brainstation-logo

BrainStation

New York City, Online, San Jose, Toronto, Vancouver

BrainStation

Avg Rating:4.54 ( 159 reviews )

Recent BrainStation Reviews: Rating 4.54

all (159) reviews for BrainStation →

Recent BrainStation News

Read all (20) articles about BrainStation →
  • Agile Training

    Apply
    In PersonFull Time0 Weeks
    Start Date
    November 29, 2018
    Cost
    $1,500
    Class size
    6
    Location
    New York City
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities
    Tuition Plans
    3 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship, Women in Development Scholarship, University and College Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
  • Data Analytics

    Apply
    SQL, Excel
    In PersonFull Time0 Weeks
    Start Date
    November 10, 2018
    Cost
    $2,200
    Class size
    10
    Location
    Online, New York City, Vancouver, Toronto
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities
    Tuition Plans
    3 or 6 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship, Women in Development Scholarship, University and College Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Prep Work
    Prep Course is available. It provides introductory material, quizzes and exposure to custom portal.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
    More Start Dates
    November 10, 2018 - Online
    November 13, 2018 - New York City
  • Data Science

    Apply
    Python, Machine Learning, Data Structures
    In PersonPart Time3 Hours/week4 Weeks
    Start Date
    November 11, 2018
    Cost
    $2,900
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Online, Vancouver, Toronto
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + Tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities.
    Tuition Plans
    3 or 6 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    Women in Development Scholarship, University & College Student Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees, Merit Scholarship
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Prep Work
    Prep Course available. This provides you with introductory material, quizzes and lets you experience our custom-built learning portal.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
    More Start Dates
    November 11, 2018 - Online
  • Design Thinking Training

    Apply
    Design
    In PersonFull Time0 Weeks
    Start Date
    October 31, 2018
    Cost
    $1,500
    Class size
    12
    Location
    New York City
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities
    Tuition Plans
    3 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship, Women in Development Scholarship, University and College Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
    More Start Dates
    October 31, 2018 - New York City
    November 27, 2018 - New York City
  • Digital Marketing

    Apply
    Digital Marketing
    In PersonPart Time3 Hours/week4 Weeks
    Start Date
    November 10, 2018
    Cost
    $2,900
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Online, Vancouver, Toronto
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities.
    Tuition Plans
    3 or 6 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    University & College Student Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees, Merit Scholarship
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Prep Work
    Prep Course available. This provides you with introductory material, quizzes and lets you experience our custom-built learning portal.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
  • Full-time Data Science Program

    Apply
    Start Date
    Rolling Start Date
    Cost
    $12,000
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Vancouver, Toronto
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 CAD + tax application fee
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities.
    Tuition Plans
    3, 6, or 12 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation.
    Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship, Women in Development Scholarship, University and College Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Prior experience with programming.
    Prep Work
    Prep Course is required to be completed prior to acceptance. The prep course ensures that students enter with the minimum expected understanding while assessing student readiness.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    Yes
  • Full-Time User Experience Design Program

    Apply
    Design, Product Management, User Experience Design
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week10 Weeks
    Start Date
    None scheduled
    Cost
    $12,000
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Vancouver, Toronto
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 CAD + tax application fee
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities.
    Tuition Plans
    3, 6, or 12 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation.
    Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship, Women in Development Scholarship, University and College Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner.
    Prep Work
    Prep Course is required to be completed prior to acceptance. The prep course ensures that students enter with the minimum expected understanding while assessing student readiness.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    Yes
  • Full-Time Web Development Program

    Apply
    MySQL, HTML, Git, JavaScript, SQL, jQuery, CSS, Express.js, React.js, Data Structures, Node.js, Front End
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week10 Weeks
    Start Date
    None scheduled
    Cost
    $12,000
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Vancouver, Toronto
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 CAD + tax application fee
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities.
    Tuition Plans
    3, 6, or 12 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation.
    Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship, Women in Development Scholarship, University and College Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Prior experience with HTML & CSS recommended.
    Prep Work
    Prep Course is required to be completed prior to acceptance. The prep course ensures that students enter with the minimum expected understanding while assessing student readiness.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    Yes
  • Google Ads Training

    Apply
    Digital Marketing
    In PersonFull Time0 Weeks
    Start Date
    October 25, 2018
    Cost
    $1,500
    Class size
    6
    Location
    New York City
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities
    Tuition Plans
    3 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship, Women in Development Scholarship, University and College Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
  • Google Analytics Training

    Apply
    Digital Marketing
    In PersonFull Time0 Weeks
    Start Date
    October 29, 2018
    Cost
    $1,500
    Class size
    6
    Location
    New York City
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities
    Tuition Plans
    3 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship, Women in Development Scholarship, University and College Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
  • iOS Development

    Apply
    User Experience Design, iOS, Swift
    In PersonPart Time3 Hours/week10 Weeks
    Start Date
    None scheduled
    Cost
    $2,900
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Online, Vancouver, Toronto
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities.
    Tuition Plans
    3 or 6 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    Women in Development Scholarship, University & College Student Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees, Merit Scholarship
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Recommended experience with variables, control flow, functions, data structures and objects; May be suitable for beginners
    Prep Work
    Prep Course available. This provides you with introductory material, quizzes and lets you experience our custom-built learning portal.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
  • Product Management

    Apply
    Digital Marketing, Design, Product Management, Growth Hacking
    In PersonPart Time6 Hours/week5 Weeks
    Start Date
    November 10, 2018
    Cost
    N/A
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Online, New York City, Vancouver, Toronto
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities
    Tuition Plans
    3 or 6 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship, Women in Development Scholarship, University and College Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Prep Work
    Prep Course is available. It provides introductory material, quizzes and exposure to custom portal.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
  • SEO/SEM & Analytics

    Apply
    Digital Marketing, SEO
    In PersonPart Time3 Hours/week9 Weeks
    Start Date
    None scheduled
    Cost
    $2,900
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Online, Vancouver, Toronto
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities.
    Tuition Plans
    3 or 6 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    University & College Student Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees, Merit Scholarship
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Prep Work
    Prep Course available. This provides you with introductory material, quizzes and lets you experience our custom-built learning portal.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
  • SEO Training

    Apply
    Digital Marketing, SEO
    In PersonFull Time0 Weeks
    Start Date
    None scheduled
    Cost
    $1,500
    Class size
    6
    Location
    New York City
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities
    Tuition Plans
    3 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship, Women in Development Scholarship, University and College Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
  • Social Media Marketing

    Apply
    Start Date
    November 11, 2018
    Cost
    $1,950
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Online, Vancouver, Toronto
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 CAD + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities.
    Tuition Plans
    3 or 6 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation.
    Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship, Women in Development Scholarship, University and College Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner.
    Prep Work
    Prep Course is available. It provides introductory material, quizzes and exposure to custom portal.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
    More Start Dates
    November 11, 2018 - Online
  • User Experience Design

    Apply
    Design, User Experience Design
    In PersonFull Time0 Weeks
    Start Date
    November 6, 2018
    Cost
    $2,200
    Class size
    10
    Location
    San Jose, Online, New York City, Vancouver, Toronto
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities
    Tuition Plans
    3 or 6 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship, Women in Development Scholarship, University and College Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Prep Work
    Prep Course is available. It provides introductory material, quizzes and exposure to custom portal.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
    More Start Dates
    November 6, 2018 - New York City
    November 11, 2018 - Online
  • User Interface Design

    Apply
    User Experience Design
    In PersonPart Time3 Hours/week9 Weeks
    Start Date
    None scheduled
    Cost
    $2,900
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Online, Vancouver, Toronto
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities.
    Tuition Plans
    3 or 6 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    University & College Student Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees, Merit Scholarship
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Prep Work
    Prep Course available. This provides you with introductory material, quizzes and lets you experience our custom-built learning portal.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
  • Web Accessibility Training

    Apply
    Design
    In PersonFull Time0 Weeks
    Start Date
    November 19, 2018
    Cost
    $1,500
    Class size
    6
    Location
    New York City
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500 + tax
    Financing
    Financing options available through flexible payment plans and scholarship opportunities
    Tuition Plans
    3 months of interest free payments handled internally at BrainStation
    Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship, Women in Development Scholarship, University and College Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
  • Web Development

    Apply
    In PersonPart Time3 Hours/week10 Weeks
    Start Date
    None scheduled
    Cost
    $2,500
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Vancouver, Toronto
    Financing
    Deposit
    $500
    Financing
    Available
    Scholarship
    Women in Development Scholarship, University & College Student Scholarship, Entrepreneur in Technology Scholarship, Scholarship for Non-Profit Employees, Merit Scholarship
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No

Review Guidelines

  • Only Applicants, Students, and Graduates are permitted to leave reviews on Course Report.
  • Post clear, valuable, and honest information that will be useful and informative to future coding bootcampers. Think about what your bootcamp excelled at and what might have been better.
  • Be nice to others; don't attack others.
  • Use good grammar and check your spelling.
  • Don't post reviews on behalf of other students or impersonate any person, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity.
  • Don't spam or post fake reviews intended to boost or lower ratings.
  • Don't post or link to content that is sexually explicit.
  • Don't post or link to content that is abusive or hateful or threatens or harasses others.
  • Please do not submit duplicate or multiple reviews. These will be deleted. Email moderators to revise a review or click the link in the email you receive when submitting a review.
  • Please note that we reserve the right to review and remove commentary that violates our policies.

Hey there! As of 11/1/16 is now Hack Reactor. If you graduated from prior to October 2016, Please leave your review for . Otherwise, please leave your review for Hack Reactor.

Title
Description
Rating
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
School Details
About You

Non-anonymous, verified reviews are always more valuable (and trustworthy) to future bootcampers. Anonymous reviews will be shown to readers last.

Please submit this review with a valid email

You must provide a valid email to submit your review. Your review will not appear on the live Course Report site until you confirm it.


Ana Aguiar  User Photo
Ana Aguiar • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
N/A
Taylor  User Photo
Taylor • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Gracie  User Photo
Gracie • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
N/A
Candice  User Photo
Candice • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Ashleigh, Marketer  User Photo
Ashleigh, Marketer • Regional Marketing Manager • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
N/A
Monica  User Photo
Monica • Marketing MAnager • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Peter S.  User Photo
Peter S. • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Ryan T.  User Photo
Ryan T. • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Kenneth Koh  User Photo
Kenneth Koh • Full-stack Web Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Dallas  User Photo
Dallas • Student Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
N/A
Great course!
12/17/2017
Angel Jonathan  User Photo
Angel Jonathan • Product/Project Manager • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Holly  User Photo
Holly • Mineralogist • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Sean Fitzgerald  User Photo
Sean Fitzgerald • Student Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Jenna  User Photo
Jenna • Digital Media • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Maria Polo  User Photo
Maria Polo • Applicant Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Emma Cruickshank  User Photo
Emma Cruickshank • Sponsorship Coordinator • Student Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
N/A
Bishoy Riad  User Photo
Bishoy Riad • Student Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Ariane Lapointe-Auger  User Photo
Ariane Lapointe-Auger • Assistant Manager • Student Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Juanita Lee  User Photo
Juanita Lee • Educator • Student Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
N/A
Andrew Bilak  User Photo
Andrew Bilak • Consultant Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Jonathan  User Photo
Jonathan • Project Manager, Full Stack Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Edward Chen  User Photo
Edward Chen • Student Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Owen Lecky  User Photo
Owen Lecky • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
Steve Krueger  User Photo
Steve Krueger • Founder • Student Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
N/A
Connie Hackett  User Photo
Connie Hackett • Student Verified via LinkedIn
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:

Our latest on BrainStation

  • How I Learned UX Design Online at Brainstation

    Imogen Crispe9/10/2018

    As a newly minted PhD in anthropology, Kiersten faced the challenge of planning her next career move. She liked the idea of combining her research skills with designing useful products, so she enrolled in Brainstation’s online, part-time User Experience Design Course. We spoke to Kiersten about balancing a full-time job with the UX bootcamp, the crossovers between anthropology and UX design, and how Brainstation instructors always supported her, even if she missed a class.

    Q&A

    What’s your career and education background and how did you end up wanting to study UX design?

    I graduated with a PhD in Applied Anthropology in December 2017, and I'm in a mid-career research position right now as a qualitative researcher for a federal organization in Tampa, Florida. I’ve been thinking really hard about what I want to do with my career and where I want to go next, and had been considering UX design for about a year.

    I've been reading a lot, expanding my network on LinkedIn, and joining different platforms with anthropologists like myself. I’ve also talked to designers and other people from the larger UX community. I found out about Brainstation and this Certificate course through a blogger I've been following over the last few months. I looked into it because Brainstation came with a high recommendation from somebody I really respect.

    How did you first come across the idea of UX design?

    UX design was mentioned throughout my anthropology program. As an applied anthropologist, “business anthropology” or “corporate anthropology” is a growing sector for us. A huge part of that is focusing on the customer experience, and bringing our trade – ethnography – into the design space to work directly with designers.

    I'm super interested in crossing over into technology. So this is a way for me to bridge my ethnographic methods and my anthropology expertise into the technology sector. I also have a great friend who is a technologist and also an anthropologist. Originally my interest was in the research behind user experience, but through the Brainstation course, I've actually become really interested in the entire design process.

    What made you decide to do a part-time online bootcamp, rather than a university UX program, or a local in-person class?

    I looked into several master's degree programs, but to be quite honest, I have student debt. I just finished a PhD program and I also have a master's degree. I'm kind of tired of the formal route of education at this point. I wanted a school with a quicker pace and a more applied teaching method to get an introduction and see if I'm really interested in pursuing this. I wouldn't have been opposed to a shorter certificate program at a college, but again, the tuition was much more than I was willing to spend.

    I stumbled across a few bootcamps locally in Tampa, but I was worried about credibility. BrainStation stood out because a friend in my network recommended it as a great introduction to get into design and into UX. It was also relatively affordable because they were offering a scholarship.

    Also, I also wanted to do a part-time UX bootcamp. I work 40 to 50 hours a week so my schedule isn't flexible enough to go to class full-time. The evening classes at Brainstation worked out well.

    How are you able to balance a full-time job with BrainStation?

    It’s been tricky. Unfortunately, I missed one of the classes because of traffic and working late. But the Brainstation instructors are super flexible. They work with me, and always offer tons of online resources. In the learning portal, you have access to the PowerPoints and presentations from class. Most of my work outside class happens on the weekend. So even though I had constraints with my schedule, I made it work.

    What is the learning experience like? Tell me about the teaching style at Brainstation.

    Three different instructors collaborate on the course. We have classes once a week, every Tuesday evening from 6:30pm to 9:30pm ET. At the start of each class we all check in with each other. We have an opportunity to engage with the instructors and ask questions, and give them feedback on where we are. The goal is for each of us to design an application, to present in our final class.

    We learned about different usability studies, card sorting, and Brainstation gave us different activities for wireframing. When we were learning about interviewing, we went into a virtual room with our classmates to develop an interview guide and then interview each other to practice those skills. In my opinion, BrainStation has done a good job at taking different learning styles into consideration. When there's time leftover in the class, we can work on our assignments. And there's always time again to engage with the instructors to get assistance or help if we need it. Our class is definitely not just three hours of the instructor talking. There's a lot of screen sharing – it is engaging and interactive.

    How much work do you have to do outside of those three hours per week of class time?

    There are two to three hours of optional extra course materials to read. I like to at least skim through them and get a grasp of those materials because there's only so much information they can cover in one class each week. My strategy is to skim the materials and save them all into my Favorites tab so I can access them later on.

    Since I'm brand new to design, I've probably spent more time on it than people who are already working in the space – about five to 10 hours of work per week. When I have to use a new tool, the activity takes me longer. For example, when I took my prototype from Moqups and then put it into InVision, I had never used InVision before, so there was a little bit of a learning curve, but it was manageable.

    What does the curriculum cover?

    The 10-week Brainstation course covers the entire design process. The first class was an introduction to user experience, and then we went into UX research. We talked about the different steps in the design process from information architecture (IA) to wireframing, to prototyping, to usability testing. Now we're prototyping, so we're working on our final prototypes. We also discuss the UX design career field as a whole, and get tips on how to enter the workforce.

    What is the Learning Portal like at Brainstation?

    I've been really impressed with how the Brainstation course is put together. I've taught online courses in higher education at the college level, and the platforms are not always this user-friendly. If you've taken an online course, from a college or community college, and didn't have the best experience, I'm 95% certain that you’ll find Brainstation’s platform to be much more user-friendly.

    For example, on the main page of the Learning Portal, I can see what classes I have attended or missed – Brainstation tracks your attendance as you move through the class. They don't record the classes, but you always have access to the lesson materials. BrainStation keeps future lessons closed until a day ahead of time, so I can review the slides for the next day. I can see the course description, syllabus, a roadmap, a student handbook, and course projects. Most of our assignments are at the end of each presentation, and there are links for additional reading.

    The course is very user-friendly, so I didn't have any challenges or issues. I also found the instructors to be incredibly supportive and very responsive; one of the biggest strengths of the organization is their customer service and the access you have to the instructors.

    What tools do you use to build projects? Do you build them outside of the learning platform?

    Yes. We've been using UX folio, InVision, and Google Drawings, among others, and BrainStation gives us a lot of tips and tricks. For me, a big strength of the class was learning how to use all these different applications that I never even knew existed.

    How do you communicate with instructors and students?

    For the most part, it's through Slack, which is really efficient, but instructors are also available through other methods. We communicate with them a lot, either in the beginning of class, or towards the end when we have time to work on our assignments.

    Using Slack, I can communicate with my class members and send them my work as well. If I get stuck on anything, there's always somebody available – it's not long before you get an answer. So from a student support perspective, it's very strong. Students can also choose to share our LinkedIn or other social media accounts on the portal, to connect with each other.

    How often do you collaborate with other students?

    I have a lot of time constraints because I work so much. But some students, especially people who are working in the design space, have shared their screens to collaborate. We do share weekly assignments and prototypes with each other. It's really cool to see how advanced some of my classmates are. I think the collaborative learning environment has been very helpful, and the exercises that we do together help us get to know each other.

    Do you have a favorite project that you've worked on so far?

    Everything is leading up to this final project – I'm building a nutrition tracking app. Through the research phase, I looked for missing pieces of existing applications and something that  was missing was the ability to either export or import bio stats from healthcare professionals. Several users I spoke to had certain medical issues and the current apps out there don't really have the ability to incorporate outside health data, or communicate with healthcare practitioners.

    I really enjoyed the research part of this project. If I was to switch over into UX full-time, I would probably look into being a UX researcher, because I love research. I love talking to people, seeing what the end user needs are, and understanding how people of different cultures use technology. I also love how products like this can impact people’s lives.

    What has been the biggest challenge in this UX program?

    Because I'm a seasoned research professional and I have a career, I work full-time in a specific area, so it’s hard to get my brain to move into that creative design space, and learn completely new things like wireframing, and the design process – I had to learn a lot of material in a pretty short period of time. But I didn't feel overwhelmed at all because I knew I had access to help at Brainstation.

    Is job advice integrated into the learning experience online?

    We had a whole lesson on how to approach a UX design career. The instructors are all experienced designers, so they can draw from their personal experience to share what their days are like, and we've had tons of exposure to product designs they've actually worked on in the design space. To see the level of design projects that the instructors and real companies are working on has been really cool.

    What are your plans once you've finished Brainstation? What sort of job are you interested in transitioning into?

    I work in health sciences right now, so healthcare, especially user experience research with healthcare technologies and telehealth modalities, is a big field of interest for me. That could entail starting my own business, joining a consulting business, or making a leap into the private sector. I'm open.

    Right now I work with soft money – meaning that my team has to apply for grants in order to fund our research. For the next 12 months, my career is pretty solid. But after that, I'm looking to see what happens. I think that the corporate sector probably offers the best possibilities for me with my skills.

    My career is still a work in progress, but this experience is going to help me continue to move forward – I've expanded my portfolio, and I can continue to craft and hone in on those skills in the areas that really excite me.

    What advice do you have for other people who are considering an online UX design bootcamp, while balancing a full-time job?

    You definitely have to carve out time, just like anything else. Make sure you understand the time commitment before investing in the course, because it is an investment in time and money. Prior to enrolling, BrainStation told me it would be 10 hours a week. And that proved to be true. It was not easy, I had to put in the work. I had to be willing to have that growth mindset and be pushed into areas that I was not comfortable with. But I entered the course with an open mind, wanting to learn new skills, and get a solid understanding of what the entire process of UX design looked like from start to finish, and after the 10-week bootcamp, I’ll have that knowledge and that understanding.

    Find out more and read Brainstation reviews on Course Report. Check out the Brainstation website.

    About The Author

    https://course_report_production.s3.amazonaws.com/rich/rich_files/rich_files/1586/s300/imogen-crispe-headshot.jpg-logo

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • May 2018 Coding Bootcamp News + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe5/31/2018

    We read a lot of news about coding bootcamps in May 2018, so we chose the most interesting pieces, and we’re rounding it all up for you in this blog post and podcast! We look at yet another coding bootcamp acquisition, share many wonderful success stories about coding bootcamp graduates, touch on some partnerships between bootcamps and companies, and discuss the role of coding bootcamps in the future of education and talent pipelines. We also chat about diversity in tech at coding bootcamps, and roundup all the new schools, courses, and campuses! Read the roundup below, or listen to the podcast!

    Continue Reading →
  • Full Time Data Science at BrainStation

    Imogen Crispe5/23/2018

    BrainStation has an established community of web developers and UX designers across North America – but after hearing mounting requests for data science, they’re launching a Full-Time Data Science Program at their campuses in Toronto, Vancouver, and online. We sat down with BrainStation’s Education Product Manager, Nicola Lochead, and Lead Data Science Educator, Jeremy Gray, to learn about what applicants need to know to ace the admissions process, where their curriculum falls in the “Python vs. R” debate, and their advice to start transitioning into a data science career.

    Our Takeaways

    • Students do not need to have PhDs or Masters in a STEM subject (although they must have a college diploma) to enroll in Brainstation’s Full-Time Data Science Program
    • Students must complete a prep course and a project as part of the admissions process to be accepted into the program
    • The Data Science Program is launching in Toronto in June 2018, and in Vancouver and online in Fall.

    What are each of your backgrounds and roles at BrainStation?

    Nicola: I am the manager of education product, so I ideate and manage the creation of new offerings, and oversee BrainStation’s current portfolio of education products. I work with experts like Jeremy, to develop our programs and make sure they are focused on specific skills that are actually being used within the industry. I also make sure our education methods stimulate and develop students to be able to immediately add value in their field once they graduate.

    Jeremy: I am the lead educator for the Full-Time Data Science Program at BrainStation. Previously, I was working at a data science company which focused on retail analytics. There I was developing models in Python, presenting results to clients, and training our team to make sure we are all up-to-date. When the course begins, I will be leading the lessons and making sure students get hands-on experience.

    BrainStation has been teaching full-time programs in Web Development and UX design for some time. Why is now a good time to launch a data science program in Canada?

    Nicola: You cannot ignore how significantly the data industry is growing across North America. There are a staggering number of roles available that require data science and data analytics skills. It’s predicted that by 2020, 2.4 million jobs will require data science and analytics skills. So there is huge demand and new job categories being created. At BrainStation, we want to make sure we are teaching the most in-demand skills, and assisting in solving the digital skills gaps.

    We have also been teaching part-time data science and data analytics classes, and have seen huge demand. We launch the full-time program on June 18 in Toronto, and at our Vancouver and Online campuses this Fall.

    Can a student get the same outcomes from the part-time and full-time BrainStation data science courses?

    Nicola: No. While all the data courses cover the analytics process, SQL, Tableau, and key tools that you need, the difference in understanding that you can get from a full-time program is a world apart from a part-time program. The full-time program is designed for people looking to transition their careers and find a role in the data field. It’s 400 hours, fully immersive, and includes career services. A part-time course is 30 hours, so people who come to those programs are not quitting their jobs or completely dedicating themselves to learn that tool, it’s more about advancing their current career track versus completely transitioning their career.

    What are you looking for in an applicant to the BrainStation Full Time Data Science Program? Are there any prerequisites?

    Jeremy: We’re mainly looking for people willing and able to take on the challenge of a bootcamp, and dedicated to learning. Due to the challenging nature of the program, all students are required to have a university or college diploma upon admission. Right now, we see university graduates looking to add to their quantitative skills, or people looking for a career transformation. So far, students enrolling in the class range from undergraduates to people with PhDs, mostly from STEM fields, but that is not a prerequisite.

    Nicola: This is quite a technical program, so we have an admissions process with a couple of different phases to make sure students entering the program are fully aware of the challenges that lie ahead, and fully ready to go. We assess students’ understanding of basic math and statistics, because that’s a pretty significant portion of what we’ll cover throughout the program.

    Tell me more about the admissions process. How do you assess those technical skills?

    Jeremy: We have a prep course where we give students a taste of the course material. They get access to our online portal, some educational content, and a unit project. We ask them to analyze a data set, put together a report, and give us reasoning to justify their report. Following completion of the admissions challenge, students are interviewed by our admissions team to discuss their background, their confidence in working through the challenge, and ensure the potential student is a fit for the program.

    Nicola: We have a standardized admissions process across all our full-time programs – we want to make sure students will be successful. During the process, students can ask questions, and we ask students about how they like to learn and how they felt during the prep course to make sure they are fully prepared.

    Which technologies are you teaching in the Full-Time Data Science Program and why? Did your team have a debate about teaching Python versus R?

    Jeremy: When you teach a bootcamp like this, you need to strike a good balance between depth and breadth. We’ve chosen to include a thorough intro to SQL, R, some dashboarding softwares, and other useful tools like Openrefine, using the command line, connecting to a server, and Git for version control. For the main curriculum, we’re teaching Python.

    The data science community gets really worked up about whether R or Python is the better language. I did my Ph.D. at the University of Auckland, which is where the language R was originally designed and developed, so I have a deep background in it. I am fluent in both R and Python, as is the other BrainStation Data Science Program instructor. We will give students enough information to use R and do basic visualizations and models, but we chose to go more in-depth in Python because it’s a more versatile programming language outside of the data science world.

    What is the learning style in the Full-Time Data Science Program? How does this differ for online vs in-person students?

    Nicola: For the 10 weeks of the course, the schedule runs from 10am to 6pm. It’s very hands-on and students have plenty of one-on-one time with instructors to solidify their knowledge. We break up the day into a number of parts, each of which targets a different learning style, to make sure we hit each student’s strengths. The day typically begins with a lecture or a group lab. Each lecture is tied to a practical application, whether that be a code along, a lab, an activity, or going through examples so that once students are working on assignments, they already have practical experience.

    We also have pair programming sessions where students work together, which is something they will do in the industry. There is also complementary material in the BrainStation learning portal so students can continue to solidify their knowledge outside of the classroom.

    The online bootcamp is similar to the structure of the in-person immersive. Our students are shocked by how community-oriented our online learning options are. It is a live classroom, students are on video, and can break into groups. A lot of what we accomplish in-person transfers well into online.

    Can you give an example of a project that students work on in the Full-Time Data Science Program?

    Jeremy: We’re trying to make the course as project-focused as possible. We have projects related to a range of industries including e-commerce, marketing, finance, retail, and government. A specific example: we have a partnership with a large local firm, that has provided us with raw data from their data science team, which our students can use to carry out market basket analysis. BrainStation students will create the same models that are used at the company in production, put together a recommendation system, try to find items that are commonly bought together, think about what promos to offer, and what differences there are between stores.

    Nicola: We have made a point to be so ingrained in the industry, that we are able to leverage our hiring partners to implement real problems into the classroom. That creates a unique learning opportunity, and gives students a taste of the work that they will be doing on the job.

    Were there any lessons from running BrainStation’s Web Development Program that you’re bringing to the Full-Time Data Science Program?

    Nicola: Absolutely. Our other full-time programs have been around for three years now, so we’ve learned a lot about structuring class days to maximize student learning and understanding. We’ve also learned what depth and breadth is the sweet spot to ensure students get all the knowledge and tools they need to continue learning and teaching themselves beyond the program.

    Jeremy: BrainStation has always had a big focus on best practices, so we’ve been able to adapt the existing curriculum around pair programming and version control testing, because the same concepts hold between web development and data science. It has also been helpful for me to talk to the instructors who teach the more established courses. They gave me good feedback about my web development and UI/UX skills. We’ll bring those instructors into the Data Science Program to give introductions into web development, graph design, and how to present analysis.

    Who are the instructors – are they all data scientists?

    Jeremy: I’m the lead instructor in Toronto. As well as having industry experience, I have a lot of teaching experience. I worked at the University of Toronto as an adjunct professor of statistics, and I have volunteered to teach coding at three universities and four hospitals around Toronto.

    Nicola: The other data science instructor has a background in Computer Science, but has specific experience working in artificial intelligence. He has also been involved in teaching at the University of Toronto. Something we look for in all of our instructors is not only deep domain knowledge, and industry experience, but also a background teaching in an academic environment, or mentoring in a work environment.

    How will you assess or track how students are progressing through the new curriculum? How do you support students who are struggling?

    Nicola: We try to make it difficult for students to fall behind – we’re in tune with our students throughout the program. We have daily one-on-one check-ins, class sizes max out at 30 students, and we have low student-to-educator ratios. We also have supervised labs, where students submit their work for us to assess their understanding. Each week, students work on larger projects with key deliverables, which mirror the industry and how they would work as a team; it gives us a way to track their understanding of the material in an applied setting.

    For our full-time transformation programs, we also have a Student Success Team comprised of a program manager, student success coordinator, admissions coordinator, and career services, to really help students reach their goals. If a student is falling behind, we provide additional support, structured learning plans, and check in with them regularly, to ensure they can get through the program.

    How will career services work for the Full-Time Data Science Program?

    Nicola: We have a pretty comprehensive career services package for all our full-time programs. Students get one-on-one support when it comes to preparing for job applications, creating a resume, portfolio, and practicing interviews. Data science job interviews include technical challenges, so we want to give students a chance to practice this interview process. Mock interviews are conducted by someone outside of a student’s educator team to create a more formal environment, then students get critical feedback before they go to a real interview.

    From the moment they start at BrainStation, students are encouraged to think about the role that they want and the type of company they want to work for. We have a large network of hiring partners, including companies like HP, Shopify, Loblaw Digital, and companies in different markets, with whom students can interact. Students can go on Tech Tours, where they tour various companies, experience work environments, and talk to people on data science teams to understand what the workflow looks like. Those hiring partners are also present at demo days and our student showcase at the end of our full-time programs.

    What types of data science jobs will graduates be prepared for?

    Jeremy: When I was designing this course, I thought, “What will help students be productive Analysts or Junior Data Scientists from day one?” We make sure that students can fill the roles that actually exist in the industry. The whole idea of a bootcamp is that you’ve upskilled, you’ve transitioned your career, you know how to learn, you’ve proven yourself in a very stressful environment, and once we get you into a job you can continue to prove yourself.

    What sort of companies want to hire data science grads in Toronto and Vancouver?

    Nicola: Pretty much every industry is looking for data scientists.

    BrainStation has been operating for five years in Toronto (three years in Vancouver), so we have a great sense of community amongst our hiring ecosystem partners. They come to our student demo days, and BrainStation has proven to be a very good source of talent. Some of those hiring partners, like Shopify, RBC, TD, Freshbooks, Wealthsimple, and HP have already expressed interest in data science graduates. Finance and insurance industries also have a significant need for data science skills, but the demand is across marketing, product, and every industry.

    When you compare the number of job postings, obviously Toronto is significantly larger in terms of population than Vancouver, but there is not a massive difference when you compare the percentage of demand between the two cities. In Toronto there are a lot of company headquarters, so within those you see huge demand, but the need is across North America.

    What is your advice for students embarking on a data science bootcamp?

    Jeremy: First, make sure you’re serious. A bootcamp is a big undertaking, and there’s a lot to learn. Next, start picking up a programming language, put together a website and an online presence – it shows that you’re serious about the field, and you’re willing to learn. Then, if you’re trying to change your career, try to find inefficiencies in your current job. Think about how to approach tasks from a coding perspective, and if you can pick up some Python or R to automate those, you’re on your way to becoming a data scientist.

    My last piece of advice is, if you come from a scientific, retail, or finance background, make sure you maintain your expertise in that area. At BrainStation we can teach you how to undertake an analytics project and report it, but domain knowledge is always very important.

    For students who want to get started in data science, what meetups or resources do you recommend?

    Jeremy: I recommend people check out Kaggle, a data science website where companies post challenges with cash prizes if you place in the top 10. It’s a great way to get a look at the real analytics people are working on. Stack Overflow is a great resource, and has a dedicated data science section where you can get simple and complicated questions answered.

    There are a ton of data science meetups – you could probably go to one every day of the week in Toronto. We have Machine Intelligence Toronto, which is run by the Vector Institute, an offshoot of the University of Toronto, and Pydata Toronto. There are also a bunch of industry-specific data science meetups run by banks and startups.

    Nicola: We also have data science events at all of our BrainStation campuses where people can come to learn about the field, try out some questions and challenges, and interact with data science educators. It’s a great way for students to interact with BrainStation and learn something new.

    Our Data Science Prep course is free to enroll in, where students can learn some essential SQL knowledge, learn about the data analytics process, and get started on an assignment. We also have a number of other free online prep courses in data science.  

    Find out more and read BrainStation reviews on Course Report. Check out the BrainStation website.

    About The Author

    https://course_report_production.s3.amazonaws.com/rich/rich_files/rich_files/1586/s300/imogen-crispe-headshot.jpg-logo

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Alumni Spotlight: Maria Gallegos-Vallejo of Brainstation

    Lauren Stewart3/19/2018

    brainstation-alumni-spotlight-maria-gallegos-vallejo

    After waitressing and earning a degree in graphic design, Maria was on a mission to find job security and utilize her skills. During her graphic design job search, she kept seeing “front end development” as a hot skill wanted by employers, so she decided to enroll in BrainStation’s Remote Web Development Program. Learn why Maria chose to learn online with BrainStation, how she stayed engaged and motivated thanks to her instructors, and all about her new Front End Developer job at La Senza in Columbus, Ohio!  

    Q&A

    What is your background, and what led you to enroll at BrainStation?

    I graduated in December 2016 with a degree in Graphic Design. My brother took part in a Disney College Program and loved it, so when I graduated, I decided to try that program out. I was placed in a restaurant-related industry role because of my waitressing experience, but at the end of the day, I wanted a role in graphic design.

    After Disney, I started reading about all the jobs opening up in cybersecurity, front end, and back end development. I felt that if I wanted job security, I needed a web or computer related job. Many of the graphic design jobs involved front end development, which was something I had never really heard of before. So I started researching “how to study web development.”

    I searched for more than just university programs, because I already had a degree, and discovered bootcamps. I liked BrainStation, but wondered how that would work since it was in Canada and I was in Mexico at the time. Then I saw that there was an online, full-time, web development program, so I got in touch. BrainStation was great – every question I asked, they answered. I took BrainStation’s pre-bootcamp course, did pretty well, and was accepted.

    Did you consider any other bootcamps? Were you only looking for online courses?

    I considered an in-person course, but once I realized that there were options to study online, it seemed a lot more a beneficial for me. Since I was unemployed at that time, I didn't want to relocate and spend more money than I needed to. I thought it would be easier and more accessible, so I realized right away that learning online was definitely my path.

    Did you consider any other online bootcamps besides BrainStation? What stood out about BrainStation?

    I had researched a list of other bootcamps, but once I reached out to BrainStation and spoke with the team, I stopped looking elsewhere. Speaking with the BrainStation team was a really positive experience.

    One of the main reasons I liked BrainStation was that they offered a Women in Development Scholarship – they understand that we need more women in tech. After you graduate, BrainStation gives you a year to pay back your tuition. They provided a really great scholarship and opportunity, so I couldn't pass it up.

    Was there a coding challenge during the BrainStation interview process?

    Yes, there was. Right before you get accepted into the course, you have to follow instructions on starting a GitHub account and you have to answer about 10 questions. If you can't complete the steps, they ask you to talk through your thought process and approach to the question. BrainStation decides whether you would be a good match or not based on that interview, and then they give you the pre-course material.

    Any tips to ace the BrainStation interview?

    I was just really honest with BrainStation. I was very vocal about my thoughts on solving each problem and I didn't hold anything back.

    The thing about BrainStation’s interview process is that you can basically Google any question and you’ll find the answer to it; but they want to see your thought process. If you have an answer but you don't tell them how you got there, it shows that you may not truly understand the material. Even if you didn't get the correct answer, as long as you show them how you're thinking, it helps them better determine if you’re a right fit for the course.  

    Tell us about your online learning experience at BrainStation. Were you online all day?

    We are actually online all day from 10am to 6pm, connected with webcams to see everyone in the classroom the entire time. The first thing we learned was HTML and CSS, and since I have a graphic design background, that let me express myself. For each project, I found a way to make it look good and practice what I learned. I liked all the projects we worked on because I was able to design the look of each project as well as how it worked.

    What was your cohort like? Did you get to know your classmates while learning online?

    During group projects, you get to interact with your cohort through those projects. Our class came from different backgrounds. One student had a development background, one was a freelance graphic designer, one worked from home. Most people were older; but I'm 23 and someone else was 21. We were all different ages, and different about half of the class were women. We all got along and it was a really great group of people. I’m glad we got to do the program together.

    What helped you stay motivated while studying online? Did you study from home?

    Yes, I always studied from home. What kept me motivated was the teachers. We had two Educators plus a Teaching Assistant, and our class was pretty small. It was a total of nine students, so we always had one-on-one time with our Educators.

    The whole time we interacted, the instructors asked us questions, so it's clear if you don't understand something in the course material – they catch it right away based on your code. If we didn't understand something, we asked. Our teachers also wanted us to socialize and talk to each other. Talking and interacting definitely helped me stay motivated. If the teachers had just talked the whole time and we weren’t engaged in the conversation, I probably would’ve left the course. Also, keeping my webcam on the whole time was a big help.

    I always thought that self-teaching was my learning style. But this class made me realize that I didn't have to do that – I could always rely on the BrainStation teachers and not just do it on my own.

    Did you try to juggle any other commitments while studying?

    Right after BrainStation accepted me into the program, they warned me that “class is from 10am to 6pm, Monday through Friday. A lot of work happens outside of the class time, so be prepared to spend all your extra time on BrainStation." Luckily, I didn't have to find a job during that time.

    Making sure you have free time is key, because the class is so fast-paced. If you don't understand something, it's really hard to stay focused and continue moving forward with your learning. I recommend devoting all the time you have if you want to get the most out of it.

    At times, it felt a little overwhelming because there is a lot of information. If you don't take time out of your day to review the material and make sure you fully understand it, you can get frustrated. BrainStation is so willing to work with you even outside of normal class hours – that makes the experience less crazy, hectic, and frustrating.

    What was your favorite project that you built during BrainStation?

    I don’t have just one favorite project – I liked them all. Our final project gave me a lot of freedom. I decided to focus more on games and programming, because in the very beginning I had a little trouble with that. I used React to design a memory game, and I actually deployed it using Heroku.

    I designed how it looked and created three different levels: easy, medium, and hard. Based on the difficulty level that a user chooses, it shuffles the cards and a certain number of cards appear. I actually designed all the cards with people in my class. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun! It definitely showed off the skills that I learned throughout the course.

    How did BrainStation help you with job hunting? Were they able to help you with job leads?

    Once I graduated, I got an email asking me if I wanted help finding a job. Of course, I said “yes” and they asked me for my resume and LinkedIn profile. They reviewed my information and gave suggestions on how to make it better by adding more skills etc.

    Right before I went on a job interview for my current job, I scheduled a call with John Yoo from BrainStation. I told him about the position and who I was going to be interviewing with and he gave me really important advice about terminology and definitions of terms that may come up in the interview. During that interview, I actually got to use his advice.

    I also debriefed my interview experiences with BrainStation and they gave me feedback. Right before the interview, I was very intimidated, but it ended up going well and being a very positive experience. The team is super helpful with the job search. Thanks to them, I was able to not only show that I have the skills, but I was able to talk confidently about my skills in a way that I would not have been able to before.

    Tell us about your new job!

    I took three weeks off after graduation because I wanted to travel to Seattle. A week after I got back, I got the call. The following week, I was at my position. I was definitely very lucky.

    I am a Front End Developer at La Senza, a lingerie retail brand. Right now I'm coding emails, and making sure the site’s content and links are correct. At first, I was very nervous because I learned a lot about programming in such a short amount of time, I wasn't sure if I would remember everything. Leading up to starting my new role, I looked back over the Brainstation curriculum content, which I still have access to. The course material is so well-organized that I could just click on a topic and get the information I needed. I felt confident because I could go back over the course concepts.

    Now that you’re officially a Front End Developer, do you feel like BrainStation prepared you for your new career?

    Yeah, I actually felt super confident. I had about two days of training at La Senza. Those two training days solidified that I not only knew what I was looking at, but also that I understood everything that they expected of me. I could even do more tasks if they came up. BrainStation helped me tremendously; without the bootcamp I would have no idea about front end development.

    Has your background in graphic design been useful for your new job?

    All of the assets that I’m working with have already been created, so I haven’t been able to use my artistic sense in this job yet. Right now, I just receive the content, code it up, and deliver it.

    What have you learned since graduating? Are there any new web development languages or tools that you did not learn at BrainStation that you’re using now?

    The only thing I’ve learned since graduating from BrainStation is how to work on e-commerce platforms. Thanks to the HTML and CSS I learned at BrainStation, I can provide the coded material needed to go into the platform.

    What's been your biggest challenge or roadblock in this journey to learning web development?

    My biggest challenge is missing the little things. When you code, everything needs to be perfect. The syntax needs to be perfect, the commas, the apostrophes - everything. The most challenging thing is when something doesn’t work because of a misspelling or leaving out a period. You can’t figure out what's wrong and why it's not working, then you realize that it's a little dumb mistake that you’ve spent hours on!

    What advice do you have for people thinking about going through an online web development bootcamp?

    Picking the correct school to go through an online web development bootcamp can either make for a great and positive experience, or for a negative, poor experience.  If you rather have a positive experience, I highly suggest BrainStation.

    Find out more and read BrainStation reviews on Course Report. Check out the BrainStation website. 

    About The Author

    https://course_report_production.s3.amazonaws.com/rich/rich_files/rich_files/4484/s300/lauren-stewart-headshot.jpg-logo

    Lauren is a communications and operations strategist who loves to help others find their idea of success. She is passionate about techonology education, career development, startups, and the arts. Her background includes career/youth development, public affairs, and philanthropy. She is from Richmond, VA and now currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

  • Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing Bootcamps

    Lauren Stewart2/21/2018

    When you think of your next tech job, does “Digital Marketer” come to mind? It should; a solid understanding of marketing, combined with analytical and a few tech skills, can lead to a fulfilling, evolving career. By 2021, US companies are expected to spend $129 billion on Digital Marketing investments. With the increase in marketing buys over the last few years, experts have forecasted that digital will eventually account for 50% of total advertising spend. So what is digital marketing, and exactly what skills do you need to be successful? Check out our Guide to Digital Marketing Bootcamps to find which types of jobs and salaries you could land in digital marketing, the skills you need to excel in the field, and the best Digital Marketing Bootcamps today.

    Continue Reading →
  • New Year, New Career? Learning to Code in 2018

    Imogen Crispe1/2/2018

    new-years-resolution-learning-to-code-2018

    Is learning to code on your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions List? It should be! There will be 1 million more computing jobs than applicants who can fill them by 2020. And a coding bootcamp could be just what you need to make a fresh start in 2018 as a developer. We’ve compiled a list of 16 full-time, part-time, in-person and online coding bootcamps which have upcoming cohorts starting in January and February 2018. Most of these have approaching application deadlines, so submit yours quickly if you want to get a head start in 2018!

    Continue Reading →
  • The New Remote Web Development Course at BrainStation

    Lauren Stewart12/14/2017

    brainstation-remote-course-image

    New wave technology school, BrainStation launched a new full-time Remote Web Development Course in 2017 as part of a goal to empower one million people with digital skills by 2025. BrainStation Educator and professional software developer Jamie is involved in building the curriculum and figuring out how to make the online experience as successful as the on-campus experience. We asked Jamie how BrainStation helps students stay engaged and motivated, what the online learning portal looks like, and how online students find jobs when they graduate.

    Q&A

    What’s your background and what inspired you to teach at BrainStation?

    Programming is a passion of mine, and I'm lucky enough that it's also a job. I spend most of the year working as a consultant, actually writing code, so I'm very up to date with the industry. I have been teaching some form of computer science for a number of years now. Most of my time in digital education has been centered around people who are new to the topic – I started out as a TA in university working with fairly junior students.

    BrainStation was a great opportunity for me to take a couple weeks out of the year to go into the classroom, and help train people to be the best that they can be. Teaching is a nice break, and as a working professional, it helps students when I can give anecdotes about what my day as a developer normally looks like. BrainStation is really flexible with me teaching part-time and full-time courses as my schedule allows.

    I'm a huge advocate for digital literacy and I’m constantly talking about how important it is. I love being in class, getting to know the students, and I love the programs I teach. I've had a huge part in the development of curriculum so I look forward to coming in to BrainStation each day for both the full-time course and the part-time course. It's been a really good experience all around.

    Did you know about the bootcamp model before you came across BrainStation?

    The first coding bootcamp launched when I was in my first year of university. It seemed really cool at the time, but I didn’t feel the concept was developed enough for me to leave school and do it. I was originally studying Biomedical Engineering and then ended up loving programming so much that I switched. By the time bootcamps became super common, I was done with university so I missed the boat on that one. BrainStation was definitely my first experience with a coding bootcamp.

    Why did BrainStation decide to launch an online full-time course? When did it launch?

    BrainStation launched the Remote Web Development Course in October 2017. The biggest motivation was that we're at a point where technology has developed and allowed us to create a true online classroom environment in a fairly seamless way. A few years ago, technology was so terrible that you couldn't have sat people in a room for eight hours a day, working remotely, and make this work. The BrainStation team spent a lot of time thinking about it over the last couple years, and we're now comfortable with making the online move.

    BrainStation has a goal of empowering one million people by 2025. There’s a huge limitation for that with an in person course. We're limited by our geographical area and the physical resources in the space. Building campuses in New York, Toronto, San Jose and Vancouver was not an easy thing to do.

    What are the benefits to bringing the curriculum online? How is the BrainStation online course going so far?

    The remote web development course has been really effective because we're now able to open BrainStation doors to people we normally wouldn't have been able to – those coming from very far away, or other countries etc. It makes that one million goal so much more attainable, while at the same time asserting our place in the market by being capable of teaching anybody, anywhere. We’ve put everything we have into this program and are now delivering cutting-edge content to students from Houston, Green Bay, Virginia Beach, Ottawa and Montreal.

    BrainStation's goal of empowering one million professionals requires us to constantly develop more options and opportunities in order to meet it. We have to keep pushing for more. The online course is going very well so far and it's been a couple months without a hitch. We're really happy.

    Describe the online web development curriculum. Is it the same as in-person BrainStation courses?

    The online curriculum is the same as in person, but it's been adapted for the online environment. For instance, there are some things we needed to change in delivery, but not in the curriculum. The way that content is delivered to online students varies, as certain assignments are easier to facilitate in person. For example, whiteboarding is something that can be a challenge online. So we've got different methods to teach certain topics.

    We're not going to move away from JavaScript anytime soon since it is the most popular language in web development right now, and growing very quickly. Node and React are great, which is why we teach them both. So we're going to stick with that curriculum for sure. In terms of timing and what’s learned over the 10 weeks, it's the same as in person. BrainStation doesn’t want the curriculums to diverge based on how you're attending class.

    Should students take a prep course before the BrainStation online full-time course?

    Yeah. There are lots of asynchronous learning opportunities out there for free. Those are good if you're not sure if this is the field for you, because you've got a pretty short period of time to make that determination after acceptance into a full-time program. If you know that it's for you and you’re interested in the actual content, I don't think it's necessary to take a prep course besides the BrainStation prep course. You can join this program with no previous experience.

    How does BrainStation ensure students stay engaged in the online course?

    When the instructor is not instructing, we had to consider student engagement. We use video conference software and the students are online all day from the time they sign on until the time we shut the meeting down at the end of the day. Instructors will often stay on the camera, even during work time. We're present the entire time – we're always there.

    BrainStation also uses Slack to communicate, so the students are able to speak with each other and instructors. So far I've been surprised at how easy it's actually been to maintain that kind of engagement. We've got a lot of awesome students and I think that's a huge part of it – people are very encouraged and engaged and it's our job to keep that up. All of our educators are very high energy, so it's super easy to translate that through the digital medium. The online learning experience is different, but it's definitely something we've been able to accurately replicate in comparison to the in-person course.

    What is the structure of the full-time remote course? How flexible is it?

    The online course is just like a normal classroom. The curriculum is synchronous and the same for every student, and everybody is in class at the same time, learning together. Our current cohort runs from 10am to 6pm Eastern Standard Time, and we are looking into offering the cohort in other time zones. The online course has a lot of time for breakout sessions and review so that if people start to fall behind in a certain topic it's really easy to work with them one-on-one as an educator and bring them up to speed.

    It’s important for us to keep everybody there all day, online, using these tools to more accurately represent the in-person experience. It’s a challenge for educators to keep everybody on the same page. BrainStation has three educators for the current cohort; our goal from the beginning has been to replicate an in-person environment as much as possible, which involves making sure people are present during the course.

    We also have one-on-ones, when students can schedule individual meetings with educators. We run these at the end of every week or every two weeks depending on the cohort.

    Show us what the BrainStation online learning platform looks like:

    There is the Homepage, and a course progress section to show you how far you are through the course. You can see right now our current cohort is at week 8 of 10. If we have events scheduled, things like power hours, we can chat about that under the Next Event tab. In the Recently Viewed Content tab are certain assignments.

    This is sort of a digital classroom. When the lecture opens in the morning, you can join in from here. Then we've got the daily schedule, where you can browse through curriculum for future weeks. We also have the course content and information that contains descriptions, the syllabus, and all that handy stuff all in one place.

    The community tab is where students can see profiles for other students, colleagues or educators. Normally when we have one-on-ones scheduled, they'll show up here. For stuff like chat, students communicate with educators and each other through Slack. In the portal, if you have an issue, you can request help and that will go to one of the educators.

    How often will you update the online platform?

    We're constantly updating the online platform. Since this is the first online cohort, we'll receive lots of feedback to improve upon. Students can expect to see a change cohort to cohort. The same general features will be there, but we may change how they're implemented to make the student experience better.

    The in-person course uses the same portal, so we have to ensure that it supports both mediums, but so far it's been awesome for us as educators. The platform has done everything we needed it to do and the students love it.

    How does BrainStation deal with student goals, assessment, and feedback?  

    Our online process is identical to the in person process. Our student to educator ratio is quite low, so we will always maintain a close working relationship with students.

    As a professional developer, it's easy for me to look at somebody's skill level to see if they're meeting completion goals, but what we really want to know is if their personal goals are being met. Everybody comes into the course with different objectives and that's why it's very difficult to evaluate students without properly understanding their individual goals.

    For every student, we figure out why you are here, and what you’re looking to get out of the learning experience. Educators are very aware of student goals as we go through the course, and we make sure that each student gets feedback based on that.

    What if a student is falling behind in the online course?

    When students start to fall behind, there's lots of support from the educators and the rest of the BrainStation team. The entire team steps in to make sure that we have the resources available to get people back on board. There are very few cases where we've struggled to get somebody back on track. We've always been able to set up one-on-ones and breakout sessions to explain concepts. Having that one-on-one time, supporting the student, and knowing what their personal goals are, can help us meet any student expectations as they come in.

    Is there an opportunity for online students to collaborate and work together on projects?

    Yeah. Students can collaborate up to their preferences. When we're in the video conference, they can unmute and have a chat with each other. Even if the educators have gone to grab a coffee, it's up and running and students discuss their work. Students can all share and view each other screens; they can also take control of each other's screen so they can help each other. Students have the same privileges in the software at the educators.

    The remote web development course includes a few group projects as well as some pair programming, which is where two people work very closely on one project. We normally try to do a larger project that features the whole class when we're learning things like Git, which is all about working together collaboratively. However, evaluated assignments at this point in time are submitted individually.

    You've been teaching at BrainStation for a while now. Can you describe your personal teaching style?

    Like I said, I've been teaching computer science for a while and it's sort of second nature by now. I always hold the belief that learning digital skills is different to acquiring other skills. Normally when you're learning you learn in a slow linear upward trend and it's a smooth curve of getting better and better. If you think of something like playing guitar or carpentry you just slowly get better at these things. Digital skills, especially in programming and software engineering, have these discrete jumps where something clicks and you get it. As an educator, my goal is to push everybody until it clicks.

    I use a lot of analogies, sometimes hundreds of analogies for a certain topic, and I'll use explanations that are relevant to students’ personal interests and stuff they do outside of programming. I roll in all of these different ways of explaining one topic until I see it click for each individual.

    In the online environment, we can see students when we're teaching so we see the “aha” moments where people just relax because they get it now. That's a really exciting part of teaching for me. One of the things that I'm always chasing as an educator is helping people break those barriers. Later on you'll increase in speed and general understanding, but at these beginning stages, there are these huge jumps in learning.

    How has your experience working in the tech industry translated into your teaching style?

    Having been a professional developer for a while, I'm very familiar with that feeling and having those “aha” moments. My personal style is based on that idea that we learn in incremental steps when we're learning digital skills, and that’s something that people aren't used to. They think that they can just practice and practice to make it better, but if there's an actual concept missing, that's got to click before you can really run with it. So for me, it's all about just making sure that the information is clicking.

    In terms of the remote program, is there an ideal student that BrainStation is looking for?

    Bootcamps are tough, really intense environments. We want to make sure that somebody is motivated before they start, and can remain motivated during the program. There's no background or programming experience required at all. There's a short prep course to test your aptitude for basic digital literacy skills.

    To me, ideal BrainStation students are people who are excited about this digital transition of our world, get encouraged seeing problems being solved by technology, and want to be a part of it. If somebody comes in with an honest desire to learn to code, the program is designed in a way that it's going to carry you through.

    When admitting people our job is to make sure that they have the drive and passion when they join. Because the bootcamp is so intense, if those motivating factors are lacking, students will struggle and get discouraged. Students who are really excited fly through the course. Everybody has roadblocks here and there but generally, it's a pretty smooth process.

    Describe the remote program admissions process. Is it the same as the in-person course?

    The remote program admissions process is the same as in-person. In both scenarios, potential students pay a deposit/application fee for the cohort of their choice. At that point, someone from our Student Success Team reaches out to schedule an admissions interview. The potential student has a prep course to go through before the interview date and upon completion of these steps, the Program Manager decides if it's the right fit. Over time, the caliber of students at BrainStation has continued to get more competitive and with the introduction of Online, I don't see that slowing down anytime soon. Our Program Managers suggest applying two months before the beginning of the program to give enough time to complete the prep course and go through the admissions interview process completely.

    Explain the career services for online students.

    The BrainStation career services works the same way for online students as it does for in-person. During the course we provide career development workshops and seminars to help people improve their professionalism and soft skills. The team does resume and LinkedIn reviews and workshops, we talk about building GitHub portfolios and personal web portfolios, and we do mock interviews.

    Most people come to the course for a career change, so that means that we need to start figuring out what sort of jobs will work for students before they even start the course. We ask questions in the admissions interview and continue to work and develop these things until students graduate.

    Do you think online students will get the same types of jobs as in-person students?

    When students are looking for jobs, we work with our Student Success Team based out of our campuses in New York, Toronto, Vancouver and San Jose to find opportunities that fit their goals, whether those are remote roles or something geographically closer to them. We work closely with students to plan their next step because your first tech job is a tricky thing to get; and a tricky thing to get right – you have to love it as much as your employer loves you. At Brainstation we want to make sure we're exposing students to as many opportunities as possible and providing the resources to help students through the process.

    Our huge BrainStation alumni network is constantly in touch on the alumni Slack channel, posting job and remote work opportunities. It’s awesome to see the community involved.

    What’s the biggest lesson that the BrainStation team has learned throughout the time of operating this remote bootcamp?

    The biggest lesson we've learned so far is the difference in time that it takes to deliver certain pieces of content. It's caused us to pivot in the way that we schedule certain lessons, allowing more time for some topics and less time for others. We’ve solved this going forward by making sure time is properly managed.

    We've also added some more structure to parts of the course that were previously unstructured. During periods where people are working on big projects on campus, it's very flexible because everybody's here and we can have an ad hoc procedure. Online required us to build in a little bit more structure to make sure people still feel engaged.

    What's your advice for prospective students thinking about attending an online coding bootcamp like BrainStation?

    It's totally up to the individual to get the most out of this program. People often ask, "If I'm spending this money and taking this time out of my life, how do I get the most out of it?" My answer is always the same: You have to give it absolutely everything you've got because you only get one shot, and it’s only 10 weeks. You have the best-suited people to teach you programming at your fingertips, so it's about making sure you can make the commitment, buckling up, giving it 100% from day one, and pushing through for 10 weeks. When you're in class, be present, sit up straight, own it, and you'll definitely get the most out of the course.

    It's about seeing yourself in the larger picture. Have a bit of an out of body experience and see that in the scale of your life, this is just 10 weeks. Sure, you’re tired today, but if there's a lesson that you want to redo or something else that will help you, just do it. I went to university for six years and it was very difficult to keep up morale for that long. If somebody had told me that I could’ve done it in 10 weeks, I absolutely would have. Listen, learn, and love it every minute, then you'll naturally get the most out of it. There's no way that you couldn't.

    I'm really excited about the course and I want people to at least look at it as an opportunity. Our next court launches in January 2018.

    Find out more and read BrainStation reviews on Course Report. Check out the BrainStation website for more course information.

    About The Author

    https://course_report_production.s3.amazonaws.com/rich/rich_files/rich_files/4484/s300/lauren-stewart-headshot.jpg-logo

    Lauren is a communications and operations strategist who loves to help others find their idea of success. She is passionate about techonology education, career development, startups, and the arts. Her background includes career/youth development, public affairs, and philanthropy. She is from Richmond, VA and now currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

  • September 2017 Coding Bootcamp News + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe9/28/2017

    Need a rundown of everything that happened in the coding bootcamp industry this September? You’re in luck! We’ve collected all the most important news in this blog post and podcast. This month, we kept up with the status of the bootcamp industry, learned about how bootcamps are thriving in smaller markets, and explored different ways to pay for bootcamp. Plus, we added 7 new schools from around the world to the Course Report school directory! Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.

    Continue Reading →
  • Why This CEO Learned Online at BrainStation

    Liz Eggleston9/5/2017

    brainstation-alumni-graeme

    Graeme Davis is the CEO of Brüha, an online ticket provider in Ontario. But when he began working in startups, he found his lack of tech skills impeded. So Graeme started learning web development and iOS at BrainStation, and says he’s now able to contribute to the technical conversation. Next up for Graeme? He’s attending BrainStation’s new online Data Analytics course to learn how to tell a better story with data. Learn more about why Graeme believes technical skills make him a better CEO, and how BrainStation is helping get him there.

    Q&A

    Unlike some coding bootcampers, you didn't do BrainStation to change your career. Tell us why you decided to start learning web development and iOS.

    When I started working at a tech startup in 2012, I found it extremely debilitating not being able to understand the code and especially the finer points of code – how databases work and how to fetch data. I actually hired a tutor in 2013 to work with me one-on-one and teach me the principles of code. I started to see the nitty gritty of code, how to build a website, how to build an app, etc.

    Jason, the CEO of BrainStation, and I both went to Queen’s University, although we didn’t meet until he started the school. I was a big advocate of BrainStation and I had the opportunity to start taking courses. I took Intro to Web Development and Intro to iOS Development in February 2015.

    Now, as the CEO and co-founder of Brüha, an online ticket provider, being technical means I'm able to participate in all parts of the business, and any good CEO should be able to do that.

    After learning some programming with a tutor, why did you feel the need to learn in a classroom at BrainStation?

    When I learned with a tutor, we met two nights a week. The one-on-one experience was great, but he created a curriculum for me that was derived from a computer science university course. I learned Java and very conceptual projects. The reason I decided to do BrainStation was that I wanted to really build something modern and relevant to my work. It was interesting to learn the conceptual and theoretical blocks of programming, but I wanted to know how to deploy an iOS app and how to build a website.

    Could you build a website and put it live by the end of the BrainStation course?

    Totally. For one class project, I built a website for my friend who owned a gym. Plus, I got a free gym membership out of it. It was a cool opportunity. At the end of it, I thought, “Oh look, I can build a modern website that a real company can benefit from." I thought that was super valuable and it was totally a result of the Intro course. Even though BrainStation is teaching the basis, they show you the door and then you can take it upon yourself to expand further.

    Because I work in the tech space and am constantly engaging our dev team, everything we learned about at BrainStation always translated back into my day job. It was inevitable that I would keep learning.

    What do you want to learn next at BrainStation?

    I’m going to take the online Data Analytics course in Winter 2017. I couldn’t pass it up. At Brüha, we've been in the marketplace for a year, so for us data is everything. Whether it's customer acquisition, site performance, project scheduling, or project controls, we're always tracking data. So I thought that this course would be very relevant. In looking through the curriculum, I’m most excited to learn to query SQL databases. The curriculum also covers data analysis, Excel, relational databases, and Tableau for dashboards.

    Why did you decide to take an online Data Analytics course?

    The Intro Web and iOS courses took two nights a week. I would catch a train from Hamilton to Toronto, so I had about an hour to work on homework. Back then, Brüha was heavy in R&D, so it was a lot, but it was feasible. I don't have that feasibility anymore. As with any startup, I’m always working so I can’t make that commitment. Taking the course online allows me to go at my own pace and take the course part-time. There are weekly deliverables like homework – I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to manage it yet, but I’ll plan to set aside one hour each day as my “learning time.”

    We're a small team with a small budget, so we try to do as much as we can in-house, and I feel like taking this course will be perfect for that. Our mentality is to be makers rather than consumers as much as we can.

    What are you doing to prepare for the online course?

    I haven’t really started preparing yet. There hasn't been anything sent my way. With the iOS and web courses, they sent over a few links to familiarize myself with. For this course, I haven’t gotten that prep work yet.

    A note from the BrainStation team:
    The Data Analytics course doesn't require student preparation because it's designed to take students from having little to no experience using data to become comfortable using large or small data sets to extract and present insights. With that said, the more prepared students are, the more they will be able to take advantage of our educators by digging deeper into the subject matter. BrainStation’s free prep course helps students with the following:

    • Understanding the practice of Data Analytics and its significance in all businesses today
    • Reviewing case studies of effective and inventive use of analytics
    • Gaining exposure to the Data Analytics process
    • Learning about the tools used in various applications of Data Analytics
    • Understanding the types of problems data analysts solve and how they approach these problems

    How have the skills you learned at BrainStation made you a better CEO?

    The most prevalent benefit is the ability to be part of the problem-solving. Any decision I make is going to affect the business overall, but especially when dealing with technical challenges. For example, if we’re discussing how to interface with a different currency, that’s going to impact part of the business.

    As technical challenges arise, the most significant benefit of being literate in programming is that I can be a part of that conversation and help to brainstorm or provide suggestions. It's cool to be able to hop into code if you ever need to.

    Do you ever get to create new code in your current role at Brüha?

    I rarely will create code at Brüha– we have a very competent CTO that handles that. But understanding the code has been beneficial. We built all of Brüha native (not sure we’d do that again). So we have iOS and Android native apps and we also use HTML/CSS and PHP for web. All of the concepts that I learned at BrainStation, I can 100% apply to Brüha.

    However, in my personal life, I’m happy to use those skills – my brother needed something done on his website, and I could help him with that.

    What do you hope to bring to Brüha after taking the data analytics course?

    One thing I'm hoping to improve is my ability to model data. SQL queries are really cool, but from the Brüha angle, my role is engaging potential funders and financiers and even customers. No matter the channel or the end user, at the end of the day, I'm making a pitch and that pitch is very heavily about our data. It involves our sales metrics or our ability to increase tickets. I need to take that data, model it, and try to tell a story with it. So I'm really hoping that this experience at BrainStation builds on my ability to do that in a very efficient manner.

    As a CEO, would you ever hire a Brüha developer from the BrainStation bootcamp?

    Short answer: yes, for sure. Long answer: as an employer, you have to really weigh it out and make sure your company is in a place to take that on. We've actually been very active in hiring co-op students (a type of subsidized internship popular in Canada) from local universities and colleges. It’s a huge advantage for a startup that doesn’t have a ton of money.

    The tradeoff that we’ve discovered is that the success of a co-op developer is so depended upon the ecosystem they’re coming out of. The university grade co-op devs don't really learn a lot of hands-on training in school, so they're coming into our company super green and it takes a lot of resources to train them. The only advantage that bootcampers have is they are actually doing hands-on work. The 3-4 months that they spend at a bootcamp is pretty much like getting trained at your first company.

    What advice do you have for other founders and CEOs? Should all CEOs know some code?

    If you’re a CEO at a tech company, then 100% yes! When I give keynotes at MBA programs, I meet so many MBA students that want to get into startups but they just don't have any software experience.

    My advice is always that it’s never too late. I studied philosophy and art in college. I realized at a later age that if you want to be taken seriously, then you have to speak the language. It’s like being dropped off in a foreign country and not being able to communicate. Your first priority should be to become code-literate. From there, you can truly be a contributing member of your team.

    Do you recommend BrainStation for learning Web Development, iOS, or Data Analysis?

    Yeah. One thing I love about BrainStation is that they really went for quality over quantity. Their mission was always to teach small groups with multiple, quality instructors. They’re not just focused on filling up a classroom.

    The instructor who taught us iOS was the Lead iOS Developer for Wattpad, which is a very successful tech startup at Toronto. He was working for a company that's grown fast and he knew how to scale technology quickly. The information you're getting goes beyond “PUTS” commands; you're getting access to knowledge that will be valuable to anyone who wants to work in tech or startups.

    Read more BrainStation reviews on Course Report, and check out their upcoming Web Development, iOS Development, and Data Analytics courses, all of which are available in-person and online.

    About The Author

    https://course_report_production.s3.amazonaws.com/rich/rich_files/rich_files/1527/s300/liz-pic.jpg-logo

    Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students considering a coding bootcamp. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube

  • Remote Web Development at Brainstation

    Liz Eggleston5/9/2017

    brainstation-remote-web-development-curriculum-spotlight

    With students all over the world asking to learn with BrainStation, it was clear to the founders that they needed to unlock their courses to remote learners. BrainStation has graduated thousands of students in design, development, marketing, and product at their New York, Toronto, and Vancouver campuses since 2012. We sat down with Jason Field, Founder & CEO of BrainStation, to learn more about their new Remote Web Development bootcamp that launches Summer 2017.

    Our takeaways:

    • Delivered online, BrainStation’s Remote Web Development bootcamp is a full-time commitment mirroring their in-person bootcamp running from 10am-6pm Monday to Friday for 10 weeks
    • Their online campus is as close to in-person as it gets. Expect the same amount of support as you would in their in-person bootcamp: career guidance, networking opportunities, and access to global hiring partners
    • You’ll learn through BrainStation’s custom online learning portal, which includes scheduling, video, chat and curriculum materials

    First, tell us about why BrainStation is launching Remote Web Development.

    From the beginning, BrainStation has aimed to be a global player in digital skills empowerment, and the last five years have really given us the opportunity to interact with students in an in-person environment. We’ve tested what works with students, experimenting with different course options, topics and skill sets, but we've always had the ambition to unlock our courses to the entire world. We talk to students who we aren’t able to reach in our campuses in New York, Vancouver, and Toronto, and our new Remote Web Development bootcamp lets us work with those individuals and empower them.

    On top of that, our in-person students have asked when we’ll be offering e-learning or online learning because it’s something that they want access to after graduating. A lot of little indicators and validators continuously poked us and said we needed to start teaching online sooner rather than later.

    Over the past year, our educational product team has worked extremely hard and launched the Full-time Remote Web Development bootcamp. The inaugural summer cohort is kicking off on June 19th.   

    What lessons have you learned from teaching web development in-person that you’ll bring to the remote bootcamp?

    It’s really important that we started with in-person education in order to validate all of our initial assumptions around how humans learn and how people learn digital skills specifically. We’ve learned a few important things:

    The connectivity of students in that social learning environment is so important. We talk to potential students all the time that have already done tons of learn-at-your-own-pace online learning, and I think that's fantastic. But they come to BrainStation and say, "Okay, I'm ready to take it to the next level." The accountability you get from learning with others and networking is huge.

    We also see that the back-and-forth dialogue between fellow students and educators is important. In BrainStation’s Remote Web Development bootcamp, the learning style will be synchronous so that students and Educators are able to talk in real time as they follow a very strict schedule. I also think a hands-on and project-based teaching style is mission critical. Projects are much more meaningful when you have people to actually bounce ideas off of and get feedback, either good or bad. Harsh feedback will refine your skill set to the point where when you head into an interview or when you're in a job as developer, designer or technologist, you're confident and sure of yourself.  

    Are you looking for anything specific in Remote applicants? Will you use the same application process as the in-person Web Development bootcamp?

    At the moment, it's similar to in-person, which is already pretty rigorous. Students can come from all sorts of different backgrounds. There is a 30 to 40-hour prep course (the material depends on the individual's background), and that prep course is needed to prepare potential students for the admissions assessment and the official admissions interview with our program coordinators.

    The most successful candidates have ambition; they’re very focused and have a previous life or career that indicates their drive.

    The initial full-time Remote Web Development bootcamps will be held in the Eastern Standard Time Zone. It's 10am until 6pm every day, Monday to Friday. So it's a total of 400 hours online. It’s intense.

    Is there something inherent about learning to code that almost lends itself to learning online?

    I do think that the subject matter is aligned well with online learning. Web development and coding in general is subject matter that fits into the online format a whole lot better than others. I could see some complications introducing a subject like UX Design, but we're definitely going to challenge our own assumption there.

    Learning to code online can depend on the individual. I’ve met students who don’t need in-person learning; they don't need the accountability or network, and it's actually in their best interest not to go through a full-time immersive bootcamp because they save themselves a lot of money. But the vast majority of people that I’ve interacted with over the past five years want to learn on this roadmap with mentorship support, with all the extra layers. The searching costs of learning on your own are immense and a bootcamp is totally the right fit for most people who are looking to learn something new at an accelerated pace.

    I think that learning online is the direction that our actual workforce is going as well. If you're working for a progressive technology company, you spend a lot of time meeting people virtually and online. Our full-time remote students will get introduced to skills that they will need to use when working with development teams or technology teams remotely.

    Have you built out an online learning platform? Tell us about the tools you're using to teach students.

    We've been working especially hard over the past eight months to build the BrainStation Learning Portal. The learning portal itself contains everything the students need – video conferencing, chat, and all of their material. And once they graduate the bootcamp, everyone has access to the curriculum, even as it evolves. We continually add features to it, iterate and update our content, exercises, labs, etc. This helps our students to continue learning and fine tuning their skills with a supportive community of graduates and get them ready to interview for their desired job in development or launch their own company.

    Will there be any interaction between in-person students and the remote cohort or are these going to be completely separate?

    Online and in-person are completely separate. The first cohort will have 24 students, and an Online Campus Team that is designated to those students. The mentors, teaching assistants, and educators are only interacting with the online students.

    With that being said, we've been talking about adding some interactivity between the in-person Web Development and User Experience Design students in our campuses globally. Skill sharing from one class to the other class further solidifies what they've learned, so we’ve talked about ways to make that happen for the online learners as well. Also, an initial thought came to our minds: "How do we tie this all together and have all of the cohorts globally connecting on projects?" Whether you're on the West Coast or East Coast of North America, or in Europe, etc, you'll be able to connect with that cohort some way or another. Our team is working towards a solution at the moment because the potential is amazing.

    Will the remote learning experience look the same as the in-person student experience?  

    We're going to approach it the exact same way. We want to make sure that every graduate from our full-time program – whether they're tuning in online from thousands of kilometers away or whether they're visiting one of our campuses in the heart of that respective ecosystem in New York, Toronto, Vancouver, etc... – we want to make sure that when they graduate they get the same experience. So we're going to keep the structure consistent, but again, we're constantly validating our assumptions and making sure that we're innovating. I think it makes sense to provide a consistent experience regardless of if you're in person or online so that our hiring partners know what quality to expect

    There's a mix of different content types, lectures, readings, labs, pair programming and it's Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm for 10 weeks.

    There will be some hurdles and iterations to be done – how are you preparing yourself to that feedback?

    Our online Learning Portal is already live and it’s been used in the field by our in-person students. It’s undergone two and a half years of iterations, like chat functionality, content updates, quizzes, all of that already lives there. The only new addition is adding the video conference functionality and putting it all together with a slick UI.

    We've also been testing out the online Learning Portal internally with different team members from different campuses globally and all is well. With that being said, things are always going to happen as they have in the past, and it's always a very quick fix. BrainStation is part of Konrad Group, a family of businesses that include a leading North American full-service tech consultancy; that means we can respond to things a lot sooner than if we were just focused on education.

    How will you approach job placement for your students who are now looking for jobs outside of your strongest networks where your campuses exist?

    We have been building our networks remotely by developing global hiring partners; since day one we knew we would have locations around the world, as well as the Online campus. We offer career resources such as interview prep, resume building tips, networking advice, and suggest events and Meetups specific to our students’ location. We also work with our students to help build their online presence, whether it be through GitHub, LinkedIn, etc. These are really important tools for getting hired in tech, and we want to make sure our students graduate the program effectively showcasing all that they have accomplished to hiring partners and recruiters.  

    How has your employer network reacted to this new online cohort? Are they excited, concerned, or both?

    We've brought it up with some of our key hiring partners and partners in the ecosystem, and they're excited. When we open up our program with only 24 spots to the entire Eastern Standard Time Zone, I think the caliber of applicants will be really high.

    Our hiring partners have already seen the quality of the students in our in-person classes, so I think they’re excited. There are companies who are forward-thinking when it comes to working remotely, and we have some students who only want to work remotely. There will be companies who align with that.

    Read BrainStation reviews on Course Report and be sure to check out the BrainStation website!

    About The Author

    https://course_report_production.s3.amazonaws.com/rich/rich_files/rich_files/1527/s300/liz-pic.jpg-logo

    Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students considering a coding bootcamp. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube

  • Episode 10: January 2017 News Roundup + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe1/8/2018

    Welcome to the January 2017 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. This month we applaud initiatives that bring technology to underserved communities, we look at employment trends, and new coding schools and campuses. Plus, we hear a funny story about an honest taxi driver. Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.

    Continue Reading →
  • Which Coding Bootcamps Have Been Acquired?

    Liz Eggleston6/8/2018

    Since the first bootcamp acquisition in June 2014, we’ve seen several coding bootcamps get acquired by a range of companies from for-profit education companies (Capella Education), to co-working companies (WeWork), and other coding bootcamps (Thinkful + Bloc)! With rapid market growth in the bootcamp industry, for-profit education companies are taking note. These acquisitions and consolidations should come as no surprise, and some have been very successful, with schools going on to increase their number of campuses and course offerings. As coding bootcamps become more mature, we are seeing them get snapped up by more well-known companies, for increasingly large sums (e.g. General Assembly for $413 million!) We’ll keep this chronologically-ordered list updated as bootcamps announce future acquisitions.

    Continue Reading →
  • Front End Development vs Back End Development: Where to Start?

    Lauren Stewart9/11/2018

    front-end-versus-back-end-development-header

    Do you want to be a front end developer or a back end developer? Understanding your career goals at the end of a coding bootcamp can make it easier to narrow down which school is best for you. This can be a tricky task if you aren’t familiar with these terms – but no need to worry now that you have this guide. Let’s dig into the difference between front end web development and back end development: which programming languages you’ll learn, which coding schools teach them, and what to expect from a career as a back end or front end web developer!

    Continue Reading →
  • Brainstation Web Development Immersive Summer 2015

    Harry Hantel8/25/2015

    About The Author

    https://course_report_production.s3.amazonaws.com/rich/rich_files/rich_files/1641/s300/harry-edit.jpg-logo

    Harry is the Community Manager at Course Report, Rockets fan, and writer living in New York City. 

  • Guide to Coding Bootcamps in Canada

    Nick Toscano11/23/2017

    Canadian bootcamps are working hard to develop the talent needed to keep up with Canada’s growing tech hubs. StartUp Genome ranks Toronto and Vancouver amongst the top 20 startup ecosystems in the world. The Canadian tech economy as a whole is being fueled by thriving companies such as Shopify, HootSuite, Kik, Wattpad, and Erkem. Their success has generated a lot of interest among investors.

    In 2016, $157 million was invested into 418 Canadian companies by angel investors, according to the National Angel Capital Organization 2016 Angel Investing Report.

    Continue Reading →
  • Learn Digital Marketing at These Part-Time Bootcamps

    Harry Hantel1/25/2018

    Coding bootcamps offer a chance to learning the finer points of building digital products, but what about when the product is finished? Digital marketing has risen to become a fundamental part of most businesses as they try to reach more people, more effectively. These 5 digital marketing programs teach the fundamentals of creating and managing campaigns, as well as the necessary tools to understand what is and isn’t working.

     

    Continue Reading →
  • Learn Product Management At These 5 Bootcamps

    Harry Hantel5/14/2015

    5-product-management-bootcamps-header

    While coding bootcamps can produce stellar developers, Product Management is another integral part of a company's technical team. It’s an organizational function that entails a combination of marketing, development, and analysis. The ability to get into the nitty-gritty of coding is obviously a powerful skill, but product management ensures that the code is maximizing the effectiveness of that power and thus, maximizing profit. These product management bootcamps can turn you into an effective product manager by teaching you skills to contribute meaningfully to the big decisions that guide the lifecycle of a product.

    Continue Reading →
  • Alumni Spotlight: Jason Cassidy, Brainstation

    Liz Eggleston5/7/2015

    alumni-spotlight-jason-brainstation

    Jason Cassidy is the digital marketing manager at Cara Operations, Canada’s largest full-service restaurant company. He was recently named to Marketing Mag’s "30 under 30," but Jason realized the importance of technical skills in marketing and saw the potential to unlock new opportunities at his company. After attending a marketing seminar at Brainstation, Jason decided to take their 10 week Intro to Web Development course. Now approaching the end of the course, Jason chats with us about his experience and why he’s already planning on taking another Brainstation class.

     

    Tell us about your job at Cara.

    I’m the Digital Marketing Manager at Cara Operations, Canada’s largest full-service restaurant company. I did an undergraduate degree in journalism and political science and a master’s degree in communications with a thesis on content marketing.

     

    What course are you taking at Brainstation and why?

    I’m taking the Intro to Web Development course because I thought Web Development would be a good prerequisite. I specialize in social media marketing and email marketing, so web development seemed like a really crucial pillar. My main goal was to be able to better manage potential developers. The second goal is that I will hopefully open my own digital marketing agency, so having some expertise will help if I ever need to hire developers.

    I also think that having these skills will help me develop creative ideas when I start my own business.

     

    Did you have any programming experience before you started at Brainstation?

    No; Brainstation gave me a 40-hour Codecademy prep course to complete so I did that 6 months before I actually signed up and learned quite a bit from that.

     

    Since you were working while taking the part-time Brainstation course, was your company supportive?

    I was working for a different company when I decided to do the Brainstation course and I actually pitched them to cover the tuition. They didn't see how it would directly apply to my current role, but they were supportive.

     

    What was your pitch to get your employer to cover the course?

    My main angle was to invest in growing my marketing skill set. Most companies just don’t know the full possibilities of digital marketing. They still see it as a skill that you tack onto traditional marketing but they’re realizing there’s so much more there.

    I also pitched it to my brother who owns his own gym and I offered to build his website if he paid for my course. He didn’t have the capital to invest, but I’m thinking of doing an Intermediate Web Development course; since he’s already seen how far I’ve come in the intro course, I might take a second crack at it!

     

    How did you find out about Brainstation?

    Brainstation hosted a social media marketing seminar with Twitter and a couple of other tech firms. I checked out their website and thought it looked cool.

    I researched other bootcamps like Bitmaker Labs and Lighthouse Labs. The prices were very similar and the other schools looked very credible but I felt a personal connection to Brainstation after having been there.

    Brainstation held a contest to win a free class and I won half off, so I went with Brainstation.

     

    What was the student:teacher ratio in your class?

    There are usually 4 instructors for 25 students but only 12 students signed up for my course, therefore they only had 2 instructors. It’s a good ratio.

     

    How often do you meet in person?

    Once a week for 3 hours.

     

    Was your class diverse in terms of background and experience?

    There is a wide range of people. I was working as a digital marketer, another woman works as a full-time copywriter, there was a Bell technician with no experience at all, and a few people who had some prior experience.

     

    Who was the head instructor for your class?

    Rares is the head instructor and Alan facilitates and moderates the class

     

    Did you have assessments or tests in the Brainstation course?

    We got a bit of homework at the beginning of the class, but their whole spiel is that there’s no grades or tests- it’s very welcoming.

     

    What technologies did you focus on at Brainstation?

    We learned HTML 5, CSS 3, pretty much everything about those two. We learned Twitter Bootstrap. We are moving at such a quick pace that we started learning some JavaScript.

    They give us a free membership to Treehouse as part of the course so it was really good to have secondary material. They strongly encourage you to watch these Treehouse videos. So I went home and in the first week consumed about 50 hours’ worth of content.

     

    What types of projects did you work on?

    You have a few minor assignments along the way and then halfway through you’re asked to build a website for a coffee shop. I built one for a gym instead, for my brother’s business. It’s a 6-7 page website that will be fully responsive.There’s a final project in the last 2 weeks, which we present to the class.

     

    Even though you weren’t necessarily looking for a new job, how did Brainstation approach job preparation?

    Brainstation tried to prepare us to actually start selling our services. So were learning how to do wireframes and how to show those to potential clients. They work with high-potential students on getting jobs. They sent a couple of job postings our way and the class’s way.

     

    Do you think that what you’ve learned will help you at your current job in marketing?

    I can now think more in-depth about sites and I’m inspecting everything now and just understanding how they work. I think I’m close to being able to actually save our company a bit of money.

     

    Did you have any feedback for Brainstation and was that feedback taken seriously?

    I’ve been pretty open and honest with them. I thought they needed to be a little tougher on students and push everyone to go home and consume every bit of video content and tutorial information- that will make the class better.

     

    Would you take another Brainstation course?

    Yeah! I started in this course as a way to round out my skill set. Right now I’m enjoying those new skills and seeing if there can be opportunities to do more courses while still working.

     

    To learn more about Brainstation, check out their School Page on Course Report or the Brainstation website. Catch up with Jason Cassidy on Twitter!

  • Learn iOS at These Mobile Developer Bootcamps

    Harry Hantel6/19/2017

    Apple’s newest, beginner-oriented programming language Swift has made developing for the iPhone a possibility for new and experienced developers alike. iOS developers earn over $100,000 on average, so it's a perfect time to learn to program for the iPhone. With the help of one of these iOS bootcamps, you could find yourself developing mobile apps utilizing Objective-C, Cocoa Touch, and Swift. 

     

    Continue Reading →
  • Interview with Jay Field, Facilitator at Brainstation

    Liz Eggleston3/7/2014

    Brainstation is a part-time school in Toronto that facilitates small class sizes and hands-on, project-based learning. Jay Field joined the Brainstation team after working in marketing and business development, and he shares Brainstation's teaching philosophy, their plans for expansion into back-end & mobile courses, and how he feels about recent attention from regulatory agencies. 

    Oh, did we mention he's also a student in the first cohort? 

     

    What brought you to BrainStation?

    I was learning personally, through Codecademy, Codeschool, Treehouse, when I was able to link up with the BrainStation team. I have a background in business development, community building and marketing, so I came on to assist in that respect. Through that I was able to contribute in the hiring process to bring on our amazing educator team. I'm actually one of our students in the first cohort!

     

    BrainStation has a good amount of classes now- Front-end, Back-end, Mobile, Data Science. Which class did you start with?

    The Front-end class is the first cohort, which is now in Week 6.

     

    And it’s a part time commitment. What is the general time commitment that students are signing up for?

    For me personally, I had approached the concept of using something like Course Report to find an intensive, immersive bootcamp in Canada or the States. I couldn’t make the time or money commitment at that point, so there was no real option in Toronto for someone like myself, who had a 9-5 job and wanted to dabble in coding. We aim to provide that opportunity. Our student base is interested to the point where they want to take a part-time course. We have some entrepreneurs in our course working on their own projects, and young professionals, looking to be better at what they do. Technology is everywhere, so having a background in web development is useful in marketing, finance etc. We teach on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30-9:30pm for 12 weeks. So there’s 72 hours of in-class learning.

    Someone working in finance may wake up at 6am, go to work, commute to our class, and be here until 10pm. That’s a long day, so we’re pretty understanding. When they come to class, it’s just project building. We’ll have a 30-minute overview of the material and the curriculum is based on their individual goals (versus an end goal for the class). So the time commitment depends on the individual, but we have students spending upwards of 15 hours/week, and others spending 5-10 hours outside of class. Overall, it’s 15-20 hours of work per week, with 6 of those hours being in-class.

     

    What’s the cohort size for this first course?

    It’s 18 students. Our standard is a 6:1 student to TA ratio. In this first cohort, we’re trying to make sure everything runs seamlessly, so we have higher than 6:1. Our cofounders are all in the classroom as well.

     

    What are you looking for in potential students? Do applicants need to have programming or technical background?

    It depends on the course. What we envision is that the front-end program is the most beginner friendly. It’s the intro to web development- you dive into HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Responsive Design, SEO and Analytics. It’s not necessarily the fully immersive bootcamp where the goal is to get a job.

    That being said, we do aim to facilitate hiring if a student wants that. We're finding that students that came in with an original intent to get a promotion at work or authentically manage their technically team better are more interested than they thought they'd be. It’s cool to see them wanting to shift.

    The backend or mobile program is a bit more technical. It would be perfect for someone who has taken our front-end course or someone with coding experience. All of our programs begin before you get to class. We have a 50+ hour prep course laid out for you to complete before day one begins.For the mobile course, you need to be able to pick up Objective C, so you will want to have programmed before.

    Did you get a lot of applications for your first cohort?

    We did. We cap our cohorts at 24. We didn’t necessarily turn people down, but we had genuine conversations with them about the course. It’s not your typical “night class.” It’s going to be intense and quick. We chose 18 solid students who have been able to commit, and that’s been awesome.

     

    Do you have a refund policy in place in case a student doesn’t realize the pace until it’s too late?

    We have a $500 deposit, which is nonrefundable and holds your seat in the class. We had one student who was given a full refund, Andrew, because he was given a promotion at work and he wasn’t able to continue. We’re not looking to make this difficult- obviously we want to fill the cohort as a business so that we can provide the best experience possible, but life happens. That’s one thing I’m learning as a cofounder and a student, since I’m in their shoes.

     

    Of your 18 person class, how many are male vs. female?

    7 out of 18 are female. We offer a $500 automatic scholarship for women. The co-founders and our educators are passionate about getting more women into technology, and it seems that they want to also. Toronto is holding it down for the ladies! If you’ve been part of the Canadian Armed Forces or are in the US Military, we offer an automatic $500 scholarship as well.

     

    Can you give us a quick run down of the curriculum in the Front-End course?

    The topics we cover are mainly HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. On top of that, we go through UX, responsive design, typographies, popular APIs like Facebook and Twitter. Alex is one of our cofounders and also a lead educator in the classroom, and he’s made the curriculum very adaptive. We just had project week in Week 5, and now they’re shifting the curriculum based on where students are. We don’t want to get into one set curriculum- the whole point is that it’s agile. We also have some very high potential students who are constantly asking for more work. The students will come back and say, “I spent 25 hours on Sublime Text this week.” For students who can commit that amount of time, we’ll have work for you, but we don’t want to intimidate students who can’t dedicate that amount of time.

    As a student, I would be expected to do three chapters of reading, then I need to do some exercises (~5 hours) in Treehouse and Codeschool. Everyone has a personal project that we also work on. We have one student, Oliver, who has a men’s e-commerce brand. That’s really cool, because you can see that he’s so committed to building his website. We try to give projects that can be implemented into what an entrepreneur’s goals are.

     

    How are you helping students find jobs? Are you doing interview training, building a portfolio etc?

    Throughout these 12 weeks, they’re pushing everything to Github, so at the end, they’ll have a portfolio of projects. That’s sweet. We have some students who are content with their jobs, but want to enhance their learning and maybe freelance on the side. The extreme case is that a student wants us to open their eyes to the companies who are hiring in Toronto.

    The most interesting thing is when you get someone who is now a “switch-hitter”- they have an accounting background but they know how to code, so they can work for an accounting-based software company like Wave. Or someone in Marketing who can now handle a technical team. The doors open up.

    Because we’re part-time, we don’t need our own location, so we run our classes out of a coworking environment and rent out the space at night. We're running our courses out of 2 co-working spaces; Project: RHINO and The Fueling Station, as well as an accelerator, Extreme Startups.

    These spaces have small startup companies as well as more mature businesses, which is cool because in Toronto, the startup scene is something that you need to be exposed to. Coming out of university, startups weren’t a publicized option for me- the typical options are business, doctor, lawyer. This opens up their eyes to possibilities that they never knew existed. Salesforce, Pivotal Labs, Wave Accounting, Shopify, 500px, the list goes on of awesome companies that I wasn't exposed to until I began coding.

     

    If you place a student with a company, does BrainStation get a recruiting fee or does the student get a refund?

    I know that’s how a lot of the bootcamps operate. That is not how we’re going to operate. If we’re able to help students make a positive shift in their lives, that’s great. You can tell from our marketing that we don’t focus on selling the concept of getting a job. We want to focus on the education. It’s not something that will make or break our business, and we don’t expect to generate any revenue from that.

     

    Is there a demand for developers in Toronto like there is in New York and San Francisco?

    Yes! For every 7 technical jobs in Toronto, there’s only 1 qualified individual available to fill the job. The gap is there, hence all of these coding bootcamps popping up.

     

    Are you feeling pressured to get accredited or work with regulatory agencies in Canada?

    No sweat there. Since we're part-time and professional development focused, we're in the clear. We approached the Ministry of Ontario Education, in our province, just to be proactive. Last May Bitmaker Labs went through the same issues that Californian boocamps are going through now, it's brutal. Clearly Bitmaker was making a positive impact on Toronto's economy and filling the gaps that exist. Two of our founders were on the founding team at Bitmaker, which is why we were proactive right away. I get why the regulations are in place- to protect consumers- but there’s a fine line between protecting consumers and harming the economy and innovation. All of the bootcamps I've talked to in Canada are legit and there's room for all of them. Be sure to check out my Open Letter to Technology Educators, it was recently published in Techvibes. 

     

    Does Brainstation sound like the school you've been looking for? Check out their website or their School Page on Course Report!

    jay-field-facilitator-at-brainstation

Thanks!