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Founders and Coders

London, Nazareth

Founders and Coders

Avg Rating:4.58 ( 38 reviews )

Founders and Coders offers tuition-free, peer-led web development training in London, UK. Founders and Coders is a nonprofit organization and global developer community, aiming to help people from all backgrounds get into tech and make a social impact. The program consists of a 16-week full-time coding bootcamp covering JavaScript, Node.js, relational databases, and aspects of UX design and project management. As a peer-led bootcamp, students take turns delivering workshops, running code reviews, and managing projects. The coding bootcamp is designed for people who are serious about launching a career in web development, are self-motivated, prepared to work long hours, and committed to collaborative working.

After the bootcamp, graduates have the opportunity to build real projects through Tech for Better, Founders and Coders' app development program for nonprofits. Founders and Coders encourages graduates to take jobs with their employer partners who will help cover the costs of the program, or to make a voluntary contribution to pay it forward after they graduate. Graduates are also expected to mentor new students for at least one week after they graduate.

Applicants must be over 18. There are no academic prerequisites, but not everyone will be suited to the Founders and Coders learning style. Applicants will need to work through prerequisite resources such as freeCodeCamp and Codewars before joining the course. All applicants will participate in a 20-minute conversational interview to gauge whether they are a good fit for the community.

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  • Full-stack JavaScript

    Apply
    Git, JavaScript, User Experience Design, React.js, Front End, Scrum
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week16 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost£0
    Class size16
    LocationLondon
    Each course runs for sixteen weeks at Space4 in Finsbury Park, five days a week from 10:00 to 18:00 (we do not offer part-time or remote courses). During the first half of the course, you’ll spend eight weeks learning HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Node.JS and other basic building blocks of web development, as well as user-centred design and entrepreneurship, via workshops and team projects. During the second half of the course, you’ll tackle two extended team projects, one based on ideas pitched within the cohort and a final project for an external client that you will select as part of the Tech for Better programme. We have no paid teaching staff. While we do employ a part-time facilitator who coordinates course logistics, the course is primarily “peer-led.” You will learn to code by pair programming with a partner, working on team projects, and from “near-peer” mentorship by recent graduates. We support ourselves financially by acting as an employment agency. You can help us keep this programme free for future students by working with us to find employment, both after you graduate and throughout your career. Founders and Coders is a community founded on the principle of reciprocity, and we expect all graduates to contribute back to the viability and development of the programme. As a student, you will spend 1-2 evenings/month mentoring prospective applicants. When you graduate, you will spend at least one full week volunteering as a mentor during the first eight weeks of the following cohort.
    Financing
    DepositN/A
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelN/A
    Prep Work150+ hours of self-study
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes

Shared Review

  • Alex Rubner • Student
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    When I was learning on my own, after six months of coding I managed to make a website about football scores with three differently sized boxes and a button that randomly generated the football scores because I couldn't figure out how to actually get the real football scores. 

     

    After six weeks of Founders & Coders, my team and I have created a working blog from scratch, a soundcloud playlist app, a wordsearch app with autocomplete search and dictionary definitions, a version of twitter (ours distinguished itself by allowing 141 characters), and most recently a working version of instagram. I'm not even slightly exaggerating. 

     

    That's six weeks' worth of projects. In the ninth week, we'll move out of the classroom and start working on projects for clients. Where else could you imagine that after eight weeks of training, you'll be in a position to deliver genuine value to someone else's business? 

     

    Through a mixture of expert instruction and collaboration with our peers, we've made faster progress that I ever dreamed was possible. I couldn't recommend Founders & Coders more to anyone who wants to devote a helluvalotta effort, with the guarantee that they'll get out of it what they put into it. 

  • Helen Zhou  User Photo
    Helen Zhou • Front End Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Founders and Coders is a 16 week bootcamp course, that ensures you develop the skills to become a software developer. The first eight weeks are focused on learning the principles of JavaScript (that can be applied to other programming languages), as well as using popular frameworks such as React and Express. This includes two days each week of mini projects in a group of four to put what was learnt into practice. The latter eight weeks are spent working on two four-week projects, one of which is for an actual client.

    The curriculum is open source, mostly based on contributions from previous alumni, and is improved after each cohort based on Agile principles. There is a course facilitator that oversees the process, whilst for the first eight weeks there are mentors from the previous cohort to coordinate the self learning.

    I would highly recommend the course - it teaches you the technical as well as the personal skills required to become a software developer. Being able to learn in a safe environment, with support from your peers and the mentors, was invaluable. Although it was intense, and a lot of information to take in, it was definitely a rewarding experience. Our cohort also became a close knit group that still meet quite often as well!

    Founders and Coders provided me with the groundwork to pursue my career in the tech industry, and I will always be grateful that I was welcomed into such an amazing community.

  • Dragomir Ceban  User Photo
    Dragomir Ceban • recent graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I've just graduated from Founders and Coders. Before enrolling on the course I was studying BSc Computing at university. Just at the end of the first year, I found out about FAC, and decided to drop off the uni as I didn't enjoy paying an arm and a leg for studying mainly in my own time, outdated tools. At that period I wasn't sure how well FAC would work for me, and now I can certainly say that it was the best decision I've ever made. I learnt so much within the last 4 months, and I'm well prepared to get a job as Juniour Developer. I learnt Express, React and Redux, which are currently in a big demand on the market. I'm very thankful for the opportunity I was given and defenitely recommend the course to everyone who wants to get into coding.

  • Eade • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Founders and Coders is a coding bootcamp that is the perfect springboard to jump into the world of coding.

    What sets FAC apart from the other bootcamps is the level of support. Since the prerequisites that need to be completed before applying are tough and the course is highly selective, it has resulted in a community of people who are the best of the best. The beauty of FAC is the people who are always ready to help, and I’ve made many friends from FAC. 

    Over the four month course, I have learnt more than any other four months of my life. It is an intense learning environment, one where it is best if you do not have anything else going on on the side. You need to be ready to be immersed in the bootcamp. Although at times it was mildly stressful, it was definitely worth it.

    FAC has completely turned my career around. I managed to find a job in a small start up in a great place in London within half a month of finishing the course, where I’ve now been for about nine months and having a great time.

    I would highly recommend FAC, it is so so worthwhile.

  • 👍
    - 2/27/2019
    Haydn • Graduate
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    You can really get a huge amount out of FAC but you need to put a lot in. The people who say that it was an incredible experience (and I think everyone on my cohort would more or less agree with them), will have put the effort in to ensure that they had such a transformative experience. There are many reasons why someone might not be able to make the necessary comittment and they are all probably really good reasons, but they should be aware that they might find they struggle with the way that the project is structured and executed, and with the kinds of interactions they will be exposed to.

    Applicants should be clear from the start that:

    • The excellent course material is both challenging and in a state of constant development/improvement - you will cover topics that an expert would be hard pressed to make accessible, and at the end of the course you will be asked to improve on the existing delivery of that topic...
    • You will definitely learn to use the practical tools and methodologies that are widely adopted across the industry, and you will be required to use them to manage projects with real-world clients by the end of the course.
    • There are no 'teachers' - there is a collaboratively designed curriculum, graduates from the previous cohort to mentor you each week, a course facilitator, and a community of associates, graduates etc. sharing the space with you: the environment is spontaneous and very sociable.
    • You need to learn a lot in a short space of time and you will need to learn to use technologies you don't fully uderstand - this is an extremely valuable skill, but can really take you out of your comfort zone.
    • The opportunity to mentor the next cohort for a week is an amazing opportunity to cement your learning - on the other hand, as a student, it is easy to get frustrated with the mentors when you are dealing with a difficult topic as they definitely:
      1. do not have all the answers
      2. have been instructed not to feed you the answer, since you are supposed to figure it out with your team
    • You will be working in pairs and in teams from the start and will need to become expert at managing interpersonal issues in a sometimes stressful environment - FAC makes sure to provide pastral care and there is always support available.
    • The project is expanding, developing in new fields, and seeking new groups of participants and new revenue streams to keep the momentum up - while I have never been pressured to contribute financially, I certainly do want to when I am able, and would not be shocked if I was asked.
    • A lot of effort is put into ensuring that a chohort will get on well, but there will be personal issues, things you disagree with etc.
    • There is a demonstrable need to increase diversity in the tech sector and FAC is actively working towards this.
    • You will need to use emojis a lot.

    FAC is an amazing project and course and highly recommended

  • Paul • Graduate
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    To summarise it in a few words: a sheer waste of time.

    The course is simply not properly taught and I would have better used my money on some udemy classes. At least they are done by professionals, not by improvised mentors that just finished the same course a few weeks before us and often had no real work experience, while following an old curriculum.

    Reporting problems is more or less meaningless, they are just blinded by their own political views (read: radical feminism in its most dogmatic form) and as long as they make sure that you donate (because you have to, they put it on paper - it is not free, that is just another lie!) and do not ruin their image, they are fine with things as they are.

    And I do not say that without evidence: our cohort was a major shipwreck (lot of people not finishing it due to poor selection process, just to get a class going and get some funding, I would say), but still on twitter they keep celebrating the alleged "success" of the campus without any speck of shame.

    Oh, no, wait: if you object and complain too much, you can forget to work in their small projects for a very cheap pay. Well, thanks, but no thanks.

    Avoid this trap, don't repeat my mistake!

  • J • Student
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    First of all, I met awesome people there, "thanks" to FAC, but I cannot deny what apparently only a couple of reviewers had the guts to say so far: this is not a proper bootcamp.

    Let me go a bit more in detail about that:

    • let's start with the most crucial: 90% or more of the people mentoring you are in no shape to be instructors and some of them, I came to think, would actually struggle to pass a serious interview for a junior role;
    • it is not by all means necessarily their fault, but some of them were just led to believe they were competent when they were still quite far from it - it happens when you have an environment which does NOT welcome criticism in any shape or form, despite nominally soliciting people to be open and to share, contribute;
    • technology does not seem to be a core passion or not even a concern for several people there (I would dare say most of the people passing the very iffy selections - more about them later) - ideology and a political agenda are, while "coding" is just a background, the cool fad of the moment;
    • it can happen quite often that the curriculum will get dumbed down, to accommodate for the "less gifted" (or often simply the less hard working or just the more pessimistic) members of a cohort, so be ready to leave a lot of important stuff out, as also Mattia mentioned in his own review;
    • remember what I said about criticism? Well, any dissenter is often marginalised and in due time moved closer and closer to the door. Little wonder here that a lot of the positive reviews were most likely either carefully marshalled in place or left by people who just hope to keep their situation as it is - cheap, easy roles for some partner of FAC;
    • basically, you might end up not training seriously with mainstream and highly-demanded technologies like NodeJS or React, just because some part of your cohort is not up to speed or because who should decide on the curriculum does not like to take a firm stance;
    • there is a strong pressure to donate money and your time to the association, which might be somehow tolerable, if not for the parallel effort of preventing people from landing (mostly on their own, do not expect much help in this regard) real jobs elsewhere. And, to be clear, by "real jobs" I mean jobs which do not pay less than a waiter and/or are not requiring you a similar coding prowess. Also, the fact that [NAME REDACTED] is super keen on reminding you how much he needs your money and time, but then shows that he himself does not do much for the bootcamp, other than going around spreading more self-promotion, collecting praise from his sycophants or dodging any criticism or objection does not help;
    • I am more than supportive of people having their own ideas and possibly also being open with it, but FAC does subscribe completely and wholeheartedly to the so-called "radical feminism", embracing claims of constant discrimination of women by the evil patriarchy and generating a constant atmosphere of victimisation and infantilisation for them which is more than likely to elicit results which are opposite to the one they state they wish to achieve. Not that it would bother [NAME REDACTED], which apparently has a penchant for treating people like helpless children in need. Conversely, constant white male shaming/bashing is of course widely tolerated, if not even encouraged by some of the senior alumni (I will let you guess who, but it should not be that hard...);
    • this is a minor one, but still it counts in the overall picture: being asked how somebody behaves when they are not there and constantly pushing to know what people think is a bit annoying, if not too controlling for my taste; Mattia's review raised a lot of fuss, with pressure to get it removed, other than him being of course ostracised. I am not giving my name here also because I want to avoid trouble to me and to some of my friends still around FAC;
    • despite so much attention to "minorities" and so many claims and chest-beating about their virtuous ideals, the only ones to my knowledge that got good contracts through FAC are [NAME REDACTED]'s son (the same guy that posted one of the first reviews here with another surname) and his buddy, earning way above the market (for engineers of that seniority): why did FAC not offer the same opportunities also to female engineers, considering how many they have graduated and the recurring refrain that women can do exactly the same, if not often much better than men?

    All in all, it was not a good investment of time for me (and I pity a bit all the people parroting that it was a life changing experience for them). Now I got a job, but in hindsight I should have gone to a proper Bootcamp like Makers (ah, I mentioned them!). Probably I would have been better off even just doing some online classes, still less expensive and much more productive than attending FAC.

    I should have guessed so by the selection process, being interviewed without any serious technical question, all about your attitude (and, well, gender, of course). My fault for ignoring the red flags.

    Sorry guys, but as long as [NAME REDACTED] will keep telling that "FAC would not be FAC" changing things, you are stuck in your own jam.

    I am out.

  • Hannah Tucker • Frontend Engineer • Graduate
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    An amazing experience, I couldn’t recommend it enough.

    Firstly for the sense of community whilst learning. Students are expected to support fellow students during the course, and you also contribute through hosting meetups for new coders and through mentoring. There really is a sense of being 'in it together' which makes the whole thing really enjoyable!

    The course material was fresh and current, largely because Founders & Coders is based on an iterative model - each cohort of students feeds back on the syllabus and the experience as a whole, so the course is updated & improved each time. As a student the learning is mostly focused on ‘learning by doing’ (workshops and coding challenges, as well as a weekly group project). Don’t expect to be spoon fed, but do expect to learn valuable skills for a developer, i.e. *how* to learn new skills, how to research new technonlogies, and how to work in a team.

    Another point of difference from other bootcamps is that for your final project you work with a real client, usually a charity. This is great on your CV as employers appreciate candidates with client experience, and of course it’s fantastic to help out a charity by solving a real-world problem with your newly-learned tech skills!

  • Natalie Seeto • Graduate
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    I am a graduate of Founders and Coders and I can honestly say it is one of the best things I have been a part of.

    The curriculum is ever evolving determined by current trends in tech. Topics during our cohort included accessibility, Node, Express, relational databases, React, authentication. We consolidated our knowledge through weekly projects, which also helped hone our skills in pair-programming, TDD, code reviews, team retrospectives and the Git work flow; all assets in the professional environment.

    Not only do you come out with these skills; you also become part of the Founders and Coders community. This was the main selling point for my decision to attend Founders and Coders. All alumni and students go above and beyond to ensure everyone feels welcome, and are more than willing to help out when asked.

    One last (and in my opinion the most important) thing about Founders and Coders; it prides itself in diversity and accessibility. My cohort was made up of 75% women. All in our cohort come from a variety of professional backgrounds and are of varying ages. It’s also free. 

    A truly remarkable boot camp that I would recommend to all without hesitation.

  • Becky • Full Stack Web Developer • Graduate
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    I’ve recently graduated from Founders and Coders, and I’m amazed at how much I learnt in 16 weeks. I’m definitely very prepared to be a full stack web developer.

    The course has a great balance of workshops, coding challenges, short weekly team projects and longer 3 week projects which has given me fantastic experience of working in a team and problem solving, along with a really solid grounding in the technical concepts.

    What makes Founders and Coders so special is the sense of community from the day you arrive, and after you graduate. There’s a sense of excitement about making FAC the brilliant learning experience that it is, and it’s such a supportive and collaborative environment which is so unique.

    I would highly recommend Founders and Coders!

  • Mattia • Software engineer
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    My cohort was the last one that didn't have to pay for this boot-camp so that was a big plus. Also the founder of FAC procured small contracts with real customers in London, so that we could have some real world work experience while attending the bootcamp, which was really a good thing and don't know if many bootcamps do something like that for their students. 
    So why do I give a negative review? The learning experience and the atmosphere were poor in my opinion. 
    There were no proper lecturers, the curriculum was very loose. The responsibility to teach to attendees was left to the most 'experienced' members of the cohort. The less experienced attendees were routinely complaining they couldn't keep up and this led the management to ban several technologies that were widely used in the market. JS Promises where banned, ReactJS was banned, Express was banned. People kept complaining and eventually any idea was regarded with suspicion or shut down. 
    In general the atmosphere was not very friendly. There were constant discussions going on about gender equality, feminism, white male privilege, systemic misogyny. I heard more the once sentences like 'stick it to the white male' or 'the white male ticket has expired'. 
    There was a female only meeting for coding, but when one of us created a male only whatsapp group for going to the pub( never used anyways), we were ordered by the management to shut it down, and all of us were labelled as misogynists. 
    Honestly, I went there to improve my coding, I really didn't want to be part of all that. 
    On a more personal note, I also worked on a project for them at the end of the cohort, I was the lead developer for the project and we won the competition the customer organised. It was a really exiting machine learning project and they applied for further funding, which I was told they were likely to receive some months later. I asked the management to be included in the further development of the project, which I was told was a normal thing at founders and coders. However one of them came to me one day asking to forward her all the emails, the repo and all the material I had, and thanking me for the job I did. 
    So for me it was a bad experience. They seem to have very good review now, maybe something changed in the meantime.

  • Philippa Bywater • Graduate
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    I've just finished Founders & Coders and would highly recommend it to anyone. It's an amazing environment to learn in, surrounded by people who are genuinely interested and excited about what they're doing. The support that you get throughout the course is really good but you are also challenged and certainly not spoon-fed. The fact that you learn to write vanilla javascript before using any framewiorks gives you a really good understanding of the language but there's also a lot of room for pursuing technologies you're interested in. 

    What has also stood out for me is how welcoming the community is, both during and after the course - cohorts tend to keep in touch with others on the course, as well as those from previous cohorts, and continue to help each other improve.

  • Piotr • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I've just finished the Founders and Coders programme and I couldn't be happier. In summary, Founders and Coders taught me how to write clean and readable code and after completing the programme I was connected with a company who interviewed me and then offered a Software Engineering position.

    The things I loved about Founders and Coders:

    - the programme focused on vanilla JavaScript.

    - we spent a lot it time writing Node.js servers and creating databases. This is very difficult to learn on your own.

    - we built an app every week in a team of 2-4 people.

    - challenging and engaging workshops.

    - almost all the the time we pair programmed with a fellow student.

    - there were weekly code reviews during which experienced developers would give us advice on how to improve our code.

    - half-way through the programme we were given an opportunity to build a full stack app using a technology stack of our choice.

    - after graduation all students students were given an opportunity to continue to work on paid projects, internships, short-term contracts or full-time jobs.

    But above all, the thing I've enjoyed the most is the supportive community of fellow students, freelancers, alumni and startup founders.