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Coding House

Silicon Valley

Coding House

Avg Rating:3.88 ( 33 reviews )

Coding House is a 14-week Full Immersion Software Development Bootcamp in Silicon Valley designed for rapid retention and comprehension. Instructors and mentors at Coding House are thought leaders, keynote speakers, and award-winning published authors. Students learn Full Stack web development, with a focus on JavaScript, Node.JS, Angular.JS, Mobile Hybrid, and various JavaScript frameworks. The program is the only full immersion live-in bootcamp in the world, and includes all cooking and cleaning. Once students graduate, heavy emphasis is placed on getting jobs. Coding House is tuition free, and has a placement fee of 18% of graduates' first-year salary. A $6,000 deposit pays for room and board, and that is subtracted from the 18% fee.

 

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  • Web Development Full Immersion

    Apply
    AngularJS, MongoDB, HTML, Git, JavaScript, Express.js, React.js, Node.js
    In PersonFull Time84 Hours/week13 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$0
    Class size30
    LocationSilicon Valley
    Financing
    Deposit6000 for room and board
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBasic Computer Knowledge
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • Samuel Robertson • Full Stack Developer • Graduate
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    My name is Sam Robertson, I’m a full stack developer at Revolution Messaging. Ever heard of Bernie Sanders? That was the company that helped drive the donation platform and I get to be a part of its’ future. I graduated from PennState in PA in 2015 with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and decided that I wanted to do something different. I love my degree, a hard science will always help you along the way, but I chose to go to Coding House to get the knowledge and experience I needed to get the kind of job I wanted. Fun fact, I have a D in MATLAB programming from my junior year of college. Turns out you need the right push and right interest to move you along. I now work from home for my company and could not be happier with my decision.

     

    Coding House is 90% your effort, 10% on them. Not saying the staff isn’t hard working, these are some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. What I mean is that what you do at Coding House and how you end up at the end of the program are your responsibility. The instructors are challenging, always ready to help and want you to be able to teach yourself by the end. They will provide stepping stones the first weeks then move you onto more difficult tasks in which you will start having to find the answers. These are people that want you to succeed, I’m proof it can be done.

     

    The first half is intense and long, but I loved every minute of it. Stressful, tiring, on two cups of coffee by 10am is hard, but it’s more effective than any college lecture I’ve been to. Good thing you aren’t alone, everyone is struggling the same, and when you are struggling you are learning. The instructor starts out with small examples of a technology, the basics of how something should work. Then it’s up to you to try and repeat and enhance what they did. Solutions at the end of the problem session are effective, as if you didn't’ pick up what you did wrong, you can see why and not miss it next time.

     

    The live in house was the best part of Coding House. It has a boot-camp feel without feeling to strict. Yes, you are crammed into bunk beds, yes people snore, but that person above you is counting on waking them up because you two have a project to finish before class starts. You form bonds, teams and lifetime friends. I still skype with my Coding House alum and we are great friends!

     

    Second half is the hardest part. Self-motivation is key.  While still learning it’s time to show off some skills, time to build some apps. These are your creations, whether you are in a team or solo, you own these. A app a week is the best method, pick something doable and stick with it. Polish the app, no bugs or quirks. These are for your portfolio, I’ve shown my Coding House apps off at interviews and people are impressed.

     

    Why Coding House:

    Coding House is expensive, but why chose it over a competitor? Key thing is they are all expensive. What you get with Coding House is relatively the same with other boot camps in terms of course work. There are some differences, but mainly tech stacks don’t change. My reason for Coding House was the live in factor. I wanted that immersion, I always felt in college if I had my classes 7 days a week for 1 month per class I would preform better than with a more relaxed schedule. I work well under pressure and love the challenge it provides. This isn't for everyone, but being able to wake up, jump downstairs and stay late into the night programming was perfect. Instructors sometimes stay late, and you are guaranteed to find help from your peers as they are all doing the same thing. This is what I loved.

     

    The other best part is Coding House listens, when a change is needed Nick will take note and do anything in his power to make sure it’s fixed. He cares for the success of the students and wants them to do well. A weekly survey made sure that the feedback was taken seriously. 

     

     

    Fun Stuff:

    Hackathons are great! If one exists take anything you know and try to get something done at a hackathon if available. Coding House was able to take my cohort to one and a team even won!

    These are great to learn and make new friends.

     

    The food, food is awesome, I still think I ate better at Coding House than I do now.

     

     

    Summary:

    Coding House was challenging, inspiring and a life lesson all in one. You aren’t alone, you are taken care of and your success is only limited by your effort. I left Coding House without a job offer, but within one week after the program I was offered two jobs. I also was not looking to stay in the Bay Area, I was aiming for Seattle so it’s very much possible to carry your skills anywhere. I still work for the same company that hired me from Coding House and I really do love my job! I hope you are reading this and find it helpful!

  • Reena A • Student
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    CodingHouse provides practical means of becoming a full stack developer in 3.5 months time period. They offer web development lessons, clarification sessions, real interviewing skills every week. Success is guaranteed for those who are determined and willing to finish the coursework.

    Due to the intensity of the coursework, one may feel a little lost in the middle. But if one has the passion for software development these long hours, typically from 9 AM - 11 PM ( Mon - Sat ) will make you strong enough to tread the rough path. Learning is all dependent on the student. Instructors does not guarantee anything that is absurd. 

    There are teaching assistants almost round the clock to assist the students.

    What is benefitial the most is the full immersive experience where you don't need to worry about cooking, cleaning etc., in addition to close collaborative experience in group projects. This is close to how software engineers works in industry, working on SCM tools like git, deploying projects to cloud services like  heroku, aws, google's firebase. They are valuable.

    Codinghouse has started incorporating algorithm learning sessions, tutorials as part of the curriculum which can give a base level understanding of the CS concepts.

    Have the will power to finish the course and the stars will align.

  • Nicholas D. • Student
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    I attended Coding House from February to May 2016. I can't say my time there was a complete loss, but if you're looking for a coding bootcamp, I'd recommend looking elsewhere. Other reviews have already discussed issues like inexperienced instructors, disorganized curriculum, cramped living conditions, and lack of job support after graduation. This review will focus on illegal practices, false or misleading claims, and hostile business practices.

    Overcrowding
    In my first phone conversation with Coding House CEO Nick James, I was told that there would be around 15 people in my cohort. In actuality, there were about thirty people in the cohort at the beginning, and I shared a bedroom with eleven other guys. That was at the first house, which was called CH1. By the time we got to CH2 a lot of people had dropped out, and by the end of my time there, the cohort was about a third of its original size—but it was still more crowded than your average college dorm. In the beginning, I thought Nick must have done his due diligence as a business owner and acquired the proper permits before putting that many people in one house. Now I'm not so sure.

    I can't definitively prove that Coding House didn't have a permit to house thirty people in a single-family home in Fremont. What I do know is this: CH1's zoning district is P-79-19, which is a planned community designation inside Fremont's Hillside Overlay. The Hillside Overlay is a residential area with additional "regulations and requirements established to meet the particular problems associated with development of hillside areas." CH2's district is P-2010-280, which is also a planned community. As far as I can tell, the City of Fremont's residential zone usage restrictions do not allow commercial use, live/work units, or boarding/rooming houses in single-family homes under any circumstances, and I see nothing in the planned district filings to alter that. It's not a matter of getting the right permits—permits do not seem to be available for such uses. Permits are available for running meal service facilities in single-family dwellings, but I'd be surprised, given the increased attention the application would bring, if Coding House had such a permit.

    All of which helps to explain why, when a disgruntled former student called the city's zoning department and made a complaint, inspectors dropped by one morning to check us out. They looked around, took some pictures, and said they'd be back to make a full inspection later, during which time they'd also talk to the students. On the day that they did come back, we were all bussed to CH2 (which the former student hadn't reported) and CH1 was cleaned up considerably. Electrical equipment was removed, windows were uncovered, and several bunk beds were disassembled and moved into the garage. We were never told what the outcome of the inspection was, but soon after my cohort ended, CH1 and CH2 were closed, and all students now live in a single house in Pleasanton. For those currently living there or considering attending Coding House, the current house's zoning map is here, and Pleasanton Municipal Code sections 18.32 and 18.104 might be good places to start researching the legality of the current situation.

    I genuinely liked the idea of living and studying in one place. I was excited about having meals and most cleaning taken care of, so I could focus on studying. I loved being able to wake up at 7:45, brush my teeth and get dressed, and start class at 8:00. But if you're wondering why Coding House is able to promote itself as "the only full immersion live-in coding boot camp," it's probably because other boot camps follow zoning regulations.

    Misleading/False Promises
    Cohort size wasn't the only false or misleading claim made when I was considering Coding House. I was also told that the head teacher would be Samer Buna, and his experience as both a software engineer and a teacher were major draws for me. However, when I arrived, I was introduced to a different teacher, Cade Nichols. Cade was friendly and knowledgeable about JavaScript, but he had no teaching experience and no industry experience whatsoever. Samer had a Master's degree from Carnegie Mellon. Cade studied computer science at College of the Canyons, a community college in Santa Clarita. Another student said he thought Samer might be the teacher when we got to CH2, but that also turned out not to be the case. Instead, CH2 was taught by Patrick Shaughnessy, who graduated from Coding House just before my cohort began. Patrick did have some teaching experience, having spent three years teaching English in Japan, but he had no industry experience. Like most of us, he'd come to Coding House to make a career change.

    Cade and Patrick were both friendly, intelligent guys, and I have nothing against either one. Both did their best under the circumstances, and I did learn from them. Nor am I saying that experience and education are all-important. However, I was promised one thing and delivered another. I was sold not only on Samer specifically, but on Coding House's focus on the type of teacher Samer represented. When Samer came for a two-day visit while I was at CH2 (because several of us had complained that we weren't learning React, which was one of the technologies promoted on Coding House's web site), we got a sense of what we'd missed out on by not having him as a teacher from day one. We felt cheated.

    I understand that things happen, staff leaves, and companies do their best to fill vacant positions given the applicants who are available. But I interviewed with both Nick and Samer in November 2015, was specifically told that Samer was the head teacher, and later learned that he had stopped teaching at Coding House in October 2015. I notice that as of now, he doesn't even list his time at Coding House on his LinkedIn page. I don't know what caused him to leave, or why he no longer chooses to be associated with the place, but if it's true that he had stopped teaching a month before I signed up, even if he was still serving in an advisory role, I believe I should have been made aware of that, especially given the fact that his presence was a major selling point during my conversation with Nick.

    Illegal Contracts
    Given issues like these, you may wonder why there aren't more negative reviews of Coding House online, or why most people who do leave bad reviews do so anonymously. I believe it's because many of the contracts people sign with Coding House have a non-disparagement clause in them, which states that the student is prohibited from writing negative reviews. My contract doesn't have one, but I know several students who left early and had to sign such a contract in order to get a partial or complete refund. Nick has also threatened to sue people who wrote negative reviews in the past, including this one.

    The problem is that non-disparagement clauses are illegal in the state of California according to Civil Code 1670.8 (popularly known as the "Yelp Bill"). The law specifies penalties of $2,500 for the first offense, $5,000 for additional offenses, and $10,000 for willful, intentional, or reckless violations—meaning a class-action suit could get very expensive for Coding House.

    Customers have the right to describe negative experiences without being penalized. Coding House's attempts to shut down criticism through intimidation are not only illegal, but also unethical.

    Summary
    As I said before, I did get some benefit from my time at Coding House. Most importantly, several of the other students in my cohort are now among my closest and most valued friends. I also got a lot of time to study and work on projects, which was my main reason for going. If you're determined to give Coding House a try, I think you'll get something out of it if you focus on your own goals, use your time wisely, and have a fallback plan in case you have to leave before the end of your cohort.

    But if you're shopping around for a boot camp, choose carefully. Coding House might look good because it gives you a place to live while you study, but if its business practices are indeed illegal, it could be shut down at any moment. In short, it's a Coding House of Cards.

  • Deanna • Graduate
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    I had read both the good and bad reviews online but I still wanted to come out here over various other bootcamps I had thoroughly researched because of its unique all-inclusive, all-immersive package deal of room and board and instruction right downstairs, and also because of its scholarship opportunities for women. My review below is solely based off my personal experience as a student of the February cohort this year.

    Pros:

    1. The live-in, full-immersion aspect seals the deal. You can roll out of bed and walk downstairs for class if you wanted to, or you can get up earlier and have that much more time to finish up homework before the day instead of wasting it away commuting.

    2. It's hard to say exactly what Coding House will be like for prospective students, because with each cohort, they're constantly making slight tweaks to the curriculum based off the previous one(s). My cohort developed heavily with the MEAN stack. Cade, our instructor, definitely knows the stack well and also taught it well. So far, I am developing with Angular at my job. Perfect; it’s just what I learned from Coding House.

    3. It's ultimately up to you how much you're willing to work for what you want. When I needed the extra support, they were there to help me. Cade was a great instructor who was always willing to help. Patrick was the main guy for our second half of the program. He was super supportive taking the time out to sit down with me and work through problems I had with my final project, as was AJ. My own peers were supportive of each other, too.

    Improvements to be made:

    1. CS fundamentals could definitely be better worked into the core of the curriculum. We did code challenges every morning the first seven weeks, but by the second half, the instruction got a little too lax on that front; we were mostly left to our own devices and to work on our projects. I found myself working on these fundamentals usually during the weekends, even during the first half. Use your own judgment as to how much of your free time you want devote to studying up these things. You won’t always be in an environment where everyone is literally living with you and can help each other out, and this crazy bootcamp-like schedule isn’t going to last forever, so bite the bullet for 14 weeks if you have to.

    2. Communication, or the hassle of dealing with logistics during the onboarding stages prior to having begun the bootcamp is another thing that could be worked on. My advice is they definitely need to implement a more structured approach when it comes to logistics especially in the initial stages of the entire onboarding process, and including sending more coherent emails throughout the cohort. I think Coding House just hasn’t hashed out a more systematic approach to dealing with everything more professionally, which can definitely throw people off guard.

    Nevertheless, I know I could not have made it as far as I have, let alone in only 14 weeks, without having attended Coding House. If you're willing to put in the extra hours and you're not afraid to seek out the help when you need it, you're going to make it through and learn so much in this condensed amount of time all the same. Was I stressed and challenged there, and do I have a lot more to learn? Of course. But I definitely enjoyed my time there, and perhaps more importantly, I got out of it a job offer that far surpassed my own expectations and a skill set that won't be forgotten any time soon.

  • Charles Watson • Developer Consultant • Graduate
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    My name is Charles Watson and I am a developer consultant in Cincinnati, Ohio. I ended up at Coding House directly after graduating from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I was a few months from graduating with a degree in international economics and my biggest regret was not getting a computer science degree. I knew I wanted to be a part of the development world but I also knew that I lacked any real experience, skills, or an understanding of how to break in and pursue my dream career. I had played around online with different free and paid coding resources in college, but I lacked direction. If I hit a wall I wasn’t always sure which resources would get me passed it, and the biggest wall of all was deciding what technologies and platforms were even worth my time. Enter Coding House.

    Coding House promised a rapid, difficult, no­success­guaranteed leap into the first 4% of understanding necessary in becoming a professional developer. It wasn’t sugar coated. This program is designed to get a student into the development world, but after that a developer will need to spend their entire career constantly learning and adapting in order to make it. Learning how to teach yourself and learning how to adapt is the Coding House experience. Most of the time is spent learning new and potentially intimidating technology, but with the help of an instructor, examples, fellow students, and the power of the internet, you have what you need to make it through it. 

    The first half of the program was by far the most stressful and difficult, both academically and emotionally. I was frequently tired, frustrated, confused, and even doubtful of my decision to choose such an industry. What got me through it was hugely the Coding House live­in factor. I was eating, sleeping, and struggling alongside a house full of dedicated people who all had the same tired, frustrated, and confused looks on their faces at times, and that was huge, but not everything. Choosing a boot camp experience is not a for everyone. At the end of the day I was able to ask myself why I was there in the first place and I was able to answer it for myself, honestly. If I hadn’t been able to answer why, I would not have completed the program.

    The second half of the program was far more fulfilling. While there was still so much to learn at that point, there was an obvious transition that occurred. The challenge was no longer looking at code and seeing a foreign language. If a problem was presented, by the second half of the program most students could solve it, however the new challenge became how to do it efficiently and in a clean manner. Learning the tips and tricks, the ins and outs, and the big red flags of the language and frameworks being used. Consistently starting and finishing full stack applications became the norm and the limiting factor rapidly ended up being the lack of time needed to develop all of the features that our teams kept dreaming up to pack into the project.

    I left Coding House the day after graduation and had already been deep into the interview process by that point. I was by no means the most competitive or competent student, however I left feeling confident that I was an employable developer and within 6 months of having begun Coding House I was offered a position at my top choice. This is entirely thanks to the program I completed.

    Pros and Cons:

    My largest criticism of Coding House is somewhat muddled by it also being my largest point in favor of the program. There were many times I was frustrated by how constantly changing the program was and how I never felt there was a plan set in stone that I could look at on day one and know exactly what I would be doing from start until finish. Certain topics were mentioned for future lessons that we never ended up learning, and there were times where a day’s lecture got changed entirely last minute leaving us feeling confused and unsure of the institutions efficacy.

    The reason this is muddled is because my opinion of Coding House’s top strength is its ability to adapt and Nick’s willingness to accept any and all criticism and implement any sound recommendations immediately. Weekly survey’s given on Friday always resulted in immediate adjustments to the program the following Monday and I can’t speak more highly for how much confidence this gave me in the program. Anything from food adjustments to bedroom regulations, if someone felt something would benefit the students enough to bring it up, it was addressed. Always.

  • A unique bootcamp
    - 3/31/2016
    Anonymous • Web Developer • Student
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    PROGRAM OVERVIEW:
     
    The first half of the program is ~7 weeks of intense study and work. When I say intense, I mean REALLY intense. Frameworks are piled on to you one after another, and there is no way to fully understand everything you are being shown. Class is from 9-6, six days a week, with nightly projects that lasted me until 1am. Usually I’d spend at least half of Sunday reviewing concepts. There is one main instructor and guest lectures. There are usually 3-4 mentors each day from 9am-midnight who you can go to for help. These mentors are students who are in the second half of the program.
     
    The second half is ~7 weeks you work on large group projects. Most of your day is dedicated to building portfolio pieces. This is where the intense cramming from the first 7 weeks coalesces into useful ability. There’s little code instruction during this half, but there are guest workshops things like React and on polishing your online presence, preparing for interviews, and applying to jobs. You also learn a lot from your classmates during this period as well. Also, you will mentor students who are in the first half of the program 1 day a week, which is actually a nice break from work and a well needed ego boost.
     
    MY EXPERIENCE:
     
    What makes Coding House stand out to me is that it’s very small and flexible. It also has a lower cost than most other bootcamps in the Bay Area, which is one of the main reasons I went with it. Full disclosure, I had a very good outcome and I landed a 100k++ job here in the bay after about 5 weeks of dedicated searching and interviewing.
     
    Here are some key differences from what I believe other bootcamps are like.
     
    1) You live and work in the same building, and all tasks of daily living are handled for you (food, cleaning), so you can spend a lot more time focusing on code. This is a huge benefit!
     
    2) It’s a small institution that is constantly evolving, so it’s hard to reliably say exactly what the curriculum will be like, what the food will be like, what your classmates will be like, etc.
     
    3) Being so small and flexible can work out in your favor. Nick, the founder, can make arrangements for you to help you land an awesome job.
     
    4) They could do a better job screening students. A few people in my cohort should not have be left in, so some of your classmates will drop. Maybe *you* will drop. This is really improving over time, since Coding House is getting a better applicant pool.
     
    5) There are some holes in the program (in particular they don’t teach CS concepts, and there’s no dedicated recruiter) so it’s up to you to take care of these things yourself.
     
    The more you bring coming here, the better off you’ll be. If you have a degree in a technical field, or CS experience, you’ll probably do very well. If you haven’t prepared or you’re not a confident coder, then you’re going to have a hard time.
     
    Coding House is fit for you if you are self-motivated and proactive about doing what you need to do to become a programmer. You have to accept that your fate is in your own hands.
  • It worked for me!
    - 3/16/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    It worked for me!

    I just read one persons review (I was in the same cohort) and yes they had some problems but I learned more in a shorter period of time then I have ever learned before. I now have a great job making really great money in SF. There is still a lot for me to learn when it comes to coding but now I know how to learn it.

    I worked my butt off during the program and it was hard. The instructor in the first half of the program was great. He was very enthusiastic and was good at breaking down problems into chunks so we could get it. If you're not a hard worker or are not sure if coding is your thing, then this is definitely the wrong place for you.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    I went here. Curriculum is loosely based. I don't recommend it because there is only one instructor that you get everyday, 6 days a week. Understandably, the instructor is quite burnt out. Graduates teach, not industry proven experts or career programmers. I went in with the expectation that someone who has worked as a Javascript engineer would be the teacher. You will learn but it is nothing worthy of thousands of dollars, in my opinion.

    You pay for 12 weeks of instruction but each session/cohort only comes with 6 weeks of class and then you are told to work, unpaid for the rest of the time. There is also no job assistance, no partnerships with third party companies for job placement, and no organization. Sometimes there is no food.

    I was asked to leave a positive review in exchange for paying lesser tuition than originally agreed upon. You can come here and learn some stuff but it is mostly a party house and a convenient place to live in the East Bay.

  • Jillian • web developer • Graduate
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    “Coding House” is not a deceptive title, Coding House is a house. An actual house. Actually it’s two houses. The first half of the program takes place in “CH1”, which reminds me of the house from the Brady Bunch, but with a different staircase. Besides the stairs, the other noticeable difference between the Brady’s house and CH1 is the “classroom”  where the living room should be. I’m using quotes because the classroom is not a lecture hall or a computer lab. It’s a living room. There is a stage-like platform at one end and a dozen rows of monitor-laden tables that face the stage. I can honestly say though, I gained more useful knowledge in that living room in four months than I did in four years inside the classrooms at my college (but I got a degree in Environmental Studies… from a liberal arts college so…). 

    The instructor, Cade, is as vivacious and hilarious as he is knowledgeable. I loved his teaching style… It was improvisational lecturing. Cade does not have structured lessons, but rather he tailors each class to the cohort he is teaching.

    You will spend most of your time in the ‘classroom’, but there is also a ‘dining room’ and kitchen downstairs and there are bedrooms upstairs. When I first saw the bedrooms, jam-packed with bunk beds, my immediate reaction was “This is going to suck!”, but surprisingly it didn’t… By the second night, I was too exhausted to care where I was sleeping… the only thing that does suck about the living situation is that there aren’t enough bathrooms at CH1, but if you learn to love showering on your lunch break or at night, you’ll be fine.

    Besides the learning the other great thing about Coding House is the community that develops there. The intensity of the program and close quarters, create an environment where people just seem to naturally want to help and bond with one another. Everyone was more than willing to take the time to look at my code and see if they could help anytime I was stuck— and I was always excited to return the favor for anyone else whenever I could… There is just a good vibe in that house.

    CH2, where the second part of the program takes place is a more modern house. There is a little more space in the bedrooms and there are more bathrooms. Instead of having a central classroom there are two rooms with work stations. The second half of the program focuses on large scale group projects. You will work just as hard during the second half of the program, but you will get a lot more freedom on what you are working on. You will also be a code mentor to the new cohort that is in CH1. It may sound like this is just part of Nick’s brilliant business, plan —paying him to work for him… and it is a genius business plan, but mentoring is also very helpful to the education process. When you leave coding house, you’ll need to be able to articulate what you’ve learned during job interviews etc, so explaining things to the new Cohort is a great way to solidify and articulate what you’ve learned. Plus, you can also request to mentor on days when there is a lecture that you may not have fully gotten the first time through. 

    I finished Coding house  a fews week ago and I think they really did set me up with all the skills and advice I’ll need to find myself a job. I plan to continue to polish the apps I made and attend meetups and workshops, so I continue to develop my skills even further but I do feel confident that if I keep after it, I will land a job as a web developer. I think coding house was definitely worth the investment. 

  • Christian • Graduate
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    In the months before I got my Ph.D. I had been seriously considering enrolling in an undergraduate program in computer science once I finished. My degree is in an interdisciplinary hybrid of computer and biological sciences, Functional Genomics, but even though I created a novel algorithm for analyzing brain wave data, I had done so in a vacuum - I’d never worked with software developers, I had no experience of how software development was actually done, and I wanted to change that to be able to fully participate in exciting possibilities that we could be facing in coming years.

    There is considerable evidence indicating that we are heading towards a future replete with personal biological data and web-based tools for analyzing and interpreting these data, following a 21st century version of the Socratic adage “to know thy (biological) self”. If realized, these technologies could transform, inter alia, how people learn, make discoveries, and bring novel ideas to fruition; citizen science and maker movement are incipient forms of this possible future. The path by which I could most effectively contribute to the realization of this future, I surmised, was to acquire the skills and methodological approaches of real software developers.

    Then I heard about software developer boot camps, and thought, “This looks like a promising alternative to a C.S. degree.”

    Being a researcher, I did my homework spending hours in my off-time hunting down all of the coding schools not only in the US but also abroad. It was difficult to see through the potentially hyped claims and criticisms to arrive at a realistic assessment of any of these programs, particularly as there was considerable overlap in their curricula. The most conspicuous distinguishing factor among all of the options, however, was housing. Coding House’s full immersion live-in plan meant that, relieved of worry about room and board, I could focus completely on the coursework.

    I was nervous but took the leap, and I’m so glad that I did! In addition to all that I’ve learned about software development from front-end to back end, I’ve befriended an amazing group of people not only in my cohort, and among the excellent TA’s, staff and instructors (you all know who you are), but also the founder, Nick James, who’s one of the most gracious and fun people I’ve ever met. These will be the people, my fellow Coding House alumni, who I’ll be calling in the coming years to pitch my crazy start-up ideas of the future!

    One more very, very important piece of advice: take a good, hard look at your intentions and expectations when contemplating any coding boot camp, including Coding House. It is not called a “boot camp” for marketing purposes – it will potentially be the most demanding thing that you’ve done in your life. If you’re ready for the challenge, though, Coding House is the place to be.

  • Alice • Full Stack Web Developer • Graduate
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    My Coding House experience has been generally positive, with a few rough spots that were all quickly fixed.  I applied to Coding House on their website and got an interview invite a few days later.  Since I was close by, I got invited for an in - person interview.  The house seemed nice, and there was a friendly, collaborative atmosphere, and the TAs as well as students knew the material well.  The one complaint I had at the time was that the whole house was a bit cramped.  It was a residential house, and there were around 25 people living in it.  In the new (Resident) house where you go for the second half of the program, is a bit more spacious. 
     
    After another round of interviews, which involved a live coding exercise, I was accepted into the program.  The pre work covers the front end of the MEAN Stack, and is a good representation of the first 2 weeks of the on-site program.  If you fully complete the pre work, you should be good for the program, given that you put in the effort. 
     
    The first few weeks of the program took some getting used to.  Get ready to work harder than you ever have done before, because they will push you.  Don’t fall behind, because at this rate, it is very hard to catch back up again.  They have implemented catch up days on Wednesdays, which makes this process a bit less nerve wracking.  The team is very receptive to feedback, and problems generally have solutions implemented on the same day.  They are generally good about not letting people fall behind, and TAs are available until 2 AM or later on most nights.  
     
    Later in the program, we started visiting companies and going to hackathons, which were a fun learning experience.  On weekdays, it used to be normal to stay up until 1 AM or later, although now, it is highly discouraged, because the lack of sleep will only cause you to lose the next day. 
     
    At the end of my cohort, I got interviews for positions that would be way out of reach for me just 2 months ago.  I definitely think the bootcamp did its job well, and would do it again if I had to redo this year.  One major improvement that occurred during my cohort was the switch from a 9 week program to a 14 week program. It is difficult to learn anything significant in just 9 weeks, and the 5 extra weeks helps a lot.  I got a job 2 weeks after the bootcamp ended, working as a front end developer for a startup in the city.  Compared to the 16 hour time pressured days during the bootcamp, any job seems easy.  
     
  • Joseph Benkual • Software Developer • Graduate
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    My name is Joe, and I am a software developer. I graduated from University of California, Davis in 2009 with a computer science degree. I had lots of experience with coding in C++ as well as some web development using Angular and NodeJS before joining the Coding House program. While I had a good amount of experience on my resume, I never really stood out as a candidate. Coding House seemed like a great way to fill any gaps in my knowledge and to get help building a solid showcase of code samples.
     
    The program is not super organized. It is not a bootcamp in the military sense, with schedules and a static routine that breaks you down and builds you back up. Each session is dynamic, and adapts to both the needs of the students and the market conditions. The staff collect weekly feedback and make changes, though for important matters you should take it directly to Nick or an instructor. This program feels very human, and that means while it is warm and friendly, mistakes happen and you have to just understand and forgive.
     
    The basic overview is pretty simple. You live in a house with many other people and they are generally respectful, supporting, and easy to get along with. The food that is provided to you is very good and flexible to special needs. You spend most of the first half of the program either following along in a workshop or working on a project. The instructor will share their screen and show you how to build things from scratch. You need to be following along and writing code. At first they mostly do JavaScript and Bootstrap but every week you learn a few new tools or frameworks. Some students have trouble learning so much in so little time and limit themselves to the few technologies they are comfortable with. Try and push yourself to understand all of the major topics as they will be reintroduced later in a more complex scenario. The instructor will often pause the lecture to let you do a small challenge, such as adding a feature on top of the code you built together. If you couldn’t keep up, they will share their working code so you can still do the challenge. You will be encouraged to screen share your solution (or your bugs) and the feedback you receive is very helpful.
     
    Most nights you will be assigned a small project to work on that uses the knowledge you gained that day. It will be difficult to finish everything before the recommended bed time (no later than 1AM) but if you work hard between dinner (6 PM) and midnight you can make good progress. Usually people are diligent workers but there will be times when people start to get distracted and it can be contagious. Do yourself a favor and make the most of each day, including time off. Don’t get me wrong, there will be times when you are just relaxing or hanging out with other students. The key is to put limits on how much time you waste each day. Otherwise you will end the program with a bunch of half-finished projects and be stressed out when it’s time to apply to jobs.
     
    You aren’t in this program alone, but you need to be self-sufficient. The point of the program is not just to teach you JavaScript, Angular, and whatever else. The purpose is to teach you how to solve problems. In your future job, you will encounter problems you have never seen before, and google may be your only asset. While you can get some really great help from fellow students and the TA’s, you need to try and figure things out yourself first.
     
    Coding House is a great program that is really trying to help you build a foundation for yourself. It provides you resources and environment geared towards productivity, but you have to really want to be successful. They teach you only the basics and don’t have time to go in depth. Overall I think it was worth doing, even for someone who has industry experience like myself. Both Nick and the senior instructor had several gold nuggets of advice that I treasure greatly. The experience was unique and I made some really great connections with the students and staff. I got a job I like and it pays well! While I could have gotten this far on my own eventually, it was much FASTER to get results with Coding House.