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?
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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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.