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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. 

Recent Fullstack Academy Reviews: Rating 4.9

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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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  • full time only
    - 6/17/2016
    Anonymous • Web Developer • Graduate
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    I did Fullstack's flex program (nights and weekends) and would not recommend it.

    I would recommend Fullstack Academy.

    • The instructors are great. They're all knowlegable and nice folks.
    • You're learning node. Node.js is, in my opinion, a better language to learn than ruby on rails, which a lot of other bootcamps teach. Node does a better job of handling single-page-applications, which is where tech is headed. Also, if you know node, you know both frontend and backend.
    • The cirriculum is good. It's not great, but I doubt any of the other options are better, unless you spend the time to go and get a degree. There is only so much you can learn in three months (or 6 months part time).

    That being said, avoid the flex program. I did the flex program, and I felt like the red-headed stepchild of FSA.

    • First of all, you don't get as much. There is less classroom time than the fulltime program. They tell you that you're supposed to review on your own of the off days, but if you're doing flex you probably have a job (and a life) and don't have a lot of extra time.
    • There are significantly fewer resources available to you, simply because everybody has gone home. By the time you get there, the instructors/staff have already put in 9+ hours and are ready to leave. So you don't have the ability to get that extra insight/different viewpoint.
    • There are a lot of great things that FSA offers, like guest lectures and hackathons, but they all happen during the day. If you can make it, great, but if you have a job you're outta luck
    • They just don't cover as much. This goes back to the classroom hours. I heard from a graduate who went on to be a teaching fellow that the fulltime class went deeper into the material because they had the time to really jump in.
    • And they charge you the same amount. If I had paid less for the flex, I wouldn't be upset because I would have gotten what I paid for. But no, it's that same hefty price tag for a fraction of the experience.

     

    TLDR: Fullstack good; flex program bad.

  • Fullstack Quality
    - 4/19/2017
    Christian Bulacan  User Photo
    Christian Bulacan • Software Engineer II • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Looking back, Fullstack Academy was easily one of the best career moves that I made in my life. I find myself constantly recommending it to all of my friends and acquaintances looking for something better in life. It’s easy to fall into complacency and just assume that you are stuck at a job or career that you hate, but Fullstack really gives you an opportunity to reinvent yourself. 
     
    The most notable thing about Fullstack is its culture, one which I’ve never been a part of in my life. It really motivates and challenges you to break out of your shell and really connect with the people around you. I’ve met some of the smartest people and made some life-long friends and despite all of the challenges that come with re-programming your brain in 13-weeks, there was always a friendly face to help you through any crazy trouble you may be struggling with. 
     
    Even now I still feel the ripple effect of Fullstack Academy. The community is growing so large, and there is always something bringing me back whether it be the alumni events, old cohort mates looking to catch up, or interviews with new Fullstack grads. Needless to say, my company has since hired three Fullstackers all of whom are doing excellent work, it makes me proud to say that I went to Fullstack Academy. 
  • Damon Ye  User Photo
    Damon Ye • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I graduated Fullstack Academy’s immersive cohort around mid Feb 2017. Loved it so much, and I guess they liked me too, because they offered the fellowship position for another 3 months( Accepted the offer immediately :) )! That felt pretty good since it the fellowship is pretty selective. So I think I can offer a unique perspective from being on the inside going through the program as well as someone outside looking in. It was really amazing seeing the wide range of backgrounds my classmates and students came from. Watching the students grow and learn so fast and knowing that I helped in some way was really rewarding.  

    I thought what was really great about Fullstack aside from the great instructors and strong curriculum was actually the culture. While it did feel like an intensive bootcamp during the workshops it also felt like just hanging out and learning with a bunch of your friends all the time. There was just this feeling that everyone was there to help everyone else. I think this helped foster the learning environment just that much more. By the end of the program I felt like our cohort bonded a ton and I feel like they are some of my closest friends now too. Bi Weekly Board Game nights with free pizza definitely helped with that too! 

    As a teaching fellow I definitely saw how much effort instructors and teaching fellows work to make sure students learn as much as they can. Tons of office hours before class, after class, and even during lunch. Extra review lectures were done whenever possible as well. One of the most awesome things was watching the students learn so fast even though I had gone through the same program just a a couple weeks prior. Last week everyone was struggling learning React and Redux. Next week everyone is building a Fullstack app. Pretty amazing honestly.

    If you’re interested in going to fullstack or just coding in general. I would start off with the simple Code Academy JavaScript track and see if you like it. After you finish that, if you enjoy it and are interested in trying to get accepted into an immersive bootcamp I would do CodeWars till you can do 6kyu problems pretty easily and some 5kyus. Definitely the best decision of my life. 

  • Mithun Selvaratnam  User Photo
    Mithun Selvaratnam • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Fullstack has a special place in my heart, but I'm going to resist the urge to wax melancholic and stick to some concrete points. I completed the Full-time Immersive program in December 2016, and worked as a Teaching Fellow for the Jan-April 2017 cohort.

    Why should I do it?

    You should come to Fullstack if you're serious about switching careers, and if you're ready to be totally immersed in software engineering. The curriculum is rigorous and thorough, and will give you exposure to and experience with concepts that are essential to every web developer. You'll have the opportunity to push your knowledge much further than you thought possible in such a short time. And attending Fullstack will provide you with a valuable professional network to leverage when you're searching for work and beyond.

    Academic Environment

    I came to Fullstack expecting to get my ass kicked, but I didn't expect it to be so much fun. A week or two into the Immersive program, most people realize that they're all in the same boat, and there's a sense of camaraderie and support that outweighs any type of competition.

    One of Fullstack's core tenets is its "no assholes" policy, given how often you'll be collaborating with your peers. Anyone considering Fullstack should be aware that they're going to be spending a huge amount of their in-class hours collaborating with others. Learning how to communicate your ideas and work with people of different backgrounds and styles is one of the most valuable professional skills you'll get out of this place.

    And then there are the teachers. I learned under Ben and Dan, and was a fellow under Gabe, Joe, and Cassio. All five were amazingly knowledgeable, humble, skilled at explaining difficult concepts, and incredibly generous with their time. The support network at Fullstack is no joke. When my own instructors were too busy, I never found it difficult to find another teacher or even student that could help me, either by asking around or posting on Slack.

    Also, Chris Thieke is the man.

    Teaching Fellowship

    Every Immersive cohort has a group of fellows, around 6 or more students selected from the previous cohort to stick around as mentors. The fellows serve as a bridge between the students and the instructors. Having just gone through the program ourselves, it's easy for a fellow to relate to the academic and emotional struggles that students are going through. 

    I was lucky enough to be selected for the fellowship, and it was arguable even more enjoyable than being a student here. I got to teach, which helped me solidify my knowledge. I got tons of experience debugging code, often quickly and on the spot. I formed strong bonds with the other fellows, who themselves inspired and taught me things constantly.

    Job Hunting

    Nobody (sane) likes job hunting. But there's a process to searching and interviewing for a developer role, and the Career Success team will sure as hell teach you that process. You'll cover whiteboarding techniques, behaviorial interviews, tech resumes, salary negotiation, leveraged LinkedIn/your network, and more. And daily morning REACTO sessions will give you exposure to technical interviewing.

    Conclusion

    My best advice for anyone accepted into Fullstack is to stay healthy. Eat right, get regular exercise, and spend some time away from the computer every week. This is an intense program that will ask a lot of you, but what you get out might be tenfold. I'll miss it dearly.

  • For the Skeptic
    - 4/14/2017
    Nick de Jong  User Photo
    Nick de Jong • Software Engineer Verified via LinkedIn
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    My wife and I had just had our first child and we realized we weren't going to be able to live the kind of life we want, if we both continued in our current jobs. I always liked to code, and had even done some Udemy courses on web-development, but I still felt there was something missing. So I decided to investigate Bootcamps. After having an on-campus informational interview with two of the lecturers to find out more about Fullstack, and speaking it over with my wife, we decided to take a risk.

    Risk? Yes, bootcamp is expensive, and me being a skeptic was worried that I was being taken for a ride. Moreover, I had a family to support (they were supporting me during the bootcamp) and the pressure to not have picked a dud was big. So, I was nervous. Once bootcamp started, there wasn't even time to be nervous we were learning so much at such a great pace. Looking back, it is the smartest investment I made in my and my familiy's future.

    Before I started I wondered if I couldn't just do this on my own for cheaper (I'm a pretty well-disciplined learner after all). But I learned more in 6 weeks at Fullstack, than I could have taught myself over the course of a year. The curriculum is well paced and structured, and it is kept challenging throughout. Not a day went by when I thought, that was a wasted day. 

    Why Fullstack though? I had taught myself a little bit of Ruby and Rails, and when playing around with building web apps, JavaScript always seemed to stump me a little due to its nature. So I decided to pick a bootcamp that does JavaScript throughout the stack. Again, looking back this was the best decision for me since there was no context switching between back and front end development, and I got to learn one language really well, instead of learning two a little.

    Another reason I picked fullstack was because it was so challenging to get in to. They don't promise to take in everyone and turn them into a coder. They want people who have the aptitude, and have demonstrated at least a basic ability to solve small tasks using code. This meant that the classes could move faster, and I was always being challenged by classmates that were smarter and faster than me. I can't stress how important this environment was for learning to code. If you've never coded before, I highly recommend taking a month to learn the basics of coding and then applying to Fullstack instead of choosing a bootcamp that takes anyone.

    Another thing that sets Fullstack apart is the quality of the lecturers. While other bootcamps have gone for an expand at all costs, Fullstack academy has really made quality their primary concern. This came through from day one in their lecturers, who were passionate, experienced and just really good teachers and mentors. They are people that I look up to, and will always credit with changing my life.

    But truthfully, in the end, all the preceding paragraphs would mean nothing if it didn't result in a job, and I can happily report I landed a dream fullstack job at a top company in Chicago. Not only did the content Fullstack taught me make me a suitable candidate, all the extra effort they put into helping me perfect my resume, and equip me with interview skills particular to the tech job market made me a great candidate.

  • Chris  User Photo
    Chris • Senior UI Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I'll keep this short for people like me who would rather be reading bullet points than essays.

    • Fullstack enabled me to switch careers. I was an accountant for 6 years before enrolling, now I am coming up on 6 months as a Senior UI Engineer.
    • The instructors and staff at Fullstack are incredible and do everything that they can to help you succeed in a fast paced environment.
    • The selection process works, you are surrounded by other students who are all driven and passionate about learning Javascript. I made life long friends while at Fullstack who I still talk to on a daily basis.
    • Though the curriculum focused on NodeJS, Express, MongoDB (now PostgreSQL), and Angular (now React), many of the concepts taught are applicable across languages and frameworks. I currently work a lot with Perl, Backbone, and Marionette, none of which were taught but all of which I am comfortable working with because of what I learned at Fullstack.

    I absolutely recommend Fullstack Academy (or its sister school Grace Hopper) to anyone looking to enter the world of software development. My close friend is starting class next week and I am honestly jealous that I am not in her place starting it all again.

  • Hogwarts for Code
    - 4/12/2017
    Eliot S.  User Photo
    Eliot S. • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Theres far too much that can be said for it to fit in a review. I lived and breathed Fullstack Academy for about 8 months of my life. I could sit here, and pitch you what you'll learn, why its what you should learn, the support they offer after graduation, the network that... You get the point. I'm not the only review you've read.

    Heres the thing - Fullstack Academy is just a special place. Theres some pinch of magic to the formula; who specifically is responsible for it is impossible to say. Fullstack has a knack for bringing incredibly interesting, intelligent, and crazy people through its doors - both as employees and as students. These people will be your life for however long you end up being there - and will change the rest of your life afterwards.

    If you're here, reading this review - you've wasted time. Start studying by doing Codewars and figure out which of the courses you're going to do, and either move or set up a battlestation. I attended the on-campus in NYC, but I taught the remote course after graduating. The remote course was honestly just as magical of an experience as the on campus one. Actually, in retrospect, maybe even more magical... Anyways, I digress.

    You can not justify not wanting to go here. This is the place you want to be. Its the roadmap to the life you want to be living. It's an experience you'll never forget. It's the modern day Hogwarts.

  • Soren Yeadon  User Photo
    Soren Yeadon • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Fullstack Academy is a great bootcamp. When I was searching for courses, it was clear to me that FSA was the real deal. Fulstack is difficult to get in to. They genuinely want to make sure everyone who they admit is prepared and ready for the curriculum. The Chicago cohorts I have seen have ranged in size from 10 to ~17 students. In addition to instructors there are also fellows - former students who were chosen to work as TA's for the next couple of student cohorts. Personal attention from the teachers is never a problem. In my experience everyone was attentive, kind and hoping to help!

    The curriculum is full stack JavaScript. We learned Node.js, Express.js, React Redux Sequelize, HTML, CSS and Git. They teach you everything you need to know to go forth and begin a career in web development. The course is tough, but if you come everyday willing to work and learn, you will get out of it everything you need. Things will seem tough at the beginning, but before you know it, you will look back and realize how much you have progressed. If you're interested in learning web development, I truly believe that Fullstack Academy is one of the best bootcamps in the country.

    They help you build your resume, practice technical interview questions with you, and set up interviews with a handful of companies with a hiring day event, helping to begin your job search.

    Response From: David of Fullstack Academy
    Title: CEO
    Monday, Apr 10 2017

    Hi Soren - thanks so much for the review, much appreciated!  
  • Sara Trujillo  User Photo
    Sara Trujillo • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I am a career changer who has always loved technology and wanted to be a part of the Chicago tech community in a new capacity.  I looked at just about every bootcamp in Chicago before deciding on Fullstack Academy.  I liked Fullstack because the admissions process was more challenging and I knew expectations of students would be higher.

    Nick and Connie are both extremely knowledgeable and effective teachers.  For me though, they really stood out because of their empathy and patience with students.  If you need someone to talk to, they are always there and willing to help you to the best of their abilities.

    The Chicago Fullstack campus currently has smaller class sizes, which I found ideal.  My cohort was full of wonderful, encouraging people who want to see you grow alongside them.  I feel fortunate to have meet them.

    I am glad that I went to Fullstack and would make the same choice again.

    Response From: David of Fullstack Academy
    Title: CEO
    Monday, Apr 10 2017

    Glad to know you had a great experience Sara - excited to see what you do next!
  • Don Hansen  User Photo
    Don Hansen • Student Verified via GitHub
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    For a year and a half, before I joined Fullstack, I was self-studying mainly HTML, CSS, and PHP. I went through the interview process and had luck getting in the door with a few interviews, but I had a lot of gaps, in both my technical skills and mindset to become a successful developer. When I discovered this, I wanted to make sure that my next 3-6 months were going to properly push me in the right direction. I also wanted to have confidence that I WAS going in the right direction. That's really hard to do until someone finally hires you. I decided to give a coding bootcamp a try, and for a few reasons (as well as a lot of research), I applied to Fullstack Academy.

    I have never met more passionate teachers in my life. That became immediately apparent to me on day one when Nick introduced himself. Some of the other students made it apparent that they knew him from bootcamp prep, and I could immediately see how much they respected him. I had times that I needed additional help or even just to talk about personal issues. Every single time, no matter how busy he was, he made me feel like that conversation was the most important thing to him at that moment. That passion for your students is so incredibly important in differentiating a good teacher from a great teacher. I believe they just hired another instructor, but both Nick and Connie are instructors who will do everything they can to make sure that you succeed in the program. You'll meet some of the fellows (teaching assistants) that will give you a similar feel. The interview process is very selective. A good mental note to have when you get accepted is that you got accepted because you're going to be a successful developer and your teachers have full confidence in that.

    The curriculum is the exact same as New York's. In fact, I feel like the smaller class size and teacher to student ratios makes Chicago a more personable experience than New York. Sorry New York! Your capstone projects won't just be normal CRUD apps. You'll eventually be building complex projects that will put you much ahead of other applicants in entry level positions.

    I really believe that great coding bootcamps aren't for everyone. I don't believe everyone can code. You need to love building things and solving problems in order to be a successful developer. You need to understand that you will never stop growing as a developer. It has much less to do with how smart you think you are, and more to do with what you choose to spend your free time on. You'd be surprised at what your actions during your free time can tell you about yourself. If you're unsure about your reasons of wanting to become a developer, its ok to take a little while to teach yourself and build a few projects. Test the waters first. Also, be careful about the bootcamp you do choose. There are coding bootcamps that do accept everyone that is willing to pay. A good rule of thumb is that a safer choice is usually the programs that are more selective. Once you realize that you really do enjoy coding and want to grow more as a developer - that's when you should apply to Fullstack.

    P.S.

    Nick and Connie will make you cookies. So don't let them get away with not making cookies at least once.

    Response From: David of Fullstack Academy
    Title: CEO
    Monday, Apr 10 2017

    Hi Don - your story is inspiring to me - excited to have you in Chicago and excited for what's next.
  • Josh Maas-Howard  User Photo
    Josh Maas-Howard • searching • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Fullstack Academy is a great experience. Founders David and Nimit are clearly incredibly thoughtful individuals who truly care about the students coming through the program. They are value-driven, and are interested not just in making money and churning out code-monkeys, but in having a positive impact on the field and society. (This comes across through their interest in projects that work for social good, for instance, as well as establishing from day one that the exclusionary environment often endemic to coding culture is *not* part of Fullstack.) Instructors are passionate, extremely intelligent, and come from a variety of backgrounds (some were CS majors, others were self-taught and then worked in industry, others were themselves graduates of the program). The curriculum is engaging, accommodates a variety of aptitudes and learning speeds, and is clearly constantly iterated to improve and keep up with changing trends in the field. The students are, by and large, super motivated, and a friendly and interesting bunch also from diverse backgrounds.

    I was initially worried that Fullstack would be a grueling process: 6 long days a week, for 13 weeks, mainly in front of a computer... but I was pleasantly surprised that it was not grueling at all! It is no doubt demanding, mentally taxing, and it was more or less my sole pursuit for those 13 weeks (though I did, crucially, make time for eating, sleeping and exercise). But the collaborative and varied nature of the curriculum (which also has fun and humorous flourishes built into it) and the warm, friendly vibe of the Fullstack community makes the experience actually really enjoyable! So much so that I jumped on the opportunity to stay with Fullstack for another 13 weeks as a Teaching Fellow, a support role for the next cohort of students coming through the program (I highly recommend taking advantage of this if you have the opportunity--it's a great chance to learn the material more thoroughly and get hands-on engineering experience outside the contrived environment of a classroom before approaching the job search).

    The most important thing to keep in mind when considering Fullstack (or *any* bootcamp, for that matter), is that you are NOT purchasing a gold-lined road to a new job. Because of the program's rigor and "prestige," it's tempting to believe that if you get in, go through the program, and make it out alive, you will handily walk right into your first job. Not so! Getting a job is a process of showing a future employer that you have what it takes to be an asset; for the most part, they could care less how exactly you got to that place. If you have the smarts and the drive to get into Fullstack and you apply and challenge yourself throughout the program, you will develop the skills and the confidence necessary to land a sweet first job. It may not be the day after you graduate (the process can sometimes take months), and it may not be at Google or Facebook (perhaps for a select few at first, and some others down the road), but there are many other interesting prospects for employment, and once you have a foot in the door *somewhere* the opportunities will really start opening up to you. 

    Fullstack doesn't give you the Golden Ticket (it doesn't exist), but it provides the resources to get you where you want to go, in a surprisingly fun and positive environment.

  • Lana Reeve  User Photo
    Lana Reeve • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    My experience with Fullstack Academy was not only highly informative and fun, but also led to me making three times as much as my previous job. With an incomplete Computer Science degree, it was unlikely for me to get a software engineering job even with my prior education in programming. However, after coming to Fullstack, not only has my programming improved significantly, but my job prospects have expanded greatly and my confidence in my skills has grown.

    When I attended, Fullstack was teaching the MEAN (Mongo, Express, Angular, and Node) stack. Lessons are taught through labs and group projects that challenge your reasoning and give you practical knowledge about the technologies you're working with. The material encourages students to experiment and think critically. As a former programmer, I felt the work was challenging and rewarding.

    But the connections and job assistance offered by Fullstack are second to none. The course integrates lessons on whiteboarding interviews and deductive reasoning to help students nail their first impressions. Career advisors support you every step of the way once you graduate. A hiring day at the end of the course allows you to connect with employers and get your foot in the door at Fortune 500 companies such as American Express and 2sigma. Even after you've been placed at a job, Fullstack will support you with future job searches and career support.

    The alumni network has been great. I feel like our class has taken on some familial aspects. Upon returning to campus for reunions and alumni talks, I learned from our previous instructors that our cohort has even developed a reputation among newer students. Alumni from Fullstack also help each other find jobs and provide help with JavaScript problems.

    All in all, Fullstack has been one of the best educational experiences of my life, and has completely turned my career prospects around. I'm now making over $80,000 per year in a dream job thanks to the skills I learned and connections I gained through FSA.

    Response From: David Yang of Fullstack Academy
    Title: CEO
    Tuesday, Mar 28 2017

    Hi Lana - great to hear from you and glad to know you are doing well.  I still use your capstone project Girder Gus as an example of not only an awesome student project but just a generally awesome game in the vein of Braid and Portal.

     
  • Mark Hansen  User Photo
    Mark Hansen • CEO • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Today, I'm a mentor for startups in the Gaza Strip and have my own startup focused on making local governments more effective. For my startup, I'm launching clusters of networked docker containers, utilizing machine learning, and develop on the tools of industry leaders. This past year I was in San Francisco with a Y-Combinator startup. None of this would be even remotely possible without Fullstack.

    It was not easy though. For me, my first check to Fullstack bounced after my previous employers did not pay me, I had a 1+ hour one-way communte from central New Jersey, and I was working a full-time job to make up the money to friends and family I borrowed from. The problematic start placed me in a position of catch up for the entire 6 month part-time program. But Fullstack and the friends I made in the cohort did not give up on me, and more importantly, they did not lower the bar for me.

    It's going to be tough and you're going to be pushed no matter your circumstance, but know that the experience will start a new chapter for you. I highly recommend you check out the part-time program.

  • Milad Nazeri  User Photo
    Milad Nazeri • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    This program for me has without a doubt been one of the highlights of my life.  I came here to learn how to code, but in the process I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of.  

    I believe immersion is one of the greatest teaching tools and techniques.  The best way I can compare it is the difference in trying to learn Spanish using only Rosetta Stone and going to Spain for 6 weeks; a major difference in how the information becomes encoded and applied.  

    As far as tech goes, the program is built to help teach you how to learn new technology fast.  Learning new programming languages were intimidating to me in the past, but now after this thorough Javascript based education,  I am picking up C# and working in systems I would have never imagined I could do because now I understand how to build a strong base and work through the details. 

    The teachers were fantastic, supportive, and always had an answer or made sure they researched and got back to you in a timely matter for the more complicated obscure ones.

    The school is extremely agile, organized, and dedicated to staying current on the latest technology, while enforcing the principles that don't shift with the trends. 

    The support staff was always there for me anytime I needed help and were always positive and helped me through some of my rougher patches.

    The bottom line is this program is challenging, difficult, and it's up to you to get what you want and need for it.  There is no room for entitlement and indolence.  Do not do this program if you are not ready to do the work.  I can't stress that enough.   This isn't something you do because you can't figure out what else to do with your life unless you just have a large amount of money to waste.  This program isn't the ends to a means, it's the beginning of a beautiful journey with life long implications.  It is something you actively decide to do because you want a change in the direction of the story of you.  

    The greatest gift I took away?  Truly understanding there is no finding yourself.  

    There is only making yourself.

  • Jeff  User Photo
    Jeff • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I could not speak more highly of this program, and I know that many of my classmates felt the same way after we graduated. 

    I have never felt more involved in or more rewarded by an education program in my life. You are taught extremely useful technologies in a very pragmatic way. Students that fall behind are given ample help. There are multiple teachers, you can ask the staff (all developers) for help, and each class has a group of 10 or so TAs made up of students that just finished learning the same skills and concepts you are inevitably going to struggle with.

    Finding a job was very easy after completing the program. They have several staff members that will actively help you. I moved to Pittsburgh and was given a ton of assitance, despite the distance.

    Could not reccomend this experience more to anyone interested in learning how to program.

  • Amy Paschal  User Photo
    Amy Paschal • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Executive Summary:

    Fullstack’s remote immersive exceeded my expectations in every way. The curriculum is top notch, current and industry relevant. The Instructors and staff are passionate about coding and teaching and clearly enjoy their work. The lead instructor from our cohort, Omni, has an impressive depth of knowledge, is a master at explaining concepts and is a super fun and genuine person. My fellow students were from very diverse backgrounds but all were bright, enthusiastic and overall, a joy to work with. The technical and intellectual rigor and fast pace of the program truly exceeded my expectations rivaling my graduate school experience at a top 20 university (although the content and focus of the programs were very different).

    Bottom line: Totally worth the investment in time, energy, and money.

    My Journey:

    I have a BA and MS in Computer Science. I worked in the computer industry in software product development for 14 years before leaving my career behind to be a full-time mom for 13 years. As my entree back into the workforce, I recently worked remotely for a software company in professional services for 3 years.

    My software background is primarily in operating systems, UNIX and C. But a lot has changed since the eighties and nineties. I wanted to get up to speed on modern web development technologies and move back into product development. 

    How to Move Forward?

    My employer did not have a path forward in the direction I sought. But, I didn’t feel confident applying for jobs for which I had no experience in the desired technologies. So how to move forward? There are literally hundreds of online tutorials on the web many of which are free. I could have taken that route but it seemed inefficient, potentially frustrating and yep, a little bit lonely. So I started looking at boot camps. 

    I knew I wouldn’t be the typical boot camper. According to “Am I the Right Candidate for a Bootcamp?” by Imogen Crispe on Course Report, “the typical boot camper is 30 years old, has 6.8 years of work experience, has at least a Bachelor’s degree and has never worked as a programmer”. I would say the typical boot campers is also male and has no kids. As a 52-year-old wife and mother of two high schoolers with a couple of CS degrees and experience working in the software industry, the fact that I would be an outlier was a given. But as the only woman in my college graduating class with a CS major, and a distinct minority in the systems software field, being an outlier is old hat for me.

    Another obstacle was location. The closest in-person boot camps are a good 1.5-hour drive one-way from my home (in light traffic). And the idea of picking up and leaving my family for an out of town immersion was both logistically impractical and cost prohibitive. Further, I was also concerned that, given my background, a boot camp might be lacking in technical depth and intellectual rigor. Would it be worth the time and money?

    Serendipitously, at that point in my journey, Fullstack Academy came out with their remote immersive program. Perfect!

    Academic Excellence/Curriculum:

    Fullstack has a selective application process, accepting only about 8% of applicants. The immersive program is not for beginning programmers; you will need to have some programming experience. (Fullstack does offer prep courses). From a time standpoint, you will need to be willing and able to devote (most of) your time to the program for a solid 13 weeks and part time for 4 weeks prior.
    The current curriculum features Javascript using what is affectionately being called the NERD stack (Node, Express and Databases using SQL on the back end and React/Redux on the front end). This is a recent switch from the MEAN stack (https://www.fullstackacademy.com/blog/angular-to-react-fullstack-academy-updates-its-curriculum). The curriculum is continuously evolving to stay on top of technology trends and industry demand so your particulars might vary.

    Program Structure: 

    I was part of the first remote immersive cohort. (Oct. 2016 - Feb. 2017). 
    Foundations (4 weeks): The first phase of the program, called Foundations, is online, self-paced and part-time. The focus is Javascript programming skills. You must pass a timed, online test in order to move on to Junior phase.

     
    Junior Phase (6 weeks): full-time+ meeting 10 am - 7 pm eastern wit1.5-hourhour mid-day break. Class is held through the Zoom video meeting app. The equipment I used was a MacBook Pro laptop and a 24” LG HD 1080p monitor. I would have been better off with two monitors for juggling code, lecture presentation, and video images of teachers and classmates. I think two 27” monitors would be ideal. Instructors and most students have Macs but PCs can be used (but require more setup).
    Junior phase content consists primarily of workshops. We did 27 in all which is nearly one per day.  The typical workshop format is lecture, followed by pair a programming exercise and finally lecture and Q&A on a provided possible solution. Junior phase also includes optional CS Saturdays covering an array of computer science topics. Our CS topics were: parsing (compilers), databases and ORMs, git and immutability, machine learning and cryptography. Projects are done in class but evenings can be spent prepping for the next day’s workshop or completing/diving deeper into that day’s workshop. While evening/weekend work is not absolutely required, doing as much as you can manage certainly enhances absorption rate. There was no shortage of good and useful material to work through. In fact, it was drinking from a fire hose. Pair programming was set up randomly and assigned. Workshop experiences varied to some degree depending upon comprehension of the materials and programming partner. However, I found the vast majority of the experiences worthwhile, productive and enjoyable. In fact, some of them were a blast! There were also those that were frustrating and somewhat demoralizing but instructors and fellows were always there to help during workshops, during lectures and private office hours as desired. No matter the topic or situation, we got through it. In fact, I found that I really enjoyed pair programming which was a concern of mine going into the program, never having done it before.

    Lastly in Junior phase, you must pass a technically challenging online test to move on to the Senior phase. Everyone in our cohort moved on to the Senior phase.

    We were lucky and got a 4 week break over the holidays but this is not the year round schedule.

    Senior Phase (6 weeks): Senior phase is a time to put the skills learned in Junior phase to work. Content consists of project work and job preparation. Each day starts with technical interview practice with students taking turns being interviewer and candidate. Projects include preparation and presentation of a tech talk (individual), a 3-day “hack-a-thon” project (individual or pairs, student choice), a 1 week e-commerce site (team, assigned) and a multi-week team capstone project (assigned team with preference input, team decides topic).  On our capstone project we operated as a self-driven team, defining our minimum viable product (MVP), utilizing daily scrums and project management, and conducting a beta test with our cohort mates. While I ran into some team issues (we probably all did), we got through it and produced some amazing work. Our capstone projects culminated in a demo day live on Facebook. (check us out here: https://www.fullstackacademy.com/blog/demo-day-feb-2017).
    Additional job preparation skills covered include resume prep, soft skill interview prep and job search skills. ​

    Senior phase also includes an optional CTO lecture series held in the evenings. Our topics included: Visual Design, Intro to the Agile Software Development Methodology, Lean Start-Up, and Scalability.

    Outcome:

    I have just recently graduated (2/17/17) and am just starting to look for a job so career impact is TBD. However, I feel Fullstack has prepared me well for the job search through rigorous and extensive technical interview practice, polishing my resume, advising me on job search tactics and providing me with a network of alums.

  • Aryeh Harris  User Photo
    Aryeh Harris • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I just graduated Fullstack Academy's immersive cohort in NYC. It was an amazing experience and I learned a ton. They have amazing instructors who really want to make sure you understand the material and the material they teach is what is currently hot in the tech industry. I learned React + Redux with them and only two cohorts before me they were teaching Angular. They did an amazing job with React, and in general all of their workshops are so much fun to do and they really get you to learn and absorb the material.

    I don't have a job yet as I just graduated, but Fullstack is extremely legit about helping you get one. They have people working there who's sole purpose is to assist students with their job search.

    I highly recommend Fullstack to anybody who is serious about coding and is ready to work really hard for about four months straight. Time willl fly and you will come out with your brain stuffed with coding knowledge and ready to apply it all to a real job.

  • Mark  User Photo
    Mark • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I could not be more satisfied with the quality of instruction and education I received from Fullstack Academy. The curriculum is constantly updated, and delivered by first-rate, passionate educators. The positivity and encouragement offered by the entire faculty was awesome, and in every step of the process, it was clear that my learning experience was the foremost of their concerns. The experience as a whole is one that has changed the course of my life, and I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone considering, to apply to Fullstack Academy.  

     

    As a graduate of the first-ever remote immersive cohort, I can attest that the program did not suffer for its remote nature. Being on camera for ten hours a day certainly took some getting used to, but working with teammates over video chat worked much more smoothly than I had anticipated. Truthfully, the only technical issue worth mentioning was the occasional difficulty in hearing questions posed by the live audience during lectures. Sometimes the speaker would repeat questions into the microphone, but often they would forget, leaving the remote audience guessing what the question may have been. The social element also inevitably suffered due to the remote platform, but the faculty worked hard to facilitate social opportunities where we could casually interact, which went a long way to offset this shortcoming. Overall the technical aspects of the program far exceeded my expectations, and the faculty did everything possible to ensure that we did not feel like second-class citizens within the Fullstack community.

     

    Attending Fullstack Academy was easily one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am well prepared for an exciting career in web development or software engineering; they have helped me to reinvent my career in six months. To self-teach to this point would not have been reasonably possible—certainly not in the same timeframe. I’m truly in awe at how much knowledge I have developed in such a short time, and I would encourage anyone considering applying, to do so. 

  • Sean Patrick McBride  User Photo
    Sean Patrick McBride • Fullstack Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Attending Fullstack Academy was one of the most important career decisions of my life.

    Prior to the program, I was in a career funk. After five years working in IT infrastructure architecture and technical sales, I felt that my career had stalled out. When I left the Army, I went into technology expecting that my days would be filled with intellectual stimulation and challenging engineering problems to solve. Instead, I found that 90% of my days were spent sitting in Office Space style conference calls or ghost-writing planning documents, PowerPoint animations, and Visio architectures that would get handed up to management to get used in political fights over manpower or budgets and then discarded. How did I end up here? How can so many traditional Fortune 500 IT jobs be so soul-sucking?

    These days, there is no excuse for someone with technical interests to stay in a job they dislike. However, when caught in the murky morass of a difficult job, it can be difficult to chart a path forward and pull yourself out. I was broadly unhappy for well over a year before I decided to stop being a small cog in a grinding corporate machine. At first, I started renewing side projects and used some free and low-cost resources for web development to try to revitalize my love for intellectual stimulation and challenging engineering problems. Over several months, I found that I would sit in my corporate cube and daydream about my side projects, the chance to build things, and the rapid visual feedback of building within the browser.

    Confident that I knew the pivot I wanted to make in my career, I applied to Fullstack Academy. As a military veteran, I love the 'bootcamp' model. I know that several months of single-minded focus, a lot of intestinal fortitude, and a willingness to put all other aspects of one's life on hold can be transformative. Just like how soldiers can learn to operate and fire a main battle tank in a few months, a coding bootcamp can equips students with the skills they need to hit the ground running in their first job.

    Traditionally, one would drop everything and relocate to NYC to attend the country's top-rated coding bootcamp. However, as a 30-something with a wife and a mortgage in anytown USA, this really wasn't a super feasible option for me. Thankfully, when I was considering Fullstack, they were piloting their first-ever fully-online fully-remote cohort. This new offering promised to bring the top-rated coding bootcamp to me in my home office. I wasn't sure how this model would work at first, but I went forward with it and applied. I went through a very-challenging coding interview, and when I was offered a spot, I accepted and began Fullstack.

    Starting the Fullstack curriculum, it was clear to me that the remote program was no less intense than the on-campus version. I purchased a VESA monitor mount to use two side-by-side 27" monitors with a 1080p logitech webcam. This was super important for remote pair programming. On one monitor, I would have a live video stream of my class. On the other, I would have a screen share of the instructor's screen. We would break into pair programming, and I would have my editor on one monitor (which I share with my pair programming partner), and the other monitor would have my partner's face. This meant that I was essentially transmitting a video stream of my face for 12+ hours a day.

    Following this model for months, I quickly learned modern isomorphic JavaScript, the lingua franca of the web. I picked up Node.js, Express, Passport, Sequelize, and Postgres on the backend. On the frontend, I learned the React-Redux ecosystem. By the end of junior phase, I felt comfortable with all of these pieces, and in senior phase, I applied these tools to some very challenging projects, including a full e-commerce site, an Electron desktop application, and a Virtual Reality app with real-time voice that allowed use of the Google Daydream headset. I'm currently in the interview process with a bunch of companies, and they are by-and-large blown away by the portfolio that Fullstack has helped me build.

    Fullstack Academy offered me a path to pivot and course correct the trajectory of my career. Within a few months, I've been able to achieve sufficient velocity to break orbit. When I think of a cool project, I now have the skills to build out a prototype and release it on GitHub. I feel limited less my by technical abilities and more by my imagination. If I hadn't had this top-shelf instruction and amazing cohort, I suspect that I would have had a hard time maturing my technical skills as quickly as needed to keep my mortgage paid. The opportunity cost of not-working is super tough for folks 30+ with financial obligations, and the Fullstack Remote Immersive program is the absolute best way to compress the time between deciding to move into web development and being job ready.

    My cap is off to the instructors and amazing staff at Fullstack. Thank you for democratizing access to your program. You've opened access to a wider pool of folks that are unable to move to NYC or Chicago, and I'm confident that you'll continue to empower and effect positive change in all sorts of lives.

  • Rachel  User Photo
    Rachel • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I was in the first remote immersive course at Fullstack Academy. Between the students, the staff, and the curriculum, I'm a raving fan. And there were even perks beyond that! Like we got to use a Pixel phone and Daydream headset so we could figure out how to code in VR. And they had a Fullstack campus for us in MineCraft so we could feel like we were part of things on campus.

    It started with Foundations. That was four weeks with video classes and 2-3 hour tests. We learned intermediate JavaScript fundamentals, and it felt so hard, but I loved being pushed to do even more than I thought I could do. 

    Then it was time for Junior Phase, which was six days a week, and 7am-4pm since I'm on the West Coast, with a 1.5 hour lunch. It was intense, with new concepts and technologies being learned every day (data structures, SQL, Express, Sequelize, jQuery, CSS, React, Redux, etc.). It went at a breakneck pace, and I felt like I was always behind. But I hung in there and by the time we hit Christmas break, I had learned a ton. I loved pair programming with my classmates, and my teachers were extraordinary human beings: deeply kind, endlessly patient, and skilled at teaching. They effortlessly combined humor and staying on topic. 

    Senior Phase was projects, whiteboard interview prep, career prep, and CTO lectures. We met five days a week, and did four coding projects: an e-commerce site, an individual hackathon, a tech talk, and a capstone project. Fullstack was super supportive about making sure we had strong portfolios when we graduated. 

    One thing that surprised me about the remote program was how intimate it was. We were always communicating through web cams, and they get close up on your face. And we had a lot of one-on-one time with our instructors. I was amazed at all the personal attention. I feel close with my entire cohort, and like I made a bunch of new friends, and we can go forward and work on projects together (I'm actually already doing this with two classmates). 

    TL;DR: I can't say enough good things about this program. It changed my life. I've leveled up. 

  • Sean • Front End Developer • Graduate
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    Fullstack is an incredible institution. I started my journey with Fullstack through their boot camp prep course (which I highly recommend), and upon completing the course was able to pass the admissions process to be enrolled into their fulltime immersive.

    Upon admission, I chose to take the Sept'18-Dec'18 cohort and even passed on a half scholarship to another coding boot camp (Flatiron School). I had talked to a few people and it just seemed that FSA's education was substantially better than a handful of the other boot camps. 

    Based on my research I had high expectations for Fullstack, and to be honest they exceeded just about all of them. 

    Given how much you learn in a relatively short amount of time, the instructors for these programs are probably the most important part of your experience, and I can honestly say that my instructors (John, Geoff, and Dakota) were the best instructors I've had in any educational setting ever.

    There are no dumb questions at FSA, and the institution does everything they can to make sure is staying on track and up to speed with the rest of the cohort (office hours, extra study sessions, etc). I can't tell you how many questions I asked my instructors, but they always were able to bring it down to my level, and always able to help me walk away feeling more confident.

    The experience is intimidating at first, and it does require a lot of work, but the experience was hands down the most rewarding of my entire educational career.

    FSA is a springboard for a new career, it still requires you to be dedicated to learning, and to have a strong work ethic, but if you are truly committed to learning this curriculum and to opening the doors to a new career, then I can recommend this boot camp enough.

  • No regurtz
    - 9/3/2019
    Thanh • Student
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    I throughly enjoyed my time at Fullstack Academy. The instructors were really knowledgable and always open to help. I have gotten extra individual help plenty of times. The career team were so supportive and they were always tentative to my questions. I can't recommend Fullstack enough. Thank you to everyone at Fullstack from top to bottom for helping me suceed.

  • Bianca Czaderna • Graduate
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    I started researching coding bootcamps while in a job that I loathed. I had only one friend who had done one, which is what prompted the research, but other than that, I had no idea what they were about. I was an English major in school, and had taken pretty much only humanities classes, and so never even thought that computer science or engineering would be something that I could even do at this point! The Grace Hopper Program stood out to me for 2 reasons: a) all women's and b) deferred tuition. Overall, it has proven to be a great choice, and I do not regret it.

    It is hard to get in. My advice would be: take at least 3 months to prepare for the interview. Take all of the pre-bootcamp stuff that Fullstack recommends, but do even more than that. The Foundations course (the first month of the bootcamp, which is online) is really hard. Meaning that even once you get in, you need to pass the hurdle of actually passing Foundations. This was not made very clear to me when I applied: Foundations is HARD and the only way you will pass if you have no background in coding is if you study 24/7 and also take some months to just get the muscle memory down and let the vast amount of information sink in. I had to take Foundations twice; the second time it was even harder! By some miracle I passed. Consider yourself warned, though! It will take time and grit. You will need to sacrifice lots of things (time with friends and family, outdoor activities, any other activities....). But it is possible!

    The on-campus experience once I finally passed Foundations (phew!) was generally very good. The cohorts are pretty small (25-40 people from what I have seen), and they really do try to foster a collaborative, friendly atmopshere where women can feel free to be themselves and explore a field that (most likely) they are not comfortable in. That said, there were quite a few people in my cohort who had been engineers in the past (maybe a different kind of engineer, but still), and so they hit the ground running and were clearly faster than the rest of us. I thought that everyone was going to be on the same page, but some of us were most definitely not. On the other hand, I certainly learned from pair-programming with them.

    In general the on-campus experience was very positive. The first half of bootcamp, called "Junior phase", was all about absorbing tons of information (they called it "drinking from a firehouse") -- so the day would be full of lectures and labs (where you'd either work on it by yourself or with a partner, usually with a partner). Sometimes the lectures would be just 20 minutes long, but you'd have 3 or 4 interspersed throughout the day with labs in-between. You'd have a different partner each day so you really got to know people that way, plus it was good experience in pair-programming. We would have checkpoints (tests) each week, but they were take-home, and technically weren't graded, though actually your fellow (a recent grad who stays on to be like a TA) does grade you just to know how you're progressing. They do keep tabs carefully on each student, by the way, to make sure that everyone is on track and will be in good shape to get a job by the time the program is over. If for some reason you seem to be behind, they will let you know and try to assign you a remote tutor and give you some tips on how to study/survive bootcamp better. Anyways -- aside from the checkpoints, you also have two timed, in-class exams: the mid-term and the final (which is called the "senior checkpoint"). The mid-term (called "pillars") doesn't actually have any real consequences, it's just another way for them to gauge how you're doing. Senior checkpoint, though, is make-or-break. In that if you don't pass it you don't get to move on. Although I think recently they've offered a re-take option. There is also a final project that you do at the end of Jr phase. If your project and exam are up to par, then you move on. If not, you may be asked to either a) repeate Junior phase or b) leave.

    I was asked to repeat Junior phase because my project wasn't quite there. I welcomed this opportunity, though it did end up costing me 3k more in the end. The pace during bootcamp is lightening speed, and I'm not necessarily to quickest learner, so I felt I needed more time. They rarely don't let people repeat, but it did happen in my cohort. 

    The second phase is "senior phase", and that's all project work. This part was really fun. Stressful, because you have very limited time to do your projects, and on top of that you have to start worrying about career stuff, but it was still fun because it was so creative. You can think for yourself a lot more; it's less about grades. At that point they basically can't kick you out, either, so that is some aleviated stress! I really enjoyed senior phase. Career counseling was very good, I thought.

    Once you leave the program, the (in my opinion) hardest part begins. Now you are no longer surrounded by others who are on the same journey as you (that is, you can be, but you have to make a big effort to get together with them). You don't have the support network and the encouragement of being on campus. You are at home. In front of your computer. Checking your email and LinkedIn obsessivley because you never know when you'll get that message that could lead to a job interview! I do not recommend going on vacation after bootcamp. You will lose your momentum. Stick it out, and keep going full steam ahead. That is what I did. I didn't apply to any jobs cold -- only went through friends, undergrad, and bootcamp networks, mostly through LinkedIn, and talked to people over the phone and over coffee from there. That sometimes led to a referral, which sometimes led to an interview. I've just accepted a job 2 months out of bootcamp, and the offer is good :) But it was a ton of work, probably just as much as bootcamp itself. 

    In sum, I never would have gotten a job like this if it hadn't been for GH. So I am so grateful for that, and for the alumni network which I am now a part of. It has been very empowering to learn how to code. However, it was been a grueling journey, so don't go into this thinking it will be an easy way out. It is no cakewalk. It feels like a bootcamp. There were days when I could barely get myself to roll out of bed because I was so tired! It will take a lot of perseverance, but it can help you greatly improve your career, salary, and life. If Jess Bracht and Geoff Bass are still there, they are awesome. Get to know them.

    Finally, the all-women's aspect definitely makes a difference. People would always comment on how the atmosphere on our floor was so friendly and convivial. It really does become like a sisterhood.

    Best of luck!

  • Changed my life!
    - 7/16/2019
    Alex Gura • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Fullstack took me from having no knowledge of coding to being able to land a job as a software engineer. From starting prep courses in Nov 2018 to graduating in April 2019 to finishing my teaching fellowship in July 2019 Fullstack has been supportive, helpful, and a fantastic experience every step of the way. Before fullstack I was a directionless college grad saddened by my employment prospects. Now, I'm on my way to forging a promising, interesting, and rewarding career in a burgeoning new field. I would recommend to all with an interest in logical thinking, problem solving, and design, and who want an invigorating experience. 

  • Nelson Gedeon • Full Stack Engineer • Graduate
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    My experience at Fullstack was amazing. Completing the course made me a more skilled & confident engineer. The instructors were great, knowledgeable and ready to help whenever you needed. The material we covered and the approach we took prepared me for my technical interviews. The help provided by the career success team was amazing. I will recommend Fullstack to anyone who is looking to improve or gain engineering skills. The people in my cohort were amazing and we all grew and learned together.

  • Mustafa Dane • Web Solutions Engineer • Graduate
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    Attending to Fullstack Academy was the best decision of my life. I have found my true passion and gained a lot of valuable skills. Besides that, I also had the best friendships during my time at Fullstack.

     

    I attended Fullstack from September to December in 2018 at Chicago Campus. Then, I was hired by Fullstack as a Teaching Fellow where I worked there for 3 months. About 2 months after the end of my fellowship, I found a job at my dream company, Google, as a Web Solutions Engineer.

     

    Before Fullstack, I was a PhD student in Molecular Biology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I had interest to coding before; but it was always like a hobby. After I quit grad school, the best thing I know was coding (seriously, I didn’t have skills in any area besides biology) and I wanted to turn this hobby into a career. I looked at the best coding bootcamps around Chicago and Fullstack was one of the first ones that came up through my searches. I talked to many grads before convincing myself that this will worth the money. After the first week at Fullstack, I already knew it’s worth it!

     

    Let me talk a little bit about specifics. Curriculum! There are tons of materials out there and other teaching methods where you can learn coding. Some of them are good for some students and some students might feel like a total loss amongst all these materials. The key point here is consistency. Fullstack has consistent track of success where graduates coming from different backgrounds who achieve at the end. And Fullstack has been doing this quite a while. Fullstack developed one of the best curriculums out there and they are constantly developing it to make it better. They adjust the curriculum based on the industry’s needs and these changes can be documented by the success of their graduates. Another thing is that they know the best how to teach that curriculum. So, instructors! Instructors in Chicago are really good! My instructors were Collin, Finn, and Ben and they were all amazing! Due to their technical work history, they know the ins and outs of the internet for a long time. When you ask a question outside of the curriculum, you see their expertise on many other topics. Besides their knowledge, they really care about the students. There were multiple times when an instructor helped us after hours or even during lunch sacrificing their free time. I will give a specific example: One time, we were debugging really hard and it was about 4:45. Collin was passing behind us, and we didn’t call for his help as it was late already. But he saw that we are struggling a lot and he offered help. Then, he helped us debug for about an hour straight. He was passionate about finding the bug (more like helping the students actually) and he found it at the end. Another thing I want to mention is job search and career development. Fullstack does not only teach you the skills you need but also teaches you how to present them in a best way while you are applying, at the interviews, after the interviews, at the offer stage, negotiating, and even accepting the offer (Sounds exciting, huh? You all will get there 😊 ). Chicago’s career success counselor, Holly, is great as she is super helpful. She helps you at every stage of your job hunt which is while you are at Fullstack and after you leave until you sign the offer. I think this is a really good opportunity for people like us who learned bunch of new skills recently but don’t know how exactly to present them. The last thing I want to talk about is Fullstack’s special way of teaching Data Structures and Algorithms. As you might already know, most of the big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft asks a lot of data structures problems at the interviews. They are like the fundamentals of the computer science and these companies want to make sure you know them really well. Not all companies ask these questions and when they ask, they don’t ask as hard as the other bug ones. Fullstack teaches data structures really well at an introductory level. In junior phase, you got some data structures lectures to kick off. Every week, there is an optional meetup where you can study more of these kind of questions after school. And at senior phase, students have 1-hour morning session where they either learn a new data structure or an algorithm taught by an instructor or they are given a question to solve followed by explanations by teaching fellows. I think this is a great opportunity as you get to deal with these hard topics every day and after 6 weeks, they do accumulate. As I mentioned before, it is still like an introductory to data structures. It’s more than enough for most of the interviews. It is also a great start if you want to study more and try one of the big tech companies.  

     

    Overall, my experience with Fullstack was excellent! I strongly recommend Fullstack to anyone who will be devoting their time and effort to become a Software Engineer. I know it’s not so simple but it’s doable with Fullstack.

Thanks!