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Fullstack Academy

Chicago, New York City, Online

Fullstack Academy

Avg Rating:4.9 ( 240 reviews )

Fullstack Academy offers full-time and part-time immersive software engineering bootcamps and cyber security bootcamps, with campuses in New York City, Chicago, and online. Fullstack's software engineering courses cover advanced JavaScript-oriented technologies and computer science topics including compiler theory, logic gates, and building an operating system. The cyber bootcamp covers encryption, networking, system architecture, cryptography, risk detection, and more. Fullstack Academy offers flexible options for college students and those who wish to continue working while learning modern tech skills. The Summer of Code program is an accelerated version of the immersive bootcamp for college students on summer break.

The full- and part-time immersives in NY and Chicago are for intermediate programmers who’ve learned the basics before applying, while the cyber and university bootcamps are specifically designed for beginners. Bootcamp Prep classes are available to help students prepare for admissions. To apply, candidates should submit an application via the website, take an online coding assessment (software engineering bootcamp) or a basic logical reasoning test (cyber bootcamp), then participate in a video interview.

Fullstack Academy programs aim to combine a cutting-edge technical curriculum with career counseling to make sure students can both do a technical job, and get a technical job. Fullstack hosts a Demo Day, which includes speed interviewing sessions, and the careers team helps students connect with the right people, interview successfully, and negotiate the best offer possible. 

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  • Bootcamp Prep in a Month

    Apply
    HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Express.js, Node.js, Front End
    In PersonPart Time12 Hours/week4 Weeks
    Start Date
    October 9, 2019
    Cost
    $250
    Class size
    40
    Location
    Online, Chicago, New York City
    **NOTE: Prep In a Month courses are best for folks who have some previous experience with programming.** Fullstack Academy's Bootcamp Prep courses are free with refund (which means you'll get back everything you've paid upon completion of the course) and will prepare you for the full-time software engineering programs at both Fullstack and Grace Hopper (our all-women's school), plus Fullstack's part-time Flex program. These courses teach the fundamentals of programming and show you how to use JavaScript to solve real-world coding problems. Best of all, they're taught by working developers who once graduated from one of Fullstack's programs, so you can really get a feel for the environment we foster and the kinds of smart, driven, generous people our community is made up of.
    Financing
    Deposit
    N/A
    Refund / Guarantee
    Full refund upon course completion.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Advanced-Beginner
    Prep Work
    Includes a 10-hr prep workshop. Not required, but highly recommended to help students get the most out of class.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
    More Start Dates
    October 9, 2019 - ChicagoApply by October 3, 2019
    October 9, 2019 - OnlineApply by October 3, 2019
    October 9, 2019 - New York CityApply by October 3, 2019
  • Bootcamp Prep in a Week

    Apply
    HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Express.js, Node.js, Front End
    In PersonFull Time1 Week
    Start Date
    October 5, 2019
    Cost
    $250
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Online, New York City
    **NOTE: Prep In a Week courses are best for folks who have some previous experience with programming.** Fullstack Academy's Bootcamp Prep courses are free with refund (which means you'll get back everything you've paid upon completion of the course) and will prepare you for the full-time software engineering programs at both Fullstack and Grace Hopper (our all-women's school), plus Fullstack's part-time Flex program. These courses teach the fundamentals of programming and show you how to use JavaScript to solve real-world coding problems, and best of all? They're taught by working developers who once graduated from one of Fullstack's programs, so you can really get a feel for the environment we foster and the kinds of smart, driven, generous people our community is made up of.
    Financing
    Deposit
    N/A
    Refund / Guarantee
    Full refund upon course completion.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Advanced-beginners
    Prep Work
    Includes a 10-hr prep workshop. Not required, but highly recommended to help students get the most out of class.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
    More Start Dates
    October 5, 2019 - OnlineApply by September 30, 2019
    October 5, 2019 - New York CityApply by September 30, 2019
  • Flex (Part-Time) Immersive

    Apply
    Start Date
    October 15, 2019
    Cost
    $15,980
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Chicago, New York City
    Flex offers an opportunity to complete the rigorous Fullstack immersive program, but over a six-month span, while keeping a full-time job. Students attend class in-person two nights per week, and remotely one night per week. Each month will have one immersive weekend, where Flex students come to campus both Saturday and Sunday. The other three weekends will consist of remote work -- not requiring live attendance. These remote weekends will utilize learning tools that work well in that format: video lectures and workshop reviews, solo coding workshops, and even pair-programming with classmates using virtual collaboration tools. This remote work will be self-paced -- completed by a deadline, but on the student’s schedule.
    Financing
    Deposit
    N/A
    Financing
    Fullstack Academy partners with Skills Fund.
    Scholarship
    $1,000 scholarship for women; $1,000 scholarship for veterans. $2,000 built-in scholarship for Chicago students.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Advanced-beginner/Intermediate programming skills
    Prep Work
    4-week Foundations Course
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    Yes
    More Start Dates
    October 15, 2019 - ChicagoApply by August 25, 2019
    January 14, 2020 - New York CityApply by November 17, 2019
  • Fullstack Cyber Bootcamp

    Apply
    Start Date
    September 30, 2019
    Cost
    $17,610
    Class size
    25
    Location
    New York City
    The Fullstack Cyber Bootcamp is a full-time, 17-week training program that prepares students to get cyber security jobs as pen testers and SOC analysts after graduation. Operated by Fullstack Academy, one of the longest-running coding bootcamps in the nation, the Fullstack Cyber Bootcamp is part of New York City’s $100-million-dollar Cyber NYC initiative, which aims to transform the City of New York into a global cyber hub. In keeping with this mission, the City is sponsoring 24 low-income New Yorkers to attend the first cohort of the Fullstack Cyber Bootcamp tuition-free. Head to the web page for eligibility information.
    Financing
    Deposit
    2,000
    Scholarship
    Full scholarships to our inaugural cohort (including deposit refund upon program completion) available for qualifying NYers. Made possible by the City of New York's CyberNYC initiative. See website for eligibility information & additional scholarships.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Beginner
    Prep Work
    Take our introduction to the industry, Hacking 101, before you interview: https://cyber.fullstackacademy.com/prepare/hacking-101
    Placement Test
    Yes
    Interview
    Yes
    More Start Dates
    September 30, 2019 - New York CityApply by August 19, 2019
  • NYC Web Development Fellowship

    Apply
    Data Science, HTML, Git, JavaScript, SQL, jQuery, CSS, Express.js, React.js, Node.js
    In PersonFull Time17 Weeks
    Start Date
    None scheduled
    Cost
    N/A
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    New York City
    In partnership with the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline, the NYC Web Development Fellowship will award ~40 NYC residents tuition-free admission to Fullstack's award-winning Software Engineering program. This curriculum has been proven successful -- Fullstack graduates are now working at companies like Google, Venmo, Facebook, Amazon, and LinkedIn, as well as hundreds of innovative small- and mid-size tech companies. Learn more about the fellowship as well as eligibility restrictions on the Fullstack website: https://www.fullstackacademy.com/nyc-fellowship
    Financing
    Deposit
    N/A
    Scholarship
    Free Tuition for Eligible NYC Residents
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    N/A
    Placement Test
    Yes
    Interview
    Yes
  • Software Engineering Immersive

    Apply
    Start Date
    November 4, 2019
    Cost
    $17,910
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Chicago, New York City
    Fullstack Academy’s flagship course, the Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive is a 17-week career accelerator. Through an advanced curriculum and project-based structure, students learn today’s cutting edge development technologies. The Fullstack Immersive prepares graduates for software engineer roles at top-tier technology companies. Our JavaScript-driven curriculum immerses you in the latest web technologies such as Node.js, React.js, and postgreSQL. You bring the energy, curiosity, and dedication — we'll provide a world-class school for becoming an expert software developer.
    Financing
    Deposit
    N/A
    Financing
    Fullstack Academy has partnerships with Skills Fund and Upstart.
    Scholarship
    Built-in $2,000 student scholarship; $1,000 scholarship for women; $1,000 scholarship for veterans.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Advanced-beginner/Intermediate programming skills
    Prep Work
    4-week remote Foundations Course precedes the 13 weeks on-campus
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    Yes
    More Start Dates
    November 4, 2019 - New York CityApply by September 15, 2019
    January 13, 2020 - New York CityApply by November 24, 2019
    November 4, 2019 - ChicagoApply by September 15, 2019
    January 13, 2020 - ChicagoApply by November 24, 2019
  • Summer of Code

    Apply
    Start Date
    None scheduled
    Cost
    $16,910
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Chicago, New York City
    Summer of Code is a coding education program uniquely designed for ambitious college students seeking to supplement their traditional education by learning real world skills and building a portfolio of impressive projects. You bring the energy, curiosity and fierce dedication — we'll provide a world-class school for becoming an expert level coder in one summer.
    Financing
    Deposit
    N/A
    Financing
    Fullstack Academy has partnerships with Skills Fund and Upstart
    Scholarship
    Built-in $2,000 student scholarship; $1,000 scholarship for women.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    College students only.
    Prep Work
    4-week Foundations course
    Placement Test
    Yes
    Interview
    Yes

1 Scholarship

  • $500 Fullstack Academy Scholarship

    Course Report is excited to offer an exclusive Fullstack Academy scholarship for $500 off tuition!

    Eligibility

    Offer is only valid for new applicants. Applicants who have already submitted an application cannot claim this scholarship.

    Qualifying Courses

    • Software Engineering Immersive (Chicago)

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  • Julia • Student
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    I attended Bootcamp Prep in a week and had a very positive experience. The class definitely moved fast and covered a lot, but not superficially--a good introduction to the basics of JavaScript, I felt. Using a concept in an exercise right after it had been introducted in lecture helped to reinforce it, and the exercises were a thorough mental workout without being impossible, especially with teaching fellows who were mostly very patient, helpful, and generous with their time. I would recommend this course for a quick, intense JS intro, whether or not you are considering applying to an immersive bootcamp afterwards.

  • Trevor Storey  User Photo
    Trevor Storey • Lead Mobile Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
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    Job Assistance:

    A note about me. I do not hold any type of college degree. I went to college for music, but started working professionally in that industry before I finished. I was successful, but I've always had an interest in the CS field and wanted to work and live in one place, rather than being gone on tour all the time. I'm glad I made the decision to switch. 3 months after graduating Fullstack Academy I got a job as the Lead Mobile Developer at a startup. I graduated mid-December 2017 and started working at my current company mid-March 2018. I think I sent out 5 applications altogether.

     

    This review is about Fullstack Academy, however, a lot of people are trying to choose between App Academy/Fullstack Academy/Hack Reactor etc. So a note about App Academy - 

    I went to App Academy for 5 weeks of their immersive program and failed out. It was not because of the difficulty of the material, nor that they push you harder as a coder. It had more to do with the method of their instruction. That could be my fault. I would say more, however, they gave me back my $5k deposit in exchange for signing a document that said, essentially, that I could not communicate anything negative about App Academy to anyone ever. I don't think this violates that agreement.

    That being said, if you want to learn the most and best you can at the bootcamp that you choose, I recommend Fullstack Academy.

     

    Fullstack Academy's instructors and curriculum are far and above any other bootcamp that I have had experience with. The instructors are not chosen based on being graduates of the program and thereby being cheap labor.

    The instructors are great programmers, but they are also incredible communicators. They are great instructors who happen to teach software engineering, something they are really great at too. It is abundantly clear that they want you to do well and that includes caring about things outside of simply software engineering.

    I've never had better teaching on any subject than what I received at Fullstack Academy.

     

    Another thing, I visited the facilities of FSA, App Academy, Hack Reactor and Flatiron School, all in NYC. FSA has the most professional environment of all of them, hands down. Flatiron feels like college, Hack Reactor and App Academy feel hack-y, FSA feels professional. I was a professional before this. I was switching professions, going into professional training to be prepared for a professional job afterwards. I wanted a professional environment so I really appreciated that about FSA.

     

    In regards to Job Assistance, personally I think FSA's strategy and implementation could use some work.

    My experience was that their strategy is impossible. They encourage a "spray and pray" approach, but also encourage a personal (continuing the analogy) "sniper precision" approach. For me, that's impossible. I can't send out 20 applications a week and spend the necessary time to make each application convey that I am excited about the specific opportunity without coming off as rote. I think those are two different approaches that don't coincide.

    They encouraged us to have a profile on every coding website under the sun that had a 'jobs profile' option. For me it felt like being told to do 10,000 things, each of which would take 2-3 days to do well, in an hour. It seemed like they didn't know what they were asking us to do, because what they were asking us to do was impossible. For me anyway.

    I believe that the "spray and pray" approach is statistically more successful for finding a job post-bootcamp. I also believe that my personality and the "spray and pray" approach don't work together.

    I'm a very hard working, secure, introvert. I value few deep connections over many shallow connections. I get along with people just fine, I'm not shy. I am overly serious and overly critical of myself and others at times.

    I tried their approach, I chose to trust the process because that's what I did for the code instruction portion of the program. I tried to do everything the career success team told us to do while still in the immersive and it just seemed like no matter what I did or how perfect I tried to do it, it didn't have the results it was supposed to. 

    It was the equivalent of being told that once I pushed this boulder up the mountain it would stay there and I would be rewarded. Only, after pushing it all the way up this mountain, it turns out the only thing at the top is a cliff...and I just pushed it off that cliff...No reward. I was pushing it up the wrong mountain.

     

    Disclaimer: I do think I am an outlier with the way I chose to job search. I think my experience is more likely the exception, not the rule. 

    So, after graduating from FSA, I avoided the career success team. I know that others in my cohort had good experiences with them, but this review is about my experience. Maybe things would have got better had I kept trying their way, but I doubt it.

    My approach was to spend most of my time learning and blogging about it. For professional profiles I focused on linkedin, github and twitter. I would go to 1-2 meetups a week(usually 1). I would only send an application somewhere if I knew that someone was going to look at it. (That’s a no-no, but that’s what I chose to do.)

    When I went to meetups, I would hang out with one or two people and get to know them. Regardless of whether their companies were hiring or not. I would just try to make a connection with one or two professional developers. If I did encounter someone that was hiring, I'd ask them what their stack was and then I would spend time learning that stack. Even if they said they weren't ready to hire me.

    I also spent a lot of time going deeper on the technologies that we had learned at Fullstack.

     

    In the end, I was contacted by the CEO of my current company on linkedin, I did a coding challenge for him in React Native, which I spent 3 full days on, then I met with him and 20 minutes into that lunch/interview he said he wanted to hire me for a very good salary including a little equity. Not to be too specific, but I think the average salary for a just-graduated FSA grad in September 2017 was around 80k and I was offered more than that.

     

    In conclusion, You will NOT regret choosing FSA. I'm certain their career success team will get better with time. But even without using them, in fact outright avoiding them, I got a really great job 3 months after graduating. (And keep in mind that one of those months went right through christmas and new years when there really isn't a lot of action going on with hiring).

  • Life Changing
    - 3/24/2018
    Pat Petillo  User Photo
    Pat Petillo • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
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    There is absolutely no way I would have became a professional Software Engineer without Fullstack Academy. After spending more than a year trying to teach myself Javascript and Web Development, and making very little progress, I was very fortunate to be able to attend Fullstack Academy. FSA gave me the skills and confidence to pursue my dream career and within a month of graduating I was able to land a full time position as a Software Engineer.

    I was part of the WDF program at FSA sponsored by the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline so I was in a bit of a unique situation but the curriculum was exactly the same with the exception of having to attend the Foundations portion of the curriculum on campus.

    The instructors at Fullstack Academy are nothing short of amazing. They all have a great wealth of Software Engineering knowledge and years of professional experience which they will anecdotally share with you throughout your experience at FSA. It is obvious that the instructors care for each and every student, and hold us all to the highest standards in order for us to be successful in our future careers.

    Fullstack Academy puts a tremendous amount of effort into creating a curriculum that will ensure the success of its students. The curriculum includes cutting edge Web technologies as well as solid fundamental programming knowledge and skills. I left Fullstack Academy with a deep understanding of JavaScript and a wide breadth of full stack development knowledge that I use on a daily basis as a Software Engineer. Not only does the curriculum include programming fundamentals and modern Web technologies, it includes whiteboarding and technical interview prep that is invaluable when it comes time to search for a position as an Engineer.

    The curriculum is project based and you will leave FSA with full scale applications under your belt that you can display while applying or interviewing for positions. It is extremely challenging and you will be putting in long hours to complete workshops and projects but it is incredibly gratifying. I am still proud of the Senior Capstone project my team and I created at FSA

    Fullstack Academy has an incredibly dedicated career success team that will assist you in creating a tech resume as well as increasing your online presence and assist you in growing a network that will greatly help you in your job search. FSA also hosts a hiring day where you will have ten minute sit down interviews with multiple companies, following your one on one interviews there is a networking time where you will be able to speak to all of the companies that attend hiring day. I was hired by a company that I met during the networking hours of hiring day. It is a great opportunity to establish a relationship with companies actively looking to hire developers. The career success team is not only there for you through your time at FSA but will continue to assist you in your job search after you leave FSA and are available even after you are hired.

    Please be aware that it can take 3-6 months to find a full time position, and that is in part due to the nature of tech companies where the hiring process can be quite long. Fortunately the career success team and FSA in general will be there for you through each and every step of the process.

    Overall my experience at Fullstack Academy was amazing. I was in a unique group of amazing people being part of the WDF program but I am confident that FSA could help any hardworking and motivated individual become a professional Software Engineer. If you are truly considering attending a coding bootcamp I could not recommend FSA more highly.

     

  • Andrew Niekamp  User Photo
    Andrew Niekamp • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I attended the Fullstack immersive (through the NYC Web Development Fellowship). The instructors were fantastic, and my fellow classmates were a constant inspiration. It's a great experience not just because of what you learn (which is obviously a lot), but because you have an opportunity to be around so many smart and driven people at various life stages that decided to pursue programming. As such, Fullstack is very challenging!

    I couldn't have asked for a better outcome. I ended up receiving an offer from a company that I interviewed with during the career day organized by the school after graduation. I've been working now for almost 3 months as a software developer. My current job is not easy, and I feel Fullstack helped me develop a strong technical foundation and the mindset to be able to build on my knowledge and improve each day.

  • Alyssa Venere Braun  User Photo
    Alyssa Venere Braun • Software Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    My background was as a fundraiser in arts and culture nonprofits. Very non-technical. After hitting a bit of a wall in my career, I was tipped off my husband and some friends about careers in tech. Curious, I started playing around with coding a bit on my own. I visited info sessions for a couple of other Chicago bootcamps (Coding Dojo, and now-closed DevBootcamp). Fullstack grabbed me for a few reasons -- the admissions were competitive, you needed to know some JavaScript basics to be accepted, and it was going to dig hard into one very in-demand stack. Coding Dojo boasts learning 3 full stacks in 3 months, but I wanted depth over breadth. (A friend of mine attended Coding Dojo -- I had surpassed him in JavaScript knowledge by the third week at Fullstack.)

    So, I enrolled in Fullstack's Bootcamp Prep course, which was a bit exhausting when paired with a full-time job, but was a great opportunity to dip my toe into what Fullstack would really be like, as well as see if this was really something that I wanted to do. I was hooked, and applied.

    Now, for the first half of the program, it's all about learning the full stack (JavaScript, Node, Express, Postgres, React, Redux). I felt off-kilter every day, but the key is that they're going to throw a LOT at you. Absorb what you can. Take the time in the evenings and on weekends to practice. You won't retain everything, and that's OK. Just keep going. For the second half, you just build build build, both alone and in a group. This not only gives you 3 great pieces for your portfolio, but also hefty relevant experience beyond the theoretical. 

    Career prep is pretty good, including "Launch Day," where you can meet potential employers through speed-dating-like interviews. I didn't get a job through it, but it did connect me to a few great people that I ended up getting lunch with later on -- and it was a great way to rip off the interviewing band-aid, so to speak.

    In the end, I was interviewing with 3 companies, and accepted a job offer from 1 just 4 weeks after graduating. 

    Great things:

    • You learn a very in-demand stack, and are well-prepared going into the job hunt.
    • Knowledgeable, warm, funny instructors.
    • The rest of my cohort. An incredibly fun, supportive, and smart group, almost 50/50 split of men and women, all different ages/backgrounds/hometowns/former professions/levels of expertise. (Disclaimer, this degree of diversity may be fairly unique.)

    Not-as-great things:

    • One of my biggest weaknesses coming out of this program was my ability to speak technically. At the end of the program, we had mock technical interviews which revealed this to me. Personally, would have appreciated the opportunity to practice technical interviews more throughout the program.

    Advice (if you decide to go with Fullstack):

    • It's hard to be an adult who has several working years under her belt, who knows her stuff, and suddenly be in a position where clicking a button doesn't do what you want it to do. It's humbling and uncomfortable. Be kind to yourself! And don't compare your progress to those around you. Focus on you and your learning, or you'll go crazy.
    • You will get out of this program what you put in! Take ownership of your own education. Fullstack will give you the tools, but you won't magically emerge a software engineer just from showing up.
    • Know yourself, and know how you work best. I preferred to get in very early (morning person) than work late. Use that knowledge to your advantage.
    • Trust Fullstack's process. It all comes together. Just keep working and moving forward.

    Highly, highly, highly recommend!

  • Patrick Noonan  User Photo
    Patrick Noonan • Web Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Last summer (2017) I decided it was time for a full-fledged career change. I had a few ideas of what I might want to get into, but kept coming back to the idea of programming. I took a C++ class in high school and really loved it - but never did anything with it. I enrolled in Fullstack's Bootcamp Prep course and was instantly hooked. My journey from CPA to Software Engineer had begun.

    I entered Fullstack's Immersive Software Engineering program in October of 2017. It was one of the best experiences of my life. The curriculum is very well thought out and presented in an order that builds upon the foundations and helps you to truly grasp and use the large amount of materials that you get through in 16 weeks. 

    One thing that I loved about Fullstack is that they have a competitive admissions process. In my experience, this resulted in a cohort full of brilliant people who were extremely driven. This provided me with an environment where I was motivated to stay on top of the material but also had a room full of rock stars to work through problems with. I think Fullstack does a great job of finding a personality fit for their program as well which led us to work great together and have some fun outside of the classroom as well.

    The program is tough. There is a ton to get through in a short amount of time. But I believe that the learning model they have in place is revolutionary and is the main reason I can now develop fullstack web applications. While it can be difficult at times, the support system is great - your peers, your TAs and your instructors all want you to succeed and can help you with anything from technical questions to interview prep and everything in between. 

    The program is also very adaptive to the real world and you can be sure that you're learning the most valuable and in-demand skills. This makes you a competitive candidate in the job market once you graduate. In my experience, I ended up receiving 2 job offers, both of which I was very excited about, within 3 weeks of finishing the program!

    My biggest piece of advice is to trust their system. They're great at what they do and truly want you to succeed. I did my research and due dilligence and selected Fullstack because it seemed like it was the best coding bootcamp out there. After going through the program I can say that it truly is an amazing place filled with smart people and if you too choose to go through Fullstacks' software engineering immersive program you will learn more than you ever thought possible. 

  • Christian Sadi  User Photo
    Christian Sadi • Software Implementation Engineer • Student Verified via LinkedIn
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    Fullstack is the single best coding bootcamp in Chicago. They have their sh*t together. They constantly work on updating and refining their curriculum. The skills you learn are highly relevant to actual jobs in the industry. The instructors are knowledgeable. 

    After graduating in December, I didn't start job searching until the first week of January. By February 15, I had my first offer at a company that hit all my requirements, paid a solid salary, and was still interviewing with 5 other companies. Keep in mind, I'm more socially-skilled than most as I used to work in marketing consulting for 4 years, so your results may vary based on your temperament and skillset.

    On attending the academy:
    1) It's very liberal. As a conservative/libertarian, it was painful sitting through all the 'everyone matters, women empowerment, be careful with your language,' talk. Look, I'm here to learn relevant skills so I can get a job in software engineering. I didn't come here to learn your ideology or engage in thought policing. Depending on who you are, this can be a drawback or a bonus. Knowing what I know now, I still would have attended Fullstack Academy because it is the best option in the city. 
    2) If you don't live in the city, get a place within 15 minutes commute of the academy. At most, 30 minutes. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT try and commute from the suburbs. I lived in Gurnee, IL and took the train to the city everyday. It was about 3.5-4 hours of total commuting time each day. You need all the time you can to work on the coursework and relax. It will be stressful. You need your sleep. And everything will be worth all the pain and effort. 
    3) Invest time in the relationships you'll build with people there. Everyone is pretty high quality, generally has their life together, and will be beneficial to keep in your life. I'm working on a side project with a classmate and regularly talk to a few classmates I've had. Adding more smart, motivated, and hard working people to your life is never a bad idea. 
    4) Plan for 3-6 months of expenses after Fullstack for finding a job. Fullstack won't give you a job on a silver platter - you'll still have to work for it. Talk  to the career counselor at the Chicago campus. Most college career counselors are utterly useless. Thankfully, this is nothing like college. The Chicago counselor linked me to a number of opportunities within the first 2 months post-graduation. Listen to them.

  • Derek Ashton  User Photo
    Derek Ashton • Product Support Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I had no computer science or technical professional experience prior to doing Fullstack Academy (FSA). I did the online/remote immersive program from my home. I graduated at the end of October, grinded hard in the job search for about three months with little traction (Nov/Dec is not a good time to look for a job), and then finally at the end of January, I got slammed with interviews and managed to land four (four!) job offers in two weeks for software engineering roles, including at two major corporations with huge software departments, both of which started at $70k with excellent benefits (adjusted for cost of living, that's equivalent to about 140-160K in Manhattan or 125-145K in San Francisco). But I ended up taking a full-stack support dev role for $65k at a small-ish custom software company because their work and tech stack more so aligned with my professional interests and goals. I've been on the job for almost a month now and I gotta say, I feel like I have been well prepared. I've been able to begin contributing and pushing code to production relatively quickly. And the company has only recently switched to using React, Redux, Webpack, and some other tools I learned at FSA, so I am actually more knowledgeable than some of the more senior devs about how to use them. 

    It's hard to know if FSA was the best possible choice. If I were to choose again, there are some new schools now that I'd strongly consider.  But FSA has certainly worked out for me. I enjoyed my experience and think that their curriculum and instructors are top-notch. They go in depth in all the right areas, and yet they also expose you to the broad landscape that is the software engineering profession. That broad base of knowldege is just as important as the in-depth stuff they teach. And I love that I was able to do the whole thing remotely. If you're skeptical that a remote program could possibly be as good as the on-site program, please trust me: It is just as good if not better. There's less distraction, it's cheaper, more comfortable, and it forces you to really get your Git workflow down.

    They do provide career support to prepare you for the job hunt / interviews and advise you along the way, and I think they do a pretty good job of it. But there's nothing they can really do to help you get a job. That's on you. And finding a job sucks, so be prepared. The average seems to be about 3 months, but some people land one immediately, and some take 6+ months. There's too many factors to know how long it'll take. Just do what is within your control, be patient, and put on your optimism hat, because you're going to get rejected or ignored for all kinds of stupid reasons before you hear from a sensible human being who is actually qualified to assess your capabilities. 

    The only changes I'd like to see at FSA are for the program to be a bit longer to re-enforce things through repetition, get into more advance concepts and disciplines, and provide more opportunities for students to build out their portfolio. But that would of course drive costs up, which touches on my only other gripe: I wish they would switch to a deferred tuition model like App Academy, Thinkful, Lambda School, and many others. It's an obviously more beneficial model for business and students. Also, I was actually pretty disappointed with the state of my portfolio by the time I graduated. I didn't have anything that really looked show-worthy, not even my cap-stone. Your projects are mostly done in teams, so you're at the mercy of your teammates' skills and work ethic. Lucky for me, a lot of employers didn't even take the time to look at what I made and relied more heaviliy on technical interviews. (On that point, don't waste time fixing up your projects after graduation. Perfect your resume/LinkedIn. Write to-the-point cover letters for every application. Get a hold of an actual person however/whenever possible. Keep studying/practicing/commiting code.)

    Now, as great as FSA is, you need to understand that your growth and ultimate success or failure depends primarily on your ability and/or willingness to prioritize your training and sacrifice your hobbies, relationships, and relaxation. The hard proof of that could be seen in the fact that about 25% of my cohort was held back because they did not pass the junior exam to graduate to senior phase. The problem was not that they weren't smart enough, they just had too much else going on and weren't focused. But even if you pass the exams, that only means you've got the minimum pre-requisites down. I appreciate that they at least set a reasonably high bar to get through the program, so you can feel confident that you know what you're doing when you graduate. Other schools that don't set high graduation standards (or any at all!) are doing their students a great disservice. But don't rest on your laurels just because you pass some test. If you go through FSA (or any school) with an attitude where you're content just scraping by, you're robbing yourself of a great deal of knowledge and expertise you could have gained by reading more, asking more questions, putting more hours into your project. It's three months. You'll be alright without Netflix, video games, outtings with friends, etc for three months.

    With all that said, I think FSA is worth the price. Six months and $18,000 later, and I'm making $25,000 more per year and doing something I atually enjoy for a living at a cool company. I'd say that was a smart investment.

     

  • Eva Lina Morales  User Photo
    Eva Lina Morales • DevOps Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I deeply enjoyed my bootcamp experience at Fullstack. The Grace Hopper program in particular had a friendly, collegial atomsphere and a lack of intellectual arrogance and competitiveness that helped it go down. If you have any thoughts about taking the full time program and having time for other things in your life, put those aside, it was VERY full-on. I learned more than I could believe at the end, and I did some cool projects that I'm still proud of. And more than anything, I now have a six figure job in tech and a bright career ahead of me.

    All that being said I do have some criticisms:

    - Some of the teachers don't have any teaching training or experience and are honestly people from the industry who are slumming. Those people should be shown the door.

    - The administration/teachers tend to soft pedal things which I found very annoying. Just be real! The more information students have the better decisions we can make for ourselves. Don't be vague about things, students' futures depend on it.

    Besides that, it was a great experience!

  • Jonathan Ahn  User Photo
    Jonathan Ahn • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I graduated from Fullstack Academy in December of 2017 from 1709-WDF. WDF stands for the Web Development Fellowship. I was part of a full-scholarship program, sponsored by the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline where I had to compete against all of NYC for a spot to get into the program. It was extremeley competitive and one of the hardest things I ever had to do in my life.

    Fullstack was my dream coding school and you get what you put into it. I studied every single day since Day 1 in bootcamp-prep and never stopped until I landed my job as a Software Engineer at Unified. Fullstack teaches you EVERYTHING you need to know about software engineering and they prep you EXTREMELY WELL! All you need to do is put in the work and 'trust the process'.

    It's going to be intense but it's intense for a reason. Besides teaching you all the latest frameworks, technologies and the most updated JavaScript, Fullstack is the best at teaching you how to learn. And forces you to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, just like real life and just like being a real Software Engineer. If you don't know something, don't panic, just look it up. Google it. Read articles on how other people have done it. Go to Stack Overflow and interact with the community. Be self-sufficient.

    Fullstack is the best thing I have ever done. It was much more fulfilling and I felt more accomplished than earning my 4-year degree.

  • Joon Kim  User Photo
    Joon Kim • Fullstack Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I recently graduated from Fullstack Academy in Chicago. After graduating from college with a degree in Economics, I decided to attend a coding bootcamp. After doing some research for a full week, I came across three great programs: Fullstack Academy, App Academy, and Hack Reactor. I found both three bootcamps to have similar challenging and immersive learning experience to their students. Why I decided to attend Fullstack in the end is that the Chicago office had a group of 20 students while the other two bootcamps had 40+ students. It was a major deal-breaker, given high-quality instructors and motivated students in all three academies. Having just taken Intro to CS and Data Structures in college, I was one of the least experienced programmers in the group. Some people have gotten advanced degrees in Computer Science, or other disciplines, or even have worked as engineers for a few years. Although I was at first scared, I realized that it was actually better for me because every student in my cohort became my teacher and mentor when I struggled. It was definitely challenging but I found the experience to be very helpful, especially that I was able to land a software engineering position after graduation because of my coding skills and technologies I learned from Fullstack Academy. If you are deciding if Fullstack would be the right choice, just remember, if you promise yourself that you will work hard, you will make it and walk out from the program with valuable and skills that are in high-demand!

  • Daniela Tizon  User Photo
    Daniela Tizon • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    It had been a while since a had an experience as intense as these 3 months at Fullstack.
    I learned so much about about coding (what I was here to learn) and about live and myself.
    This is a very hard and intense program, it is definetly not for everyone, but this is exactly what I wanted and what I needed.

    The instructors are the best, as awesome coding masters and as human beings.
    The people I studied with were incredible: strong, smart, supportive, amazing. Every single one of them.

    It is obvious culture is very important at Fullstack and I will always be thankfull for that. If you are going to spend 3 month practically living in this space with this people. you want the best environment posible, and I definitely found it here.

    I would recommend this experience and this school without any doubt.
    I just graduated 2 days ago, and future is just so exciting right now, 

  • Jung Park  User Photo
    Jung Park • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I graduated from Fullstack Academy's Software Engineering Immersive program in Chicago in the fall of 2017. Recently, I was able to land on an job offer from a software company in Chicago with extensive amount of help from Fullstack. No matter what background you are coming from, I can tell you for sure that you will be really challenged and will grow as a self-sufficient developer in this program.

    Before coming to Fullstack, I worked as a software developer for 4 years. As I was leaving my old company, I wanted to get more education and learn about new technologies in programming to make myself more marketable. So, I was deciding between a bootcamp or a graduate degree in computer science. After finding out about Fullstack and reading numerous amount of positive reviews of the immersive program, I decided to give it a shot.

    Immersive program's curriculum is divided into 2 phases: junior phase and senior phase. Junior phase is where you learn all about computer science (data structure, sorting, algorithm, etc) and web tech (Javascript, Node, SQL, jQuery, React, Redux, etc). Senior phase is where you get to use what you learned from junior phase with 3 main projects. From senior phase, you are also prepared for the real-world coding/job interviews. Both of phases are very intensive and fast-paced.

    To be honest, I didn't think this program will be much challenging given that I already had years of experience in software development. However, I was very wrong. From day 1in junior phase, I was challenged and learned a lot. From many of lessons (or as they call it "workshop") in class, you are challenged to dive deep into it and to understand the fundamental. Often, you are also challenged to build things from the scratch. I have found these types of challenges to be very useful as you prepare for the technical interviews.

    Last but not least, people you work with are the best part about this program. All staffs, including instructors and fellow students, are very helpful and friendly. Especially, all of instructors had tons of knowlege in programming, and there were so much to learn from the. Also, I found my classmates to be all smart, passionate, and driven. These were type of people I would love to work with in my work. I believe Fullstack's admission staffts have been doing great job of carefully selecting right people to join the program.

    I hope my review was helpful. If you are like me thinking of chaning your careers in software development or just want to start fresh, I highly recommend you take this program.

     

  • Best Decision
    - 2/8/2018
    Devon  User Photo
    Devon • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I applied to FullStack right out of high school through NYC's Tech Talent Pipeline. I can't recommend them enough. David is passionate about the curriculum and feedback from students. The instructors are very knowledgeable and always willing to lend a helping hand. The teaching fellows are invested in teaching everything they learned from their cohort. My peers were nothing short of engaged, determined, and supporting of each other. Career success won't hold back the punches on critique of your resume and online presence. With the help of FSA I am now a software engineer at a financial firm in NY before the age of 20. Can't recommend enough no matter your age or experience.

  • I was wrong
    - 12/8/2017
    Shawn Swyx Wang  User Photo
    Shawn Swyx Wang • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I am reviewing Fullstack again because I sent in my review far too early in my job hunting process. Originally I felt that the career support was not very helpful for people who were mid career (and this is a common perception, that the career services are catered towards people more or less straight out of college). But I was so, so wrong. I met a bunch of firms at Fullstack's Hiring Day and literally just signed my offer from the first employer I met at hiring day. I got 3 offers and the career success team were extremely helpful in helping me navigate everything from turning DOWN my first six figure offer to flying out to Mountain View for my Google interview to reaching out to the Fullstack Alumni network to get more information for my eventual job offer that netted me 160k BASE. This is unreal and impossible for me to have conceived of without the help of Fullstack and without the opportunities created by Fullstack's Career Services people. I regret that I don't seem to be able to go back and edit my original review because I gave them a 4/5 because I'm a "nothing is perfect" kind of guy. But I was wrong. I stand by Fullstack through and through and if you still have doubts after reading this contact me so I can figure out what's wrong with you. @swyx on twitter.

  • Isaac Ibiapina  User Photo
    Isaac Ibiapina • Student Verified via GitHub
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    Simply put, I had the drive to transition to a career as a software engineer, and Fullstack was the crucial piece in the puzzle that made it happen.

    The course is incredibly intense, overwhelming and effective. Beyond the actual curriculum, Fullstack really teaches you how to be a software engineer. After the course, I was able to pick up new frameworks and tackle technical challenges more effectively as the entire bootcamp experience conditions you to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. It's a very powerful feeling to have knowing that you can pick almost any application and either be able to build it, or have full confidence in knowing you could teach yourself to. In my current job, I attribute both my aptitude at completing tasks, and work ethic to my experience in Fullstack.

    Lastly, the members of my cohort were very good. Surrounded by people who (mostly don't have a technical background) but were successful with their own career paths. If you give motivated, competent people technical knowledge, they can build great things, and more over make each other even more great.

    If you know becoming a developer is the path for you, the choice is a no-brainer. It'll be the hardest 13 weeks of your life, and it'll be totally worth it.

  • Fun and Fulfilling!
    - 11/12/2017
    Mike  User Photo
    Mike • Fullstack Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    My time at Fullstack Academy was one of the most fun and fulfulling experiences I have ever had!  I was already an experienced backend coder, but Fullstack helped me learn to get a project completely off the ground by myself with an experience of the entire stack and how to integrate all of the pieces.  Every instructor was incredibly knowledgeable in their field and left me with valuable skills that have helped me every day of my new career.  As a Fullstack Alumni, I am also part of a large community that continues to interact.  I am constantly running into other alumni, even within my own company.  I would recommend this course to anyone who truely loves coding and is either just starting out, or wants to learn all of the most relevant JavaScript libraries/frameworks in the industry.

  • Mieka Page  User Photo
    Mieka Page • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    The instructors are brilliant and approachable. I'd recommend Fullstack on their strength alone. The curriculum was fast paced and extensive and entirely applicable to the current environment. Also, Fullstack enrolls fantastic students -- I loved my cohort. Finally, I got my job directly from the Hiring Day event that the bootcamp hosts at the end of the program -- Fullstack is responsible for me achieving exactly what I intended when I applied.
  • Worth It
    - 10/31/2017
    Shawn Wang  User Photo
    Shawn Wang • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Hello, I just graduated from Fullstack's July 2017 cohort. I did FreeCodeCamp before it but felt I needed to do a full bootcamp to "get good" and have people looking at my code and forcing me to use best practices which can be hard to find externally. I got all that at Fullstack. I got into Hack Reactor and Fullstack and went with Fullstack because 1) the admission interview was harder and 2) the anecdotes I could gleam indicated that there was a caring culture at Fullstack. Now 4 months later I can say that it is true. I also live-podcasted my entire bootcamp journey for total transparency and it is available at impostor-syndrome.org. Its meant for -all- people considering bootcamps, not just Fullstack, and if you want a narrative, longitudinal study of what its like to go thru a bootcamp it's my contribution to the community. All the best. contact me @swyx on twitter for more.

  • Nick Rodriguez  User Photo
    Nick Rodriguez • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I attended Fullstack Academy’s Software Engineering Immersive program in Chicago in the summer of 2016. This was their first session held in Chicago, with a class size of 14 students, 2 instructors, and a ‘Fellow’ (a former student, like a TA). Frankly, I have nothing but good things to say about the program.

    I applied right out of high school, planning on taking a gap year and developing a strong skillset before attending school the following fall. However, I was able to find an incredible opportunity shortly after graduating Fullstack (which I certainly could not have gotten without going through the program) and I have put off college indefinitely. I was the youngest member of the class, but I think that goes to show that your background, skills, and experiences (or lack thereof) aren’t as important to Fullstack as your attitude and desire to learn.

    **Classroom Environment**
    The most impressive part of Fullstack was the sense of community among the other students and instructors. Fullstack does an incredible job of finding passionate team-players that you actually want to work with - which is good because the vast majority of the curriculum involves pair programming or group projects. Because of the small student-teacher ratio, you get a lot of individual attention and never have to vie for instructors’ time. Fullstack clearly places an emphasis on the student community, devoting a few hours each Friday to round table discussions about how everyone is progressing and having a single student or two talk about themselves to allow classmates to get to know each other on a more personal level.


    **Curriculum**
    Fullstack’s curriculum is constantly adapting and evolving to keep up with the latest trends in the industry (which is quite impressive given the quick rise and fall of frameworks in the JavaScript ecosystem). Though I certainly have a biased perspective, I think JavaScript is the most practical language to learn in any bootcamp-like program. It is already one of the most widely used languages, and its popularity is only growing as the Node.js ecosystem matures. The reality of the tech industry is that it evolves rapidly, but the ubiquitous presence of JavaScript across the stack, there is no doubt it will be around for the foreseeable future. 

    At the end of the day, just about everything you could want to know is available somewhere online for free. But working for hours on your own without the support of knowledgable instructors or a community of peers will not yield the same results as an immersive program Fullstack. It’s certainly a big commitment of time, money, and energy, but I don’t think there’s a better way to prepare yourself for a career in web development. 

  • Danielle YoungSmith  User Photo
    Danielle YoungSmith • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I attended the Grace Hopper (GH) Program at Fullstack (FS) Academy as a student, then became a Fullstack fellow for Remote Cohort #1, and still teach an occasional preparatory class when demand is high. Needless to say, Fullstack's got me hooked! 

    If you want to learn to code, FS/GH know how to get the job done and are constantly iterating on it to up the success of future cohorts. In a field where the "next big thing" changes pretty much every week, keeping up with the technology is hard to do as an individual, let alone an entire school! FS is committed to making sure its students learn the most widespread and promising technologies: as a student, I watched instructors learning React just in time to teach it to incoming students when we switched from Angular, and then I did the same as a teaching fellow 6 weeks later!

    The instructors are all top-notch, and they each have their own quirky teaching styles, which makes coming to class all day, every day fun and exciting. There's always coffee and cereal to fight off the afternoon coding lull or feed the I-just-rolled-out-of-bedders. 

    The career success team is out of this world and go above and beyond their job descriptions to help grads get exceptional jobs all over the country. They have placed FS/GH grads at companies as bootcamp grad #1 (myself included!) and built up some pretty sweet networks along the way. Seriously, they're committed to getting you a job after graduation and have often given me advice and action plans way outside of work hours.

    The *immersive* part of the curriculum is no joke, but I never could have learned so much, built such strong lifelong friendships, or appreciated the sunshine so wholeheartedly in any other program! FS is certainly one of a kind, and I chose to attend because of stellar reviews like these!

    #trusttheprocess

  • Zach Caceres  User Photo
    Zach Caceres • Full Stack Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    TL/DR: Fullstack was the best educational investment of my life. You will learn a ton. If you are considering it but on the fence, just do it.

    From a dollar-to-learning standpoint, I got much more value from Fullstack than I did from my 4 year degree at NYU.

    Before Fullstack, I spent the better part of a year coding on my own and evaluating bootcamps. I wanted to learn full stack Javascript. I hemmed and hawed and couldn't decide because I was too afraid of writing a big check to some fly-by-night operation and getting ripped off.

    I contacted several alums from Fullstack. They all gave it a resounding endorsement (and they were all employed as software developers). So I settled in on Fullstack because it seemed like the best option to get the skills I wanted. I was not disappointed.

    Here's why:

    It is intensely practical.

    This is not to suggest that you get no theory, you do. But the bulk of the program is about writing code. So you spend a lot of time and energy and focus writing code. Everything in the environment is a conspiracy to get you writing code.

    If you love to build things, Fullstack gives you lots of opportunities to do it while in the program and equips you to make great stuff as soon as you graduate. Practicality wins.

    They have thought a lot about how to teach.

    The founders and team have put a lot of thought into how to teach tech. It isn't some disorganized mess of pre-recorded tutorial modules that you can find online.

    There is a structure and, even though it isn't always clear why you're doing a particular part while you're in it, you quickly discover that the process builds a tree of understanding. You'll learn the problem about some approach to development, struggle with it in vanilla JS, and only then get the library or framework that was built to resolve that problem.

    The early part of the program uses test-driven development to help you get used to reading tests and inferring implementation from a desired functionality. I loved this approach.

    After you struggle with the tests, the discovery of an answer feels like a grand, life-altering insight. I'm convinced this trial-and-error helps you learn and remember things more deeply than lecture, reading, or a repeat-after-me video tutorial.  

    The instructors are wizards.

    You are not taught by recent grads, but by legit software engineers who really know their stuff. The environment in Fullstack is ultra-smart. It helps you up your game. I didn't want to leave at the end because I knew I would miss spending so much time around such smart people. My instructors, Omri and John, were both great programmers and great people. I will miss learning from them.

    The founders actually care about the business.

    The two founders are still intimately involved in the business. You can feel in the environment that the business has their attention and that they're improving it. I have huge respect for them both, especially when I saw that David (one of the founders) was actually sitting in the room on our final day when we all gave feedback about the program. When it comes to 'caring for your students', talk is cheap. David's presence shows a true investment of time and attention that are the hallmarks of a dedicated entrepreneur.

    The tech stack is in demand.

    Full stack Javascript is huge on the market right now. There were tons of jobs available after graduation. It was not hard to get interviews based on companies' desire for Node.js/React.js devs.

    You make friends with smart people.

    Fullstack selects really smart people. Your peers will be people from finance, entrepreneurship, academia, or even software developers looking to update their skills. Hanging out with smart friends = you getting smarter. You'll end the program with a great group of friends.

    It works.

    If you do the work, the process works wondefully.

    The graduation and placement stats speak for themselves and Fullstack has led the way in transparency in results.

    My own experience: it isn't even a month since I graduated and I already landed an awesome full stack engineering job at an early-stage startup, which is exactly what I wanted when I signed up for Fullstack.

  • Sam Bakkila  User Photo
    Sam Bakkila • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I attended Fullstack Academy in the February 2017 cohort. I had an excellent experience as a student. There are a few things that make Fullstack stand out:

    1.) There is a rigorous and well run remote Foundations program that you complete prior to the immersive part of the bootcamp. You are given video lectures, have access to online office hours, are assigned a mentor that is a Fullstack grad, and take checkpoints to make sure that you are on track. This prepares students well for the bootcamp, helps students transition from coding as a hobby to coding all-day everyday, and ensures that everyone is ready to hit the ground running with brand new material in week 1 of the immersive program. This allows Fullstack to keep its standards high for its students, without creating the overtly competitive environment that I've heard about at other top bootcamps.

    2.) The career success team is really excellent. They are former technical recruiters who:

        a - know exactly how other techincal recruiters / hiring managers think  

        b - have excellent connections, with the Fullstack alumni network, other technical recruiters,      and other professional connections from their years of experience.

    The career success team is prepared not just to help you find any job, or any high paying job, but a job that matches your interests that you will find professionally fulfilling and that will lead to long term career growth. I think that this is unique among bootcamps. Lots of bootcamps have some form of demo day or hiring day, or TAs that give job application advice, but none that I've seen have the professional level of career support that I've seen at Fullstack.

  • Jake Peyser  User Photo
    Jake Peyser • Front End Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    On Attending a Software Development Bootcamp

    Last fall, I made the decision to attend Fullstack Academy's 13-week Software Engineering Immersive course. Now almost six months after graduating, I feel confident in saying that it was a worthwhile investment. FSA is a constructive experience for people who are confident that they want to inhabit a technical position and benefit from structured, immersive education.

    I wrote this to help people that are on the fence about enrolling in an in-person programming course. I start off by documenting the plan you should take to first validate your decision to enroll in one of these programs. Then if you've confirmed this is the path for you, I discuss the pros and cons of Fullstack Academy and why I feel it is a leader among coding bootcamps.

    Preparation FSA

    The high cost and time commitment of coding bootcamps should indicate that they are not something to do on a whim. In fact, when compared to traditional universities, their cost-to-time ratio is equivalent to several prestigious institutions. As with most things in life, you should first educate yourself on what these programs entail.

    If you are considering making this move, there are three general steps you should take:

    Get Advice from Past Graduates

    Seek out people who have completed the course and gone on to work at companies similar to your interest. Simply peruse LinkedIn or AngerlList and you will probably find a number of these people. In my prep, I reached out to five former FSA students. Out of those five, four of them got back to me. I spoke with one on the phone for awhile and the three others wrote me lengthy, detailed opinions on their experience.

    When making important life decisions like this I always feel it is best to speak with people who have been through the ringer. Learn from people who have been in your shoes, preparing to make that same decision. This is your chance to ask real people (not paid employees) things like:

    - What did you get out of the course?
    - Was it a manageable workload?
    - Were the instructors helpful in learning the material?

    These interactions were by far the best thing I could have done to help assure me that I was making the right decision.

    Determine Your Path

    By now you (hopefully) know that you want to take your career in a more technical direction, but maybe you are not sure how that desire will manifest itself. Sure, you can be a software developer, but maybe you are a creative with a greater appreciation of design? What about product management? A mathematics nut who would actually be better off exploring data science?

    It turns out that a lot of people are interested in tech, but aren't actually passionate about development. And that is fine! Do yourself a favor and educate yourself on the different paths available to someone in this field. All of these alternative fields are growing and worthy pursuits of your time and there are bootcamps out there for almost all of these disciplines. It is reassuring to know that you explored all these possibilities before jumping into one in particular. Most of these fields are related in some capacity, but there is rarely significant overlap. It is much harder to move into a design role when you just spent 13 weeks investing your time in a development course. It's certainly not impossible, but that time/money might have been better spent on a UX bootcamp.

    Start Learning

    If you've made it this far, then you're pretty certain that the development path is for you. Excellent! Now get to work.

    Preparation for the bootcamp needs to begin months in advance of the actual course. The quality schools necessitate that you come in with a solid grasp on the fundamentals of programming and the language that they teach. More importantly, the longer and more in-depth you prepare in advance, the more you will get out of the course material once you are on-site.

    Here are some great resources to help you prepare for and supplement your journey:

    - Computer Science Course Videos: Recently, several top institutions (MIT and Stanford among them) have been distributing their beginner CS course online for free. These are great starting points for the fundamentals.
    - Free Code Camp: Learn to code with one of the most collaborative and resourceful online coding communities.
    - The New Boston: A huge collection of free video tutorials on CS, web design, and more.
    - You Don't Know JS: I am not one to recommend programming books, but this series is key if you intend to truly understand JavaScript from the compiler up.
    - HackerRank/Codewars: Coding challenges of progressing difficulty to help you practice and level-up your programming chops.
    - Functional Programming Exercises: Learn how to effectively use functional programming in JavaScript, an increasingly popular pattern.
    - Team Treehouse/Code School/Codecademy: Although there are plenty of free options above, these paid services contain a great breadth and depth of courses covering most popular languages and concepts.

    Here is what I love most about this step: once you have spent enough time learning, you are faced with a crucial question. Why do I need to attend a bootcamp when I have all of these free or lower cost options available to me?

    The truth is, you don't...

    I know several professional developers who have no formal background in development and learned everything they know from the abundance of online resources. It is definitely possible if you are disciplined and take a concerted approach to learning the right things in the correct manner.

    Where I will say bootcamps differentiate themselves is in their ability to provide regimented learning and hands-on support. Most online options fall short in that area and it is exactly there where I see most people fall off the wagon in their attempt to take on learn independently. This is exactly why I chose to attend FSA. Being able to completely focus on learning and not worry about establishing my own curriculum was instrumental to streamlining my mental process throughout the course.

    With these steps complete, we come to a final fork in the road. If you still think that the software development program will suit you best, keep on reading for my take on FSA.

    The Pros

    • Structured Learning: I alluded to this in the previous section, but I really cannot overstate this fact. Where FSA excels is in their ability to provide a regimented curriculum that logically progresses from CS fundamentals all the way to building a web application from the ground up. To aid in learning all of the concepts along the way, instructors present well-composed lectures that aid in students' understanding of how and why each step is important. If you are genuinely interested in the material, there will be nary a dull moment throughout the course.
    • Applied Learning: Not only is the learning sequence logical, but applicable "modules" are provided at each step to cement your understanding of the concepts. Instead of simply just discussing theory, these modules have you actually implement what you are learning. There are two things I loved about this format:
      1. Each assignment had varying degrees of difficulty embedded in the module. Each one would cover the basics, but for those progressing at a faster rate, therewould be an advanced section to take you to the next level. This was never required, but super helpful in truly understanding the nature of what we were learning.
      2. These challenges were better than anything I generally come across on the web. Not only did they help you grasp the material you were learning, they aid your understanding of how the technology itself works. This afforded a deeper level of comprehension and truly was transformative for my thought process. No longer am I content with using a tool. It made me a better engineer by imparting a curiosity in how my tools worked so that I am better able to compare and leverage the ones out there.
    • Guidance: As someone who rarely took advantage of office hours in college, this was instrumental for my learning. The teachers were all former software developers and had a strong grasp of the concepts being taught. Each cohort at FSA also has a group of previous graduates, known as fellows, who assist in the learning process. I liken them to graduate students at a college, mentoring undergraduates in the studies still fresh in their minds. Most importantly, there is rarely a time when you cannot seek the help of one of these people. The "always on" mindset of the staff was instrumental in my learning experience.
    • Full Stack JavaScript: Most bootcamps offer a Ruby-focused curriculum. FSA and a few others focus on JavaScript. Having had the benefit of formerly working in the tech space, I was aware that the JavaScript language was blowing up. Between Node.js and the resurgence of ECMAScript standardization, it was clear that JavaScript was the language in which to invest. The TIOBE Index for programming languages is one of many reputable sources that shows compelling data behind this trend. Full stack JS also means less context switching, which in turn means more time to focus on learning the fundamentals. I really think this is the way to go moving forward.
    • The Cost: To be clear, I am not saying that FSA, or any other coding bootcamp for that matter, is cheap. What I am suggesting is that when compared to most universities, it is cost competitive. Take a look at this chart to get a sense of what I mean. The cost of the FSA Software Engineering Immersive program is right on par with the University of Michigan's (my alma mater) annual tuition for out of state students. Of course this doesn't take grants, federal aid, and other educational loan programs into account, but it does suggest a comparative cost model. Not to mention that as a graduate of both programs, I strongly believe that most FSA graduates are better prepared for a real-world development job than many Computer Science Engineering graduates from UM.

    The Cons

    Fullstack Academy does not come without its flaws. A few things to note:

    • FSA is a Lean Startup: Never forget that FSA is itself a "startup" of sorts. This means that it operates more like a business than it does an institution of higher learning. This is not inherently a bad thing, but it does mean that they try to minimize costs in non-essential areas. Like using free Slack accounts and buying second-rate monitors and cables. I don't think these are imperative to the learning experience, but do not expect to roll into a classroom with shiny new equipment and stand-up desks.
    • Not everyone is a "Teacher": Let me start this one off by saying all the teachers were professionals and adequately educated on software development. Unfortunately — and this should not be surprising — being a good developer does not make you good at teaching. While FSA had their standout instructors, there were those that rambled and did not present well-structured lectures. Most made up for this inadequacy during informative one-on-one conversations, but some lectures added little value to the material.

    Conclusion

    Based on the above breakdown, I would say the positives of the FSA course far outweigh the negatives. I believe you would be a good candidate for the course if you:

    - want to quickly ramp up your technical skills
    - are confident that programming is your thing
    - have done serious research and preparation

    In short, FSA provides a concise, focused, and relevant curriculum to help you transition into the software development world. If you see yourself in this world, why not explore this possibility?

  • Alexia Young  User Photo
    Alexia Young • Full Stack Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    When I decided to change careers and commit to web development, I knew that I needed to choose the best boot camp in Chicago. I did my due diligence and found Fullstack Academy. 

    Fullstack's excellence begins with its application process. It is not easy to get in, but it IS worth it. Study, take some online courses, do some reading -- make sure you are ready to commit because boot camp is no joke!

    The instruction at Fullstack is truly phenomenal. In addition to their solid knowledge base, Nick and Connie bring an enthusiasm that is infectious and they make coming to class a joy every day. (Bonus points: Nick makes AMAZING cookies -- ask him about it and he will deliver.) I was fortunate enough to be a part of a wonderful cohort, and when we graduated, I was literally brought to tears thinking about how much we had accomplished together. We were truly a Fullstack family.

    Post graduation, I felt fully comfortable asking Nick and Connie for advice in my job search. Within 4 weeks, I received 2 job offers at companies I was really excited about. During my interviews, both companies were pleasantly surprised by how knowledgable and capable a boot camp grad could be. Truly, I owe it all to Fullstack's education and preparation.

  • Kenneth Moy  User Photo
    Kenneth Moy • Software Developer • Student Verified via LinkedIn
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    Fullstack Academy is more than just a code bootcamp - it is the next step, should one decide to attend, to advance one's career as well as one's self.

    I am a graduate of Fullstack's Web Immersive Program beginning in September of 2016 (1609 cohort). I've watied a while to write this review in order to go through the entire process and let my ideas settle instead of writing an impulsive review and after 4 months of graduation, I am ready to write about my experiences.

    I had finished a short contract position as a developer working on a back-end task scheduling program at a large company. Near the end of the position, we worked on front-end functionality and it piqued my interest. After looking and listening to many reviews, I applied and decided to being Fullstack Academy's Web Immersive Program in New York City.

    The first month of remote foundations helps establish fundamentals of programming in Javascript and encourages you to interact with the rest of the cohort through their forums. It was a great place to start meeting people and getting involved with them before starting with them on campus. 

    After fundamentals, the immersive begins on campus. My cohort was about 40 students and we did not realize on the first day that we would become such a close family and masters at our craft, thanks to Fullstack Academy. For the next three months, we learned about wed development, went to seminars on saturdays to expand our development knowledge (on campus), grueling worked on projects to put on our resumes on our own and with teams. We all spent anywhere from 8-12 hours a day together working through problems, challenges, and helping each other along the gureling program. Nearing the end, the career team comes in and helps us prepare however they can for the upcoming search be preparing our online persona as well as our programmer profiles on paper and online.

    My biggest take away is not only the web development skills, but the family I established at Fullstack Academy. They are there for you when you're down and struggling with yourself from the job search, they are there when you're successful with the search, and they're there when you need some guidance. I've experienced a great many feelings after finishing Fullstack Academy, and the people I have met there have been there for me the entire step of the way.

    Not only did I leave Fullstack with the experience I need to enter a development market, but I met some of the greatest people I know today on that campus in NYC. If anyone asks me today about what bootcamp i would recommend, I would easily recommend Fullstack Academy not only for the education and academia, but to meet some of the best people you can ever meet.

Thanks!