Every track also includes job search preparation for students; support and instruction in crafting resumes, cover letters, portfolios, and online presences. Career support staff meets one-on-one with every student to review and practice interviewing skills. After completing courses, students are placed in hand-selected internships with tech companies at no extra cost, allowing them to begin their job search with coding experience already on their resumes. To kick off their job search, graduates participate in a Demo Day where they present projects to local, hiring employers.
Recent Epicodus Reviews: Rating 4.71
Recent Epicodus News
- How to Land an Internship After Coding Bootcamp
- Why CD Baby Hires Developers (and interns!) from Epicodus
- January 2019 Coding Bootcamp Podcast
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test No Interview No
More Start DatesAugust 3, 2020 - SeattleAugust 3, 2020 - OnlineOctober 12, 2020 - OnlineOctober 12, 2020 - SeattleOctober 12, 2020 - Portland
Deposit $100 Financing
Minimum Skill Level None Placement Test No Interview No
More Start DatesAugust 4, 2020 - SeattleOctober 13, 2020 - SeattleAugust 4, 2020 - PortlandOctober 13, 2020 - PortlandAugust 4, 2020 - OnlineOctober 13, 2020 - Online
Deposit N/A Scholarship Scholarships available for those affected by Covid-19.
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test No Interview No
In PersonPart Time12 Hours/week20 Weeks
Deposit N/A FinancingSkills Fund, Climb
Minimum Skill Level Successful completion of Epicodus' Intro to Programming course Placement Test No Interview No
More Start DatesAugust 4, 2020 - PortlandOctober 13, 2020 - PortlandAugust 4, 2020 - SeattleOctober 13, 2020 - SeattleAugust 4, 2020 - OnlineOctober 13, 2020 - Online
In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week27 Weeks
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test No Interview No
More Start DatesAugust 3, 2020 - OnlineAugust 3, 2020 - Portland
157 reviews sorted by:
- Great experience at a great value- 4/23/2018Anonymous • Student • Course: Intro to Programming (Part-Time Evening) • Campus: Portland
I took the part-time evening course from January - April 2018. I learned a ton and learned enough to make some pretty cool projects relatively quickly. My instructor - Kyle Lange - was fantastic. Would definitely recommend the part-time course - the learning experience is bar-none and a huge bang for your buck
- Not a good fit for me- 10/15/2017Anonymous • Unemployed • Graduate • Course: Ruby and Ruby on Rails • Campus: Seattle
Although I loved meeting fascinating people from all over the area, a few weeks into the program I realized pair-programming was not conducive to learning for me and withdrew. I require more guidance and instruction.
My problem was that were either higher-level students that I couldn’t keep up with, or individuals at my level and it was difficult to progress. It is encouraged to find the answer for yourself, but I felt like it was the “blind leading the blind.” Students began referring to the code of the more knowledgable students, and this just wasn’t conducive to learning for me.
The projects started out doable in the first couple weeks, but the learning-curve became so steep that I felt it was best to cut my losses. Staff estimated there would be around one half-hour of homework each evening, which wasn’t accurate for me and I started spending all evening and weekends trying to grasp the concepts.
I think if I was a more experienced coder who needed to hone my craft and gain more experience working with others, then this might be a better fit. I burnt out too quickly starting with very little coding knowledge.
- Don't Believe the Hype- 7/16/2017Anonymous • Graduate • Course: UI Development and Design • Campus: Portland
I had a mixed experience at Epicodus. I enjoyed pair programming with others and my internship was awesome. But I do have some issues. First, many of the companies that provide the internships aren't established. For example, two of the people in my class had internships at a place where they knew more about coding than the "developers" they were working with. The company didn't even have an office for them to work out of. One of those students reluctantly took on a position at the company, but she told me that the pay was very low, no benefits, no sick days, really more like a side hustle than a job. Second, Epicodus has not been that helpful with job placement. Yes, we worked on a resume, did a mock interview, and the like, but there was no solid guidance in the job search. Demo Day was very dissapointing. A few "employers" meandered around the room looking at projects. You had to flag them down if you wanted to present your project to them. I don't know anyone who landed a job from the Demo Day.
Epicodus gives you the impression that their name carries a lot of weight on a job application--especially with certain companies--but in my experience it doesn't. I also don't feel that the instruction prepared me for a fultime coding job. The code reviews are kind of a joke. You don't really get very useful feedback--it's mostly positive, but nothing specifically related to the quality of your code. It's very easy to trick yourself into believing that you're skills are better than they actually are.
Epicodus could be improved with better instruction (especially feedback on proper coding methodology), better job placement services, and updated curriculum.
My main problem with Epicodus is that they sell you on the dream of changing your life with a coding job--anyone can do it--just complete our program and you'll be a programmer! That has not been my experience and I know other Epicodus graduates who would agree with me.
Epicodus is a good school, but it doesn't live up to the hype. I think a person could achieve similar results for a lot less money using FreeCodeCamp, Treehouse or Udacity, and going to meet-ups.
- Anonymous • Unemployed • Graduate • Course: UI Development and Design • Campus: Portland
I had a great time learning at Epicodus. I felt that the courses were challenging, informative and the instructors were great.
My internship experience was terrible. They do not have enough companies to provide high quality internships. Especially if you took the front-end track. When I 'interviewed' with companies they straight up asked my why I was there and what I'd be doing for them. I learned nothing at my internship and got zero real life experience to prepare me for the job market. They should just drop it and focus on placing people in jobs.
Their job assistance is non-existant. Expect to receive an email once a week for about month or so asking you what jobs you applied. At a certain point Audrey stopped emailing me, I haven't heard from them in 4 months.
It has been 7 months since I completed Epicodus and I don't have a job, nor have I gotten any interviews for any developer roles. I have received no real support from Epicodus, and in talking with some of my classmates I realized that I am not the only one. They really let me down in that respect, and they should really invest in providing proper job and effective job assistance. As it is now, I wish I had never gone because I am in a worse spot than I was before I went cause I at least had a job before. So, if you have connections and already have prospects for a job then try Epicodus. If not don't expect help from them.
- What I wish I would have known- 5/7/2017Anonymous • Student • Campus: Portland
I joined Epicodus based on their assertion that I could expect to come out knowing how to code and that I would start off making close to 80k a year. I had some very basic coding experience and I thought it would be a fun way to start a great career.
There is a lot to learn in just 5 months even though it's full time, Monday through Friday. But hard work pays off, right? Let's use an analogy that may or may not work: Ferraris are powerful. But they are only as fast as the rubber on the tires pushes the pavement. If you have bald tires on your Ferrari, you aren't going to get anywhere. An old Pirelli tire ad had the tagline 'power is nothing without traction', or something to that effect. Finally...the point:
Epicodus prides itself on pair programming. As others have mentioned, that can work when you and your partner just happen to be at the same level. But in the real world, you aren't. Many times someone who is struggling will be paired up with someone who has years of professional experience and wants to do things their way, quickly, without following the course material. That benefits neither student. The pairing usually falls somewhere between these two cases but is rarely beneficial when it's not the first one.
When pair programming at Epicodus, you as a student follow along with the curriculum which is openly and freely available at www.learnhowtoprogram.com. This is it. There is no special content available to paying students only. Check out some of the videos. If you have never seen a learn-to-program video, you might not think they are too bad. On the other hand, if you have worked through instructions on a top-notch site like www.teamtreehouse.com, you will quickly notice a few things. First, the instructions are clearly not pre-written so what you get is a highly-capable programmer showing you how he or she does things. I could watch Top Gun 10 times in a row but I'm not going to be able to fly an F-16 because of it. Incredibly important concepts are constantly glossed over. The production value is very low with constant "oopsies", background noise (are they really creating professional instructional videos at a coffee shop???), and inconsistent visual training methods (usually just a game of 'try to follow the cursor'). The videos are bad, okay? But at least they have a text version, right? Again, these text pages are written by excellent programmers who think like programmers...in disjointed blocks. Longer programs are never shown in whole, often contain glaring errors, and are not presented in any sort of obvious order. Students spend a significant chunk of time googling basic instructions. This should absolutely not be necessary in a paid program.
The program bites off more than it can chew. There are 4 modules of 4 weeks of instruction (plus a project week) with Fridays being reserved for, essentially, a test. So 4 days of instruction weekly. Each module is essentially a new language (with some overlap). Imagine trying to learn basic English in 4 weeks. You would have to learn sentence structure, basic vocabulary, word types and punctuation in 4 days. Not just be introduced to these huge topics, but know them enough that you build on them while adding new vocabulary and new rules every day. Now imagine if English had little to no room for error and you were being taught by reading a book that was written by someone who was an English major but had no teaching experience and you see what week 1 looks like. The second module had us learn the language in the weekend before class started and 5 days BEFORE we set our computers up to be able to use that language.
I always like to say that Epicodus is a great place to learn how to program if you already know how to program. The internship could be worth the price of admission but if you don't know how to program, it's not likely to pay off.
But say you do excel at teaching yourself massive amounts of concepts and rules and come through the tunnel as a great programmer, ready to take on the world and start a great career. Remember supply and demand. 5 years ago, before 'coding bootcamp' was a thing, there was a lot of demand for programmers. Therefore, the pay was impressive. Now camps are everywhere. There are already 2 Epicodus' and they are planning on opening many more in the near future. This site shows that within a half year of finishing this program, only 56% of graduates are employed full time doing what they went through the camp to do. The school even admits that you won't come out as a professional, yet you will be vying for jobs with ever-decreasing rewards against experienced professionals who are willing to accept ever-decreasing pay. The market is already flooded and Epicodus is actively working to create more supply.
None of this means that you shouldn't pursue a career in IT. It is still a great field. But I would not suggest committing a lot of time or money for a bootcamp if even its successful completion is your main qualification for landing a decent job.
- Epicodus Review- 3/10/2017Anonymous • Graduate • Course: Ruby and Ruby on Rails • Campus: Portland
Overall I give Epicodus 5 stars. I got what I needed out of the experience, and am now employed in the tech industry.
The most valuable part of the program is being in a room with a large group of people that are at the same level of experience as you. This is invaluable. The networking, collaboration and pair programming experience really accelerated my skills. Working with a team on final projects and solving problems together added a new level in learning that was lacking in online resources I used previously.
The curriculum is largely very good. The inclusion of text resources to back up videos was awesome. The only frustration I had with it was when it was being updated while I was in a course. Sometimes I would read up for the next week, and by the time I got to working on a project or using a tool the applicable video was missing, or the text had changed. The changes were for the better, but It might be a good idea to only apply changes to the course material for the next class to maintain consistency. That being said, sometimes tools and dependencies change outside Epicodus control and I understand why some updates must be made immediately.
The instructors are hired from graduating classes. This is great because they are familiar with each project and the material being used. The instructors seem to be hit and miss, as with any learning institution. Luckily, mine were mostly hit.
The job assistance was not my favorite part of the program. The person that I was in contact with was really great, but as far as my understanding goes they were only one person supporting probably three different graduating classing at various stages in the job search. There is just no way that one person can provide support to a hundred or so students with different skills and career goals. This is a difficult point, because attending a vocational school and getting a job are not hand-holding situations. The burden of finding a job is on the graduate. I would have liked a more personalized approach however. Look at teachers notes for the student, and maybe send them a job posting or two that is specific to their goals. The support I recieved was mostly just a general check in and reminder to continue applying for jobs and coding.
Epicodus provides a very affordable option as a coding school, and it delivers a ton of value. My only complaints are based on a lack of enough personnel, and people cost money, driving up costs for the student.
Hire another job search support person and deliver a more personal and less canned interaction. Two or three people in this role would be worth a modest tuition increase and deliver value to the graduate. This would also most likely increase placement rates and reduce the time till students were hired.
Teachers are spread thin, and students need jobs. Hire teaching assistants out of graduating classes. Pay them 12 bucks and hour, a couple days a week. You give instructors more time to address complex questions and work on curriculum. You give graduates valuable resume experience, and some pocket change to last them through the job search. This is how it works at a university. You can also use this as a screening for hiring new instructors. Just hire the best TA's. This is worth a modest tuition increase.
Any time you increase costs, you lose a couple people out of enrollment. I believe the improved outcomes from these two changes would easially offset that.
Great program, great people, no regrets. Got a job.
Increase tuition 5-10%, hire a couple people, improve outcomes.
- Epicodus Experience!- 9/22/2016Anonymous • Graduate • Course: CSS • Campus: Portland
- Decent Curriculum, Over Promising- 8/6/2016Anonymous • Junior Developer • Student • Campus: Portland
I attended Epicodus earlier this year and ended up finishing the program with a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn't all bad but there are some major concerns for Epicodus ( and programming bootcamps in general ) going forward.
The curriculum is okay. They focus alot on the how and very little of the why of things. I commend them for making all curriculum available online but there are a lot of issues as it stands now. You will learn a lot about basic web development and how to use version control, and how to plug and play various frameworks to drive your applications.
What you won't learn is how to actually program. The standards are very lenient when it comes to code review ( the daily peer review didn't really occur in my experience ) and essentially everyone "passes". Code standards are lax, best practices are lax, and I got the impression that they were more interested in keeping students happy and pumping out "developers" than they were quality curriculum.
The staff is a mixed bag, and with them rapidly expanding to new locations I have a suspicion that the quality is only going to go down. Most of the teachers are former students, which frankly is terrible. Some of them were shaky on the very curriculum that they were teaching and students often rely upon other more advanced students for help because the teachers won't have a good answer. I understand that the concept behind Epicodus was a peer learning environment, and that may have been the case when they were a smaller institution, but there are far too many students and far too few teachers for it to be an effective learning experience.
Basically non-existent. One resume review. One mock interview. and they set you up with an internship ( kind of ). There are too many students, too few internships, and a lot of the companies that they are partnered with offer very low quality internship experiences. I heard directly from a company that I interviewed with that they would never hire an Epicodus graduate from prior experience.
Do not expect to hear from them at all after your internship, once again they will over promise and you will get burned. Be prepared to take on the job search on your own, which is not always a bad thing but anyone who expects to come to Epicodus and be guarunteed a job when they are done is going to have a bad time.
Overall my experience at Epicodus was lukewarm. I met a lot of good people, and did land a job quickly afterword. But I credit my success to studying long hours after class on topics that were actually relevant and the fundamentals of what actually makes a good programmer. You will not learn these things at Epicodus unless you actively seek them out.
This school, with it's rapid expansion to multiple cities while already being on a shaky foundation, is beginning to look more like a developer farm pumping out underqualified and incompetent programmers with dreams of a completely uncompetitive job market which simply does not exist.
I caution you to do your research before attending any programming bootcamp and to realize that most likely you are getting what you paid for.
Response From: Michael Kaiser-Nyman of EpicodusTitle: PresidentTuesday, Sep 13 2016Hi there. I appreciate you sharing your experiences, and I want to respond to your concerns below.
I'm surprised you say that "you won't learn... how to actually program." Our students spend close to 40 hours a week actually programming, and by the end of our courses are, indeed, able to program at a level where they're successful in getting jobs as web and mobile developers, QA engineers, and related positions. Your assertion that all our students pass our weekly code reviews is simply not true, as around half our students have to resubmit a code review at some point, and while we work hard to help all of our students succeed, we have about a 10% rate of students failing or dropping out.
It sounds like you had a pretty unusual experience in your relationship with our staff. Most of our students have glowing things to say about our teachers, as you can see in the dozens of other reviews. The fact that they are all former Epicodus students themselves has turned out to be one of their biggest assets. We're very up-front that our teachers are not senior-level developers, but I 100% disagree with your assessment that they don't know the materials - they all were top of their classes, and the feedback we get from just about all of our students is that they are knowledgeable and helpful.
I'm pretty shocked that you say job assistance was non-existent. We review all of our students' application materials and do mock interviews. We also set up multiple internship interviews for all of our students. And we get all of our students internships. Occasionally an internship host doesn't come through the way they've promised, and when that happens, we always work with the internship host to improve the situation, help find the student another internship, or provide whatever support we can to make up for the company not coming through. And after graduating, we reach out to every graduate on a weekly basis to provide job leads, an individual checkin with a career coach, and any further support that our graduates need, until they find a job. Since this review is anonymous, it's impossible for me to know anything about your exact situation, but if you reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I can talk try to figure out why you don't feel like you've gotten that support, as what you're saying is completely the opposite of the career services we provide to all of our students.
Because your review is so contrary to what is happening here on a daily basis, and so different from almost all of the other feedback we've gotten from reviews here and feedback elsewhere, I'm honestly having a tough time understanding where you're coming from. We are a really unusual school, with our flipped classroom approach and emphasis on pair programming and peer learning. It's not for everybody and we try to help prospective students make an informed decision about whether we are right for them, but it sounds like you might have done better at a school with smaller class sizes and lectures from senior-level programmers. I don't think you can find career services much better than what we provide, though.
- Adding the Human Element- 7/30/2016Anonymous • software developer • Graduate • Course: Rails • Campus: Portland
After staying at home with my children for 7 years, I was ready to get back into the job market with them in school full-time. With 7 years out of any income-earning work, my resume was not exactly going to pull the crowds. I decided I wanted to pursue software development and was delighted to find Treehouse and Code Academy and Code School. After working through a number of modules, I realized that I needed humans. I could ace every challenge and exercise but I had no one to ask questions, no one to feed off of, no one to explore ideas and possibilities. Though I am perfectly capable of working independently of others, I realized I needed to be more plugged in to the coding universe. I wanted to find a network of people to be a part of on the adventure (and the pursuit of turning this into a career!).
This led me to a community organization designed to encourage beginning coders. At an event, Michael Kaiser-Nyman (head of Epicodus) came and shared the details of Epicodus and what he was trying to achieve through the school. I hadn't explored code schools. I talked to him and took a look at what was available (at Epicodus and elsewhere). Could I really do this?
Epicodus was the best decision I made. I decided that it was going to be a challenge but nothing would rocket me to job-ready like a few months of daily dedicated work on my chosen field. The knowledge I gained and the Epicodus network of staff, students and alumni have made all the difference to who I am and where I am at now. So challenging and so rewarding. The Epicodus model is unique in practice. At the core of every day is the focus on the human: self-drive, self-discovery, teamwork, pairing, user experience, behavior-driven development. A student becomes empowered and confident that not only can they learn but that they can ask the questions, drive the conversation and find the solutions in class and after. The job fair, demo days, internship and career placement is also hands down incredible.
Another unique element in the Epicodus model is the constant focus on inclusion. In every aspect of the school from orientation to literature to daily practice, Epicodus demands students recognize the landscape of the tech industry and actively participate in its evolution to include less represented people. Epicodus walks its talk and as a woman, I was so thankful to feel deeply welcome in what more traditionally may have been a setting less open to my presence.
- Epicodus Review- 7/29/2016Anonymous • Student • Course: Android • Campus: Portland
Overall, I believe this is a useful program. However, that comes with some caveats. The structure of the classes, the instructors, the facility, and career preparation are satisfactory. You will learn a lot with this program (if you apply yourself), but the biggest thing you will learn is how little you know about the field, which is not necesarily a problem.
After finishing the program a couple weeks ago, I have applied for about 20 positions, and have yet to hear back for even a phone interview from any of them. It is too soon to tell how successful I may in getting a job in the tech sector, but I feel I have sufficient skills in order to do. The main issue I am encountering is that most positions state they want someone with a CS degree (BS or associates), which I lack. The one thing I think could be useful to the program would be to include a class surrounding basic computer science.
- My Epicodus Experience- 7/22/2016Anonymous • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: PHP and Drupal • Campus: Portland
I took and graduated from the August 2015 PHP cohort. Before enrolling into the class, I had zero professional programming experience, although I had done a little bit of learning on my own thru Treehouse (teamtreehouse.com, a paid site where you can watch videos on the programming languages you want to learn. Ironically, Epicodus gave free treehouse subscriptions to students which I didn't need or use at the time, but I wish I had now that I am not a student). This is not a review of just trying to bash Epicodus or the opposite of saying how awesome they are. I am going to give my entire experience, a lot of it will be good and some of it not so good.
I heard about Epicodus thru someone I had met at a CodeOregon meetup group. I had expressed interest in going to a programming bootcamp and someone at my table told me that she had done a lot of research over the past few months and handed it to me. Being the beneficary of her research, and with Epicodus being the cheapest and connecting students with an internship at the end, I felt this school was the one for me.
When I contacted them, I was excited to find out that they offered a Java/Android class, as I really wanted to make apps. But later, that excitement turned into discouragement because, being a male, I was excluded from that opportunity because they only let women take that class (I don't believe that is the case now, so don't worry Android enthusiasts!!). On a side note, while I think it was a good intention what they were trying to do, make women not feel intimidated to code, but I wish they would have done it when they grew the class out so that men still had a co-ed class to take when women could take the women only class (anyway, end rant). Also, the Ruby class was full (I was told it filled up fast the last few cohorts), so my only option if I were to goto Epicodus was to take the PHP track (I believe they now offer a c# class, but that wasn't availabe in August 2015).
I remember turning in my code challenge and couldn't wait to hear back if I were accepted or not. I kept bothering Audrey, one of Epicodus' employees, if she heard any word back on my acceptance. She probably was sick of hearing from me!! But she was very professional. Looking back now, maybe they accept everybody and make it seem like you have to be approved. I don't know if that is the case or not, but the PHP class didn't quite fill up so maybe they did?
When class finally came, the experience was positive, but it took a lot of learning and it wasn't easy. Programming isn't easy. Well it is easy in the sense that I believe anyone who wants to do it can learn it, but it is tough in the sense having to think like a computer, constant problem solving, and dealing with the frustration when you don't understand why your program isn't running the way it should be. Our class size was almost 60 (I don't think the PHP class acutally completely filled up to 60 but I am not exactly sure), and we had 2 instructors. One of the instructors had a lot of experience in the industry and the other was literally a student from the last PHP cohort. The lack of experience of the other teacher and some of the negativity of some of the students from the ruby class who I talked to made me a little scared in the beginning. But for what I needed the teachers for, which was the motivation to learn and for help when I am stuck, both teachers did great.
While both teachers helped everybody during class time, each teacher got half the class to mentor and talk to individually. Every week, they would sit everybody down individually and privately and ask how things are going. I remember explaining my nervousness every single week of being able to find a jr dev job after the process was over because I heard so much about how the market is flooded with jr devs and it appeared online that most jr dev jobs were asking for 2 years experience. My teacher told me not to worry and that almost all of the students that make it thru to completion end up finding jobs. Although, looking back, I don't know how much I trust their statistic on their website of how many students found jobs after class. I am not saying I know for a fact it is wrong, but I say this because while the three August 2015 cohorts were still in their internship, they updated that stat to include all of us as finding jobs when almost none of us found jobs yet. I wonder how they are coming up with that data when they did that and then after the process was over they didn't even talk to all of us? Please don't misread me, I am not saying they are lying, but I do have doubts about it.
Every week they had a guest speaker come and talk during lunch to whoever wanted to come. I never went to any of the guest speakers because my brain was feeling overloaded doing programming 40 hours a week plus some homework that I wanted a break during lunch hour. Also it didn't help that the speakers always spoke in the ruby class. While everyone is in the same building now, the ruby class was a few blocks down from the php class.
During morning standups, they talked about what that day was going to look like and how the preceeding day went. They also talked about meetups going on in the area, who went to what, what experience they had there, and what meetups were coming up. I feel Epicodus did a great job of giving everybody the opporunity, even to the point of strongly encouraging people, to get connected with the local tech community.
Throughout the weeks and talking to other students, I was very suprised to find out that it seemed like almost every student had moved to Portland from out of state. And from all over the country. Florida, California, New York, Philly (they didn't have a philly school at the time), to new a few places. Many of these people researched boot camps throughout the nation and landed on Epicodus, packed up and moved here. Many were struggling finding housing (there is currently a rental housing shortage in Portland), while others were moving from couch to couch via AirBnB while studying here. I felt lucky as someone to accidentily land on this school doing no research of my own and living in the area (I live in West Linn, so commuting to school everyday wasn't fun for me but I didn't have the housing problem that many had).
They also helped us set up our LinkedIn profile, prepare resumes and cover letters. This was from someone else who specializes in that and was not one of our instructors. Further, our instructors did two mock technical interviews with us. Additionally, on Epicodus' student website that is open to the public (learntoprogram.com), they have a list of things to study and make sure you know before you go out on interviews. I was advised to look at it by my instructor before going on the internship interviews and I sorely regret being lazy and not doing it, because one of the places I really wanted to intern at asked me several of those questions and I did not know the answer. Sad to say they didn't want me, but everything turned out good.
Monday thru Thursday, we pair programmed. Meaning that we would find a partner (the first week they assigned us partners to give us a chance to get to know each other), and we would work on the same computer doing the problem (the computers were huge Macs, I wish I could take one home with me!!). Pair programming was a great experience to learn to explain what you are trying to do in regards to writing your code and/or your plan, because this is what you do in the real world, and it is also a good experience to learn from others and their points of view on the problem. Because there is more than one way to do most problems.
Every Friday was a code review. Instead of pair programming, we were given a problem to do on our own and we had to turn it in to the teacher. The code review was the same type of problem as we learned during the week. The time to ask for help is Monday thru Thursday, because we weren't allowed to ask for help from teachers or other students on Fridays. In fact, after the first week, the teachers didn't even show up on Fridays. For that matter, most students didn't show up on Fridays either, they worked from home. If we failed the code review, we had to turn it in again. The program was very relaxed and you don't need to worry about grades, but you need to make sure you are getting the material if you want to move on. If you are not, the teachers are availabe for extra help.
As I mentioned the teachers there are casual and make the process non intimidating. If you want to take a break, you are more than welcome to do so. Me and my partners had a habit of taking 3 or 4- ten minute breaks each day and it worked out great for us. There was one student in our class who came, laied on the couch all day long and just had his music headphones on. I remember one time the teachers were talking sternly to him that he needs to finish whatever material by the end of that day, but he was an extreme example. That student, by the way, while he finished the class, he did not end up with an internship and he is currently not coding.
Three times throughout the course, we were given a week to pair up into groups and make a group program or app. This was a great experience to learn how to program as a team (which you will be doing when you are actually working in the real world). I definately had problems stepping on the code of others and them to me during this time. I was glad I got this experience during a school environment instead of at work.
Regarding their internship debacle that many other people below have complained about. Yes, it was a setback that many of us didn't get to do internships in Decemeber and had to wait to January. But, I am satisified with the way things turned out and how the company handled it. Let me tell you why. First, early on (I want to say late October but I could be wrong on the date), when it became apparent to Epicodus that there was going to be a shortage of internships for the students, Michael (the owner of Epicodus) was upfront about it and told everybody right away. Next, he gave everybody an option, either take the internship in December as planned or take it January and you can take a free class in December. I am not sure about the other classes, but everybody in the PHP cohort that insisted on doing their internships in December, did their internships in December. There were still lots of internships, just not enough for everybody. And there was more than enough internships in January. I decided to take my internship in January and take an Android class. I really wanted to learn Android and I got the opportunity to make some Apps in December, so it worked out for me.
At the end of the class, they had a Demo Day. Basically, students got to show off a program or app they had to actual employers. Think of it like a job fair in reverse. Instead of the employers setting up a station and the job seekers going to each employer, the students set up a station and got their app up and running to show off, and employers went to them. The location you are at while at this demo day is very important. Some people were overwelmed by the amount of traffic they got while others were lucky to have one or two employers step up to them the entire time. I think I got somewhere in the middle. It is a big room and they had lots of students demoing from all three cohorts. While they segregated us by cohort so employers could go to a section that they wanted to fairly easily, I think it would have been better if they had a demo day for each cohort because I think most employers start out thinking they will see all of the students no matter what type of student they are interested in, and then leave without seeing everybody because there are just too many students for any one employer to look at. It was a great experience, though, there were lots of people there that day, including prosepctive students who wanted to see what the end result was. I noticed they also had students from the prior cohort there who were having a hard time finding a job, also demoing an app. It was comforting to me to see that Epicodus was still involved in the process of helping them find a job even though it had been 4 to 6 months since these people had finished their internship and Epicodus was no longer receving any more money from these students. Actually, as I am typing this I remember a student from the previous ruby cohort that was struggling to find a job, they gave him a free php class to continue bettering his skills to help him out (so he was in our class for 5 weeks). They don't guarantee you will find a job and they don't want to be on the hook for it, but I have noticed, not from them saying anything to me, but from seeing other people they are helping, that they do a lot to help you if you are struggling.
Two of the technologies that the PHP cohort learned was PHP and Drupal (among other things, but they don't pertain to what I am about to say). The ruby cohort learned ruby and rails. The java cohort learned java and android. Rails is a ruby framework. Android is a java framework. Drupal is not a PHP framework, but a CMS. I really wish that they followed the pattern of other cohorts and taught us a PHP framework like Laravel, Codeigniter, or CakePHP, instead of teaching us a CMS like Drupal. I also get that they cannot teach us everything in 3 months.
The internship process started off by giving everybody a list online of all of the companies and a description of what we were going to be doing at each company. We were instructed to assign each company a color indicating if we wanted that company: red (no way!), yellow (meh), or green (please this company!). I think it was a requirement to have a certain number of greens but I don't remember what it was. After turning that in, I got four interviews to go to. Two of the companies I had placed as red and the other two I placed as green. When I went on the red interviews, it made me more convineced I didn't like those companies. One of those companies was a joke amongst the students and others of us we telling our interview stories of that company. I don't believe anybody ended up interning at either of those two companies but I could be wrong. The other two companies I had placed as green and had a positive experience about both interviews (although one of them didn't like me because I wasn't able to answer some of those questions I had mentioned above!!). I made it very clear to Melodie which companies I wanted and was very involved in talking to her about it. She was super helpful and did a great job making both me and the companies happy during this process.
My internship was at Multnomah County (one of the companies I placed as green). We were part of the process that built their bridge app that tells the public if one of the four county owned bridges (hawthorne, morrision, broadway, and burnside bridges) were either up or down. I worked on their drupal backend. It was a great experience to learn to work with a dev team while not too intimidating because there was another student intern from my PHP class (this is by design, Epicodus requires companies to take at least two students so we can feel more comfortable being together. Epicodus really wants to make people not feel too intimidated and it shows but a lot of what they do).
I learned a lot from this experience at the county and it helped me to get my first dev job, which I got my first dev job from the epicodus jr dev job board that they compile from many different sources. The specific dev job I got was put on that board because the employer called Epicodus and said they had a good experience with prior Epicodus students so they wanted to hire another one. This employer didn't even post the job on any job boards. I had only worked at this job for three months because of something bad that happened to his business, but I got some good PHP experience on the job (also working with the PHP framework: Laravel). My second job I got from knowing a student from the ruby cohort, which I met that student at the Epicodus demo day (and knowing Laravel helped me get that job too). Do you see a theme there? It is very important to be connected in this industry. Epicodus does teach you to code, but they also help you to get connected. They don't make you do this, if you do not take them up on things you will not be connected and have a harder time. This will not be Epicodus' fault, but your own.
The school obviously had growing pains. As any business that doubles or triples in size, it is expected that they do not do everything perfectly. But they still treated me good, taught me to code, and helped me find a job, which is all I needed. And for $3400 (they might be a little bit more now), that is dirt cheap. At the time, I was told that other Portland code schools were charging $8k-10k (which I think they are a little more now too, maybe closer to $12k).
Another thing I wish to mention, during the time of my classes, another code school in Portland closed down. They did so without telling anybody over night. The teachers came to school surprised their keys didn't work. Many people who paid a much higher price than me (because that school costed more) now found that they didn't have anymore classes. Epicodus provided facilities for their teachers and students to still conduct class but over at Epicodus. It really made me feel proud to go to a school that would help out a competitor like that.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
- Anonymous • Android Developer • Graduate • Course: Android • Campus: Portland
I was a part of the first Android cohort. My class should've been advertised as a trial run because that's what it felt like most of the way through. Our Android curriculum was incomplete - it was literally just not there. At least a third of the class dropped out. Our teacher left after the first 2 months and Michael (who runs Epicodus) became our teacher, except he had no working knowledge of Android and was also clearly distracted since he runs the entire program. We considered asking for a refund for the Android portion of our course because it felt like there was no structure whatsoever at this point. I understand that Epicodus stresses independant learning, but the whole entire course should not be a free-for-all.
We were informed half through that there weren't enough internships for everyone in the class, and a number of students had to wait for a "second round" of internships. A lot of people were unhappy with their internships. I've heard from cohorts since mine (including current Epicodus interns that interning where I ended up getting a job) that the internship selection has been pretty junky still - lots of companies canceling at the last minute because of communication issues.
Most importantly, I would like to suggest that prospective Epicodus students take reviews written by graduates from 2015 and earlier with a grain of salt: there are still jobs for junior devs, but there are many, MANY more job-seeking bootcamp grads than there used to be. The demand is not quite so high as it used to be.
Positives of my experience: having a group of people I graduated with that now serve as a very helpful network/support system. My first teacher Jake Kaad was great, but he was frustrated with the curriculum and also found a better job. I did indeed end up getting hired from my internship, but I had won a scholarship from the company that I interned with and because of this, I had a bit of an advantage from the start.
Epicodus could be great, and I can't speak to the current curriculum. I would suggest that people considering Epicodus try to reach out to recent grads on LinkedIn.
Response From: Michael Kaiser-Nyman of EpicodusTitle: PresidentTuesday, Jul 19 2016Thanks for sharing your your experience here. I think this was a unique situation with a teacher who didn't come through, and we've also come a long way to address the issues you've described.
One of the things that we struggled with last year at Epicodus was students who passed our pre-class coding challenge to gain entrance to the class but did not really understand the code they submitted. As we grew from 60 students at the beginning of 2015 to 150 at the end, what started as an issue for a small number of people became a much larger problem. As you mention, we had a relatively high drop-out rate in your class, because many of the students started without the fundamentals they needed from their pre-class work.
Now, we've scrapped our pre-class work in favor of assuming that all students have little or no coding background and extending our course by 5 weeks to cover all of those introductory topics that used to be pre-work. This has worked out much better for our students' success.
I disagree with your characterization of your class's structure. When I came in to teach, I discovered that the first teacher did not provide the proper feedback to struggling students letting them know that they were not on track. It's a tough thing to tell someone who's working hard that they aren't succeeding, but if you never tell a student that, they just get further and further off. I had frank discussions with multiple students about their prospects for success given where they were at when I came in. In the end, I had to manage a class of students with a wide range of skills, many of whom disregarded my guidance about what to work on.
Now, we've standardized our assessment process so that teachers have more accountability to fail students when it's the right thing to do. When students don't pass their assessments, we no longer let them continue on - we've found that the tough love of helping them move on is really the best outcome.
I'm also surprised to hear you say that the first teacher was "frustrated with the curriculum" - he in fact developed it, it was of very variable quality, and I had to re-write much of it as the class went on.
Now, our curriculum development process is centralized, so that all of the teaching materials meet the same quality standards.
As for internships, we made the mistake of trying to line up internships in December, when your class ended. While we were able to find internships for many of our students, many companies didn't have the capacity for mentorship during the holiday season, and asked to postpone until January. We gave all of the students in your class the option to take a free extra month of class followed by a January internship, which over half chose.
Now, we don't do December internships :) And while there are always a couple companies who drop out of our internship program at the last minute, we're working hard to find more ways to communicate to them how harmful that is to the students they've agreed to take, and figure out how to have backup options if a company does drop out.
In short, your class was a bit of a perfect storm: a large number of underprepared students, a teacher who didn't do a great job building curriculum or giving feedback to struggling students, and internships that we tried to start too close to the holidays. Since then, we've made our class longer so that we can teach the basics in person, we've strengthened our curriculum development and student assessment, and improved our internship scheduling.
I'd be the last person to say that Epicodus is perfect or doesn't have room to grow. We've improved the quality of our education since you attended, and we'll continue to learn from our experience and keep improving.
On-Time Graduation Rate
100% of students intended to seek in-field employment within 180 days of graduating. 0% of students did not intend to seek in-field employment.Below is the 180 Day Employment Breakdown for 43 graduates included in report: