Bov Academy is not simply focused on pushing students through a crash course on programming to help them find a quick job. Rather, this program gives its students a comprehensive web programming education that helps them become confident and proficient programmers, gritty and ambitious graduates, ready to seek and find lasting success. Indeed, the program’s focus is on teaching its students, ordinary people, to do extraordinary things. Students graduate with an Evidential Degree that proves the student’s skills, knowledge, and expertise in the tools and technologies necessary for their career path.
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Recent Bov Academy Reviews: Rating 4.2
As a typical fullstack engineer, you will develop complete web applications (the frontend and backend) on a small and medium-sized team. On larger teams, you will likely work on one or more aspects (front or backend, for example, or help with both) of large applications. You may develop the frontend using a modern frameworks such as React.js, Angular.js, or Ember.js, build custom authentication and eCommerce solutions, create APIs and RESTful services (for both web apps and mobile apps), and deploy and manage server and database infrastructure, as well as turn designs and wireframes into real-world frontend applications. You will be able to develop complete, sophisticated web applications, and even mobile applications using web technologies.
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- For new and inexperienced programmers, and bootcamp and MOOC graduates with fewer than 2.5 years of experience
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- Payment Plan
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- Minimum Skill Level
- For new and inexperienced programmers, with accelerate paths for bootcamp and MOOC graduates with fewer than 2.5 years of experience.
- Prep Work
Bov Academy Reviews
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I am now almost three months into the full stack developer course at BOV Academy and I am really enjoying the whole experience. It is totally different to traditional schooling and I think that this style of education is the future. I can't believe how much I have learnt in such a short amount of time and I'm excited to graduate next year.
Prior to starting at BOV, I was working through the free courses on codecademy.com for just under a month as I planned to teach myself programming. I am incredibly glad that I came across BOV when I did as I quickly realized that I wasn't learning very much at all with codecademy once I started at BOV.
Regarding the time it takes to graduate, after 3 months of study I am a week ahead of the schedule. So I believe it will be possible for anyone to graduate in the 9 month time frame but there are some things that you need to consider before starting this course.
- I am working part time whilst I am studying, allowing me to put a lot of time in to my studies without completely sacrificing all of my spare time to spend with friends and family. I think it would be possible to finish this course whilst working a full time job, but I don't think it would be pleasant and you would have to basically put your life on complete if you wanted to finish in the 9 month time frame.
- You have to have the maturity and discipline to set your own schedule and be ruthless about it. This is the most my brain has been tested in a long time and there is a lot of work. BOV provides everything you need to succeed but they can't do the work for you. I am 30 and I can see how good this opportunity is and I am not going to waste it, but I may have not been as disciplined when I was younger.
- You have to be ready to fail constantly and push through it. This course is hard and you are going to reach points where you are so frustrated that you want to give up. You have to embrace failure as a sign that your are learning something and it is very important. That is why i realized I wasn't learning much doing the codecademy courses as it didn't challenge me anywhere near how I am challenged on a daily basis at BOV.
Overall if you are disciplined, mature and determined to change your life for the better, then I think studying at BOV is for you.
I will update my review here once I have graduated to comment on the job placement part of the course.
I am currently enrolled in the "second cohort", and have completed two months of my studies. I came into the course with literally no experience, other than a handful of weeks playing around with Codecademy. Interested in a career change for a long time I started researching "bootcamp" courses for developers. For me, BOV academy seemed to offer the most intensive learning at the most reasonable price. I was drawn to the nine month Full-Stack Developer program, especially when I read the breakdown of various chapters and opportunities presented- like working on real world projects. I then spoke with course director Richard on the phone so that I could voice any questions and concerns. After finding that every single query I had was met with genuine and upfront answers, I decided to make the leap.
The workload can seem like a lot at times, but I have been able to keep on top of my deadlines so far. If you are a total beginner like me, working part-time might be a good option if you can afford to do it. I can only speak for myself, but I really don’t think I could manage the completion of this course within the expected time frame while working full-time. Having more time has meant that I can really focus on giving the assignments my absolute best shot.
I have found some of the chapters very challenging but there is always help on hand provided by a forum of current and previous cohorts. Whether you have a question about how to use Github more efficiently, or why your piece of code isn’t functioning like you need it to; you can post your query, get some help, and sometimes-even start a thread of conversation that will educate many students other than yourself. I have to say I truly believe that this format is a great way to learn.
At the end of the day, there are a lot of alternatives out there, and sometimes you have to go with the option that just feels right. BOV felt like a good choice for me and I don’t regret it at all so far. I cannot speak for the job assistance criteria of the course, but I am willing to update my review in the future. I have to say that the entire experience so far has been very enjoyable.
Okay, okay, I get it. You're looking at these reviews and you're confused. There's great reviews, good reviews but with a lot of caveats, bad reviews, etc. I'm trying to look at this from the approach of someone considering the program, and it all seems pretty overwhelming.
I'm here to help. I'm going to focus less on if Bov Academy is a good program or a bad program. In fact, I'll get this out of the way: if that's what you're looking for, it's really good. End review.
I'm going to instead try to give you a small window into what it's like to be a Bov Academy student.
I've done the traditional education route. 4 year Bachelor's degree from a Major State University. Double Major. Graduated with Honors. Despite my overall success, I felt my experience with such an institute was a mostly fruitless societal exercise. I needed that piece of paper to participate in the adult world. The material leading up to it, with some exception, was as pointless as it was out of my control. I had little agency in my education and was obtaining no marketable skills.
The traditional educational system is outdated and provides, at best, minimal value. Bov Academy is at the front lines of what I think, and hope, will be a renaissance in the very approach to education.
As is often the case with with any disruptive force, some unintended damage has occurred along the way. This has made the journey an occasional struggle for early students, but has made the goals no less rewarding.
## Timing of the Program
Bov Academy (originally Modern Developer) was advertised as an online alternative to coding Bootcamps. The program advertised students could make $50 - 70 thousand a year with just six to eight months of instruction. This has not been the case for the first cohort.
This has, as you can see in other reviews, been the cause of some much deserved strife amongst students.
There's some important background to why and how this happened.
For one, the founder honestly underestimated how long it would take some students to get through courses. Two, some courses were more comprehensive then they needed to be based on the value they brought to the students. The founder has recognized this and scaled these courses back.
Here's the big piece of the puzzle though- which really cinched my dedication to the program. Founder Richard Bovell really wants you to succeed. Not just in the program, but in the work you do after the program.
Richard doesn't want you to eye a Junior Developer job, like the Bootcamps semi-prepare you for- he wants you to eye that Senior Developer job.
Richard decided that the program, as was currently designed, did not prepare students for the REALLY high paying jobs. So he announced advanced and expert programs. The price and the time for graduation raised with this change.
I know what you're thinking, "WHAT? NO WAY!"
Here's the thing, Richard immediately announced that all current students- who had paid considerably less- would be taking the advanced courses- and some of the expert courses, FREE OF CHARGE.
Now, try to imagine for a moment a traditional school doing this.
"Hey, we realize the value of these Bachelor degrees are going down, so we're going to let every student here get their Masters and start their Doctorate for free."
Would it be disruptive to students to find out they were suddenly further away from graduation? Absolutely.
Ultimately, though, such an institution would be doing right by its students. This is a scenario that I would normally say "that would never happen."
Except it did happen- at Bov Academy. Richard did right by us.
I'm going to be the first to tell you- if you're goal is to be some sort of web developer in five months, this is not the program for you. If you're goal is to be a great developer- read on.
To Richards credit, he is constantly updating the material and finding ways to allow students to get to graduation at a faster rate, but only in ways that will NOT affect the quality of education. As things are now, if you can dedicate full time to the program, I do believe you could complete it in 9 - 10 months.
Traditional Colleges give you a destination and tell you to not crash before you reach it. How you get there or if the trip was valuable is of no importance. Bootcamps fly you where you want to go on a jet and tell you to try to remember the details from the birds-eye view.
Bov Academy gives you a map, a guide, and says "Find your way and we'll be here when you arrive."
In my experience, most courses were excellent, a handful of courses were good, and only one course- which has since been updated- was problematic.
Courses are posted in sequence at an educational portal and you can complete them at your pace. The exercises and projects do a great job of solidifying the course material. A "QA" message board is available to ask questions if you're stuck, and there's almost always someone available to help. Yes, even at 2AM.
Mentor programs and 1:1 training sessions are also available on sign up.
Bov Academy will provide you with a fantastic web development education, but you may be surprised to hear that the program also places a lot of emphasis on communication skills and writing. I had a lot of these skills coming in- I was a writer and an administrative assistant before I came to Bov Academy- but I still found the course material helpful and able to provide improvements in this regard.
I have seen a huge jump in skill level from the other students. Yes, there were students, besides myself, who came to the program with this particular skill set, but I have a seen exceptional improvements in the communication of those who did not.
As a member of the community, I had originally found myself taking a role where I would go through threads on QA and attempt to present forum topics in a way that was a bit easier to digest and more comprehensive.
This is not something I do anymore. It's not needed. Within three months, the students who came in without previous communication experience had caught up.
##An Evolving Education
Technology is in constant flux, and appropriately, so is the course material on Bov Academy. Richard is very open to suggestions. Recently, many students noted they wanted to learn GULP, a build system quickly gaining in popularity. Richard's response "you asked for it, you'll get it." GULP has been added to the technologies covered.
The structure also encourages a lot of agency not provided at most traditional colleges. This is actually my favorite part of the program. For example, an early assignment had us create a specific project on GitHub. Before I received this assignment I already had an idea for a personal project I intended to post on GitHub. I wrote the Bov Academy staff and asked if I could work on my own project instead. The staff responded with a list of skills they wanted to see demonstrated but then added, "If your project shows you've obtained those skills, create whatever you want."
I'm a creative type, so I frequently want to design my own thing instead of what the assignment asked me to. It's become not uncommon for me to write Richard and say "can I do this other thing that requires the same skills instead?"
I can't remember a time Richard said no.
##Availability of the Program Founder
You may be thinking, "This Richard guy sure is mentioned a lot."
Richard is the founder of Bov Academy and he makes himself extremely, impressively accessible to students. He responds to every single question/e-mail/QA post a student requests his input on. Literally every single one.
My first week in the program I wrote to Richard about a small course issue. I expected to get pre-written spoon fed instructions from an intern or assistant. Nope. Richard wrote back within 6 hours: a two page, comprehensive response. I was blown away.
Even at the time I expected Richard to be a figure that would gradually fade away. Not at all. At this point, I probably spend more time talking to Richard then my parents. I'm always yakking away at him asking- through some virtual means- for his advice regarding some aspect of the program.
Richard responds, supportively, every single time.
Honestly, I have no idea how the guy does it.
#Part Time Students
Do you have a full-time job? Kids? Do you run a traveling circus six months out of the year?
This is the program for you. Seriously. I would not even consider something else.
I am not a full-time student. I have about five lives I manage, and they don't always mesh very well.
I've still been able to get through the program at a steady rate. I am only slightly behind my full-time peers.
The ability to work remotely and not have to travel to a specific location- or be available at a specific time- to attend school is absolutely what has made this all possible. There is no way I'd be able to accomplish any of this at an on-site college.
Now, straight up, if this is your situation- you won't finish in six to nine months. But you **will* complete the program, and come out an exceptional software engineer.
If you find yourself in a situation that could temporarily halt your studies, just email Richard and let him know. I can personally attest he is very supportive and understanding. He really does want you to succeed.
A bit about me
There was this side note about Bov Academy (called Modern Developer at that time). Though I couldn't check it out at that time due to my deadline to complete work, I went online as soon as I came back home and tried to learn everything about this program. I had to because I had to literally pitch this program to my family before I invest in it and in my career.
I really thank my stars that I finally made the decision to join this program. I have never looked back since then and I have gained so much from this program, that I would otherwise not have even thought about if I would continued in my career as is.
About Bov Academy
Although many have said and still say that the program is taking longer than advertised, I don't mind that and would advise anyone reading this to not get perturbed by this fact that it is taking longer for us to graduate.
It was ought to be this long. I thought about it even before joining the program. This was the very first cohort, the cohort which would have laid foundation for future cohorts. Everyone who joined the first cohort was told that since we are in the first cohort it will be a responsibility besides being a privilege. We had to give the program time to mature and also our effort and suggestions to help make it mature for future cohorts. And believe me the program has come ahead by leaps and bounds.
No program is perfect since the very first day and this program was no exception. But if we compare it with any other program, I am sure you will find that this has matured most rapidly, thanks to invaluable suggestions from many students and even more for Richard (CEO of Bov Academy) to accept all those were viable and acceptable. Had he not been that receptive, the program might not have taken flight in the first place.
The program now is of much shorter duration thanks to all the suggested and accepted changes in the program. (I describe those a little later, below.)
The Course Program
Although I was a software engineer by profession, Computer Science and Software Development wasn't my major but my minor in college (I probably took only 2-3 courses in my entire 4 year program). Still I was an enthusiastic student (I will consider myself a student always. There's always something to learn). I was a good performer in my job and I got many laurels and applauds and promotions, all because I was eager to learn.
The course program here are Bov Academy has taught me many things. I proudly say that what I have learnt so far in the program in last one year, I wouldn't have learned in more than two years had I continued the way I was in my job before the program.
We also got into and are building many real-world projects all different from one another. This ought to go into our resumes and make us ready for the upcoming job search. We will also get proper guidance when that happens. Because of the comprehensive and rigorous education, graduating from this program is a prestigious feat in itself.
The Changes Underway in the Program
- New instructors and Newly Devised Project Review Structure: Five new instructors (some of whom happen to be our most empathetic, meticulous, and studious students) and a new project-review process has been put into place. Two instructors now review every major project (more thorough review than any similar program provides) to help students develop refined professional UIs and write professional-grade code.
- Very close-knit community of students and instructors: A Question-Answer platform like StackOverflow was in place since the start of the program. It is now being used effectively to ensure every student gets comprehensive and timely help. There are also plans to revamp QA and add more features to it in the near future.
- The courses are updated to be as good as any that can be found online and even expert videos and instructions are being embedded alongside the written courses. There are videos from top experts, including Frontend Masters.
- Much quicker graduation with the ability to skip courses: The students in new cohorts will also have the ability to skip some courses if they already know the concepts. Though I personally won't recommend that as there is always something new to learn even if one knows the concepts.
- Build real-world projects and real-world apps, including paid real-world projects: There will be many opportunities to build real world projects that will help getting the correct kind of professional experience and experience in working in real competitive environments and teams.
- And many more..
There are many other features of the program which all can't be described in a single review. I and in fact any first cohort student and even more the CEO of the program can be contacted directly to get more information about the program. You can check out answer by Richard (CEO of Bov Academy) on Quora.
I am excited and all the way grateful that I am part of such a program which taught me so many things. I am currently part of the first cohort in Frontend Engineer course and soon after I graduate from this, I'll be joining the Backend Engineer course to become a Fullstack Developer.
I have received about three emails so far, with an average of 8 questions about Bov Academy (BA), which I replied to. I thought I should write my review here as well to help anyone else who may need some information about BA.
Me, before joining BA
A new student at a new programming school
BA, like a newborn baby, was new at the time. No history, no current students, no graduates (none as of yet) to get any helpful information. Totally nothing except the information on their website at the time (learn.moderndeveloper.com). It is so difficult to believe mere information without any some form of backup but I am glad I took the bold decision. Convinced by their curriculum, I didn't care much about anything else. I told myself if only I could get 60% of the knowledge this school is promising.
Surely, the start was not good. We experienced many delays like opening day, content release etc. As time passed by, everything started smoothening out and studying was normal. BA's early days, IMHO are no longer important as no baby walks out of its mother's womb, so I will got straight to my review.
This is the best part of BA, the reason I enrolled in the program. I have never seen such a comprehensive curriculum. Having worked in the academia, I know that schools do a lot of benchmarking for the curriculums of their programs, and I have been involved in it myself. The people at BA surely did their due diligence to come up with such a curriculum for a complete developer. The curriculum is summarized into courses on their website but each of the courses (speaking of those I have completed so far) is comprehensive enough to enable a student to understand and master concepts deeply. Of course, there are cases where outside reading from the official documentation is recommended or at times required in some course chapters.
The other great thing about the curriculum is, new course chapters or even entire courses are added to reflect the fast-changing world of modern development. For example, at the time I joined, we did not have anything on Webpack, ES6 among others. Video material is also being introduced for the visual learner (I am not one). Moreover, some of these will be from Frontend Masters to reemphasize some topics.
When going through the courses, you are required to complete one chapter at a time, giving you a systematic yet flexible (you can skip a chapter) approach to your personal development. Chapter after chapter, project after project, your confidence builds up. Half way into the program, I feel confident already developing any UI.
This is where BA struggled a bit. Students usually need a helping hand, if possible, as and when they need it. Although instructors (not the authors of the content) were available, their response time was not as good as one would have liked. But why am I rating Instructors gauge with 5 stars? It is because BA has made some important changes that I feel are really great. Having taught for 5yrs at a University, I have learned that some students learn even better from fellow students than straight from their professors. Student instructors have been introduced to help in reviewing other student projects and code. These are not just any students, they are among the best students in the program who have proved time and again on BA's Question and Answer forum how good they are in helping out other students with thorough answers to questions or review of their projects. Of course, there are professional developer instructors with whom students can have contact if they prefer that professional touch.
Currently, no student has graduated yet. The students at the front of the program should start graduating from June 2017. I expect to graduate in September 2017. Although it seems difficult to judge BA on Job Assistance, this is what I have gathered so far:
- BA has many internal projects that its own students are not enough to work on them. These serve as good internship opportunities once you have graduated. It is said that these will be paid internship positions.
- BA solicits for paid projects from external companies that students can work on in teams or individually.
- Besides the above, the numerous real world project assignments, hackathons, non-paid real world side projects all contribute to your portfolio. These would make up for 1 - 2 years of experience required on many jobs. By the way, most public projects (BA website itself, Blog, Students Website etc were developed and being maintained by students)
So how is all that Job Assistance? I have not talked about the interview preparations and other job seeker assistance lined up, not mentioning the team said to be waiting to place graduates into highly rewarding positions. I can't really say much about those because I have not experienced them, although I know it is something waiting to happen.
The experience itself at BA is comparable to a work environment. For example, the projects you work on are real-world. The work you do in teams gives you the experience of working with remote teams in different time zones, giving you the opportunity to improve how you communicate and work with others remotely. The tools used are what are used in the workplace. You get to use all of Slack, Trello, Github among other specific ones the team may choose to use. All these contribute to Job Assistance. You can, therefore, look at the job assistance at the end of the program as simply cementing the job training you have been going through right from the start.
Overall, it has been a great experience so far and it gets even better as I progress through the program. I guess because the foundation knowledge has been well laid. I have learned a lot already, more than what I could have learned if I tried to do it on my own. The numerous exercises in each chapter solidify knowledge and great for filling any gaps, the project assignments at the end of each chapter give me an opportunity to apply my knowledge creatively in solving a problem. The hackathons are the intense periods while in the program. It's when you get out of your comfort work schedule into one that matches your team.
BA's Question and Answer forum is full of really helpful students. You could ask a question as seemingly simple as What really is a variable, and you will get a detailed answer without responses like, "But that is covered in Chapter X". You could post just about anything, even if it is to get some emotional support or encouragment. :)
My Simple Advice
You need to be seriously committed and determined in putting the effort required to reap the benefits of a comprehensive education at BA. You do not need to quit your job to concentrate on the studies, just be committed to the effort you put in. For example, although the website says you should put in 4 - 5hrs each day, you can do just fine with 1 - 2hrs each day depending on your work schedule, the level of your experience or your learning abilities. There will be days when this program will kick your butt, but your determination and commitment will see you through, I have seen some students fall behind and struggle to play catch up and start to look out for any easy way out just to complete the program.
Get in already, come out an exceptional developer. I am already getting there.
I am developer with number of years in the field. My latest skills is a backend developer utilizing Java language and technologies. I wanted to learn and work as Modern Full stack web developer. I have finished several MOOC courses. However, I did not get any knowledge. I was trying to educate myself, but have been overwhelmed by information and could come with reasonable plan. I have found Bov Academy (Modern Web Developer) and never wanted to look back. It is the best thing that happen to me. The curriculum is very profound and good thought. It teaches you as how to improve the logic, it also teaches you how to express your thoughts in writing and all this in addition to provide education how to become the Modern Web Developer. In addition, we get an abundance of encouragement along the way. Any place I work I always hear from people that something impossible. This course is the first place to give you confidence that you can accomplished anything you think about of. Each chapter of the course provides immediate practical exercise to solidify your knowledge. Also at the end of chapter project assignments and end of chapter questions. To write article is very beneficial, because it forces you to understand the matter deep to be able to explain in simple way.
How about a real-world project, that prepares you to work in commercial environment? We have plenty of those: hackathons, creating innovative elements, developing real world projects, etc.
This course is not “walk in the park”; it requires self-discipline, determination, willing to work hard to succeed. However, of you do, you will become one of the most brilliant developers in the world.
Let us not to forget that Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy.
This program is perfectly fit me. I have a fulltime job and I want to make a career change and advance to Web Development industry. I can spend 2-3 hours a day and spend whole weekend to study. The curriculum is awesome. You will learn from very basic to many adanced topic in the field. There are many exercises for you in each chapter and end of chapter you will write one full length article for what you have learnt. It's really tough, but you will gain more knowledge and have a deep understand on what you learnt.
That's not all. Be prepare to be pushed when joining Bov Academy :D. You will have many projects to work on. From personal projects, team projects, real-world projects. They help sharpen your skills, make you confident.
At Bov Academy, you will spend most of the time on Q.A platform (stand for Question & Answer). Q.A platform is a centerpiece in whole program. It's a good place for you to ask questions when you get stuck or you can help other student who stuck. Your questions are mostly answerd in 10 minutes. It's a great place to know others students, their performance...
If you're busy person with fulltime job in the same field, or hate your current job and want to make a career change, and don't want to take risk to join a 3-month bootcamp, this program is perfectly for you. You can spent 2-3 hours a day to study (recommend 4-5 hours a day) while keep working to support familly.
I haven't graduated yet due to my serious time constraints and I am a member of the first cohort. I came in not knowing ANYTHING. We have a wide variety of people in our cohort in regards to skillsets- from newbies who want a structured path to follow, to senior developers who need to fill in the gaps in their knowledge. Technology moves fast and you must always be learning, always reading, and expect that the duration of this course pales in comparison to the duration of your career, should you accept the exciting challenge of starting the journey as a developer.
My first experience with programming was my duration in a bootcamp that is famous in my city, with high average rates and glowing reviews. I'm a little confused about that because every single graduate I know (save one) dropped out, due to frustration and a lack of skills. Also, bootcamp grads have a bad rep and find difficulty in job placement. Do not be fooled by bootcamps who promise you a job, an instructor I know personally at another school admitted to me that they will even stuff grads in to retail positions at Best Buy just to make the numbers.
I’m a student of BovAcademy. I began officially on January 2016. I will be referring to the program as BA henceforth.
The Start of BA
The program experienced delays at the beginning since not everything was ready, but I accepted that as I was one of the first cohort willing to test out the program and give feedback so that it may grow to become a top-tier coding program. During this time, most of us were ready for a fun-packed curriculum for the eight to ten months advertised on their old website. The remaining months have been ok, though there were drama behind the scenes, bitter employees, one or two angry students, student-turn-employees who wrote reviews here (don't think they mentioned that to readers), and the neverending sales pitches by Richard.
A Year’s Recap - Good and the Bad
The first few courses/chapters felt like time fillers. Then after three months or so, we finally got to actual coding beginning with the HTML and CSS chapters. Indeed, there were growing pains at the start, and still a bit today, but students were and are quick to point out the flaws which BovAcademy, formerly known as Learn.ModernDeveloper, worked and are working to fix. There is still room for improvements and steps are being taken one year and a half later. Below are some new additions that are being implemented now:
- Video material added to course chapters
- Feedback and mentoring by other students
Regarding the second bullet point: BA is navigating a new route of using students as instructors. These students, quoted by the founder, “are not necessarily the best developers.” Ok, that is fine because not all experienced developers have the license to teach!
Though none are, as quoted, to be advanced in the topics within their domain such as React and JS, they are set on a path to be so. An update was indeed made after I marked myself as a vociferous opponent to this change. The founder added that those of us who prefer professional web experience can seek out the help, the tutelage, the mentorship of real-world experienced developers who authored some of our courses. This was important to me because anything less would feel like an expensive tutoring center. As for the student instructors, they have the quality of willing to help others and their addition to the instructor team may improve the feedback feature which has not been ideal.
The courses are many and varied, such as HTML, CSS, introductory JS, the DOM, internet architecture, and more advanced topics such as mastering JS and its libraries. Each chapter includes exercises and projects. Along the way, you build a portfolio, a UI framework, compete in the program’s Hackathons, and work on real-world projects.
I will warn future students that if you do not like reading, or you have a disability, or you have a learning preference, the textbook-style material may not appeal to you if you only want to get to the main points before the actual coding. However, not all chapters are needlessly long with filler content and there are changes underway to improve the earlier material that are dry, specifically, the HTML and CSS chapters. I made the recommendation to appeal to all types of learners, specifically visual. They are adding videos from Frontend Masters to their courses which is a great big step forward. Content must be engaging. To break up a wall of text, images, graphs, code examples, and videos are great tools for teaching without tiring students.
I’m Allowed to be Exasperated
I am not a fair-weather student nor a negative one; I am a paying student who waited a very long time for the exceptional place of learning that the program positions itself as. The frequent complaints are no transparency, low quality in some of the chapters, lack of clarity in project requirements, and the slowness of the program. Many of the earlier chapters weren’t enlightening; for me, they served as a supplement to outside blog articles, tutorials, and MDN. I do look forward for the advanced courses ahead and my review will be edited to reflect that. Again, as a reminder, the program is relatively a baby and has a lot of potential.
What I like about the program is that some of the courses are comprehensive. Not everything can be covered, but enough is covered to equip you to do the projects and research online. The other positives are the program-wide hackathons, real-world projects (I’ve worked on one form and on the student website), and the pinnacle project. There are paid opportunities, but I do not have an opinion on that. What dissatisfies me in this program are some sub-par written chapters (in the process of being improved), QA needs refinement, graduation time is too long at, so far and counting, 1.5 years when they said around 8 months, and the new system of non-teaching instructor student mentors who have not yet graduated that was implemented in the beginning of May. The authors are now available for assistance, which is what I expected at the start.
I am not being disrespectful—this is my time and money after all—and I am aware the anonymous founder has feelings, but it is helpful to be an outspoken opponent to ensure students get the exceptional program they signed up for. The founder had said we paid for the program and deserve to get an exceptional one, which tells me that I didn't get the exceptional program I paid for thus far. I would be remiss to not say that the founder has been willing to consider feedback and implement them if they are doable.
My advice: if you can't afford 8 months to a year or more to attend the program without income, then don't quit your day job. And if you *do* have the funds, look at other schools and their student-graduate data that back up their claims. Obviously, it's your money; you can attend BA and may get a better experience out of it as things slowly change for the better, hopefully. At this point, I still don't see any student-graduation data. For sure, I only know of one who graduated after nearly 1.5 years of this.
Before I begin, I want to say that I am a member of the first cohort of Bov Academy students. As members of the first class of students, we have naturally experienced many of the growing pains and frictions one might expect from a new, untested program. I am more forgiving of the program's flaws considering these circumstances.
Important note - due to the thoroughness of the curriculum, this program takes a long time to complete. If you are considering it, you should absolutely have at least part-time work lined up to support yourself through the process.
Apart from the curriculum, my favorite aspect of Bov Academy is the care, commitment, and passion the founder/director (Richard) and his staff put into the program on a daily basis. The team truly cares about each and every student and does whatever it can to address the program’s issues and help students learn and progress. And, most of the time, the instructors are responsive and willing to answer any questions students might have at any given time.
All of this isn't to say that the program is perfect; there is certainly real room for improvement in many areas and there are issues that have hampered the experience and need to be ironed out for the sake of the current and future cohorts; for example, the program has taken way too long for the first cohort, some of the chapters have exhibited questionable quality, and a few of the instructors are, in my opinion, not very good. However, as I said earlier, it’s important to keep in mind that the program is new and that growing pains are a natural part of any new venture. I give credit to Richard’s willingness to consider student feedback and address issues, and have faith that the program will only improve as it matures.
P.S. I am still a student, and thus cannot comment on the effectiveness of the employment resources Bov Academy offers its students.
I am writing this review in part, to inform potential students that if they are currently unemployed, partially employed, or unhappily employed, and they are relying on getting employed in the field as a direct result of this program to relieve their current employment situation, that they should be prepared financially, and with their personal and family emotional support needs, for a long journey.
I am currently a student in the first cohort, and looking to make a career change. We are now in the 16th month of Career Path 3:Modern Frontend Developer, which was originally stated to take 6-8.5 months. I entered the program wanting something more thorough and less dense/accelerated than the at-the-time typical 3 month accelerated program, so I was ok with the stated 6-8.5 month time frame and expected there might be some reasonable extended time frame since it was the first cohort ever. At this time, the best and fastest students, even those dedicated to full-time study, still have not graduated/finished the program, nor obtained employment as a direct result of having attended the program. There are more than a few people in this path and cohort that are already developers and employed as such, are otherwise likely happily/gainfully employed, or perhaps have a significant someone that can support them through the program, so for those folks, the overtime of the program probably does not matter so much and is possibly even viewed as bonus continuing education for them. But for those that are unemployed, partially employed, or unhappily employed, and had high hopes of being employed in some capacity in the field by now, the greatly extended program time frame has caused financial and personal/family stress.
The curriculum intention is broad and deep. This is a very good thing and a reason that might make you consider enrolling in this program. The implementation of that so far, needs work, however. The course material has often been bloated and not to-the-point enough, less complete in important points than perhaps it should be, and its sequencing sometimes does not make the best sense. There doesn't seem to be frequent enough and steady enough time spent building substantial projects to develop a sense of accomplishment, proficiency, and confidence, at a point where we are well into the program. This is acknowledged internally and I believe steps are being taken to address these things. There are now also efforts to trim down course material to reduce the overall program time. As long as these remedies are actually fully/successfully implemented, the curriculum will hopefully settle into something traversable within stated time frames, and result in proficiency and confidence-building works worthy of showing within that time.
There needs to be more attention paid to the status of a student's progress and skill level at various stages in the program. A working project does not necessarily mean the details of semantics, structure, and best practices have been appropriately met. There has been a feedback process in place that has not worked very well at all in that regard. There are discussions now about how this ongoing student evaluation is to be achieved.
One true test of value for any program is the ability to provide the path, material, projects, feedback, and support, to take a person, with their diligent efforts, who is not currently a programmer/developer to a level of proficiency and confidence to become employed in the field, outside of the program itself. This has not happened for anyone yet in this program to my knowledge. I do think that this program has the potential to produce thoroughly skilled programmers and developers, assuming that it gets further attention to hone down and improve the digestibility of the material, and address how to evaluate a student's real state of development throughout the program. However, you, and your family and loved ones should be prepared to live with your current personal and employment situation and finances, for the long, yet somewhat unknown, duration.
I had been trying to become a proficient developer for 2 years before I found Bov Academy. I signed up for many online courses (both free and paid) and those helped me to get my feet wet, however, I couldn't get past that beginner - intermediate stage of web development learning. I was also consumed by the vast number of things that needed to be learned, and I was confused by the new frameworks that kept on popping up.
I joined Bov Academy as a part of the first cohort and never looked back. They provide a lengthy and well thought out curriculum to educate students on the concepts considered most important in the Web Development industry. They also provide a number of projects that force you to get your hands dirty and learn by actually doing something instead of just reading or watching a video. They also offer topics that aren't taught in regular Web Development courses like Math (for logical thinking) and Writing Well (for sharing your work).
That said, Bov Academy is no walk in the park. It is a school for persons who really are determined to work hard and go beyond the call of duty. Many times, you'll find yourself stuck on a problem, however, this is no different from any other web development school. To help you out Bov Academy provides a wonderful forum for students with issues and questions who need help. The collective knowledge of all the students and the instructors are in that forum and it allows students to solidify concepts by explaining it to others and helps to solve any problems facing students within a few hours.
No matter what the advertisement for developer learning says, it takes hard work, determination, and consistency. Bov Academy recognizes these facts and embraces them. They provide a great curriculum, an awesome way to get answers to any questions you have along the way and constant encouragement to improve your determination to achieve your goals.
I didnt get an education in return for the money spent.Take your money elsewhere
Response From: Nathan of Bov Academy
In the meantime, we can only hypothesize what upset this particular student.
Right around the time of this review we published our policy regarding inactive students- or students who had not participated in the program for some time.
We recognize that a good portion of our student body works full time, and as a result this policy is rather flexible. Students need to only turn in a single project every six weeks to remain active. We also provided procedures to give students time off if they knew in advance they were going to be away.
Furthermore, we provided every single student who had ever signed up for our program notice of the policy change, and gave all students who had let us four weeks to return free of charge. Most students responded very positively to this change.
In fact we had two students who had been missing over a year ask if they could return to the program and we absolutely allowed them to do so.
We encourage every student's success- even those who leave us bad reviews. As we mentioned above, please contact us so we may resolve any outstanding complaints.
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