To apply, interested applicants should submit an online application indicating their coding knowledge and goals for after the program. Applicants will then be invited for a virtual interview and technical interview. DecodeMTL offers a free prep course to prepare for their application as those new to coding are welcome to apply.
The program is conveniently located in the heart of Montreal’s innovation district, on Notre-Dame Street in the Place Ville Marie WeWork. Students will have the opportunity to take advantage of small class sizes, a student-to-teacher ratio of 1 to 6, and job search support after graduation. DecodeMTL also offers a 6-month job guarantee – if a student does not land a new job within 6 months after graduation, tuition will be refunded.
Recent DecodeMTL News
- The New Remote Bootcamp at DecodeMTL
- Guide to Coding Bootcamps with Job Guarantees
- Am I the Right Candidate for a Coding Bootcamp?
Recent DecodeMTL Reviews: Rating 4.58
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
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When I first got the idea of doing a coding boot camp, I felt like it was a huge risk. And truthfully, it can be! I quit my perfectly fine job and enrolled in Decode because I wanted to make a fast change.
It's really crazy what you can do in just 8 weeks. If you're bored by your current job, industry, whatever - and want to make a super quick change into a computer science career, this is the program for you. If your end goal is to get a programming job ASAP, Decode is the right stack - they teach you the latest technologies in demand, unlike other boot camps in Montreal.
The boot camp is an intensive, condensed program with all the useful parts of a university computer science degree, and then some. A CS bachelor's degree to Decode's boot camp is like university to technical college.
Now, about the course itself. The first 2 weeks are the toughest, as this is when your body and mind struggle with the fact that you're probably going to be at school for 10 hours every day. It really does require full spiritual and physical commitment, but this also means that almost every person in your cohort is 100% motivated and ready to learn, so it's a really awesome environment to be in.
During my cohort, we could've used a little more academic support - a couple more TAs would've been nice. Also, I do wish that a few more technologies were covered, but we have given feedback on this subject for future cohorts. There is after-grad support in terms of job search help. And also academic assistance, if you ask for it. But ultimately, the power is in your hands so be resourceful!
It's been just under 2 weeks and I have a job offer. I'm super happy that I experienced Decode and would recommend it to anyone looking to get into software development today!
Honnestly before doing the bootcamp I wasn't sure what I should expect from it, either some more technical knowledge on my resume which would have been valuable (for a career Web- related) or enough skills / confidence / pleasure to start a new career.
That was the later. 120%.
The staff. Jacques (the main teacher) and the TA (teaching assistants) were really a great help and support navigating through all the new concept you need to learn. They are all very knowledgeable and passionate about teaching. They made several adhoc workshop based on our questions / interests (Redux / Jest / Enzyme etc). Kevin and Natasha were really helpful in the post bootcamp job search. They do their best to connect you to the right employer.
Of course it's demanding and you have to be fully dedicated to it. Not only through the courses, but also in doing the workshop at home/over the week end. As I see it, the bootcamp provides you all the tool and support to achieve what you want (aka for me was pivoting in my career), how much you get out of it depends mostly on you.
That being said one of the key takeaway from this bootcamp for me was the pleasure I had doing it. Being in a class where all the students were fully dedicated to learn, 100%, was creating a really inspiring atmsophere. Plus with all the different backgrounds, I felt and still feel we're part of a community. (I wear the Decode Tshirt at work :) )
After that, I found a job in 1 month, and had even the privilege to choose among several offers.
My biggest fear before the bootcamp was about my technical level, not being sure I would be ready enough and maybe thinking that Decode would try to fill in the class despite the basic knowledge needed. No body wants to spend X thousand $ for something not appropriate.
Trust Decode and their interview preparation process, they're looking more into your logic than in a formal lvl of technical knowledge. At the end what is important to them is what makes a difference for you - aka finding a new job because that's their selling point. No jobs - No bootcamp. If they believe you have what it takes, be confident.
Decode is the perfect fit for anyone looking to get a job as a junior web developer. Everything about the course is relevant and practical.
When it came to job applications, Kevin was outstanding in coaching me through the process. He is extremely well connected in Montreal and which is a huge advantage for decode students. I was fortunate enough to land a job a few weeks after graduating.
To make the most of your experience, I would strongly suggest you follow many of the free/paid tutorials online and build some basic applications before attending.
I had a solid experience with Decode despite having very little programming experience. The stacks that were taught are extremely relevant in my opinion. I landed a job as a Wordpress developer after graduating, and with my experience in sales and management, I feel comfortable leading a team of developers.
-Intense and gruelling; best way to learn
-Project-based (you're writing code all the time and producing original applications)
-Job placement services: it shows that Decode puts their money where their mouth is
-Not enough TA's (although this forces you to be more independent and figure things out on your own)
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.
If you've found your way here while prospecting your application to DecodeMTL - you've likely got that in common with every graduating student from the program.
Know this; you'll have an awesome supporting cast. The class I was apart of was the very first cohort with their new instructor, Jacques, who has a decorated academic and professional background in computer science. He is extremely patient throughout his lectures and isn't afraid to stop at any point to make sure no student is stuck before moving on. Jacques is most interested in drilling home the fundamentals of how you write code and the best way to approach a new project. You'll have tons of assignments to get your hands dirty and my suggestion is you practice each one of them more than once. Try writing them up in different languages, implementing different features. Unfortunately, just showing up to class won't be enough to get your money's worth with this type of endeavor. You'll need to stay late, work from home and even come in on weekends to take full of advantage of the material given to you. Luckily the TA’s are also, in my opinion, professionals within their own niche. Luke, Jordan and Nadim are all super guys who will go the extra step in helping you anyway they can. None of my questions were left unanswered and they each complemented the lectures in their own way. I found a lot of value was given from the TA's and that's something you can't get by learning online.
The space at WeWork is great, not only students surround you but small businesses as well - there is no shortage of motivation to stay late and catch up on some work. Kevin's interview process to get into the program is improving each cohort, funneling down the students most motivated to succeed. You'll be surrounded by people who want to be there and that will push you to do better. The post-camp job assistance is what I think sets this course apart. Kevin messaged me almost every day after graduating, checking in on my job hunt, giving advise on ways to go about changing my approach and offering his insight all the way up until I accepted an offer. His job isn't done once you graduate - that alone speaks volumes on his commitment to you.
If you're on the fence about the material, don't worry about it. You'll learn how to learn to code. Do some research on Montreal’s job market before applying and really convince yourself this is right for you. I landed a job using a language we weren't taught - but because my fundamental foundation was solid, it's much easier to pick up new languages once you know how to think like a programmer. With that being said, I would 100% recommend taking this course. It isn’t for everyone but if you use your resources wisely, there shouldn’t be any surprises. Don’t be afraid to message any past students on LinkedIn, or even schedule a meeting with Kevin prior to discussing your concerns, anyone would be happy to help. Good luck!
tl;dr: Decode is great. Do it.
Want to learn to code useful things? Decode is for you. Want to understand how web technologies work? Decode guides you quite far down that path. Want to specialize an a particular field or technology, well, you'll need to go beyond what Decode offers, and don't expect to come away a senior programmer. But you will come away with all of the fundamentals you'll need, a solid understanding of web technologies in general (and a deeper understanding of a several mainstream tools), and the confidence and know-how to jump in and start building anything any app you have in mind.
Decode offers excellent instruction and lots of access to resources and TA's. The classroom format offers plenty of information and theory, but also opportunities to test and challenge what you think you know, and lots of discussion so you can learn with and through your classmates. It's intense and will keep you busy, but if you put in the work, you'll definitely be able to stay on top of the fast-paced structure. The curriculm is in-depth and relevant, focusing on the trends in tech as well as some staple-tools of the industry.
I came to Decode with a prior high-level understanding of programming. I left Decode with a solid grasp of how to put that knowledge into practice. (I also found a job within a month!)
If you're on the fence about this program, my advice to you is to stop thinking about it and just do it. You won't be disappointed.
- Very caring staff: The owner, the instructor (Jacques), TAs (Luke, Nadim, Jordan) are all very attentive and helpful. They always make time for you when you're asking a question, or trying to solve a problem. They are never impatient and will sit down with you as long as they can, to make you understand the concept/problem/solution.
-good communication. decodemtl uses slack to have staff and students all communicate with each other. So even if the TA or Instructor is not present physically, you can always still reach out to them.
About the course:
-course material. Very in line with what's hot in the market. This past cohort (10), we were learning mostly React.js for front-end, but also learned Node.js and express for backend, with firebase database. We also touched on jQuery a little bit, HTML and CSS. What I would add, is perhaps learning mongoDB, since it seems to be very popular.
-level of difficulty. This depends on an individual basis. For people with prior experience in coding (even just a little), it was not at all difficult. For people with less experience, it might take some time to get used to, however, after spending the first week getting the basics down, it gets easier.
-process of learning. With 2 hour lectures, a lunch break and 4-7 hours of coursework, there's a lot of time commitment. However, spending this time to solve and work through projects with TAs on hand, has helped me a whole lot, and other students alike. When you're stuck for 30 minutes on a problem, you can just go see a TA to solve it, instead of going through hours of errors and bugs. It's very efficient in helping you learn.
projects. 3 weeks of projects. After learning the tools for the first 5 weeks, you are ready to make your own application. Time goes by really fast, and you have a lot of fun building your own application. This is great for not only your learning experience, but also lets you figure out what you like doing -front end? back end? or maybe even both. At the end, your project is showcased to an audience of employers, who want to see what you are capable of, and possibly hire you.
demo day is a great way to meet future employers and network. With the projects that you demonstrate, the employers can see your potential. I happened to get an on-site interview right there and then, which is pretty cool. Happened to get an offer the next week. For me, it moved pretty fast.
decodemtl's job prep process. Kevin is very keen on getting his students a job, and will spend time with you to fix your resume, look over your linkedin profile and cover letter. He has used his network to get us connections, which is fantastic. Also, if there are classmates who have been in the tech field, they can also help you network with the companies they know too.
This co-hort, Kevin hired professional tech interviewers to do mock interviews, which is great, as it helps people who get nervous, some practice.
The fact that they have a job guarantee within a 6 month period tells us a lot about how they are confident about the students job prospects.
DecodeMTL is situated at wework place-ville marie. Great location, as you have access to Montreal's infamous underground mall with shopping and food all around. Not only that, but wework is a great place to study, as it offers free beer and coffee, as well as fresh fruit water everyday. The environment helps students feel comfortable, with the optimal setting for success.
The people whom you will be working alongside are probably going to be likeminded, as they are spending the time, money and effort to do something out of the norm. They will be curious, and hard-working, which will motivate you as well. This isn't university, so the quality of people you will meet are the people who WANT to be there, and are making the most of their effort.
I have attended university, grad school, community night classes, and community college yet none of these 'formal' institutions have offered the level of education I received at decodeMTL. Now my whole conception of formal education and learning has been invalidated and I'll have to think about what I want to do with my future kids' education...
Note that I have approximately one year of coding experience before coming to decodeMTL (SQL, HTML/CSS, frontend JS, Java. Perl).
Let me comfort you in that I was extremely skeptical of these bootcamps as 'scams' (charging hopeless university grads in hopes of a job). I even took small workshops at other bootcamps here in Toronto to get a feel for them. Yet I eventually moved from Toronto to Montreal to attend as I felt the instructor knew his material best and the founders were invested in the long term success of their business.
Firstly, you are immersed with web development. The immersion allows one to more efficiently develop good coding habits and work habits ('being in flow').
Secondly, you learn from a professional. A real professional who could (from my estimates) easily make >$150K in the tech field. I was astounded to have him answer my questions one-on-one and teach us. What a professional mentor instills in a newbie like me are helpful tips and hints that he likely faced when he was growing as a developer. Even 2 of the TAs were fully-fledged devs that knew their stuff.
Thirdly, decodeMTL teaches up-to-date technologies so you have a competitive advantage overly formally taught CS students (who usually would know C, Java, Python) when applying to web dev jobs.
Fourth, the founders of the school spend time answering any lingering questions or concerns. For example, the cofounders spent two hours speaking with me before joining the bootcamp to see if it was a good fit (as I already had some programming experience). Another example is Kevin Khoury (the cofounder) taking advice midway through the bootcamp and implementing it the NEXT WEEK!
Fifth, they told me what I was going to learn and delivered. Sure, we didn't learn algorithm time complexity analysis or array searching (traditional CS topics). However, the adminstrators did not promise me that we would learn such things. Instead, the focus was on creating a fully-fledged web application. If you finished early, you could always ask for more material from the lead instructor.
To be fair, there are some things I still think should be improved:
- Be more punctual/professional. For instance, sometimes the class schedule would schedule a TA slot, yet he did not show up. Ironically, they would tell us to show up on time but oftentimes the TAs and instructors were late (10-15 mins).
- Don't have 'empty' days. For example, there was a Friday scheduled to teach jQuery yet the instructor simply let us on own devices to learn jQuery from the documentation. From a customer perspective, I absolutely receive no 'value-add' from this type of instruction other than having a TA-handy. There was mutual agreement amongst the students that this simply is not fair for 'bootcamp'. I am expecting professional-developer instruction when coming to a bootcamp.
- 2 of the 3 TAs were new to the bootcamp (one even strictly mentioned s/he would not TA the next term). Therefore it took sometime for them to learn how to mentor and teach newbies. I felt I couldn't get the most value from them in the early weeks.
Overall, I really miss the bootcamp hence why I chose to write this review. I probably sped my learning rate by a factor of 3 compared to when I am learning off documentation/youtube videos. Note I stated a 'factor of 3'. Namely, I want to point out that the engine for learning is mostly the student's effort. I would see students leave at 4 and others fight to be the last one out of the office. Needless-to-say, there was a clear correlation between the above students' diligence/effort and their learning (IMO). Don't expect to put in zero effort and learn enough to land a decent job (3 multiplied by zero is still zero).
NB: The bootcamp is now $8000 (as of Sept 27 2017) which may decrease the 'bang-for-buck' ratio.
Cheers to the founders for making this bootcamp! Let me know if you ever release an advanced web development bootcamp or data science course!
As the title says, truly think hard about this decision before you make it. I would only recomend this bootcamp to those who are in desperate need of a career change. It will give you the tools to get the bare minimum done and it will teach you how to learn on your own once you're out. However, if you are not desperate, do NOT go through with it. Also, remember that this is just my exerience for the most part. I have gotten feedback, before writting this, from two other attendies so keep that in mind as well.
Thougout the bootcamp, the gap between the stronger and weaker students will just get wider and wider as the course is so fast-paced. There is no sort of assesment on the students whatsoever. I spoke to a guy from the bootcamp who put in a tremendous amount of effort each and every day, all to no avail. He was at the building till at lest 7:30 - 8pm every day. I won't say any names but we had spoked over lunch and he told me that he was considering quitting. I convinced him not to, but I personally feel that this situation was caused by the lack of support from the teachers. He had spoken to Ziad, the head teacher, about how he was having trouble and Ziad's responce was that he would interview students one on one for about 15-30 minutes (not sure exactly how long) to see where everone was at. Needless to say, that did not happen. That left the impression to me that he didn't really care where everyone was at. Finally, as you've probably read on some of the other reviews, Ziad does indeed tend to favorite the stronger students over the less strong ones. It's extremely evident.
I, and a good amount of the camp, learnt the most during the last two weeks of the bootcamp when we were seperated in groups to create a big project to present at demo day. Though highly stressful, I would say that was definitely the highlight of the whole bootcamp experience. I believe that this was the case because, as students, were all able to bounce off of each other. By doing that, not only were we learning our selves, but by explaning to the others, we had to have a better understanding of what we were talking about which I really appreciated.
As for the job process, I chose to skip out on it. I had attended only about 3 classes after the bootcamp and for that reason, take this with a grain of salt. I don't belive that the job process is all that good. Essentially, I was given a resume to copy and was told to continue coding and hustle to get job offers. Obviously I didn't stick around to long so I maybe missed out on a few things, but I don't regret that. One thing I will say is that they offer mock interviews which is neat. At the end of the day though, most of these are all just little things that you can do yourself.
Overall, the bootcamp is not something that I regret and my experience wasn't horrible, but it could have been something much greater. You're pretty much on your own, but you have the comfort in working in a room with like-minded people. The bottom line is: are you someone who is either in need of a new career badly or needs guidance to learn? If so consider it. If not, don't bother. Start your own projects at home and you'll get to the same place. I am not trying to speaking badly of them, I just wanted to be as brutally honest as possible to help the individuals who are still deciding.
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.
Our latest on DecodeMTL
What inspired you to start DecodeMTL?
At the time we started Decode, there was nothing like it in Montreal. We were two partners with a very complementary skill set – I was on the business side and Ziad on the technical side. Ziad was teaching me and a few others some basic coding skills in the evenings. More and more people wanted to join in, and eventually it turned into a full-fledged coding bootcamp. Ziad always had a very strong passion for mentoring, and I have a strong passion for creating. Combined, our passions have created something we are extremely proud of. To this day, our driving factor is hearing another happy student tell us about their new jobs. We have a little bit more about DecodeMTL and our history on our website.
Why did DecodeMTL decide to introduce a remote online program?
It’s quite simple: people were asking for it. Montreal is the largest city in Quebec, but the province itself is huge. About 80% of the population does not live in Montreal. Relocation costs or traveling can be time-consuming and expensive. Bringing the experience directly to our remote students would allow those who otherwise could not take our course to enroll.
The remote program is not just limited to Quebec though, it’s available globally. We feel that our bootcamp is extremely competitive on a global level, as the value of the Canadian dollar is relatively cheap compared to the US dollar or Euro. So being able to take advantage of this without relocating is quite beneficial.
There are a lot of flexible, part-time online bootcamps – why do you think full-time better for students?
One option is not necessarily better than the other. It depends on your learning style, the time you can commit, and your ultimate goal. Our focus is on people looking to enter the job market as a web or software developer. We also cater to an audience that has been doing some self-learning for a few months prior, or already has the basics down, and they know 100% that they want a career switch. When you have that level of commitment, a full-time intensive bootcamp such as ours is their fastest option into a new job.
Is this synchronous learning? Are all students required to be online at the same time?
Yes, this is a synchronous bootcamp. It’s an intensive, full-time bootcamp. Our students should know that we require them to be online from 10am - 9pm almost every day. Our teachers and the other students are all online, and we are connected via video chat the entire day.
Will the learning style mimic an in-person bootcamp? What does the online learning platform look like?
The learning style does mimic an in-person bootcamp. As I mentioned previously it is a synchronous program and everyone is required to be online at the same time. Typically, we will do a lecture in the morning, which is live-streamed by the teacher to all the remote students. Much like in our live classroom, remote students may ask questions on the spot, answer questions, and have discussions with the other students and teacher all in real time. Our class size is small, so it’s pretty intimate and after the first week, people really start to get to know each other. Our afternoons and evenings are more project-based. We will keep a Zoom chat open with all the remote students and teaching assistants. Everyone will be muted, and whenever you have an issue or question you can summon a teaching assistant, or ask it out loud to the whole group. It’s literally the closest thing to being in a physical classroom as possible.
Our online learning platform is quite simple. We use a combination of GitHub for assignments and code samples, Slack for most communication, and Zoom for video chat.
How often does your team update or iterate on the curriculum and what is the process for that?
Every cohort sees an update to the curriculum. To date, there has not been one cohort where the curriculum did not change in one way or another. The last change we made was to condense the HTML/CSS portion of the course (and require more prior knowledge of this before acceptance) and replace it with a 5 day Full-Stack project, done as a team. This is the first of two major full-stack projects that our students will build.
How do you train instructors to teach a brand new curriculum or updates to the curriculum?
Our instructors, like all good developers, are continuous learners. They are constantly taking courses, reading books, and tinkering with new tech. As a team, they take full ownership of the curriculum, and by doing so, teaching comes very naturally to them. They are teaching things they know, and things they are passionate about.
How many instructors teach the Remote students, and what will the instructor: student ratio be? How will students and instructors communicate, and how often?
We have 1 lead instructor who teaches the main curriculum from start to finish. We then have 3-4 teaching assistants who help with the project work. We have a 1:10 or less teacher/student ratio.
They will communicate via Slack and Zoom on a daily basis. We are connected face-to-face all day, 5 days a week. There is really no room for slacking. We want to ensure our remote students benefit from the same level of intensity as our in-person class, so we stay connected all the time.
Tell me about the ideal students for the new remote program. Are you looking for students with programming experience or a certain background?
Our program is really designed for career switchers. At a minimum, you should know that you want to be a developer, and ideally, you’ve done or experienced coding. For remote students, we do need people who are a bit more autonomous than the in-person course. You need to be comfortable sitting in your home office 8+ hours a day, grinding away. Typically gamers, online poker players, or people who have previous remote experience know what this is like. As long as you come in with the right mindset, create yourself a quiet workspace at home where you won’t be distracted, you will be fine.
What can applicants expect from the admissions process?
Do you have assessments or a way to track how students are progressing through the remote program?
Currently, we do not have assessments. We can measure a student's progress with the quality of their coursework and are able to accurately pinpoint the students progressing slower or faster than average.
Within the first two weeks, if students have fallen too far behind we will give them the option to drop-out and rejoin another cohort. Repeating individual modules is not currently possible.
Would you recommend taking a pre-course before the remote bootcamp? What would you suggest?
Other than our study guide (www.bootcampprep.co), we have a handful of recommendations for students to improve pre-bootcamp. Some of our favorites are:
How will career services work for the new remote curriculum? Do you expect students will get the same types of jobs that your former course grads we're getting?
Career services are done in a similar fashion to the in-person course. Currently, once the bootcamp is over (week 9) we are giving talks on LinkedIn, resumes, cover letters, as well as conducting mock-interviews all via Zoom. We then start scheduling 1-1 meetings with each student to review all of their work and give them tips/advice on the job search. We also work on any issues they may encounter. We are currently integrating some of these lectures sooner into our curriculum during the bootcamp as well. A full article post about our career services can be found on our official blog.
Tell us why DecodeMTL has decided to introduce a 6-month job guarantee.
Too many people are scared to take the leap on a bootcamp. From an outsider's perspective, for-profit education has always seemed somewhat scammy and more of a cash grab than anything. We know our program works and is life-changing. We don’t want people to feel afraid that they won’t get a job – take the leap. If someone sincerely puts in the effort and is not employable after going through our course, then we didn’t deliver on our promise and they deserve to be refunded. Currently, the job-guarantee is in place for in-person students, but we are hoping to get it going for remote students in the near future. In all honesty though, pretty much everyone gets a job :)
Have you spoken with employers? Are they excited/nervous to hire students who have learned online?
Our employers have yet to care about where/how someone learned to code. Their priorities remain on finding awesome people who have great programming skills and are a good culture fit for the company.
What is your advice for students embarking on a new online program? Any tips for getting the most out of it, especially if they are trying to change their careers?
Sure! I think one of the most important things about the remote program is ensuring you have a comfortable setup at home or another workspace nearby which you will be using. Ensuring your family/friends understand that just because you are home doesn’t mean you are free to do whatever, will also go a long way. You do not need and/or want distractions during the course.
Secondly, abuse the resources at your disposal. Our teachers and teaching assistants are here for you. You need to ask them questions and learn from them as much as possible. Be curious, ask about their experiences on the job, ask about how you can go above and beyond as a student, and aim to do more than just the bare minimum. This is what will make you stronger at the end of the day.
Any other information you would like to share about DecodeMTL’s new remote curriculum?
Yes. There are a few other fun features with our remote program. We host alumni panels where past students and current students will join a video chat and they will talk about their experience. They share what made them successful, as well as any tips/tricks. We choose alumni who have gone through the remote program as well.
We also do a lot of presentations on Friday afternoons where we will show off any fun projects we built during the week. We usually get the in-person bootcamp involved so that you can demo your project on the big screen to the full-classroom. We find putting a little bit of pressure on by telling people they will be presenting, gets them to put together something a bit more polished.
We also do a lot of remote group work where we break out into groups of 2-3 when working on projects. At any point, you can ping a teaching assistant when you are stuck, and they will join your chat. We use cloud9, which allows for easy pair programming.
In conclusion, our remote program is a unique experience but provides the same outcomes as an in-person bootcamp. Students interested in enrolling should check out our remote bootcamp page. Our upcoming course starts on October 2nd, and then January 8th.
So you want to land a job after coding bootcamp? The statistics are on your side – 73% of bootcampers report being employed as developers after graduation. But did you know that many coding bootcamps go one step further and offer a job guarantee? We’ve put together a list of in-person and online coding bootcamps in the USA and around the world which offer guaranteed job placement. And don’t get caught off guard by the details – we’ve also included specifics about job guarantee tuition refunds, conditions, and tips to help you work out if a job guarantee coding bootcamp is right for you.Continue Reading →
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 Genome ranks 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.
In 2016, $157 million was invested into 418 Canadian companies by angel investors, according to the National Angel Capital Organization 2016 Angel Investing Report.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.