Recent DecodeMTL News
- Guide to Coding Bootcamps with Job Guarantees
- Am I the Right Candidate for a Coding Bootcamp?
- Alumni Spotlight: Scott of DecodeMTL
Recent DecodeMTL Reviews: Rating 4.5
Web Development Bootcamp
Learn the ins and outs of web development in this immersive course. You will master the fundamentals of Back-End Development, Databases, Front-End Development, Git, the Command Line, and much more. Job ready upon graduation.
- Student line of credit available for Canadians through National Bank.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
- Prep Work
Web Development Remote
Learn alongside our in-person bootcamp. 8 Weeks, full-time, hyper-intensive learning. Become a Web Developer from home.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
- Prep Work
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I was skeptical about bootcamps in general. Comp sci students take a minimum of three years to be ready to apply for software development jobs.
However, the 8 week program really gave me enough practical knowledge to be able to do well in the position I'm in now (funded, high-growth startup). To my own surprise, I passed the technical interview "with flying colours". Most comp sci graduates finish school with really good theoretical knowledge of how to build algorithms and the like. That's really interesting knowledge, but most jobs don't require too much of this type of skill. They require knowledge of modern libraries and methodologies, all of which I learned through Decode.
So, if you already have a university degree (like I did), don't go back to school. Do a bootcamp. If you're in Montreal, do Decode. They've been around the longest, and the Kevin/Ziad combo probably know more people recruiting software developers than anyone else in the bootcamp business in Montreal. This part is really important for organizing a proper demo day (I found my current gig there).
I also want to give a shout-out to the post bootcamp job assistance. The support doesn't end after 8 weeks. They do mock interviews (both technical and culture fit), they help review your CV, and put you in touch with a bunch of different recruitors. It's surprising how much this can help out in your career change.
TL;DR - Before Decode, I had no experience with coding. 10 weeks later, I had a job.
If you're considering DecodeMTL, I would highly recommend it. There is seemingly endless ways of learning web-development, but for me Decode made the most sense.
Decode is an intense two months, but if you throw yourself into it, you will be in a good position to succeed afterwards.
Everyday, you have tutorials for several hours in the morning, and then the rest is spent on workshops that build off that material. The projects that you end up doing are fun and portfolio worthy. We built everything from a weather app, to a reddit clone.
One of the things I most appreciated about it was the fact that we as students, had 1-on-1 teacher access for about 11 hours everyday, and they never hesitated to answer your questions via slack outside of school hours. They won't straight up tell you how to solve your problems, but they will help steer you towards figuring it out on your own and will always make sure you understand why you got the result you did.
The final Demo-day was a unique experience. This is a very cool part of the course. You end up presenting your work to a room full of potential employers, and it was through this I met the company I now work for.
They don't just kick you out the door at the end of the 8 weeks. The next week - if you want it - is for helping you with the job search. They do mock interviews both regular and technical, and help you currate your portfolio, resume, and linked in.
If you want a program that asks a lot of you, but gives you a lot in return, Decode is it. From the top down, they genuinely care about you succeeding, and if you put in the effort, you will.
My experience at DecodeMTL was extremely rewarding. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to launch their career in web development, regardless of your background. The class size is small and very dynamic. You will learn a lot and work a lot - expect to spend your days and evenings there. If you are looking for an easy pass into learning how to code, this is definitely not it. Decode will teach you everything you need to know, and have a really good support system with the TA's, but they will not hold your hand. They will make sure you are really understanding what you are doing and why you are doing it. The more work and focus you put in, the more reward you will get out of it.
The quality of instruction is really good. Ziad and the TA's do a really great job of simplifying complicated topics. Ziad loves what he does and really wants his students to understand and succeed.
If you're disciplined and driven, you will thrive at Decode. Clear your schedule for 8 weeks and make the most of it.
The instructors and admin staff at decode are really great. They offer support from start to the end on every aspect of learning, job search and even more. They have an approach based on learning by doing and if you put the effort into it, it will pay off. Ziad the lead instructor is a great teacher capable of diving in details but also explaining from a high level perspective. Kevin the admin has an incredible networking experience and will make you employable in a couple of meetings! Overall great experience!
I would not recommend DecodeMTL bootcamp to just anyone. Their approach is not for an absolute beginner or for just anyone. Coding is generally not that easy. You need to at least have some experience in coding before you attend thier bootcamp. Moreover, It is a lot of money to pay for a bootcamp. So it is best to spend your money on a really good bootcamp.
I understand that we need to code and complete the workshops during the bootcamp by ourselves. The teacher, Ziad, is smart but I doubt if he really wants to share all his knowledge with us. We asked him to share with us suggested solutions to only one workshop (not even every workshop) so that we could do it in our own times, because during the bootcamp he only asked us to do only one project in that specific workshop. Plus it would also be good to learn how he would code, approach or do it. He did not give us the suggested solutions. Instead in that workshop you will see some pieces of information about other courses of DecodeMTL related to that workshop.
I felt that DecodeMTL would only spend more time on certain students who have potential. Not all students received the same treatment. I felt that Ziad does not care much if a few or some students may be left behind during the bootcamp.
My experience at decodemtl was extremely great! I would strongly recommend it to anyone who would like to pursuit their career as a web developer. Please don't worry if you are non-tech background, as long as you are determined and desciplined, you will benefit a lot from this course. I'm really happy that I made a perfect choice to attend this bootcamp. Here are the reasons that I love this bootcamp:
1. Class size - Small class size allows the instructor to give intructions to each student as well as answer almost all the questions from every student.
2. Reachable resources - The structure of the bootcamp is that in the morning is the lecture and afternoon is the workshop, which is an excellent opportunity for you to practice. There are 2 TAs there for you to ask questions whenever you need until 9pm. I really love the way they answer questions, they won't give you an answer directly, they actually guide you step by step and lead you to the right track. It is a great way of teaching cause they teach you how to think as a developer. And the TA is always there for everyone in the class.
3. Nice environment and atmosphere - Although it seems to be a very intensive course, the atmosphere and study environment is really relaxed and great. The main instructor Ziad is super helpful and he really knows his stuff very well. Kevin and Zoe are super helpful as well, they are always there to help whenever you need. It really feels like a family.
4. Final demo - Final demo is one of the amazing parts of the bootcamp. By the end of the bootcamp, you will get a final project, it'll be done as group. On the last day of the bootcamp, each group will present their project in the lobby. By then, decodemtl really makes a lot of effort inviting tech recruiters and companies coming to see our demo. It is a great opportunity for all the students to present themselves and talk with those who are interested in hiring developers.
5. Resume & Linkedin session - At around the 5th week of the bootcamp, Kevin will come to every student one by one and spend time with each student to go through their Linkedin profile, What's more, by the end of the bootcamp, Kevin helps every student to optimize their resume line by line, his great patience impresses me a lot, and this is a huge asset of this bootcamp.
6. Mockup interview - This is another great part of the bootcamp. Before you start your job searching process, decodemtl organizes mockup interviews, which allow you to get a general idea of how tech interviews will look like and be more confident and less nervous during the real interview.
So if you decide to join the bootcamp, I also have following advises:
1. Study the prep course decodemtl prepares for you carefully. The prep course is great and it allows you to have a basic knowledge of what you are going to learn during the bootcamp.
3. Please make sure to put 200% energy into the course. Especially the workshop, please make sure to finish each workshop, it doesn't matter if you finish slower than others, it's not a competition, and it's never a waste of time to do it the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time just for a review.
The 8 weeks was such a great experience and I've learned a lot more than I expected and I'm a lot more better than I was 8 weeks ago. But for sure, I'll keep learning :)
Wish you all the best and good luck :)
The screening process to recruit students for the bootcamp was pretty simple; nothing to ensure that you would be able to follow the lessons and understand them during the bootcamp. DecodeMTL has prep course for you to do before the bootcamp starts. However, there is no requirement that you need to finish it. I felt that DecodeMTL needs to have enough students for each bootcamp in order to cover costs. I only did about half of the prep course and had never done any coding before in the past. Therefore I checked with both Kevin and Ziad to make sure if it was still ok to join or if I should wait. I was confirmed that there should not be any problem. However, during the bootcamp Ziad would not explain the basics much but would rather go very quickly. So I tried to ask, but when I asked, he seemed to be annoyed by my simple questions sometimes.
At the end of the bootcamp on the demo day, there were some tech companies who came to see our presentations. Ziad would only introduce to them the students who did well during the bootcamp, but not those who were not up to his standard.
My experience at decodeMTL was excellent.
With their help and guidance I was able to land a junior position after working ten years in construction. It was not a golden ticket to a new job though. I worked really hard, and under their coaching everything worked out well. Even 9 months after taking the course, they have been able to assist me further. Ziad and his assistants have a knack for teaching and Kevin is great with his carreer related help. They are all good honest people and make an amazing team.
As for others complaining about 'not being given the answers', that's not the goal of the course. I always felt that Ziad wants us to understand the principles and core concepts first, and the results of specific exercises are not the most important. Our long-term success depends on our fundemental understanding of whats going on in the code. I definatly left the course feeling that I had a great foundation of knowledge and networking to make my career change work out well. Mission accomplished!
Doing interviews again 9 months after the bootcamp, I've had interviewers comment that even university graduates weren't able to pass their technical challenges but I was able to!
Be advised that these comments are based on my personal experience so please apply accordingly.
In one sentence, I really enjoyed my experience at DecodeMTL and it was wonderful to be taught by Ziad and the teaching assistants there. It gave me exactly what i wanted: to find a job as web developer.
My background: MSc degree in Business strategic consultancy from France with few years of business development experience with tech startups; Immigrated to Montreal Canada one year ago; started a biz dev job here but very unhappy about it; coded about 6 months inconsistenly before joining DecodeMTL.
What I like about DecodeMTL:
1) The craziness of it: You are surrounded by like-minded people who were equally determined to get into the industry. That created a very motivating ambiance which drove me (naturally a person easy to be distracted) to focus and give my 100%;
2) and also 1) Good teacher. Ziad is amazing and he continued helping me patiently after I graduated. He has his way of leading me to think in problem solving process. The other teaching assistants - Mathieu, Harris, etc. are also important part of my learning journey and they still help me now too!
3) It was a lot to learn and not very easy to digest everything I went through everyday. But I expeceted myself to learn anyways so that did not bother me. DecodeMTL connected the dots I had when I was learning coding on my own and gave me a solid base to start with in order to become a competent responsable developer.
My personal friendly advice in general :) : Be sure with what you are getting into as a career! It's a lot of continuous effort and constant battle with unknown! After doing enough thinking and you still want to get into the field, DecodeMTL would be a good choice!
This course exceeded all my expectations. Ziad is amazing, the mentors are fantastic, and the TA's are very helpful.
I really like that even though I am a graduate, I can still reach out to Ziad and Kevin, or anyone really, about any concerns and questions about jobs, or tech problems and bugs that I come across. The DecodeMTL Slack community is popping! Everyone helps each other, even if we we're not all in the same cohort. I think this is the best part, the post-bootcamp support. You're not thrown into the deep end alone, someone will always be there to help you out.
That goes without saying that, they don't call it a bootcamp for nothing. Be prepared to arrive early and stay late. You'll be spending most of your time at the school, which isn't a bad thing as WeWork is an awesome place to learn, very comfortable, great location, and awesome decor. I actually much preferred working there, then at home. Being in a great atmosphere and surrounded by hard-working people and tech companies, is very motivating.
If you cannot give 100% of your time to the course, don't do it. Clear your schedule for those 8 weeks, or else you will not benefit from this course. If you miss 1 day or even a half a day, thats the equivalent of missing a couple weeks in any regular school which spread their course to a couple hours a week over a few months.
Yes, you will have a lot of prep work to do, but it's so worth it. You need to have a passion for this job. It's a lot of problem-solving, logic, creativity, and patience.
The more energy you will put into this course, the better outcome you will have. The more work you put in, the easier it will be to find a job.
I got a job and started working for a start-up one week post-bootcamp. There is a huge demand for web developers out there, so if you have the passion and drive to learn more, finding a job will be a breeze.
Don't expect to be a genius like Ziad when it's all said and done, that will take millions of years to get to his level. But once you graduate and find a job, you will then be paid to learn, and it's all up hill from there!
I highly recommend this course for everyone. It's a tech world out there after all. Every company needs some sort of web presence, or web app, which means they need us!
P.S. The cupcakes are pretty great too.
I have a degree related to computer science. I think the course curriculum of this bootcamp is good, but still needs some improvements to also emphasize on certain important things that students will need to use at work. The main instructor is very smart however he still needs to learn how to explain stuff to those who don't have background in the field. When already in the bootcamp, sometimes it was hard to reach him in the afternoon to ask questions about the workshops as he would not respond to your messages at times.
The main instructor helped me get a job after graduation. However I have a degree related to this from a good university, so it would not be that difficult for DecodeMTL to present me to the employers. DecodeMTL will help you in term of job assistance if you are good enough. Some of my classmates at the same cohort, who are just average, did not get the same help. The job assistance here is not that great. About half of the people in my cohort still could not find a job yet.
DecodeMTL is not bad if you have background, experiences or are well-prepared for the bootcamp. DecodeMTL CANNOT get you job ready in 8 weeks like what they said. It requires a lot of prep work before the bootcamp. For people in my cohort who had no background in the field and wanted to change their career who were successful and found jobs after the bootcamp, they did the prep course for several months prior to joining the bootcamp, or took another course with Decode before. So you can imagine if DecodeMTL can really get you ready as web developer in 8 weeks or not.
Response From: Kevin of DecodeMTL
We are constantly taking feedback to improve our course, including our job assistance. It seems like you received a positive outcome.
However, the majority of our students come in without computer science backgrounds and still do very well. We have also now made it mandatory to pass a technical interview (based on the prep-course) before being admitted into the bootcamp.
Lastly, we do our best to help all of our graduates with the job search. But we are very clear on what's expected of our grads. Finding a job is hard work, and needs to be treated like a full-time job. For those that finish the program, and follow our advice / continually work with us, they will find work in the field. For those that disengage and/or decide to do the bare minimum, finding work is a much larger challenge.
At the end of the day, the course is what you make of it. At any point, our alumni can contact us for job assistance or advice, and we will do whatever we can to help them. The job search process can take some time, and patience is definitely required. While most alumni are employed within 3 months, on rare occasions, it can take upwards of 5-6 months.
We invite you to contact us if you want to discuss further :)
After completing the bootcamp I have absolutely to no regrets about joining. The main instructor Ziad is a god. He is everything you want in a teacher. Even though his knowledge is so advanced, he always finds a way to deliver the information to you in a way that makes sense even for a beginner. He is a someone who really feels joy from seeing his students succeed which makes him fun to be around. If I had to give him a rating it would be a solid 10/10.
If you are looking for a bootcamp to join I strongly suggest that you checkout DecodeMTL. If you don't believe me just contact any of their Alumni and I am positive that they will give you the same advice.
What a great and challenging program! I would recommend it to anyone who's looking to learn a practical approach to web development and who doesn't want to spend years doing a degree in University. I was hesitant to join at first because I've never been good at math or science, but the instructors make it so easy to learn, and now I love to code!
Before I launch into a spirited review of DecodeMTL, a bit of context on myself will help reveal some important variables. First off, I come from by no means a CS background. Far from it, I have a Bachelors in Urban Planning and worked for several years as an infantry soldier.
Why this bears mention is that one of the most common fears about this industry is that it will be utterly beyond those without some sort of pre-existing CS experience. That is absolutely not true. Web development is far more accessible than you might think, but there are certainly things to ponder before you take the leap at a bootcamp...
I think the biggest question someone reading this wants answered: is DecodeMTL a legit bootcamp and will it get me an entry position as a Dev? Yes and yes; its a kickass bootcamp and I landed a job within two weeks. But there's more to it than that.
In my opinion, there is a way to experience this bootcamp to get the most out of it. These are your checks in the box to complete before day 1...
1. You've decided to do this for a reason. Its 6k. Its only 2 months. Do a soul search and make sure that this is what you want and you are ready to work your ass. The days are long and the info is fast and furious. You will need to dedicate 200% of your attention to this course in order to succeed, which brings me to my next point..
3. Don't expect the moon. DecodeMTL does what it claims to do and it does it well, but they cannot snap their fingers and turn you into Dan Abramov. This is merely the beginning of a career-long journey. It will be hard and frustrating but extremely rewarding. Dig deep and prepare yourself for this grind, only time and practice can make you a great coder. Have the patience to make mistakes and get lost. The right attitude will do wonders.
Everyone that attends this course will have the opportunity to emerge as competent, entry-level developers. The cirriculum is constantly updated to stay relevant (big emphasis on React here) and by the end you will have written some code that you probably couldn't imagine before hand. Some will squander this course by not abiding by the aforementioned points, but that doesn't have to be you.
The final day - demo day - will be the real shocker if you're someone like me. What surprised me is the sheer interest and attention (and propositions) you will receive from recruiters, employers and investors who will actually line up to speak with you. If you've done your research you'll know that the industry is always hungry for devs, and now I've seen it first hand. You will not want for job opportunities, its just up to you to pursue them.
Well paced with lots of instruction, helpful tips and guides to keep you up to speed. To get the most out of the course you will need to be able to put aside a sizeable chunk of hours each week to complete the exercises and projects.
Lucas is a great instructor and is very knowlegable. He clearly loves what he does and puts great effort in to answering everyones questions whether during class time or on the group chat.
If you take this course you will be able start with no knowledge and go and build responsive well written websites by the end.
I started the course without any idea about HTML or CSS. The pace of the course is quite good. The course starts explaining the basic concepts and builds into more complicated ideas by exercises, code-alongs, and homework.
Lucas was a great instructor and was available to answer our questions. The class room and lounge are very nice!
I recommend for someone looking to have an introduction to Web Design; to take this course, especially if you need to interact directly with an instructor!
I was initally skeptical that I would be able to get hired with only 8 weeks of training and I wondered how much I could actually learn in such little time before I decided to attend the full-time bootcamp. I was especially skeptical because programming was a big career change for me, having previously worked in social services, which required years of formal training. I ended up finding work within a week of finishing Decode and am extremely happy with the job I landed. Our demo day provided an amazing opportunity to present our final projects to a room full of people looking to hire, which led to several interviews for me and a job offer.
Overall, I would say that Decode is what you make of it. I would definitely recommend Decode to anyone who can really commit to clearing their schedule for the course period to ensure they don't fall behind in class. The pace is fast and they pack a lot into the course so, again, it's what you make it. But Ziad is an amazing instructor and was able to explain concepts in a way that even us newbs could understand. The cost was worth it to have a strict schedule that I had to stay on track with, to have the TAs help whenever I got completely stuck on a workshop, and to have the opportunity to present to a room of hiring managers.
I would definitely recommend taking the full-time course at DecodeMTL. Obviously it is impossible to learn everything about web development in two months, however the course gives you a solid foundation and teaches relevant technologies. You graduate with the skills to enter the work field as a Junior Dev.
Ziad, the instructor, is passionate about what he does and is great at explaining the material in a clear, understandable way. Codrin, the TA, is amazing. He is always available, 7 days a week, well past course hours to mentor the students and ensure that everyone fully grasps all the concepts.
Being located in WeWork is a bonus: close to the metro and downtown, unlimited coffee/tea/beer, networking events all the time, etc.
I found a job just a few weeks after the program with a competitive salary (close to $60,000) and nice benefits. I have also recieved quite a few offers just from recruiters viewing my LinkedIn or GitHub profiles.
Overall, DecodeMTL was an amazing experience and I highly recommend taking the full-time immersive course.
Decode MTL is an amazing place.
Do not underestimate it because it is not on campus. Our teacher(Lucas) taught at Concordia before. He is not only an professional programmer but a inspiring teacher!! I do respect his passion for teaching and coding.
This special learning experience is very influential to me.
2. ENVIRONMENT FOR ENTREPRENEUR
I am a student in Concordia and my major is more related to business. I find DecodeMTL can give me an awesome opportunity to meet different people. Many of my classmates already worked in the IT industry, having work experience in coding. It is a very impressive experience to talk and learn from them too.
I would highly recommend taking a web development course at DecodeMTL.
The prof communicates the material in a clear and articulate manner despite the complexity of the subject at hand. The notes are extremely well formatted (I am old school and need notes to be able to digest material efficiently).
The teacher (Lucas) and TA (Codrin) are accessible and super patient as well as generous with their time and knowledge!
The space at WeWork is rather pleasant too. I must say, it gave me the yearning to become an entrepreneur!
Originally I thought that should I ever really love coding (which is precisely what ended up happening.....to the point where its all I dream about anymore!!!), the plan was to use the completion of this course as a stepping stone before applying to get into the Computer Science program at University however I learned that the that the curriculum in most colleges (certainly here in Montreal) are many years behind and therefore wouldn't allow for one to graduate with enough practical knowledge hence I look forward to taking another course at DecodeMTL in the future.
I've been part of the first Full-time cohort, and I'm still amazed at how much I learned and became employable in only 8 weeks. I've been learning Web Development on my own three or four monthes prior to the Bootcamp , and did not even cover half of all the content we saw.
They have a solid experience from working in the industry and know the standarts and the skills that must be learned. I've been hired 2 weeks ago, and I am using a lot of what they showed us on a daily basis.
If you're looking for a career mave as I was, I definitely recommend it, as long as you're not afraid (and more important, that you love) to code, code, and then code overnight.
The eight weeks I spent at DecodeMTL were by far the best! I learned to think and code like a developer. What I learned proved to be invaluable in my career shift. I was a teacher by day and a web designer by night. Now I am a full-stack web developer by day and by night! ;-)
Our latest on DecodeMTL
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Should I do a coding bootcamp? This is a question we hear all the time, and for good reason. As more coding bootcamps launch (not to mention the rising media coverage), you’re probably wondering, “should I jump on the bandwagon and learn to code?” A recent TechCrunch article implored you not to learn to code unless you’re ready to put in the work to be great, whereas President Obama wants every student to learn computer science in high school. So what types of people are opting for coding bootcamps? And should you be one of them?Continue Reading →
Scott was a school teacher in Montreal for 17 years before he started teaching himself web design and freelancing on the side. When he decided to make the full career change, Scott enrolled in DecodeMTL coding bootcamp in Montreal. Now he is a front end developer for AppDirect and loving it. Scott tells us about his favorite project at DecodeMTL, the classmates in his cohort, and his surprise at finding a great new job so quickly.
What is your pre-bootcamp story? What is your educational background? Your last career path?
I was a high school math and English teacher for 17 years. In the last four years I started freelancing in web design, building basic sites with WordPress. Last year I decided I wanted to do web design full time. I didn’t just want to design, I wanted to code and program and design. So I looked for coding bootcamps, and DecodeMTL was the only one available in Montreal.
When did you decide to quit your job and go from freelancer to full-time developer?
I think it probably started when I was looking forward to summer break too much, and I found I was enjoying my part-time job more than my full-time job. I knew then that it was time to make a change.
What types of resources did you use when you were teaching yourself how to code?
I learned on my own out of necessity at first. I taught at a nonprofit learning center, and we didn’t have funding to pay for much, so whenever anything needed to be done on their website I just did it. I learned as I went and found I really liked it, and then kept going and going. I was lucky enough to build a small network of customers. It was very interesting and it took up more and more of my time, which was a good thing. I learned using Lynda.com, Codecademy, and some books, but mostly online.
What made you feel you needed more than self-teaching?
I could learn design on my own, but when it came to the development side, I felt I had maxed out on self-teaching. I had programmed a little bit in PHP for WordPress, but I wasn’t quite sure where to go from there. I wanted to be in a full-time class with other people who are interested in the same thing, with a teacher who could guide us – that was probably the most important thing. I looked at some online bootcamps but they were mostly on the west coast and a lot more expensive. It made more sense to do an in-person bootcamp here in Montreal.
Did you ever consider doing a four-year CS degree?
No, only because I knew that college curricula are so many years behind what we actually need to know, so it wasn’t going to help me get a job or move forward. It would have been a nice base for theoretical concepts, but not enough practical knowledge.
Was your class diverse in terms of gender, race, life and career backgrounds?
It was a pretty good mix, we were 12 people, there was only one girl in our cohort. But in the one before and the one after it was more of a 50-50 ratio. The students were from all different backgrounds. The woman in my cohort was also a teacher, and came from Boston to do the program. It was good mix of ages – I was almost sure I would be the oldest one but I wasn't. About a third of them were career changers, the others were just getting started.
Was it important for you to learn a specific programming language or stack?
What was the learning experience like at DecodeMTL? Tell us about a typical day.
The classes are 10 am to 6 pm. Each day would usually involve a sit-down class from 10 am to 12 pm, then lunch. In the afternoon we did exercises based on what we had learned in the morning, and sometimes break back into one group do little 20 to 30-minute teaching sessions, then continue with the exercise. There was lots of time to do lots of practice. And there was also the option to stay after 6 pm – there were TAs available until 9pm every night.
What sort of coding projects did you work on?
We had one small project in the first few weeks, then a second bigger version of that project, then at the end we worked on our own personal project. My favorite project was the team project, where we built an app called Savvy Aardvark that would tell you whether or not you could eat something by scanning the barcode, based on certain dietary restrictions you had entered into the app. I am intolerant to MSG, which is how I came up with the idea. It was a lot of fun, and we were planning to keep working on it but I got roped so quickly into the job search that I haven’t even looked at it since the end of the bootcamp.
How did you find your first developer job?
Within the first week after graduation, I was already out on interviews. I found the opportunity at AppDirect through word of mouth. I was also interviewing with two or three other places, but this one escalated very quickly. It was by far the best position and offer I got. I had to do two interviews, then I had to do a project challenge, then another interview in person, and a final interview. So in total, there were four interviews and a challenge. They gave me 10 days to do the coding challenge, so I took 10 days. It was replicating a Twitter app, and pushed me, which was good. If it had been too easy, it wouldn’t have been as interesting a job.
Congrats on your new job at AppDirect! Can you tell me a bit about your role and what the company does?
AppDirect is a cloud marketplace and management service that enables companies to sell apps to their customers. It’s still a startup but it now employs almost 400 people working in Montreal and San Francisco. The Montreal office is full of senior developers. It’s great to be with people who know so much more than me. My official title is Front End Developer, but my role will likely evolve in the next few months. I’ve been trying to understand the application, finding and fixing bugs. It’s been a great experience so far, and very interesting because it’s completely different from my past career.
In the first few weeks, even up to now, I’ve had time for learning. It took me almost three days to set up my computer properly, then after that I’m slowly working on bugs and simple projects. I’m still in training, so I work alongside other developers for the most part. I work on my own but if I have questions I have people to ask.
How did DecodeMTL prepare you for finding your new job?
DecodeMTL does help graduates prep for interviews, etc., but I started job hunting right away, so I participated less in that. I believe the founder, Kevin, does follow up with everybody, and has them come in at least once a week.
Do you feel like you accomplished the goals you set when starting a coding bootcamp?
I had hoped to get a job as a developer, but I wasn’t sure how quickly that would happen. I had given myself a few months to find a new job, but this by far surpassed my expectations. When DecodeMTL finishes, most students go on to become interns for two to three months, and I completely bypassed that stage. I think my freelance experience helped out in that respect.
What does a web developer’s day to day look like?
During DecodeMTL, I actually found myself wishing that this was my day-to-day job, working on developing products with other like-minded people. And that’s what I’m doing now – I’m hunting bugs, and that’s an adventure in itself, because I don’t fully understand the code base yet, but I’m getting there. The whole culture is very, very different from teaching in a high school.
Are you using the stack/programming language you learned at DecodeMTL?
So far I’m using a lot of what I learned, but I do have to learn a few more things. Here they use mostly Backbone, so I still need to get Backbone down. They also use Java but right now, that’s beyond my scope.
What’s been the biggest challenge?
Probably accepting that I can't know everything right away and I have to take the time to learn it. I would really like to be able to just know everything, but web development is not like that, so that’s a big challenge, I have to accept it’s still a learning process, and it’s okay to not know.
It’s definitely a never-ending process of learning. I take the train to work, so I have a lot of time to watch videos, or do some reading and keep up to date.
What advice do you have for people making a career change after bootcamp?
Do it! You have to be sure that being a developer is what you want. But I should probably have done it a long time ago.
Is there anything you’d like to add about your experience at DecodeMTL?
It was a great experience, we learned a lot, and it was a lot of fun. It was mostly just fun to be with people who were all excited about those little bits of code. I guess if that excites you, then you’re in the right place!
Canadian bootcamps are working hard to develop the talent needed to keep up with Canada’s growing tech hubs. StartUp Compass ranks Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver amongst the top 20 startup ecosystems in the world. The Canadian tech economy as a whole is being fueled by thriving companies such as Shopify, Hootsuite, Kik, Wattpad, and Erkem. Their success has generated a lot of interest among investors.
“Over the past few years, Canada has seen record high numbers of angels investing in promising early stage companies across the country and as the technology sector continues to grow, it is expected that angel investing will continue to grow as well,” according to the National Angel Capital Organization 2014 Angel Investing Report. In 2014, $90.5 million was invested into 181 Canadian companies by angel investors.Continue Reading →
DecodeMTL is an 8-week Front-End Web Development program that teaches students to build beautifully crafted and well coded simple websites. With their first cohort coming up, we sat down with founder Kevin Khoury to get the scoop on who's teaching the course and the outcomes students can expect when graduating.
What were you doing before you started DecodeMTL?
I am not a technical person. Our co-founder, Ziad Saab is the technical guy. He’s been a full-stack developer for over 15 years. He’s also a great teacher and volunteers his time teaching the local “Ladies Learning Code” chapter here in Montreal.
When did DecodeMTL start? Is this your first cohort?
DecodeMTL has just begun and we are starting our first cohort in October of 2014.
Why did you decide to teach front-end development?
Front-End web development was the best place for us to start. We knew we wanted to offer a part-time course that would welcome beginners, so teaching front-end made the most sense.
The website is really clear that this class is for beginners- does this mean that someone can have absolutely no experience? Should an applicant complete Codecademy or something before applying?
Is there an interview process? What is it like?
Yes there is an interview process, but I like to refer to it more as a conversation. The goal here is to see what kind of background an applicant is coming from, what they are looking to get out of the course, if they have any coding experience, etc. We want to be sure that the applicants we select will excel in our course and come out with a positive experience. For that reason it is necessary to have a conversation with them before accepting them into the course.
Why Montreal? Tell us about the tech scene in Montreal? Is there a technical shortage? What kinds of companies are hiring?
Montreal is our hometown, and we want to give back to the growing tech community here. There absolutely is a shortage of qualified programmers. Many companies look externally to our city for good candidates, but because we are a bilingual spoken city, it is often hard to recruit externally. While our city is home to some fairly established tech companies who are always hiring, our startup scene is booming. The best place to browse startups and startup jobs in our city is here: http://builtinmtl.com/jobs.
Student spend ~4 hours/week in class- what are their obligations outside of class?
Our ideal students will be motivated tinkerers. They will naturally want to try out the new stuff that they learned outside of the class. We feel like the best way to learn new material is to practice it as much as possible. We will be giving basic exercises after each session, but they'll be suggestions and by no means obligations. Ideally, the student will spend at least 1-2 hours practicing on the days where there is no lecture.
What does class time look like? Are students doing projects or learning via lecture?
Even though the first two or three sessions will have more talking and less doing, most of the sessions will be half lecture and half workshop. We want the participants to try things on their own and break things on their own. The last week of class will be slightly different then the rest. Students will come in Monday to Friday evening and build out there own product. This week will be completely hands on with tons of collaboration between the students and instructors.
What are the expected outcomes from the front-end dev class? Would someone be able to get a job? Get a promotion at their current job?
The expected outcome of the front-end course is to put people in a position to becoming a junior front-end web developer. With hard work you should be able to land yourself an entry-level front-end development job. However, you will also be in a position to build your own simple websites (sites that do not require a backend), landing pages, portfolio site, or even create a prototype of a new product with an aim at attracting investors.
Is there an emphasis on job placement? How do you incorporate that into the curriculum?
As this is our first cohort, we are are still in the process of developing relationships with local startups and tech companies to introduce our talent pool to them. We already have the support of the local tech community in launching our course, and have several companies who have expressed interest in meeting with the talent that comes out of our course. However, at this moment we are not advertising any demo days, or meet and greets. But it is not to say it won’t happen.
What’s next for DecodeMTL? Other locations? A full-time program or different languages?
We really want to focus on this first course and make sure it’s the absolute best it can be. We want the students coming out of the course to have had a truly positive and insightful learning experience. While this course is running, we will ask the local community what they want to learn. With there feedback, we will see what the next move will be.