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:
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.
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.
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!