Recent Coding House Reviews: Rating 3.88
Recent Coding House News
- December 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup
- 16 Coding Bootcamps with Free or Affordable Housing
- Coding Bootcamp Cost Comparison: Full Stack Immersives
Coding House Reviews
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First off, let's get one thing out of the way - we all knew something was off when we first joined. When we joined, there was a big absence of the senior cohort (Coding House's program was advertised as using "phase 2" students to mentor "phase 1" students. But all of the students in the phase ahead of us packed up their bags and left, with the exception of 1. We knew it had to do with their disatisfaction with the program and their frustrations with owner Nick James and teacher C.N., but it was definitely a weird vibe from the get go. We tried to figure out what was going on, because basically we were seeing a lot of problems - the lead instructor (and only instructor after the main instructor left abruptly) didn't know much reactjs at all, and seemed very defensive and argumentative with students asking good questions.
Then an eviction note was posted on the door and we realized that a full month ago, Coding House had been ordered to vacate the premises by the landlord it was renting from or the HOA in pleasanton. We felt like we were living illegally in an environment where we had to hide. We couldn't have cars at Coding House and we had to keep blinds closed and sign an agreement essentially saying we wouldn't venture outside more than necessary, and we'd not use the neighborhood facilities like parks, bike paths, and so on.
It was weird, but look, I came here to code. I could give a damn about all that, I just wanted to know the truth and make sure that I wasn't going to be out 18k dollars because the program got shut down halfway through. So I talked to Nick James and that's where the real problems started. He was very condescending, dismissive, and was saying things I knew were untrue, as I had been doing research online. This is my main beef with coding house - the lies and condescending treatment of adults who paid for your product.
Then it gets worse. We find out that Coding House has been mandated to shut down since 2015 by the CA government. We call the BPPE (bureau for postsecondary education) and they confirm that Coding House was ordered to cease and desist all activity and refund current and past students.
When I talked to Nick about this, his answer was they were pending approval. Which is again a lie - they were denied approval and ordered to shut down. They had a responsibility to inform current and prospective students, and they did not inform us. I tell him this and he adds "pending approval to operate" to a tiny font in the legalese under "terms of service", a small hidden button on the CH website. That seems really dishonest - if you read the judgment against Coding House and the CA law regarding BPPE denial to operate, Coding House is required by law to inform students if they are A) pending approval and B) denied approval and C) appealing a denial. So even if Nick James is argument is "yeah we were denied approval to operate but we are allowed to appeal, so we technically can still operate for the time being" - he is required to tell students (current and would-be students) that CH is not approved to operate at present time. Not "pending approval" because they aren't pending approval, they are denied. They appealed the denial, and were rejected and told to disconnect their phone lines, refund students, and cease all forms of operation.
I guess they can appeal these citations and basically elongate the process further, but it's clear that they are operating illegally and thus we are paying our money into an illegal operation.
I am a pretty reasonable person - I wanted to like CH. I made more sacrifices than a lot of people to be here. This is not a commitment I took lightly. I chose CH and that choice meant not doing any of the 10 other legit, approved bootcamps with solid, proven instructors.
Instuctor 1 and 2 (2 left abruptly and has not been replaced, apparently 2 had a lot of student complaints) were both liberal arts background people who instructed directly after Coding House graduation. AKA no field experience.
TA 1 and 2... both CH students who stayed on after graduation because they couldn't find a job and CH offered them housing in exchange for a 50 hr work week. TA #1 just left abruptly this week too. I don't blame the TAs, I mean, look, I consider myself a strong coder, but I sure as hell wouldn't say I'm qualified to teach MERN stack after FOURTEEN WEEKS experience. This whole thing just seems cheap, like Coding House doesnt want to pay to hire talented, non-CH grad instructors. It's weirdly incestuous - the teachers are basically students themselves, living in the house and drinking / smoking weed too, and again, I am not a prude and I don't really give a shit, but when you're charging 18-22k, I want to see experts. Professionals who show up to class on time, who have worked in the tech industry, who focus on educating us rather than being our "bro" or "pal".
Something very fishy is going on here. It's not right how the TAs are treated (paid no wage, but given cramped housing quarters in exchange for 50 hrs a week). These guys paid for CH and incurred a debt, and now they can't get jobs because of the program had all kinds of problems (read the BPPE articles), and so now CH is saying "pay your debt by working for us and if we have a falling out, we evict you and charge you." That isn't healthy.
Something fishy is going on with their legality and their residence - if you do the research, you'll see they've been kicked out by city and by individual landlords for continuously running their business in residential areas without permits.
They are not informing students about their denied approval to operate, even when they have been clearly mandated to by CA law.
Nick James talks around these issues and pretends to be friendly and care about your experience at CH, but as soon as you start asking questions, he's talking about how you might not be a culture fit for CH and maybe he'll have to draw up the exit paperwork. And should you share any of this information with other students, you'll be in violation of the clauses in your contract and could face legal action.
All in all though, I really am not a stickler for rules. I could forgive all this and give them a 4 or so if they just had GOOD INSTRUCTORS. I paid 18k, and I'm going to only get 1 student-instructor and 1 lead instructor with under 1 year experience teaching any kind of coding, and less than 3 months experience with React?
I want to see the silver lining here, and I guess that silver lining here is that I made great friends here. Bullshit does kind of bind you all together. But the truth is, this program is honestly scaring me. I don't really feel comfortable in the house - the police have shown up twice this cohort and it's just a tense, uncomfortable environment. People are dropping left and right - including instructor and TA - and it's just not working for me.
I'm looking through linkedin and I see hordes of people with CH on their resume, and very, very few who were ever employed in any kind of web dev capacity. And then I look online and I see the Bureau proved that CH was fabricating it's "95% of our graduates find jobs" statistics by a huge magnitude. CH was proven to be fabricating many of the "this is where our graduates work" companies.
The more you look, the more smoke and mirrors you see.
I wish I could say this recent cohort was better than previous cohorts and that it looked like some of the problems outlined in earlier reviews had been corrected. Unfortunately, they haven't.
I do not want to tell anyone what to do. I am risking legal action by posting this and I know Nick James has a history of trying to sue and legally stifle any students who post about CH in a critical light. I do however believe that nothing is more important than letting people make an educated choice about their decisions. If you read all of these reviews and read the citations by the CA government, read all 24 counts of denial in this statement.... and you STILL want to attend Coding House, do it. Best of luck to you and I honestly hope you succeed. I want CH to improve and be a better program - I just think that it's an issue of informed consent. When you sign all the legalese chaining you to Coding House, you deserve to know the real, growing problems with the program.
Pending administrative hearing and Statement of Issues:
These documents capture real reviews of Coding House, courtesy of the
BUREAU FOR PRIVATE POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Fined $50k for operating illegally, and forced to refund students money. http://www.bppe.ca.gov/enforcement/actions/cit_1617026.pdf
Pending administrative hearing:
Fingers crossed this place is shutdown for good.
- Classmates where amazing and I love them. A great bond is created.
- Great monitors.
- Lies about curriculum, lies about instructors experience (great guys).
- People get charged different amounts for education, unethical.
- No job assistance, no partnerships (all lies).
- Everyone feels cheated.
- Cramped space
- Lack of communication.
- Physical threats by members of the staff, I even saved the email he sent the next day.
Someone made a staff member ("Mario") upset by leaving a note, with a silly message. Mario proceed to threaten each student and left the house. Another staff member ("Sarah") defended him in an email, he wrote this email the next day:
I attended Coding House in February 2016 and can confirm everything Nicolas D states in his review below. Illegal housing operation, amateur instruction from lead instructors with less than 1 year (or even 6 months) with the frameworks being taught... everything in that review is sadly true. I took months of work as well as a scholarship to a real top grade bootcamp after Coding House to land a job - Coding House is basically a 20k cost program that offers instructors less qualified than the "C" tier bootcamps like General Assembly. Look at the linkedin of CH instructors and the instructors of ANY other bootcamp if you don't believe me. I felt confident going in because I had spoken to Samer Buna, a very strong instructor with solid experience, as part of my technical interview process. What Coding House didn't tell us was that he had left mid cohort and instead our lead instructor was going to be a "student-instructor" with zero teaching experience.
This has been a major setback and the bottom line is that I did not receive what I paid for. When trying to address concerns with CEO Nick James, our cohort was drowned in legalese and attempts to silence students from reviewing the program online.
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.
I don't want to dissuade anyone from getting into web development. I wasted a very sizable sum of money and time on Coding House, and after doing a better bootcamp - I won't name names, but I will advise you to READ REVIEWS EXHAUSTIVELY online - it really becomes apparent how poor Coding House's instruction. I could get over the legality of the housing, the cramped quarters, the dishonesty, the misleading marketing, the frankly rude behavior of CH staff etc if they just had the decency to offer good instruction. Sadly, they do not. I can confirm that Nicolas D's review barely even scratches the surface.
PS - if you do want to attend Coding House, I strongly suggest at least messaging past students on linkedin and hearing real feedback. Much of the reviews posted online are traded for discounts or by student TAs who are given housing and food in exchange for teaching - so there's a clear vested interest. Seek out REAL opinions on Coding House if you wish to attend.
As a recently graduated student, I'd say my experience has been neutral with Coding House. It's a space where you can learn and will be left to your own devices a lot of the time, and while the instructors are nice, I wouldn't say they are experts by any stretch of the imagination. The living situation was pretty cramped and definitely had some issues, but I will give CH an overall satisfactory rating because they did provide a house, and I did spend a lot of time coding.
While no program is perfect, and Coding House certainly has many areas in which it can improve, I found the program to be decent. Instruction during the first seven weeks was enthusiastic, but delivered by a teacher with very limited coding experience, particularly with React.js. Instruction during the second half of the program is scarce, and the majority of the day will be spent basically living in the house and coding either on your own or with your team members. I recommend this program, but with reservations - do your research and dig deep to make sure that you are a good fit for the program.
I graduated from CH this year. Most of what Anonymous said on 3/12/2016 is true. Not a single person teaching or running this program has worked a single day in the industry. All the partnerships they claim to have mean nothing more than they shook the hand of someone at a tech meetup.
In my cohort, we had one on-site visit and three tech professionals come do workshops. We also had a Computer Science major talk to us, mostly consisting of him asking the instructors "What are you teaching these people?" when we couldn't answer his questions.
There is no head hunter, no job training, nothing is taught about production (only developing). Even Perrin Clarke (who wrote the article at the bottom here) had to quit CH after working 4 weeks without pay. This place is run being run into the ground by lawsuits and the food, cirriculum, and even housing are going down in quality as a result. They lie about most things, including how many seats are available for cohorts on their website. The slimy CEO will do what it takes to get his money. I owe this place thousands now and have very little to show for it. Please look elsewhere.
Our latest on Coding House
Welcome to our last monthly coding bootcamp news roundup of 2016! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to fundraising announcements, to interesting trends we’re talking about in the office. This December, we heard about a bootcamp scholarship from Uber, employers who are happily hiring bootcamp grads, investments from New York State and a Tokyo-based staffing firm, diversity in tech, and as usual, new coding schools, courses, and campuses!Continue Reading →
A coding bootcamp can propel your career in tech to new heights, but that often means quitting a job, uprooting your life, or moving to a new city. Maybe you’re moving to a new city to become a developer and need a short-term housing option. Or perhaps you’re an international student without credit history. Regardless of your background, funds can become tight when committing to a full-time, intensive bootcamp, and suddenly expenses like rent and food can be stressful. Luckily, there are coding bootcamps that make housing easy.Continue Reading →
How much do coding bootcamps cost? From students looking for free coding bootcamps to those wondering if an $18,000 bootcamp is worth it, we understand that cost is important to future bootcampers! While the average full-time programming bootcamp in the US costs $11,906, bootcamp tuition can range from $9,000 to $21,000, and some coding bootcamps have deferred tuition. So how do you decide what to budget for? Here, we break down the costs of coding bootcamps from around the USA.
So you’ve decided to pursue a coding bootcamp. All that it takes is a cursory review of Quora, Reddit, or even here on Course Report, and the uninitiated can locate a range of opinions on almost every bootcamp in existence. The key point to remember is that your reasons for beginning your coding journey are yours. Let your goals and background be the filter in which you read this post or any other post about joining a coding bootcamp. I will only attempt to tell you my experiences with the hope that it will help you navigate a path towards making the right decision for yourself. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Interest
My interest in development started almost 8 years ago while working for a tech division of the chamber of commerce where I lived. After a lengthy interview process I was hired as the Director of Business Development. My first assignment was to lead a $40K website redesign by taking the desires of the staff and 30+ board members to a local dev team who performed the work. I remember being amazed by the process in which they translated real world problems into digital solutions that even the average person could read and understand. Later, I realized I was hooked, so when the decision to find a brand new career fell in my lap, I knew the time was right to transition from business development to software development.
Step 2: Research
Like many of you, I turned to Google to begin my research into a new coding career. Thankfully, I came across a number of articles that immediately peaked my interest. For me, it was imperative that I worked to solve real world problems while being compensated enough to eliminate outstanding debts and in the end creating personal financial freedom. I found all of these things in coding.
Early in my research efforts I came across two main sources that guided me through my path of selecting a coding bootcamp: Course Report and Quora. I won’t go into an in-depth analysis of these tools but I will say that it is important to spend time both reading and interacting on these forums for a new coder to make an educated decision about where to attend coding bootcamp. I used Course Report to parse data about the features of coding schools. Quora was perfect for asking and reading user questions about specific schools.
Step 3: Applications & Interviews
Because I live in the Bay Area, I focused most of my attention on schools in and around Silicon Valley, but also considered a few schools outside of the area. I applied to 16 schools, received 5 acceptances, and was turned down by 2. Tw other schools closed before I could complete the process, and I left 7 applications ‘on the table’ once I had made my final decision. I can say that the interview portion of the process was not nearly as intimidating as I had expected. For the most part, every interviewer was kind and took special care to understand the level of knowledge I had coming into bootcamp, and catered the interview according to my level. Looking back, I realize that what good bootcamps really want in an interview is to understand what style of learner you are, in order to determine if you will be a good fit for their respective program.
This was the first school that I was accepted to and provided me with a much needed boost of confidence. Early in my research phase, I was contemplating learning mobile development mainly because I have a couple of iPhone app ideas bouncing around in my head. Overall I had a great experience with Mobile Makers. Their admissions director (Craig) reached out to me via phone and email a few times, and we had very productive conversations. However I did notice that most of the students at the school seemed to be younger, right out of college, and that was a deterrent for me.
When I applied to General Assembly, I expected it to be a corporate, stodgy learning environment. Honestly, I only applied to get the experience of going through the application process. Being new to coding, I decided to attend an open house the day before my tech interview. This proved to be a fantastic decision. From the minute I walked into GA offices it felt right. The open house was in the evening while other classes were taking place in the facility. I noticed a wide range of diversity (race, gender, assumed class, age etc.) present in the cohort. Every person on staff was warm and inviting. During my technical interview the next morning, I met with the admissions staff and a couple of the actual instructors. GA was the only school where I had to perform a white board challenge. I must have passed it, because I got an acceptance from them!
I accepted the Coding House offer for reasons that I state at the end of this post.
Dev Bootcamp was one of my earlier applications, and I was in no way prepared to pass it. After applying online, I received an email to schedule the technical interview with Dana from their New York office. During the Skype interview I answered a few coding problems, but looking back, I failed to convey my ability to logically process the challenges. They were right to decline my participation with their school at that time.
This denial was the most shocking and shook my confidence a bit. TA is a new school focused on attracting underrepresented minorities. When I read that statement, I assumed I would be a great candidate. I had received a few other acceptances at this point, and had done fairly well in my challenges with other schools. But unfortunately I had to reschedule due to being sick for 4 days and underestimating how long my recovery would take, leaving me no time to prep for the technical interview. Considering the fact that I wasn’t prepared for the interview, I disclosed this to my interviewer. I was able to pair program my way through the challenge, however they decided not to accept me to the program.
Left on the Table
At the beginning of my search App Academy was my #1 school based on all of the online reviews I read. Ironically, after applying, I received the offer to taking the first coding challenge and never took it! I actually psyched myself out, due to my desire to do as well as possible, and continually put it off while trying to learn more Ruby before taking the challenges.
When you apply to HR, they give you a choice to have your application submitted to them or one of their sister schools (Maker Square or their newest school Telegraph Academy). After reviewing more information online, I chose to apply to TA.
I applied to Recurse Center and Launch Academy even though they're out-of-state because of their reputation amongst developers. My thought was that if I got into one of them, it would make sense to consider it.
Just in case, I applied to these three online schools, but knew that I would learn best in an in-class environment, and thus chose not to move forward with the interview process.
After sending in applications, both of these schools were non-responsive, leading me to believe that they were no longer operating or for some reason chose not to answer my emails.
Step 4: Decision on Coding House
The most important piece of advice I could give any potential coding bootcamp student on making their final decision is to spend as much time on the previous steps outlined above as they can, and to try to make the decision that best suits their needs. Your final decision may be based on learning style, financial situation, schedule or geographical circumstances. The more schools you apply to, the more choices you will have in the end. I chose the Coding House because it consistently ranked high on all of my personal metrics.
First, it was the only school in my search that teaches the skill of learning programming languages. In a sense, teaching autodidactism. This is important to me, as I will no doubt find myself in a position with a prospective employer that wants me to expand my knowledge of a particular language or learn a new language to obtain a job. With the skills I learn at the Coding House, I will be confident in my ability to pick up new languages efficiently.
Third, the full immersion experience at the Coding House provides coders with the chance to live in a community with other students, TAs and Instructors (and we even have a mascot dog, Charlie!) so that your focus is on coding around the clock. The house itself is as comfortable as possible (food, board, etc. is all included in the tuition) so that you can focus on coding. This translates to finishing in two months instead of three or more.
And lastly, I chose the Coding House because, through my discussions with the owner Nick, I found him to be a guy that I could relate to on a personal level. He answered my hard questions with honesty and openness, welcomed constructive criticism, and vowed to do whatever it took to grow his school’s quality.
Step 6: Pre-Work
This was said to me many times by staffers at Coding House, and I will repeat it for everyone reading this: do the pre-work, and then do it again. The more you familiarize yourself with the assignments that are given to you before you get to bootcamp, the more likely you are to understand the instructor on Day 1. Also, if they recommend taking a course on Git/GitHub as part of your pre-work, do that exercise three times! And find some other online sources to learn more about Git/GitHub. It’s that important.
Step 7: Bootcamp
Congratulations, you made it! It’s time to update your social media bios to ‘coding student!’ Prepare your mind to soak up knowledge like never before. Each bootcamp will vary, so try to follow the instructions of the course to the best of your ability. Be sure to send a thank you email to all of the bootcamps on your list. Be courteous, since we are all in the same industry, and they will be valuable professional contacts going forward.
Your mileage will vary in your journey to becoming a software programmer. If you begin by doing adequate research and casting your net wide, you are more likely to make the best choice of bootcamp. For the most part, every bootcamp I researched is solid in terms of producing quality entry-level engineers. Here on Course Report, you will find most of the research you need to start or continue your journey. If I can be of some assistance to you in the process, please feel free to reach out to me below. Good luck and code on!
We’re breaking down Coding House’s 100% Scholarship for Female Developers!Continue Reading →
Most programming bootcamps describe themselves as “immersive,” with students spending up to 80 hours per week in front of their computer screens and in lecture, learning to code. Coding House takes this immersive model one step further, setting their cohorts up in a house during their 8-week tenure at the program.
More time to code should equate to better coders, right? But we’ve seen The Real World, and had a few questions for Coding House about their unique program. Udita Plah, Director of Operations at Coding House, was nice enough to provide us with a few answers.Continue Reading →