Concordia University Coding Bootcamp
Concordia University Coding Bootcamp is a collaboration between Concordia University and e-learning company The Learning House. The bootcamp, slated to start in January 2015, is Minnesota's first coding bootcamp, aiming to transform beginners into entry-level software developers. Students will learn to code, as well as gain the soft skills needed to work as professional developers in a startup or on a development team.
Recent Concordia University Coding Bootcamp Reviews: Rating 2.0
Concordia University Coding Bootcamp Reviews
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Here's what I got from Concordia University in Saint Paul, and The Learning House:
● An instructor ill suited to teach beginners. The instructor responded to questions with condescension, sarcasm, and deflection. This created a hostile learning environment in which students became afraid and ashamed to ask questions.
● An instructor who was unprepared for class. Most of the time he was seeing lectures for the first time while he was presenting them. He often disagreed with information in the presentations which made it extremely difficult for students to sort out what information was important and accurate.
● An incomplete curriculum. The curriculum purchased from the Software Craftsmanship Guild was missing important context for the instructor. Because of the aforementioned lack of preparation by the instructor, he often had to spend time during lectures trying to figure out what the slides were actually saying or asking. Potentially less important, but still concerning, the curriculum also contained many grammatical errors which should not be acceptable at an accredited institution of higher education.
● A lack of direction on what to work on independently outside of class. After the first four weeks of class, students were unsure of what to be working on at home. When we asked the instructor for further direction beyond "the labs", he was unable to provide any. When Eric Wise visited from the Guild and told us his students work until 9pm most days, we asked our instructor what they were working on and he told us that he "had no idea".
● A lack of opportunities to practice what we learned during lectures in class. Many lectures included an opportunity for a "follow along" exercise. Our instructor oftentimes did not have the patience to walk us all through the exercises together, so he just said he would demonstrate it and we could watch him do it. This was not an effective way to learn the material.
● A lack of action by Learning House to address deficiencies early on in the program. We estimate that Dave Clinefelter, CAO of The Learning House, was in class an average of two to three days per week during the 12 week program. He should have been observing the difficulties students were facing, and taking action to correct inappropriate instructor behavior. Instead he was often distracting students by taking calls in the classroom and discussing business opportunities to open bootcamps at other universities.
● A lack of opportunity to build a "strong portfolio". Realistically, the only project we were prepared and equipped to complete was a project in week four, which was a Console application, not a website. The instructor removed the requirement to complete the only other project we were assigned. Those items do not constitute a strong portfolio in the traditional sense of the word. On the second to last day of class, the instructor sent us an email explaining the Guild's definition of a strong portfolio ("code snippets"). If this was the nontraditional definition they wanted us to accept, it should have been presented to us prior to signing up for the program, not at the end.
We all quit our jobs and made a big investment to attend this program and by the time we realized how bad things were, it was really not an option to quit. We realized we would have to finish the program, as is, in order to hopefully scrape by at an entry level role with what we were able to learn.
We were told mutiple times that as entry level developers we would be "expected to know nothing". I got an entry level job, and let me tell you, that was NOT the case. I had to spend significant time outside of work playing catch up, and doing online tutorials via CodeSchool, and other online learning sites. Of course, I'm really glad I got a job, but I didn't expect to pay $10k to an accredited university for a half-baked bootcamp.
Learning House staff had zero respect for participants, and Concordia staff didn't care when concerns were brought to them. I was offered an opportunity to retake the course, which is ridiculous considering I would have to quit my job and be out of work for another 12 weeks.