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 4.9
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 None scheduled 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.
Alchemy Code Lab Reviews
52 reviews sorted by:
I can't say enough amazing things about the staff at ACL. The instructors are so dang smart and the TA's are incredible helpful. I never felt like I was doing this by myself, I always felt like I had the entire staff on my team.
TL/DR; I had no experience in code, came in, and after six months of hard work, four months of job searching, I have more than doubled the salary I had at my last job. The community, connections, and support you get at Alchemy are unparalleled. If you can, GO HERE!
Before Alchemy, I worked in the nonprofit world as a community engagement coordinator doing everything from volunteer management, event planning, and social media management. I took one class in college doing basic HTML/CSS - so no experience jumping in.
Alchemy Code Lab is unlike any other community I have been apart of. And that's what it is - a community. The support, authenticity, and comraderie of the students, instructors, and TAs alike is unique and incredible.
When I first came into the program (as a huge introvert) everyone was welcoming and kind. Folx from the cohort above me took the time to mentor and chat with the new bootcampers and offer advice. When someone gets a job, everyone celebrates, even if there were people competing for the same position.
It's hard to put into words, but the genuine support of everyone is overwhelming.
Coming from a background not in tech and only with basic HTML/CSS skills, I was still able to succeed. The prep work that they provide for you is essential for your success. Do. The. Prep. Work. Bootcamp is a whirlwind and the pace is fast - it's a bootcamp. BUT you have amazing resources to keep you going.
Bootcamp I and II are all JS fundamentals and a taste of Firebase. Career Track is Express, Node, MongoDB, React/Redux. It definitely ramps up once you start career track, but again - it's a bootcamp. Still, all of the staff are a great resource for you in case you are struggling and might need a little extra help. Still, if you keep with it and love to code, you will be successful!
Willingness to collaborate is essential to your success. At the end of Bootcamp I and II and twice in Career Track, you have about a week and a small group to code an app of your choosing. I highly recommend stopping by to a final project presentation to see what you could do by the end of the program - it is truly impressive.
The instructors and TAs are amazing. There is a willingness to adapt, to see what works and what doesn't, to hear feedback and respond. Marty and Ryan have real world experience that can give you insight into the why behind the code. You can tell they are passionate about code and about teaching. They really put the time in to make sure everyone can be successful at Alchemy. STILL they are approachable! From Ryan and Marty's dad jokes to quirky puns and overall humor, it is not all serious. We do have fun, too!
TAs are the best! Normally they are recent grads with a lot of passion for code and positivity to help you get through those rough days. They always take the time to provide feedback on your code and tips on how to keep getting better.
SHANNON! Shannon (the career services director) is incredible and goes out of her way to make connections happen! During Career Track there is a week long career focused program that Shannon sets up, bringing in speakers to give tips on interviewing, salary negotiations, onboarding, body language, elevator pitches, and more. You have the opportunity to do mock interviews with some senior devs and engineers in Portland and gain a ton of great feedback.
Whiteboarding was always something that I dreaded as a srtudent, but throughout Career Track you get hands on practice going up to the whiteboard and practicing in groups and solo.
TA or App Lab - There are employment opportunities for grads once you graduate - come back as a Teaching Assistant for the program or join App Lab and get hands on experience coding for an actual business.
Connections - The connections you get from the ALCHEMY community are unparalleled. I got a few interviews and eventually my job from my connections with Alchemy alums.
Alchemy Code Lab hosts some meetups at their location (PDX Node, DonutJS, Women Who Code, Kotlin, Python, etc.) so there is ample opportunity to meet folx from the tech community and make connections. I recommend coming on the last Friday of the month for a social hour where former grads, current students, staff, and other connections come to mingle.
But the money...
I know, but hear me out. Coming from a nonprofit salary, I hear you. I received scholarships both through Alchemy and Women Who Code. Others in my cohort used loans and scholarships to afford it. It is possible! Reach out and see what your options are before you say no.
For a $20k investment, I more than doubled the salary I was making at my last job AND I built confidence and a community for life.
I attended Alchemy from September 2016 to January 2017. It was a very different school than it is today and I'm very impressed by the changes they've made.
I'll start with the things they did well. My cohort was fantastic! The people I met in that class are still friends of mine and they really helped me get through the course. I think this is due to the culture of pair programming and collaboration that Alchemy teaches. And it's very applicable to real world software development as well. The instructors were top notch and taught me the foundational skills I use every day on the job.
When I attended the curriculum was a bit dated. We learned jQuery and Angular 1.x. I'm very happy to learn that they've replaced both frameworks with more modern vue and react. This is an important change as the industry moves towards these more popular frameworks. I also didn't have a lot of assistance in the job search, but that's also something that has vastly improved since my time at Alchemy. This is super important because Alchemy is very in touch with what skills are currently desired and they're willing to change their curriculum to support their students.
Overall it was a fantasic experience and it started me on a career that I love. I enjoy going to work every day which is not something I've experienced before.
I became a developer because I didn’t want to teach anymore. I chose Alchemy because it seemed like an incredibly comprehensive program when compared to the other options in PDX. I was sold when I went to visit it in person. left that in-person visit under the impression that this program and those who ran it actually cared about their students and their well-being far beyond just the dollar signs I’m sure other places would’ve see on our heads. They’re also the sister company of Code Fellows up in Seattle, so I figured their great reputation had to have some merit to it hah.
The school definitely prepared me to enter a job as a software engineer. The topics covered in the short 6 months turned out to be quite spot on in terms of what would be useful or relevant once joining the workforce. Also, the instructors are incredible. Ryan, who teaches the 3 month Career Track portion, is a GENIUS, but also happens to be the best teacher I’ve ever had in life, in any context. He has this incredible ability to explain any programming topic, no matter how complex or difficult it is, in a manageable way that actually leads you to a solid understanding. Of course you can’t learn everything in that short amount of time, but Alchemy gave me a SOLID foundation that I’ve been able to build off of as I continue to learn in my job.
Side note, I got a legit job as a fullstack JS dev in an awesome Portland company within two weeks of graduating. Cheers ya’ll. I definitely would recommend Alchemy Code Lab above all the other Portland options.
I worked as a software developer for many years in an old, proprietary IBM system. My job allowed me to work from home, and my kids were a primary focus during those years, so I was content to stay with the job even though my tech skills were growing stale. Eventually, my family reached the point where I felt I could focus more on my career, and I began to look for ways to make a change.
I researched several programs to update my skills, including on-line code schools, PSU's New Beginnings program, and in-person schools. Eventually, I decided I wanted an in-person, all-day program (to help me brush up on those interpersonal skills that might have gotten a little rusty after all those years working from home) with a fast-paced, in-depth, rigorous curriculum (I wasn't a beginner) that would give me immediately marketable and current skills. Alchemy seemed to meet all those criteria, and had (bonus!) a friendly, inclusive, and welcoming atmosphere. Alchemy lived up to my expectations in all areas. Despite my background in software, I was never bored or under-challenged. The frequent paired and group projects were an excellent way to re-learn how to code with other people, and I found my skills to be reasonably in demand once I graduated. After about two months of job hunting, I got two offers, both for jobs I was excited to take at a salary higher than I had anticipated.
Alchemy instructors are experienced software developers, not recent code-school grads. My instructors were Marty (a co-owner) and Ryan (lead instructor), and both of them are extremely smart and knowledgeable developers. I never got the feeling that they were teaching out of their depth. Their fluency with and mastery of what they were teaching was always apparent.
The TAs (recent grads) are an excellent addition to the program. They provide lots of help, feedback, and encouragement. And being a TA can be a very rewarding experience. It's a great way to build your competence and confidence with the material as you look for a job.
Alchemy is a pleasant place to spend a lot of time. It's clean, bright, organized, has lots of plants and even a couple of resident dogs. Megan (co-owner) works hard to make sure the physical space supports and accommodates all the action that takes place there.
Alchemy solicits student feedback every week (and sometimes every day!), and they take suggestions and criticism very seriously. They are very flexible and never afraid to experiment with new ways of doing things.
Shannon, the career counselor, is the perfect person for the role. She works hard to connect with Portland employers and be an evangelist for what Alchemy grads can provide. She brings in knowledgeable speakers to share their expertise about the job-hunting and on-boarding processes. And she provides great support to individual students before and after they graduate, not only helping with writing resumes and cover letters, but also encouraging the under-confident, prodding the procrastinator, and soothing the anxious.
It's a lot of work. Don't come here until you have the freedom to devote yourself entirely to learning. Especially toward the end, there were weekends where I had extra time only to get a little exercise and have meals with my family. All other time was devoted to software projects!
The open-source software world moves fast, and to keep up, the curriculum at Alchemy is constantly being updated and modified. Every cohort will feel that they are guinea pigs in at least one area. The alternative would be a canned, stagnant curriculum -- easier, yes, but less valuable.
Alchemy is the full package. I have no doubt I made the right choice.
The program is full time and intense, it seems to go at breakneck speed and asks a lot of the students. It is hard work to keep up, but the result is amazing! I find myself able to talk conceptually about code and implementation options with senior developers at work on a surprisingly complex level. Based on comments and feedback from peers and superiors, I can only attribute this to the rigorous program at Alchemy Code Lab.
Other than resume help, networking suggestions, introductions to members of the local development community, and continuing education resources, there wasn't much in the way of Job Assistance when I graduated. I have kept in touch with the folks at the school, though, and they have a wonderful drive to continually improve on what they already offer. That being said, they have been making inroads at many local tech companies and host a large number of community events at their space.
I can't stress enough how glad I am that I chose to go with Alchemy Code Lab. There are graduates of other bootcamps who found that they were un-prepared to head into the job market, and they are coming here afterwards to get better equipped and understand the concepts on a more fundamental level. The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable, and every month or so we would be thrown into a Project Week which would result in a Full Stack App of our own creation that would be useable after the program in our personal portfolios and resumes.
They have a great Career Services department that truly helps you in securing that job after graduation as well as opportunities to TA or work in their App Lab making real-world production Apps for clients who come to Alchemy to bring their ideas to market. I really do feel like this is the most advanced and competent bootcamp you will find in Portland, let alone anywhere.
- 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.