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Before DevLeague, I had no clue what direction I should be taking in life. I had been working a bunch of different jobs, trying to get a feel for something that I would enjoy doing for an extended period of time, but I came up with nothing. I was getting to a point where I was worried about my future when I found DevLeague. To be honest, when I started looking into the course, I had little to no expectation that I would ever be interested in coding, but as I taught myself the little that I had to know to apply and get accepted, I realized that coding was like nothing I had ever experienced. I got accepted to the program, and 3 months later I'm living in a whole new world. I see technology differently since DevLeague, and I see my place in the world. I see what path to take for my future, and I'm positive that coding is something I can maintain. I love developing, and DevLeague is where it all started. If you need a little boost in life, and a brand new career path, DevLeague is the place for you.
If I could, I would go through DevLeague all over again. It was honestly one of the best and most challenging experiences of my life! I left my job in California and moved out to Hawaii for 3 months to learn something I had no experience in. So yeah… that was kinda nuts, but it was so worth it! I got to learn from instructors who were enthusiastic about programming and who were genuinely interested in helping us learn the material. At the same time, I had amazing classmates who busted their butts day in and day out, which kept me going throughout the course. Yes, programming is tough and there are plenty of rough times, but I was always able to get through it with the amazing support group I had at DevLeague.
DevLeague was definitely not a walk in the park. I was sweating bullets before class even started. Though I went through the phone screening and passed the coding challenge, I still had this uneasy feeling of imposter syndrome. I was thinking to myself, “This must be a fluke. Are they sure the accepted the right guy?” and “I just don’t think I’m smart enough to do this!”. Well after 12 intensive weeks of non-stop programming, all I can say is “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!”. My advice is just to grind through it and to never ever give up! And don’t be afraid to ask questions. The people at DevLeague are there to help you, so make sure you take full advantage of their resources during the bootcamp and after you graduate.
I had a great experience at DevLeague. I joined DevLeague from a completely different industry, and had no coding background. After completing the course I am confident in my ability to create full stack applications, and feel prepared to start a career in software development.
The full time class is 66 hours a week, and can be mentally exhausting, but I always enjoyed going to class. Some concepts might take longer to grasp, and it is important to take it upon yourself to put in the extra time where need be. The instructors and TA's are great and there was plenty of opportunity to get personal help working through difficult problems. The curriculum is designed to achieve results. Students learn real, in demand skills that help start a career in software. On top of that students are also gaining the skills to learn new languages and technologies on their own.
The job assistance doesn't stop when you graduate. DevLeague has a deep network with many connections, both in Hawaii and the mainland. They help you prepare with mock interviews, detailed feedback, resume assistance, and students are encouraged to attend networking events where they can meet people in the industry.
Overall I couldn't be happier with my decision to learn to code at DevLeage, and I would encourage anyone who wants to pursue a career in software to consider DevLeague.
I just graduated from DevLeague two days ago and I am so satistifed from everything I learnt during this program. I am a belgian native and last year I decided to change career and go from a business career to a coding career. I didn't want to spend a full year at Colege and a bootcamp looked therefore as the perfect solution. After some research, I found about DevLeague and I have directly been seduced by their program. Isolated on a beautiful island, super intense schedule and with a curriculum that covers a lot of areas from the front-end to the back-end; this was the program I had been looking for.
The application process already set the tone of the program but this is a good thing as you can directly see if this made for you or not. You really have to be ready to put your life apart for twelve weeks and be ready to a lot of hard working. This is surely some sacrifice but in the end it is totally worth it. Twelve weeks ago, my knowledge were close to 0 and today I am now able to build web applications, develop databases, deploy a website, etc. Every topic is covered in deep and put into practise with daily exercises and weekly small projects.
Last but not least, the human experience is also something unique. You will make great friends through this bootcamp and DevLeauge like to consider its students as part of a big family. You will really feel well welcomed and not considered at all as just a number.
I am now ready for a new step in my career and now exactly what I want to aim for. I am really grateful to Devleague to have succeeded this in twelve weeks.
Just graduated from DevLeague, and what an experience it was!
Went from not knowing what a variable or a function was to being able to build real applications that people may actually use.
Instructors were available ALL the time. Instructors and staff were held in extremely high regard in the dev community not just locally in Hawaii, but throughout the US. There were 2 instructors, 1 TA for our 16 person class, which I believe is highly personalized for these bootcamps and I felt that the school genuinely cares for each student's success and outcome.
Classmates, instructors and staff became family after this 6 month experience, totally life-changing.
DevLeague is the bootcamp you want.
Not feeling satisfied with my education at the time I wanted to check out different alternatives. I ended up leaving my Bachelors Degree in Sociology and joining DevLeague. Flying all the way from Mexico to Hawaii, with the Mexican peso doing really poorly, I was really hoping that the money I was investing would be worth it. DevLeague did not disappoint. For three months my brain was in a state of bliss while learning all this new cool stuff. The teachers really make sure that you are learning how to code well, you learn everything from the ground up so that you understand how frameworks and libraries work, and they really try to make sure you are writing clean, fast and efficient code.
The atmosphere there is amazing, everybody is really fun, loving and supportive, but what I love the most about people there is their humbleness. In DevLeague you come across insanely good developers, that take time off their busy lives to teach other people what they know. I admire so many people there. I was really satisfied with the course, I wished it had not ended.
I wrote a blog post about DevLeague
I was your traditional college student pursuing a computer science degree when in my third year I realized school just wasn't teaching what I wanted to learn CODING. I became bored at school and started to just teach myself how to code. I soon found out this was not easy and was not getting very far on my own. Main reason being, CODING IS HARD and its a vast ocean of information, I didn't even know where to start. I knew I wanted a career in the tech world and that traditional schooling wasn't giving me what I needed. Thats when I decided to make a change.
I randomly met a guy at the beach that went through a programming bootcamp and talked very highly of how they teach and his experiecne. This peeked my interest right away he told me there is one right here in Hawaii. I instantly began researching bootcamps and decided that Devleague was where I wanted to apply. I chose Devleague because of the amazing communication I experienced when researching the school and could see they just had something the others didn't. So I trusted my gut and applied the next day. They gave me a coding entrance exam which I have to say was very challegning. I worked around the clock on this project teaching myself different mark-up languages and coding languages. I struggled so hard with this, but along the way Devleague was there to answer any questions I had to help me without giving me answers. I knew then that they wanted me to succeed so I worked even harder to prove that I wanted to get into this program. After finally completing this exam I received my acceptance into the program.
After accepting the offer to attend the program, the work began instantly prepping myself before I even step foot in the classroom. And once again, Devleague was there helping me along the way from video conferences, chat, email. Anything I needed I simply had to just ask.
Throughout the duration of the program, we were pushed and challenged everyday with new concepts. The instructors were able to take something very complicated and break it down in a manner that anyone can understand, then solidified these concepts through project-orientated learning. The instructors were so knowledgable and helpful with anything I needed. If I didn't understand something, I just asked and they would sit with me till I understood it. Thats when I really knew I made the right choice coming here. The staff would do anything to help me. To be honest, I wasn't the sharpest student in my class and struggled everyday. I don't know how many times I thought "can I really do this?" But everyday I worked harder, saught help, and came back the next day. Besides the classroom, we were able to attend software developer meetups and participate in some amazing hackathons.
After completing the program, I look back at all my struggles and am happy I went through Devleague. They taught me the skills I needed to be a successful and confident developer and went out of their to ensure I had a great experience. Even after completing the program, the help still flows continously from job assistance, coding questions, interview prep and this list goes on. Devleague's motto is " to have a great experience before, during, and after the program". Well let me be the first to tell you they nailed it. In summary, if you want the complete package then look no further!!!!!! You aren't just another student to them, you are family and I felt that from day one. I would like to thank the entire staff at Devleague for everything you have done for me and continue to do. Happy Coding :)
DevLeague was undoubtedly the best decision of my life and this isn't an overstatement.
In college, I originally majored in Computer Science. I enjoyed creating programs and the satisfaction I felt from making a working product. However, towards the end of the first year, I was beginning to doubt myself because the material was getting more challenging and all my classmates seemed to have been coding long before college started. I ended up changing my major and graduating with a degree in Health Science. I didn't believe in myself, and that was the biggest regret in my life.
I began working at a hospital in Boston performing administrative work. I knew right away that this wasn't the career path for me. I desired a technical challenge and I wanted to gain skills that were both rare and valuable in society. I began learning how to code again online. I enjoyed it a lot and I ultimately decided to quit my job and move home to Hawaii to start DevLeague.
I wanted something more for myself so I decided to believe in my abilities and take a risk. I left my life of comfort and normality in hopes of a brighter and more challenging career.
- extremely helpful, passionate, friendly, and knowledgeable
- encourage your problem solving skills by assisting you towards an answer instead of providing you with answers
- genuinely cares about your outcomes after the program and are there to help you make connections and prepare you for interviews
- large range of topics covered but also covered in depth
- many of the topics covered are job requirements or preferred qualifications for software and web development jobs
- assignments were both fun and challenging
I thoroughly enjoyed studying at DevLeague and I would encourage the program to any friends who want to learn about web development. My advice is to believe in yourself and never give up.
I heard about Devleague rougly in the middle of 2015 over the radio thinking to myself what Devleague was all about, sadly, i ignored it and continued looking for a job. I Graduated with a Bachelors of Political Science thinking i would be a civil service employee for either a state or federal agency. For my entire life, i had always been involved in public service (National guardsman for 10 years)
Fast forward to April 2016, a friend that i had gone to school with told me about Devleague, i was still hessitant...
July 2016 i met with my friend that had finished the program a year prior during my lunch break and told me everything that he loved about webdevelopment and thus that sparked my journey. After lunch i signed up for Devleague, interviewed and saw the coding challenge...
I got accepted into Cohort 13, September to November and thus begun my journey into the Web dev community.
Let me remind people that this course is seriously not for everyone. There will be many moments of highs and lows, many moments of contemplating of quiting the program. Fight your fears, Make it through, trust the instructors, and embrace the merges! Because everything will come full circle in the end!
Looking back 3 months ago to today after completing the bootcamp, i would never imagine that i could be capable of building a website *full stack* *front and back end* and present it to friends and family!
Fear and the uncertainty drove me to complete the course! Run with it and don't look back!!!
If you're on the fence about joining Dev League, I would recommend jumping into it. You will enjoy your time in class and dont give up on yourself.
The instructors were amazing, they were super supportive and knowledgeable in all topics that we covered. The classroom environment was amazing as well, I had a ton of fun over 12 weeks and would definitely do it again. In 12 weeks we covered a ton of content, created a bunch of projects, and we also learned how to build a full application from the ground up. Along with all the technical knowledge, you also create life long bonds with your classmates. I enjoyed the challenges that I faced and conquered and look forward to a career in web development.
None, the hours are long. But when you and your classmates are figuring out challenges and problems, time flies by so fast that you might not be able to finish solving the problem.
The driving force behind my decision to join a coding boot-camp was waking up everyday and not enjoying the career I had. The lucrative salary was the only reason for me getting up in the morning and going to work. I spent many years in the IT field however, having held various Consultant and Analyst roles, these positions never really allowed me to execute anything myself. I was always promised training and mentor-ship but there was never enough time. I kept taking on more and more work that didn't allow me any room to learn the development side of IT. I wanted to be more creative, I wanted to build things, I wanted to make something that people used but I needed to learn how and college wasn't an option for me.
Decisioning- Before selecting Dev League, I spent many hours researching other boot camps. A few things that stood out to me from Dev League were the class sizes, the selection process, and the involvement of the founders. The smaller sizes appealed to me as I figured I would get more one on one time with instructors and not fade away in the background or be seen as just another student. The selection process is also a bit different from other boot-camps. Dev League requires you to complete a coding challenge that is evaluated for acceptance by the founders. Good thing Dev League also offers a prep course that covers some fundamentals of programming. This really helped me in completing the coding challenge. I liked that Dev League doesn't just accept anyone willing to pay the tuition. I knew upon being accepted that I would be in a class with like minded individuals who also put in the time and effort to complete the challenge and the founders were the ones making that decision not some recruiter or senior developer or anyone else. There was never any mystery of who they were. I would say that was the biggest factor in my decision. So, I sold everything I owned and my husband and I packed two suitcases and we moved to Hawaii!!!
Experience in Dev League- If you're looking for a boot-camp that is just going to feed you lectures and give you homework this will not be a good choice for you. The instructors do a great job of giving you enough information until the light bulbs go off in your head and the rest you have to figure out on your own. A lot of time is spent researching and coding trial and errors. Part of what Dev League strives for is teaching students how to teach themselves. Which was frustrating for me at first, after pounding my head against the wall a few times I really just wanted to yell at the instructors to just give me the answer! However, I think my toughest times were my greatest lessons. I chose to take the full-time course because I wanted to be 110% focused without any distractions. The days were really long, 6 days a week from about 9am to sometimes 10-11pm for me. It definitely takes a lot of self-motivation and drive to complete the course. Do not expect a hand out. Dev League definitely makes you earn your stripes. You are ultimately responsible for your own success. Dev League helps aid to that success by providing a great network of resources and support. Not only did Dev League offer professional advice on my resume, but a Linked In profile/social media review, active email distributions on open positions within the Dev League network all around the world, professional advise from the founders, and an extended "FRAMILY" of Dev League alumni. All of which I was not expecting. Also, from the beginning of the application process, to the Skye interview, to the prep course, the full time class, part time class, prep course, the networking events, the coffee hours, the happy hours, and all the way to after graduation the founders are involved in ALL of it.
Conclusion- Joining Dev League was the best decision I ever made. It was a huge sacrifice for me to leave my family, friends, belongings, and LIFE behind in Austin, Texas. I moved to Hawaii not knowing anyone, I had never lived outside of Texas. The course itself was not easy and it really made me learn how to brand myself as a person verses just making myself marketable just to get a job. It was the best investment that I've made in myself. I've made really great friends and connections that will last a lifetime. Three weeks after Dev League I received my first job offer as a Data Conversion Developer Analyst. A hybrid position that was created for me by an employer in the Dev League network.
If you would like more information about my journey to Hawaii or my experience in Dev League and life after Dev League, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm as "fresh off the boat" as they come when first learning of DevLeague and programming in general. I'm not a gamer, my phone's a S3, prior to DevLeague the closest thing to a laptop was my ASUS tablet, and I had some exposure to html, meaning - I've heard the term and seen it in Dream Weaver at work lol. Fortunately, DevLeague took a chance with me, my instructors and classmates were not only patient but super supportive, and now I've recently accepted a job offer and am switching career paths. Hopefully this reassures any other F.O.B. aspiring coders out there, that "if I can do it, you can definitely do it."
You graduate the program with a solid foundation as a full-stack developer, allowing you to navigate this huge and constantly changing world of tech, which can be intimidating. Yes, I still feel like a small fish in a huge ocean, BUT now I have a sense of direction, tools to navigate with, and an approach and sense of independence to problem solving that I'll be applying to any problem .. code or non-code related. I really appreciated DevLeague's approach to teaching the material, which was usually - teaching us the hardest way and from ground up, then rewarding us with easier tools, shortcuts even. Yes, torture, but super effective. This solidified our understanding of the material. DevLeague makes you comfortable and confident in addressing and learning the unknown, revealing to yourself on whether you have the grit or not in getting you there. If you were hoping for a 'technical' review, at this point, you probably realize you're not getting one. Because what worked for me in learning the material, completing 6 months in the part-time, and eventually landing a job opportunity .. were the non-technical mantras below, explained to me and my classmates early in the bootcamp. I literally have a sheet of paper in my apartment where I would tally each day of code. One day at a time, One month at a time ..
*ATTITUDE: have a positive attitude
*WORK ETHIC and DISCIPLINE: at least 11 hours outside of the classroom .. and read the docs!!
*ALWAYS BE COMMITTING
In addition to accomplishing your first step to becoming a full-stack developer, you join an extremely talented and generous community, all sharing the same passion to constantly be learning and solving problems :) I'm very lucky to be one of many to say, THANK YOU DevLeague.
If you are willing to put in the time and effort and learn to be comfortable in a state of frustration and confusion (that just seems to come with the job), Dev League can teach you the necessary skills that you need to start a new career. The curriculum includes all the cutting-edge, in demand skills that will land you a job, or allow you to develop your own app-ideas. Within a year of graduating from Dev League (having started without any prior coding knowledge), I have managed to land an offer as a full-time Software Engineer at Microsoft. More than just teaching me the necessary skills, Dev League has set me up with a community and a support network that has reached far beyond the Hawaiian Islands.
I was enrolled in cohort 3. Starting Devleague reminded me of watching one of those war movies where a rookie is dropped into the middle of a war zone, is saved countless times by other experienced soldiers from getting his head blown off and at the end emerges as formidable force. This feeling is what made Devleague such a great experience for me. It felt more like an adventure than a class. Every second of instruction was consumed with something important and valuable. No filler time. The pace is blistering (seemed that way to me but I had no prior coding experience) but that's because it has to be. Not to finish the curriculum but to always keep us uncomfortable and guard against complacency (the death of skill building). It felt rushed but ultimately I learned much more than I realized I did at the time.
The instructors are top notch and 1000% dedicated to teaching, helping and are accessible at all times in and outside of class. So much so that I worried about their personal health. All have proven themselves on the field of battle prior to instructing.
Additionally, by attending Devleague I was automatically plugged into the tech community in Hawaii and participated in all of the high profile coding events that happened during my cohort. I participated in StartUp Weekend (my team took 1st place), Global Game Jam and the AT&T Hackathon. We also benefitted from numerous talks by local industry leaders and meetups. Thus there were and are many networking opportunities.
I didn't need any job assistance when I finished so I can't give a first hand account of all the details associated with that. What I can say is that the instructors and owners of Devleague worked directly with all students who did need assistance and all that I know of who wanted/needed a job did get one. I myself was contacted by three tech companies about interviewing for front-end dev positions. This is probably due to the fact Devleague announces to their employer network when a cohort graduates (once said they stubled upon my github profile).
What really put my Devleague experience over the top however were the other students in my cohort. There were eight of us and all of us made it. Everyone inherently understood that learning to dev is a team effort. No passengers on spaceship Devleague only crew. This really benefitted me because I was the laggard of the group and it felt like I had seven additional instructors. Inspiring stuff.
Worth every penny.
I had zero coding knowledge when I first started DevLeague. I was probably one of the worst students before I even offically became a student to be honest. I had no idea what I was doing and I would send in tons of emails trying to get help on problems I was having. That's how badly I wanted my acceptance into DevLeague. What really amazed me was the amount of help and feedback I received even before being offically enrolled. Then I said to myself, "If I'm getting this much help as someone not in DevLeague, it'll only get better once I'm actually a student there!". It's funny, I think I was so bad that I'm one of the reasons why they had to start DevLeague Prep courses. DevLeague isn't for everyone. If you think you have what it takes, then definitely apply and give it your all because it's going to take everything you've got to succeed. I promise it'll be well worth it though!
When I started Devleague, I had abosolutely ZERO experience with any sort development whatsoever. I tried the prep course before pulling the trigger into the program and from there my life changed. It was not easy, but it was very rewarding. The growth I experienced was exponential. I went from knowing nothing, to speaking code like a second language. One great thing I took away from being here is knowing that I can learn anything now! If you have the proper drive, and belief in yourself, you can make it through and earn the title of Devleague Legend!
Came from a lucrative career but wasn’t happy. Dev League gave me the skills and support to make a successful career change and couldn’t be happier that I did the program.
tl;dr - In short, Dev League was a great experience, the curriculum was very relevant to what I wanted to do (web development), and although they don’t guarantee job placement like some other programs, a week out of Dev League and I’ve had two firm job offers at awesome places. Email me at email@example.com if you want to talk more details and I’d be more than happy to discuss whatever questions you may have.
**** Long version ****
General Overview: There are many bootcamps out there that run a pump and dump operation, and as the only bootcamp in Hawaii (at the time of this post), I was wary at first this was a fly-by-night company. This is very much not the case. I have learned marketable skills, the curriculum was great, and I formed lifelong friends & mentors. Dev League prides themselves in the stewardship or their students, and I cannot think of any platform I could have gone into to give me the same results. I would highly recommend Dev League. I have nothing but gratitude for Dev League and the amazing people who make it work.
Bootcamp vs CS Degree vs Self Taught:
I explored all three options extensively, and going to Dev League made the most sense. The cost of tuition and opportunity cost seems very steep at first, but especially if you are considering going back to school or going the self-taught route, I think Dev League hands down trumps either of those choices. 3 months for the full-time program or 6 months for the part time program, in the grand scheme of things, is short and gets you employable in a nominal period of time. The self taught route is difficult because you need a lot of discipline to keep yourself on track and have little context on industry best practices or scope of basic concepts that have other implications. Also, having no in person support to help if you get stuck on a concept or bug can be frustrating and detrimental to your timeline. There are many great resources online that are free or low-cost, but to get me good enough to be employable in a short period time, this was not an option. Computer science degrees take a long time, are math intensive (which is why I was discouraged to do CS in college), typically are more costly than a bootcamp, and don’t always teach the most relevant material. If you want to do more “computer sciencey” things like writing algorithms or machine learning, a bootcamp is definitely not the right fit. If you want to become a competent practitioner in a short period of time to open up more opportunities to become an awesome developer, you should seriously consider a bootcamp and especially Dev League.
You work long and hard hours. I did the full time program because I simply did not think that working a full-time job and going to class 2 nights/1 full day per week in the part-time program was going to give me the environment I needed to ramp up. I appreciate the part-time program, especially for those who really cannot give up working for 3 months straight, but I drank the koolaid and went all in with the full-time program, which I think was the right decision for me. The full-time course consists of class from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 AM tom 8:00 PM, and we would typically stay after hours to hack more. Make sure that you set the expectations of your friends and family before going into any bootcamp, because it will become your life for at least the time of the program and maybe more.
Our cohort was very close and fun. It took us a couple days to warm up, but once we got going there was no stopping us. It is kind of like going to summer camp; you may not know these people for a very long time but you come out with amazing friendships. The alumni network is extensive and has many people who can give insight to whatever you are working on. Many people leave Hawaii and go work from big brand name companies. Others choose to stay in Hawaii and do a wide variety of work. The instructors are nothing but helpful and always have your back. We work really hard, but also had fun so the long days really went by quick. You’d be surprised how much noise, laughter, and music could come from a room full of programmers.
Instructors: The instructors are well seasoned and care a lot about your outcome even though Dev League does not take a job placement fee like some other bootcamps do. They care about what happens to you after because they are awesome people, and not because a financial stake. We had 2 main instructors who were augmented by 2 other developers who would teach particular subject areas. All were more than willing to help you with whatever you want. They had varied backgrounds from corporate types who built enterprise systems to freelancers, which was good to feel out the scope of what was out there. One of the co-founders of Dev League was a developer, worked in marketing, worked for big companies, had a few of his own companies with successful exits, and came back to Hawaii to help foster the tech community. The other co-founder, who also instructs from time-to-time, owns a good size dev shop, has architected big projects, and is always up-to-date on the most relevant technologies. There is a lot of talent and experience to tap into and more-so they are cool people.
Instructional method: Typically the day starts with a short morning coding challenge, followed by a period for instructors/students to discuss the solution, a scrum to get an idea where everyone is, an afternoon lecture, and then a project for the rest of the day. As the program progresses, there will be less instructional time and more project time. The last 2 weeks is dedicated to a final group project, which is the culmination of all the skills you acquired and you are encouraged to stretch you skills to learn something that might have not been covered in the formal curriculum.
Job Support: Dev League sends out our resumes to a strong network of employers who have historically been interested in the alumni. There are many other adhoc relationships Dev League has with employers which has been very useful in job searches. They will go out of their way to make calls or introductions to get your foot in the door. You still need to do your part and clean up your projects, make a legit resume, and study for the interview, but they are more than willing to go to bat for you. The employer network is not only local to Hawaii, but extends to the mainland. Again, not as much time was placed on the technical interview, but many alumni have come out with some very good and lucrative job offers. The Hawaii pay scale is typically lower than in some other large cities, but that is to be expected. There are some Hawaii employers or large companies with a Hawaii office who can pay the bigger salary to a junior dev, but if you are staying in Hawaii you should temper your expectations. There is also remote job resources which is also a possibility and I have known other alumni who have been able to secure remote work right out of Dev League. I had 2 solid job offers a week after graduation, and a number of other very interested employers that I are compelling.
Conclusion: Like most things in life, YMMV (your milage may vary). If I had to choose Dev League or another route, I would do Dev League all over again. I came from a great and lucrative career, but I really wanted to get into web development. Dev League was the perfect solution and I have made a successful career transition. Again, if you need a little more insight of whether or not Dev League is for you, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!!
It's been a solid six months since I graduated Dev League, and 'till this day I can confidently say it has been the best decision I made in my life.
Coming from a not-so-fortunate family, paying for any education after high school potentially meant a massive amount of debt. I had considered the two standard post-high school plans: Spending two years at a community college only to transfer to a university to get my B.S in Computer Science, or taking out a massive loan to attend a university that could potentially last for more than four years. Neither one of these options sounded appealing at all, but for two years I had been biting on that bullet. The pace in which the classes covered material left me unsatisfied, and hungry for more knowledge. Then in January of 2015, I had found Dev League.
Anxious, nervous, and a mixture of other feelings, I decided to jump ship on my initial plan and go all-in on Dev League, and in May of 2015, I started my journey to becoming a web developer. The first week started off as a refresher, but the courses quickly accelerated. There was very little problems that had stumped the instructors, which made the onboarding process for everyone’s development environment incredibly smooth.
Although there had been moments throughout the course where I had asked myself: ‘Was I overzealous in thinking I could handle this? Did I make a mistake?’, the amount of knowledge that not only the instructors had, but also the entire community that surrounded Dev League was incredibly inspirational, and enough motivation to keep me swimming in the deep end.
It’s no surprise why past Dev League graduates frequently visit the Dev League campus after finishing the course. The amount of information being passed around by everyone is beautiful, especially considering the fact that Hawai’i has such a small tech-community. There are very few elitists, and for the most part everyone is willing to help each other out.
For the most part, It all boils down to how bad you want it.
Coming into Dev League, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I knew that the hours would be long, the work would be difficult, and hopefully, I would learn enough to land myself a job after graduation. The program did not disappoint. Classes are taught by amazing instructors who are incredibly passionate about the software industry and the work that they do. They make every student's success a priority and you could tell that they genuinely wanted us to become great developers.
In the beginning, the amount of content that we had to digest was staggering, almost to the point of being overwhelming. The Dev League learning environment allowed me to take it all in though and apply the knowledge in meaningful ways. I am astounded by my skill level now. Given that most students had minimal experience prior to Dev League, it's truly mind-blowing how much we all have taken away from this in a mere 12 weeks.
I feel far more confident in my programming ability now. Dev League has provided a springboard of dev skills that prepared me for the road ahead. I can't say that I know everything about software development after only 3 months, but I feel capable of learning anything dev related now, whereas before I would have been completely lost. I would recommend that anyone interested into diving into the world of software/web development join a Dev League full-time cohort. You'll learn more useful, applicable skills than you did in 4 years of college, make great friends, and possibly learn what it feels like to sleep on a cot multiple days a week.
Initially, I had serious doubts about joining Dev League. I thought "Web Development? Hell no. I want to program games." This was coming from a weak background in Unity C# programming - if you could call it programming - and I was extremely nervous about wasting time and money. I explored other options including art or returning to traditional schooling (University), but I decided to dive in, considering the bootcamp being in my native state. Best decision I've made in a long time.
When first entering the room I'd spend the next 3 months of my life, there was a mix of excitement and nervousness that all of my classmates were exuding. Tables lined the room, paired with smart-looking monitors and comfy chairs. I took my seat and pretended to look busy checking my email. My busy-making was cut short, thankfully, by the lead instructor and co-founders walk in and starting the round of introductions. After quirky introductions from each classmate (shout out to B-ROCK), we talked about expectations and realities of the course. To be honest, much of the talk about what were going to learn went over my head - like a fire hose to a balloon - but I tried to retain some of the buzzwords like 'asynchronous' and 'node js'. I had no idea what to expect from the course or any prior knowledge about the industry - but I held resistance of my expectations because of my perception of web development.
Dev League (like most bootcamps) is an accelerated course, which means the content moves quick. Real quick. It sometimes feels overwhelming when hopping from complex concepts and implementations to the next every day, and it can make you feel inadequate when your grasp of the concept isn't as strong as the other students. While the Dev League team is supportive and tries to adjust to the general ability of the cohort (which is anywhere from 5 to 15 people), it does not slow down too much because there is so much to cover. I found the pacing daunting at first, but grew to love how fast we covered advanced topics because it forces you to focus and improves the ability to think critically.
TLDR; Highly reccommend
Going through Dev League was definitely one of the top choices I made so far as a young professional.
As I was approaching the end of my time as an undergrad student in mechanical engineering, I wasn't satisfied with the direction I was going in and really wanted to work in tech. With my qualifications, a lot of the employers weren't biting. I also really wanted to learn what really went into building products. With that intent, I enrolled in the part-time Dev League class.
During my six months there, we had so much thrown at us but I enjoyed every moment of it. We weren't just taught to be code monkeys. We were taught everything from client side development, server side development, and databases. Besides just the coding aspects, we were also taught best practices from version control to pair programming to working in teams and even security in the apps we build. I really feel that the things taught to us were practical and prepped us for our first jobs after the bootcamp.
The instructors were probably the best part of Dev League. They were always willing to help and you could tell that they really cared about us learning and grasping the material. They did a great job attracting such motivating instructors who could get us excited about code.
All in all, if anyone is interested in becoming a developer, I have absolutely no hesitation recommending Dev League.
Reflecting upon everything that I have learned from this year as a working professional is but an extension of what I had already learned at Dev League.
It's been nearly a year since I graduated Dev League and I can confidently say that it was because of my experience there that prepared me for such a huge career shift into software development. I'm not saying that I came out a master at Angular, Express, RDBMSes, or NoSQL, but it gave me enough exposure and hands on experience to allow for momentum to become competent enough to utilize such technologies in production environments.
Another powerful asset that I have utilized extensively throughout the year is the community/network that Dev League is building in Hawaii. A community consisting of not only the instructors, students (past, and current), but even well experienced senior engineers from all around the world that now reside in Hawaii and attend the same meetups, and or come in to Dev League to do a talk or workshop. It is through these relationships of common interest and enough rapport, that I can comfortably ask for help and assistance when I need it. I can't emphasize enough how powerful it is to have a resource of a wealth of people who you may turn to when learning and developing with an unfamiliar technology, it is a real time and sanity saver.
I am grateful to have found that Dev League was being established around the same time I was considering a career change. In my previous job I had the responsibility of maintaining my department’s intranet site built with basic HTML, and I was interested in diving further into web development. However, being lost with the multitude of “learn web development” tutorials online, I decided that I needed something much more structured and with in-person guidance. After hearing about Dev League, I decided to take the plunge and give it a shot. I am definitely glad that I grabbed at this opportunity.
A typical day in class when I attended the first cohort started off with solving a problem from Project Euler, followed by a round of technical interview questions. This helped prepare a solid foundation for us once we completed the course and moved onto job hunting. Then we would learn a new concept, such as being introduced to a new framework like Meteor or a tool we could utilize. For the rest of the day we would work on projects. For projects we utilized the Agile Scrum methodology and had fun collaborating on git. For community events, we were heavily involved with the start up community, where we participated in events such as Start Up Weekend, Maker Fair, and Civic-Celerator.
After graduation Russel did an excellent job connecting us with potential job opportunities using Dev League’s expanding employer network. I was one of the few students who moved to the mainland after completing the course, but I still received a great deal of assistance in getting job leads and support. I ended up getting a Front-End Developer job specializing in Responsive Design, and I owe it all to Dev League for giving me all the skills necessary to land my first developer job. Though my job uses PHP instead of Node for their server-side language, I was able to transition to PHP quite easily due to the concepts I had learned from Dev League.
If you are in Hawaii or are considering moving to Hawaii and have an interest in learning web development or making a career change, I highly recommend you give Dev League a chance. You’ll come out of it with the skills of a junior developer, a taste in the world of start ups, and an increased thirst in attaining more knowledge.
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In the summertime, when the weather is hot... it’s a great time to learn to code! If you’re a current college (or high school) student, teacher, or professional looking to enhance your coding skills, a summer coding bootcamp can be a great opportunity to learn new skills in about three months. Many coding bootcamps offer summer course offerings to help you become more tech savvy and get you to that next level to launch a new career in tech. Check out your options below and transform your summer vacation into something far more productive in 2017.Continue Reading →
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Dev League is Hawaii's first web development program, offering full-time and part-time courses to turn students into entry-level web developers. For a limited time, the Course Report community is eligible for a $500 scholarship to Dev League!
Derek Ahn is a local boy from Hawaii who grew up skating and surfing. While he wasn't tech illiterate, he was always intimidated and fascinated by the idea of programming. After meeting Jason Sewell, cofounder of Dev League, at a meet-up, Derek decided to take the plunge. He tells us about his mentors at DevLeague, his learning style, and his final project at Dev League.
What were you up to before deciding to go to Dev League?
Prior to DevLeague I was on track to attending law school, however I had a change of heart at the last second, and instead decided to just get another job and start working again. The majority of my work experience involved heavy machinery such as: fork lifts, ban-saws, meat-grinders, pallet jacks, and print presses of the like, where I worked as a butcher's apprentice (all throughout college), warehouse laborer, and press operator at a sticker company (for a very brief while).
Did you apply to other bootcamps? Why did you ultimately choose DevLeague?
When I finally decided I wanted to become a developer, DevLeague was at the top of my list. I had randomly attended one of their first meet-up events in October and really believed both Russel and Jason were sincerely motivated in creating a better future for Hawaii through education. With a vision like that and ambitious goals accompanied with it, to me is incredibly powerful. I had read a lot of hype about some boot camps in San Francisco, however home is where the heart is, and Russel and Jason's intentions is something I wanted to be apart of. I also believe in being akamai'i (supporting local business).
Which instructors/mentors were especially helpful to you?
With absolutely no coding experience everyone to me was a mentor, but it was awesome I learned so much from everyone. However, Jon (lead instructor) is an absolute brain and was so charismatic and sharing with his knowledge, and wisdom. Jon is the type of instructor who believes in sharing his wealth of knowledge, which is incredibly rare in this day and age. All too often do I meet teachers, instructors, and bosses who hold back in sharing their knowledge in fear of being no longer needed (job security). Jon openly shares his experiences and very cool tricks of the trade, such as an awesome technique/recipe for deployment.
Can you talk about a time when you got stuck in the class and how you pushed through?
Every damn day! Every single morning I felt overwhelmed by the amount of things I needed to know as a pre-requisite before I could do or learn anything. It often felt like I needed to know everything before you could learn anything. I was reared and conditioned by traditional schooling where a student could excel through regurgitation. I excelled as a student in High School and college because I was always able to recall what "things, and concepts" were for tests, without knowing the how, why, or when to apply what I've learned. I concur whole heartedly with a random tweet I read, that went something like this: "It says something about a society, when the driving factor is of institutions expecting good grades more than the students desire to learn". A bit of a tangent there, but I only mention it to emphasize my point of the only thing that got me through... was the desire to learn and WANT to be there. DevLeague was the hardest and most challenging experience I've ever done in my life, but also the most rewarding. I live to code and build!
Did you feel like the teaching methods worked with your learning style?
Honestly no, like I mentioned earlier I was conditioned to being spoon fed and then regurgitating it on tests (except the LSAT). Here at DevLeague you're required to think like a pragmatic programmer and problem solve every step of the way, from 0 to a 100. Being a conditioned mouse, I'm used to structured learning programs where the maze and problems are created and presented to you, and one just runs the maze and solve the problems given and created for you. However, at this boot camp you create your own maze, problems, and assertions. We're taught how to build from the ground up with the latest technologies and tools.
Tell us about your final project- what technologies did you use, how long did it take, what does it do?
My last project at DevLeague was a group project with the whole class where we built an App for the Civic-Accelerator competition. It's an app where we took multiple data sets on local legislators and their campaign contributions and cross-referenced the many data streams to that we transformed into meaningful visual data with D3.js, Angular.js, Express.js, Mongoose.js, Node.js, and MongoDB that presented users not only digestible, but hopefully useful information. We asserted that their was a correlation between industry type of contributions and the bills that local legislators supported. We were really seeking to answer the question of whether money can buy local political influence? So with our app you'll see campaign contribution trends over time, and the industry type divvied into a pie graph against the committees and bills they support.
Jason Sewell is a Cofounder of Dev League, a coding bootcamp based in Honolulu, Hawaii. With personal experience running a bootcamp in a small tech market, Jason has great insight into the challenges and strengths in the industry. He and other bootcamp owners prove that students don't have to move to San Francisco or New York to get a solid education!Continue Reading →