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.
On-Time Graduation Rate
180 Day Employment Breakdown:
Notes & Caveats:
Recent devCodeCamp News
- September 2017 Coding Bootcamp News + Podcast
- September Coding Bootcamp News Roundup
- August Coding Bootcamp News Roundup
Recent devCodeCamp Reviews: Rating 4.59
Live Online Part Time Full Stack Bootcamp
- Skills Fund
- Minimum Skill Level
Full Time Software Development
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.
- devCodeCamp has a network of financing partners.
- Visit http://devcodecamp.com/grants
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
- Prep Work
- 2 weeks (10-15 hours per week)
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The amount of information regarding coding I learned and comprehended after one week was staggering. Even though the program is intense and certainly not for everyone, obtaining knowledge about coding and understanding how to apply it is its own reward. I look forward to what is in store for me going forward.
Hello, my name is Christian Petersen and this is my story. My interest in software development started back in the MySpace days when I found myself spending countless hours editing my profile with basic HTML and CSS coding. Back then I had no experience or knowledge of what I was doing, I just knew that I really enjoyed the creative aspect of constructing a unique webpage with code.
While I was in college pursuing my degree in Business, I took an elective in webpage development. Taking this class solidified my interest in pursuing software development as a career, but I was too far into my degree that it did not make sense to switch majors.
It was not until I was visiting a friend in Milwaukee, WI that I stumbled upon a devCodeCamp advertisement on my FaceBook newsfeed. I started to do research on the program and was unable to find reviews so I took a chance and went to an open house to get more information. I was incredibly skeptical given the cost were pretty high and the lack of feedback, but still found myself curious on what they were all about. Going to the open house peaked my interest more, however the one thing that sold me on the program, was that they offered a refund if you started and decided software development wasn’t for you or if you reached the first make it or break it point and did not pass and wanted to get out. You may want more of a reason, but for me personally I was looking for a big change and I love being creative with code so that is all I needed to take the plunge and move to Milwaukee from Orlando, FL to start my adventure.
The sign up process is pretty simple, but very thorough. You will have to attend a couple of one on one interviews in which you will be shown the facility, possibly meet some students, and be reinforced the level of difficulty of the program. This is not a tactic to scare you, just to help prepare you for the amount of work you will receive. Most people in the program started it with little to no experience in coding, so do not think that you will be alone – there will be plenty of people who can relate to what you are going through.
If you find yourself interested in software development, are looking for a change of pace, and like the idea of challenging the standards of education, devCodeCamp might be a great fit for you. You will only know if you give it a shot.
My name is Keith Hetzel, the second I found out about this class I was interested in it. not just because of the future salary, but because I loved coding. Last August I started doing web development on my own and I really enjoyed doing it. I wanted to be better at it, for many reasons.
I'm here because I was going to college at MATC but I wasn't enjoying what I was doing. I was going to switch my major in college but I was too deep in my program to change. I came to their infosession about the class, then the next day I dropped out of college to come here instead.
I love this program, I have learned more here in the past 12 weeks than I learned in 3 semesters of college. It's fun, it's rewarding, and now I will be able to call myself a Software Developer. Every single day I come here I learn, I can't say that about college, it was too slow for me, I was bored. I'm not bored here, you don't have time to be bored. The instructors teach us what we need to know, we learn, they challenge us, help us, and then we create awesome projects. They're available for contact after hours when we're at home, and they'll take time out of their personal schedule to reply. The students are important to the instructors, there is no doubt about that, no matter what position you're in, every instructor is ready to help. I have nothing bad to say about devCodeCamp, just that programming isn't for everyone, just like medical science isn't for everyone, this is exactly what I want, and I love it.
My name is MIchael Mueller, and a soon-to-be 55-year old student at devCodeCamp in Milwaukee, WI. I enjoyed a successful 30-year career at a large Fortune 500 company, and as my peers with similar years of experience started to retire or leave for better opportunities, I realized something was still missing when I looked back at my career. Moving up early in my career to senior management positions, I now wish more of my time would have been spent rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty, so to speak. While I have no regrets, I saw the opportunity at devCodeCamp as way to fill that hole in my career, to get back to problem solving and making a real difference in people's lives. It also allows me to do what every self-help magazine and career blog recommends - make a career change.
As the main income for a family of six, the decision to join devCodeCamp came with some consternation and the realization it would require a huge sacrifice from my spouse and kids. The main factors convincing me it was the right decision were the coding opportunities in the software development area, my younger kids' love of games and other computer-related devices, and the great impression the devCode people left on me during the initial interviews. I was allowed access to their amazing space in downtown Milwaukee, and was ready to start as soon as the next class of 20+ students were scheduled to begin.
During my several weeks so far, I am continually impressed at the caliber of students (both intellectually and emotionally) and the knowledge and diversity of the teachers. Every day is a challenge, and as they emphasized in the informational meetings and interviews, as well as the first two weeks of class, coding is very, very hard. I have faced many challenges in the past, but never have I worked so hard at trying to learn something new in such a short timespan. Having seen the students who have graduated from devCodeCamp deliver their final Capstone projects, it is also very evident the devCode process works. Based on these results, it is very evident this method of learning software development works. I look forward to the many light-bulbs going off in my head, as they say, and starting a new and rewarding career.
After taking a tour and seeing for myself what the program entailed I couldn’t wait to get started! I haven’t been disappointed either. Every week I reflect on how far I have come from day 1, and I am constantly amazed at how much I have learned and how much I have created in a few extremely quick weeks. Not only has the staff shared valuable information in lectures, projects, and 1 on 1 development, but they have also instilled an entire new learning paradigm in me. I feel confident when researching new and unknown topics when working on projects, which is something that will carry on into a valuable job skill. While it is not for the faint of heart (It will test your determination and perseverance), DevCodeCamp gives learners of all styles a chance to succeed and tools for success.
Definitely an intense program. Currently in my 8th week here but the gains I've made as a programmer are worth the effort. If your willing to put the work in, you will definitely be pushed beyond your limits. Just got through learning about design patters and time complexity for various data types. This program aims not just to turn you into a successful programmer, but more importantly into a highly skilled software developer. Highly recommended.
Before I came to devCodeCamp I was floating along, never really doing anything that I felt proud of in any aspect of my life. However one day a good friend of mine told me about devCodeCamp and I couldn't pass up the opportunity of getting an education and a job. I chose to come here of all places, because I wanted to code, I didn't want to sit in a 4 year school, and I admired the honesty at devCodeCamp, because they're open and honest about the aspects of their program, how hard it is, and how much work it is. devCodeCamp has already changed my life, and how I think in just seven weeks, I came in here not knowing anything about coding, and now I can look at all problems objectively, and now I can code as well. This place is a game changer for schooling, devCodeCamp goes the extra mile and beyond for their students, they will always challenge you and support you through the tough time that is learning coding.
With background in finance - having graduated from a 4 year degree and working at a bank for 2 years, I wanted to expand my career with technology. What I did not want was to spend a few more years in school and miss out on years of real world experience. With this program I was able to put in the 600 hours in 3 months - constantly learning new material and working on projects that apply to the real world. A good investment. It was not easy, but in the end worth it if you have the drive and motivation. DevCodeCamp's network of employers offers a great opportunity to connect with great companies. I definitely recommend this program to anyone willing to give up 3 months to expand their career.
I previously had no experience with software development. Entering the course I wasn't sure what to expect. For those who don't want to work hard or struggle through tough times, this isn't the course for you. I got my degree in business management and that felt like a breeze. Here at DevCode you spend majority of the time coding and doing projects/assignments, so you're always learning and applying right away.
The course is primarily project based learning with a focus on C# and object oriented programming. The time I spent here was about 20% lectures and 80% coding. Working on projects doing actual coding means that you will learn how to overcome real-world problems while creating functioning apps and games. This also means that it is truly up to the student to put in the work and effort to apply material being taught and to seek out answers for problems that material has not covered. Having projects to show was invaluable while looking for a job.
devCodeCamp has developed some great connections with employers in the community. There were employers who came in to see project presentations on occasion during the course and and who came to interview recently graduated students on site. Employers looking for software developers in the Milwaukee area are very likely to have heard of devCodeCamp.
The instructors are all great people, extremely smart, and very passionate about helping students learn to code. They were always there to answer any questions I had. However, the freedom given with ceratin projects meant that a student could choose whatever language/framework/technology they wanted to in order to accomplish their goal, and instructors might not have experience with that technology.
I started the program with a little bit of coding experience (a semester introduction class) which helped, because the program moves very fast especially in the beginning. We covered more material in those first two weeks then my semester class had. After completing the program, I found a job as a software developer in the Milwaukee area within a month thanks to the knowledge I was taught, the projects I had to talk about, and the community connections devCodeCamp has developed.
This course requires hard work and is not for everyone. Coding is difficult. I love to code, but even with that passion staying focused and coding for 10 hours a day or more while learning vast amounts of new information is not easy. You won't learn and retain the knowledge through some magical process of osmosis by just being here. If you are willing to put in the work, this course will turn you into a software developer.
The way DevCodeCamp gave me and the rest of my class the opportunity of learning the business side of things i was amazed of how much devcode camp really wants to do more then just make software engineers. The instructors were very excited to see us learn and expand our knowledge of programming into more then just working for a business. I know the instructors also wish we had more then fourteen weeks to learn the bigger picture of programming. i am very grateful to have decided to come to DevCodeCamp and i do not regret it. I am a proud graduate and will wear it on my resume for my entire life.
I was interested and took a tour. I decided to enroll because devCodeCamp promised to provide what I would need to learn to be able to get a job as a software developer in 14 weeks. My expectations matched up with what I experienced during the course. We typically spent some time getting an introduction to a topic and the rest of our time doing exercises or building projects. It was very hands on and much different from taking a regular class or tutorial to learn how to code.
Everyone you talk to will be very clear that you will get out of it what you put into it. I had to work long hours every day learning very difficult material at a very fast pace. Much of the course is spent on learning how to do things on your own under a deadline, which should prepare you for a work environment. It is a huge time commitment if you really dedicate yourself to learning everything and completing all the assignments. I also felt overwhelmed and frustrated at times. Part of the course is learning how to fail, deal with setbacks, and still complete an assignment.
I am starting to look for a job and feel very comfortable that I will be able to get started somewhere and be able to improve from there. I have a good base to build on.
The instructors will be honest that do every class a little differently. As a result you may end up be doing a project that has never been taught before to a previous class. Some of these brand new projects might not be as tried and true as others. Also, because you move at such a fast pace, there is not a lot of time to review past assignments and improve the code you wrote or even revise it in anyway.
My final impression would be that if you want to complete the course and suceed it is really up to you. The instructors will be there to help but you won't turn into a software developer unless you put in the work.
devCodeCamp changed my life in a way that five years at a "four year" college never did. Classes aren't overwhelmingly large, meaning that instructors really have the time to answer any questions you might have. Periodic lectures sprinkled throughout each week provide you with the framework for the projects you will work on, and that is what you want: projects. At dCC, you spend majority of your time actually working, something that is highly beneficial. Not only do potential employers want to see what actual work you've accomplished, but, in my opinion, it is also the best way to learn. Learn by doing!
You'll gain many skills while attending devCodeCamp, whether it's experience in C# or Python, a multitude of other programming languages of all types, or whatever the new up-and-coming technology is. Arguably the best skill, however, is the ability to face a problem, and handle it all on your own. dCC provides the framework for many things for you, but you are also expected to be able to learn some things by yourself, an invaluable skill that dCC will help you develop.
The environment is very comfortable as well. In just a short amount of time I've made some great friends, not to mention many business connections. The program is intense, yet the relaxed feel of the classroom and lounge really help to ease any stress you might have. Instructors are truly invested in you, the student, and that's something that I've seen each and every day.
Keep in mind that learning the technical skills is only half of the services that devCodeCamp provides. Once you finish the program and reach deployment, they help you find a job as well. Everything from resume training, to mock interviews and presentation practice, to setting up hiring days and interviews, their job is to get you a job. Their immense and ever-growing network of hiring partners in Milwaukee and all around the surrounding area offers the best way to find employment in this field.
If you have even the slightest notion of attending devCodeCamp, I urge you to get in contact with them just to set up a short tour to get the feel for it. They are very accommodating and will absolutely cater to your schedule to get you in and check out how they work. You can't ask too many questions, keep that in mind. I was skeptical at first as I'm sure many of you are, but I can't say enough how positively dCC affected me, and I hope that it will for many of you as well. Do yourself a favor and set up a short tour, you won't regret it!
Very very intense program, called bootcamp for a good reason. I would recommend it to those that are determined and willing to put the work in. You apply what you learn in lectures immediately, but you'll find yourself researching and problem solving on your own for the most part. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. It helps you take initiative instead of waiting around for help, which is a skill I believe any employer would want in their employees. The staff of instructors are more than qualified and I wish the program was longer to have more time to pick their brain. The program will push you to the limit, you'll feel like you're in over your head, but you can always take a break and play some video games, foosball, table tennis, or take a walk downtown to release some stress.
The program is evolving and improving, I recommend anyone who is interested in expanding their tech knowledge to take a tour of the place.
Taking this course was definitely one of the tougher things that I have done, but also completely worth it. I had always been interested in coding but could not take any steps towards it because I didn't think I could with my job and my upcoming wedding plans.
I decided to take a tour and that decision may have changed my life. I did have to dedicate that time span strictly to coding and researching. I fully understood that the time spent improving my projects and going in early to speak with instructors were going to pay off. Now, I feel empowered by the things I've learned and done in the course.
Not long after I graduated, I had interviews lined up and coding challenges assigned. The instructors, without a doubt, set me up for success. I'm very proud to have graduated from devCodeCamp.
devCodeCamp from top to bottom does an excellent job in preparing students and graduates for success in the professional market. From the intense and in depth subject matter to the most relevant technologies and how to use them. It is my opinion that the best thing I took away from devCodeCamp was not just the ability to learn the content that is presented but to be a better learner in general. This is an ever changing market and fast moving career. Being able to keep pace is crucial. You will only get out what you put in, but the instructors are there to push you as far as you want to go.
I'm writing a brief review of my experience in choosing to attend devcodecamp. 1) The classroom environment is so non traditional and awesome and that fits into the bootcamp style of learning 2) the most important to me was the instructors I met in the admissions interview wanted to make sure I was a fit, they were knowledgable, made tech concepts understandable for me and overall seemed to put my outcome of a job over just getting me to enroll 3) I spoke to students already in the course and what I was told by Paul about the course they verified 4) I was able to speak to 2 hiring companies that actually had hired devcodecamp grads and learned that they were impressed by the knowledge of the student grads they had interviewed. The .net program is in-demand and needed in the Wisconsin area. Excited to begin
I started with no background in software development. While the 12 week bootcamp was intense, it was definately worth it. Instructors were helpful but didn't hold my hand the whole time. Hiring day was held a few weeks after I finished the bootcamp. This is where a bunch of companies came in, we presented our projects and met with each company. I received a job offer from one of these companies as a Jr. Developer. Excited for what my future now holds!
When I was reading these reviews before I joined dcc, I was a little hesitant, the program being new, it being such a big investment, and some reviews being negative. I was lucky to have the ability to take a chance and join the camp, and I'm glad I did. I got out what I put in. I'm now in the position of a Course Report reviewer, and I want to leave the most honest review I can -- so that I can help you, just as these reviews helped me make my decision.
Overall, I think if you come in to this bootcamp committed, determined, positive, and as prepared as you can be, you have a good chance at becoming a developer and finding a job.
I came to devCodeCamp (dcc) after looking for a different career path. I was lucky enough to have the support of friends and family that helped both logistically and financially.
So, when I began the camp, I knew a few things, but nothing compared to what I've learned. The most important thing going in was that I knew this was what I wanted to do -- I already knew I enjoyed coding/development. I loved working my brain through the logic of code, as a computer would. Dcc then gave me a space to continue that learning process, as well as a support system via my classmates and instructors to help me when I got stuck and to supply challenging project ideas, lectures, and daily coding tasks.
The instructors do not hold your hand. They know the concepts and how to supply you with the resources and knowledge to help you understand difficult computer programming topics like data structures, time complexity, relational databases, and functional programming. But they don't write code for you. One really helpful thing they did during lectures was to write code in front of me, so I could see how they might tackle a feature.
It's true, a lot of the learning process is googling, and dcc is very honest about that -- the reason being that most real-world development is solving problems and debugging, often getting help from online. If you don't know how to research what you're trying to do or a problem you're trying to solve in code, you won't be a good developer. For me, I liked this -- learning by doing and researching. I didn't particularily want instructors to tell me how to write code. I wanted them to show me ways it can be done -- best practices -- and then send me off to do it my way. Dcc and it's instructors do that, but they will also help you with errors you encounter that make absolutely no sense to you. Most importantly, they help you understand the error, where it came from, and how to prevent it next time.
If you are good with this style of learning, then you'd do well there. If you are a committed learner, and have any interest in programming, you'd do well there. Frankly, if you do not dedicate yourself, you may not get what you want out of this course. It shows: there were a few people in my class that slacked off. They don't have jobs yet. Almost all the others in my small group do.
Personally, I worked super hard at dcc. Often I programmed through lunch break, then went home and continued teaching myself by working on a web app project or doing online tutorials and watching video lessons. I probably spent 10-12 hours a day doing coding/learning related things. Again, I was committed.
During the deployment part of the program -- post graduating -- they help you look for jobs and hold hiring days -- days where one or more companies come in and see a few presentations from graduates and do short interviews.
The dcc job coordinator recognized that I worked very hard, created good projects, and that the instructors saw potential in me. About a month after the program, he got me a phone interview with a local software company. I did that interview, did a follow-up coding exercise, and then was brought in for a formal technical and in-person 2-hour interview. One week later they made me a job offer and I took it. Whereas before I was uncertain about my future, today I'm positive, grateful, and excited.
It would've taken me a long time to get to this point trying to teach myself coding. Dcc sped up this process and supplied the environment for my success. This is my story and I can't speak to anyone else's. If you are uncertain about your motiviations to learn coding, think twice. But If you see yourself in anything I've said here and have the means, take a chance with this bootcamp.
I have attempted to learn code at a 4-year university as elective courses and although I made it through a handful of courses, I did not recieve the same rewarding level of education that I received at devCodeCamp. With the courses at the university, I merely felt like I was doing the work in order to pass the class whereas in devCode, I truely wanted to immerse myself in the environment and continue learning more and more code. At devCodeCamp, you will learn and they will teach you in a manner where it will click for you. My experience with code was not the easiest, but a devCodeCamp I was finally able to get over my wall and wrap my mind around code.
With that being said, the journey is by no means easy. I think devCodeCamp found a formula and style to efficiently teach code but it will not come naturally, you must also put in the effort and time (which is not a concern because you'll be there 10hrs/day for 5 days a week). You will get what you put in. Although my class was one of the bigger ones, it was hard to expect constant attention from the instructors, but it taugh me to dig deep and solve these problems on my own which is what you want by the end of the course. There will be many days where you will want to give up and quit but the end result will be very rewarding and you'll actually know more than you think.
I was just hired at a local web design firm after recently graduating from the full-time program at dev Code Camp.
The camp taught me how to teach myself, and now I have an amazing sense of direction in my life and the tech world. I enjoyed spending so much time with my instructors and colleagues and truly miss being there already.
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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