Founders & Coders
Recent Founders & Coders Reviews: Rating 4.57
Recent Founders & Coders News
- March 2018 Coding Bootcamp News Podcast
- Episode 11: February 2017 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast
- December 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup
- In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week16 Weeks
Founders & Coders runs what is probably the most challenging course of its kind in the Middle East: A 16-week, full-time foundation course in software development for the Web, followed by up to 10 weeks building a portfolio and helping us deliver the course to our next cohort of students.
- Start Date
- Rolling Start Date
- Class size
- Nazareth, London
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- 200+ hours of self-study
- Placement Test
Founders & Coders Reviews
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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FAC, and decided to drop off the uni as I didn't enjoy paying an arm and a leg for studying mainly in my own time, outdated tools.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.
- I came out much more knowledgeable than I went in.
- Code review sessions are particularly useful if you have decent coders on the cohort.
- We were able to build some paid prototypes at the end of the course for a number of charities.
- It’s much cheaper than other boot camps.
- There is a clear desire to do social good amongst senior members of the organisation.
- There were a few developers available who were able to answer most of the more complicated questions asked by members of the cohort, and if not were willing to discuss them in order to find a solution.
- Those learning fastest were towards the end deliberately held back to the level of the slowest. Practicing some commercially important technologies was banned as a result as mentioned in other’s comments. The curriculum is changed periodically during the course based on the level of the weakest members of the cohort.
- It is very ideologically left, particularly trying to ensure equality of outcome in the gender space. A lot of decisions about how the course is run are based on forcing this, often at the expense of the higher performing members, male and female.
- There is no clear structure or accountability amongst senior members.
- Teaching is of mixed quality, as is the ad hoc assistance available. As Mattia mentioned, members often learned primarily from the most experienced on the cohort rather than instructors.
Although undoubtedly there are some excellent graduates, many of the positive reviews that include exaggerated claims about skill levels at the end of the course are indicative of the “everybody who takes part gets a medal” attitude.
F&C is good if you want to practice coding with other people in a relatively structured safe space, but I chose to attend in order to acquire the minimum skills required to be worth the salary of a junior developer. This is not F&C’s mission. Some of its graduates / instructors weren’t at that level. I hope its senior faculty realise this and find a solution.
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 Dan 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 Ines, 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 Dan'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 Dan will keep telling that "FAC would not be FAC" changing things, you are stuck in your own jam.
I am out.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
At Founders & Coders you’ll not only develop your programming skills in the short space of time, you’ll also learn to how work well with others, be encouraged to contribute to helping develop the course itself, and work out of your comfort zone regularly to push you to higher levels. Simply put, the course will help you grow as an individual, and you’ll leave the course with highly valuable attributes that many employers look for.
The course reviews here sum up the course well, in my opinion the best thing about Founders & Coders are the core values shared by everyone- in short; every member is wonderfully motivated about making a positive difference to the world through technology, it’s inspiring. Applying to the course and completing the 16 weeks has been one of the best decisions of my life, I cannot recommend it enough!
I learnt more during the last four months than at any other time of my life. It is exactly what my university experience should have been like and all without the £30,000 debt. What makes Founders and Coders so great is the people. The entry requirements are tough and this ensures that you are surrounded by intelligent, switched on individuals. Everyone has pushed me to be better every day, I would not be anywhere near as far in my coding career if it was not for this course. As well as the skills I have picked up, there are the friends that I have made. The atmosphere in the space is one of the most welcoming, accepting and friendly I have ever encountered, I will have a hard time leaving!
Are you looking to become a great developer, but do not have previous experience in web development?
Do you want a great learning journey, and share it with a group of young people you'll soon be calling friends?
Founders & Coders is the answer!
Founders & Coders is not only incredibly good to learn Full-stack Web Development, it is a community you can rely on to keep on learning, and a place which feels like home.
You will learn from day1(!!) to build powerful websites. By the end of the course you will be highly confident building full-stack apps, whether in 1-2 day hackathons or over the span of several weeks. I am now a much better developer than I could have ever imagined when applying.
One of the key differences with other bootcamps is that the learning doesn't stop after the course! You have a community which supports you! I have just finished the 16th (and last official) week of the course and am looking at working immediately on customer projects as a freelancer with my friends from the course. We will carry on learning and exploring new technologies together, and have the support of the FAC community (the experienced developers who graduated before us).
Web development cannot be taught on a whiteboard and a set of manuals, so this calls for a very practical approach. F&C's learning method is very powerful and unique for three specific reasons: exploration, group work, peer-led learning.
You will learn how to learn new topics, practicing every week. I cannot emphasize how important this is in tech, where new technologies will be coming up all the time! You will also never experience spoon-feeding, and grow as a learner as well as a developer.
I have learned more in 2 weeks working in groups, than in 3 months learning on my own! And it's been way more fun and rewarding! Working in groups and pair programming, you will support, push and help each other to do more and better and to keep learning.
It may not be clear right now (it wasn't for me at the start), but teaching is an invaluable way to learn... for you and for the FAC community. It's what makes the course FREE (I still cannot believe it is!!) for the students, and will consolidate your learning! It will also not take too much of your time as a teacher (it is perfectly compatible with working the rest of the day). I'm really excited to do that!
If you are still not convinced, here are some other great reasons why F&C is so good!
- You can contribute to making F&C an even better place! F&C values your opinion and asks for your feedback at least on a weekly basis (e.g. we have group sessions where you can potentially propose new best practices).
- Highly selective entry. I believe this ultimately leads to a higher learning standard. Being a free course, only means that the selection criteria are based on your motivation and aptitude/mentality rather than your willingness to pay (I have successfully applied to all other major bootcamps in EU and US as well, so I know this for a fact).
- All common best practices included: Test Driven Development (TDD), pair-programming, learning-by-doing, etc.
- Variety of backgrounds, experiences and cultures - F&C recognizes the importance of ensuring a balance between men and women, which is rewarding to the overall experience.
It is without a doubt one of the best experiences that I have ever had and I have no doubt that the skills learned will be a massive help in my career as a developer.
I had been looking for a good coding bootcamp in London and Founders & Coders was by far the best I found. I had an amazing learning experience here and I would strongly recommend it. The quality of the program is remarkable, people are friendly and always happy to help.
Founders and Coders has taught me in an intensive 16 weeks, the principles for being a full stack developer. I have been given a great introduction to a knowledgeable, experienced and up to date community of developers and feel very little restrictions to my development as a developer.
After a masters in Art History, I was unhappy about where my career was going. I found out about the school and joined Founders and Coders a couple of months later and honestly could say it was one of my best life choices. I've met lots of lovely people; the work is challenging and creative; my career looks much more promising. I have found that the collaborative way of teaching suits me very well. I have learnt so much in the last few months. In addition, I have been given the opportunity to work with amazing clients such as Breast Cancer Care and other reputible charities so early on in my career as a developer. I would highly recommend.
What susrpised me about Founders and Coders was that at its core, the key to its success was a group of people in a room commiting to learning together. It's so simple but deceptively powerful.
It was one of the hardest, most intense experiences of my life, Founders and Coders doesn't hold you hand, it teaches you how to learn.
I learnt more in 16 weeks than I did in 3 years, met some extremely talented people who I want to continute working with and am really excited about my future in software development.
It's hard to believe how much I have learned on the course when I think back to how little I knew before starting. Having finished the course, I feel comfortable setting up a full-stack, fully functional web-app - frontend, backend, database, and any of a number of powerful modern frameworks.... I remember before the course, I barely knew how to make a simple static web-page.
The fact is that Founders & Coders is an incredibly effective way of learning the skills you need to start a real career in software development. IT WORKS as a way of gaining an incredible amount of knowledge and experience in a very short amount of time. It's also amazing fun, thanks to the people teaching and running the course, as well as the close ties you build with your fellow students.
I can't really think of many cons. The fact that the course is free means that it gets a lot of applicants, and so you have to put substantial time and effort into learning the prerequisites before you actually start the course. Another possible con is that you can't expect to have your hand held. The course relies on self-learning and peer-learning, and the instruction you receive from the teachers is limited to the essentials - this means that you get out of the course what you put in.
As far as getting jobs goes, I think Founders & Coders offers more help than many other bootcamps. They have a great system in place to get graduates paid freelance work after you finish the course - this lets you gain experience and build a portfolio to show to recruiters in the future. If you're thinking about applying, I can't recommend it enough.
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