devCodeCamp delivers a choice of programs focused on relevant skills and technologies needed in Software Development in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The full-time, full-stack 12-week Software Development program focuses on C# and .Net. The program also covers the fundamentals of computer science and software engineering so there is no need to go it alone online before the program starts.
From day one, students are taught how to think like software engineers, working on real-world projects in a collaborative environment. The devCodeCamp instructional team brings knowledge and passion as well as patience and empathy. The curriculum was designed with the demands of the market at the forefront, yet their core philosophy is to teach software concepts transferable to any programming language. Both programs also cover job seeking strategies, personal branding, resume and interview workshops.
devCodeCamp's locations were constructed to replicate real-world software development firms in downtown Milwaukee in the Ward4 Startup Hub.
Recent devCodeCamp Reviews: Rating 4.71
Recent devCodeCamp News
- September 2017 Coding Bootcamp News + Podcast
- September Coding Bootcamp News Roundup
- August Coding Bootcamp News Roundup
In PersonPart Time50 Hours/week14 Weeks
What does it mean to be a software developer? At devCodeCamp, we believe it means you dream big, want to solve problems, and think creatively. Here, we walk you though the entire process of making applications that people can use every day. This not only includes the functionality of the software, but how do you write it in a flexible, robust way so that your code may even outlive you. To dive into software development on your own can be overwhelming. There seem to be countless libraries, frameworks, and programming languages out there. Beginners get lost in big words, complicated problems, and the slew of technologies used to bring ideas to reality. We, at devCodeCamp, simplify the process for you with an easy to understand curriculum and personal lectures and projects. Learn more: http://devcodecamp.com/software-development-bootcamp/ From the start, you will dive into programming languages and tools used by major corporations and tech companies. Our projects harness the fun of coding along with the challenges commonly faced by software developers. Good software development stems from good software design, and we take full advantage of that aspect to make learning as entertaining and enticing as possible. After all we want you to love learning and spending time in our coding community.
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- Skills FundClimb CreditForever GI Bill
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
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I checked out devCodeCamp a while ago and was skeptical at first. I saw some reviews that turned me away. My friend decided to sign up to later in the year and showed me what he was working on. I was amazed to say the least. I had two classes under my belt; languages not taught at the camp, and was still hazy on actual programming and software development.
I signed up and was blown away at the help the instructors gave, how they taught, and how the curriculum was laid out to give us the foundation and stack on it. You really don't need any experience before coming here, but you do have to work hard. I am glad I signed up, now I can deliver quality software and begin my journey as a software engineer.
Well, to be honest, I was really scared to start with this. Knowing that it is a fast paced learning environment and would have to leave my job and invest my savings into it and me personally have never studied in any American institution before this(I am from India), I was risking everything. But now I am glad that I took the right decision as the knowledge that I have now would not have been possible without devCodeCamp.
The team of Instructors led by Mike, is a really awesome team. Not only they helped me with my questions but also encouraged me, and brought me back up whenever I would feel little low. Environment in the camp is positive and each of the instructors are available anytime of the day to help you.
devCodeCamp teaching philosophy is learning by doing, and that's exactly what one would get. I got real hands on experience on coding in industry standard projects. Overall, it is worth your money as it would not only teach us the technologies but also prepare for the future.
I came to devCodeCamp (dCC) with vary minimal experience with code, only having dabbled with it. That experience got me through the first couple of days before I found myself being challenged and given new things I've never been shown before. Overall dCC was a huge game changer for me and my life. I went from driving a forklift in a warehouse to being a knowledgeable job-ready developer in just three months.
The course itself was challenging but very rewarding. One of the most important skills they will teach you is the ability to learn. You are given a lot of information very quickly and then given hands on projects to work on to apply what you just learned. When you run into issues or have extra questions, the instructors are always there to help guide you in the right direction. You are their first priority. However, you are still responsible for doing research on your own and this becomes a more apparent as you continue the course. The curriculum is always being updated and modified to match what is currently in demand, so you will always be learning relevant technologies, design patterns/principles, and skills.
When it comes to post-graduation, they keep in contact very will. As a graduate you are always welcome to come back to dCC anytime you would like and talk to the instructors or use the space to work. dCC can not guarantee you a job and they will tell you that up front. However, they will help you every step of the way to your first developer position. They help with resume building and writting. They will give you resources to help look for job, and help guide you through what the process will look like. You can even schedule mock interviews with the instructors to practice for upcoming interviews you may have. dCC partners with a wide variety of companies, and will help give you an inside scoop on certain avalible positions or let you present your final project. Even when they help get you in contact with certain companies, it is still up to you to follow through and land those positions.
If you are thinking about going to devCodeCamp or are worried that it might not be for you, I would highly recommend scheduling a tour and at least seeing what they have to offer, because dCC can be life changing.
There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of what you read online... truth is, you never really know until you try it for yourself.
For me, it was the chance I was looking for and the structure was exactly what I needed. The instructors are there to help you get going, point you in the right direction, and guide you when you get stuck, but they are not going to give you the answers and they won't do the work for you. If you are looking for hand holding, this won't be the right fit. You have to put in the work, and you have to be willing to fail.
The course work is fairly fast-paced, but for someone with no coding experience, it wasn't too much to handle. I certainly wasn't the top of my class, but with effort and time, I was able to learn and became a Junior Software Developer. At the end of the program, I was put in touch with contacts at many companies around the area and got a great jump start to landing the perfect job for me.
Yes, I would recommend the program, but I'm just a random person on the internet. Take a tour, talk to the current students and recent grads who are there, ask the instructors what to expect, then ask yourself if you're ready to get to work.
Did you get a job? I waited to write a review for the course until I got hired but now, I am so here it is:
I started out as everyone else, skeptical, and unsure about the amount of money to be spent. I can now say in certainty it was all worth and a small price to pay to launch myself in such a lucrative new career. I landed a job as a Full Stack Developer within less than one month of graduating! Full time salary work with the job title I was shooting for. Not only did I get hired so quick, there were multiple opportunities for interviews and potential places of employment.
What is it like?
The course it tough, fast paced, but all graspable. You have top notch instructors that really do enjoy teaching you. As time goes on you see yourself as part of the whole devCodeCamp system and not just as a student. You build relationships with your classmates and build actual interesting projects. Also, the environment at their Milwaukee location is awesome. Perfect atmosphere for working and a short walk to the Milwaukee Public Market for lunch.
What do you learn?
They bring in speakers of successful past graduates as well as employees or employers. You may get the opportunity to present your projects to multiple real companies in person. You get Paul, which is a real incentive on its own, because he is someone who looks out for your back and helps get those interviews and job leads.
So, should I?
Honestly, if you are smart, driven, and passionate (I know cliché) then yes. If you like puzzles and have an analytical/logical mind, then it will be perfect career move for you. It’s true, the salary you will get from your first job could pay for the course within a year (obviously depending you other expenses).
Work extra hard, do the absolute best you can do, help everyone around you and/or ask for help when needed, do as much extra credit projects and/or personal projects as you can.
What kind of thinker are you? How hard can you push yourself to grow when there is immense pressure mountained against you? You need to ask yourself these quesitons and answer honsetly if you're considering attending devCodeCamp.
For myself, it worked out quite well. I sit, writing this in my sleek, downtown office, sipping free cold brew during a break from coding some node.js. Now that it's been 4+ months since I've graduated from the Software Engineering bootcamp at devCodeCamp, I can give an honest assessment of devCodeCamp and the tools and opportunities that I have gained as a result of completing the program.
Let me tell you about where I was when I first considered attending devCodeCamp. At the time, my twin boys were 1 and a half years old, I wasn't making enough money managing a coffee shop, and I felt that I was not utilizing the talent for problem solving that I new I had. While it would've been impossible to stop working to attend the 3 month, full time development program, I luckily was able to enroll in the part time program, which met 3 nights a week and several Saturdays for 6 months.
So, about my actual experience at devCodeCamp... First, the campus is very cool. Its got the feel of a hip startup - exposes brick in the classroom, rows of monitors on every tabke, some pretty weird artwork on the walls, lots of young people eager to build something new - it feels good to be in the space. Located in the Pritzlaff building of Milwaukee's 4th ward, its a really slick location.
Second, there are some outstanding instructors there. One of the challenges with the PM part-time program was that its hard to staff a good developer as a part-time, evening instructor, and that is why I believe they no longer offer the Part Time Software Development course. I had a few different instructors as a result of this, which would've been a big challenge if it weren't for the daytime instructors being as supporting as they are. I know the daytime instructors well, and they are all outstanding. They're super positive and knowledgeable, but most importantly, they aren't going to spoon-feed you the answers. They are going to make you work through the problem, and that is truly the best way to learn.
Now that I am in a new position working primarily with node.js, I think I would advise devCodeCamp to consider shifting away from ASP.NET and using more of a node/React stack in the future. Node.js has become such a massively popular development language and there is such demand for node.js developers. Regardless, languages themselves are less important that the actual problem solving skills you receive from the cours.
Lastly, job assistance was fantastic. I was incredibly anxious when I graduated as I was stepping out into the unkown. Technical interviews are terrifying, but they do practice interviews/whiteboard challenges at the end of the course, so I felt decently prepared. More importantly, I participated in a "demo day" where I was able to showcase my capstone project for a company. They were interested in interviewing me after, but it was already after I had completed another interview (set up via devCodeCamp) for Northwestern Mutual. I got the position at NM less than 4 weeks after graduation.
You may have read that bootcamp grads struggle mightily in their first IT positions. I can say with certainly, than anyone in their first IT position will have to stay on their toes, because there is SOOO much to learn as a developer. the curve is massive. Now that I've been in this position for 3 months, I've become confident in my abilities, but eager to learn more. Experienced developers know that newcomers have so much to learn. If you can succeed at devCodeCamp you can be a highly successful developer.
The key is knowing yourself well enough to know if software development is right for you. This is a HUGE investment; one that I'll be paying off four 4+ more years. I've seen people fail - people who probably should've quit when they fell behind. Ultimately, be honest with yourself - if you're don't like algorithms, puzzles, logic, this isn't right for you- however, if you're like me, and can sit and problem solve for hours on end, and you have the mental toughness to grind through the pressure and stress of building something in a very short period of time, than this can be the game changer that you're looking for. devCodeCamp didn't chage my life - I changed my life and devCodeCamp provided the tools for me to do so.
Prior to devCodeCamp, I was working as a software tester. Working in tech gave me an understanding of the development process, but I did not know how to code. I started looking into devCodeCamp not knowing exactly where I wanted to go with code, but just knowing I wanted to learn more about why the things I tested worked the way they worked. Four months later and I have zero regrets. I can only think of positive things to write in this review, so that is what I will do.
When deciding whether or not I should go to devCode, Paul answered all of my questions. He was super helpful and informative and had me talk to several people, including instructors and current students. I felt like I had all of the information I needed to decide whether or not devCodeCamp was right for me. When the first day came, I was still a little bit worried that I had made a bad decision to drop everything to do this, but after about three days I was hooked and not looking back.
The instructors at devCodeCamp are all super enthusiastic, excited about code, and excited to teach you code. They all know that the world of programming is constantly evolving and are constantly learning new things to teach others and keep up-to-date. They are ready to drop everything to help you solve a problem, but they know just how much they should help and when they should stop helping and make you figure things out on your own. The class is very project-based, which means you spend most of the time working through problems and learning from doing and for me, just the right amount of time listening to lectures.
I think the best thing that came from devCode for me was the approach to solving problems. Once I learned a few things and worked through a few problems, coding started to come easier and it started to feel like I could learn anything. Several students will go through devCodeCamp having learned extra languages and/or frameworks that devCodeCamp doesn't explicitly teach, just because of the great environment they are in and the encouraging and excited people they are around. It makes you want to keep learning and creating things. This was the first time I actually really enjoyed school and felt like I walked away with knowledge I was going to use. As the weeks went by (very quickly) I was more and more excited to become a developer.
Once we graduated, the instructors were extremely helpful with our resumes and interview prep. Paul and Geoff were awesome in connecting us with potential employers. I ended up accepting the job that I wanted the most, about a month after graduating. I have devCodeCamp and the great people there to thank for that. devCode is doing amazing things and if you are looking for a bigger challenge in your career, I would highly recommend it. You don't need to know how to code to start (I didn't), you just need to be excited to learn.
This bootcamp was a great way to learn how to start coding in a few different types of coding languages. It was fast paced, but it helps you prepare for the real world when you have a career in the web development world. It was very project based which helped a lot. The projects helped you learn how the certain type of coding language works. There were group projects and this helped you learn how to code a project as a team. The group projects helped you learn to work as a team. After you complete the 12 weeks, they help you find a job which is a great aspect. Overall, this coding bootcamp was worth it.
I was lucky that a friend connected me to devCode when I was looking for a career change. From my first visit, the staff were honest about the expectations of students; they told me it was going to be challenging work. I came into the course with a mindset that I would need to dedicate myself to the work. Throughout the process, I was given the challenging work I was promised. I was able to do the work because of the instructors that are literally available day and night to help when you get stuck. Students have constant access to qualified instructors (who love what they do) during the day, and then are able to use Slack to connect with them after hours. One of the best parts of this camp is the director of curriculum. As a former teacher, I know good instruction when I see it. He uses best practices consistently in his planning. Everything is organized, the lectures do not shy away from giving the theory behind concepts, and the projects are carefully planned. In addition, I received quick and beneficial feedback on every project I completed. With this skill set and having proved that I can create fully functioning web applications in just 3 months, I feel confident going into my first career. I should add, there are excellent career services for grads. There is a full time former recruiter who knows the hiring landscape incredibly well. If you go to this school, you will have a team of people helping you to find your first job and beyond. If you’ve been looking for a bootcamp, I can’t imagine a better place to start a new career.
Ten years ago, after graduating high school, I started attending college for computer programming. I completed some courses, but life moved me in a different direction. Fast forward to June 2018, I decided to make a move back toward my goal of being a programmer. I have a friend who had gone through devCodeCamp and had landed an incredible job shortly after graduation, so I decided to also attend.
I’m not going to sugar-coat anything. The program is incredibly challenging. It is a fast-paced, full-time course where the goal is to go from zero experience to being ready for a real junior software developer job in 12 weeks. The course is built around solving real-world business problems the same way you would on the job. Google and Microsoft documentation will become your best friend! The instructors are always there to answer questions if you need help, but it is always expected that you try your best attempt at solving the problem, then if you cannot find the answer, the instructors will help guide you.
As well as being challenging, it is even more rewarding! I learned more in my first week at devCodeCamp than I had learned in my entire coding experience before I attended, including my time in college. Their method of teaching truly works for learning quickly and effectively without focusing on things that aren’t applicable to a development job. The instructors are top notch and Paul (recruiter and job-search-guru) is always there for help with anything regarding your resume or job search questions. They are always working tirelessly to make sure that students are getting the best education and career advice they can!
To wrap up, my opinion is: if you are willing to put in the work and dedication it takes to become a software developer, this program is a GREAT start to a future career in coding! It really is a ton of fun in the process and it really does work!
This is a great program that literally takes you from knowing nothing about coding to being able to hold down a (well-paying) job in a very short amount of time. What more is there to say?? The instructors are nice, the atmosphere is relaxing, and the hours are good.
I went from working on the weekends as a janitor to being employed as a test engineer. I spent 3 months learning coding at devCodeCamp, and about 3 months after graduation I had a job. It's a happenin' field that is only going up, so I'd suggest hopping on the bandwagon!
A word of caution, though--it's not for everyone. Not everyone is willing to give their all, be frustrated continuously (it's part of the learning process), and not quit. Make sure you want to do all of these things, and you will succeed!
I can honestly say that going here was a blast. I looked forward to Mondays so I could go start another week at devCodeCamp. :)
Up to you!
devCodeCamp has a great team of instructors that are very passionate about coding. I still can’t believe how much I learned from this program in such a short period of time. Before devCodeCamp I took a couple of computer science courses at UW-Milwaukee. Everything I learned between those almost 40 weeks was eclipsed after our first lecture day. The curriculum at devCodeCamp focuses on how to actually create something useful without spending so much time on theory. Being a 12 week course, It is fast paced; If you have zero experience expect to be putting in over 50 hours a week.
I will forever be grateful to devCodeCamp. What started out feeling like a leap of faith, turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Before devCodeCamp, I had a four-year degree in a totally unrelated area, and overtime I began feeling trapped in that field. I had absolutely zero coding experience, but knew I needed a change. After taking a tour of devCodeCamp and meeting with Paul and other very passionate and driven individuals, I knew this was where I needed and wanted to be.
devCodeCamp is the real deal—it’s intense, it’s fast-paced, and to be honest, it’s mentally and emotionally draining at times. But that’s because it works. Nothing of value comes easy. You have to want it and work for it, but you’re also not left to fend for yourself. The instructors are some of the most impressive, intelligent, and kind people I’ve ever worked with. They want you to succeed and are there to support you every step of the way, all the way through to employment.
Quite frankly I got way more out of devCodeCamp in 12-weeks than I did attending a four-year university. You jump right in and get hands-on immediately. I came in with zero, I mean zero, coding experience, but I’m leaving confident and excited to apply my skills in the field. The learning doesn’t stop after devCodeCamp, but that’s the beauty of it all—you develop the tools for lifelong problem-solving and creating. If you’re curious and looking for something more, I urge you to checkout devCodeCamp. It may be the first step in changing your life!
Attending devCodeCamp was the best decision to help me reach my goals. As a graduate from a 4-year university looking to change careers, I was struggling to learn programming languages on my own. After hearing about devCodeCamp from my friends, I was initially skeptical due to my belief in the traditional school system. However, my first week in the program taught me that devCodeCamp is a legitimate organization that strives to bring their students success. The staff proved to be extremely knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile.
The course can wear on you, as it is an intense 12-week program that constantly presents new information and challenges. However, the students and staff are incredibly supportive. Staff members are available 24/7 and are open to giving extra tutoring sessions if students are struggling on certain topics.
The job assistance is outstanding. The staff helps you build a resume, write cover letters, offer additional interview practices, and even sets up presentations/interviews with businesses. They're with you every step of the way.
Ultimately, devCodeCamp gave me the tools I needed to land a job at my dream company. I highly recommend devCodeCamp for those that are willing to put everything they have towards entering the field of software development.
Instructors are friendly and helpful, willing to help you with any problems. It's a big commitment as they tell because they call it a bootcamp for a reason. Having some some basic programming experience beforehand helped make the first couple weeks easier but there is always extra things to learn and practice that they will give to you if you finish early. You spend most of your time working on projects and less sitting in lectures. After graduating I feel confident continuing to learn as the program teaches you to problem solve and you get used to picking things up quickly and doing something cool with it. If software development is what you want to do and you are willing to put in hard work then I highly recommend the program.
I had no programming experience but wanted a career change, so I looked into software development. I spoke to Paul at DevCodeCamp and it was a sombering conversation. He stressed that this is a boot camp and you really have to work hard at it to succeed, Looking back at the course now that I've finished it, Paul was absolutely right. At 50 hrs/week for 12 weeks, you're putting in as much time as 2 yrs in college! The curriculum is fast paced, but the instructors are always there to encourage and help you. As an estimate, the course consists of about 20% lectures and 80% individual and group projects. It took me a while to get used to the non-traditional nature of the program. Given the limited amount of time to cover so many subjects, it might be the best way or only way. You'll learn by doing and researching on your own, with the help from very knowledgeable instructors. When I first applied to DevCodeCamp, the program director Paul T. told me that in this course, they're teaching me how to learn. I didn't quite get that. Now I do. I recommend this bootcamp for those who want to get into rapidly growing field with high job demand, but you really have to want it and work hard because it'll be one of the toughest 12 weeks of your life.
I tell everyone that it is tough and designed to be that way. I also tell everyone that it is worth it. The instructors know their stuff, the course is centered around actual projects that give you something you can show off and you come out of it with functional knowledge of coding and web development.
Our latest on devCodeCamp
Need a rundown of everything that happened in the coding bootcamp industry this September? You’re in luck! We’ve collected all the most important news in this blog post and podcast. This month, we kept up with the status of the bootcamp industry, learned about how bootcamps are thriving in smaller markets, and explored different ways to pay for bootcamp. Plus, we added 7 new schools from around the world to the Course Report school directory! Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.Continue Reading →
Welcome to the September News Roundup, your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the bootcamp space. Do you want something considered for the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!
This Week on Course Report:
- Should you learn web or mobile development first? We dive into this question with advice from Atlanta's DigitalCrafts code school!
- Have you tried Thinkful's Workshops? Grae, the Head of Education at Thinkful, gives us the scoop on their newest offering for bootcamp grads and working engineers.
- Mechanical-Engineer-turned-Web-Developer Kacy Ebel talks about her career change and her experience at We Can Code It's women-only bootcamp.
Aquisitions, Fundraises & Regulation
- General Assembly announced their $70MM Series D. This reporter thinks about what the fundraise could mean for their London campus.
- Hack Reactor acquired Chicago-based Mobile Makers Academy, adding iOS to their offerings. They also announced "Hack Reactor Core," the umbrella under which each school will operate autonomously.
- Inside Higher Ed reported on General Assembly's journey through regulation and expansion. Education Dive provides a nice, brief summary of the article.
- The Huffington Post reported on a letter from Jeremy Shaki and Khurram Virani (Founders of Lighthouse Labs) to parliament on code literacy, outcome-based education, and Canadian innovation through technology.
New Campuses + Courses:
- Dev Bootcamp announced they will open doors in San Diego this November.
- Montana Code School's first cohort started class September 28. (Listen to Montana Public Radio's story on the bootcamp).
- ThoughtKite will teach their first Toronto iOS bootcamp in October.
- Code Fellows has overhauled and reorganized their courses (bye bye Dev Accelerators, hello Code 401!)
- Applications for Code Platoon, a Chicago bootcamp geared towards veterans, are now open.
- Global News Canada writes about Toronto's Bitmaker Labs.
- Fortune Magazine explores women in Coding Bootcamps.
- FCW finds that coding bootcamps are 'Very empowering, very transformational.'
- A LinkedIn researcher blogged about the types of jobs reported by bootcampers on the networking site.
- Delaware Online looks back on ZipCode Wilmington's first bootcamp cohort.
- Built in Chicago: How Designation is bringing the bootcamp model to design.
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee computer coding school expands as employers show interest.
- The Street: Future Code Monkeys May Skip College and Head to Boot Camp
Have a great October!
Welcome to the August News Roundup, your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the bootcamp space. Do you want something considered for the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!Continue Reading →
Erik had a degree in Aviation and an MBA when he decided to change careers. He had enough experince with traditional education to know he didn’t want another 4-year degree, so Erik researched coding bootcamps in Milwaukee, and enrolled at DevCodeCamp. We chat with Erik about the “sub-level program” during DevCodeCamp’s application process, the AngularJS project (called ThisIsPrettyNeat, which is actually pretty neat) he created, and going on interviews for his first job as a developer.
What you were doing before you started at Dev Code Camp?
I have a Bachelor of Science in Aviation. Before joining DevCodeCamp, I was a corporate pilot for a small company based out of Naperville, Illinois.
What motivated you change careers?
After spending seven years in the aviation field, this past January I decided to make a career change into software development and computer programming. The development field has always interested me and I found myself exploring it further. I loved what I saw! I made the change to foster this love, and, also, to "future-proof" my life. Software development is the future and I want to be right with it!
When and why did you start doing research about coding bootcamps?
I started my education research this past January.
Since I already have a college degree, I did not want to go back to a 4-year school for Computer Science because I knew I would need to retake the same general education requirements I had during my undergrad. With cost-of-education being an issue, I decided the traditional route was not a viable option as I would have to pay for education I already had.
I read an article on LifeHacker.com about three different education paths I could take to get into the development field: through a traditional 4-year educational program, through self-study, and through a bootcamp. After exploring all three options, I decided that a coding bootcamp sounded like the best fit for me; especially since I already had a Bachelors and Masters degree.
With a traditional 3-credit college course, a student spends, roughly, three hours in that class each week. By those same standards, in one day at DevCodeCamp, we cover about three weeks of that course’s material. After 12 weeks, I completed 4 years of Computer Science courses. This intense immersion is what I was looking for.
Were you in Illinois when you started researching boot camps?
I found out about DevCodeCamp when I moved back to Wisconsin. Prior to that, I was researching coding bootcamps in the Chicago-area. One focused on iOS and app development and the other was a front-end development boot camp. But, since I had already moved to Wisconsin, when I found out I could attend a bootcamp close to home at DevCodeCamp, I felt it was a good opportunity.
What was your technical experience like? Did you ever take a computer science class in your undergrad?
Coming in to devCodeCamp, I had very limited technical experience. I took a Computer Science class in high school, but it only taught me how computers physically work.
After college, I took some courses on Codecademy, which were very informative, but I found some material to be slightly outdated. Plus, when I had questions about the topics, I did not have someone to ask.
Do you have specific career goals when you graduate or are you keeping your options open?
With regards to a career, I just want to develop...and know I will be happy anywhere I can do that! As for my interests, I’m personally drawn to the front-end. I love design and making products look great. I’m also very interested in mobile app development. That being said, I’ve challenged myself, a lot, to work on the back-end because I understand being a full-stack developer is crucial to getting a good job. It is also crucial to allowing myself to develop as a developer and becoming the best I can be.
DevCodeCamp teaches web development, right? Or are you learning iOS as well?
This course predominantly focuses on back-end development...especially C#.Net. That is what employers are looking for in the Milwaukee area, which is why devCodeCamp chose it as a focal point rather than Java or C++ or another language.
As for other languages, our instructors encouraged us to dive into any we were interested in. After learning core development concepts, I found picking up new languages in this immersive environment became much easier.
Tell us about the application process at DevCodeCamp. Did you do a technical interview or was it a culture interview?
There were a number of steps in the application process. After expressing interest in the school, the first step was getting my application in. From here, I had an in-person interview with the head instructors, and they asked about my background, why I wanted to take the course, and where I wanted to go with it.
The next step places applicants in a Sub-Level program. The sub-levels are designed to ensure that any student accepted at devCodeCamp is mentally capable of completing the course. It checks for basic math knowledge, reading comprehension, and the ability to find patterns in cognitive puzzles...a lot of which is logically relevant in development. The Sub-Level program also brings applicants to the same knowledge level...we learned about basic computer terminology, such as debugging and compiling, and some other useful knowledge so on Day One, instructors had a base-line to teach from.
After completing the Sub-Levels, I had my final interview. In it I was tested on comprehension of my Sub-Level knowledge, which I passed, and was given further information about the content of the course and what was expected of me as a student. By the end of the meeting I was formally accepted into the program.
Did you ever do a technical coding challenge?
There was no technical coding challenge required to be accepted into devCodeCamp. Most of the students in my cohort had not written a line of code before their first day. We just possessed a desire to learn.
How many people are in your cohort?
This is a small class, but is it diverse?
To be honest, we are all white men between the ages of 21-40. It’s not particularly diverse, but I know there are a number of scholarships out there for women who want to get into development. I know that devCodeCamp is trying to stress that.
Who are the DevCodeCamp instructors?
Dave is the head of instruction. He’s the one we go to with a majority of our problems, questions, and concerns. That being said, there are many instructors here who specialize in certain languages, teaching their respective knowledges to us. But outside of lecture, every instructor is available to help.
What does a typical day look like? Do you have lectures or is the curriculum project-driven?
Our days vary depending on what we are working on.
At the start of learning each language, there were a lot of lectures because we had to absorb a lot of knowledge. Those lectures were then paired with labs that reinforced the concepts we had just learned.
After core-concepts had been absorbed, we were given both individual and group projects to complete using the language we were learning. These projects allowed us to apply our knowledge in a real-world application interest.
But despite the lack of a “standard day,” we are coding every single day, continually building upon that which we already know. In an immersion setting, learning comes very quickly.
Do you like learning .NET and C#? Are you satisfied with that curriculum?
I do! It may not be my favorite language out of the three that we’ve learned, but it has allowed me to focus on very important components of development; namely object-oriented programming, which is huge in software development.
How many hours would you say you’re spending on DevCodeCamp?
10 to 12 hours a day. We get here at about 8 in the morning and many of us stay until 7 or 8 at night. Over the 12 weeks of this course, I will have spent 600+ hours in an immersive coding learning environment.
Have you felt burnout at all working 12 hours a day for 12 weeks?
I’d call it “temporary burnout.” For example, yesterday I was very frustrated because I was in a deadlock trying to figure out a problem I had. I kept looking at the same code over and over again but could not come to a resolution. When this happens, though, I find taking a 10 minute break and approaching a problem with a fresh outlook usually helps. As a developer, I understand that this frustration will happen. I think it’s important to figure out how to personally overcome it.
You’re not quite finished with the course yet, but have you had a chance to reflect on your experience? Has there been a good feedback loop?
At the end of each language, we were given an evaluation sheet to fill out and an opportunity to talk about the things we liked/didn’t like, along with any suggestions for future courses. No matter the type, these are always taken with enthusiasm by our instructors.
I think the instructors are definitely passionate about teaching. I always feel like I can approach them whenever I need to ask a question. One of our instructors, I know, can read uncertainty on my face when I don’t understand something...and he’ll explain things to me over and over again until I do. I think that persistence is very important, especially when we’re learning something that we’re not familiar with, and I appreciate it.
Can you tell us about a project that you worked on while at DevCodeCamp?
Which libraries did you use?
It looks great. Did you work on it alone or as a class?
Thank you! That was an individual project.
Tell us about approach to job prep.
There has been a lot of emphasis on job prep in our course. One day each week we meet with a career development counselor; a dedicated instructor who is familiar with the components of how to get a job in the tech field. He comes in and talks with us for about 2 ½ hours on all topics relating to career placement. Through this, we’ve developed our resume, social media presence, and are currently learning how to interview.
For many of us, this path is a career change. The idea of a technical interview is very nerve-wrecking if you don’t know what to expect before going in. That’s what they are helping us with here.
I’ve done a number of interviews so far and, aside from general butterflies, have not felt unprepared or like I did not belong in them. I think the course has done a good job preparing me.
How many interviews have you gone on?
I am hoping to have a job by the time we graduate! That would be my ideal situation. I’ve been on 5 phone interviews and two technical interviews so far.
Were those interviews set up by Dev Code Camp?
Two of them were set up through devCodeCamp. The other three were through me.
For the ones that were set up yourself, can you give us any secrets? How did you get those interviews?
I went online and searched “development jobs in Milwaukee.” There are SO many websites dedicated to this particular search! With them, I looked for jobs I was qualified for or that interested me and applied.
I have really enjoyed the interview process! I find it is kind of like dating...you go out with someone and then wait, eagerly, for that first text or phone call after saying they had a fun time...that’s the same feeling I get after receiving an email from a company I applied to saying, “We’ve seen your application and we’d like to talk to set up an interview.”
Do you have an idea of the type of company that you want to work for?
Right now I’m looking for a developer position and I do not care where that is! I just want to develop!
Where is the DevCodeCamp classroom?
It is on the top floor of a building just outside of Milwaukee, WI.
As for the setup, they spared no expense here! They did it right! There are smart boards, top of the line computers, and anything we need for learning. There is even free Starbucks coffee, on demand, every single day! That is such a luxury for me!
When Dave Gold was approached by Milwaukee coding bootcamp devCodeCamp to teach software design, he jumped at the chance to build a coding curriculum from the ground up. As devCodeCamp prepares for their first cohort in April, we talk to Dave about preparing a curriculum around the demands of the Milwaukee job market, the rigorous process of accreditation, and how he plans to create a realistic working environment with project-based learning and job preparation from day one.
Tell us about your background in programming and education.
I graduated with a degree in Computer Science and got a job working in C# and .NET that took me to Shanghai. There, I learned to develop in an enormous ERP product from a team of Chinese developers who I looked up to. I came back to the Milwaukee office of my company and I taught that knowledge to existing developers to help sharpen their skills.
Next in a senior development role I worked on leading projects and coordinating with multiple developers at a time. Next I did a some functional product design and finally project management to gain perspective of software I designed used by customers.
How were you introduced to DevCodeCamp?
Linked-In, it all happened as a development bootcamp should-> through technology.
Is there a demand for jobs in Milwaukee for .NET?
Since you learned to be a developer in a traditional 4-year Computer Science degree, did you have to be convinced of this bootcamp model?
No, I didn’t really have to be convinced. It’s something that I knew could be done. When I went through my 4-year degree, I didn’t really learn about modern development tools and I think this is an opportunity to show people that there are better ways; you don’t have to hit your head against the wall trying to figure things out. It’s a supportive environment.
Do you think it’s important to incorporate some of the theory learned in a CS degree into the bootcamp or are the two siloed?
I think they’re siloed in some respects. I think that what we’re trying to do is find the happy medium, where we take everything that’s valuable out of a 4-year degree and combine it with real world experience and create a very valuable educational experience.
Have you been involved in developing the devCodeCamp curriculum from the beginning?
Absolutely; it’s my baby.
How have you decided what to include and exclude?
The main thing I wanted to do is make sure what the students learn is in-demand. We’re partnering with employers in and outside of the Milwaukee area. We plan to keep talking to them about the technologies that they use, and the languages that they use.
That being said, we’re creating software developers regardless of what language they write so that they’re adaptable and can work in another technology if their role requires it. I think that gives our graduates a little bit of an edge.
And what language does devCodeCamp teach?
Does devCodeCamp have to meet a minimum placement rate?
We have to meet a threshold. For everybody who is admitted to devCodeCamp, we have a minimum 70% graduation rate and we have an 70% job placement rate of those graduates.
Will you all be publishing those numbers regularly?
Absolutely; we’re very transparent. And just to be clear, those numbers are minimums. Of course we’re striving for 100% but at the very bare minimum, we have to meet those numbers.
You’re starting your first bootcamp on April 13th. How many people will be in that first class?
We’re still figuring out the final roster, but we’re keeping it purposefully small because we recognize that we’re new and we want to make sure that the first cohort goes well and that we can make changes if we need to. Our maximum is 24
Are you the main instructor?
This time around I’m going to be the main instructor. We have a few other instructors who are revving and ready to go, and will help out with teaching in the future.
Have you found an ideal student at devCodeCamp? Are there technical requirements to get in?
Beginners can absolutely excel at devCodeCamp. I think being able to write software requires more of a personality than a knowledge base. If a person is driven and can sit in front of a desk and not leave until the problem is solved, they can be successful. They must have that drive and persistence.
Do you have a coding challenge in the application for admissions?
We do have something called “sub-level” and it’s part of our admissions process. It’s a series of small coding challenges emailed to applicants.
Will you be doing assessments or exams throughout the coding bootcamp? What’s your approach to evaluating students?
What is the DevCodeCamp teaching style? Is the class project-based or driven by lecture?
Both. We’re going to start with a lecture in the morning. I really don’t want to be talking for hours because I believe that people learn by doing, especially in software. The lecture will be about half an hour long, in which we’ll bounce topics back and forth, show real world examples, and why we’re going to use these concepts.
Then we’ll go into the lab, where we enforce that knowledge that we just talked about; we jump to the lab so that they get that practice. After the lab, students then go back to the project work where they get to their projects and features and incorporate what they just learned into it.
Are those projects collaborative?
Students pair programming and also work collaboratively in groups.Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity is key to a successful software developer.
Are you incorporating job preparation into the curriculum?
From the first couple of weeks, students are going to meet with our student outcomes department. There’s also dedicated class time set aside every other week where students will work on their resumes and practicing interviewing.
Job prep is really well integrated into the program. I want it to be fluid and give them time to think about how they want create their own personal brand, present themselves and contrive their resume. It is very important for students to think about how they want to talk to employers and present themselves.
Do you have hiring partners already?
Yes! We’ve gotten a lot of positive reactions and excitement, our advantage right out of the gate is the fact that we have been placing graduates for over 10 years in IT related positions and another 10 years beyond that in IT and software corporate training so our hiring network is wide and developed. Those relationships are a big bonus for our students
Will devCodeCamp students do a capstone project?
Yes, and they will work several projects throughout the entire bootcamp.
Are you teaching full time with devCodeCamp? Do you have time for other projects like your own personal projects or freelance work?
Absolutely. I’m a full time employee and we’re looking for full time instructors.
I’m making it a point to all of our instructional staff that we spend 10% - 20% of our time working on our own personal projects. I think it’s important because you can talk code all day but the world keeps evolving and we need to stay updated.
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