DevMountain offers full-time, part-time, and online tech bootcamp courses at campuses in Lehi, Phoenix, and Dallas. Students are trained and mentored by DevMountain staff and industry experts. The programs are designed to accommodate everyone from beginners to individuals with more programming experience. DevMountain's expert faculty love sharing their craft and empowering the next wave of programmers and entrepreneurs through hands-on learning, a flipped classroom, intense instruction, and engaged mentorship.
Recent DevMountain Reviews: Rating 4.65
Recent DevMountain News
- How Madi Launched a Career in Software QA With DevMountain
- DevMountain's New Campus in Lehi, Utah
- My UX Design Final Project at DevMountain
- Xcode, Objective-C, Design, Mobile, User Experience Design, iOS, Swift
In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week8 Weeks
Want to build iOS (iPhone/iPad) apps? There is no better place to learn. You'll start building apps on Day 1 of the class, and by the end you'll have at least one app in the App Store (possibly even making you money). Classes are rigorous, and previous programming experience is definitely preferred, but if you're up to the challenge, you can become a great iOS developer with a start in this course.
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- DevMountain has partnerships with Climb and SkillsFund.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Programming experience preferred, beginners welcome
- Prep Work
- Once accepted, students must complete pre-course work before first day of class.
- Placement Test
Our 6-week immersive software QA bootcamp will prepare you with the skills needed to become a competitive candidate for junior-level software QA engineer positions. Instruction consists of instructor lectures, guest lecturers, guided projects, individual projects, group projects, and real projects with corporate clients. Students will work collaboratively with the lead instructor and mentors throughout the course. Through experience in specific technologies and frameworks that are popular today, students can achieve a flexible outlook that is comfortable and eager to tackle new technologies in a fast-moving and ever-changing industry.
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- DevMountain has partnerships with Climb and SkillsFund.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- Once accepted, students must complete pre-course work before first day of class.
- Placement Test
Our "After Hours" course is a great way to dive into UX without having to quit your job or school. It's still extremely intense, but allows for a more flexible format. Classes are held nights and weekends. This class is great for those who are interested in UX, need some skills to better their employment options, or simply learn a new skillset.
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- DevMountain has partnerships with Climb and SkillsFund.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
If you're a designer, product person, developer, or simply interested in taking a dive into UX (user experience), this class is for you. Our "Immersive" full-time UI/UX course makes the most of class time because we focus on less theory and more hands-on practice. You're probably already doing some UX whether you know it or not and this course will help you give structure to your innate thoughts through industry know how and structured design processes. The design course at DevMountain is multi-faceted, covering all aspects of the design process from start to finish. While covering both mobile and web design principles students will practice creative discovery, ideation, critical thinking, research collection, wireframing / prototyping, basic front-end coding and more design best practices. The class will teach students to understand and meet modern web and mobile design standards in the product creation process, from first pondering user centered design and design thinking principles to testing their products on multiple devices and measuring the effectiveness of their designs. Students will also learn design principles such as grid systems, typography, color theory, branding and systems-based design, design history and research methods. By the end of the 13-week course, the new designers will graduate with a well-rounded portfolio of work that shows everything they have learned and can achieve in the workplace. This class is great for those who are interested in UX, need some skills to better their employment options, or simply learn a new skillset. The course will prepare students to step into a variety of design roles: web designer, mobile designer, UX designer, UI designer, front-end designer, freelance designer, and more.
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- DevMountain has partnerships with Climb and SkillsFund.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- Placement Test
Our "After Hours" course is a great way to dive into code without having to quit your job or school. It's still extremely intense, but allows for a more flexible format. Classes are held nights and weekends. This class is great for those who are interested in coding, need some skills to better their employment options, or simply learn a new skillset.
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- DevMountain has partnerships with Climb and SkillsFund.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- Once accepted, students must complete pre-course work before first day of class.
- Placement Test
- MySQL, AngularJS, HTML, jQuery, Mobile, CSS, React.js, Node.js
In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week12 Weeks
The full-time class is the best immersive coding experience you can find. It's a world-class coding education. It's also a grind--8 or 10 or 12 hour days of instruction, 1:1 mentoring, and work. You'll live, eat, sleep, and breathe code for 12 weeks. And when you're done, you'll be a different person. This class is great for those who are serious about learning to code. If you want to code as a career, this is the place to do it. There's no better place in the country for this price to get nearly two years worth of world-class education.
- Start Date
- Rolling Start Date
- Class size
- Online, Lehi, Dallas, Phoenix
- DevMountain has partnerships with Climb and SkillsFund.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- Once accepted, students must complete pre-course work before first day of class.
- Placement Test
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I was in DevMountain's first immersive course, web dev in Fall of 2014. I absolutely loved my experience.
It was difficult. They organize the cirriculum so you always feel like you're just slightly (or sometimes, extremely) behind. But they help you out enough that you don't drown or fall behind. I felt like it was the perfect balance to learn effectively.
The mentor program is great. Their entire goal isn't just to debug or find solutions to your problems, but it's to help you learn. If it's better for you, they'll tell you to look it up or figure it out on your own, but only after pointing you in the right direction.
Perhaps the best part of DevMountain is the hands-on mentality. There are lectures almost every day, but the clear focus is on the projects. Every day there is a group mini-project where a mentor will walk the entire class through a project step by step. The mentor doesn't move past a step until every student has their code working up to that point. After the daily mini project, you go off to work on the day's real project on your own. Mentors are made available to help if you get stuck.
After week six, the cirriculum (which, I might add, is very streamlined and focused) is essentially done. For the last six weeks (or seven, starting with the next cohort) you just build projects. There are two projects at this point: your personal project and the group project. The point is to take everything that you've learned for the last six weeks and compile it all into two projects. You can then present these projects to potential employers. DevMountain has a demo night specifically organized to showcase students and their projects to potential employers.
10/10, would learn again.
DevMountain is great, I started in 2014 and its everything they say it is. Ive learned so much during my time with DevMountain. The teachers have been great. The class is fast and sometimes overwhelming but I have learned a lot and am continuing to learn alot. I like the location and price, you can not beat that. I currently do not have a job but will be looking for one as class ends. I recommend it for anyone who feels comfortable with a computer.
I realized that i was interested in coding when I was asked to do a project at work that required some macros in excel. I was enjoying that a lot more than my normal role so a friend (developer) suggested that I try learning a programming language. I spent a lot of time on Codecademy and Lynda.com but eventually got frustrated because the things I was learning weren't resulting in anything tangible. It was valueable information, but I was so far from being able to actually create something that I became discouraged. I didn't want to let go of the idea of programming but I realized that my aimless search for information would eventually lead to me giving up. I considered going back to school to get a CS degree but that seemed like a step back in life and would require multiple years of sacrifice. Finally another friend told me about dev bootcamps. I looked at the well renouned and very expensive bootcamps in the country and quickly realized that i didn't have the means to put my life on hold and move out of state for 3 months with no income. I found the DevMtn cohort and determined that it was my best option. It turned out to be a great decision! I've been done with the class for about a month now. I haven't sent a single resume out, yet i've had 3 job interviews with great companies that FOUND ME on LinkedIn. I'm scheduled for a second interview for 2 of those positions and I feel confident that I will do well. In a nutshell, if you want to learn to code NOW, this is a fantastic way to do it. It is VERY difficult and frustrating because you are bombarded with so much information that never seems to end. But I guess there is a reason that they call them bootcamps. DevMtn was a great experience for me and I would recommend it to anyone who is driven to start a career in web development.
I probably spend 80 + hours per week at dev mountain, or working on projects, or other assignments for the Web Development Immersive Course. I am just graduating, but I have to say, I wouldn't do it any other way. Put in the time, because you will need every minute of it to try to absorb the immense amount of content that will be covered in your 13 week stay.
Great, challenging course, just don't come in with any plans for a social life outside of this while you are here. There really just isn't time for that.
Honestly, I went a few years ago and still regret this choice. DevMountain was a fun experience but not worth the money it costs to have that experience. At the time they made it seem like you would get a job from doing this program. They pushed a 95% job placement for their students. As a 24-year-old, I thought that sounded great and they made it sound great. They really pushed the job aspect and made you believe you would get a job. However, I quickly learned this wasn't the case. I even had one instructor tell us a majority of us wouldn't even get a job but DevMountain wouldn't want me to tell you that. As a Father supporting a family this wasn't what I was wanting to hear. Everything DevMountain said to our group was geared towards us getting a job, they led us to believe we would. Now I take full responsibility for the fact that I never got a job I can't blame my frustrations of not landing a job on a school but I can blame them for the misleading they did. They could have told us from the start that it's going to be hard to land a job but if they did that most of us wouldn't have gone. They also said they would help us get interviews and bring companies to DevMountain to help us get into situations to get interviewed for jobs. This was never the case. They had a website for alumni where they would post job announcements and only one or two jobs ever got posted. I checked daily and nothing ever happened with that site. If they were more upfront with us at the beginning it wouldn't have been bad, but they led us to believe that if we learned these skills people would hire us. I only got a few interviews when I finished and every time I interviewed they would say sorry you don't have enough experience. I understand that life happens and you can't blame others for the bad stuff in life that happens but a school like DevMountain shouldn't have misled like they did. I believe now they corrected some of their mistakes but for the people who were with them at the start kind of got shafted. I had a great time at DevMountain, I learned a lot and enjoyed the people. I turned a lot of opportunities down because DevMountain promised a lot that they didn't live up to, and yes they even said 95% of students were hired. I just wish they were upfront for the students when they started there program. I understand there's a lot of bugs to work out in a new business but a lot of people were affected by their poor decisions.
I attended DevMountain's full time immersive course in the summer of 2016. I had an awesome experience and was blown away how much I could learn and understand in their 12 week course. I felt like I had the support I needed with their instructors and mentors and loved being in an immersive situation with other students.
if you're looking to learn full stack web dev I'd highly recommend DevMTN!
DevMountain was a challenging but fulfilling experience. It costs a lot of money, but the tradeoff is worth it as long as you are willing to work hard to get to where you need to be by graduation. The mentors and instructors were super helpful and knew their stuff. The curriculum contained a lot of outdated and extremely long videos that were marginally helpful, but the in-class gudied projects really helped solidify things. I haven't had the chance to go to a DevMountain hiring event yet so that is why the Job Assistance rating is a 3, although I'm sure the hiring event will be awesome.
All in all, a great experience and I would definitely do it again.
I have applied for dozens if not hundreds of jobs and had a decent number of interviews, but none of them are remotely interested in the middling work I did at DevMountain.
It was a terrible idea to invest in a bootcamp that did not guarantee a job before spending $10,000 and going-on 7 months of unemployment. Do not make my mistake; look elsewhere, or take some Udemy courses instead.
I will try and keep this short and to the point to help future bootcampers make educated decisions when deciding on which track to take, in heading towards a world of web development. First off, my overall experience at Dev Mountain was ok and the staff was very friendly and nice. The facility is nice, clean and is open 24hrs a day, which is great for focusing and coding into the late hours of the night. The housing option was another great feature which lead me towards choosing Dev Mountain as a coding bootcamp. All of these features and options were great, and were probably the reason why I gave the bootcamp a medium rating.
The things I didn't like while attending were some of the lectures and classes were a bit unorganized and the school seemed like they didn't have there stuff together at times. Also some of the curriculum course assignments were out of date, and didn't work when trying to complete the assignments. This made things difficult when trying to learn new concepts in coding. This was not just me, but I know a lot of students complained about this aspect of the schooling as well. I also felt that the lack of professional coding experience by the staff was underwhelming. Outside of the lead instructor, most of the mentors and instructors were very green to the software development world. These were some of the things I was hoping that a bootcamp experience would have delivered on since I was paying for a high priced education. Oh yeah, and towards the end of the experience, they tell you that a bootcamp doesn't really look that good on your resume and that you should try to disguise that somehow. Weird thing to tell your students, who have just paid a bunch of money to go to school and sacrificed everything to change careers. This was another thing myself and other students felt a little strange about, but obviously couldn't do anything since it was disclosed during the last week of schooling.
I think overall out of any bootcamp experience, I think the advertising out there boasts one thing, but the reality of going through it, is another story all together. If I could do it all over again, I would not have quit my job and lost out on so much time and money that I invested. In total, I've been jobless for 6 months now and upon looking for work, there really aren't that many junior dev jobs out there like a lot of bootcamps boast about. If anything, join up with Pluralsight/Udemy, keep your job and learn from building projects that work out of the box. The bootcamps are teaching the same concepts and aren't enlightening the students with any sort of extra knowledge you can't get from a time tested teaching resource like Pluralsight/Udemy. If anything, I've learned more from watching expert PS videos and going through online teaching courses, than at the physical bootcamp schooling. That's just my take on it all, some people need the bootcamp experience, but for me it was not worth my job, time and money invested. I worked really hard while there, and continue to work really hard in trying to move forward, I just thought things would have turned out differently.
Dev Mountain wasn’t a horrible experience for me by any means. The instructors were awesome, and certainly did the best they could to teach you to code in a short amount of time. However, the bottom-line is that Dev Mountain is a double-edged sword. Is it a waste of time? Yes and No.
If you can afford to pay $10,000 and take the Immersive course – I would recommend that you do so. They will teach you the front and back end side of development, and will provide some type of job placement. However, if you cannot afford the Immersive course, or cannot simply be in class all day – DO NOT SIGN UP FOR THE AFTER HOURS CLASS! It is a complete waste of money and time. Some people may argue otherwise, as people certainly have found jobs from the After Hours class. However, there are a number of things to be aware of when it comes to this course.
Dev Mountain will not acknowledge or support their after-hours students. Once you “graduate” from the after-hours program you will not receive ANY support or job placement from Dev Mountain. If someone contacts Dev Mountain to ask about you, they will not say you know what you’re doing because you simply haven’t had enough hours in development to receive their endorsement. You get as much credit from them as if you never took the course in the first place.
You learn nothing about the back-end. All you learn is simple front-end development in HTML, CSS, some jQuery, and AngularJS. With the Immersive you learn both front and back end – an important thing when looking for a developer job.
The most important thing that almost all jobs I was looking for to get in as an entry-level developer is a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science. This is almost the main thing all people looking for Junior Developers are looking for. If you truly want to get into coding – go this route and avoid a coding boot camp.
Now, DevMountain will tell you that they offer an advanced after-hours course to teach the back end which is true. But ask them how many people actually sign up for it. They’ve had to cancel it twice as no one has any interest in doing so after they take the regular after-hours course and find out that they’ve just wasted $5,000. They claim that over 90% of their students find jobs, but these figures are for the people who took the Immersive class. If they kept stats of how many after-hours graduates find jobs (which I’m sure they don’t because they simply don’t care about these students after they have their money) I would think that the placement figures would be around 1%-5%. Which means almost 95% of after-hours students just wasted $5,000.
In the end, I would like to see Dev Mountain just get rid of the after-hours course because it’s just a rip off. If you are going to go to Dev Mountain – take the Immersive course, or don’t go at all. I can’t speak for everyone, but I certainly don’t have $5,000 to waste. I could have taken it out and burned it and I would have ended up with the same results. Dev Mountain is supposedly run by ethical LDS people. If this is the case, I would hope that one day they would do the right thing and get rid of the after hours course and just offer the Immersive one. If you can’t afford $10,000, then find a better way to spend your money.
Response From: Cahlan Sharp of DevMountain
I wish you'd had a better experience in the class. I'm sorry it didn't turn out the way you hoped. I can say that it appears you took the class some time ago, because there have been a few notable changes since the things you mentioned, most notably that we teach back-end in the After Hours class now (we don't do two classes anymore).
I can't speak to how your particular admissions process was, but we try to make it very clear that if a job is your end goal, then you should do everything you can to take the Immersive course. There is so much more we can do to ensure that you get to the level you need to be to start looking for jobs. That is one reason why we don't offer employment assistance to part-time graduates unless they have a completed portfolio of work. Although some employers still use the CS degree as a filter, in our experience with hundreds placed in and around our campuses, these are relatively few and there are still many jobs to be found.
Having said all that, I would love to connect to see what we can do to make things right by you. Please contact me directly so we can take a look at your situation and find a way to get you where you want to be.
I attended an immersive full stack web development cohort here (12-week program) and put in roughly 80-100 hours / week into it. These camps you definitely get out what you put in. It was hard but I learned and grew an extraordinary amount in that small period of time. The leadership at DevMountain is incredibly caring, positive, and want you to succeed. They will do whatever it takes to make sure you feel like you got your moneys worth.
That all said... the curriculum could use a little work (as of early 2016). I know that is a focus for them so hopefully it will get better as time goes on. It's definitely not enough to ding more than maybe a single star.
I Also agree that DevMountain is a great school, and the staff are really great people that want you to succeed. It is a cool experience, the environement is very chill and I did learn a ton.
The only bad thing about DevMountain is the lack of help in finding a job after you finish the bootcamp. It is really hard to get into the job market and start your carrer. I believe the school should help to assist us with employment or find other ways to help get us experience in the industry, especially after the cost of the school.
There are other bootcamps that offer, for example, get hired or receive a full tuition refund. With DevMountain you are on your own.
I tryed asking for help for opportunities but hardly recieved any help. It's been a year now and I'm still trying to find a job.
I just want to leave a note because there are a ton of reivews for DevMountain on here. It can be hard to sift through.
I attended DevMountain and graduated from their immersive web development course.
DevMountain is a great school, and their staff are actually really great people, and you can really learn when you try. Everything said in these reviews can sometime seem like it is too good to be true, but honestly a lot of it is true. It is a phenomenal experience, environemtn and I learned a ton.
The only critiscism I have of the bootcamp is their job assistance. It is almost non-existent. They really don't make a ton of connections for you. I had a really hard time getting into the job market and making a name for myself. The job curriculum there is not the best. I as the student, I am in charge of my education and controlling how well and how much I learn. But I feel like it is the bootcamp's job to assist us in employment because we, the students, have no connections to the idustry.
Just know that landing a job after a bootcamp is going to take time and a lot of effort.
I am know employeed at my dream job, at a gaming company but it took me about 6 months to land some where.
I don't think that is enough to deter you from DevMountain because learning at DevMountain is superb, but it is enough to heed a warning.
I took DevMountain's part-time web development class. It was a great school, class, and learning environment but I want to learn more.
For me, I don't think the part-time class was enough. I wish I would have taken the full-time class. I just don't have the time to be able to drop everything I am doing and dedicate full-time to learning code.
I think I just went into the part-time bootcamp thinking things would be easy because part-time = less time, which means less work. I think myself, along with many other students, came into the class expecting it to be a fruitful endeavor while also being a breeze. On about week 1 or 2, myself and my classmates realized that was not the case. The bootcamp was a kick in the pants.
I would only recommend taking DevMountain if you are 100% serious about learning these difficult skills. It really showed me what it truly takes to become a developer. Students at DevMountain needs to be dedicated.
The part-time class was perfect for me because I was still attending a local university. Attending DevMountain in the evenings was ideal for my schedule. But I do wish I could of dedicated even more time to learning.
The curriculum was seriously challenging. We all buckled down and put ourselves to work. Our mentors and instructors were super helpful in the whole process and now that the class is over I feel really comfortable with my skills.
My goal was met in taking DevMountain, I just wish I had time to take the full-time class.
My time at DevMountain was a great experence for learning new skills and learning HOW to learn. They really care about your success and provide you with as much help as they can to help you feel comfortable with your progress. They allowed me to repeat some of the class to further understand the concepts (At no extra cost) in order to help me succeed.
I loved my experience at DevMountain. I had zero coding or programming experience and after three months I had two applicaitons in the app store. I learned so much and it was a great jumpstart into my career. My only regret is that I didn't hear about it sooner!
I am a recent graduate of the program. It is a very difficult program and you learn alot during the three months you are there. You end up having lots of questions and headaches but there is some one that is always there to help you figure things out and stay motivated. It was a great program and I would recomend it to anyone that is willing to put in the time and effort to be there and work on code.
I attended DevMountain with no coding experience other than their required pre course work. I was able to learn more in 3 months than I did through my entire college career. Each day, they brought in instructors from the industry to teach well planned lessons. They also have mentors that are assigned to you, that are a great help in solidifying the material covered each day. Their hands on, project based methodology works very well compared to traditional schooling. DevMountain also has many empllyees that are there just for the purpose of helping you excel through the program, as well as dedicated employer-relations personnel to assist you in finding a job after the program. I believe that DevMountain is the best option out there if you want to learn how to code.
I really enjoyed my time at DevMountain. The instructors had a deep understanding of what they were teaching, and were great at explaining concepts differently to students who needed more explanation. The curriculum prepared me for the job I currently have really well.
Our latest on DevMountain
Madi spent a few years trying different career paths, but didn’t get really excited about anything until she discovered Software QA. She considered teaching herself, but decided to enroll in DevMountain’s Software QA bootcamp in Utah to learn more, get experience, and build a portfolio. Madi tells us about working on projects with members of her diverse cohort, learning from DevMountain instructors who had real industry experience, and how a chance meeting on a bus led to her new job as a QA Engineer at Young Living Essential Oils!
What were you up to before DevMountain?
I attended a traditional four-year college for music education for one year because I loved it, but I knew that wasn’t my ultimate career goal. I decided to go on a long-term mission trip with my church, and when I returned got a job as a medical receptionist. I absolutely loved the dynamic nature of that job in talking with people every day and working on the computer.
But I had a feeling there was more for me, so I spent the next year and a half figuring out what was next. I applied to a bunch of different jobs and tried different schools. My husband is a software developer so I had an idea of what the software world looked like, and while QA sounded cool, I didn’t think I had the skills to go for a job. I knew DevMountain offered coding bootcamps but their Software QA bootcamp got me really excited. They taught both manual and automated testing, which I knew would make me more marketable. They also don’t just teach you the material; they help you get a job by helping you build your resume and LinkedIn profile, practice interviewing, and offer networking events - all of that together just sounded like a great way to get into the industry.
Did you consider a different route to QA than a bootcamp? Perhaps teaching yourself or going to a university?
I considered teaching myself, but I figured it would be faster to go through DevMountain. I knew I would commit to it more if it was full-time and immersive, rather than doing a few hours here and there at home. I love learning in-person and wanted to be able to ask an instructor questions, especially with learning coding and test automation. I didn’t really consider a college degree – I knew there wasn’t a direct path to a QA career from a university, so this seemed like a simpler and more direct path.
What was DevMountain’s application and interview process?
There was a 30-minute phone interview with one of the admissions representatives which allowed me to ask questions and gave them an idea of my background and my interest level. Then I had to complete a practical challenge, which was pretty simple and not intimidating, and we could use any resources we needed (I asked my husband a few questions!). It was a basic web application to test with a pre-made Excel spreadsheet to log what we found.
After being accepted, I applied for a loan through Climb, one of DevMountain’s financial partners. They helped me finance my bootcamp and have been really great to work with – I’d definitely recommend them.
Who were the other students in your cohort?
DevMountain had just started an online option so we were a small cohort of only 6 people. We were three women and three men. Two of us were from Utah, two were from India, one was from Philadelphia, and one was from Russia. Our backgrounds were diverse as well. One person had interned as a software tester before, another was a developer in other languages, and the rest of us had very little or no experience.
What tools and technologies did you learn in the software QA curriculum?
The main structure of the course was based on preparing for a certification through the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB). The curriculum covered a lot of terminologies and testing methodology, and it was designed to help us qualify for the certification exam at the end of the course, which DevMountain paid for.
The tools and technology we used:
- Jira, the development tracking tool. We moved cards through the workflow, ensured we had traceability with our test cases, and learned how to write test plans and test cases.
- We used an API testing software called Postman.
What was the bootcamp instruction format?
It was super awesome. The first half of the day was lecture time with powerpoint presentations, discussions, and breakout partner activities to answer questions or do a small challenge. The second half of the day we worked on projects based on the day’s lecture. The final two weeks of the course we were completely focused on projects. We had a week-long group project where we worked with a partner or a group to test a chosen website or app. We spent the project time planning out test cases and approach, documenting, and then running the test cases and testing throughout. The final week was a solo project for which we found an app to test by ourselves.
What was your favorite project during the QA bootcamp?
I think it was the group project where we worked on Yoodlize, an actual website being developed by a friend of our instructor. We got to test the alpha version and report bugs that went to a developer to work on throughout the week. It was really exciting to get into a real-world project.
What types of career preparation and job assistance did DevMountain provide?
DevMountain has a designated career counselor who comes into class once or twice a week to talk about what makes a good resume and a good LinkedIn profile in this industry. They coached us through specific principles and then we would build out our own profiles and get them checked off at the end of every week so they were up to date.
At the end of the course, DevMountain staff helped us with interview prep questions in a large group setting. The career counselor randomly picked a person, asked them an interview question on the spot, and then would then coach us through what would be a more ideal answer, or perhaps what the interviewer might be trying to understand through the question. We also did one-on-one interview practice with our instructors – nothing too formal, but a great chance to answer questions and brainstorm our interview responses. It was super helpful for me.
Congrats on finding a job as a QA Engineer at Young Living! How did you find it?
It was a bit of a crazy story that came down to good networking and a little bit of providence! I attended a QA meetup in the area where a bunch of us get together and do some workshops lead by senior QA professionals, and I met the Head of QA Automation from Young Living. I knew it was a great company, so I introduced myself and told him I was definitely interested in applying once I was done with my bootcamp.
A separate time, I was riding the bus on my way home from DevMountain and I overheard a guy talking about QA with someone else so I decided to jump into the conversation! He was also a QA Engineer at Young Living! He told me they had an opening and we discussed what they were looking for in a candidate, but I was still several weeks away from finishing the bootcamp. When I graduated, I sent him my LinkedIn profile and inquired about the open position. I filled out the application and reached out to the Head of QA I had met at the meetup to let him know I had applied. They got together, brought me in for an interview, and I was hired just over two weeks after finishing DevMountain!
What is Young Living and how does your role in Software QA fit into the company?
Young Living’s goal is to get essential oils into every home in the world. I’m on the New Market Team – we’re responsible for opening up new markets in new countries. The other teams work on new and existing website functionalities for existing markets, but the New Market Team works on configuring what we have according to the specifications of each new country market that we enter. It’s very exciting and fast-paced because we have the goal to open five new markets each year for the next five years.
I’m one of a few QA Engineers on the team and we make sure everyone knows what needs to happen so that the software is testable. I coordinate with the developers and product owners to make sure I understand the software requirements, then I test it manually and record what I find. I’ve recorded quite a few bugs already. (I took this part out because it’s basically a no-brainer explanation of everything I do as a QA Engineer.) We have really tight deadlines but I’m working with some great people who are helping me write better test cases and improve my skills as a tester.
Are you using the same technologies you used at DevMountain or have you learned new platforms?
How have your first several weeks been as a QA Engineer?
The first two weeks were an onboarding process and there was a bit of a team reorganization at the same time. That gave me a great opportunity to familiarize myself with a lot of the softwares and continue learning SQL. Since joining the New Market Team, I’ve been sitting next to the guy I met on the bus and he’s been mentoring and training me along the way and answering my questions. I’ve already been really surprised at my level of independence in the first six weeks of working. There’s still tons to learn, but I’m learning to answer questions myself, I’m finding I can hold my own in meetings, and I’m contributing value in our team coordinations, so that’s all been very exciting.
I have learned that being able to talk to a number of different people is really important as a QA Engineer. I’ve also found that my interpersonal skills from my previous roles have been helpful. In QA, it’s very important to be able to communicate well – we even covered that in DevMountain. You need to know how to kindly communicate to a developer about a bug they created in their code that needs to be fixed. I developed those skills in my previous roles and enhanced them in DevMountain.
Do you think a bootcamp was necessary or do you think you could have taught yourself the concepts?
Honestly, I don’t think I would have been this employable if I had learned on my own. DevMountain helped me learn methodologies and development cycles. I probably could have learned those on my own, but I learned it in a more real way from an instructor who had been a QA engineer and had real-world experience. He could tell us about the day-to-day struggles of the job. I think the combination of everything in DevMountain’s curriculum were things I wouldn’t have known to have put together without a lot more time investment.
DevMountain has been a very supportive community. I’ve stayed in touch with a career counselor and a student success counselor who follow each student’s journey through DevMountain. They regularly follow up to see how I’m doing and offered their congratulations when I landed a job.
What has been your biggest challenge in becoming a QA Engineer?
My biggest challenge has probably been “imposter syndrome” – I think to myself “who am I to call myself a QA Engineer after a six-week course, and then apply to companies that will pay me a higher salary than anything I’ve had before?” And yet, I now know what I need to be a QA Engineer and, relative to my non-QA team members, I’m an expert at testing software. I’m still working on it and I still want to make sure I know what I’m talking about before I contribute to discussions, but that’s something they also addressed at DevMountain. They told us, “you are the expert at this part of the process.”
What advice do you have for others who are considering a bootcamp like DevMountain to make a career change?
It’s so worth it and I absolutely love QA. I thought it was interesting before I started but I have discovered that I am deeply passionate about this. DevMountain was such a small investment relative to what I learned in such a short time and what I’m able to make now. I’ll be able to pay back my loan in a couple of months.
Bootcamps are so totally worth it. They require hard work and you’ll want continue investing time to keep up your skills afterwards, but I think bootcamps are invaluable. People think they can just test software but I came out of DevMountain with technology experience and a portfolio from working on real projects that I could not have gained otherwise. I feel like I’m thriving right now. I’m super grateful for the time at DevMountain and the push to get where I am now. I can’t say enough about how much they did for me and how much broader a scope of opportunities they offered me.
With classes spread between Salt Lake City and Provo, the DevMountain team has decided to bring all its Utah operations under one roof in centrally-located Lehi. We sat down with DevMountain Executive Director Krissy Weekley to hear how Lehi has become the tech hub of Utah, which big tech companies are hiring coding bootcamp grads in Lehi, and how having the UX, iOS, Software QA, and Web Development students in one place will allow them to interact, collaborate and learn from each other.
Can you tell me about your background, and your role at DevMountain?
I'm an entrepreneur by trade. I love starting different businesses, and working on different ideas.
Back when coding bootcamps were brand new I wanted to learn how to code, so I attended DevMountain as part of their very first immersive cohort. At that time, DevMountain was small with only a few people running the show – the founders, an instructor, and an office manager. I have a business degree, and come from a business background, and I approached the founder to ask if I could help out. That’s how it all started. Now, I’m DevMountain’s Executive Director.
What’s your involvement in opening the new DevMountain Lehi campus?
I’m working on the operational side to get the new campus up and running. We originally had two campuses running different courses in Utah – in Provo we ran the web development course, and in Salt Lake City we had UX, IOS, and QA courses. Now we’re moving all of our courses and Utah operations to Lehi.
With all the courses together under one roof, we believe the organization can work better, as a whole, with cross-departmental communication, between both staff and students. We want our students to work in cross-functional teams so they’re better adapted to enter the workplace – in a real-world work scenario, designers, mobile and web developers, and QA all have to work together. This way, they understand the different approaches of designers and developers.
Under certain circumstances we can also allow our students to switch programs. Maybe they come to DevMountain thinking they want to do web development, but then realize the UX design class speaks more to them. We want to help our students succeed in the classes we offer. Devmountain is more like a new-age, fast paced, university experience. It’s a really fun environment to be part of.
Why did you choose Lehi, specifically, as the place to bring all of these disciplines together under one roof?
The tech scene is huge here. It's actually called the “Silicon Slopes” of Utah. There are some big billion dollar companies in this area. We have Qualtrics, Adobe, Domo, Vivint, and many other companies here. It's a tech hub, and we want to be in the heart of tech. Visibility is key. We want to be five minutes away from these companies, so employees or hiring managers can stop in on their lunch breaks, come to our campus, and see the high-quality work our students are doing. It’s also important for our students to know that they have the attention of the business community.
Geographically, Lehi is also in an ideal location. Salt Lake City is north, Provo is south, and Lehi is directly in the middle. That’s why Lehi’s become the heart of the tech scene in Utah. It’s a great place for companies, and for talent.
Compared to other coding bootcamps in the Silicon Slopes area, what stands out to you about DevMountain?
We work hard to make sure our students succeed, and I think they feel that. Our mentors are only required to work a certain number of hours a week, but they’ll often work much longer, because they love to help students. We’ve built a community here – it’s a caring culture. We tend to hire people based on whether they are passionate about their work. Those are the people we want on board, because DevMountain truly is a company that’s changing lives.
We also want students to get what they’ve paid for. We want them to leave feeling like they learned everything they wanted to learn. We’ve established our credibility. It’s clear that when you come to DevMountain, you’re going to know how to code, and be given opportunities to do so. Since DevMountain started five years ago, we have a huge network, with thousands of our graduates working in tech jobs.
The other unique thing I mentioned earlier is that if you come to DevMountain and decide development isn't for you, you can talk to your instructor and your student success coach and they will help you navigate what is best for you. If there is something else, like UX design or QA testing, we will do what it takes to help you be successful in one of our programs. I think a lot of people want to learn to code because they see the big salary figures. We want our students to gain a skill that they actually like, that’s going to help them find employment when they graduate. We want our students to make a good living while loving what they do.
How many students, instructors, and mentors will you have at the Lehi campus?
We can accommodate 200+ students at a time across our immersive courses. We'll have four web classes, with four instructors, plus two to three mentors per class depending on the size. We’ll also have two IOS classes, with two instructors, and up to two mentors for each class. Finally, there will be a UX class, and a QA class.
What is the Lehi campus like?
The campus has floor-to-ceiling windows on the outside. Everything in the building is brand new. Everything is fresh and clean, and all the amenities are so nice. It's very welcoming and open. It’s been well-received, for sure. Our staff and students keep saying, “I love it here! When can we come?”
We want our students to feel comfortable in their working spaces, and be free from distraction. There's a communal kitchen, we have eight to 10 breakout rooms, and a big lab area where students can collaborate with people from different programs. If you’re in the web development program and you want to ask a designer how to make something for your app, it’s now much easier to do that. We also have a recreation room, featuring a ping pong and foosball table. Soon, we’ll have an 80-inch screen for students to play Super Smash Brothers, if they want. We also have sodas and coffee for students throughout the day, and we provide Friday breakfast. We provide similar amenities at all of our campuses.
As for the area itself, we're located right off the freeway, next to Adobe and Entrata. Cabela’s is next door. We’re really in the heart of these tech companies.
How is the Lehi campus going so far?
We’re still in the transition process, but our first Lehi class started January 7. Our Provo campus is closing and moving operations to Lehi on January 26, and our Salt Lake City campus is moving on February 26. Both campuses will be folded into the Lehi campus by mid-March 2019. So far, Lehi has been amazing. It’s fun to see the staff and student responses.
What housing accommodations will be available for students in Lehi?
We provide housing at all of out campuses. At our Provo and Salt Lake City campuses, students shared a room with four or five people and had a bed to themselves. We’re going to offer the same amenities here. Or if you’re commuting, we’ll also have public transport passes at a discounted price so you can ride the train or take the bus to get to our campus.
Which local companies are hiring junior developers, UX designers, iOS developers and software QA developers in Lehi?
There are all types of companies: Overstock. Adobe, Vivint Solar, Entrada, Canopy, and many more. There are also a ton of start-ups in the area.
Do you think grads from the Lehi campus will get jobs in Salt Lake City, and Provo, as well?
Absolutely. We may be in Lehi, and there are a ton of companies here, but companies all over Utah are hiring, and they will continue to hire our students. Our students tend to focus on the best job opportunity, and not necessarily where, in the state, they’ll go. A lot of our students also come from out-of-state. So, they might go home and get jobs in California or Florida. Students who’ve opted to stay in Utah have had great success getting jobs in Salt Lake City, or Provo, or in other cities throughout the state. Since a lot of companies are located in Lehi, a lot of our students end up getting jobs here, as well.
For beginners seeking to get a better understanding of coding, are there any meetups in the area that you would recommend?
We’re starting a meetup at our new campus in April. It’ll be geared towards all of our programs, so we’ll switch around who runs it. Each month, the major topic – whether it’s web, IOS development or QA – will switch, but we’ll have lightning talks on the other topics. Community members, and those who want to learn how to code, are welcome to attend these meetups. They're also welcome to attend the project presentations we have every month, featuring things our students have built in class.
We welcome members of the community to come check us out! We’d love for them to tour our campus, and see our new space. It’s beautiful, and it's exciting, and it's definitely excited our students.
Justin worked in graphic design and art direction for more than 10 years before wanting to digitize his skill set. He’d never heard of UX design, but when he started researching, he realized it ticked all of his boxes. Justin enrolled in DevMountain’s full-time UX Design Bootcamp in Salt Lake City, and designed a fascinating app to help refugees pair with mentors as they resettle. Justin shows us his DevMountain final project on video, tells us how he worked through the trepidation he felt changing careers in his 40s, and how he managed to persuade his current employer to pay for the program and shift his role to UX Design Lead!
What were you up to before DevMountain?
I have a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Utah. Right out of college, I joined a clothing company as their Art Director – designing ads, sales material, marketing collateral, editing photo shoots and designing print patterns for clothing. It was a really fun job that allowed me to be very creative.
From there, I moved to the RBL Group, a Leadership and HR consulting firm, where I was the Art Director. I joke that instead of working with fashion models, I now work with leadership and HR competency models. It's been a good job.
What made you want to upskill and learn UX design at bootcamp?
Part of my motivation was that I didn’t want to be a graphic designer for the rest of my life. I love visual design, but I wanted to be able to contribute more to business success and performance. And I felt like UX gave me a way to do that.
Also, of all the projects I was working on, I found that I enjoyed working on digital applications the most. Working on websites and apps was far more exciting than formatting articles and ads. So, I decided to see how I could further my capabilities within website and app design, and looked into other careers. When I first read about UX design, I had no idea what it was. I looked into it and was intrigued by the descriptions of what UX Designers did. That led me to explore UX as a career.
What made you choose DevMountain over other learning options?
The first bootcamp I heard of was one offered by General Assembly in Seattle. That was very intriguing to me – I had friends in Seattle – so I initially made plans to stay with them while I attended the full-time UX bootcamp in Seattle.
But when I discovered DevMountain and realized it was right here in Salt Lake City, that was a no-brainer. I wanted to make sure it was a good program, so I met with Brandon, the Head of UX at DevMountain. I sat in on a class and asked him all kinds of questions about the outcomes and the curriculum. I also discussed my concerns about my age, and how having an established career, family, mortgage, and all these things would factor into my success in the program. But ultimately, it came down to the fact that DevMountain is right here in Utah. I could live at home and still be available to my job, if they needed me.
Was The RBL Group supportive of your decision to take a bootcamp? Did you take leave from work?
They were very supportive, but it took a bit of convincing. I started to explore the idea of doing this with my manager about three years ago. My proposal was unprecedented – it meant I would be gone for three months and the company would have to find a way to cover my role. It was met with a bit of resistance, but they do aim to have individual development plans for employees. So it took a while to make it happen, but then they ended up paying the tuition for DevMountain, and my salary while I was gone!
I signed an agreement that I would stay with the company for at least a year after graduating which I thought that was more than fair since they were giving me that education and that opportunity. I got so lucky, but a lot of it has to do with the fact they really value what I bring to the company and I've been here a long time. I don't imagine this is a likely scenario for a lot of people who are employed full-time.
What was the DevMountain application and interview process like for you?
It was very simple. There was a phone interview and a design challenge. In the phone interview they asked about my background, why I wanted to get into UX, what I was hoping to get out of the program, where I wanted to go with it – to make sure I was a good fit.
For the design challenge, we had to design a music listening app and design six screens, with arrows pointing to what would do what, then test it with a few users, get feedback, and write the changes we would make to the app if we had more time to do so. I had no idea how competitive the application process was. I had gone through a similar process to get into design school at the University of Utah, which was ultra-competitive – hundreds of students applied for 30 slots. I had that in the back of my mind, so I took the design challenge very seriously and probably spent way too much time on it.
How many people were in your cohort? Did you feel that the class was diverse in terms of gender, race, or life and career backgrounds?
There were 16 people – 4 women and 12 men in the class. I really enjoyed how there were several students from out of state so it wasn't just a bunch of local people. It was not very diverse in terms of race, but it was diverse in terms of career and life experience. I was surprised that I was the only one with a background in visual design. There were a few students who had dabbled in graphic design, but for the most part, they were students or younger people who didn't have an established career yet. I was easily the oldest person in the class.
Can you walk me through the learning experience? What was a typical day and did the teaching style match your learning style?
A typical day at DevMountain started with a creative exercise. Sometimes it was directly related to UX activities and sometimes it was completely unrelated but got us thinking in creative ways. After that, we would have a guest lecture or a lecture from one of the DevMountain instructors. That might be followed by time to work on our projects in groups or individually.
The first third of the course was heavy on lectures and learning principles, while the remainder of the course was heavy on project work. And mentors were always there and available for feedback. I really enjoyed the design of the course.
What types of design tools did you learn about at DevMountain? Were there any tools that you didn't know about before?
Certainly. Sketch was one that I’d never played with. Adobe XD was one that I was very familiar with. I started working in XD three years ago when it first came out. I used to design our website at RBL using Adobe InDesign, which was not meant for designing websites. Today, I've completely transitioned to designing in XD. That definitely has a lot to do with what I learned at DevMountain. A big part of that was the integration of XD with the developer tool called Zeplin. In the past I would design something in InDesign, then export to PDF, and manually input specs for color, font, and spacing. The whole process was really clunky. The integration with XD and Zeplin is super slick and developer friendly.
We learned a tool for prototyping that required a little bit of coding. It was a little more technical than what I was comfortable with, so I didn't really latch on to that. Balsamiq was another one that we used on one of our projects, which I didn't really care for. Sketch, XD, and Zeplin were the tools that I really learned and gravitated towards while I was at the program.
How were you involved with The RBL Group while you were studying? How did you balance your job with your coding bootcamp commitments?
For the most part, I was able to fully disconnect – that's how I set it up. I assembled a team of people to cover for me. There were a few projects that I needed to step in on, but for the most part, I was able to disconnect.
Tell me about your final project you worked on at DevMountain!
My group and I built a website to address a social challenge that we're facing right now: resettling refugees in the United States. The instructor gave us 12 or 16 social challenge ideas, and as a group we decided what to work on. We chose this idea because I had some experience helping refugees. So our project, Remote Refugee Coaching, is dedicated to helping refugees resettle in the United States.
The website is dedicated to attracting mentors who would help refugees settle in our communities. Mentors can use the site to fill out an application form and agree to a background check. Once a mentor is approved, they can fill in their preferences about who and how many people they want to mentor, when they are available, and how they want to communicate. Once a mentor has completed mentor training, they can start interacting with refugees via chat, instant message, video call or email. Users can also document their experiences on the site in an online journal.
How did you decide which technologies to use for research, prototyping, and testing?
We spent the majority of our time designing in Adobe XD. But we started with sketching. After interviews and the research phase, we started sketching ideas to brainstorm what the product was going to be. Once we felt like we were going in the right direction, we used a tool called Balsamiq, a bare-bones prototyping tool. But we quickly moved on from there and jumped into XD when we wanted to start doing mid-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes.
Can you tell me about your UX research and who you talked with during that research?
Part of the UX process is writing out your assumptions. At DevMountain, we were coached and taught and given the tools to do that kind of activity. One of our assumptions was that this would be a solution specifically for refugees. We made assumptions that language, finding a job, and housing were the main issues as to why refugees struggle to settle into the United States.
So we went into our interviews with those assumptions. We set up interviews with refugees as well as experts from Catholic Community Services which is an authorized refugee resettling organization here in Salt Lake City. We asked, “What are the biggest challenges? How hard is it for refugees to find housing and learn to speak English?” We were pretty spot on with our assumptions. But through research and interviews, we discovered that one of the greatest needs is for mentors – people willing to devote time to helping refugees integrate into our culture.
How did you transition back into your job at the RBL Group? Are you now a UX Designer?
Given that we're a pretty small company, we weren’t even hiring for the position of UX Designer and we didn't have a UX team. But I wanted to start functioning as a UX Designer. So there was no resistance to me taking on a new role of UX Design Lead. It was kind of a self-appointed lead, but everybody was totally fine with it.
How are you utilizing the new technologies that you learned at DevMountain in this role now? How has your day-to-day role changed?
My day-to-day role has definitely changed. I'm definitely using tools that I learned at DevMountain. I now spend 90% of my time in XD, whereas before I was just dabbling in it. Before DevMountain, I would occasionally design for the website; today, that’s mostly what I do. Before DevMountain I was formatting papers and printed material. Now it's almost strictly digital applications that I'm working on, specifically the website. We're in the middle of a major overhaul of our current site. We just released the beta site internally to employees.
What's been the biggest challenge or roadblock in this journey to switching to UX design via a bootcamp like DevMountain?
My biggest roadblock was just being established in my career and having a family, obligations, debt, and just being really busy in life. Did I really want to make this career switch in my 40s? I had a fear that if I actually made the transition, there might be a cut in pay, and I might have to take a step back before I could take a step forward. That’s still a possibility. We’ll see what happens!
What’s your advice for other people who are thinking about upskilling or switching careers through a bootcamp?
My advice is to absolutely do it. Especially if you're young and considering a career in tech – UX design, programming, or QA – do a bootcamp for sure. It's so much less of a commitment to do a bootcamp to discover whether or not you want to have a career in tech, than going through a four-year program at a university. Education is totally evolving, and universities are scrambling to figure out how to compete with places like DevMountain. At bootcamps you're getting hands-on technical skills in a short amount of time that are very applicable to what you're going to be doing in the real world. So I'm all for it.
My route to DevMountain was very unconventional. I wouldn’t say, "Do what I did,” because there are not a lot of companies willing to let you leave for three months. If you want to keep your job while studying, you’re more likely to do an after-hours course. I can't speak to the experience of a part-time student, but from what I understand, full-time is the way to go, because you are able to unplug from everything else, commit to what you're learning, work on the projects, and be a part of a team.
My other piece of advice is to put other commitments and distractions aside. Tech bootcamps are not cheap. Break up with your girlfriend (or boyfriend) for three months, quit your part-time job, really focus on the program, and give it your all. If you do, you will likely land a sweet job or at least an internship that will lead to a sweet job.
As a Director of Software Engineering at Progressive Leasing, Kristie Azarela hired her first coding boot camp grad in 2017. After meeting Jodi Parker at a DevMountain hiring event, she found that Jodi’s QA and graphic design background, combined with a three month-coding boot camp made her a great candidate for Progressive Leasing. Kristie tells us about Jodi’s interview process, her progress in her new role and why she recommends DevMountain to other employers.
Tell us about Progressive Leasing – what’s your role there?
I’m a Director of Software Engineering at Progressive Leasing, which has been providing simple and affordable lease-to-own options for credit-challenged consumers since 1999. I lead a team of software engineers responsible for the oversight of our current application platform.
As an employer, how did you first get connected with DevMountain?
The national unemployment rate is 3.9% (3.1% in Utah!) so it’s incredibly challenging to find technology talent. On top of that, the job market along the Wasatch Front aka “Silicon Slopes” is very competitive. Our talent acquisition team conducts hundreds of interviews each month as well as holding hiring events which they invite leads and directors to participate in. I was excited to participate at a DevMountain hiring event because I love to meet and support students who are just starting out in their career.
I talked to a lot of great students that day and wish I could have hired them all, but one person, Jodi Parker stood out to me for a variety of reasons. She was really enthusiastic and excited about the opportunity to talk to me. She also asked great questions, was really motivated and seemed driven to succeed. She reached out directly after the event, so I invited her in to meet in person for an interview, and we were fortunate enough to hire her as a Software Engineer working on the front end of our application, using Angular and Node. It was my first DevMountain hire and she is fantastic!
Has Progressive Leasing hired any other DevMountain grads or coding bootcamp grads?
I’d have to ask our Technology Recruiting Manager, Michelle Garretson, but I know we have had candidates apply from DevMountain, as well as other Coding Bootcamps in the Salt Lake City area. Often times, students have limited work experience so they don’t meet the minimum qualifications of the role. Jody is the first Bootcamp student that I have personally hired.
So what stood out about Jodi? Why did she get the job?
Jodi had recently graduated from DevMountain but prior to going through that program, she did have some technology work experience. She had some previous experience in QA, Graphic Design and experience as a UX designer. This prior work experience, along with the skills she learned at DevMountain, and great interview made it easy to hire her.
Tell me about the interview process that Jodi went through. How did she do?
I can’t share details about our interview process, but Jodi went through the same process as all other candidates and she was hired so that should tell you how the interview went!
Nobody had any hesitation or reservations about hiring Jodi. I got good feedback from everyone who participated in the interview, so I felt like she'd be a good fit. When she didn't know the answer to a technical question, she said so. I would much rather have someone in an interview tell me that they don't know the answer, but they could learn it or they could find out, than try to make up an answer.
As a woman in charge of an engineering team, are you an advocate to get more women into coding?
Progressive Leasing does a great job of diversity recruiting, and luckily we’ve been fortunate to attract women across the organization. We value diversity!
So Jodi is working in Angular and Node. Are those technologies she already knew from DevMountain or has she trained up since she started at Progressive Leasing?
She had some exposure to Angular at DevMountain. She definitely had to learn our application, but she's a self-starter and pushed herself to learn within the first sprints of work.
I have several senior engineers on my team, and there is an expectation, like in any organization, that senior engineers provide mentorship to other engineers on the team. It's not formalized, but when Jodi has had questions or downtime, I know she's worked with one of our back end senior engineers to start learning more about the API and C#.
How is Jodi doing in the job so far?
She's very professional, super sharp, and driven to succeed. I’m happy she joined the company almost a year ago, wow. I hope she will share her positive experience with other students at DevMountain.
What is your advice to other employers who are thinking about hiring from a coding bootcamp or from DevMountain in particular?
Ideally, candidates would have some real-world work experience, whether it's in IT specifically or a related field. Internships are a great option for new bootcamp grads to consider to gain that experience.
I think if people get into software development because it's something that they really care about, or are passionate about, that makes them more likely to be good long-term employees.
Will you hire from DevMountain in the future?
Every company across the country is competing for tech talent so we’d be crazy not to! We are thankful that we found Jodi and would love to find more future hires!
If you’re planning to take out a loan to pay for your coding bootcamp tuition, READ THIS FIRST. Borrowing money can be confusing and stressful, but there are a number of ways to make sure your debt doesn’t pile up more quickly than you were expecting. The team at Climb Credit, a student lender focused on career-building education, drew from their experience working with bootcamp students to put together this list of ways to be smart about your loan, and avoid accruing unmanageable debt by the time you graduate.Continue Reading →
Sterling Chin wanted to become a developer, but with a wife and two kids to support, he couldn’t justify going back to college so he enrolled at DevMountain coding bootcamp in Provo, Utah. Learning to code was very difficult for Sterling, but he worked hard and became a DevMountain student mentor. Sterling tells us how he overcame feelings of anxiety, depression, and imposter syndrome to land a job at a startup for 3 months after graduation, and then as a Front End Developer at Overstock, the biggest tech company in Utah!
What’s your education and career background? What made you want to switch careers into software development?
I studied Elementary Education and teaching at Brigham Young University, but I wasn’t sure that’s what I wanted to do for a career. I took a one-year hiatus from college, which turned into 10 years. In that time, I worked in a handful of different industries including construction, facilities, vendor, and project management. Two years before DevMountain, I started to interact regularly with developers in a business setting. As I got to know those developers, they would explain things to me. I realized that if I could get a more in-depth understanding of what was going on, I might be able to do this as a full-time job. That experience got me thinking about going back to school. Also, when I joined another company and started working with HTML and CSS, I realized that there's a whole better world out there and I needed to move into software development.
What made you choose a bootcamp as a way to hone your skills? Did you consider getting a 4-year CS degree?
Originally, I was going to go back to a local university to get a computer science degree. But during my hiatus, I got married and had a child. I couldn't take two or three years to go back to school, so I started moving towards other options.
I learned about coding bootcamps through my network. A friend who is a software developer mentioned that his company had hired coding bootcamp grads. That was the first time I'd heard of a bootcamp as an alternative to a traditional university. That’s when I started doing my research. I went to Course Report, I read Google reviews, I looked at YouTube videos, just about everything, and came across DevMountain.
What stood out about DevMountain compared to other bootcamps in Utah?
One of the main factors was the culture. I toured the DevMountain campus in Provo, and thought the faculty was amazing. I sat down with the recruiters and some of the past and current students, and what I read online is what I saw in-person. The DevMountain staff answered all of my questions. That made a big difference to me. I'd visited two other bootcamps where the staff couldn’t give clear answers when I asked harder hitting questions like, "What's the attrition rate? How many of your graduates actually find jobs within a certain amount of time?" DevMountain had those answers and they were very honest with me.
Another reason why I chose DevMountain was that their name is well-known locally in Provo, Utah. There are a lot of companies that have good relationships with DevMountain, so I felt confident in my ability to find a job after the bootcamp. When you're going to shell out $10,000 to $20,000 for school, and you have a family, you have to be 100% sure this is what you want to do. I felt comfortable giving DevMountain my money.
Describe your DevMountain cohort. Was it diverse in terms of career and backgrounds?
There were multiple different backgrounds in my cohort. There was a wide age range – I'm in my mid 30's and there was someone who had just barely graduate high school at 18. There were a lot of different levels of education, and I was definitely not the only one who had attended a four-year college, graduated or not, and needed something different. There was one kid who was in college at the time but took a semester off to come to DevMountain.
Describe a typical day at DevMountain. What was the learning experience like?
I'm in my mid-30s and I could not fail at this. I wasn’t going to waste $10,000 to $20,000 by not working my ass off. So I’d wake up at 6am and spend two to three hours studying before class. Then at night, I'd continue studying or I'd read up on the next day's topics. I averaged about 14 to 16 hours a day studying at DevMountain.
DevMountain allowed you to immediately practice what you learned, and that application of learning is something that I never had when I was in college. In college, you have a whole day of lectures in five different subjects, with a lot of reading and superficial knowledge – no real practical knowledge. DevMountain really is a bootcamp – it was nonstop. We've all heard the phrase drinking from a firehose – well, it felt like fire hoses were coming at me from every direction. And I wasn't just drinking it, I was getting pelted from all sides.
Did you become a student mentor at DevMountain after graduation? What made you take on this teaching role?
How did DevMountain prepare you for job hunting?
The career preparation starts a week before you graduate. A member of the DevMountain careers team talks about creating a personal website and portfolio. We got help with writing tech industry-based resumes and we did a full day about Linkedin – how to search for jobs, what types of jobs to look for, how to reach out to people, and how to network with people.
DevMountain did as much as they could within the time that was given. The resources that DevMountain provided and the skills they helped me build were valuable. But part of the reason I was successful was luck and the amount of time that I put in reaching out to people, talking to everybody, and applying for hundreds of jobs. I got really lucky when I landed my first job because the company that I went to was a startup and they had good experiences with DevMountain grads. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and ended up landing an interview.
What advice do you have for current bootcampers on the job search?
Don't give up. Don't give up the hard work. And don't give up after a couple of weeks if you don't have any interviews. It may take you some time, but this is not a foot race. This is not a race with anyone but yourself. You can do this! You have to keep studying, keep learning, and networking. Don't give up on your dream if it doesn't come to you right away.
It's a full-time job finding a job after bootcamp. It was 40+ hours a week where I was doing tech interviews and technical problems that companies were sending me, while also pushing myself to learn new technologies. There's a honeymoon period at DevMountain where everything is hunky dory and you’re going great, but with any career change, no school wants to tell you exactly how hard it's going to be. Some of the people in my cohort had a very difficult time finding their first jobs. DevMountain tells you, "You have to keep moving. This is not the end. This is not the plateau. This is the beginning of the rest of your career so you need to keep moving."
What was your first job after becoming a student mentor at DevMountain?
The first job I had was at a startup and it was nothing like I expected. The CTO was my senior, and I was the sole front end developer. If I needed help on a project or some guidance, that support wasn't there. At the same time, I became very self-reliant and had to push myself. Unfortunately, three months in, the company went through some financial problems and laid off half of the developer team. Since I was new, I was let go.
What were you looking for in your next role? Did you receive help from DevMountain?
I was not looking for a startup for my next job. My wife is a stay-at-home mom, and we have two toddlers so I needed to have some security. If I was young and single, I would’ve hit up another startup right away. When you have a family and you’re rooted to an area, it may be difficult to find a job. I knew a couple of grads who were single, who found jobs at startups in Boston or California. But as the sole breadwinner here in Utah, my net was not as big.
DevMountain was able to assist me as much as they could. There were a good amount of job opportunities. Megan Barbara at DevMountain was very supportive; sending me jobs that matched my skill set, and sending my resume to employers. On top of that, I knew a few recruiters and reached out to my network with LinkedIn premium, which was amazing. It gave me a lot of insight into my capabilities and where I stood amongst other developers. And I joined tons of Facebook groups, local tech groups, and went to meetups.
When I was let go from the startup, one of the first things I did was reach back out to every company I'd ever talked to – and Overstock was one of them. I’d had seven or eight job interviews when I was a student mentor, so I contacted those companies to see if they had any new positions. The Overstock recruiter told me, "I remember you did great at the onsite interview, they liked you, but you got edged out. Let me see if I can find something.” It still took him six weeks to find something, but it was part of that process.
Congrats on your job at Overstock! Tell us about the company and your role.
My title is front end developer and I’ve been working at Overstock for about 9 months. My team has two front end developers, two back end developers, three full stack developers, two QA’s, a dev lead, one UX person, and a product manager. At Overstock as a whole, we have close to 300 developers including front end, back end, QA, and Dev leads. We have 58 front end developers at Overstock and I believe about a quarter of them are DevMountain grads. Overstock and DevMountain have a really good relationship.
Overstock as a company is pretty laid back. My team has stand-up at 9:30am, and if we need to work from home, we just call in via phone. I’ll work for a couple of hours on QA bugs, go to lunch, then continue working. When I say working, it doesn’t feel like work because I love what I do. Since we are laid back, we play ping pong, video games and grab coffee. No one's looking over my shoulder making sure that I'm coding 24/7. They know I'm doing my job and doing what's expected of me, so there is no micromanagement.
I’m pushing myself harder than I've ever pushed myself, and I think being at Overstock is harder than 99% of my DevMountain classmates who are at startups. Overstock also takes good care of their developers. Many of my classmates look at us at Overstock and wish they were here. Overstock is the largest tech company in Utah. If you’re in California, everyone wants to be at Facebook in Silicon Valley, and if you make it to Facebook, you've made it. For me, being at Overstock means I made it. It feels good.
Are you using the stack/programming languages you learned at DevMountain?
When I first started at Overstock, I was told I was pretty junior. I knew some things, but I needed more help than my manager was expecting. Now that I have been here nine months, I’m further along in my learning because of how Overstock is set up. I take my education very seriously here. I have a mentor, and a team which allows me to be very outspoken with my questions. We have a Slack channel for front end developers at Overstock which has 50 members, where I regularly ask questions.
Has your background in facilities and vendor management been useful in your front end developer job?
I think any real-world experiences is beneficial because it’s given me a different outlook. I solve problems very differently than other people on my team, because of my background.
The main skill I bring from vendor management is organization skills. I worked with 60 different companies across the country, and I used my skills to keep all of that in check. Organizing multiple people across multiple companies and working remotely also helped me with my communication skills. I get laughed at at Overstock sometimes because I keep track of absolutely everything. I'm a forgetful person, so out of necessity, I learned to be organized.
What’s been the biggest challenge or roadblock in your journey to becoming a fully fledged software developer?
My biggest roadblock was me and my own confidence. I had self-doubt, feelings of depression and anxiety, and imposter syndrome. I thought, “Why should I, who just graduated from a 13-week bootcamp, be next to someone who just spent four years in college getting a computer science degree? I don't deserve to be here.” But in reality, I do deserve to be here because what I learned at DevMountain was practical, hands-on knowledge. When I ask Overstock intern applicants, who are computer science students, simple questions, some can’t even answer them. They know the theory, but they don't have the technical, hands-on experience. I know that a DevMountain grad would be able to answer those same questions right away. My biggest takeaway from all of it was that bootcamps are really trade schools equipping you with hands-on experience.
What advice do you have for people making a career change through a coding bootcamp?
A coding bootcamp is not for everyone. Don't expect this to be an easy way to make money – this is not easy. This is the hardest thing I've done in my entire life, and I have done some very hard things. You need to take a hard look at yourself and know whether or not you're willing to put in the time, effort, and sacrifice that it takes to become a full stack developer. If you're not willing to do that, then a bootcamp may not be for you. But if you are, give it your all and trust the system. DevMountain absolutely changed my life. My brother-in-law was working in a factory and went through DevMountain after me. Now he's a developer too. This hasn't just changed my life, but it's changed my family's life.
In our End of Year Podcast, we're rounding up the most interesting news of 2017 and covering all the trends, thought pieces, controversies and more. Many schools are hitting their 5 year anniversaries – a reminder that although there is a lot going on in this industry, it’s still nascent and there is still room for new innovative approaches to the bootcamp model. We’ve chosen the most defining stories, and it was a very eventful year – a couple of big bootcamps closed, a ton of new bootcamps launched, some schools were acquired, and other bootcamps raised money.Continue Reading →
On the Course Report Coding Bootcamp News Roundup, we keep you up to date with the blossoming coding bootcamp industry. This November, we're covering the WeWork/Flatiron School acquisition, over $2M in funding to various bootcamps, and why tech is booming in "Heartland" cities. Of course we also look at new schools, new campuses, and our favorite pieces to work on this month for the Course Report blog! Plus, is The Iron Yard back from the dead? Read the summary or listen to the podcast.Continue Reading →
October 2017 was a busy month for the coding bootcamp industry with news about growing pains in bootcamp outcomes, mergers, acquisitions, investments, a trend towards bootcamp B2B training, and diversity initiatives. To help you out, we’ve collected all the most important news in this blog post and podcast. Plus, we added 12 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 →
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 →
Missed any news about coding bootcamps from June 2017? Course Report is here for you! We’ve compiled the most important news and developments in this blog post and podcast. In June, we heard John Oliver and Megyn Kelly talk about bootcamps, we read about new investments in bootcamps, a number of newspapers wrote about the impact bootcamps are having at a local level, and we were excited to hear about more diversity initiatives and scholarships. Plus we round up all the new campuses and new coding bootcamps around the world.Continue Reading →
Here’s what we found ourselves reading and discussing in the Course Report office in February 2017! We found out the three most in-demand programming languages, we read about how coding could be the new blue collar job, and looked at how new schools are tweaking the bootcamp model to fit their communities. Plus, we hear about a cool app for NBA fans built by coding bootcamp graduates! Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.Continue Reading →
Welcome to the September 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to big fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. Of course, we cover our 2016 Outcomes and Demographics Report (we spent a ton of time on this one and hope everyone gets a chance to read it)! Other trends include growth of the industry, increasing diversity in tech through bootcamps, plus news about successful bootcamp alumni, and new schools and campuses. Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast!Continue Reading →
Welcome to the May 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world, from acquisitions, to new bootcamps, to collaborations with universities, and also various reports and studies. Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup podcast.Continue Reading →
Since the first bootcamp acquisition in June 2014, we’ve seen several coding bootcamps get acquired by a range of companies from for-profit education companies (Capella Education), to co-working companies (WeWork), and other coding bootcamps (Thinkful + Bloc)! With rapid market growth in the bootcamp industry, for-profit education companies are taking note. These acquisitions and consolidations should come as no surprise, and some have been very successful, with schools going on to increase their number of campuses and course offerings. As coding bootcamps become more mature, we are seeing them get snapped up by more well-known companies, for increasingly large sums (e.g. General Assembly for $413 million!) We’ll keep this chronologically-ordered list updated as bootcamps announce future acquisitions.
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A coding bootcamp can propel your career in tech to new heights, but that often means quitting a job, uprooting your life, or moving to a new city. Maybe you’re moving to a new city to become a developer and need a short-term housing option. Or perhaps you’re an international student without credit history. Regardless of your background, funds can become tight when committing to a full-time, intensive bootcamp, and suddenly expenses like rent and food can be stressful. Luckily, there are coding bootcamps that make housing easy.Continue Reading →
While you may associate DevMountain with the Silicon Slopes of Utah, the team recently expanded to Dallas, Texas, where they’re teaching a second cohort of MEAN Stack developers. We talk to lead instructor Ryan Walsh about free student housing in Dallas, integrating the DevMountain culture into the Dallas campus, and keeping their MEAN Stack curriculum updated to get students job-ready!
What is your role at DevMountain Dallas?
I’m the co-Lead Instructor, along with our founder and CEO Cahlan Sharp. I teach two to three times per week in the classroom and make sure our MEAN Stack curriculum is current and updated.
Why expand from Utah to Dallas- what’s special about this city?
The Dallas campus has been open for six months; we’ve graduated one cohort and currently teaching our second. I was at the Provo campus before, so I’ve been in Dallas since February.
It’s a really cool city – super dog-friendly! The tech scene is also very active; there are meetups going on everywhere. Two weeks ago, we hosted a NodeSchool meetup at our campus. We love how active the community is, and how willing the people here have been to accept us and our students into their business and organizations.
Have you noticed a difference between the two campuses?
The students aren’t particularly different, but every cohort generates a unique identity. The last cohort was very business-like while this cohort has a more “college” atmosphere – they goof around and play ping-pong, then work all night.
Are the admissions standards different for each campus?
Our admissions process is always uniform across all campus locations. To start the application process, students select the specific session they are interested in joining. After we review their application, they will participate in a phone interview and a coding challenge. The only variant is the challenge, which depends on the curriculum a student is applying for (Web Dev, iOS Dev, or UX Design).
It’s tough, and there’s a lot of discussion between me and Cahlan (DevMountain CEO) and the other instructors. It’s a very iterative process. For example, we just added a full day devoted to ES6 to this cohort’s curriculum. We cover React for several days as well. But mostly what we look at when we design the curriculum is what will get students jobs. Personally, I love writing React.JS, but there are a lot more jobs for Angular.
We also take student feedback really seriously for the curriculum. We’ve had several projects where we’ve heard feedback about vagueness, so we’ll rework those projects. If the project isn’t working for students, then it’s not working at all.
Have you seen most of your students get jobs using Angular in Dallas?
We have one student working in React, but mostly our students get hired into Angular positions. Several of our students have worked in .NET roles, and at least one in a Rails role. We generally see DevMountain students hired in Front End positions. But since they have learned back end as well, they’re able to communicate with the whole dev team at their company.
I see a range of jobs, roles, and companies. Two days ago we had ad agency The Richards Group join us at DevMountain. And two of our students are working on the Front End team at Varidesk.
Is there an ideal class size for the DevMountain Dallas campus?
Our first cohort graduated 15 students, and there are 16 on track to graduate in our current cohort. We want to cap classes at ~15 to 20 students. We’ll expand slowly as we build out the space. We want to make sure we have enough resources to fill more seats without the students suffering.
Did those first 15 students all get jobs?
Our employment rate for the last cohort is 92%, and that’s only two months after graduation.
Are there other TAs or instructors at DevMountain Dallas?
Cahlan and I are the lead instructors; however we regularly bring in guest instructors who are working in the industry; they can use their experience to teach students. We’ve also had students graduate, get a job, then come back and guest instruct. That’s been a cool side-effect!
Our mentors play a huge role as well. They help students debug their work, get through their daily struggles and meet with them every day to make sure they’re on track with the curriculum. Established developers, alumni, and industry devs all get involved in our students’ education. That makes for a perfect combination of mentors who know where you are starting, where you are at, and where you are going.
Where is the campus in Dallas? Is the classroom cool?
We’re right downtown in the Alto building, and we’re partnered with a coworking space called Fort Work. They have a nice, large space and we have a dedicated section for DevMountain. We have a ping pong table and some gaming systems for our students to let off some steam after they’ve been sitting in front of their code for hours. We also have a Coke fridge that we regularly stock with free soda – because sometimes you need a little sugar or caffeine to make it through the day.
I know that DevMountain offers free housing in Dallas, Provo, and Salt Lake City. What is the housing like in Dallas?
The housing in Dallas is really nice. It’s about 2-3 blocks from the campus, which is really walkable. The buildings have tons of amenities- workout/fitness centers, a pool, sauna (I haven’t checked that out yet). I think we really lucked out on housing in Dallas.
More students take advantage of the free housing in Dallas than in Utah- it’s definitely something I recommend to students. It’s nice to cut out distractions of the real-world and just surround yourself with other coders for 3 months.
Have you found that the Dallas cohort is mostly out-of-town students? Are folks traveling in order to attend the course?
In this cohort, we don’t have a ton of students from Dallas itself. Right now, we’re seeing a lot of folks from Texas, but not everyone from out of town sticks around. Several student in Dallas actually live near Provo, Utah, but they found out that they could get into the Dallas class sooner than Provo, so they came down here to start sooner.
What’s been the biggest challenge in being a part of a new campus early on?
The biggest challenge for me has been adjusting to the atmosphere here. It still has the feel of DevMountain, but you have to adjust to the feel of the area and the working space and get an idea for how to best integrate DevMountain into Dallas for the students.
Are there beginner resources in Dallas that you recommend?
Meetups! The NodeSchool meetups vary between Intro and Advanced. The meetup we hosted a couple weeks ago was an Intro to MongoDB for complete beginners. Most meetups will vary between complex topics and beginner-friendly sessions.
How much do coding bootcamps cost? From students looking for free coding bootcamps to those wondering if an $18,000 bootcamp is worth it, we understand that cost is important to future bootcampers! While the average full-time programming bootcamp in the US costs $11,906, bootcamp tuition can range from $9,000 to $21,000, and some coding bootcamps have deferred tuition. So how do you decide what to budget for? Here, we break down the costs of coding bootcamps from around the USA.
While quitting your job and diving headfirst into your coding education can yield impressive results, we also understand that not everybody can commit to a full-time, 12-week programming bootcamp. Jobs, school, families - life, in general, can prevent that kind of commitment. For all the students who can’t give 40 hours a week to a code school, we’re outlining some of the best part-time web development bootcamps around. With a variety of price points and locations to choose from, you'll find an in-person program that can get you coding, even with your busy schedule.Continue Reading →
(updated April 2018)
Slide across the roof of the General Lee, we’re heading south of the Mason-Dixon to check out the best coding bootcamps in the southern United States. There are some fantastic code schools from the Carolinas to Georgia and all the way to Texas, and we’re covering them all. Talk about Southern Hospitality!Continue Reading →
Apple’s newest, beginner-oriented programming language Swift has made developing for the iPhone a possibility for new and experienced developers alike. iOS developers earn over $100,000 on average, so it's a perfect time to learn to program for the iPhone. With the help of one of these iOS bootcamps, you could find yourself developing mobile apps utilizing Objective-C, Cocoa Touch, and Swift.
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Dev Mountain offers both after-hours and immersive 12-week coding bootcamp programs in Provo and Salt Lake City, UT where students are trained and mentored by industry experts. The Course Report community is eligible for a $200 scholarship to Dev Mountain!Continue Reading →
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