graduating and have nothing but thanks to them for preparing me to succeed. —Chris
Alchemy Code Lab was a unique expierence. Like any bootcamp it requires a lot of dedication, late hours, and persistance. The courseload is heavy and you will need to be accountable otherwise you will struggle. This bootcamp is not for everyone. If you are truly interested in taking a deep dive into full stack web development this is the bootcamp for you.
I attended Alchemy Code Lab and completed the 401 Advanced JS course. It was the best decision I could have made for my career. I was offered a job in tech within one month of graduation....and my salary is higher than it's ever been! I know that finding jobs like the one I have now is what leads most people to coding bootcamps. And while I am very grateful to ACL for positioning me to land such a job, the new career is not the most valuable reward that I received from ACL.
By far, the greatest benefits of choosing ACL over other bootcamps in PDX are the top notch education and unwavering support that students receive. This is a code school that values community and goes to great lengths to support students. And the support does not stop at graduation. Just last week I received an email from a career specialist at ACL who wanted to share some new job opportunities with me. Alchemy Code Labs goes above and beyond to help students meet their career goals.
Additionally, the education that you will receive at Alchemy Code Lab is unparalleled in PDX. I recently attended a meet up where four of us in a group were all recent bootcamp grads (one from Epicodus, one from PDX Code Guild, and one from the Tech Academy). We all swapped bootcamp stories. The other boot campers were pretty envious when I started explaining what it was like to be a student at Alchemy Code Lab. They were envious because of the community support and the school's commitment to equity and diversity in tech. They were also struck by the deep knowledge and thorough skillset that ACL students possess. ACL provides a solid foundation of basic CS principles and plenty of white-boarding practice....I learned that these are lessons you will not receive at other bootcamps. These are skills that set ACL grads apart from other bootcamp grads. It may require a little more up front investment, but I can tell you, first hand, if you're serious about a career in tech, investing in training at ACL is well worth it.
In fact, one of the boot campers from the meet up remarked, "I discounted ACL because of the price tag. I wish I had understood that what ACL was offering was a higher level experience than my bootcamp. I'd probably have a job right now."
If you're on the fence about code schools in PDX, yes, ACL is more expensive....but if you're looking to be career ready and grab the higher paying jobs after graduation, ACL has every other school in town beat.
NOTE: Coding bootcamps are super intense no matter which one you choose. Buckle up. It's worth the ride!