Byte Academy is a coding bootcamp in New York City with full and part-time program options in Full Stack Python development, FinTech (financial technology), Data Sciences and MedTech (medical technology). As one of the first coding bootcamps with a FinTech (Finance Tech) program, Byte Academy focuses on developing industry-specific technology skills in its students. At the core, students will learn programming in a fun, fast-paced, and challenging environment that emphasizes teamwork, similar to the real world. Students showcase their knowledge and hard work in a final project that is demoed to the community on graduation day. Career preparation and placement is part of the program with regular career days and guest speakers. Byte Academy’s original full-time bootcamp was among the first to teach Python programming in New York City.
Recent Byte Academy News
- September 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast
- Alumni Spotlight: Eddy Atkins, Byte Academy
- July Coding Bootcamp News Roundup
Recent Byte Academy Reviews: Rating 3.86
New York City
Financial Technology (FinTech) Part-time
- Payment Plan
- Offered on an individual basis. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Tuition Deferral available. Limited scholarships are available on a merit basis. $2000 Byte Academy Scholarship to Women and Veterans.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- 4 weeks of prep work
Full Stack Python Bootcamp
Financing available through Pave.
- Limited scholarships are available on a merit basis. $2,000 Byte Academy Scholarship to Promote Women In Technology.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- 4 weeks of prep-work
Full-Stack Python Part-time
- Payment Plan
- Payment plans such as job-linked loans are available.
- Tuition Deferral available. Limited scholarships are available on a merit basis. $1,000 Byte Academy Scholarship to Women and Veterans.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- 4 weeks prep work
Data Science Part-time
- Payment Plan
- Job linked loans and other available.
- Tuition Deferral available. Limited scholarships are available on a merit basis. $1,000 Byte Academy Scholarship to Women and Veterans.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- 4 weeks of prep work
Medical Technology (Med Tech)
Apply programming to tackle some of the problems faced by the healthcare industry. Utilizes biomedical databases together with any of the interdisciplinary fields within the bioinformatics, including statistics, mathematics and other datasciences.
- Lending partners include Pave, Climb, We Finance
- Payment Plan
- Job linked loans and other plans available.
- Tuition Deferral available. Limited scholarships are available on a merit basis. $1,000 Byte Academy Scholarship to Women and Veterans.
Blockchain Part-Time Program
We are taking our FinTech curriculum to another level with a course that focuses on the blockchain. Curriculum is in collaboration with leading industry experts and founders of companies using the tool that will revolutionize all industries, not just finance. At the end of the course students will have developed an extensive comprehension of the blockchain and will have created a final, capstone project using the technology. We will focus on applications of the blockchain wanted by employers throughout the 16 week course. Curriculum will be supplemented by guest lecturers. See link to full syllabus: http://byteacademy.co/our-program/block-chain-syllabus Format: Part-Time, 16 weeks, 2x week in the evening Prerequisites: Some programming experience (at least one year suggested). Potential students will need to pass a brief programming assessment for admissions.
- Lending partners include Pave, WeFinance, Climb and more.
- Payment Plan
- Numerous plans available. Email info@byteacademy,co for more information.
- $1000 women and veterans
- Minimum Skill Level
- one year programming experience
- Placement Test
- Prep Work
- pass assessment
Full-Time Finance Technology (FinTech)
- Lending partners include Pave, Climb, WeFinance
- Payment Plan
- Yes. Details are dependent upon applicant. Please contact us (email@example.com) for more info
- Tuition Deferral available. Limited scholarships are available on a merit basis. $2,000 Byte Academy Scholarship to Women and Veterans.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- 4 weeks of prep work
$500 Byte Academy Scholarship
Byte Academy is a 12-week bootcamp in New York that teaches tools to be successful in finance and technology. The Course Report community will get an exclusive $500 scholarship to Byte Academy!
Offer is only valid for new applicants to Byte Academy. Applicants who have already submitted an application cannot claim this scholarship.
- All courses in New York City
Byte Academy Reviews
- 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.
A childhood friend of mine told me that he was planning on attending Byte, in July (2016), and I decided to check the place out. I'll never forget how much Tom, an instructor at the time, and Kai, the head of admissions, didn't try to sell me on enrollment. It's kind of hard to explain, but it was like they were indifferent as to whether or not I ended up going, and that's -- perhaps counterintuitively-- what sold me.
I can't remember exactly when this was (it's mid-January, now), but I remember not doing much of the pre-course work. My friend was on top of it, from the start, but I thought that the bootcamp was going to be more or less of a cake-walk because I was developing websites with WordPress / managing my own servers, for a few years before I attended. I ended up paying for it the first month; if there's any advice I have to offer it's: 1) choose Byte and 2) do the pre-work.
I touched on Rak and Cody (my fin. and tech. instructors, respectively) in a review on Byte's website, but I'll mention them, here, too; if I had to choose one phrase to sum both of them up it'd be: "world class." I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I've been through a myriad of educational experiences (attending boarding school in South Korea, conducting research sponsored by General Electric, etc.) and this-- by far and away-- was the best educational experience of my life.
That's not to say that it isn't grueling. The first month can be a dog. I thought that I'd be the big-swinging-dick at Byte when I first signed up because of my experience developing WordPress themes and plugins, but I was leagues behind my peers for the entirety of the first month (en serio: do the pre-work). I think, in retrospect, that I thought that the rest of my cohort would be a bunch of chumps, but, as it turned out, every person in my cohort ended up having a work history that'd make your dick shrivel (investment banker at Credit Suisse, cryptolinguist at the National Security Agency, etc.) and, in my opinion, there's nothing better-- whether you're trying to become a better athlete or a better programmer-- than to be surrounded by your betters.
I wasn't on the struggle bus forever, either. I ended up getting an open-source project off the ground and speaking to a bunch of people about it at DigitalOcean's headquarters. It's still pretty small, but I feel like it's one of happening things at the crossroads of financial technology and we've even had the C.E.O. of Investopedia come by Byte, as part of the project's speaker series, to talk about his experiences in the industry. The project actually shares the name of a WordPress-based project that I demo-ed at DisruptNY's hackathon in 2015, and in a strange way, I feel like something about this anecdote sums up my opinion of Byte; it's something like a bridge: between what was and what could be.
It's a weird thing, to look back, you know? I mean, I read every single review on Course Report, and every other website that I could find, before I took the leap. I was hungry, man. I was fucking rabid. I don't even know what this means, but I wanted "to know."
I took a moment to re-read what I'd written and the album "Is This It" came to mind. I was about to plug my headphones into my laptop and pull it up on Spotify, but I started to think about why the album came to mind in the first place as I reflected on what I meant when I wrote "I wanted 'to know'" I realized that that's exactly what I was asking myself right around the time in my life when my friend told me that he was going to go to Byte. You've really got to look inward before you take the leap. Three months can seem like a long time if you aren't ready for a lot of change, but if you're right head-space: it'll go by in the blink of an eye.
Okay, first off don't believe anything they tell you! I fell for their scams and lies. They lied about everything! They have no connections and cannot get you a job. The stats they have on their pamphlets are complete lies. I was told 98% of their graduates have landed a job with 78k+ salaries. THAT WAS A LIE KAI ! While I attended, ever so often they printed new pamphlets that showed their stats decreasing: salaries decreasing, fewer students landing a job, new courses they've supposedly added. Even when they showed stats decreasing it was still a lie, the actual numbers are far lower than that. I can honestly say less than 10% of all students in 2016 landed a job. Only students who were able to land a job had a computer science background or other technical backgrounds.
Every few months they add some random course they claim they teach just to get more students to attend.
Most employers now do not hire students that have only a bootcamp on their resume. Trust me over 15 of us have spent over 6+ months looking for work now. Some of us are in worse situation than before, but Byte Academy does not give a ****
Rak (The head) just wants your money, I wonder what he does all day in his room on the laptop, not talking to potential partners that can hire the graduate studets, that's for sure. He doesn't even talk to the students, he knows he's cheating them.
Byte hired about 3-4 students to work for them, just so they can "try" to back their really low actual stats.
One student got a 75% refund because they claimed they would teach her MedTech, which obviously was bs because they have no such thing. She left after phase 1.
Another student was a TA for over a year at Byte, they had to kick him out to let new graduate students become TAs while looking for work. He had been looking for a job for over a year, mind you, he was a decent programmer.
BE AWARE ! most of the positive reviews you are reading here are from students asked to write reviews before they graduate, which they based only off of the education they received. And if you are a noob to computer science, the education would seem great only because it would be tough for anyone new.
Also, theres only small cohorts because no one else wants to join this bootcamp, no matter how much of our money they are spending on internet ads.
I beg you, even to the students in phase 1, leave and get your money back, if needed attended a more competitive and honest bootcamp (app academy, GA, ect.)
The people there are amazing, but here are my real insights and opinions about the program that are shared among a lot of people, at this point I feel ripped off:
1. Intructors: GREAT! This is the best part, except for one or two who need to be more professional and have more discipline.
2. Listen carefully: THIS IS NOT A FINTECH BOOTCAMP! Let me repeat it, so you know this. THIS IS NOT A FINTECH BOOTCAMP! This is, to me, the major scam! They hold finance lecture going over financial terms, that is it. Not connection between coding and finance. This is a Full Stack Program. I chose this program because it was a fintech program, but in reality, it never was. Careful here. They need to do something about it.
3. Job Assistance: Non-existent. They have really nice people working, but saying to set up a LinkedIn account (which should be done prior) and just forwarding job links is not real job assistance. They talk about their partners, what partners? Seriously. I am sad, because I want to see Byte grow, they have excellent assets, as the instructors, and the people in general, but this is a wake up call.
The is the owner's responsibility, he has been so worried about expanding so fast in India and Singapour that he has forgotten about what is going on in NYC and people are really dissatisfied.
I hope they do something about this. I wish them the best of lucks, but I think these reviews are necessary in order to push them.
Response From: Rak Chugh of Byte Academy
i) Our Fintech program has been completely revamped as a result of the feedback from our hiring partners and from students. Fintech graduates are required to complete at least two of their three final projects in an area of Fintech. Our instructors work with each project team to ensure that there is adequate understanding on the financial concepts but also on the user interface, software architecture and design specifications for these Fintech projects.
ii) On the employment front, we have started a tuition refund guarantee program if someone is unable to get a job within six months of graduation. Full details on our website www.byteacademy.co.
It was a great experience. You have to be ready to study and work a lot. It is really what you put in what you get from the program. Byte is rapidly growing and expanding. Their instructors are very good and smart.
My only criticisms are:
- I believe it is more of a full stack program than a fintech program. They have finance lectures and they are good but I did not see a connection between the coding and the finance.
- More emphasis on the prep work (I understand they are coming up with a new platform). The pace of a bootcamp is hard to follow and I would have liked to have more to study before starting to avoid getting lost throughout the program, hence focusing on more advanced topics.
- I would incorporate more discipline and structure.
Overall a very good experience, they still need to work on things but I believe they are heading in the right direction. The people are great, it really felt like a family and they are all willing to help you. I was happy to come every day and learn something new.
TIP: Expect to stay at least 1-2 months after graduation, it it necessary to learn more specific things, line up interviews and getting further assistance.
First off, I want to say that if you are an individual looking to go through a bootcamp and graduate without a CS degree you will have to work extremely hard in order to find that job. Saying that I have learned a lot from all the instructors here. Each instructor has insight on different technologies and methodologies and were all willing to help when needed. Jenna, director of career services has developed different strategies and advice to help me find a job.
My son, a rising senior economics and math major at a top liberal arts college took the course this past summer. He was diligent, sailed through with a lot of work and did an awesome final project. He learned to code but if you really need a job after taking this course, I'd like to be very clear, Byte Academy offers ZERO employment support. They don't provide leads, introductions, they have no lists of potential jobs, they offer no guidance on places to apply. They don't know you anymore after you've paid and left the course. Their website intimates all sorts of help. It does not exist.
My experience at Byte Academy was intense. I had to work hard, and probably learned the most in the short duration that I was there. It all paid off though. I was quite happy with the final project that we completed in my cohort and was able to get a great job within a month of graduating. Thanks Tom, for all your help with my final project and with preparing me for job interviews.
I guess it is quite true that what you'll get out of Byte is what you put in. If you're ready to work hard and spend the time in learning the material, this is a great bootcamp. If you want to just sit back and listen to lectures, this is not for you.
I loved the small cohorts at Byte Academy. Our cohort had access to a few different technology instructors as well as a finance instructor. Also, we had teaching assistants available to help. I entered without much of a background in coding and was able to learn a lot in the 3 months that I was there. The small cohorts and the many different instructors had a lot to do with my learning.
The focus is on learning by doing. I think this is very useful since I needed the encouragement and hands-on environment for learning. We had lectures everyday, but most of the learning is through projects and coding.
The mentorship during the job search helps a lot. I was able to get a lot of good ideas for companies to target as well as help on my resumes. In addition, the interview prep was very useful.
Summary: Great for beginners. Do the prework. The smallness is both a positive (hands on instruction) and a slight negative (small network of fellow students and alumni through whom to find jobs). Great at teaching you the basics and how to learn. The phase 3 project is an awesome opportunity to build skills and build a portfolio showpiece. Python is great for the finance industry, academia, and data heavy projects. The career services aspect is a little lacking, and needs more structure.
Attended: February-May 2016
Background: One quantitative methods in Mathematica course in college, one week of Coursera R programming, and some very limited self taught VBA skills.
This course is great for those looking to get into full stack web development, especially those with a limited background in programming. In the first two phases you will learn the basics of object oriented programming and web development. The plentiful coursework and hands on instruction mean that, if the student puts in the time and energy, they will be able to build some pretty cool projects in phase 3.
Phase 3, when you build your own project, is when you "take the training wheels off" and start figuring out frameworks or technologies yourself, and how to incorporate them into your project. Instructors will help point you in the right direction, while giving you the space to do your own work. Many students collaborate on their final project, which is not only an opportunity to build a better project than you could have on your own, but also gives you the opportunity to learn and use a version control system (in my case Git).
Pros: hands on instruction, great curriculum, and a balance between instilling best practices and learning how to learn. That is, instructors will emphasize doing things the "right way" while also preparing you to figure out how to build projects yourself and learn yourself. Also learning Python and Django are great if you want to go into a more data heavy engineering role. Another advantage of Python is that it has many packages and libraries, so once you get the hang of it you can quickly use those packages and libraries to do some really cool things.
Cons: If you're a complete beginner and don't do the pre-work it's very likely you will need to re-do phase one. The pre-work is essential for the student to hit the ground running. That's not really a con but just a note that it is really more like a four month commitment than a three month commitment. Also finding a job can take some time, but I think that's true for other bootcamps as well.
What will people do for $500 from amazon? Post nonsense reviews on this site! Read the reviews for this school and see which ones you believe in. I am quite troubled when people spam review sites.
I graduated from Byte Academy and now have a job at a tech company building finance products. I was quite happy with my experience. I learnt a lot and it was 3 months well spent.
I am seeing the past critical reviews that were put up this month and I am quite astonished. My experience at Byte Academy has been quite good and I don't know anyone from my cohort who will agree to these last few reviews. I would encourage everyone to visit and speak to current students and teachers.
I am happy to say that joining Byte Academy is one of the best decisions I have made. I am a current student, not graduated yet. The program consists of 3 phases and by the end of the course every student will become a fully qualfied web developer. After completing 2 of 3 phases successfully, I can say that the curriculum is well designed to transform highly motivated individuals with or without prior programming experience into full stack developers.
Instructors are not only highly knowledgable but also skilled and enthusiastic teachers who genuinely care about the success of their students. Even though each instructor is assigned to a specific phase, they are always availble to answer/help students from any phase. These instructors have great sensitivity and give their full support to make sure each and every student is comfortable with the fast-paced environment.
Pre-course work is designed well and it is very important to complete the requirements before starting the boot camp in order to succeed. A good place for networking as many representatives from various companies attend the weekly meet-ups and coder reviews. Great student community, where evryone is passionate about coding. Diverse group of students with amazing backgrounds and goals. You could be working with someone who used to be an Investment Banker, Trader or a Statup founder. You will make great friends and will be surrounded by people who all work together and help each other succeed.
Reality is, this is a boot camp so one should not assume that everything will be handed out or someone will be holding hand all the time. Students have to think, exercise their reasoning abilities and put a lot of effort in learning the course. I highly recommend Byte Academy to anyone who is serious about becoming a full stack developer.
- There is no fintech content at all in the fintech course.
- The Python/Django content is outdated, bad explained and won't help you to get a job.
- There is no job assistance, they will give you a list of web sites with job lists and good luck.
- There is so much waste of time with pointless meetings, etc. The place is a mess.
Unlike most of the students, I actually graduated from here. They let people in without any coding experience whatsoever so that they can charge these unprepared students thousands of dollars even if they have to drop out on their first week. That's how this place makes a lot of money. The other way is to hire "instructors" straight from Ruby bootcamps and use previous students as TA's. No one here has real world experience as a professional Python/Django engineer. This is a big red flag that I should have acknowledged. Never attend any bootcamp that does not hire experienced people from the industry.
If you manage to make it through the program, do not expect to get a job after. They keep telling you about all of their "partners" that are interested in hiring, but once you're on that stage, the only career help from their side is some 2 hour talk with their recruiter about how to write your resume. She'll tell you she'll send you open positions, but don't expect that to happen in real life. And if it actually does, it's just some BS job listings from the internet.
Also, they make all their TA's write five star reviews on top of all the five star reviews their marketing department wrote. Just keep that in mind when evaluating reviews.
You're better off paying a little more and going to one of the bigger players on the market. Or just learn on your own.
The FinTech part is just few hours on the second month where they will explain a bit of financial terminology and that's is all! There is nothing of FinTech at all.
The Python/Django program was created by an recent graduate from a Ruby/Rails bootcamp, not anyone with real knowledge or experience in Python nor Django. The is so many things missing or wrong in that curriculum that you are better doing some Python online classes for free on Edx or Udacity.
The job assistance is basically a meeting where they will show you a list of few sites with job listings(that you would get yourself in 1min looking for jobs online) and a resume assistance that will take 2 weeks to review your resume.
I would never recommend this bootcamp to anyone.
I come from a computer science background. I graduated college in December 2015 and joined Byte in January 2016. I wanted to be a stronger developer so i wanted to join a boot camp. I was pretty skeptical of where I wanted to go, and I remember reading the reviews on this site, and becoming more skeptical, not knowing if Byte would be a great experience. However, because I wanted to learn python/django I went with it and joined byte. Jeff was my instructor for the three phases; he was a very helpful and great person along with all the other instructors at Byte. Byte is probably the best choice I’ve made in my life so far. It was much better than just having a degree in computer science.
If you are thinking of join Byte I suggest you come in and just talk to some of the students that are in the later phases. Don’t even bother with speaking to the heads of Byte. Speak to the students and find out for yourself. I graduated Byte in April 2016, and I am so glad I chose byte and worked with a language like Python.
- The curriculum is pretty hard but manageable, also there are ways to catch up if you slack off.
- The space is not the biggest
- They do have lots of monitors and tables
- Instructors are very helpful. They all are willing to help you with a problem until you understand completely
- They are open 24/7 so you are able to come in and code weekends or late night ( I really love that about them)
- There are many other small features, like presentations, which help you prepare for the job world.
- You will be in mid down, lots of food places, great view.
- They have big name companies (Bloomberg, Ibm...) that actively take resumes of graduates from Byte.
- very helpful with resumes, cover letters, and preparing for interviews.
Lets start with the curriculum that was made by recent Ruby graduate students that got hired to develop a Python/Django curriculum. It is not just outdated but a lot of times show techniques that is plain wrong. NO ONE USES/KNOW DJANGO IN THERE. The place is a lie! None of the instructors has professional experience with Django so don't expect to learn market standard techniques.
The office is dirty, messy and loud and the place where the "classes" should happen is all the time having events. The job assistance is ridiculous. They create "new courses" as the market department please. If they see people are talking about fintech, they just name it fintech, if there is "medtech" in the news they call themselfs "medtech" bootcamp, and data-sci, so on... but the curriculum barely changes. It is just a tricky to catch students looking for a specialization on some trend market. The true, you wont get specialization at all. And you would learn more Python taking MIT courses available at EDX online.
Bottom line: DONT WASTE YOUR TIME NOR MONEY. Go to Python and Django meetups around the city and do some Python courses online at EDX/Udacity that you learn more and will save money.
After attending four different boot camp meetups in NYC, I decided to attend Byte Academy for one reason: Billy (lead instructor) was the most intelligent person I met at any of the schools. I also met a former student (Adam) who seemed very bright and passionate about programming, who sold me on the culture: enthusiastic, kind, and driven. I'm glad I attended the meetup and met Billy, because at the time, Byte Academy was *not* at the top of my list -- their website lacked polish, their space was cramped, and they were barely on the radar of review sites like this one.
As an aside: at a Rails bootcamp meetup, I swear the presenter said, "There hasn't been a web framework invented since Ruby on Rails." She didn't seem stupid, so she had to know she was lying... this disrespect for the audience only reinforced my intuition that Ruby is a cult for impressionable children. (Although I have two friends who enjoyed their experiences at App Academy and General Assembly.)
The pace of learning here is *hard* and *fast*. I came in to refresh my skills after not using my undergraduate CS degree for ten years. Although I came in with a decent amount of experience, I was blown away by the second day. I don't know how anyone without my level of experience was able to keep up -- some of them didn't. I've never been to a different boot camp, but if they're graduating all of their students in just 12 weeks, they're not teaching nearly as much as Byte. The good news is that Byte students can repeat a four-week phase if they're not prepared to advance.
I am a *much* better developer now than before I came to Byte.
My cohort's instructor, Tom, was knowledgeable and passionate. He knew just the right balance of what to explain to us and what to let us figure out ourselves. Every instructor has their own interesting side projects they're happy to talk about.
Once per week, all students and instructors who wish can give a five minute presentation about anything they like. A lot of people sign up and it's really cool what people are working on and getting excited about.
Cohorts are small at Byte -- mine only had five students.
During my twelve weeks, I had a concern that Byte didn't seem to offer *any* job placement assistance, but the Monday after I graduated, Billy and Richard helped me immensely with my resume, and by the end of the week I was confident to start applying for jobs. They've also started bi-weekly meetings with Rak and Richard to check in with and help every graduate who is still looking for work (but it seems like basically everyone has already found it).
(They *do* help with job placement, but to be honest, it seems like this industry is so desperate for talent that all it takes to find a job is to sort of know what you're doing and start sending resumes.)
Oh -- and finance! Richard is an incredible finance instructor who spent a lot of time with us in phase two. I didn't find myself becoming interested in finance, but about a third of my fellow students came to Byte specifically because they were interested in finance; Richard knows enough about finance *and* software to advise finance-related final projects in a way the technical instructors can't.
One negative: The daily exercises are intentionally an unfinishable amount of work. I strongly disagree with this philosophy of teaching and I hope that it changes.
All of that said, I believe both Rails *and* Django are archaic. The problem they were built to solve -- templating -- no longer exists, and using them just to implement a JSON API introduces tremendous overhead for no discernable benefit. I think the future -- heck, the present -- is about pulling JSON data into a single page application. Or a multi-page application, but certainly not generating server-side templates for every single page.
Come to Byte; you'll love it.
I am glad I signed up for Byte Academy. My cohort was small, so I was able to get a lot of attention from the instructors and teaching assistants. Quite amazed with the great student-teacher ratio. I really needed the individualized attention, so thanks to everyone who helped me along the way!
The program was tough. I had no programming experience before joining. I found myself spending extra time trying to keep up with the rest of the class. However, the late nights definitely paid off at the end. My advice for people joining - if you work hard, you will learn a lot. If you're not willing to put in the time, don't waste your money.
I read the past reviews on this site, prior to writing my review. It seems a couple of people submitted negative reviews. I can't relate to their problems, since my experience was quite positive. I do know that some of the past instructors have left, the current instructors definitely seem capable and eager to teach.
This may be good given some time to grow. In the meantime, this is a waste of money and time. The good reviews are from staff, or have been requested by their marketing person. They send out emails with incentives asking people to leave 5 star reviews on different sites.
You will get a brief "lesson" each day that does not actually teach you anything. The projects are the same you would find if you did your own online search or used books. The resources are much the same. They pull together different external sources and tell you to work on the projects and ask questions. Then you are left on your own. It would be more honest for them to say it's a place to go and program on your own if you feel the need to work out of a Manhattan office full-time. Other than that, there is no value here. You would learn more on your own, or with a bootcamp that actually teaches.
The instructors are immature. The environment is small and loud. People repeat sessions over and over until they finally "pass", or they leave the school. They will ask for feedback, but instantly dismiss anything that is negative and turn it around on the students. Good place to go if you are too excited about programming and feel the need to have someone put you down and strip the joy out of it. The office is shared with the company's consultants and main staff. If you insist on spending a lot of money for no instruction and a junior high hostile culture, at least go visit first and ask yourself if you can spend everyday in their limited shared facilities.
If you talk about getting work right out of the program you will be laughed at and told that is too ambitious. The only grads I heard of that found work afterwards are the hostile TAs they hired to "teach".
There are so many well-established options out there with truthful published job placement numbers, and strong networks for referrals. Please don't sign up here and get pushed out of the industry. Places like this scare off people from tech that could actually be the next big thing. Find a friendlier and more knowledgeable tribe that will help you launch your career. I found a much better program and the difference is astounding. Look over the good reviews and ask yourself if they are spinning the negatives that have been brought up. They are. Why would a review mention being left on your own as a positive? Because it has been complained about and they are trying to squash the negative reviews and overwhelm this page with 5 stars to get the numbers up. Their defense stance will be their undoing. If they ever listen and make real changes then maybe the school will survive.
And by the way, if you are looking for a program that just lets you show up and code with no instruction, there are some on this site with good (real) reviews. They beat this place in terms of having experts to talk to and having strong alumni networks. If this place tries to sell you on any one feature ask yourself if it's real, and if it's enough of a pro to outweigh all the cons. Visit/question more than one place before you sign up. They ask you to hand over your credit card in person, even after they've already run it remotely. This place wants your $$$$
After all that if you still go and have to leave, you may want to leave a truthful review so no one else gets scammed. That may be enough for them to finally fix the place. Financial tech is a great idea and it's a shame this is the only option in NYC. They need to wake up.
This is being written for the benefit of those considering Byte as a coding bootcamp school. TL;DR: It’s a fantastic program with dedicated, knowledgeable instructors, focusing on an industry (Finance and Banking) that is ripe for change. It is tough but you will learn a lot.
As I am in the middle of the three-month Byte program, I can only speak to my experiences and observations regarding the first half of the course. I expect to report on the whole experience after I am finished with the requirements.
By way of background, I am a career-shifting finance professional, having been a portfolio manager both in NYC and Tokyo, Japan; along the way, I had picked up an MBA in Finance from a top tier university and a CFA charter. As most of the finance and banking industry is, in essence, in the prediction business (Buy! This stock price will rise!) I felt it was important to build a skill-set around evidence-based (ie, data-driver) investments. Programming (and data wrangling) is an increasingly needed core skill in an insights-driven arms race. A coding bootcamp like Byte was the solution for me.
Byte coursework is hard. If you are like me and have not done any programming (beyond Visual Basic in Access and Excel), you should consider devoting a hundred and twenty hours or more preparing for the start of the program.
This is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, your cohort will just as likely be sprinkled with university Computer Science majors as it will be complete noobs. Secondly, you will get the most out of the course only if you are prepared to put a lot of effort in. (CFA exam candidates will be able to relate to this.)
That said, one of the bright spots in the program (from my perspective) is the quality of my instructor. The amount of effort I have seen my instructor put into preparing for our classes, and the dedication to guiding us through the blind spots of our knowledge is commendable. From a user experience, I give Byte high marks – despite the program’s toughness, the staff is very approachable and always willing to help.
As a finance person, I have given my suggestions to management*** about the finance part of the bootcamp. Certainly there are many opportunities for technology to contribute to the dis-integration of the industry and to improving services to a disenchanted client base. There are more concrete opportunities for those disillusioned by the opaque pricing and bloated bureaucracies of large institutions. A person armed with both finance and technical skills would be a potent force for change in the industry. I am hoping many more people will see these opportunities in FinTech.
As a very young company, Byte is itself going through rapid change. I have seen new courses being queued up (Med Tech, Data Science, a part time full stack program). I have seen underperforming instructors culled from the roster. I have seen a continuing revision of the coursework materials. I am hopeful these changes are for the better. It is still very early innings.
As far as job assistance is concerned, I have seen companies visit us to pitch their platforms and their technologies, and have participated in a hackathon. Networking opportunities are plentiful both at the Byte location and at company visits and meetups.
So, at this point, high marks for the overall experience, my instructor, the staff. I hope to comment on the Job Assistance portion in more detail after I am finished with the course.
But I will end with a strong recommendation of Byte for anyone who is considering building up their programming skills to the point of being at least a junior developer candidate.
I chose Byte academy because it was the only bootcamp in NYC teaching Python. I quickly realized none of their instructors are competent in teaching it; all their teachers are hired straight from either their own bootcamp or Ruby bootcamps and they have zero real life work experience in what they teach. Typical day at Byte consists of a 15 to 30 min lecture in the morning and after that you are on your own. That was okay though, since especially in the Django part our instructor was so bad that he confused us more than helped.
Personally I don't care about financial industry, but if I did and chose Byte because of their fintech orientation, I would have been very disappointed. They have a consultant that teaches basic consepts of finance in the second four week period, but that's really all you get (unless you think you're a fintech programmer after writing a simple terminal program where you create accounts and transactions).
Their career counseling is non-existent. They claim they have a lot of hiring partners, but after my graduation the only "assistance" I got from them was a two hour meeting with a woman they call their recruiter and, two weeks after my graduation, an email from that same woman with a list of links to pages like LinkedIn, Dice and Monster. Do not count on them helping you with getting a job.
I did give feedback to their CEO multiple times throughout the program and he seemed to be interested in it. However, absolutely nothing changed during my time there.
If you decide to donate your $10,000 to Byte, make sure you're ok with paying just for a working space and an access to their repo. You will have to work really really hard to learn enough to be able to get a job after this program. Also, do not start this program without learning basic programming skills first. If you do, you won't make it and you will have to repeat or drop out.
Response From: Richard of Byte Academy
full time instructors and most of them work with students until well past
normal business hours and view the success of their students with pride.
Assuming this anonymous poster is who we think it is, the instructor who taught
the specific cohort has since left the school.
education is very good, and that we keep improving it from month to month. So
do expect changes for the better every month.
time it takes for most students to find a job varies from 1-3 months after
graduation while some exceptional students have job offers (or at least
employers have already given indication of interest to hire) before their
official graduation date. We advise students on their resume, social media
presence, LinkedIn, job resources, and absolutely offer career counseling. In
the past we did not chase down our students to work on the aforementioned items
with us. If we felt they were well positioned to find a job without any
career counseling, we let them help themselves. We are now doing a better job
of chasing our students. However, we can only help if students avail of our
services. Some students have taken the option of working on their job search
without our help.
of each cohort. Fintech is an incredibly broad subject. The “second four week
period” (Phase 2) is when you learn about financial concepts so that students
can decide if they want to pursue a Fintech project. After learning the
concepts, if anyone is interested in building a Fintech project, which this
anonymous poster elected not to, our finance instructors (not consultant) would
work with the student in helping build a fantastic fintech related final
project in Phase 3.
I came to Byte Academy from an accounting background with some casual programming experience. I was challenged in the areas where I thought I was ahead of the curve and I was guided by the teaching staff when I came upon more difficult material. The pace is fast and everyday they challenge you to stretch past what you thought you could do.
I am not going to claim it is perfect, but Byte Academy staff work closely with students on a daily basis to improve personal and overal experience. During my three months I saw several changes in curriculum and teaching methods that improved my experience.
This program is not for you if you:
- Have difficulty following instructions or being taught.
- Expect a collegiate experience.
- Are not willing to spend extra time to give yourself the best opportunity to learn.
In my opinion, Byte Academy is a worthwhile investment if your goal is to take three months to change how you work, how you think and are fully invested in the process. Byte Academy has every resource that you could think of to make you a great full stack Python developer. You just have to show up and take full advantage.
Our latest on Byte Academy
Welcome to the September 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to big fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. Of course, we cover our 2016 Outcomes and Demographics Report (we spent a ton of time on this one and hope everyone gets a chance to read it)! Other trends include growth of the industry, increasing diversity in tech through bootcamps, plus news about successful bootcamp alumni, and new schools and campuses. Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast!Continue Reading →
With a quantitative background in statistics and economics, Eddy Atkins needed to sharpen his computer programming skills in order to make the leap into Data Science. He travelled from Perth, Australia to learn Python at Byte Academy in New York, and Eddy talks with Course Report on his graduation day about the differences between his Masters degree and a coding bootcamp, his advice to other international bootcampers, and the most challenging aspect of the bootcamp.
(Thanks to Byte Academy intern Kameron Block for his assistance with this Q&A)!
What did you do before enrolling in Byte Academy?
I was an economic consultant for a couple years before I enrolled. I completed my post grad at London so I come from an economic background.
When did you become interested in coding?
One of my best friends back home is a web developer, and he introduced me to Python about a year ago. At the time, I didn’t really have a practical application for it, but I found some of the introductory courses online enjoyable and intellectually stimulating.
My interest was really piqued though when I saw the opportunities to apply computer programming / data science techniques to the data I worked with in my job as an economic consultant, but I lacked the technical know-how. This frustrated me, and set me on the path to Byte Academy and my postgraduate study in London.
Why did you enroll in Byte Academy?
I want to enter the field of Data Science and I already have stats training required. The other half I needed was computer science skills so I thought a coding bootcamp that taught Python, a great language to analyze multiple levels of data, would be best. Byte Academy was the only bootcamp in NYC that I could find that taught this. I wanted to be located in NYC too.
The timing of the Byte Academy program was great as it was before the first year of my one year course to get a Masters in data science.
What is your career goal after graduating?
My career goal is not to get a developer job, rather, I want to apply the skills learn to data science. The instructors at Byte are forthcoming in explaining how coding is relevant and what to focus on.
What advice do you have for other international students interested in a coding bootcamp?
If you love to travel like I do, I would seriously consider a boot-camp that offers you the opportunity to experience another country at the same time. Programs like this really demand that you have no other commitments for the three months, so for me it was a no-brainer to choose somewhere that I could have some fantastic new experiences in the free time I did have.
Additionally, I think all students should seriously consider a US boot camp. Most students (although I am a exception) are looking to gain employment at the end of the program, and cities like San Francisco or New York are at the heart of the world’s tech scene, where the opportunity to make connections with a potential employer are magnified.
What are your hobbies? What do you like to do for fun here?
I like to keep fit, including running, and I’m hoping to compete in the London Marathon next year. I'm also a big music fan, and New York has such an amazing line up of live music, so that has occupied a lot of my free time.
What are the differences in the tech scenes between the US vs Australia?
The attitudes are incredibly different, technology in Australia isn’t really regarded as a mainstream career path. This probably has something to do with the lack of opportunities in tech in Australia, if you want make it big, you inevitably will have to move to somewhere like the US.
The difference is particularly noticeable in New York where every second person seems to work for a start up, and the population is relatively tech savvy. When I mention I am learning Python it isn’t met by blank stares, like it probably would be back at home. It’s a very exciting environment to learn in.
How has your experience been here so far?
It’s been absolutely fantastic. I really like launching myself into something full time and being hands on from day one. An experience like this teaches you the theory, but every moment is devoted to learning how to apply that theory.
What is the most challenging aspect of the program?
The group work has been the most challenging. You stop and think about what you are putting down in the computer and being able to justify and explain it. That’s important. You are always stopping and thinking and analyzing about what you are doing at all points.
Is Byte Academy what you expected?
Although I was aware a coding bootcamp would not be like a University degree, where you are only in class for a few hours a week and may only know the name of a couple of people in your classes, I think I was still surprised by the degree of intimacy that a bootcamp offers. For 12 weeks, the students and instructors around you are your family, for better or for worse. I am never alone in working through a problem, whether it is help from fellow students or an instructor.
What are the instructors like at Byte Academy? Does the teaching style match your learning style?
I have a fantastic relationship with the instructors. The curriculum is based on group work, but we’re sitting across the desk from our professors. If you have a problem at any moment it’s just a matter of shouting across table.
We were in the classroom from 10am-6pm, but the time commitment depends on how much you want to put in. There are weekend projects so you spend at least one day per weekend on homework. The pre-work was very helpful.
You’re graduating this week- are you interviewing for Data Science roles in Australia or the US?
I only just graduated from my undergraduate at the University of Western Australia, so that is all out of sight at the moment.
The July News Roundup is your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the coding bootcamp space. Want your bootcamp's news to be included in the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!Continue Reading →
Yulia Barannikova is a finance major who noticed that the jobs she wanted required programming knowledge, so she enrolled in Byte Academy, a FinTech coding bootcamp in New York. Motivated by the fact that Byte teaches Python and that women are automatically eligible for a $2,000 scholarship, Yulia is now the first female graduate of Byte Academy. Yulia gives us the scoop on her experience transitioning from Finance into FinTech, her experience as a woman (and non-US citizen) in the tech community, and her future plans for a career in programming!
How did you become interested in coding?
If somebody told me a year ago that I would become a developer I would tell them they are crazy. My secondary school in Russia gave me with a very strong math background and I always enjoyed problem solving. When I was picking my major, I never considered Computer Science or IT. I thought that students in those majors would be all techy guys who are crazy about computers and have been programming since they were kids. I decided to get into Finance since I thought it was a quantitative field. I was quite upset that my financial coursework was not very math heavy. Last year when I was looking at jobs postings for non-sales related positions in Finance I was surprised that most of them require programming knowledge. I decided to take a C++ course as a free elective at school and I just loved it! I completely loved learning introductory programming concepts and solving problems by applying those concepts. I just knew that programming is something I want to associate my life with. Since it was too late to change my major I started looking for non-traditional ways of becoming a programmer. I found Byte Academy fit my objectives just perfectly.
What was the reaction from friends/family/peers when they heard you were going to a coding bootcamp?
I will be the first one in my family with a technical career. Everyone in my family are accountants, doctors and teachers. My parents always support me and they approved my decision especially after hearing how excited I was about programming. However, some members of my family said: “Programming is super difficult, how will you be able to do it?” Most of my friends were surprised by such sudden decision but impressed that I decided to learn coding.
Why did you choose Byte Academy over other bootcamps?
The main factor that contributed to my choice was definitely the fact that Byte Academy is a FinTech bootcamp. That way, I could apply my educational background in Finance with coding. Byte Academy teaches mainly in Python which is widely used within Financial Services industry. Also, Byte Academy seemed to be more back-end oriented than the other bootcamps that I was looking at. I actually did not know I was going to be the first and only girl in the program until one week before I started. The fact that Byte Academy supports women by giving a $2,000 scholarship towards tuition was another important factor.
Has the experience been like you anticipated?
I was a little scared that I would not like coding as much as I thought. The program is very intensive and requires a substantial commitment of time and energy. I have never had to spend eight to twelve hours a day in front of a computer before and I was not sure if I such lifestyle is for me. My experience at the bootcamp exceeded my expectations. Most of the time I am so interested and involved in the process that I lose track of time. I have to admit that it has not been easy and some days I swear I could feel my brain hurt the same way my muscles do after an intense workout.
Learning to code turned out to involve more independent work than I expected but it was fair - programming is a skill and involves a lot of self-education.
You’re the first woman to go to Byte Academy- did you feel accepted by your classmates right away?
Yes, I have never felt unaccepted by my classmates. I connected with every member of my group in the first week and never had any issues.
All my friends thought that it was cool that I was going to be the first girl in the program. Some friends said that I would be getting special treatment because I am a female. I can say that I wasn’t getting more help than other fellow classmates.
I interned at the New York Stock Exchange for a couple of months right before I started the program at Byte. The floor is also male-dominated and there I did feel uncomfortable. I think the tech community is very different when it comes to this topic. I feel very comfortable within the tech community.
Everybody knows that there are not a lot of women in tech, therefore people are usually impressed by women that code. I think that I gain an extra amount of respect in the eyes of people after I tell them that I code. My friends that are programmers also all have a very positive attitude towards female developers.
Are you involved with other hobbies/extracurricular activities? Please describe and list.
Passion is my biggest passion. I couchsurfed for a couple of months last summer. I try to take every chance I get to see a new place. I do yoga on a regular basis and have a goal of becoming a certified instructor by the time I am thirty. I have trained as a dancer for ten years when I lived in Russia. Now, I take classes in New York City’s dance centers once in a while. I love cooking and have a cooking blog that I abandoned since I started the program.
Do you participate in GirlDevelopIt, Railsbridge or other women-in-tech organizations?
I don’t participate in any groups yet but definitely plan on doing so in the future. At a Northside tech fair that I went to in June I spoke to the representatives of Girls Who Code. The organization was created to promote programming among teenage girls. They are always looking for volunteers who could teach various programming languages. I think it’s a great organization and would definitely like to get involved in the future.
What are you planning to do after the bootcamp?
I have one semester left at school so I won’t be looking for a job until December. I decided that I would like to do a Masters in Computer Science to broaden my programming knowledge. Since I don’t have a degree in CS, I will be taking courses such as Data Structures, Algorithms and Computer Architecture online from Harvard and UC Berkeley Extension Schools in order to satisfy prerequisites requirement. I am also planning to improve my portfolio. I have a Social Media/FinTech project in mind that I will start working on as soon as I graduate.
What are your career goals?
To get first get experience from larger, more established institution. I realize I maybe having less responsibilities doing this then I believe it is important to learn from the big players. My long term plan is to have my own company. The experience at a larger institution will be invaluable.
How do you think the industry can get more women involved in tech and in coding bootcamps?
The stereotypes around this industry are what stopped me from learning to code earlier. These stereotypes should be broken. Programming creates access to an endless number of opportunities, and there is definitely a place for women in technology. I think a lot of girls tend to think that programming is boring. I personally find programming to be very exciting and creative. Programmers create patterns just like artists or musicians. I encourage girls to give programming a try- don’t think you can’t do it just because there are more men than women in the industry!
Attracting women to Byte Academy specifically could be a challenge since it incorporates both Finance and Programming. I believe that targeting girls who is studying or working in Finance could be a good strategy for Byte. This way, they would still stay within the industry but be able to get more technical jobs.
Gender discrimination is an issue that affects all industries, but in technology, it is all about how good your programming skills are and your ability to work in teams. I believe that I will become a successful developer if I write good code, meet deadlines on time and am pleasant to work with.
(updated August 2016)Continue Reading →
After learning to program C in high school, Greg Piccolo was drawn to the New York startup scene and knew he had to be a part of it. He graduated from Dev Bootcamp and was hired as an instructor at Byte Academy, a New York City coding bootcamp at specializing in Finance and fintech. Greg took a break from Graduation Day to talk about Byte Academy’s unique programming and finance curriculum, why Python makes sense as a FinTech coding language, and why “sandboxing” is the key to excelling in his class.
Tell us about your background and how you got interested in programming.
I first learned how to program in C in 1998 when I was 13 years old. At that time there weren’t a lot of public high schools that were teaching programming so I was pretty lucky. So I had a background in the fundamentals of computing. I ended up working in IT as an administrator, but I saw what was happening in the startup scene in New York City. I saw my smartest, brightest, most ambitious friends working in tech, and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.
So I spent a year getting up to speed myself and I attended Dev Bootcamp, which I had a fantastic experience at.
How did you find out about Byte Academy?
One of my close friends from Dev Bootcamp was hired at Byte and they were interviewing for another instructor.
Did Dev Bootcamp convince you that the bootcamp model was effective? Did you have to be convinced of the Byte Academy model?
Having graduated from a three-month bootcamp and now teaching and working in a bootcamp, it’s easy to get wrapped in the bubble. I didn’t need much convincing in the because I already knew from previous experience that the only way to learn and get better was by doing.
It was just a matter of finding the right bootcamp. Dev Bootcamp had a very good reputation so I did not need to be sold on it. My other option was going back to a four-year university and finishing my degree in computer science but I opted not to do that. There are no great Computer Science programs in NYC and the good ones are really expensive. A programming bootcamp is the best value for money here in New York.
How does Byte Academy incorporate finance into the curriculum?
I’ve designed the technology portion of the curriculum. When you’re teaching a fundamental concept in computing like algorithms or data structures, you can’t always point to a financial concept as an example. But the students do four intensive weeks of finance and most of their projects do revolve around finance.
So you handle the technology side of the curriculum- who teaches finance?
Our dean, Richard, who is a consultant and has worked with companies like JP Morgan and GE, teaches the finance portion. And Rak, the other cofounder, also steps in. Rak has run a hedge fund and runs a successful consulting company.
How long is the bootcamp?
It’s 12 weeks of technology. We’re as programming-intensive as any full-stack bootcamp, but then we add a finance track on top of it. One of my focuses is on data and data science, which works very well with the finance track.
Which languages or technologies do you teach?
Why Python specifically?
It’s because Python is used in FinTech and Python is used for data science. Python has the best numbers library of any modern scripting language. Python also has the best plotting libraries and these are all important in FinTech right now.
Rak was able to draw from his experience running a consulting company and saw that this was the language de jour in finance.
Python is also a great teaching language because there are well-defined ways to do things and it’s very readable.
My entire experience up to this point had been in C and PHP; then in Ruby with Dev Bootcamp, though the language ultimately does not matter. Learning how to learn how to program is the most you can hope to accomplish, because if you can do that, then you can learn iOS development, Android development, Ruby etc. We focus on teaching language agnostic concepts that can be applied anywhere, because you’re going to find anything easy to learn and pick up if you understand the most fundamental and agnostic concepts.
Did you draw on your experiences at Dev Bootcamp to create the curriculum?
To a certain degree. There’s definitely a lot of material in the Dev Bootcamp curriculum that I would feel like I was stealing if I took it. But there are also a lot of ideas, problems, and exercises in their curriculum which have been around forever- you’ll find them in Harvard’s CS-50 course or on Codecademy. I can say that I drew from my experience of what had worked best for me and resonated with me.
What does a typical day look like at Byte Academy?
It depends on the day and the concept we’re learning. At most, we do an hour and a half of lecture each day.
Other than that, the rest of the eight hours here are spent working on the day’s challenges. Pair programming is optional. We’re a small school at this point and everybody is close-knit and working together and sharing information. You’re going to be working problems out with the people around you.
It’s just a lot of trial and error and a lot of ‘sandboxing’ as I call it. Sometimes new students are afraid to get in the sandbox. They’re afraid to type in something that they know might be wrong. I sometimes threaten to bring in an actual sandbox to the classroom! Whether you finish the challenges for the day or not, you have to just try. I don’t care if your program is perfect or runs (although the students should). I care that you exhaust every possible way that you can think of to solve problems.
Can you tell us about some of the projects students have done?
The most recent one was the final project from our most recent cohort. They worked on a website like IFTTT, which lets users enter conditionals and run code based on simple conditionals. Our students did that with automating the purchase of stocks, and then ran their own program thousands of times with thousands of different combinations and stocks and tried to find a winning strategy. That was a really fun one.
That’s a great example of a final project that is finance-oriented.
Exactly. Nobody will graduate with a finance education from Wharton or Harvard, ready for a junior analyst position. We can’t do that in 12 weeks, but what we can do is teach students the terminology and the ideas to be able to interface with financial clients. They’ll be able to understand a spec sheet of a financial client. Much of the revolution in big data is coming from the finance world.
How many students have you graduated?
This is our second cohort. The first cohort started with five students and ended with two (we pushed a couple of students back) and the second cohort started with seven and is now ending with four. A graduate today just got a job as a Junior Developer at a hedge fund.
How often do you start cohorts?
For the first two we were really in Beta version. We started every six weeks. Now we start every four weeks.
So students who aren’t ready can repeat?
Yes, they’ll repeat with the next cohort. I saw the difference that the rolling start date made at Dev Bootcamp. I think to rob somebody of that opportunity to work hard would be wrong. At a point, you also have to recognize when someone just isn’t ready for this and give them a refund, of course.
Do you have students do final projects?
We give them group projects for each weekend and leave those open-ended, although we need them to fit within a certain context. We have them pitch those projects to us and we’ll add or remove features depending on what’s feasible in a weekend, then on Monday their code is assessed. I also have the students do challenges all week.
Who is your ideal student?
This is cheesy, but the person who excels at Byte is someone who will work really hard and not be afraid to bang their head against the wall. And like I said, they have to play in the sandbox. If you are afraid of that and you feel like you’re wasting time by being wrong, you’re probably not going to be a good programmer at all. You have to be patient.
The person who I have seen fail is close-minded. They can be the smartest person in the world but if their ego blocks them from being curious and humble, then they won’t do well.
Should an applicant have technical experience or can they be a complete beginner?
You can be a complete beginner but we do have a programming challenge to be accepted. However, you don’t have to actually write it in code; you can write it in English. You should be able to demonstrate this logical order and problem solving skills. We try to get the very best mix we can and we’re planning a move to a much larger space in a few months but at the moment we do have to be selective.
Is there anything else you wanted to add about Byte Academy?
I’ll be teaching a 6-week part-time course called Thinking Like a Programmer, which will get you ready to enter a bootcamp. There will be a nominal fee with it. I think it will be great for people who are on the fence, unsure, just to dip their feet in and see if they even like programming.
(updated August 2016)Continue Reading →
Welcome to the September News Roundup, your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the bootcamp space. Want your bootcamp's news to be included in the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!Continue Reading →
At the intersection of Finance and Technology is FinTech, an industry packed with jobs- tech jobs in New York have increased by 21% since 2006. This specialized industry requires insights into both back-end programming languages as well as a financial background to be successful. Newly coined Byte Academy recently launched in New York to teach these skills to aspiring developers looking for jobs in FinTech.
Byte Academy will teach beginners (they also accept applicants with engineering or mathematics backgrounds) using a curriculum divided into three sections, all project-based. While applicants can be relatively new to programming, Rak Chugh, Director of Byte Academy, says "We’re being somewhat selective in making sure that the right candidates are admitted. It’s not only their educational backgrounds but also their experience and their drive to learn that counts... From an application perspective they can be completely new to both finance and programming. However, by the time we’re done with them, they will be fully capable of working in finance as programmers. "Continue Reading →
This scholarship may be expired or out of date. Click here for a full list of current scholarships.
Byte Academy is a 12-week bootcamp in New York that teaches tools to be successful in finance and technology. For a limited time, the Course Report community will get $500 off tuition to Byte Academy!Continue Reading →
Looking for coding bootcamp exclusive scholarships, discounts and promo codes? Course Report has exclusive discounts to the top programming bootcamps!
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!Continue Reading →
Rak Chugh and Richard Hu have been working with Byte Consulting, a research, analytics and technology firm, for 15 years. When it became clear that there was a demand for technologists in the financial sector, they founded Byte Academy, a 12-week immersive program to transform students into financial technology programmers. We talk to Rak and Richard about their unique curriculum, the importance of Python in the financial industry, and the types of jobs their graduates can expect!
Tell us about Byte Consulting and why you started the Byte Academy.
Rak: Byte Academy is an affiliate of Byte Consulting, a consulting firm for research, analytics and technology in the financial industry since 1999.What we recently found was that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find good technologists to work in the financial industry. A lot of clients wanted to hire people and they were just not able to get the right folks. We spoke to a number of our clients and they showed a lot of interest in having an educational institute focusing on finance and technology. That was the impetus to start Byte Academy.
Are you both involved in developing the curriculum and very hands-on with the actual Byte Academy?
Rak: Richard is the main person on our side developing the curriculum, but many other people from our team at Byte Consulting are involved in making sure that the academy takes off in the right manner.
The first classes will start in September but the pre-work will start soon, right?
Rak: Exactly, and we’ve also launched a few evening workshops on finance and technology. These workshops could be anywhere from an hour and a half to 4 hours or so depending on the curriculum. These workshops will be held pretty much on a weekly basis, and we’re expecting that the first class of the boot camp comes together at the end of September. In addition, we will be starting evening part-time courses for people who can’t attend a full-time session.
How many people will be in that first class?
Rak: We are still going through the admissions process for the first session. Our goal is to make sure that we get the right candidates. It’s one thing to get applicants who just want to pay and attend a boot-camp, but if we can’t see those applicants being successful and able to get jobs then it defeats the purpose.
We’re being somewhat selective in making sure that the right candidates are admitted. It’s not only their educational backgrounds but also their experience and their drive to learn that counts.
Do you envision that your graduates will get jobs in the finance industry or in a tech company working on the finance team?
Rak: It’s both. When we look at the financial industry, a huge majority of the open jobs are technology jobs. Now the problem is if you’re a technologist it’s very difficult to get a job in the finance industry unless you’ve got some finance training or finance experience. In addition to that, what we’re seeing is that a lot of technology companies, especially the larger ones, have various plays in the financial sector. For example, eBay has almost half its revenues from the payments sector. Pretty much any of the larger technology companies have financial plays of some kind or other.
Our aim is to educate people on both finance and technology.
Could one of your applicants be a complete beginner in both finance and technology or do you expect that they’ll have some understanding of either realm or both?
Richard: I think from an application perspective they can be completely new to both finance and programming. However, by the time we’re done with them, they will be fully capable of working in finance as programmers. That’s what the pre-boot camp is for; so that everyone will start off the session with some basic grasp of programming from the pre-camp portion.
We would also love to get people who are engineers or people with mathematical backgrounds.
When you look at the face of technology today, women are pretty largely underrepresented and I would think that women in finance technology are even further underrepresented. Are you all doing anything proactive to attract women and minorities into the program?
Rak: It’s interesting that you mention that because most of our advertising is focused on women. I think you’re absolutely right; women are underrepresented. We hope that our bootcamp can help close that gender gap.
Who are your instructors?
Rak: Both Richard and I are teaching and we’ve also got great professors from the industry who are going to be giving daily lessons.
In a typical day, we may have an hour or two of lectures and education from established professors but most of it is hands-on programming and building projects. We’ve got a few instructors that are going to be helping the students in our boot camp. We’re aiming to have a ratio of 7 to 8 people per instructor so that the instructors can help on projects.
Richard: We’re going to be able to offer very specialized projects that can really be an advantage in finding more finance-related jobs. So that’s when Rak and I will get involved. But for all the day-to-day instructions and programming, we’ll have dedicated instructors.
Can you talk about the three sections of the course and how you defined those?
Richard: The first section will be the first month. That’s when we get everyone up to speed to make sure they’re all on the same page and they have a good understanding of all the basics.
By the second month, we really hope to start people off down the right track with the projects that they want. That’s when we’re going to start teaching them the additional finance, and other object-oriented programming technologies which would complement Python. So we’ll teach them a little bit of Java just so they’ll be able to understand everything in the tech world. In the second section we’ll also start to work with full-stack technologies. We’ll go into more than just Python. It will include front-end development, the user interface and also the back end where they can start just understanding where all the data is coming from in the databases.
By the third section, the third month, we’re envisioning that everyone will understand the big picture and we’ll have a list of maybe 10 or 12 cool projects that they can work on. In the final month, this is when they can really take all the things that they’ve learned and start working on a final project that they can try to showcase for future employers.
Is Python a popular language in the finance world?
Rak: It’s used a lot. I don’t think a bootcamp can train someone to be an expert in Java or C++ in 3 months. So what we’re doing is introducing Java workshops to the people who are attending the bootcamp but also we’ve got workshops for finance. So there’s going to be really 3 things that people come out with. They will be learning Python, they’re going to be learning Java as an object-oriented language and they’re going to be learning finance. The combination of these three technologies along with other full-stack technologies is going to be used for the final projects.
Our expectation is that pretty much everyone graduating will be able to build something from scratch integrating both the front and back ends.
I know that you haven’t completed your first cohort yet so you haven’t dealt with job placement but how are you planning to prep students for job placement? Will there be an emphasis on soft skills and mock interviews and things like that?
Rak: Byte Consulting has an established business in providing consultants and full-time placements to a number of our clients. So they will definitely help anyone graduating out of Byte Academy. Our major focus is to get people jobs. During the last month, there will definitely be an emphasis on skills and final projects and also intensive preparation for how to go about getting jobs.
In addition to that, a number of the companies that we’re working with have expressed an interest in recruiting. We’ll be inviting them for various demo days so that they come and meet the graduates in the bootcamp and see their final projects.
Are most of the companies you’re working with in New York?
Rak: Most of our clients are in the tri-state region, so New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. If you think of any large financial firm, it’s definitely in New York. Also, it’s great that so many technology firms have now set up in the Silicon Alley in New York.
Do you expect most of your students will come from New York or are you looking for students outside of New York?
Rak: Our students can be from anywhere as long as they can spend 3 months with us. If a student is coming from elsewhere, we’d be very happy to have them.
Is there a plan to scale outside of New York at all?
Richard: We are pretty well established in New York. We want to be very successful in New York and then we’ll probably scale out. Our focus right now is to build out New York as well as we can.
Having said that, some of our clients are looking for training programs outside of New York so there may be some training elsewhere down the road.