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General Assembly

Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, Hong Kong, Sydney, London, Boston, Austin, Seattle, Online, Atlanta, Singapore, Melbourne, Denver, Chicago, Dallas

General Assembly

Avg Rating:4.26 ( 269 reviews )

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Recent General Assembly Reviews: Rating 4.26

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17 Campuses

Los Angeles

1520 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
In PersonPart Time

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available 

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
AngularJS, JavaScript, MongoDB, HTML, Rails, jQuery, Ruby, CSS, Node.jsIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Downtown LA and Santa Monica Campuses

Course Details

Deposit
$250
Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Learn the tools and techniques you need to make better decisions through data, and land a job in one of the most sought after fields in tech. Create predictive models by learning to wrangle, analyze, and visualize data from our team of professional Data Scientist instructors. Develop hard skills like Unix, Git, SQL, Python, machine learning, and modeling techniques while creating your own data projects and applications. Take advantage of the growing demand for data and use the guidance and resources of our in-house career coaches to help you find work. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/data-science-immersive. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Basic SQL query knowledge/scripting and familiarity with Python required. Strong familiarity with math and descriptive statistics required. 2-5 years of experience as an analyst is ideal. Macs are strongly preferred.
Placement Test
Yes
Prep Work
Approximately 40 hours of self-guided pre-work to complete prior to starting the course.
Data ScienceIn PersonFull Time6 Hours/week

Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Build statistical models — regression, classification, clustering — that generate usable information from raw data. Master the basics of machine learning and harness large datasets to forecast what’s next.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
A good grasp of college-level statistics and probability. Ability to program in a scripting language such as Python or R.
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week20 Seats

Skills & Tools Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Production Standard Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. The Big Picture Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior — from problems to solutions — can optimize any product or service.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Skills & Tools Gain proficiency in social advertising and use Facebook, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to find meaning in user behavior. Production Standard Develop and plan a campaign driven by data and paid‐search strategies — and measured by key performance indicators. The Big Picture Become a driver of your company's bottom line by using cutting‐edge techniques and platforms to market products and acquire users.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Attend classes designed and taught by some of the industry’s best UX designers. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Become an apprentice or junior UX designer.

Santa Monica Campus

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions.

Santa Monica, Monday/Wednesday, 7-10 p.m.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

New York City

902 Broadway 4th Floor, New York, NY 10010
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Attend classes designed and taught by some of the industry’s best UX designers. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Become an apprentice or junior UX designer.

Except: Dec 23, Dec 24, Dec 25, Dec 28, Dec 29, Dec 30, Dec 31, Jan 18, Feb 15

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Java, AndroidIn PersonFull Time35 Hours/week

In this program, you’ll learn everything you need to create Android apps from scratch: programming, material design, connecting to third-party services, and iterative design during development sprints — all adapted for the platform.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
User Experience DesignIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior — from problems to solutions — can optimize any product or service.

Mon & Wed 8:15pm - 10:15pm Except: Dec 28, Dec 30, Jan 18, Feb 15

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
AngularJS, JavaScript, MongoDB, HTML, Rails, jQuery, Ruby, CSS, Node.jsIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Course Details

Deposit
$250
Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Basic computer knowledge
Prep Work
Approximately 40 - 50 hours
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions.

Monday/Wednesday, 6:30-9:30 p.m. No class: December 23, 28, 30; January 18; February 15

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Digital MarketingIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Gain proficiency in social advertising and use Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Excel to find meaning in user behavior. Develop and plan a campaign driven by data and paid‐search strategies — and measured by key performance indicators. Become a driver of your company's bottom line by using cutting‐edge techniques and platforms to market products and acquire users.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Learn the tools and techniques you need to make better decisions through data, and land a job in one of the most sought after fields in tech.

Course Details

Interview
Yes
Placement Test
Yes
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Build statistical models — regression, classification, clustering — that generate usable information from raw data. Master the basics of machine learning and harness large datasets to forecast what’s next.

Monday/Wednesday, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Except: Dec 23, Dec 28, Dec 30, Jan 18, Feb 15

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
A good grasp of college-level statistics and probability. Ability to program in a scripting language such as Python or R.
Product ManagementIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Mon & Wed 8:15pm - 10:15pm Except: Dec 23, Dec 28, Dec 30, Jan 18, Feb 15

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
JavaScript, HTML, jQuery, CSSIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, GitHub, and Sublime in concert. Build a fully responsive, interactive website that stands apart from the usual templates. Understand how a skillful mix of programming and layout powers the web we see – and how teams collaborate to create it.

Tue & Thu 6:30pm - 9:30pm Except: Dec 23, Dec 25, Dec 28, Dec 30, Jan 18, Feb 15

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available

Bring together Swift, Xcode, the iOS SDK, and GitHub in work with third-party APIs. Construct a native iPhone or iPad app that loads on a mobile device, stores data locally and connects to larger networks. Gain a real understanding of how concepts for iOS applications translate into user-tested, feature-rich prototypes that can ship to the App Store.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available

San Francisco

414 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week20 Seats

Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior — from problems to solutions — can optimize any product or service.

JavaScriptIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Learn to code in JavaScript, the native language of the web used by developers the world over. Build a single-page web app that persists user data and connects to services like Twitter and Facebook via APIs. Learn the fundamentals of object-oriented programming while receiving support from industry experts and a community of peers.

Digital MarketingIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Gain proficiency in social advertising and use Facebook, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to find meaning in user behavior. Develop and plan a campaign driven by data and paid‐search strategies — and measured by key performance indicators. Become a driver of your company's bottom line by using cutting‐edge techniques and platforms to market products and acquire users.

iOSIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Receive instruction and mentorship from top iOS developers and connect with GA's thriving community of pros and peers. Create App Store-ready products by gaining key industry knowledge and specialized skills in Swift, Xcode, mobile design, and more. Our in-house career coaches provide resources and guidance to get you on track for an exciting career in app creation.

AngularJS, JavaScript, MongoDB, HTML, Rails, jQuery, Ruby, CSS, Node.jsIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Learn the most sought-after skills in tech, from JavaScript to Rails, with guidance from our team of experienced instructors. Build real websites, APIs, and data-driven apps while collaborating with classmates on a range of projects. Launch your new career in web development with the support of our career counselors through every step of the job search.

No class: Nov 25, Nov 26, Nov 27, Dec 21, Dec 22, Dec 23, Dec 24, Dec 25, Dec 28, Dec 29, Dec 30, Dec 31, Jan 1

Course Details

Deposit
$250
Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Attend classes designed and taught by some of the industry’s best UX designers. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Become an apprentice or junior UX designer.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Java, AndroidIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

In this program, you’ll learn everything you need to create Android apps from scratch: programming, material design, connecting to third-party services, and iterative design during development sprints — all adapted for the platform.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Product ManagementIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week
Data ScienceIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Create predictive models by learning to wrangle, analyze, and visualize data from our team of professional Data Scientist instructors. Develop hard skills like Unix, Git, SQL, Python, machine learning, and modeling techniques while creating your own data projects and applications. Take advantage of the growing demand for data and use the guidance and resources of our in-house career coaches to help you find work.

Front EndIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Use HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, GitHub, and Sublime in concert. Build a fully responsive, interactive website that stands apart from the usual templates. Understand how a skillful mix of programming and layout powers the web we see – and how teams collaborate to create it.

In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Apply Photoshop’s powerful functions to digital product design. Start with an idea and a moodboard: finish with a production‐ready mockup of a responsive webpage. Grasp how effective visual communication — from font pairings to style tiles — helps translate compelling ideas across any team, in any field.

Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Build statistical models — regression, classification, clustering — that generate usable information from raw data. Master the basics of machine learning and harness large datasets to forecast what’s next.

Monday/Wednesday, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
A good grasp of college-level statistics and probability. Ability to program in a scripting language such as Python or R.
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions.

Monday/Wednesday, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Washington

1133 15th Street NW Eighth Floor, , DC 20005
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Attend classes designed and taught by some of the industry’s best UX designers. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Become an apprentice or junior UX designer.

Except: May 30, Jul 4

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through ClimbSkillsFund, or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Python, SQLIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

BECOME A DATA SCIENTIST Learn the tools and techniques you need to make better decisions through data, and land a job in one of the most sought after fields in tech. Create predictive models by learning to wrangle, analyze, and visualize data from our team of professional Data Scientist instructors. Develop hard skills like Unix, Git, SQL, Python, machine learning, and modeling techniques while creating your own data projects and applications. Take advantage of the growing demand for data and use the guidance and resources of our in-house career coaches to help you find work.

Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Build statistical models — regression, classification, clustering — that generate usable information from raw data. Master the basics of machine learning and harness large datasets to forecast what’s next.

Monday/Wednesday, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Except: Dec 23

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
A good grasp of college-level statistics and probability. Ability to program in a scripting language such as Python or R.
In PersonPart Time

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available 

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
AngularJS, JavaScript, MongoDB, HTML, Rails, jQuery, Ruby, CSS, Node.jsIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Course Details

Deposit
$250
Financing
Financing available through EarnestClimbAffirmSkillsFund, or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions.

Tuesday/Thursday, 6:30-9:30 p.m. No class: Dec 24, 31

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week20 Seats

Skills & Tools Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Production Standard Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. The Big Picture Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior — from problems to solutions — can optimize any product or service.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Skills & Tools Gain proficiency in social advertising and use Facebook, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to find meaning in user behavior. Production Standard Develop and plan a campaign driven by data and paid‐search strategies — and measured by key performance indicators. The Big Picture Become a driver of your company's bottom line by using cutting‐edge techniques and platforms to market products and acquire users.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes

Hong Kong

8/F 33 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong,
User Experience DesignIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week22 Seats

Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior — from problems to solutions — can optimize any product or service.

Tue & Thu 7pm - 9pm No Class: Feb 9

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment Plans available
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available 

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week22 Seats

Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Build statistical models — regression, classification, clustering — that generate usable information from raw data. Master the basics of machine learning and harness large datasets to forecast what’s next.

Tuesday/Thursday, 7-10 p.m. No Class: Feb 9

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
A good grasp of college-level statistics and probability. Ability to program in a scripting language such as Python or R.
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week22 Seats

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions.

No class: May 2

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Python, Data Science, SQLIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week20 Seats

Learn the tools and techniques you need to make better decisions through data, and land a job in one of the most sought after fields in tech.

Course Details

Interview
Yes

Skills & Tools Gain proficiency in social advertising and use Facebook, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to find meaning in user behavior. Production Standard Develop and plan a campaign driven by data and paid‐search strategies — and measured by key performance indicators. The Big Picture Become a driver of your company's bottom line by using cutting‐edge techniques and platforms to market products and acquire users.

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
AngularJS, JavaScript, MongoDB, HTML, Rails, jQuery, Ruby, CSS, Node.jsIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week20 Seats

No Class: Feb 8, Feb 9, Feb 10, Mar 25, Mar 28, Apr 4

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week20 Seats

Attend classes designed and taught by some of the industry’s best UX designers. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Become an apprentice or junior UX designer.

Except: Mar 25, Mar 28, Apr 4, May 2

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Sydney

Level M, 56-58 York Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Front End, JavaScript, GitIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week22 Seats

Learn to code in JavaScript, the native language of the web used by developers the world over. Build a single-page web app that persists user data and connects to services like Twitter and Facebook via APIs. Learn the fundamentals of object-oriented programming while receiving support from industry experts and a community of peers.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
$0
Deposit
$250
Financing
Lending partner available - Zipmoney.com
Payment Plan
By application
Rebate
$0
Scholarship
By application
Minimum Skill Level
Front-end coding experience recommended
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week22 Seats

Attend classes designed and taught by some of the industry’s best UX designers. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Become an apprentice or junior UX designer.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
$0
Deposit
$500
Financing
Lending partner available - Zipmoney.com
Payment Plan
By application
Rebate
$0
Scholarship
By application
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Placement Test
Yes
Python, Data Science, SQLIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week22 Seats

Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Build statistical models — regression, classification, clustering — that generate usable information from raw data. Master the basics of machine learning and harness large datasets to forecast what’s next.

Monday/Wednesday, 6-9 p.m.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
$0
Deposit
$250
Financing
Lending partner available - Zipmoney.com
Payment Plan
By application
Rebate
$0
Scholarship
By application
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
A good grasp of college-level statistics and probability. Ability to program in a scripting language such as Python or R.
Digital Marketing, Growth HackingIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week22 Seats

Gain proficiency in social advertising and use Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Excel to find meaning in user behaviour. Develop and plan a campaign driven by data and paid‐search strategies — and measured by key performance indicators. Become a driver of your company's bottom line by using cutting‐edge techniques and platforms to market products and acquire users.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
$0
Financing
Zipmoney.com
Payment Plan
By instalment
Rebate
$0
Scholarship
By application
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Front End, JavaScript, HTML, Git, jQuery, CSSIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week22 Seats

Use HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, GitHub, and Sublime in concert. Build a fully responsive, interactive website that stands apart from the usual templates. Understand how a skillful mix of programming and layout powers the web we see – and how teams collaborate to create it.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
$0
Deposit
$250
Financing
Lending partner available - Zipmoney.com
Payment Plan
By application
Rebate
$0
Scholarship
By application
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
AngularJS, JavaScript, MongoDB, HTML, Rails, SQL, jQuery, Ruby, CSS, Node.jsIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week20 Seats

Learn the most sought-after skills in tech, from JavaScript to Rails, with guidance from our team of experienced instructors. Build real websites, APIs, and data-driven apps while collaborating with classmates on a range of projects. Launch your new career in web development with the support of our career counselors through every step of the job search.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
$0
Deposit
$500
Financing
Lending partner available - Zipmoney.com
Payment Plan
By application
Rebate
$0
Scholarship
By application
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Placement Test
Yes
Prep Work
None
Product ManagementIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week22 Seats

Apply product management best practices to ship products and features that solve real problems for your customers. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
$0
Deposit
$250
Financing
Lending partner available - Zipmoney.com
Payment Plan
By application
Rebate
$0
Scholarship
By application
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week22 Seats

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions.

Monday/Wednesday, 6-9 p.m.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
$0
Deposit
$250
Financing
Lending partner available - Zipmoney.com
Payment Plan
By application
Rebate
$0
Scholarship
By application
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Python, Data Science, Git, SQLIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week22 Seats

Learn From Experts: Create predictive models by learning to wrangle, analyse, and visualise data from our team of professional Data Scientist instructors. Gain Hands-On Experience: Develop hard skills like Unix, Git, SQL, Python, machine learning, and modelling techniques while creating your own data projects and applications. Get Hired: Take advantage of the growing demand for data and use the guidance and resources of our in-house career coaches to help you find work.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
$0
Deposit
$500
Financing
Zipmoney.com
Payment Plan
By instalment
Rebate
$0
Scholarship
None
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
A good grasp of college-level statistics and probability. Ability to program in a scripting language such as Python or R.
Placement Test
Yes
User Experience DesignIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week22 Seats

Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. Connect and convey how insights into customer behaviour — from problems to solutions — can optimise any product or service.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
$0
Deposit
$250
Financing
Lending partner available - Zipmoney.com
Payment Plan
By application
Rebate
$0
Scholarship
By application
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
DesignIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week22 Seats

Apply Photoshop’s powerful functions to digital product design. Start with an idea and a moodboard: finish with a production‐ready mockup of a responsive webpage. Grasp how effective visual communication — from font pairings to style tiles — helps translate compelling ideas across any team, in any field.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
$0
Deposit
$250
Financing
Lending partner available - Zipmoney.com
Payment Plan
By application
Rebate
$0
Scholarship
By application
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

London

1st Floor, 1 Commercial Street, London, London E1 7PT
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Build statistical models — regression, classification, clustering — that generate usable information from raw data. Master the basics of machine learning and harness large datasets to forecast what’s next.

Monday/Wednesday, 6-9 p.m.

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
A good grasp of college-level statistics and probability. Ability to program in a scripting language such as Python or R.
Product ManagementIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Tuesday & Thursday, 6-8 pm

Course Details

Financing
Financing available 

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
AngularJS, JavaScript, MongoDB, HTML, Rails, jQuery, Ruby, CSS, Node.jsIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week20 Seats

Course Details

Financing
Financing available

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Basic computer knowledge
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Attend classes designed and taught by some of the industry’s best UX designers. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Become an apprentice or junior UX designer.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions.

Tuesday/Thursday, 6-9 p.m.

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Learn the tools and techniques you need to make better decisions through data, and land a job in one of the most sought after fields in tech.

Course Details

Interview
Yes
Placement Test
Yes
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week20 Seats

Skills & Tools Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Production Standard Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. The Big Picture Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior — from problems to solutions — can optimize any product or service.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Skills & Tools Gain proficiency in social advertising and use Facebook, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to find meaning in user behavior. Production Standard Develop and plan a campaign driven by data and paid‐search strategies — and measured by key performance indicators. The Big Picture Become a driver of your company's bottom line by using cutting‐edge techniques and platforms to market products and acquire users.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes

Boston

125 Summer Street Floor 13, Boston, Massachusetts 02110
Python, Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week20 Seats

Skills & Tools Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Production Standard Build statistical models — regression and classification — that generate usable information from raw data. The Big Picture Master the basics of machine learning and harness the power of data to forecast what’s next.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available, including Pave and Climb
Interview
Yes
Python, Data ScienceIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week20 Seats

Learn the tools and techniques you need to make better decisions through data, and land a job in one of the most sought after fields in tech.

Course Details

Interview
Yes
Placement Test
Yes
Digital MarketingIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week25 Seats

Skills & Tools Gain proficiency in social advertising and use Facebook, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to find meaning in user behavior. Production Standard Develop and plan a campaign driven by data and paid‐search strategies — and measured by key performance indicators. The Big Picture Become a driver of your company's bottom line by using cutting‐edge techniques and platforms to market products and acquire users.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
JavaScript, HTML, Git, Rails, SQL, Ruby, CSS, Node.js, Express.jsIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week30 Seats

Learn and apply the skills you need to start a career in code. Know Your Stuff Learn the most sought-after skills in tech, from JavaScript to Rails, with guidance from our team of experienced instructors. Develop New Skills Build real websites, APIs, and data-driven apps while collaborating with classmates on a range of projects. Get Hired Launch your new career in web development with the support of our career counselors through every step of the job search.

Course Details

Deposit
$250
Financing
Financing available through Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Placement Test
Yes
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available 

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week20 Seats

Attend classes designed and taught by some of the industry’s best UX designers. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Become an apprentice or junior UX designer.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
JavaScript, HTML, Git, CSSIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week25 Seats

Skills & Tools Use HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, GitHub, and Sublime in concert. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript websites Production Standard Build a fully responsive, interactive website that stands apart from the usual templates. Master technical vocabulary The Big Picture Understand how a skillful mix of programming and layout powers the web we see – and how teams collaborate to create it.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available, including  Pave and Climb
User Experience DesignIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week20 Seats

Skills & Tools Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Production Standard Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. The Big Picture Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior — from problems to solutions — can optimize any product or service.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week20 Seats

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions.

Tuesday/Thursday, 6:30-9:30 p.m. No class: Dec 22, Dec 24, Dec 29, Dec 31

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Austin

600 Congress Ave. 14th floor, Austin, TX 78701
JavaScript, HTML, Rails, Ruby, CSSIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Course Details

Deposit
$250
Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  AffirmSkillsFund, or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Java, AndroidIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Our full-time Android Development course is designed in partnership with Google. Together we've created a course that prepares you for a career in the field of Android app development. To prepare you for a new career, this course teaches the full life cycle of app development, from concept validation, through execution and launch of live, functional applications.

In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available 

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Build statistical models — regression, classification, clustering — that generate usable information from raw data. Master the basics of machine learning and harness large datasets to forecast what’s next.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
A good grasp of college-level statistics and probability. Ability to program in a scripting language such as Python or R.
JavaScript, jQueryIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

1JavaScript is a 10-week, part-time course that will teach students a set of intermediate front-end development skills using JavaScript, jQuery, Git and GitHub and the command line. For the final project, students will build a modern, single-page web application that utilizes industry best practices.

Python, Data Science, ExcelIn PersonFull Time

Become a Data Scientist. Learn the tools and techniques you need to make better decisions through data, and land a job in one of the most sought after fields in tech.

DesignIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Design plays a critical role in the success of any endeavor, whether it’s launching a new product, building a personal brand, or delivering a presentation. At the end of this 8-week part-time course, you’ll be able to use design tools, design principles, and practical design techniques to visually communicate your ideas in meaningful and compelling ways.

Design, User Experience DesignIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week20 Seats

In this part-time course, students learn the tools and techniques to design useful, functional, and pleasurable products. With an equal focus on theoretical frameworks and practical applications, students will progress through a final project of their choosing and receive feedback along the way. The project is designed to serve as an eventual portfolio piece, and will be worked through incrementally throughout the course.

Front End, JavaScript, HTML, jQuery, CSSIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

This 10-week course introduces students to the basics of programming for the web using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This is a beginners course that teaches students how to build the visual and interactive components of a website. Students learn how to create the structural foundation of a site (HTML), style it (CSS), and add logic to control the behavior (JavaScript) of their website. Students gain an understanding of how the web works and customize their sites using their own designs and ideas.

Digital MarketingIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

The course provides individuals with a solid foundation in marketing fundamentals—from segmenting a market to developing customer insight—and combines it with hands-on training in developing engaging content, and paid and unpaid tactics for acquiring and retaining new users.

User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Attend classes designed and taught by some of the industry’s best UX designers. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Become an apprentice or junior UX designer.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  AffirmSkillsFund, or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available 

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions.

Tuesday/Thursday, 6:30-9:30 p.m. No class: March 15, March 17

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Seattle

1218 Third Ave Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98101
Front End, JavaScript, HTML, Git, CSSIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, GitHub, and Sublime in concert. Build a fully responsive, interactive website that stands apart from the usual templates. Understand how a skillful mix of programming and layout powers the web we see – and how teams collaborate to create it. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/front-end-web-development. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Course is open to beginners. Some familiarity with HTML, CSS and/or JavaScript is useful but not required.
JavaScriptIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Learn to code in JavaScript, the native language of the web used by developers the world over. Build a single-page web app that persists user data and connects to services like Twitter and Facebook via APIs. Learn the fundamentals of object-oriented programming while receiving support from industry experts and a community of peers. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/javascript-development. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Familiarity with HTML and CSS is required. Some exposure to JavaScript is useful, but not required. Macs are preferred.
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available 

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes

Learn and apply the skills you need to start a career in code. Learn the most sought-after skills in tech, from JavaScript to Rails, with guidance from our team of experienced instructors. Build real websites, APIs, and data-driven apps while collaborating with classmates on a range of projects. Launch your new career in web development with the support of our career counselors through every step of the job search. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/web-development-immersive. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Course is open to beginners but familiarity with HTML, CSS and some exposure to JavaScript is ideal. Macs are strongly preferred.
Placement Test
Yes
Prep Work
Approximately 40 hours of self-guided pre-work to complete prior to starting the course.
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/data-analytics. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Course is open to beginners. Familiarity with Excel is useful, but not required.
Prep Work
Approximately 3 hours of self-guided pre-work to complete prior to starting the course.
MySQL, Python, Data Science, Git, SQL, HadoopIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Learn the tools and techniques you need to make better decisions through data, and land a job in one of the most sought after fields in tech. Create predictive models by learning to wrangle, analyze, and visualize data from our team of professional Data Scientist instructors. Develop hard skills like Unix, Git, SQL, Python, machine learning, and modeling techniques while creating your own data projects and applications. Take advantage of the growing demand for data and use the guidance and resources of our in-house career coaches to help you find work. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/data-science-immersive. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Basic SQL query knowledge/scripting and familiarity with Python required. Strong familiarity with math and descriptive statistics required. 2-5 years of experience as an analyst is ideal. Macs are strongly preferred.
Placement Test
Yes
Prep Work
Approximately 40 hours of self-guided pre-work to complete prior to starting the course.
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week20 Seats

Skills & Tools Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Production Standard Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. The Big Picture Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior — from problems to solutions — can optimize any product or service.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Digital MarketingIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Gain proficiency in social advertising and use Facebook, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to find meaning in user behavior. Develop and plan a campaign driven by data and paid‐search strategies -- and measured by key performance indicators. Become a driver of your company's bottom line by using cutting‐edge techniques and platforms to market products and acquire users. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/digital-marketing. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Course is open to beginners.
DesignIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Apply Photoshop’s powerful functions to digital product design. Start with an idea and a moodboard: finish with a production‐ready mockup of a responsive webpage. Grasp how effective visual communication -- from font pairings to style tiles -- helps translate compelling ideas across any team, in any field. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/visual-design. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Course is open to beginners. Some familiarity with Photoshop or Adobe CC is useful, but not required.
User Experience DesignIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior -- from problems to solutions -- can optimize any product or service. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/user-experience-design. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Course is open to beginners.
Python, Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Build statistical models -- regression, classification, clustering -- that generate usable information from raw data. Master the basics of machine learning and harness large datasets to forecast what’s next. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/data-science. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Familiarity with math and statistics and Python syntax/programming fundamentals is required.
Prep Work
Approximately 20 hours of self-guided pre-work to complete prior to starting the course.
User Experience DesignIn PersonPart Time40 Hours/week

This is an accelerated version of our User Experience Design part-time course - condensed into one week. Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior -- from problems to solutions -- can optimize any product or service. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/user-experience-design. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Course is open to beginners.
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Learn the UX design process and how to use the wants, behaviors, and needs of customers, to shape the functional design of everyday digital applications. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Launch your new career in UX design with the support of our career counselors through every step of the job search. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/user-experience-design-immersive. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Course is open to beginners. Macs are strongly preferred.
Placement Test
Yes
Prep Work
Approximately 15 hours of self-guided pre-work to complete prior to starting the course.

Online

Digital MarketingOnlinePart Time

From social media and content strategy to paid campaigns and analytics, you’ll learn digital-marketing tactics that greatly increase engagement. This course is offered on a flexible schedule to suit your time commitment. You'll receive useful feedback from a mentor who has extensive professional and academic knowledge of the field. By the end of the program students will have created a digital marketing campaign brief that will prepare them for planning, running, executing, and measuring a real campaign.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
Please see our course catalogue: http://bit.ly/2c6WT3t
Deposit
$250
Payment Plan
Most students choose to pursue a 2-part payment plan with a deposit of $250 and one additional installment of $500.
Rebate
Please see our course catalogue: http://bit.ly/2c6WT3t
Scholarship
No
Minimum Skill Level
No previous experience required.
Prep Work
1-2 hrs pre-course

Learn the skills you need to kickstart your career as a full-stack web developer. Our rigorous and interactive virtual classroom will help you develop the skills you need to become an entry-level developer, as well as the soft-skills necessary to land your first job, including career guidance services. Programs run on a set schedule (10am-6pm EST, Monday to Friday, 13 weeks) to ensure students are held accountable for completing the course. There’s no stopping web developers. More than 100,000 development positions have become available over the past year in just the United States. And with virtually every industry growing their digital efforts, that demand is expected to grow as much as 30% by 2020. Our future will be written in code, and we’ve been a part of building that future with our industry-leading, on-campus Web Development Immersive course - our full-stack web development career accelerator, which more than 3,000 alumni have completed around the world. Now we’re going digital. In our new full-time online Web Development Immersive Remote program, you can learn the full-stack skills you need to launch a coding career from anywhere that works for you — all in real-time, in a virtual classroom, led by an expert instructor.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
Please see our course catalogue: http://bit.ly/2c6WT3t
Deposit
$500
Financing
Available through Climb
Payment Plan
Available - discuss with your Admissions Representative.
Rebate
Please see our course catalogue: http://bit.ly/2c6WT3t
Scholarship
Available through General Assembly's Opportunity Fund https://generalassemb.ly/opportunity-fund
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
You do not have to be an experienced developer to be in this class. Candidates will be expected to show familiarity with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript during the Admission process, but we have tools in place that can help you get ready.
Prep Work
Students are expected to complete approximately 40 hours of pre-work once they are admitted to the course. This pre-work will prepare students with the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript ahead of the course start date.
JavaScript, HTML, CSSOnlinePart Time

Master the skills required to create dynamic, interactive user experiences with the popular and powerful programming language, JavaScript. This course is offered on a flexible schedule to suit your time commitment. You'll receive useful feedback from a mentor who has extensive professional and academic knowledge of the field. By the end of the program students will have built a full functioning website to use as part of a portfolio.

Course Details

Scholarship
No
Minimum Skill Level
No previous experience required.
Prep Work
1-2 hours pre-course.
Data Science, SQL, ExcelOnlinePart Time

Properly define a problem and design tests that get valid results. Use SQL to extract data from databases, then clean and prepare it for analysis. Use basic statistics and Excel to manipulate data in order to find patterns and answer questions. Communicate findings effectively using data visualization, dashboards, and presentations. This course is offered on a flexible schedule to suit your time commitment. You'll receive useful feedback from a mentor who has extensive professional and academic knowledge of the field. By the end of the program students will have conducted analysis on a real-world business and will have a project to use as part of a portfolio.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
Please see our course catalogue: http://bit.ly/2c6WT3t
Deposit
$250
Payment Plan
Most students choose to pursue a 3-part payment plan with a deposit of $250 and then 2 additional installments of $500.
Rebate
Please see our course catalogue: http://bit.ly/2c6WT3t
Scholarship
No
Minimum Skill Level
No previous experience required.
Prep Work
1-2 hrs pre-course

This course enables students to create a well-designed site with the user in mind, and master the technical vocabulary to communicate ideas to designers and engineers. Students will learn how to quickly translate their ideas into functional, stylized websites for personal or business purposes using HTML, CSS, responsive web design and design fundamentals. This course is offered on a flexible schedule to suit your time commitment. You'll receive useful feedback from a mentor who has extensive professional and academic knowledge of the field. By the end of the program students will have built a full functioning website to use as part of a portfolio.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
Please see our course catalogue: http://bit.ly/2c6WT3t
Deposit
$250
Payment Plan
Most students choose to pursue a 3-part payment plan with a deposit of $250 and then 2 additional installments of $500.
Rebate
Please see our course catalogue: http://bit.ly/2c6WT3t
Scholarship
No
Minimum Skill Level
No previous experience required.
Prep Work
1-2 hours pre-course.
User Experience DesignOnlinePart Time8 Hours/week

Master the mindful decision-making skills you need to design online experiences that captivate audiences and stand out from the competition. This course is offered on a flexible schedule to suit your time commitment. You'll receive useful feedback from a mentor who has extensive professional and academic knowledge of the field. By the end of the program students will have created a portfolio piece to demonstrate to potential employers.

Course Details

Contingency Fee
Please see our course catalogue: http://bit.ly/2c6WT3t
Deposit
$250
Payment Plan
Most students choose to pursue a 3-part payment plan with a deposit of $250 and then 2 additional installments of $300.
Rebate
Please see our course catalogue: http://bit.ly/2c6WT3t
Scholarship
No.
Minimum Skill Level
No previous experience required.
Prep Work
1-2 hrs pre-course

Atlanta

675 Ponce de Leon Ave NE Suite W207, , GA 30308
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Build statistical models — regression, classification, clustering — that generate usable information from raw data. Master the basics of machine learning and harness large datasets to forecast what’s next.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
A good grasp of college-level statistics and probability. Ability to program in a scripting language such as Python or R.
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Skills & Tools Gain proficiency in social advertising and use Facebook, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to find meaning in user behavior. Production Standard Develop and plan a campaign driven by data and paid‐search strategies — and measured by key performance indicators. The Big Picture Become a driver of your company's bottom line by using cutting‐edge techniques and platforms to market products and acquire users.

In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available 

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Attend classes designed and taught by some of the industry’s best UX designers. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Become an apprentice or junior UX designer.

Except: Dec 21, Dec 22, Dec 23, Dec 24, Dec 25, Dec 28, Dec 29, Dec 30, Dec 31, Jan 1, Jan 18

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
HTML, Rails, Ruby, CSSIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

No Classes: Dec 21, Dec 22, Dec 23, Dec 24, Dec 25, Dec 28, Dec 29, Dec 30, Dec 31, Jan 1, Jan 18

Course Details

Deposit
$250
Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
In PersonFull Time

Learn the tools and techniques you need to make better decisions through data, and land a job in one of the most sought after fields in tech. Create predictive models by learning to wrangle, analyze, and visualize data from our team of professional Data Scientist instructors. Develop hard skills like Unix, Git, SQL, Python, machine learning, and modeling techniques while creating your own data projects and applications. Take advantage of the growing demand for data and use the guidance and resources of our in-house career coaches to help you find work. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/data-science-immersive. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Basic SQL query knowledge/scripting and familiarity with Python required. Strong familiarity with math and descriptive statistics required. 2-5 years of experience as an analyst is ideal. Macs are strongly preferred.
Placement Test
Yes
Prep Work
Approximately 40 hours of self-guided pre-work to complete prior to starting the course.
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week20 Seats

Skills & Tools Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Production Standard Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. The Big Picture Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior — from problems to solutions — can optimize any product or service.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions.

Tuesday/Thursday, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Singapore

Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Build statistical models — regression, classification, clustering — that generate usable information from raw data. Master the basics of machine learning and harness large datasets to forecast what’s next.

Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
A good grasp of college-level statistics and probability. Ability to program in a scripting language such as Python or R.
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Attend classes designed and taught by some of the industry’s best UX designers. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Become an apprentice or junior UX designer.

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Scholarship
$3,000 SGD for citizens of Singapore
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Minimum of 3 credits in any 'O' level subjects (or equivalent), including English Language.
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available 

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions.

Tuesday/Thursday, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
AngularJS, JavaScript, MongoDB, HTML, HTML, jQuery, CSS, Node.jsIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Course Details

Deposit
$150 SGD
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Minimum 18 years of age; Minimum of 3 credits in any 'O' level subjects (or equivalent), including English Language
In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Learn the tools and techniques you need to make better decisions through data, and land a job in one of the most sought after fields in tech. Create predictive models by learning to wrangle, analyze, and visualize data from our team of professional Data Scientist instructors. Develop hard skills like Unix, Git, SQL, Python, machine learning, and modeling techniques while creating your own data projects and applications. Take advantage of the growing demand for data and use the guidance and resources of our in-house career coaches to help you find work. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/data-science-immersive. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Basic SQL query knowledge/scripting and familiarity with Python required. Strong familiarity with math and descriptive statistics required. 2-5 years of experience as an analyst is ideal. Macs are strongly preferred.
Placement Test
Yes
Prep Work
Approximately 40 hours of self-guided pre-work to complete prior to starting the course.
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week20 Seats

Skills & Tools Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Production Standard Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. The Big Picture Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior — from problems to solutions — can optimize any product or service.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Skills & Tools Gain proficiency in social advertising and use Facebook, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to find meaning in user behavior. Production Standard Develop and plan a campaign driven by data and paid‐search strategies — and measured by key performance indicators. The Big Picture Become a driver of your company's bottom line by using cutting‐edge techniques and platforms to market products and acquire users.

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes

Melbourne

12A, 45 William Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions.

Monday/Wednesday, 6-9 p.m. No class: December 21, 23, 28, 30

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Learn the tools and techniques you need to make better decisions through data, and land a job in one of the most sought after fields in tech. Create predictive models by learning to wrangle, analyze, and visualize data from our team of professional Data Scientist instructors. Develop hard skills like Unix, Git, SQL, Python, machine learning, and modeling techniques while creating your own data projects and applications. Take advantage of the growing demand for data and use the guidance and resources of our in-house career coaches to help you find work. Find more information at https://generalassemb.ly/education/data-science-immersive. Questions or want to chat with our team -- email seattle_admissions@generalassemb.ly or call (206) 258-7033.

Course Details

Financing
Lending partners available - please contact our admissions team for more details.
Payment Plan
Payment plans available.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Basic SQL query knowledge/scripting and familiarity with Python required. Strong familiarity with math and descriptive statistics required. 2-5 years of experience as an analyst is ideal. Macs are strongly preferred.
Placement Test
Yes
Prep Work
Approximately 40 hours of self-guided pre-work to complete prior to starting the course.
User Experience DesignIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior — from problems to solutions — can optimize any product or service.

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
User Experience DesignIn PersonPart Time40 Hours/week

Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior — from problems to solutions — can optimize any product or service

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Minimum Skill Level
Beginners
JavaScript, HTML, CSSIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, GitHub, and Sublime in concert. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript websites. Build a fully responsive, interactive website that stands apart from the usual templates. Understand how a skillful mix of programming and layout powers the web we see – and how teams collaborate to create it.

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Product ManagementIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Digital MarketingIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Gain proficiency in social advertising and use Facebook, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to find meaning in user behavior. Develop and plan a campaign driven by data and paid‐search strategies — and measured by key performance indicators. Become a driver of your company's bottom line by using cutting‐edge techniques and platforms to market products and acquire users.

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Python, Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Build statistical models — regression and classification — that generate usable information from raw data. Master the basics of machine learning and harness the power of data to forecast what’s next.

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Attend classes designed and taught by some of the industry’s best UX designers. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Become an apprentice or junior UX designer.

Course Details

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
AngularJS, Front End, JavaScript, MongoDB, HTML, Rails, jQuery, Ruby, CSS, Node.jsIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Course Details

Deposit
$250
Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Denver

2420 17th st. 3rd floor , , CO 80202
AngularJS, JavaScript, MongoDB, HTML, Rails, jQuery, Ruby, CSS, Node.jsIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Course Details

Deposit
$250
Financing
Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through Climb or SkillsFund
Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Data ScienceIn PersonFull Time

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through Climb or SkillsFund
Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available 

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Digital MarketingIn PersonFull Time

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through Climb or SkillsFund.
Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Front End, JavaScript, HTML, Git, CSSIn PersonFull Time

Front End, JavaScript, HTML, Git, CSS

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through Climb or SkillsFund.
Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Python, Data Science, SQLIn PersonFull Time

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through ClimbSkillsFund
Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
User Experience DesignIn PersonPart Time

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through ClimbSkillsFund.
Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
JavaScriptIn PersonFull Time

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through ClimbSkillsFund
Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available

Chicago

444 N. Wabash 5th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Guide a product through its lifecycle via lean methodologies like Agile, market research, UX, and financial modeling. Create a roadmap, business model canvas, MVP, key metrics, personas, wireframing, and a stakeholder management plan. Grow capable of launching viable, market‐ready products that anticipate user needs by making tough decisions and working with stakeholders.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available 

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Front End, JavaScript, HTML, Rails, Ruby, CSSIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Course Details

Deposit
$250
Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
User Experience DesignIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Attend classes designed and taught by some of the industry’s best UX designers. Apply your UX skills across five class projects and build a working portfolio. Become an apprentice or junior UX designer.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time6 Hours/week

Use SQL, Excel, and Tableau to extract, analyze, and illustrate real‐world data. Create data visualizations and dashboards to present and communicate important findings. Use descriptive statistical analysis to make informed, effective decisions.

Monday/Wednesday, 6-9 p.m.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner
In PersonFull Time
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week20 Seats

Skills & Tools Use industry standard tools such as Sketch and Invision to prototype and wireframe design solutions. Production Standard Put together a full suite of UX documentation for a digital product, from user personas and wireframes to interactive prototypes. The Big Picture Connect and convey how insights into customer behavior — from problems to solutions — can optimize any product or service.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Climb and Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
In PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Gain proficiency in social advertising and use Facebook, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to find meaning in user behavior. Develop and plan a campaign driven by data and paid‐search strategies — and measured by key performance indicators. Become a driver of your company's bottom line by using cutting‐edge techniques and platforms to market products and acquire users.

Data ScienceIn PersonPart Time4 Hours/week

Use Python to mine datasets and predict patterns. Build statistical models — regression, classification, clustering — that generate usable information from raw data. Master the basics of machine learning and harness large datasets to forecast what’s next.

Course Details

Financing
General Assembly has partnerships with Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment plans available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
A good grasp of college-level statistics and probability. Ability to program in a scripting language such as Python or R.

In this program, you’ll learn everything you need to create Android apps from scratch: programming, material design, connecting to third-party services, and iterative design during development sprints — all adapted for the platform.

Course Details

Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  Affirm or Pave.

Payment Plan
Payment Plans Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Dallas

311 N Market St. #200, , Texas 75202
JavaScript, HTML, Rails, RubyIn PersonFull Time40 Hours/week

Course Details

Deposit
$250
Financing
Financing available through Earnest  Climb  AffirmSkillsFund, or Pave.
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

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Our latest on General Assembly

  • Alumni Spotlight: Gladia Castro of General Assembly

    Imogen Crispe12/12/2017

    Gladia Castro enjoyed working as a program director with the YMCA in San Francisco, but after 10 years, she couldn’t see herself working at nonprofits for her whole life. When she saw General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive, she immediately knew that UX Design was her destiny. Gladia tells us about working on a real client project for senior citizens at General Assembly and why she’s encouraging more people of color to get into tech. Today, she’s still inspired by nonprofits, but works with them as a Product Associate for Flipcause!

    Q&A

    What was your background before you decided to get into UX Design?

    My education background is in kinesiology. I wanted to be a physical therapist or a trainer. I played college basketball and my original dream was to play in the WNBA, but I got knee injuries and couldn’t continue.

    Before I took the UX Design Immersive at General Assembly, my career was in nonprofits. I spent 10 years at the YMCA running youth programs for kindergartners through sixth grade. It was actually my first job; I started as a summer counselor, then after-school teacher, and worked my way up into an admin role and then a directorial role. I had grown up with the YMCA and loved doing it.

    Two years ago, I realized that I didn't want to work at the YMCA for my whole life, but I also didn't want to go back to a super expensive university. I wanted to find a training program that was quick and would be flexible with my schedule.

    How did you learn about UX Design as a career?

    I talked to my brother, who is a product designer at SAP (a software company that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations) about changing careers, and he briefly explained UX design and suggested that I try it.

    Even though my brother got a bachelors degree in graphic design, he suggested that I go to General Assembly for their User Experience Design Immersive program because he had a few friends who went there. I pulled out my phone and looked up GA and I had an epiphany. I felt like I was meant to be a UX designer. So I took that route and the rest is history!

    Did you feel like you had the right background without having studied design?

    My brother told me that I didn’t really need a specific background for UX Design and people of all backgrounds can learn it. You don't need to have a design background – you can easily learn that. The deeper skill is to understand people, have an open mind and be able to adapt quickly to change. UX involves so much psychology, so I use my background in education and the process of empathizing for my job in UX.

    What was the General Assembly application and interview process like? Was it competitive?

    The application was a little intimidating at first. I worried they would ask me crazy questions about design, but it was really simple and seamless. You start with an interview, which they take very seriously.

    GA has a part-time course, but based on my research, I wanted to get the most out of it, so I chose the full-time course. They want to make sure that you are really motivated because this is an intense 10 weeks. During the interview, a staff member gave me a problem to solve about shopping and asked how I would fix it. I wasn't sure how to present it so I created a PowerPoint of it. I think that showed them I was very serious, and within a day they told me I had been accepted.

    One of my biggest concerns was financing, but General Assembly made it super simple. They have a great system for registering and getting payments set up.

    Once you started at General Assembly in San Francisco, what was the learning experience and schedule like?

    The Immersive was pretty much a 9am to 5pm job. The first half of the day was always a lecture. We had a pretty big cohort so they split us into two classrooms. Then throughout the 10 weeks, we built five projects. We would take one or two weeks to learn about a concept, then put that knowledge towards a project. They just went over so much information so quickly, but it was super helpful. I look back now and still think a lot of what I learned was useful. It was a really cool experience building relationships with other students and colleagues.

    What kind of backgrounds did people in your cohort come from?

    There was definitely a wide range of backgrounds in my cohort. For example, one student was a neuroscientist; another was the operations manager for the Olympics. But we realized that we all have the same story – that we want to start a new career. I was one of only two Hispanic people in the course. My goal now is to get as many people of color to join tech and try to recruit them to my company too.

    Our cohort was super close and full of really bright people. We were like a family. When you spend so much time together and go through the same experience, you build really strong relationships. We're still really good friends now.

    What specific UX skills, tools, and technologies did you learn about in the course?

    We learned everything that we needed to know, but looking back now I’m in a job, the curriculum barely just scraped the surface. We went over user research, affinity mapping, post-its, and user interface design. They took a bit more time to teach us the foundation of concepts like user research and prototyping. We mainly worked with design software called Sketch. When it came to UI or how to select certain colors in the graphic design sense of it, There wasn’t enough time to go in-depth into color theory because the class was 10 weeks long.

    My main concern was "What if I fall behind?" But the GA team and the outcomes team put us at ease in that process. The learning itself was really overwhelming, so having someone look out for you and tell you what to do and how to network was super helpful.

    You mentioned that you worked on five projects during the program. Were any of those projects with real clients?

    Yeah. We started out working on super simple projects, then moved to group projects. The last project was a client project. I was assigned to a super small startup which was still in the idea phase. It was an app to help loved ones keep track of senior citizen relatives using an Apple watch and an iPhone app. We designed the app so that caregivers could keep track of the vitals of their loved one and the caregiver would be alerted if they fell. The senior citizen just had to worry about wearing the Apple watch.

    During user research, we actually went to a senior home and interviewed people over 60 and saw what technology they use. It was really eye-opening because most apps are built for the general public and seniors are often forgotten. It taught me that when we design apps, we have to take the user into consideration.

    Because the company was so new, the client was super involved and we had to tread very carefully. That helped me learn how to speak to clients. The whole experience was really valuable and super gratifying.

    In addition to working on these real projects, how else did GA prepare you for job hunting?

    The outcomes team taught us how to prepare our resumes and LinkedIn profiles and really prepared us to network; how to reach out to someone for a coffee and have questions ready. That was really awesome.

    I also learned how to build my brand and figure out how I want people to interpret me when they glance at my LinkedIn page. You’re not guaranteed to get a job after General Assembly. The course is designed to give you the basic tools so you can keep learning on the job.

    How did you approach the job hunt?

    I was in a grind-hustle mode throughout the whole course. I would attend networking events and reach out to designers. I had a mentor who was a designer at Airbnb and that was super helpful. It was building those relationships, networking, putting myself out there, and volunteering at events so that I could get in for free and get to know the people who ran the event.

    We were also encouraged to ask random designers in the industry for feedback on our portfolios. It's a little intimidating at first, but what you get out of it is just so worth it.

    How did you find your job at Flipcause?

    After I graduated, I wrote a Medium blog post called, "Why I Quit My Job to Become a UX Designer." It was such a hit. My brother shared it with his network and I shared it on Facebook and Twitter. Someone at Leanplum in San Francisco came across that post, and that actually got me my first UX internship. Since I published that piece, a lot of current students from GA, and random people interested in UX design have reached out to me. It's been a really humbling experience.

    Once I was done with my internship at Leanplum, I looked on Muse.com, Indeed.com, AngelList, and LinkedIn. Most of the employers would say, "Oh, you're doing great but we need more experience."

    I came across an ad on Craigslist for a Customer Success Manager at Flipcause. It wasn’t a UX role, but I fell in love with the company’s mission to help nonprofits. I was meant to work here and I decided I would work here no matter what. I applied for the customer success job, reached out to the CEO via LinkedIn and Facebook, and emailed him. About two weeks later he responded to me saying that the position had been filled, but that they were looking to add someone as a Product Associate, who troubleshoots bugs and works on UX/UI. He called me in for an interview and I'm still here. It's been an awesome experience and I'm so glad I stalked the CEO!

    What does Flipcause do and what does your Product Associate role involve?

    Flipcause is a cross-platform software that integrates everything nonprofits need – crowdfunding, volunteer recruitment, event planning, and donations – into one piece of affordable software. Our mission is to work with small nonprofits that don't have tons of funding and don't know where to start, and take care of technology for them. We believe in helping nonprofits make a greater impact with fewer resources. We're growing like crazy because there's nobody else doing this. It's just so great to see the impact on nonprofits.

    My role is always evolving and we're a startup so I wear many hats. I do QA (quality assurance), product design, and UX/UI. I interact with developers, making sure that our product is working well and that our clients are satisfied. If there are any issues, we try to troubleshoot and fix the issues right away. Some days I may be working on marketing and building a pretty UI, and then other days I'm tackling UX issues and redesigning certain things based on client feedback. It’s really exciting.

    Now that our product team is growing, I'm bringing new ideas. We recently switched to Sketch on my suggestion; before that, they were using Photoshop.

    How large is the product team at Flipcause?

    There are three people: my project manager, myself, and a customer experience person. We also have a team of developers overseas. In 2018, we're planning to scale a lot. We hope to bring on some more product managers so it will be interesting to expand after being in a smaller team.

    Are you using the skills and tools that you learned at General Assembly? Do you feel like GA had fully prepared you for the role?

    I feel like GA prepared me with the basic UX tools, and the rest I learned along the way in my internship and at Flipcause. General Assembly was the foundation. The Outcomes team told us that being successful is a matter of finding your voice and your brand, going with it, and being confident in yourself. I took that approach and ran with it, and it worked for me. We all get impostor syndrome at some point, wondering if you belong or if you’re doing the right thing, but you have to convince yourself and be confident.

    My team at Flipcause is super close; we work really well together and we're always open to feedback. They love that I went to GA and hearing about the tools and techniques I learned there. For example, Flipcause wanted to focus on personas, which I learned about at General Assembly. Now I'm leading a workshop on personas and using some of those resources from GA.

    Since you've been at Flipcause how do you feel you've grown as a UX designer?

    Flipcause takes growth very seriously and they want employees to grow. I've learned so much, and a lot of times I've had to learn things on my own, and I'm okay with that. But whenever I need help, I know who to reach out to.

    I’ve realized how important communication is, and it makes me want to eventually learn to code so I can better communicate with our developers. That's probably my next goal. You don't need to know how to code for this job, but I'd like to know the different languages within a product so that I can become a better product manager and UX designer.

    To keep learning, I always take at least 30 minutes a day to read new articles on Medium and other newsletters (uxdesign.cc, Sarah Doody, Invision, etc). I want to stay ahead of the game because our field is constantly changing, and there's always new software coming out.

    How do you think your background in nonprofits is proving useful in your UX role?

    I was always thinking on the run in non-profits, and those nine years have really prepared me and helped me grow at Flipcause, and as a UX and product professional.

    My background involved a little bit of psychology as well. Knowing how to empathize and knowing the people who you're serving is so important. At the YMCA I found that the curriculum that worked for a first-grader wouldn't work for a sixth grader. And the same goes for any kind of product – you must understand your clientele.

    The ability to learn on the go is also beneficial in adapting to new circumstances. One day I might be working on a data project, and another day I’ll be doing something creative, so my mind has to totally switch. It's definitely challenging, but it's an exciting challenge.

    What role do you think GA has played in your success? Could you have got to where you are by self-teaching?

    I think that depends on the person. Personally, I need some sort of direction. I like structure in my education. I'm a visual learner, so the hands-on projects and interacting with people at General Assembly was really helpful for me.

    How important do you think it is to be involved with the UX community in your city. Have you been able to stay involved with GA or joined other groups?

    My GA classmates and I have a Slack channel to stay connected with each other. Anytime there's great news or there's a job opening at our company, we post it there.

    I joined Hexagon UX Community for women to stay in touch with what women in our sector are doing. I would like to attend more networking events. I want to share my story more often because I know there are so many people out there who are in the same position that I was in. I want to give them the sense that it's doable.

    What advice do you have for people who are thinking about making a career change by going through a UX bootcamp?

    My advice would be to do your research. Don't just jump into it if you're not quite sure. You know yourself better than anyone else, so be aware of that.

    Once you make that decision, plan out some goals so that you can hold yourself accountable and keep yourself sharp. If I hadn't written myself any goals, I wouldn't have been as hungry to succeed. Some people have the luxury to go to school and then take their time to find a job, but if you're someone who needs a job right away, know that you have to work extra hard to get to where you need to be.

    Don't be afraid to network. That was huge for me. Listen to some podcasts. That was really helpful for learning about what other UX designers do and how they started out in UX. And then do general research, see what's trending, and never give up. If you put your mind to it, you can totally do it. It's about having the right attitude and knowing that things aren't going to be easy – they're going to be hard – and just embracing that.

    Find out more and read General Assembly reviews on Course Report. Check out the General Assembly website.

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • October 2017 Coding Bootcamp News + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe12/5/2017

    October 2017 was a busy month for the coding bootcamp industry with news about growing pains in bootcamp outcomes, mergers, acquisitions, investments, a trend towards bootcamp B2B training, and diversity initiatives. To help you out, we’ve collected all the most important news in this blog post and podcast. Plus, we added 12 new schools from around the world to the Course Report school directory! Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.

    Continue Reading →
  • General Assembly's Connected Classroom Model in Dallas

    Imogen Crispe10/12/2017

    The General Assembly team saw Austin grads getting web developer roles all over Texas, and realized expanding its offerings to Dallas was a growth opportunity for local talent and employers. General Assembly chose Dallas because of its population size and abundance of web development job opportunities — including Fortune 500 jobs. We sat down with GA Senior Regional Director Paul Gleger and Online Learning Director Adi Hanash to find out how GA's Connected Classroom model allows the school to expand more efficiently, connects students to global instructors, and fosters a wider network of people and information.

    Q&A

    Why has General Assembly decided to open its Web Development Immersive program to Dallas students?

    Paul: We've been operating our campus in Austin for about three years now. We've established a really strong community there with hundreds of alumni who are getting jobs in the Austin market and surrounding areas. We decided to offer Dallas students our most popular program — our Web Development Immersive, a full-time, 12-week course, through our new Connected Classroom delivery format.

    Dallas is a fantastic opportunity for a few different reasons. As a metro area, it's one of the largest cities in Texas in terms of population and job market. As with all the cities where GA operates, we see a significant skills gap there. I think it's becoming very apparent that continued technical training is essential for a market like Dallas to grow and thrive.

    Many Fortune 500 companies are based in Dallas, and that directly ties into the existing job opportunities in the market. During all of our full-time Immersive programs, students work with our experienced career coaches to get the real-world preparation they need to translate the skills they learn in the classroom into job offers.

    How does General Assembly usually decide where to expand next?

    Paul: At this point, we're thinking through how we can expand into markets where we don't have a presence beyond our fully online programs. We’re really trying to understand, in a functional way, the marketplaces and demands in various cities, and how the training we provide can help bolster the local workforce.

    Tell us about the new Connected Classrooms delivery format.

    Paul: Our new Connected Classroom format is a groundbreaking model that allows our students to benefit from the best of online and in-person learning. Our students work with global instructors online while getting support from local experts to ensure each student gets personalized attention to stay on track and succeed beyond the classroom. We link our Austin and Dallas classrooms as a single community of learners, which fosters a powerful network for future collaborations. We can start operations much faster, while ensuring a really high-quality instructional experience.

    Adi: Instead of having to find and vet new instructors and get them up to speed on teaching our curriculum that thousands of students have gone through already, we can get our most experienced instructors from around the U.S. in front of anyone, anywhere. Through this blended format, our Dallas and Austin students will learn from a world-class lead instructor, collaborate with classmates across geographies, and have in-class support. This is a format we built and scaled over the last year, and we’re excited to expand it further.

    I know there are already a few coding bootcamps in Dallas. I'm interested in how you think the GA offering will stand out among those?

    Adi: Our Connected Classroom format is a major differentiator — there's probably nothing comparable to it at the moment

    Paul: Then there’s the scale of General Assembly — the hands-on support we provide to students with career-coaching, and our extensive relationships with employers in Texas and beyond. We want the skills we teach to translate to what our graduates will be expected to do once in the workforce. As a result, we develop and revise our curriculum based on feedback we get from our employer partners.

    While students in Dallas will meet and hear from local employers, they’ll also have access to GA’s global hiring community through GA Profiles, an online network for graduates and hiring managers. Leading up to our flagship hiring events, students progress through our in-class and post-class outcomes curriculum, guided by GA’s trained career coaches. Coaches ensure everyone is fully prepared and taking a strategic approach to their job search.

    Adi: Another thing we bring is we’ve done this for so long. We’ve taught thousands of Immersive students, and helped graduates successfully learn the material and then transition into exciting careers using their new skills.

    How will the classroom be set up? What kind of facilities will there be?

    Adi: Our classrooms are equipped with a range of technologies that make learning and collaboration easy, no matter where you’re located. You’ll be working with local classmates, classmates in other locations, and our global instructor. Local support staff will be in the room, circulating as needed. Then, we've installed two giant monitors in the front of the class, so students can see their instructor, who is teaching online, as well as fellow classmates in other locations. If you're in Dallas you can see your Austin classmates, and vice versa.

    One monitor or projector is dedicated to the instructor’s presentation. On this screen, you’ll be able to follow along with your global instructor as they share content, code along with you, or give whiteboard explanations.

    The rooms are also outfitted with microphones. The online instructors have video feeds of both classrooms, and everyone can hear one another as needed. So at any point, if a student has a question, the instructor teaching online can call on you — and everyone in Dallas, Austin, and the remote instructor will be able to hear you.

    It's been really exciting to see how well this has developed and the positive feedback we’re getting from students around the collaboration and the larger network the Connected Classrooms provide.

    How will the experience work from a student point of view?

    Adi: In our Connected Classroom environment, our students can choose to physically attend class every day with their classmates and local support. Throughout the day, they learn through both online lessons from their global instructor and get questions answered in person by their local support. Throughout the course, students collaborate with classmates locally and from other locations as they work through real-life coding exercises and projects.

    It’s a perfect blend of great online instruction, personalized support, and a mixture of all of our available online resources.

    How will students in the different locations interact?

    Adi: We facilitate discussions among different people in different locations. A student could ask a question in one city that someone in another city will actually have to answer. Our goal is to create an environment in which students have visibility into all of the classrooms they're working with at the same time. Students can see both their instructors and classmates in other locations.

    Where else have you already tried this teaching format and how did it go?

    Adi: We ran the pilot with a classroom in Santa Monica and a classroom in San Francisco. While we expected the cross-city collaboration aspect to be hugely important, one of the things we didn't realize was just how much students would relish it.

    We use Slack to manage communications between students and instructors, and we saw that students in different cities started using Slack to connect and collaborate on homework and projects. We actually had students in Santa Monica drive up to San Francisco on their own accord, get an Airbnb, attend from San Francisco for the week, and just hang out with their classmates there. Seeing them make those connections reinforced the importance of expanding our students' communities and networks by innovating on how we define and develop our classroom models.

    What's been really exciting about the format in particular is not just the efficacy with which students learn the material and evolve through the course, but how it also gives students access to a much larger network of peers and collaborators. It's not just, "Oh, I'm working with someone online, then I'm working with someone in person." Our students graduate with a professional network beyond their own city. The format also emulates the best practices when working and developing professional relationships with colleagues in remote environments.

    Will you expand this model further in the future?

    Adi: Absolutely. We're interested in being able to reach new markets, spaces, and cities, and give them access to world-class instructors and our vetted curriculum. We want to be able to provide similar educational options to someone in Dallas as we can to someone in Topeka, Kansas. Whether it's this blend of online and in person, or if it’s completely online, we're trying to find an opportunity to open up what we can for anyone, regardless of where they are.

    What about your existing campuses? Are you thinking about transitioning those to follow this Connected Classroom format as well?

    Adi: We're interested in doing that. I think the feedback around the Connected Classroom program has been really positive. The short answer is yes, we're interested in expanding it to our larger campuses to find a way to build a more robust community of learners online.

    Paul: In terms of our existing campuses, those operations are going to continue, with the added capability of this new delivery modality. We are already running our Data Science Immersive program using this Connected Classroom model in all U.S. markets, which is super exciting.

    How many students will you have in the first WDI cohort in Dallas?

    Paul: We anticipate the total class, including both cities, will be close to our average class size for the Web Development Immersive program, which is about 20 students.

    How are you expanding your presence within the Dallas hiring community?

    Paul: We're currently building a workforce council for Dallas with the top thought leaders in the city, across various sectors, who can help shape the pathways students are going to be taking after they graduate, and also come on board as some of our flagship hiring partners in the market.

    You mentioned that some of your Austin graduates have already found jobs in the Dallas area. Could you give me some examples?

    Paul: Austin graduates have already found great jobs at Dallas organizations including Razorfish, Forte Payment Systems, Nielsen, and Apex Systems. We're looking forward to rapidly expanding and deepening relationships with many more Dallas employers.

    When are you expecting to open your program to Dallas students? Can students apply yet?

    Paul: Our program is going to launch on December 4. We’ll organize info sessions and introductory classes leading up to the launch, with the goal of giving visibility into the field of web development and providing more details about the upcoming course.

    Applications are open now. We already have students in Dallas who are going through the interview process.

    What’s the on-site experience going to be like for students?

    Paul: Students in Dallas can take this program at the Dallas Entrepreneurship Center, whose team is going to be a key partner for us. One of the advantages of launching with a partner like Dallas Entrepreneurship Center is that our students will join a strong, established community, and have access to events and learning opportunities happening there. We have similar partnerships in other cities where our partners provide students access to a thriving tech community. That’s an important value-add.

    Find out more and read General Assembly reviews on Course Report. Check out the General Assembly website.

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • September 2017 Coding Bootcamp News + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe9/28/2017

    Need a rundown of everything that happened in the coding bootcamp industry this September? You’re in luck! We’ve collected all the most important news in this blog post and podcast. This month, we kept up with the status of the bootcamp industry, learned about how bootcamps are thriving in smaller markets, and explored different ways to pay for bootcamp. Plus, we added 7 new schools from around the world to the Course Report school directory! Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.

    Continue Reading →
  • August 2017 Coding Bootcamp News + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe12/8/2017

    Why do journalists and industry leaders think that two coding bootcamps are closing? And despite these “shutdowns,” why do companies like IBM still want to hire coding bootcamp graduates? We’re covering all of the industry news from August. Plus, a $3 billion GI Bill that covers coding bootcamps for veterans, why Google and Amazon are partnering with bootcamps, and diversity initiatives. Listen to our podcast or read the full August 2017 News Roundup below.

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  • Why General Assembly Teaches Data Science in Atlanta

    Imogen Crispe8/10/2017

    Atlanta is home to tech startups like MailChimp and Cardlytics, in addition to powerhouses like Home Depot, and Delta Airlines. Alternative education providers like General Assembly are fueling the hiring needs of these Atlanta companies, and we’re diving into GA’s Data Science Immersive with instructor Justin Pounders. Justin tells us about the extensive background he brings to the General Assembly teaching team, why data science skills are in-demand in Atlanta, and why he’s excited about the growing relationship between GA and the local community.

    Q&A

    What’s your background and what led you to join General Assembly as a data science instructor?

    I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of mathematics, computers, and problem solving. I have a Ph.D. in Computational Nuclear Engineering from Georgia Tech, and I’ve worked in both the industry, as well as academia as a research professor. I’ve found that I really enjoy teaching. I saw data science as an emerging field where I felt I could have the most impact and pursue my passion of solving interesting and challenging problems using mathematics and computers.

    I first heard about General Assembly through a “Talk Data To Me” evening workshop in Boston, where I was living at the time. It seemed like a cool organization, not only because of their classes, but also because they were engaged in the local community, and hosting workshops and events that brought people together around exciting tech topics. About a year later, I was contacted about the Instructor position here in Atlanta and it seemed like a great opportunity. I’ve been here for three months.

    What immersive courses or tracks are available at the Atlanta campus? How long has the campus and the data science bootcamp been running?

    The General Assembly Atlanta campus has been open for about three years.  We have three immersive programs: User Experience Design Immersive, Web Development Immersive, and Data Science Immersive.

    In Atlanta, we just finished our third Data Science Immersive cohort.

    Can you tell us more about the demand for data science skills in Atlanta?

    General Assembly chose to teach data science in Atlanta because this city has a vibrant and growing tech scene, especially in data science. Anyone interested in Atlanta tech is also interested in data science and its applications.

    There are a lot of big companies in Atlanta, and these companies are starting to realize that there is a lot of value behind data science. The insights and knowledge that companies can derive from data science and analytical techniques that we teach at General Assembly are becoming more in-demand. And I think that demand for data science and the skills we teach is just going to continue to grow.

    How did you decide which technologies to teach in the Data Science Immersive?

    We start off in SQL, which is the most fundamental language you need to know in order to extract data from databases. We then teach Python and tools in the Python ecosystem – ie. Pandas, NumPy, scikit-learn, and TensorFlow. All of those technologies are interwoven with the foundational mathematics and the theoretical knowledge that goes into data science.

    I think it’s a great decision to teach Python because Python is a general purpose programming language. R is more tailored for statistics and statistical computations, but Python is very general, and there is a lot you can do within data science and outside of data science. If you look at the data science community as a whole, I think Python is emerging as the top language for data science. The ecosystem and the tools in Python for data science have been growing very rapidly over the last couple of years, so it’s a great technology to be teaching our students.

    General Assembly has several campuses around the world; how do you tweak the curriculum in Atlanta to support the market needs?

    We teach a base curriculum throughout all of our campuses globally. But within each market, we do adapt the curriculum based on local student needs and the local market trends we observe.

    For example, we have started talking to people in the Atlanta government. They have some interesting data projects that I would like to tie into our curriculum going forward, because it brings local problems into the classroom. Then the students would be working on projects that are directly applicable and relevant to the city in which they live.

    How does teaching at a data science bootcamp compare with your experience teaching at a college?

    I was a university professor at a very traditional academic institution, and I came straight from that environment to General Assembly. I think that General Assembly’s immersive format is wonderful, because it allows students to get into rapidly emerging tech fields at a very accelerated pace, without going the traditional academic route. In all honesty, traditional academia might be lagging behind in tech. That pace is what’s most exciting about the kind of educational opportunities that places like General Assembly are offering.

    The immersive structure forces me to teach differently than a university lecture. An immersive bootcamp is full time, 8 hours a day, so I try to make my lectures engaging – less like formal lectures and more like lessons. I help guide students through a concept, make sure there is plenty of time for students to have hands on activities and labs, and keep them engaged and actively learning. We also teach much more new content in this immersive format than I ever did at university. On average, the students in an immersive bootcamp learn two brand new concepts every day, whereas at university it might be one or two a week. So it’s much more accelerated. I’ve been really happy to see how the General Assembly students have shown the grit and determination to succeed at a very rapid pace.

    How many instructors or mentors are supporting students in Atlanta?

    There’s one Lead Instructor and one Instructional Associate in the Data Science Immersive. The Instructional Associate is very actively involved. He or she will deliver some of the lessons and lectures, and also be very hands-on, working with students one-on-one, and helping students with their projects.

    How many students do you usually have in each immersive course cohort?

    There are roughly 11 students in each Data Science Immersive, and the Web Development Immersive tends to have larger classes and they are offered more frequently. Data Science is offered about twice a year.

    The next Atlanta data science cohort starts September 25th. In the meantime I’m doing curriculum development – I’m updating all of our Python curriculum from Python 2 to Python 3.

    Who are the students in the Atlanta Data Science Immersive?

    I get very excited about the students we have here in Atlanta. They come from a lot of different backgrounds, and most of them are from the Atlanta area. We have people with engineering and tech backgrounds, then we have students with very minimal tech backgrounds. But across the board, I’m excited to work with these students because they are very motivated, determined, they know what they want to accomplish, and they’ve chosen to come to General Assembly to reach their goals as quickly as possible.

    Do Data Science Immersive applicants need to have a background in programming?

    No, they don’t. We do have some prerequisites for the course, but we help students meet those prerequisites before they start the immersive by offering pre-course work. Students first go through the admissions process, which includes a basic “analysis challenge”, to ensure they have a basic fluency in algebra and statistics. Once students have been through that process and are admitted, they are given the pre-work. That includes online courses in how to program in Python, with basic probability and statistics, so even if they don’t have a tech or STEM background, they can get up to speed by the time the immersive starts.

    We monitor each student’s pre-work, we check for completion, and we’re also available if they have problems, questions, or issues, with the pre-work. That’s how we make sure everyone is really ready for the immersive on day one.

    What is the campus like? What neighborhood is it in?

    Our campus is terrific and it’s in Ponce City Market in Old Fourth Ward. I used to live in Atlanta, but I moved away for seven years, and when I came back, I couldn’t believe what they’d done with the General Assembly space. It’s an older building which has been refurbished to become a great retail space with lots of nice restaurants, plus a lot of other tech companies have moved into the space – Pinterest just moved next door. So it’s got this old industrial vibe with lots of open space, high ceilings, and natural light. I love the space. For the students, we have lots of classroom space, community working tables, a lounge out front where we host workshops and events, and kitchen with free coffee, water, fridges, and microwaves.

    I’ve only been to one other General Assembly campus, and I would say our campus feels particularly open and welcoming, just because we have lots of room, high ceilings, and natural light.

    There are a number of coding bootcamps in Atlanta now. What makes General Assembly stand out amongst the competition?

    I believe that General Assembly is the only full-time, immersive bootcamp which offers data science in Atlanta.

    One thing I really like about General Assembly is that in addition to the full-time immersive courses, we also offer lots of part-time and weekend bootcamps, as well as evening events, and community events that bring people together. A couple of days ago I gave an evening data talk, and had people attend from all over the Atlanta community who were interested in data and tech. We had a great discussion for almost two hours. It’s that sense of community that I love about General Assembly.

    Tell us about the partnerships with hiring companies that General Assembly has in Atlanta.

    Absolutely. A big part of General Assembly’s success comes from networking in the community to see who is hiring, and what skills they are looking for. Then we try to equip students with those skills. We have staff who focus all their time on helping our students find jobs and get placed with companies in the area. Some of our recent graduates have taken jobs at companies like AT&T, Georgia Power, 360i, Vert, and Urjanet.

    What types of companies are hiring Data Scientists in Atlanta?

    Our most recent Data Science Immersive cohort just graduated, and they’re already in active interviews with a handful of small startups and some larger companies.

    Companies from all industries, certainly Fortune 500 companies in the Atlanta area, need data scientists and are hiring data scientists. One difference I’ve noticed is that a lot of tech startups are more likely to go into business with data in the forefront. The larger, more traditional companies haven’t historically had a data science team in their organization, but they are now in the process of learning how to integrate data scientists, and about the value that data scientists offer to their workflows and organizations.

    What sort of roles or job titles do you see data science graduates getting? Are they staying in your city?

    Because data science is very new, there are still lots of titles that go along with data scientists, other than data scientist. You might see data analyst and data engineer, in addition to data scientist. But if you look at what the role involves, across all those titles and positions, they are taking data, and figuring out how to use statistics and computation to extract insights and information that deliver value to companies. And so that might look like scraping the web trying to aggregate data, A-B testing for marketing companies, or optimizing logistics for transportation companies. I know of some of our graduates who have gone into those sectors. Data science is growing so rapidly because you can apply it so many different domains and sectors.

    What meetups would you recommend in Atlanta for a complete beginner who wants to learn about data science bootcamps and data science in general?

    We actually host a lot of evening workshops here at General Assembly.  For example, we host a free Talk Data to Me evening event about once a month that brings in a variety of local speakers to introduce topics in data science. The next Talk Data to Me event is being presented in partnership with the PyData Atlanta MeetUp group. These are meant to introduce people in the community to figures in data science, projects people are working on in data science, and to understand what data science is generally.

    Atlanta is also very good at offering a wide variety of meetups in data science, everything from deep learning, to data analysis in Python, to business intelligence. There are a growing number of meetups for those who are interested in data science, and the community around data science here in Atlanta.

    Find out more and read General Assembly reviews on Course Report. Check out the General Assembly website.

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • 14 Alternatives to Dev Bootcamp

    Imogen Crispe7/31/2017

    With the closing of Dev Bootcamp (slated for December 8, 2017), you’re probably wondering what other coding bootcamp options are out there. Dev Bootcamp changed thousands of lives, and built a great reputation with employers, so we are sad to see it go. Fortunately, there are still plenty of quality coding bootcamps in the cities where Dev Bootcamp operated. Here is a list of coding bootcamps with similar lengths, time commitments, and curriculums in the six cities where Dev Bootcamp had campuses: Austin, Chicago, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.

    Continue Reading →
  • Alumni Spotlight: Jason Fry of General Assembly Remote

    Imogen Crispe6/27/2017

    Jason Fry enjoyed programming in high school, but went a different direction in college. After relocating, getting married, and starting a family, Jason reevaluated his career, and decided to enroll in General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive Remote coding bootcamp to get back into tech. Jason tells us why he chose a full-time online bootcamp over a part-time in-person bootcamp, how much he enjoyed interacting with his General Assembly classmates from all around the world, and how networking helped him land a web developer job at Feathr Inc in Florida’s “Silicon Swamp.”

    Q&A

    What were you up to before General Assembly?

    I was always interested in computers and tech. I took two programming classes in high school, and partly chose my university because it offered computer science but I ended up only taking one CS class. Several years later, during the recession, I started self-teaching through Codecademy, Project Euler, and even took a C++ course at a local polytech. I had a smattering of formal and informal coding education, just picking things up as I went.

    In the years leading up to doing the General Assembly Remote Immersive, I had been working in social services with families and children in the South Carolina foster care system – so not math or engineering at all. I got married, moved away from that job, and tried entrepreneurship. I realized it’s really hard to pursue entrepreneurship and stay motivated if you’re not passionate about your project. So I had to work out what to do for the rest of my life for my career, while raising a family, and I came back to tech and programming.

    What made you choose General Assembly, and how did you decide between an online vs in-person bootcamp?

    An in-person coding bootcamp was not an option for me. I’m in Gainesville, Florida, and there is a coding bootcamp here, but at the time it only offered part-time training. My wife was due with our first baby, and my window for study was about three months. I needed a full-time, immersive course, and the nearest ones were a couple of hours away. I narrowed down my options to just online bootcamps, did a lot of research on Course Report, and used Google. There weren’t a lot of full-time online programs, and Course Report was a really good resource for me.

    Something that stood out about General Assembly was their career placement. They have a program called Outcomes, which I found to be very helpful. Also, some other online bootcamps didn’t have the classroom setting, but I needed that. All 17 of us in my class were in Zoom rooms, video chatting all day long. I had a computer monitor where I would interact with a bank of people, including the 17 cohort members and our instructors. General Assembly had several instructors per course, instead of just one instructor who gave us assignments. It was very guided and structured which is what I needed and wanted.

    Do you have advice for people choosing between online vs in-person bootcamps?

    If you need a classroom setting, lots of support from instructors and fellow students, then General Assembly’s online course had all of that. An in-person experience may have been better, but for me and many others, that’s just not an option. I felt General Assembly’s online course was a very good experience nonetheless. Absolutely do it.

    Did you think about going back to college to get a computer science degree?

    I thought about it a little bit, but college would have been much more expensive, and would take much longer than a bootcamp. One of the beauties of programming is that employers don’t care if you have a degree or not, to a large extent. With a lot of other careers, you have to have a degree in that field or you simply won’t advance. That’s just not true in programming.

    Did you have a preference about which coding language to learn?

    Not particularly, because I suspected that going through a bootcamp was less about what facts you learn, and more about proving that I can learn a lot and adapt quickly. Before I started the course, several people in the industry confirmed that yes, that’s how they view bootcamps, and that’s what they look for when hiring bootcamp graduates. So I was not terribly concerned about the technologies. General Assembly’s full stack immersive course did use MEAN stack, which is very common in web development, and we also used Ruby on Rails, which is another hot topic. So they were teaching me two different stacks which was really helpful.

    You mentioned that your cohort was 17 people. Where were your classmates based, and was your class diverse in terms of gender, race, life and career backgrounds?

    It was incredibly diverse. In my cohort, I knew people in every timezone in the US except Hawaii and Alaska. One of my classmates lived in Puerto Rico, another was splitting his time between Spain and Norway, and another was an American living in Chile.

    There were five women out of 17, which I felt was a better ratio than most tech situations, but it would have been better to have a couple more women in the class. We had several different races and religions represented. I also knew students from so many different walks of life – one man was in his mid-to-late 50s, and another had just graduated high school. I learned with people from backgrounds in banking and social work; another person had a job in the tech sector as a project manager, and was taking this bootcamp as a refresher.

    I was really impressed with my cohort members. Out of 17 of us, 16 graduated. The one woman who couldn’t graduate was trying to maintain her photography business, but planned to come back to the class in a few months. There were a couple of people on day one whom I was concerned about, because they seemed to be struggling. But they did graduate, and learned way more than anyone else, because they started from a different starting block.

    How did you stay focused while learning from home?

    I had two monitors set up, which General Assembly recommends, in a spare bedroom. Class was from 10am to 6pm Eastern Time, which is my timezone. My wife was at work all day and got home around 5:30pm, so I was in the house all day alone and it was quiet.

    I talked with my wife before starting the course about doing extra work around the house, and thankfully she agreed to that for three months. She was cooking meals, so I would stop studying at 6pm, eat dinner with her, then do homework until 9pm or 10pm, go to bed, wake up, and do it all again. I was very thankful to have that extra help.

    What was the online learning experience like at the Remote Immersive? How were the days structured?

    We usually started with a 30-minute coding exercise as a warm up to get our brains going. Then we had two, hour-long morning sessions. The course material was on Github, so we’d pull that down to our computers, and follow along while watching the instructor, who would be screen sharing and coding. We were encouraged to follow along with the material and code along if we wanted to. Then we’d have lunch, I’d go for a run or walk, and get back to it. We had a brief warm up right after lunch, where we would discuss what happened in the morning.

    In the afternoons, we had more guided instruction, then often separated into groups or pairs to work on a more involved process or lesson. We’d go apply the lesson by building something small, and discuss amongst ourselves. Then we’d all come back together at the end of the day, and make sure we understood the homework. During Project Weeks, we worked on our own or in pairs all week long, and the instructors were there for questions and help. In those weeks, we had check-ins at 10am and 2pm.

    How many instructors did you have and how often were they available?

    We had three instructors and one assistant, who were there all day to answer questions and available 8 hours a day. After class ended, we would have another assistant available to help with homework for 3 hours every evening, and another assistant available on the weekends.

    How many hours per day did you spend learning? Did you study on the weekends as well?

    General Assembly tells you that you’ll average 60 hours a week, and that was pretty true for me. Generally I had one day off each weekend. I’d code for a few hours on Saturday, and maybe another hour or two on Sunday. Some weeks were lighter than others, so there were a couple of weeks where I took the whole weekend off.

    What was your favorite project that you built at General Assembly?

    My final project was my favorite. In the last two weeks of class, we had to build three projects – one big one, and two smaller projects. I enjoyed my big project the most, even though I never got it fully-functioning. It was an idea I had for a while to allow users to log into an app and create an audio guided tour of some place. Let’s say someone is from London, Miami, or Brazil, and really enjoys the food, music, or literature in their area. They could use the app to create a guided tour for people visiting the city. They can put different pins in the area to allow people to walk a specific route.

    How did General Assembly prepare you for job hunting?

    They did more than just try to get me a coding job. They taught us how to build a resume, how to write a cover letter, create your brand, have a brand statement, purpose statement, and improve your LinkedIn profile – all things which are completely applicable to getting a job in any sector. That was really beneficial and helpful.

    What are you doing now? Tell us about your new job!

    I work for Feathr Inc, which is a web app for digital marketers at live events. They can do everything in one place instead of having several different tools for email blasts, ad campaigns, and so on. In addition, we’re moving into event personalization, where we do work behind the scenes to give marketers the capabilities to personalize their events to the individual level. That’s increasingly important at a time when users can network online instead of just at annual events, and are finding information on Google rather than at trade shows. Event personalization is necessary to keep the event industry thriving.

    Did you find the job though a connection at General Assembly?

    Florida is trying to make the Gainesville area into the “Silicon Swamp”, because it’s like Silicon Valley with alligators! There is a lot of money going into tech startups right now, so there are a lot of opportunities, especially for junior developers. General Assembly was able to give me introductions, but I wanted to work for a local Gainesville company, and General Assembly didn’t have any connections here. Plenty of people in my cohort were looking for work in big cities like DC, NY, and Boston etc, where General Assembly has a lot of connections. For example, my friend in Chile was open to working locally but wanted to work remotely for a US company.

    I started networking during the second week of class. I went to meetups and let other developers know what I was doing, so that when it came time to get a job, it wasn’t too difficult to reach out to the people I had met. I never liked sending out resumes and cover letters; it feels like you’re screaming into a void. I started to stalk certain companies, find out who I needed to talk to, invite people to coffee, and let that be my cover letter and resume. I ended up with two job offers within two months of graduating.

    What sort of training or onboarding did you get when you started at Feathr Inc? Did you have to learn any new programming languages or technologies?

    Feathr has a pretty involved, 3-month onboarding process for new junior developers. Because of the great training General Assembly gave us, I was already familiar with most of it, though of course I had – and still have – a lot to learn. While General Assembly taught us the MEAN stack, Ruby on Rails, and handlebars.js for templating, Feathr uses Python with Flask, Backbone.js with Marionette.js, and Jinja for templating – so there is very little direct overlap between technologies I learned at General Assembly, and technologies I use at Feathr. But that’s the beauty of the tech industry right now; they don’t care what you know today, they care what you can learn tomorrow.

    How has your previous background in social services been useful in your new job?

    My experience working with families and children in South Carolina will continue to be useful for the rest of my life. It taught me great empathy, how to address literal life-and-death issues, how to remain calm while others are anxious, how to lead, how to empower people who are used to feeling like a victim, and much more. All of that makes me a better human, and also sets me up for success as a developer, a future Scrum Master, a future manager, etc.

    What’s been the biggest challenge or roadblock in your journey to becoming a software developer?

    Allowing myself to pursue my real dream. 15 years ago, while preparing for college, I thought I was supposed to study music, or supposed to study theology, and I did both in college. But I never put much thought towards my dreams. My mom recently reminded me that my biggest dream as a kid was to develop video games. I had forgotten all about that. So it’s back to that corny life advice, “follow your dreams.” But seriously if your dream is to become a developer, it’s never been easier thanks to companies like General Assembly and Course Report.

    How do you stay involved with General Assembly? Have you kept in touch with other alumni?

    Our career coaches still meet with our cohort every Wednesday at 2pm for an hour. I was attending that for months after we graduated, even after I started at Feathr, but eventually I stopped attending because I was supposed to be “working.”

    I had lunch with a guy from our cohort when I flew out to Texas for a wedding, which was cool. I met another person from our cohort because we were both in Charleston, SC, for Christmas, so we got coffee and talked for hours.

    Mostly, we stay connected via Slack. Some people announced their new jobs to us in Slack before they told friends or family. And now, eight months after we graduated, we still talk in Slack, share cool things we’re learning, encourage each other.

    Read more General Assembly reviews on Course Report. Check out the General Assembly website!

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Employer Spotlight: Why Bazaarvoice Hires From General Assembly

    Liz Eggleston6/19/2017

    In the past year, SaaS company Bazaarvoice has hired more than 10 General Assembly graduates into Implementation Engineer and Technical Success roles (which require JavaScript chops and soft-skills to onboard new customers). We sat down with Bazaarvoice Talent Acquisition Manager, Travis Baker, to hear his advice for employers hiring coding bootcampers and how “General Assembly grads start contributing significantly faster than candidates hired through traditional channels.”

    Q&A

    Tell us about Bazaarvoice and your role there.

    Bazaarvoice provides solutions that offer brands, retailers, and consumers a direct link to each other through consumer-generated content such as ratings and reviews, visual content and social posts. Because of the strength of our network, we’re able to provide our clients with data and insights that help drive sales conversions and ultimately revenue. I like to think we’re helping our clients bring the fight to Amazon. Working in Talent Acquisition, I focus on creating connections between the broader candidate market and our internal hiring managers and leaders. Basically, I do the same thing as our technology, but at a much smaller scale.

    How did you get connected with General Assembly as an employer?

    It started with my previous employer, Kinnser Software. At the time, Katy Stover from General Assembly was doing a lot of community outreach in Austin and spreading the good word on the General Assembly concept. I’m pretty passionate about modernizing education, particularly as it relates to workforce readiness. I was excited from the beginning, but there wasn’t an obvious application at Kinnser. After moving to Bazaarvoice, we were working on hiring a large number of Implementation Engineers. This team helps get clients up and running on our products post-sales. They interact closely with the client’s technical teams to make sure all the technologies mesh. Traditionally, it was a really difficult role to fill for the company. We need folks who have coding ability, but don’t necessarily want to code day-in, day-out, and also have a strong customer-service mindset. Students coming out of the General Assembly programs are a natural fit.

    What roles specifically have you hired General Assembly graduates for? How many General Assembly graduates have you hired?

    Not only have we hired Implementation Engineers, but we’ve also hired several graduates in our Technical Success team. In total, we’ve hired 10+ General Assembly grads.

    Other than General Assembly, how do you usually hire developers? What are you looking for in a new hire?

    We, like many software companies, still over-index on experience and traditional computer science education, but ultimately, I think the market will drive certain behaviors. General Assembly is supplying the market with a deep pool of really strong people and I think adoption will happen naturally. Currently, we don’t hire developers from General Assembly, but I would love to in the future. Better yet, I’d love to build a program around bringing in and growing recent grads. We have yet to cross that chasm, but I think the market will evolve.

    Have you worked with any other coding bootcamps yet? What stands out about General Assembly bootcamp grads?

    I have – Austin Coding Academy, The Iron Yard, and Hack Reactor. These are all respectable organizations that produce a terrific product and provide a real service to the market. I’ve met several students and graduates of these programs and I’ve been truly impressed.

    What separates General Assembly and their students is the community aspect: the constant outreach, the iterative approach to their business model, the events – it all adds up to a multi-dimensional experience for the students and their partners. From my perspective, General Assembly feels like a mission-driven organization and it’s easy to be swept up in the enthusiasm the General Assembly team and students exude.

    What does the relationship look like between Bazaarvoice and General Assembly?

    At this point, we’ve been working with General Assembly so closely that their Outcomes Career Coach, Nicole Umphress, and the team just know what we need. She does a great job of presenting the opportunities we have available at Bazaarvoice and connecting us with the students who show interest.

    Going back to my previous point about General Assembly being mission-driven – there’s no fee to hire someone from General Assembly because they’re driven by the success of their students. I think they understand the value they bring to the market; accelerating the careers of their students by providing the skills they need to get the jobs they want. In my opinion, charging a fee for companies to hire your graduates is an exploitive and predatory practice.

    Did your hires from General Assembly go through a technical interview? How did they do?

    Our process for hiring Implementation Engineers and Technical Success Managers is pretty straightforward. A recruiter will have a quick 20-30 minute call with the candidate. It’s an opportunity to answer questions and share more information about the role and Bazaarvoice in general. It’s also a chance for the recruiter and candidate to connect and get to know each other better.

    The next step is a self-paced online assessment; it takes about 90-minutes. The assessment is designed to not only test technical aptitude, but also communication ability. The questions mirror fairly common scenarios that someone in this role would encounter. In particular, we’re looking for candidates to explain complex technical information in a colloquial manner; something a non-technical person could review and fully digest. This is an area where General Assembly students tend to excel. The rest of the process is fairly standard: a phone call with the hiring manager and an onsite interview, leading to a decision.

    Did you have to convince your company to hire a bootcamper?

    In short, no. Given that these roles marry technical and non-technical skills, the complexity of finding candidates with this rare mix, and the eagerness that General Assembly and their students have to partner with us, it was an easy sell. To be fair, I think there’s a huge area of opportunity to hire bootcampers directly into development roles.

    At General Assembly, students learn Rails and JavaScript. Are your coding bootcamp hires working in that language or have they had to learn new languages or technologies?

    Our bootcamp hires technically aren’t working in any specific language. They are, however, leveraging their JavaScript knowledge to interface with both the technology of Bazaarvoice and the client.

    One of the biggest concerns we hear from bootcamp alumni is how they’ll be supported in continuing to learn in their first jobs. How do you ensure that the new hires are supported in that way?

    We’re still a fairly small company – around 800 people globally. We don’t have a formalized learning and development function, but there are plenty of opportunities to grow. Most of the General Assembly grads work in our Client Services function. It’s our largest organization and the opportunities are boundless. When working in software, there are two things that never hurt: knowledge of the product and an understanding of the technology. Our General Assembly grads are hired right into the apex of these two skills. As our Services organization continues to grow and evolve to react to what the market demands, new and unique roles are created constantly. The Implementation and Technical Success groups are often tapped for these new roles, providing new and unique opportunities for these folks.

    Since you started hiring from General Assembly, have your new hires moved up or been promoted?

    Our longest tenured General Assembly hire has been here roughly 10-months. So, no one has been promoted or moved around yet. However, initial feedback from the team has been really positive. General Assembly grads ramp quickly and start contributing significantly faster than we’ve experienced with candidates we’ve hired through traditional channels.

    Do you have a feedback loop with General Assembly at all? Are you able to influence their curriculum if you notice your dev hires are underqualified in a certain area?

    We have a monthly call with Nicole to discuss students and the GA curriculum. My partnership with General Assembly has expanded both personally and professionally, which has allowed me to share feedback in almost real time. All indications point to General Assembly listening, taking the feedback, and iterating on the curriculum.

    Will you hire from General Assembly in the future? Why or why not?

    Absolutely. They solve a unique business need for us and we rely heavily on this partnership.

    What is your advice to other employers who are thinking about hiring from a coding bootcamp or General Assembly in particular?

    Index for skill. Train interviewers, managers, and leaders to interview well – make them experts. Define what a successful hire looks like and measure results. Recognize the unique set of skills these people offer.

    Sure, they’re going through a coding bootcamp, but is there another application within your business that makes sense? General Assembly students are looking to build a career and are open and receptive to cool opportunities. Yes, many only want to be developers, period. Others see that software is a great place to be in general and are looking for an opportunity to pivot. Be open to all of them, because they’re smart, hard-working, passionate, and motivated. It’s easy to build from there.

    Find out more and read General Assembly reviews on Course Report. Check out the General Assembly website.

    About The Author

    Liz pic

    Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students considering a coding bootcamp. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube

  • Episode 13: April 2017 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe7/21/2017

    Missed out on coding bootcamp news in April? Never fear, Course Report is here! We’ve collected everything in this handy blog post and podcast. This month, we read about why outcomes reporting is useful for students, how a number of schools are working to boost their diversity with scholarships, we heard about student experiences at bootcamp, plus we added a bunch of interesting new schools to the Course Report school directory! Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.

    Continue Reading →
  • How to Keep Learning After a Coding Bootcamp

    Lauren Stewart10/27/2017

    Learning to code at an intensive bootcamp takes dedication and focus. And even though you’ll reach that finish line (we promise you will!), it’s important to remember that the learning doesn’t end at graduation! Whether you’re acclimating to a new technology stack on the job, or you’ve decided to add to your skillset through online resources, there’s always room to grow. A great developer's job is never done, and the learning will continue. So how do you stay on top of the ever-evolving tech scene? We’ve collected advice from bootcamp alumni and employers in our 8 steps to keep learning after a Coding Bootcamp.

    Continue Reading →
  • Alumni Spotlight: Laura Ayala of General Assembly

    Lauren Stewart3/31/2017

    Laura Ayala was in community engagement and marketing before deciding to study web development at General Assembly’s NYC campus. She wanted to learn what it took to be an effective digital marketer, but also wanted software development expertise. Learn about Laura’s experience with the Per Scholas and General Assembly partnership, which allowed her to attend on a full scholarship, and see how she landed a new role at Bark & Co!

    Q&A

    What is your pre-bootcamp story and educational background before attending General Assembly?

    I have a bachelor's degree in English Literature with a minor in Art History from Hunter College. During my undergraduate career, I was very interested in museum accessibility, especially access for younger, underrepresented groups interested in the arts. I worked  with several nonprofit institutions in the Bronx, and thought that my career trajectory would revolve around that. I had internships at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and after graduation, I got a part-time role as  the Community Engagement and Marketing Associate at The Bronx Museum of the Arts.

    In addition to my community outreach duties at the Bronx Museum, I managed their website and created email campaigns. I found that I enjoyed those aspects of my job the most. I even approached my supervisors about learning InDesign, and became our in-house designer for several projects. However, I wanted a more technical skill set to aid me in my marketing career. I wanted to focus on building websites, creating emails, and graphic design, but I wasn't sure how to hone those skills just yet.

    Were you looking to change career paths completely by attending a coding bootcamp or did you want to become a better marketer?

    I had a lot of back and forth about attending a bootcamp because it's such an intense process, but I think individuals take the program for many different reasons. I wanted to have solid HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills to thrive in a quickly evolving digital marketing role, whether it was in the arts or a corporate environment.

    I had a moment during during week 6 at General Assembly when I thought to myself, "I think I can be a software engineer." It was such a good experience, but I realized that the right role for me was something that involved marketing, something creative that I could do with code.

    What resources were you using before General Assembly? Did you try to teach yourself how to code before attending the bootcamp?

    Definitely! I tried to learn using online resources like Coursera, Free Code Camp, and Codecademy, but I didn't feel like the concepts were really sticking. I'm the type of person who enjoys being in an environment where I can learn new concepts hands-on, and if I have a question I can ask someone who's more experienced than me.

    Before General Assembly, I was thinking about going back to college and obtaining a certificate. I thought that would be the right route for me because the program was spread out. It was a part-time program and would take six months to a year to complete. However, I realized the advantages of enrolling in a bootcamp where the coursework could be completed in 3 to 4 months while learning from professionals in the industry right now. The more research I did, the more a bootcamp seemed like a better option.

    Were you looking at other bootcamps outside of General Assembly, and if so, what factors were important to you?

    Since I had previously made a living working for nonprofits and was still living in the Bronx with my family, tuition was a huge concern. I couldn’t justify taking out a loan because I wasn't 100% sure the experience would work out for me. I knew I wanted to do this, but I didn't know if I wanted to completely change my career path.

    I researched many bootcamps in NYC that offered scholarships for women or were more inclusive of women, which is so important to those new to tech. I felt that being around women, especially women of color, would make me a lot more comfortable as I embarked on this career transition. I was looking at the Grace Hopper Program, but I had concerns about the deferred tuition model.

    What ultimately lead me to General Assembly, was when I heard that Per Scholas was launching their first CodeBridge program in partnership with the school. It seemed perfect. Per Scholas is a nonprofit organization in the South Bronx that provides technical training for underrepresented adults interested in transitioning to a career in tech.

    Tell us about the General Assembly partnership with Per Scholas.

    It was a really interesting experience, and my cohort was the first to complete the CodeBridge program. Before the 12-week program at General Assembly, we did a 5-week full-time pre-bootcamp with Per Scholas in the South Bronx, which covered HTML, CSS,  and some JavaScript. We got comfortable working with GitHub, learned about networking, and brushed up our interview skills with mock interviews. We had support from career coaches from both organizations, as well as financial counselors to help with expenses that we would accrue along the way.

    The best part was that CodeBridge was completely free. I was fortunate enough to attend General Assembly without worrying about the tuition, so I could completely focus on the materials and projects before me. It was a blessing to not have to think about the financial strain of having to pay tuition while not being able to work for 16 weeks. Having career coaches and financial coaches support me through the transition provided me an incredible support system.

    Can you explain your application and interview process? Did that go through the CodeBridge initiative or did that go straight to General Assembly?

    The first part of the application was through Per Scholas. My interview was a group panel with five other candidates, which was a bit intimidating. We had an instructor from General Assembly there as well as an instructor from Per Scholas who would be teaching us those first five weeks.

    They asked questions about our technical backgrounds, why we were interested in technology, why we wanted to make this transition, and about a recent advancement in tech that we read about and why did it strike the chord in us? Those questions shook me up a bit, but they helped solidify in my mind that this is something that I wanted to do.

    After those five weeks at Per Scholas, and before we could make the transition to General Assembly, we had to present a project before the General Assembly instructor and he would assess whether or not the projects and how we spoke about them demonstrated our ability to keep up with the material at General Assembly.

    What did you build for your presentation to General Assembly?

    I created an Indie beauty site featuring organic beauty products called The Goth Hippie. It was great because it was a way for me to figure out what kinds of things I wanted to make with code. Having that design background from working in art museums, I saw that HTML and CSS were languages that I really enjoyed using to create highly visual, fun projects with a lot of personality.

    I'm curious to know why you chose web development over a digital marketing track at General Assembly since you were a marketer before?

    I did consider whether or not web development or digital marketing would be the right thing for me. When I was going through the application process for Per Scholas, I decided on web development because I saw it as something that would be a lot harder to learn and grasp on my own without the constant repetition and practice that is central to General Assembly’s curriculum. With my marketing experience, I had been able to pick up different aspects of digital marketing relatively quickly, so I knew it was something I could continue learning on my own and on the job.

    How many people were in your General Assembly cohort and was it diverse in terms of race, gender, life and career backgrounds?

    Yes, it was exciting in that the cohort of about 30 or so students was so diverse. There were so many of us spread out across age groups, racial backgrounds, and past experiences. And within those groups, I found a really great group of classmates that I’m still in touch with. We’re all young adults of color in our mid-to-late 20's, similar backgrounds, and with some type of technical experience that we wanted to expand into a career. Having our little support group from that first day, all the way to graduation and beyond helped us all get through even the toughest projects.

    What was the learning experience like? Could you describe a typical day at General Assembly?

    It felt like going back to college and I think each day was really well structured. We would start at around 9am and one of the instructors would push a morning exercise on GitHub, and then we had about half an hour to complete it. You could work on it yourself, or use your classmates as resources and collaborate on the different exercises.

    After the morning exercise, we would review with an instructor, have a 15 to 20-minute break followed by a morning lecture. Most of the time we would code along with our instructors as they lectured about a new concept or sample project. Then we would have an hour break for lunch, come back and have an afternoon lecture before getting our homework for the evening. Every three weeks or so we had a project, with larger weekend homework assignments that lead up to those larger unit projects.

    Did you have a favorite project that you built at General Assembly?

    My favorite one has to be my final project. It was really cool and I still can’t believe I made it.  Before starting the bootcamp, I could write a few lines in HTML, but my new understanding of logic and what coding can do really culminated in that project. I made my own Smart mirror (think the Evil Queen’s mirror from Snow White, but more useful!). I created an app in React that displays the current time, weather, and subway status and hosted it online, so it could be viewed on a tablet. I installed the tablet behind a two-way mirror to achieve the smart mirror effect, without the Raspberry Pi. I use it in the mornings as I’m getting ready for work to get quick updates on the weather and to see how the trains are running.

    I decided to use React because it was a framework that we had been using for a week or two near the end of the course. I thought, "I really want to work with this for a little bit. I want to see what I can do with it." Building that Smart mirror app was the perfect final project because I was so passionate about it. I really cared about the functionality and making sure that it worked properly and looked good.

    What was the process of job preparation and career development at General Assembly?

    The career coaches were very helpful, teaching us about soft skills, interview strategies, and the importance of maintaining an online presence on GitHub, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. With those skills in place, I was able to be smarter about my job search. I could look for the right job boards, submit stellar applications, comfortably follow up with recruiters, and find the best point of contact for a role. Those coaches have amazing insight and great tips for getting in touch with the right people at the companies I wanted to work for.

    I got the most out of one-on-ones with my different coaches. We could discuss what I was interested in, the companies that I wanted to work for, what my previous background was, and they were able to steer me towards the right types of roles. I expressed interest in finding something that combined marketing and programming.

    Congrats on your job at Bark & Co! How did you find that job?

    I found the role on the Uncubed job board, applied through there, then followed up on their website, and wrote a thank you email directly to the recruiter. Once I got the interview, I put into practice those interviewing skills that I gained at General Assembly and Per Scholas. I doubt I could’ve successfully completed those interviews with confidence in my new tech background without that training.

    Are you using programming languages that you learned at General Assembly in your current role? Tell us about your new role!

    I'm the Email Marketing Coordinator at Bark & Co. I’m in my third week here so it's still very new. During my day-to-day, I mostly interact with HTML and pseudo-JavaScript that we use to build emails. Different email service providers use different scripting languages, so I appreciate being at General Assembly and learning JavaScript in addition to other scripting languages. It made me comfortable learning how to read different languages really quickly. I'm doing that on a daily basis as I build the different marketing emails for the company.

    I work with our creative and marketing teams and I’m so fortunate to be paired with a  talented Email Marketing Manager who's showing me the ropes. She has a technical background and is great at simplifying tasks so I can understand them as well as help me ramp up each week to take on more analytical aspects of the job.

    How has learning to code helped you become a better marketer? Can you tell the difference in your skills after this course?

    Definitely. For one, in my previous role, I was more of a brand ambassador than a marketer because I was doing a lot of community engagement and outreach. General Assembly has made me much more comfortable learning and speaking about new types of software, new languages, and frameworks. It's made this career transition so much easier. Now I’m trying to solidify my digital marketing background so I can have more open conversations with our marketing team.

    With this skillset, I definitely see more opportunities opening up for me. General Assembly made me the perfect fit for a role that I didn't know existed a few months ago. I didn't know that email marketing was as big as it is and there's an entire subset of the tech community dedicated to building marketing and transactional emails.

    What's been the biggest challenge for you on this journey to learn how to code?

    One of the unexpected takeaways from General Assembly was attaining a new sense of confidence and perseverance. It's the confidence to think, "I'm coming into this role as a student, I don't understand what I'm doing completely, but I'm going to figure out how to understand it." And the perseverance to tell myself, "I may not understand it right now, or next time, but the more I practice, the more questions I ask, the more research I do, the more it starts to make sense.”

    In this new role, I'm finding myself doing that every day. I have the confidence and the persistence to continue doing research, and admit to myself or to my team that I might need clarification on a specific topic or platform. It’s gotten so much easier since GA. I can't believe it was only four months because it felt like I took on so much.

    Do you still stay involved with General Assembly and other alumni from your cohort?

    I'm in group chats with a lot of my classmates and keep up with our alumni Slack. I had a really great cohort and I connected with so many individuals – women, men, all different races, backgrounds, and experiences. With General Assembly, I try to get involved and keep in touch with their outreach and outcomes teams to see if there's anything I can do as an alum.

    What advice do you have for people thinking about making a career change attending a coding bootcamp?

    It is a huge time commitment. With any big decision, I would suggest that people do research and really find a program that's the right fit for them. Consider all the different options such as schedules, locations, the programming stack that the bootcamp is teaching as well as the financial commitment. There are so many great opportunities and scholarships out there, that just by doing research and asking questions, anyone can be connected with the resources to find a bootcamp that's right for them.

    Read General Assembly reviews on Course Report. Check out the General Assembly website.

    About The Author

    Laurenstewartimage

    Lauren is a communications and operations strategist who loves to help others find their idea of success. She is passionate about techonology education, career development, startups, and the arts. Her background includes career/youth development, public affairs, and philanthropy. She is from Richmond, VA and now currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

  • Episode 12: March 2017 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe7/21/2017

    Haven’t had time to keep up with all the coding bootcamp news this March? Not to worry– we’ve compiled it for you in a handy blog post and podcast. This month, we read a lot about CIRR and student outcomes reporting, we heard from reporters and coding bootcamp students about getting hired after coding bootcamp, a number of schools announced exciting diversity initiatives, and we added a handful of new schools to the Course Report school directory! Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.

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  • Instructor Spotlight: Jeff Konowitch of General Assembly

    Liz Eggleston3/9/2017

    Jeff Konowitch is a self-taught software developer who launched his career in an apprenticeship, so he can relate to his career-changing students. As an instructor in the Part-Time Front End Development course at General Assembly, Jeff emphasizes objective-driven teaching and learning by doing. Learn more about Jeff’s teaching style at General Assembly, and why learning to teach yourself helps students adapt to the ever-changing evolution of technology.

    First, I'd love to know how you learned to code. Did you have a traditional path into tech or did you teach yourself?

    I can definitely relate to most of my students in that I made a major career change. I did not have a traditional education; I was not a computer science major. I actually majored in theater and political science.

    I had always been really into computers and I was working as a project manager after college, working with a team of developers to develop a new web application. I started to get really interested in what those developers were doing, so I started asking them more questions and then I would go home and learn on my own.

    I was self-taught until I got an apprenticeship with a dev shop, which is where I was “professionalized.” I knew how to make products work, but I didn't know how to do it in a professional way, using the right tools and conventions.

    Having been a self-taught developer, what did you think about the bootcamp model?

    I had been freelancing and working at a consultancy, but I was looking for a change. When I heard that people were actually teaching coding, I was excited at the prospect of helping others become developers. This was pretty early on at General Assembly.

    What makes you excited to work with General Assembly specifically?

    I've been working with General Assembly since the Fall of 2013 in a variety of roles. Right now, I’m an instructor for the Part-Time Front End Development course, but I’ve also been an engineer at General Assembly, and a full-time instructor in the Web Development Immersive program.

    The thing I love about teaching at General Assembly is that there's a lot of freedom as an instructor. I'm always very wary of one-size-fits-all approaches to education. There are benefits to standardization and quality control, but I also think that traditional education institutions can end up crowding out a lot of creative possibilities that can emerge when you have instructors who know what they're doing, and can improvise and expand the course as they go along.

    Also, the students who come through our doors have always been great. I've always liked the students, so I was never really interested in working anywhere else.

    Tell us about your teaching style at General Assembly.

    It’s hard to boil down my teaching philosophy, and in some respects, it always evolves. I didn’t know a ton about teaching when I started at General Assembly, but the training that I got at General Assembly was actually great. I still use what I learned at the teacher training today. There are instructors on our staff who were high school teachers, and others who have PhD’s in education. Everyone uses the core principles at the heart of teaching, but applies them to this context.

    The main teaching principles that I’ve embraced are objective-driven teaching and learning by doing. Objective-driven means that before I start a lesson, I know the exact skills and concepts that I want students to be able to use and know. I then design the curriculum plan backwards from there.

    The other bedrock principle is that my lesson plans should emphasize students actually trying to use what they’re learning. I’m trying to minimize the amount of time that I’m talking and maximize the amount of time students are doing.

    Do you think that it’s important to split your time between teaching and real-world dev work?

    I think it is. Practicing web development tests your knowledge, especially when you start to teach the more complex principles of software design. Having fresh examples and recent work to refer to is important. As an instructor, you have to stay in touch with current technologies.  

    One of the appealing aspects of a bootcamp is that you can be highly iterative and adapt to changing technologies. Can you tell us how you approach changing technologies as an instructor?

    Changing the curriculum at General Assembly is more bottom-up than top-down. Because instructors are mostly all practitioners, they very much have their hands in the field. We're all aware of what's becoming important and what's becoming less important. We all react to those changes in real time and are supported in doing that.

    Then, if there are really seismic shifts – like moving from Ruby on Rails to JavaScript – then General Assembly may make a top level policy decision as an organization. In that example, we noticed that JavaScript was becoming more important, but also noticed that our students were getting jobs in JavaScript. That was a pretty significant change that happened in that way.

    Teaching web development is a living thing. You start teaching with a broad outline and materials from General Assembly, but inevitably you tailor it yourself. It’s based on how fast the class is moving. For example, the class I'm teaching right now is moving faster than the last one I taught so I'll get to go more in-depth this time.

    What do you think will be the next big change in the front end class?

    I’m seeing things settle down, but there are always new technologies on the rise. The Angular vs React debate is an example. At least amongst my developer friends, it seems like React will win. But I think ultimately things will settle down and it'll be a little bit easier to teach a specific tool. I always emphasize the skill of being able to teach yourself as opposed to getting concerned with a specific tool or technology. Because the field evolves so quickly, it’s way more important to be able to acquire new skills.

    Can you tell us about the ideal student for the Front-End Web Development Course?

    Everyone is working full-time, but there are three main types of students. The first type of student is the aspirational career changer. They aren't sure enough to commit to a full-time immersive program, but they take this part-time course, and then a lot of those people will either go on to self-study and change roles or even do the immersive bootcamp at General Assembly or elsewhere. The second type of student is someone who works a lot with developers at a tech company, or have interfaced with technology and will be better at their current jobs if they learned some HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. For example, a marketing professional who does a lot of email campaigns and wants to be able to get into those HTML emails and make changes. Or a product manager who wants to better understand what their developers are doing, or designers who come to the Front-End course wanting to know how CSS and HTML is implemented so they can be better designers and work more effectively as developers. Third, there are also entrepreneurs who want to launch their own website.

    Would a student be prepared to start applying for junior, front-end developer roles when they graduate?

    Usually, no. During info sessions, we’re pretty clear about that. Within each class there are a few students who have enough of a background that they probably could start applying for jobs. So there are exceptions to the rule. With another few months of self-study and maybe some extra courses or online tutorials, you could get to the point where you’re prepared enough to get an entry-level job.

    Tell us about your favorite student project you’ve seen recently!

    A lot of students will make a personal website– a portfolio site or their own site. They design it and implement it all themselves. There are also projects that are a little more JavaScript-heavy. Students in my last class made a little tool where you could look up a rating for any NYC restaurant to see why the restaurant received their health rating. The New York City government publishes all of that data and you can hit their JSON API. This class will make you solid with HTML and CSS, and you’ll learn enough JavaScript to make some interactive features. But some students get further with JavaScript, so there's a range of projects and it depends on the student.

    Can a complete beginner take the Front End Web Development course?

    We always recommend that people know enough about HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to know what they're getting themselves into. Other than that, total beginners are welcome.

    For our readers who are complete beginners, are there any meetups or resources that you would recommend for an aspiring front end developer?

    A lot of my students have enjoyed this General Assembly tool called DASH. It’s a free, online tool that covers HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Start by trying to just build a simple, one-page website in order to piece together the experience. Meetups can also be useful.

    Any advice to future bootcampers?

    If you’re considering learning these tools, don’t be intimidated. I've seen so many students  who knew nothing learn a lot. I didn't have a traditional computer science background, and I had a lot of doubts when I was first learning. Those doubts are dangerous; you’ve never missed the boat.

    Read more General Assembly reviews on Course Report. Check out the General Assembly website.

    About The Author

    Liz pic

    Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students considering a coding bootcamp. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube

  • Episode 11: February 2017 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast

    Imogen Crispe3/1/2017

    Here’s what we found ourselves reading and discussing in the Course Report office in February 2017! We found out the three most in-demand programming languages, we read about how coding could be the new blue collar job, and looked at how new schools are tweaking the bootcamp model to fit their communities. Plus, we hear about a cool app for NBA fans built by coding bootcamp graduates! Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.

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  • Ultimate Guide to Mobile Development Bootcamps

    Lauren Stewart9/17/2017

    There’s something about a good mobile app that just helps you throughout the day– be it your Linkedin, Google maps, CNN, Nike+ Training, or ESPN app– we depend on our smartphones for a lot. Due to the global rise of smartphones and tablets, mobile apps can be the go-to source for information, entertainment, productivity, e-commerce, and more. By 2020, global mobile app store downloads will reach 288.4 billion! With the rise of mobile applications on the market, the demand for mobile software developers continues to grow. We thought it was only right to give you a breakdown of what it really takes to be a mobile applications developer. From educational requirements to general stats on the profession to the top mobile coding bootcamps around the world– read below for our Ultimate Guide to Mobile Development Bootcamps.

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  • Learning to Code Before A Coding Bootcamp

    Imogen Crispe1/26/2017

    Are you preparing to apply for or start a coding bootcamp? Need to brush up on your coding skills and arrive well-prepared and ahead of the game? Then this guide is for you. We have gathered free and paid resources from around the internet, and from coding bootcamps themselves, which will teach you the basic fundamentals of languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript – essential knowledge for all aspiring software developers.

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  • Your 2017 #LearnToCode New Year’s Resolution

    Lauren Stewart7/21/2017

    It’s that time again! A time to reflect on the year that is coming to an end, and a time to plan for what the New Year has in store. While it may be easy to beat yourself up about certain unmet goals, one thing is for sure: you made it through another year! And we bet you accomplished more than you think. Maybe you finished your first Codecademy class, made a 30-day Github commit streak, or maybe you even took a bootcamp prep course – so let’s cheers to that! But if learning to code is still at the top of your Resolutions List, then taking the plunge into a coding bootcamp may be the best way to officially cross it off. We’ve compiled a list of stellar schools offering full-time, part-time, and online courses with start dates at the top of the year. Five of these bootcamps even have scholarship money ready to dish out to aspiring coders like you.

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  • December 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup

    Imogen Crispe12/29/2016

    Welcome to our last monthly coding bootcamp news roundup of 2016! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to fundraising announcements, to interesting trends we’re talking about in the office. This December, we heard about a bootcamp scholarship from Uber, employers who are happily hiring bootcamp grads, investments from New York State and a Tokyo-based staffing firm, diversity in tech, and as usual, new coding schools, courses, and campuses!

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  • 8 Companies Who Actually Love Hiring Coding Bootcampers

    Liz Eggleston5/23/2017

    In our recent Student Outcomes survey, alumni reported that they were working in over 650 different companies! Of course, you may have read recent press citing companies like Google who apparently aren’t willing to invest in junior technical talent from coding bootcamps (we happen to know that coding bootcamp grads have been hired at Google and Salesforce, but that’s not the point)... Here we’re highlighting 8 forward-thinking companies who are psyched about the bootcamp alumni on their engineering teams. Each of these employers have hired multiple developers, and are seeing their investment pay off.

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  • How to Show Off Your New Tech Skills After General Assembly

    Lauren Stewart10/27/2016

    So you’re nearing the end of your coding bootcamp and the job search is about to commence. How do you really show an employer what you’re made of? And how do you show off new tech skills after a coding bootcamp to land a new role? The life of a job seeker can have its highs and lows, so we spoke with Betsy Leonhardt and Seth Novick of General Assembly’s Outcomes Team to get their tips for rocking the job search. With 15 campuses in 4 continents, General Assembly has extensive experience helping their bootcampers find their next gig.

    Our takeaways? Be yourself when on the job hunt and understanding that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to landing your dream job!

    Q&A

    What goes into the career development process at General Assembly? Does Career Development start on Graduation Day or before that?

    Career Development (Outcomes) is a major component to the student immersive experience. It begins week one and continues throughout the entire immersive, building week over week to develop hard and soft skills that ultimately help students develop themselves as technical professionals. Outcomes is a program and curriculum that augments and compliments the immersive programs and is delivered by career professionals and coaches with an in depth understanding of the job search process as it relates to the field. It supports the belief in empowering students to be active stewards of their job search and trains them to be confident and motivated in order to achieve career excellence and success.

    How long should a bootcamper wait after graduating until they start to apply for jobs? Is it more important to perfect your portfolio or to get your first interview?

    There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. We teach our students that the building blocks of their job search should be developed while in class; they should begin to develop a professional network and an understanding of the market and industry they are about to enter. While perhaps not a formal job search as a current student, it is important to lay a solid foundation to be able to kick off a strategic job search upon graduation. A student in a full-time course should start formally applying for jobs once they have the tools they need to run a successful job search (resume, portfolio, online presence, and understanding of self– a professional brand/point of view) and it is General Assembly’s goal that our students have these tools upon graduation.

    Portfolios are a very important tool to be able to conduct a successful job search. A professional portfolio will forever be a work in progress, so waiting until it is “perfect” can often be a roadblock. Portfolios should most certainly represent your best self and work at all times.

    At this point, should a student assume that all employers know what a “coding bootcamp” is? How should they explain this concisely?

    One should never assume that employers know or understand what a “coding bootcamp” is or what’s even involved. Not all bootcamps are created equal. Educating employers of what immersive graduates are capable of along with informing them of the opportunity to hire our graduates is a responsibility that General Assembly & graduates co-own. Graduates should focus on what they can do and what they have learned (as well as their previous professional experience) and rely on the merit of their own work. This not only shows what they’ve learned but how they apply it.

    In your experience, what do employers like about General Assembly graduates? What makes them stand out during the job search?

    It’s been my experience that employers particularly like the fact that our grads have a very distinct point of view and professionalism that represents the entire package. Since most of our students come from a myriad of professional backgrounds, employers appreciate how they embrace their entire experience to include their GA experience. Our grads define themselves not just as “GA graduates” but as technical professionals with a variety of experience in a wide array of industries.

    If someone has a non-technical background (a poet, writer, etc), how can they incorporate that into their job application? Or should they be hiding that background?

    It is never advisable to “hide” a previous background of any kind. Rather, redefining how that background makes them a stronger candidate is much more appropriate. It’s important to recognize non-technical backgrounds as a unique skill set and embrace them as strengths, not weaknesses. Understanding what brought them to this point in their career and why they were drawn to tech is a much more compelling story. It’s about having a clear picture of where you are going, and how you envision your career moving forward rather than focusing on the past.

    How should students approach a gap in their resume? (Maybe they took time off to raise children).

    Own it! There’s nothing wrong with having gaps in traditional employment but how you decide to acknowledge it and explain its value to your career is the key. We are not one-dimensional people and we all have a story to tell. What did you learn and gain from this time? How did it help get you to this point in your career?

    What advice do you give students for creating their online presence (LinkedIn, Twitter, personal website)? How important is it to show off new tech skills via these channels?

    It’s incredibly important but that doesn’t mean they need to be on everything. LinkedIn is essential but other social media presence can be pointless if you’re not prepared to contribute and be consistent. On the other hand, they can be absolute gems if used correctly and to your advantage. Choose what works for you and stick with it by contributing relevant and valuable content. It’s a great way to establish a credible and professional point of view and connect with like-minded pros.

    Your personal website, or rather your professional website portfolio, is your calling card. This is home base and should be what everything links to. You should be prepared to keep it relevant and update it with additional work on a consistent basis. A blog can also be a terrific way to maintain a consistent presence but it’s crucial to maintain regular content. Deciding on its focus will make a huge difference.

    How can bootcampers demonstrate that they have soft skills throughout the application process? Is this something they can show on a resume?

    A resume should not be viewed as a timeline and inventory of everything you’ve done in the past. Rather, it should tell a story and focus on where you are going and not just where you’ve been. Consider writing a brand statement that defines who you are as a professional and allow it to describe your value proposition. Use this as your thesis statement and have the body of your resume be the supporting documentation that supports it. Soft skills are incredibly important but listing them doesn’t give context to how you apply them. Focus your resume on the application of those soft skills rather than listing mundane tasks. Tell a story of your professional life.

    Have you noticed that employers are looking for a specific programming language right now?

    Nope. It varies from market to market and industry to industry. Besides, our students are taught the fundamentals behind programming and understand the process behind learning additional and new technologies.

    How does GA help with networking? What are some best practices to make networking useful? Do you have advice for shy bootcampers who aren’t natural “networkers?”

    GA is very focused on community. It is critically important that we incorporate the outside world view into our Outcomes programs whenever possible and appropriate to provide professional context and insight. The tech community is such a welcoming group of people, allowing us to thrive on opportunities to bring industry pros into the classroom to reinforce expectations and share advice. This also fosters networking opportunities for students and helps break the ice to develop a robust professional network.

    Networking doesn’t always have to consist of in-person activities and involvement. Face-to-face is one of many ways in which people can and should network. Online resources (i.e. Slack), social media (i.e LinkedIn, Twitter) and online contributions (i.e. blogs, Github) are excellent ways to demonstrate an involvement in the tech community while also sharing best practices and personal work. Thought leadership does not have to mean you're an expert but rather encourage practitioners to be part of the conversations that are being had online and in person every day. Align yourself with other like-minded professionals who share the same interests and passions that you do.

    What should bootcamp grads factor in the “whole package” of compensation? What is your advice for negotiations?

    The “whole package” is the optimal term here. Remember, most GA students come from a wide array of backgrounds so it’s important to consider everything a candidate brings to the table. Professional maturity is something to keep in mind but most importantly, have a realistic sense of what the market commands, what you are worth, and what the opportunity will ultimately mean for your professional development.

    Desperation never looks good on anyone. Have confidence in the fact that a company wants you. You’ve wowed them by showing off your new tech skills, knowledge, personality, and potential -- negotiation is part of the process. It’s expected and it’s not personal, it’s just business. Have a list of non-negotiables so you know what to stay firm on and have a list of “it’d be nice to have” so you can review the entire package.

    Be transparent and keep it real. Doing your research is crucial. Think creatively and ask the right questions. Make sure it’s in writing!!! It’s not real unless you have it in writing!

    What can a bootcamp student expect in a Junior Developer interview?

    Expect the unexpected. Not all interviews are equal. Do your research and come to the interview with your own questions about the company. Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.

    Always be prepared to talk about yourself. Having a good sense of who you are as a developer, your value proposition, and what you specifically bring to the table that makes you different is a good place to start. Have a solid narrative and practice communicating it.

    What if a job listing says that the candidate should have a “four-year computer science degree?”

    I’m a believer that unless it says “required” then game on. It’s a technicality. If you meet 75% of the job requirements and can back it up, you should always apply. You never know what’s going to spark an employer’s interest. Be prepared to answer what makes you just as good (if not better) than a traditional CS degree candidate.

    Obviously coding bootcamps are growing, and there are a lot more alumni competing for junior developer jobs these days. How can bootcamp grads set themselves apart from other candidates?

    Have a point of view! Don’t just think showing up to class and doing the work is necessarily going to land you a job at the end. Sure, you’re developing a whole new set of skills, but show how you apply these skills and show employers what you’re really made of by being able to communicate your process and how you challenge yourself beyond just the project requirements. At the end of the day, employers want to see how you think, and how you illustrate that can really make the biggest difference amongst your peers.

    Any final thoughts or advice to bootcampers who are job searching?

    Bootcamp grads are generally the most dedicated, self-motivated, and passionate employees. Taking a bootcamp and making it through successfully is not for the faint of heart and takes commitment and grit. Chances are you were taught how to learn so learning new technologies is a skill set in its own right that grads should embrace. Never stop learning and believe in yourself. A job search is not just about applying for jobs but taking control over a strategic career process that will not only benefit you to land a job but also achieve career success.

    Read more General Assembly reviews on Course Report and don’t forget to check out the General Assembly Website!

    About The Author

    Laurenstewartimage

    Lauren is a communications and operations strategist who loves to help others find their idea of success. She is passionate about techonology education, career development, startups, and the arts. Her background includes career/youth development, public affairs, and philanthropy. She is from Richmond, VA and now currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

  • Our Deep Dive into General Assembly's First Outcomes Report

    Liz Eggleston1/11/2017

    While General Assembly has been training developers and designers since 2012, they recently released their first student Outcomes Report, which explores who was admitted to General Assembly's Web Development Immersive and User Experience Design Immersive, and who got jobs after working with GA's Career Services program. We talk to Liz Simon, General Counsel for General Assembly, about why it's important for students to consider outcomes as they research coding bootcamps, how they calculated their 99% job placement rate, and what they're working to add to future reports.

    How were you involved in General Assembly’s first Outcomes Report?

    My primary role is General Counsel for the company, and I also oversee our work with policymakers and government on regulatory issues. Given that work, my role was to help ensure our report took into account reporting requirements from a regulatory and consumer protection standpoint. I worked closely with our operational staff who are actually on the front lines helping our students with the job search process.

    In April 2016, General Assembly released an open source framework for reporting student outcomes called Measuring What Matters. Was the intention for other coding bootcamps to use the same framework?

    We released the open source framework because we wanted feedback on it. We wanted other schools and players to take pieces of it, give us criticism, feedback, take parts that worked for them, discard parts that didn't. We were very open about encouraging other schools to use it, while recognizing that there are other schools who are creating their own standards in parallel.

    It was our hope that the framework could be a useful tool not only for other schools to pick up and run with, but also to explain to our students and other stakeholders where we're headed.

    Did your team make any huge changes to the framework between April and November based on that feedback?

    Not really. A lot of the feedback we received was about metrics not included in the framework. For example, people asked why we chose not to include certain metrics like salary or how we would approach ROI calculations in the future. So we had a lot of conversation around how we might add metrics in future reporting.

    The Web Development and UX/UI Immersives have always been outcomes-oriented, right? Why start reporting student outcomes now in November 2016?

    Quantifying a real return on investment for our students has always been a part of the mission and vision at General Assembly. And we have long wanted to create some mechanism that would allow our students and other stakeholders to have greater transparency into our outcomes.

    Our framework and this report are the culmination of many conversations with researchers, policy experts, and others in our industry. While we didn't release the full report until 2016, we started this process in the fall of 2015 and it's something that we've been thinking about for a long time. We’re partly motivated by what we see as General Assembly’s obligation, as a leader in the industry, to act on reporting outcomes, even in the absence of broader collective action.

    Reporting outcomes is a commitment that we've always wanted to make to our students and this was a good time to do it. It took us a long time to get to this point because of the way that we approached the process.

    Is there something unique about coding bootcamps that makes the process of reporting student outcomes difficult?

    We worked with two different Big 4 accounting firms – one to help us develop the framework that we released earlier this year and the other to actually conduct the review of our data – and from that process, we learned that the level of uniformity and precision required to report verifiable data at scale isn't necessarily built into a business like ours. I think that is the case for most higher educational programs, not just coding bootcamps. The questions it raised ranged from operationally how you collect data, how you get students to respond to surveys, and what third-party data (i.e., salary) you're able to draw from, if any.

    For us, we felt that this was a positive for our business. Organizing and sorting out data shone a light on some things we did well, and some areas for improvement. As we've learned, surveying 100 students is different than 1,000 (and different from 10,000) and all of this gets exponentially more complex as we scale. This is true not only for the number of students, but also in having 15+ campuses. When auditors actually test your data, they’re examining our campuses across the world—not just New York, but also campuses in places like London, Austin, and Seattle.

    What are the most important metrics in this Outcomes Report?

    We chose to initially focus most heavily on graduation rate and job placement, because those are the most important metrics to our students, and because those are the two most objective data points.

    If a student is looking at GA, their number one concern is, “will I be able to get a job?” If that's their goal, are they going to be able to meet that goal? That's the foundation of the ROI for students. There are obviously lots of data points that go into that, so there's certainly lots of other data in the report, but those are the metrics that were verified by KPMG

    Why leave out salary in this version of the report? Does General Assembly plan to add salary in the future?

    We absolutely plan to add salary. It's one of the things we most wanted to include. However, in this report we were looking in the past, reporting back to 2014 and 2015. While we had some salary data for students, the process by which it was collected and verified did not meet the rigorous standards that we were applying to the other metrics in the report, so we decided to hold off and draw much stronger conclusions about salary in the next phase. I certainly anticipate including salary in future reports.

    One very fair question that students should ask about the salary data in other schools’ outcomes reports is, "What is the sample size?" For General Assembly, we’re not dealing with a population of 100-200 students. This effort illuminated where we can update our data collection processes so we will be able to report salary going forward.

    What is your process when collecting data from students? Are you collecting offer letters or tax returns? Is it through a Google survey?

    We collect data primarily via survey, so it is self-reported by our graduates. In the cases where we do not  have survey data, we make a digital record of our communication (e.g., email, notes from a phone conversation) with graduates.

    The accounting firm that helped us develop our framework gave us a lot of recommendations from their controls and governance perspective, to implement a stronger plan for collecting documentation. We've got a big long checklist for future plans, and documentation and salary is high on that list.

    What does a “full-time job in the field of study” mean? Like if someone got a full-time job as a product manager after the WDI, would they count as having a job “in-field”?

    The technical answer is that “in-field” means an occupation for which students are trained or a related, comparable, recognized occupation. This is one area where we could provide further clarification, but in your example, someone working as a product manager after WDI could be counted as a full-time employment in our metrics. The new role has to be one in which they are utilizing their new skills, and/or is a role they achieved as a result of being in the program. We have never limited this to specific titles since titles can vary so much.

    What does “job placement” mean in the report? It looks like, if a student receives three job offers, they are still counted as “placed.”

    I think that reasonable people can disagree on that, but we believe that this is about expectation matching between the student and the school. You do your part, we do our part. Students aren’t forced to take a job that they don't want to take – that's certainly not our goal. But while career services are always here to act as a resource, they can't dedicate endless resources, because we’re operating at scale. So we had to draw the line somewhere. However, the situation you described is an edge case (less than 1% of our outcomes). It hardly ever comes up.

    Another piece of feedback we received, which we will act on, was to break down all of the different categories that we consider full-time employment in future reports.

    The most important statistic in this report is arguably the 99% placement rate. Can you walk us through how you got to that placement rate?

    Absolutely. We start with the total population of students who are enrolled (2,080 students). Of those, some students (147) withdraw or make it to the end of the course but don’t graduate (30), so we’re left with a pool of 1,903 graduates. Then, at the end of the program our graduates choose whether or not to participate in career services.

    Of the 1,455 graduates who participated in career services, 1,440 got jobs within 180 days of graduating. That’s 99% of job-seeking graduates who got a job.

    Why might someone not participate in career services?

    There are many reasons why students might not want to participate in career services. Some of them are edge-case reasons, but we felt that shining light on all of them was important to broader transparency. There are a lot of different things that come up in people's lives and reasons why they take a different path. But as you can see, the vast majority of graduates do participate in career services because that's what they're coming to General Assembly for.

    Is General Assembly now licensed by the BPPE in California?

    Yes.

    So does this Outcomes Report also satisfy the BPPE’s reporting requirements?

    This report is different. As a licensed school, we have to report data in a specific way on performance fact sheets for the state of California. We make that available to all California students when they enroll.

    However, the categories which the BPPE gives us are not very nuanced. We believe it's helpful for students to get a more complete picture of student intent and likely outcomes, which is why our report is more detailed than what the BPPE requires.

    Additionally, we have campuses in 16 other cities, each with different reporting requirements. It didn't make sense to choose one state’s reporting standards. Instead, we decided to create a global standard on top of the required reporting in each state.

    What's the biggest difference that you see between GA's Outcomes Report and other schools who report outcomes (ie. Turing, Hack Reactor, Flatiron School etc)?

    First, I do think that these outcomes reports are a net positive for this sector, even if schools are reporting differently. That being said, I think the biggest difference is our scale. It's fantastic that other schools are reporting on outcomes – many did it before GA and will continue to do it. That's all good for the industry, but these reports do put into perspective the relative scale of each school, and the rigor required to report on verifiable data as you continue to serve more and more students.

    There are also metrics that I think some schools care more about than others. For example, some schools deeply care about a very specific definition of a “software developer” role.

    One thing that I don’t necessarily see in a lot of outcomes reports, which we think is important, is talking about Admissions. Who are the students you're admitting? What's the process for the admissions standards? That certainly impacts what the results are. And sample size, again, is critical when a school is reporting on salary or other important data.

    Why should students themselves be concerned with outcomes from coding bootcamps?

    One of the things that we've learned is that the vast majority of students who sign up for an immersive bootcamp intend to get a job. I think it's particularly important for students to have expectations and an understanding of the investment that they're making to understand if their goals match the outcomes of our students, and how do they reflect what their goal is with what the possible outcomes are. That may be getting a job in certain fields, that maybe something else.

    And I think students should care about that. They should know that. And it's also important for them to understand that we use this information in a lot of ways. It helps inform our admissions process, and informs the career support that we provide to students during the course. The support we give to students in career services after they graduate is all part of an ecosystem of information flow. So I think it's most important for students to be able to identify with their circumstance, place it in context.

    And that's why we went so granular because even with those edge cases, you want students to be able to connect with them. While full-time employment in the field is an obvious goal, when you're dealing with thousands of students, there are a lot of different reasons why they are participating in these programs so understanding the nuance matters to ensure we can serve students well.

    Is there anything important for students to know about the Outcomes Report that we didn’t cover?

    The big thing is that we're still working on it. We're gathering more longitudinal data that will be reflected in future reports. You can expect to see metrics like salary growth, success of part-time students, etc., in the future, and we're going to keep iterating on our framework. This is a starting place, and we're excited to see it evolve over time.

    To learn more, check out General Assembly reviews on Course Report, or read the full Outcomes Report on their website.

    About The Author

    Liz pic

    Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students considering a coding bootcamp. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube

  • Episode 8: October 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe11/1/2016

    Welcome to the October 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. This month we are also covering our Women In Tech Snapchat takeover! Other trends include new developments in the industry, new outcomes reports and why those are important, new investments in bootcamps, and of course, new coding schools and campuses.

    Continue Reading →
  • Am I the Right Candidate for a Coding Bootcamp?

    Imogen Crispe10/11/2016

    Should I do a coding bootcamp? This is a question we hear all the time, and for good reason. As more coding bootcamps launch (not to mention the rising media coverage), you’re probably wondering, “should I jump on the bandwagon and learn to code?” A recent TechCrunch article implored you not to learn to code unless you’re ready to put in the work to be great, whereas President Obama wants every student to learn computer science in high school. So what types of people are opting for coding bootcamps? And should you be one of them?

    Continue Reading →
  • September 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe10/3/2016

    Welcome to the September 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to big fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. Of course, we cover our 2016 Outcomes and Demographics Report (we spent a ton of time on this one and hope everyone gets a chance to read it)! Other trends include growth of the industry, increasing diversity in tech through bootcamps, plus news about successful bootcamp alumni, and new schools and campuses. Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast!

    Continue Reading →
  • Alumni Spotlight: Pedro Martin of General Assembly

    Lauren Stewart9/14/2016

    Pedro was a political rights advocate imprisoned Venezuela, an environmental science teacher, and a rope-access technician before finding his love for code in London. We sat down with this General Assembly Web Development Immersive graduate to learn more about his unconventional path to software development. Find out how Pedro fled Venezuela and ended up becoming a junior developer and JavaScript Teaching Assistant in London.

    Q&A

    Pedro, tell us about your pre-bootcamp story. What was your educational and career background before General Assembly?

    That’s a long story! I am from Caracas, Venezuela. I’m sad to say that Caracas has become one of the most violent cities in the world. I was a science teacher back home teaching at secondary schools for a private company that provided extra curriculum to private schools. When this company shut down, the group of teachers decided, “Why not provide this nice curriculum but now for public schools in the slums?” So we started an NGO, and our first pitch was to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). They started funding us, and we started to work in the slums teaching environmental sciences to children.

    Politics back home started to become really, really harsh and polarized. The opposition of my government started to ask me and other teachers to be liaisons between political propaganda and their networks. Many of us started to be prosecuted by our own government. In 2004, I was protesting against my government and got shot by national guards. They then imprisoned me for a crime I did not commit. Fortunately, I was released, even though they released me by mistake. I continued protesting but the persecution and harassment started to become greater. Many friends who supported my NGO suggested that I get a cover job to divert attention from myself.

    What an intense experience. What did you do next and how did you become interested coding?

    One of my friends decided to employ me at their digital advertising agency. I was spending half of my time as a copywriter, and half of my time as a teacher in the slums. When I was working at that ad agency, I discovered web development, and fell in love. There were times when I wanted to add more features to the app or website, but couldn't due to lacking certain skills. So I started to research and teach myself.

    On the other hand, things started to get really bad at home, so I decided to leave the country. I fled to London in April 2013, and at that time, I didn’t know any English, so I couldn’t practice my career, teaching. I also thought I couldn’t translate my previous skill set of working at high vertical environments. For example, when I taught environmental sciences, we would talk about plants and photosynthesis and the rain forest ecosystem. I built platforms on the top of trees and lead the children, properly and safely, the top.

    I researched about if it's possible to do that in London, and I found there are positions called Rope Access Technicians (RATS) which is construction labor, but really just hanging on ropes. So I did that because it paid well, and I worked with only a few people so I didn’t need to speak much English.

    It was my plan to save money in order to do the General Assembly course, because when I decided to leave my home country, I was resetting my life completely. I was going to another continent, another culture, another language, so why not reset my career?

    Wow. Quite a story. How did you decide on General Assembly as opposed to other schools?

    To be honest with you, it was the first hit on Google, so I just did more research on General Assembly. I read forums, and asked people about their experience. I reached out to a few other schools, but General Assembly was the first to respond to me.

    What specifically did you want to get out of a coding bootcamp like General Assembly?

    There were many things that hooked me on GA. First, it's not about the curriculum, it’s the way you provide the knowledge. As a teacher, I know the most important thing is not the content itself, but it’s the way you provide that content as well as the environment you provide that content in. I felt the tone of communication, the approach I received through email, and meeting people at info sessions was great. GA bases their coursework on exploration education which is a philosophy and technique that I love. I think it's really valuable for students to learn by doing. Students should learn from their mistakes, and then anchor that knowledge to their own experience.

    Could you explain how you financed the program?

    Yes. I sent emails before attending to see if they had loans, because I didn’t have the money. I was glad they offered payment installments because I paid almost two thirds, and the other third was paid through loans from an institute called Future Finance.

    Did you think about going to a traditional university as opposed to going to a coding bootcamp to learn to program?

    Not at all. I came from a university with an education degree, and when I found experiential education, I didn't want to return to academia again. Don't get me wrong, it is a really important foundation, but if someone or an institute can guide you through experimentation, it’s even better.

    Describe your Web Development Immersive learning experience at General Assembly.

    It was really tough for many reasons. First, web development by nature is frustrating because you're dealing with constant problems that need to be solved. Dealing with problems and things that you don't know how to solve is hard. It’s a lot to experience 8+ hour days and then needing to do homework. The learning is really every day, all day for 12 weeks.

    The process to manage your emotions and frustrations is really hard, but the instructors are really aware and address it in morning stand-ups. Our 15-minute stand-ups were a way to get out your emotions. We’d share what was happening to ourselves, what we felt for other fellows, and we’d realize that we’re not alone in our frustrations. Everyone is hitting a wall at the same time but with different rhythms.

    The instructors and course producers encourage you to share everything - your emotions, your code, and questions to your peers, which was really helpful. Sometimes I felt that I wasn’t grabbing the content, and became really frustrated because I paid a lot of money. However, in the long term, last week was my first anniversary as a graduate, everything is clicking.

    What was your favorite project that you built in WDI?

    It was a group project, which just went offline four weeks ago. It's an old project, that we used in Google Maps API and Instagram real-time API. Our approach was that people could navigate a city via the video that someone just published at that moment. So you could navigate a city on Instagram videos.

    My second favorite project was my final project. At the beginning, JavaScript and I hated each other; it was something I struggled with. So I decided that my final project needed to all be done in JavaScript. Here in London, maybe 60% of the population are immigrants. People who are born and raised here don't realize how lucky they are to have this country’s safety and systems. I created a web app to show the index of violence and peace in different parts of the world, The State of The World in Peace. I scraped from the United Nations database but they don't have a proper API. They have a lot of tables on their website, so I used Nokogiri which is a gem from Ruby. I scraped that to populate the database to an app which it colors in different ways for the different indexes. If you want to see, for example, the human development index, the education index, or the health index, you can compare your country against the world.

    What was one of your biggest challenges during the program?

    I was really afraid about of my level of English at that time. It was really challenging because I was learning something from the scratch in a language that I am not proficient. I didn’t have the money to take proper English classes, so I basically taught myself English. I watched a lot of English speaking movies with subtitles.

    What was your cohort like?

    London is really multicultural. In my class we had a guy from India, a guy from Pakistan, and we had two Canadians. We had a Jewish guy and a Londoner who was living in New Zealand for about four years. It was a great size and we were a good bunch.

    So what are you doing now that you are finished with General Assembly?

    I fell in love with web developing, and I stayed in London for almost two years just to do the course. I enrolled at General Assembly in April 2015 and I finished in July 2015. Immediately after they asked me to return but as a teacher assistant. Since then, I've been a Teacher Assistant for their Web Development Immersive, JavaScript, and Front-End Web Development course. We're teaching the first iteration of the new JavaScript curriculum in London, and I'm honored to be the TA. We actually just launched a new campus a few weeks ago, and it's huge. We have meeting rooms, we have offices, we have a common work space and more. We're trying to have events every evening which is great.

    I’m also working in the industry. My first contract as a professional developer was two months after I graduated, at a software company called Made Tech. Made Tech specializes in creating e-commerce sites built on Ruby on Rails. I was the support engineer. Now I'm working at Thirty Three which is a digital advertising agency that specializes in marketing and advertisement for recruitment, and it’s great. I’m currently one of the oldest developers, but the most junior developer.

    Did General Assembly help you with the job search?

    Yes, GA helped a lot. Sam and Cassie, the outcome producers, helped me to create a new CV, and they prepped me for interviews. At the beginning I felt that "Oh, this is horrible," but it helped me tremendously to practice in front of a mirror with my colleagues. I had a speech for probably every normal question that an employer could ask.

    The first month was hard because the process to ask for a job position here is completely different from my home country. Also, the process has too many steps. It's too long in my opinion, but Cassie and Sam, the outcome producers, helped me deal with my frustrations. I was glad that Made Tech published a role on GA’s profile page for graduates, which is basically a LinkedIn only for GA graduates. This tool was really helpful because if employers post a role there, they know the level of skill you will have as a GA grad.

    Do you feel like the programming languages taught at GA prepared you for your current role?

    Yes. The stack that they teach at General Assembly is based on Ruby and JavaScript, and everything else is just the transversal on the language itself. When you learn that, you can transition into other technologies because it works the same. The syntax, or the way you name things, are different and that's it. The stack I'm working in now is PHP and we are using Laravel, along with chef and puppet for deploy which is built on Ruby. I had never touched PHP in my life, but just by using Ruby and JavaScript, I picked it up.

    How are your colleagues supporting you as you learn?

    Because I'm a junior, my bosses are aware of the level I’m at. They are more than happy to help me to grow into a more senior role. The environment with my colleagues is great because everyone shares knowledge and everyone supports each other.

    I actually just delivered my first project two weeks ago. I had pitched some of my project ideas, and I was given the green light to build bots for Slack as a working package for our clients. We were working to automate the recruitment process for when employers welcome a new hire. We also pitched an idea about creating a platform built on Raspberry Pi where one could just press a button and have a live website.

    Do you have any words of wisdom for people who are thinking about attending a coding bootcamp?

    Because I'm also teaching, I have a lot of friends who don't put in their hours and don’t use effort to push themselves. These courses only give you what you put into it. So if you're just going to sit in a chair and expect to become a developer, you're lying to yourself. You need to put in a lot of effort to deal with bugs and frustrations. If you are willing to put that extra effort in every time, it's completely worth it. But if not, it's not for you.

    My biggest advice would be to put in the effort. If you're going to the immersive course, it’s because you're willing to change careers. You need to put in the effort, you need to put in the extra hours, and you need to be curious. You need to be serious and have a good sense of humor in order to deal with the frustrations of learning code because, it is hard and the internet is not getting any smaller.

    Find out more and read General Assembly reviews on Course Report. Check out the General Assembly website.

    About The Author

    Laurenstewartimage

    Lauren is a communications and operations strategist who loves to help others find their idea of success. She is passionate about techonology education, career development, startups, and the arts. Her background includes career/youth development, public affairs, and philanthropy. She is from Richmond, VA and now currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

  • August 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe8/31/2016

    Welcome to the August 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to big fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. This month the biggest news is the Department of Education's EQUIP pilot program to provide federal financial aid to some bootcamp students. Other trends include job placement outcomes, the gender imbalance in tech, acquisitions and investments, and paying for bootcamp. Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast!

    Continue Reading →
  • Why We Hire from General Assembly: Nick from Razorfish

    Liz Eggleston8/25/2016

    Razorfish is a digital marketing agency with a 120-person technical team, which means they’re always scoping out technical talent. We spoke to Razorfish Talent Acquisitions Manager Nick Easlick about hiring General Assembly grads as Front End developers across the US. Having hired 7 General Assembly grads so far (and hoping to hire more in the future), Nick tells us about his experience with motivated bootcamp grads, the success he’s seen with GA employees so far, and why a CS degree is not always essential in web development roles.

    Q&A

    Tell us about Razorfish and your role there.  

    Razorfish is digital marketing agency, and I am a manager of Talent Acquisition. I manage a team of recruiters who are specifically recruiting across central US and West Coast; my particular domain is for technology roles. Razorfish has carved out a niche in the technical and digital space.

    How large is the technical team at Razorfish?

    If you're looking at the tech landscape as a whole, the team is 120 to 130 people across the country.

    What types of roles does Razorfish hire coding bootcamp graduates into?

    We've traditionally hired bootcamp grads into UX Design and Web Development roles. Within those Web Development roles, we’re mostly hiring front end developers who are great at HTML, CSS, JavaScript. Those roles don’t require a ton of full-stack or back end knowledge. When we look for Java programmers, those are probably coming out of universities with a four-year CS degree.

    How many General Assembly graduates have you hired so far?

    Somewhere between five and seven.

    How did you get connected with General Assembly?

    I work with GA’s Outcomes Managers, who are responsible for connecting students with employers like me, in each of their different offices at Austin, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, LA, and obviously Chicago. Whenever we have a need in a specific market, General Assembly is one of the first organizations I reach out to.

    Oftentimes, the big challenge with hiring a coding bootcamper is that they’re career transitioners, so a company has to take a chance on them. Once we took a chance with the first General Assembly grad we hired, and they turned out to be fantastic, it became easier and easier to justify hiring more GA grads, even though they may not have a lot of experience. The quality of that one employee really springboarded our relationship.

    Do you notice differences between hiring from a coding bootcamp versus hiring grads of a CS degree program?

    There are two differences. The first difference, which is pretty critical, is that these students have just invested the last 12+ weeks of their lives (financially and time-wise) fully diving into a new skill that they love, and they’re pumped to graduate and start their first jobs. Your mentality is so much different coming out of a bootcamp like that than it is coming out of a four-year university, in my humble opinion.  

    Of course you have students who are equally as motivated to start their career after graduating college, but coding bootcamp grads have so much more skin in the game than those who are coming out of a four-year CS degree.

    The second difference between CS grads and coding bootcamp grads is that a coding bootcamp is able to turn over their curriculum quickly as the tech landscape changes. I hate to be crushing four-year universities because they definitely have their place in the tech space, of course, but it's hard for a four-year university with a very solid locked-in curriculum to change at that same pace.

    So it’s never been a concern for you that those new hires from General Assembly don't have that traditional computer science degree?

    No. We may list a CS degree as a “plus.” But in reality, a lot of General Assembly grads come to us with some post-secondary education. Maybe they didn't complete that degree, or the degree isn’t in CS or Information Sciences, or maybe they're using GA to transition careers. So no, it's not a concern.

    I'm a huge fan of these web development immersive courses, in particular at GA, because we've probably had the most success with them. Bootcamps are teaching things that are more applicable, more emerging, more innovative than someone out of a four-year university.

    There are a lot of coding bootcamp grads these days, and there's a lot of competition to get a job. What made you hire the General Assembly grads that you've hired?

    Culture fit is definitely a major component. But when you're looking at skill set, we’re looking for developers who have a solid understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. When Web Developers at Razorfish create projects for our clients, we build everything from scratch. You need to be able to work with designers and to turn a Photoshop file into a website. So if you don't have a fundamental knowledge of how HTML and CSS works, then you'll fall flat on your face. We’ve interviewed grads from other bootcamps, and while they were talented, what stands out with GA is that they actually teach HTML and CSS.

    How does Razorfish support new hires and ensure that they keep learning even after Day One?

    First, we hire junior level developers relatively sparingly, which means they're going to be working with mid-level to senior-level developers on a daily basis, and learning a lot from them organically. Some of that mentorship happens organically, and some of it is more structured. Especially at that beginner level, you need that mentorship from other developers. Someone may ask you to head up a technology team with a nice price tag, but that’s not going to be a great learning experience. Even at the mid-level and senior level, there's still a lot to be learned.

    We also offer a tuition reimbursement of $5,500/year towards advancing any area or subject that you're interested in. That could mean an improv class, or it could be more relatable to your job- like a class on Ember or Angular.

    We host a lot of meetups at Razorfish, and not only do we want to encourage hosting and fostering that community locally, but we also encourage our employees to attend meetups across the cities that they're in as well.

    When did you hire the first GA grad? Has it been long enough for someone to get promoted?

    Promotions at Razorfish take anywhere between one to two years, but they’re on that track. One of our best hires, Gaby Ruiz-Funes, is from the General Assembly Chicago campus. She was hired last year in a class of developers as an Associate Presentation Layer Engineer. That class of junior developers was really successful, and I wish we would do it year over year, honestly. Gabby is a total rockstar.

    We also have an internship program that we have actually hired a few GA students into; they work with us for 10 weeks, get the opportunity to get their feet wet beyond the bootcamp program, and hopefully get hired at the end.

    Are you able to influence the General Assembly curriculum or give feedback if you want applicants to know a certain language?

    I would feel comfortable doing that, but we haven't had a case in which we've discovered a really significant skills gap.

    We’ve hosted three or four GA visits where the WDI and UX Design students come to our office and we host a panel. That panel of Razorfish employees answer questions like, "What would you want the students to know coming out of GA that would set them up for a job in the "real world?" Hint: we always want applicants to know how to turn a .psd file into a website, and know how to communicate with a developer or with a designer to troubleshoot any issues that you run into along the way, and understand their line of thinking.

    Will you hire from General Assembly in the future?

    Yeah, absolutely. I am a huge, huge fan of General Assembly. I love the whole mindset around coding bootcamps,

    Unfortunately, it's not up to me to make the final hiring decision, but I will continue presenting them as long as the quality of candidates and the quality of work continues to impress us. A lot of our hiring is dictated based on business needs, but if it was up to me, I’d use GA as our feeder school and hire all of their graduates. I hope that comes across as genuine, because I really do love them!

    Find out more and read General Assembly reviews on Course Report. Check out the General Assembly website.

    About The Author

    Liz pic

    Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students considering a coding bootcamp. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube

  • Alumni Spotlight: Nat Panchee of General Assembly

    Imogen Crispe8/9/2016

    Nat had been a web programmer for 11 years when he decided to update his skills and attend General Assembly’s Android Development Immersive program in NYC. Although he had a background in Java, Nat says that almost everything he learned in the program was new, and has helped him start a freelance career as an Android mobile developer. Nat tells us why he chose General Assembly, the open feedback loop with instructors, and all about his Android game which is now on the GooglePlay store.

    Q&A

    What is your pre-General Assembly story? Tell us about your educational background and your last career path.

    I graduated from undergrad with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting. During my first job as an accountant, I relied heavily on Excel spreadsheets, and started using macros to automate calculations and processes; that was my initial introduction to programming. I knew that I liked programming more than accounting, and decided to teach myself how to program. As a result, I became certified in Java and Microsoft. I realized, however, that I needed to know more, so I applied for and was awarded a scholarship to Pace University in NYC where I graduated with a Masters in Computer Science.

    For 11 years after that, I helped run the technological side of my family business. It was a dropshipping company where I helped set up the e-commerce platforms for buyers to meet sellers online.

    So you already had a programming background- why did you feel like you needed to go to a coding bootcamp like General Assembly?

    I decided to focus more on programming and Android in particular. When I saw an article about General Assembly and Google collaborating on a class. I knew it was my next step.

    Did you look at other coding bootcamps or just General Assembly?

    I did look at other options in New York, however, knowing that Google, who created Android, chose to partner with General Assembly made my decision an easy one.  I decided that I should get the information straight from the source, especially since this was the first time that Google partnered with a course provider to teach Android.

    Why did you specifically want to learn Android development? What is it about mobile development that interests you?

    I had an Android phone before I took the class, and I liked to tinker with the phone. Also I come from a Java background, so I knew the roots of the Android development (Android is based on Java). I also like that Android is open source, unlike iOS, and that Android is growing fast – more people are getting Android phones.

    When I started programming, developers were creating desktop applications – because that’s what people used. Now, however, technology is shifting more towards mobile development. Almost everyone has either an iOS or Android device. I enjoy staying current and working at the cutting edge of technology. Becoming an Android developer allows me to grow as a programmer while contributing to the growth of Android technologies.

    What was your cohort at General Assembly like?

    The 20 people in the class were a good mix of really good people from varying backgrounds and experiences. Some had no prior programming experience and others had backgrounds in computer science. One classmate was a mechanical engineer, another was a chemist, and another was a reporter. It was interesting to work on projects together; to see what everyone brings to a project from their backgrounds and how they approach things differently. Despite all the differences, we got along really well and many of us continue to keep in touch.

    Because you already had a Java background, how much new information did you actually learn in the Android program?

    My programming background was helpful in understanding Android, however, I still had much to learn specifically about Android, like Views, and Android specific techniques. Understanding the programming logic was useful, but the majority of the class focused on Android specific information which was new to me.  

    What was the learning experience like in the Android class — what was a typical day and teaching style?

    The day was well structured. We started each day by reviewing material from the day before.  Then we would talk about a new topic. What I thought was extremely useful was that the instructor would give us exercises and mini projects based on that new topic. The premise is that you learn more by trying and doing it yourself. The instructors would always be there if we had any questions. So after they teach a topic, they would give us a link to GitHub where the code repository is, and we would implement what we just learned.

    In the afternoon there would be a new topic or an even more in-depth discussion about what we learned in the morning.

    The teaching style had a student-centered approach where the student plays an active role in the learning. GA was supportive and very receptive to feedback. We had a structured curriculum, however, GA was always asking for and listening to our suggestions. Every week we had a session where the instructors would ask the students for feedback - what they did well, what they needed to work on, and what they should cover more. Even though they had a curriculum, as students, we had a lot of input with respect to what we wanted to learn. The instructors were knowledgeable and flexible. On a couple of occasions they created a whole new lesson for us because we requested it.

    In addition to Java, what other technologies did you need to learn to become an Android developer?

    Fundamentally, it’s Java, but we also needed to learn how to use Android features like views (Android’s user interfaces), adapters and persistent data. Every time you see a screen it’s a result of many different technologies, all of which  we had to learn how to implement. We also used a lot of Google APIs as well as third party APIs to create more advanced apps. By the end of the class, many of us created apps that used features like GPS, Geolocation, image analysis and even networking between devices

    Since the program was in partnership with Google, did you interact with Google representatives during the program?

    We did interact with Google representatives throughout the program. We had the opportunity to tour the Google office and to meet Google engineers who presented on the new technologies they were working on, Google had also set up a video conference with another one of their  engineers to talk to us about threading and to answer any questions we might have. We were encouraged to ask questions which ranged from questions about the Android Operating System to what day to day life was like working at Google.

    How many instructors did you have and what were they like?

    We had two instructors, both of them were professional Android developers. One instructor was from a dev shop,and the other came from a corporate environment; it was interesting to see how they approached programming differently based on their background and experiences. The instructors were very approachable and always willing to help, so much so that I sometimes felt bad for them because our questions would cut into their lunch time.  They didn’t seem to mind though as they always stayed until everyone’s questions were thoroughly answered.

    What was your favorite project that you created in the Android class?

    We had four big projects. For the third project, the General Assembly team asked companies,to request specifications and requirements as if they were to hire a team of developers to create a new app for them. The instructors divided us into groups and each group was assigned different company projects to work on. Each team had four people and the companies included The New York Times, Vice, and touchLabs. My company was The New York Times, so my group built an app that featured The New York Times API, according to the specifications that the NYT team required.

    What I enjoyed most was that we had the opportunity to work in groups, and tried to simulate a “real world” work environment. We used Agile methodology, we used a Trello board, and we all used GitHub for code version control. It was a rewarding situation, especially since  it was a project that came from other professional developers.

    What was your final project?

    The instructors tasked us to build something outside of our comfort zones, which would then go on the GooglePlay store. So we had to make sure it worked on many different devices as the app could be used by the public. For me, I thought it would be a nice challenge to build a game, so I built a Tetris clone called Falling Blocks That Disappear When a Line is Formed. I had to create an input system, a physics system, a collision detection system, and a graphics system. The best part was when we presented the final project apps – you could truly see the big difference that three months had made. Many of us, myself included, didn’t know how to build an app before the class, and after three months, we were able to create complicated apps, using different APIs, and technologies. For the final project presentations, Google visited the GA space with a camera crew and we were featured in this GoogleIO video.

    How did General Assembly prepare you for job hunting?

    The preparation started at the outset. From Week One, we were assigned an Outcomes Coach to work with us every week. She helped us work on our resumes from the very start, so we would be prepared for the job search by the end of the course. Every week we would cover topics such as creating a resume, linkedIn profile, as well as skills including negotiation techniques and interview preparation. I was able to ask the Outcomes Coach any questions I had. Even after the course is over, GA remains supportive with constant contact from an Outcomes Coach.

    GA also invited companies like touchLabs and Prolific Interactive to our classroom. Those companies gave us presentations on what they do, what their work life is like, and even invited us to visit their company. It was a nice way for GA to bring in partners and introduce them to us, giving us a warm lead to contact them about current and future opportunities.

    What sort of freelance projects have you been working on since graduating from General Assembly?

    The main project is an Android project using Unity, a gaming engine, for a company in California (I am working remotely).They gave me a mockup of what they want, and then I build levels based on the assets and the graphics that they provide.

    Unity is a technology that I hadn’t used before, but I have a strong foundation with General Assembly, so it’s easy to pick up new technologies and apply them to Android. I took one class on Unity at Microsoft and was able to teach myself the rest of it.

    Even with my Computer Science background and Masters degree, none of this would have been possible without building the Android foundation with General Assembly.

    What’s been the biggest challenge in developing Android apps in the real world?

    Android development is very different from iOS development. iOS has a handful of devices so you know exactly what device an app will be used on. But there are many companies that make Android devices and each company has their variation (because Android is open source), so you always have to take that into consideration when developing an app.

    Have you stayed involved with General Assembly since graduating?

    I have stayed involved since graduating. General Assembly hosts events from time to time, and my classmates and I all meet up. We’re also all connected via the GroupMe app, so we all stay in touch. It’s nice to have a support group with people who know what you went through, and understand what the job search is like. I went to General Assembly to learn about Android, but I left with a new group of friends.

    What sorts of things are you doing to maintain and learn new skills?

    I constantly read about new technologies that I see in postings. For example, a lot of postings have a technology called Rxjava and although it wasn’t covered in depth in class, my classmates and I were able to teach ourselves using documentation and examples because of the foundation and skills our instructors gave us.  

    What advice do you have for people making a career change after a coding bootcamp?

    You get out what you put into it. Our class was from 9am to 5pm, but a lot of us stayed until 8pm or 9pm. We wanted to make sure we had a good foundation, take advantage of the opportunity to ask instructors questions, and get as much as we can out of it. All the projects we worked on, even earlier ones, have been useful to talk about in my interviews. The class is not a magic cure-all where you go in and all of a sudden you are set in a new career – you have to do the work. That said, it’s a good opportunity, so take it as an opportunity to learn more and it will help you switch careers.

    Even with my background in CS, I had the option of teaching myself Android, but I’m happy I went to General Assembly. It was an opportunity to learn Android, have my questions answered by professional developers, learn best practices, network and make new friends.

    Find out more and read General Assembly reviews on Course Report. Check out the General Assembly website.

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • July 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe8/1/2016

    Welcome to the July 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to big fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. This month the biggest trends this month are initiatives to increase the diversity in tech, some huge investments in various bootcamps, and more tech giants launching their own coding classes. Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast!

    Continue Reading →
  • May 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe5/31/2016

    Welcome to the May 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world, from acquisitions, to new bootcamps, to collaborations with universities, and also various reports and studies. Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup podcast.

    Continue Reading →
  • Watch Demo Videos and Compare Online Coding Bootcamps

    Imogen Crispe5/26/2016

    What is it like to study at an online coding bootcamp? How will you interact with your instructors, mentors and other students? And will your learning portal be a place you look forward to learning each day? We have done the research and asked some of the most popular online bootcamps to give us walkthrough demos to answer all your questions about studying online.

    Continue Reading →
  • Watch a Demo: General Assembly's Web Development Immersive Remote

    Liz Eggleston5/19/2016

    In this webinar, we’re excited to be joined by Adi Hanash, the lead of Online Education at General Assembly. Adi has been building out the online version of the General Assembly Web Development Immersive for the last few months. You may already know of General Assembly’s in-person Web Development Immersive (WDI), but as of May 16, remote students who can't make it into the GA classrooms will actually be able to take WDI online.

    However, it can be tricky to decide if an online coding bootcamp is right for you, so luckily, Adi is here to answer all of our questions about the learning platform, outcomes, and the curriculum for WDI Remote. Adi even shares his screen and shows us what the actual learning platform looks like!

    Q&A

    Adi, tell us about your role at General Assembly. What does it mean to be the Lead of Online Education?

    My background is in online education, specifically instructional design. At General Assembly, I've been helping build out and design our online courses both on our enterprise side, and on the consumer side. The team I manage is responsible for our online, on-demand, courses called Circuits – we offer 4 different circuits including our recently released a UX Circuit; and we're working on a JavaScript Circuit now.

    The opportunity came to start playing into the larger space of online, synchronous education, and bring our larger courses to the online platform. I've been acting both as the product manager and the instructional designer for the course.

    What's exciting to you about bringing WDI online? We've seen Dash and Circuits from General Assembly- why do you need to bring the full WDI program online?

    We're so committed to helping people get the education necessary to make a difference and a change in their lives. General Assembly is in 15 cities around the world, and we've graduated over 3,000 alumni from our Web Development Immersive in-person courses since we started offering the course. And this was our opportunity to find people who either lacked access to a General Assembly campus (maybe their commute is too long), or to be able to reach new people who aren't even aware these opportunities exist. We don’t have physical campuses in Indianapolis or Houston, but we still want to find ways to help people in Indianapolis start their career in web development.

    What is unique or different about developing a curriculum for an online General Assembly course versus the in-person Web Development Immersive? Will the curriculum be exactly same in the remote WDI?

    One of the first things we did when we started building this course was to go to all the stakeholders involved in the success of the Web Development Immersive. I started every meeting by asking about their red flags. I'm not kidding you – I have pages upon pages of red flags.

    When we started looking at the development of this curriculum, one theme that kept coming up was how important the community aspect of the classroom is in our Web Development Immersive. Our focus has been really dedicated towards redefining the experience but still keeping those important core elements: students working with each other and collaborating.

    We're not “putting WDI online,” we're translating the experience for the online course. While the curriculum itself is pretty much in line with what we cover in Web Development Immersive, we have to change the manner of teaching. There’s a focus on hyper engagement, interactions, group projects, paired programming. Throughout the class, don’t expect to just sit there and watch a video – there’s no pre-recorded content. You're working with a live instructor. Even the manner in which they are engaging with you is through multiple modes: chat, video, microphone. All of this is to make sure our students understand they're not alone in this process.  

    Right, because when we think about online education, one of the biggest roadblocks is attrition. How will you deal with disengagement or demotivation for students who you can’t be in a classroom with?

    This has been our primary focus and where I’ve leveraged my background the most. I've taught over 2,000 adult learners in the online synchronous education space so I have a lot of empathy for being in the classroom and dealing with people who are frustrated or disengaged or not motivated to keep going.

    Think about it like this: engagement is highest at the start of any conversation or any lecture. From the second you start, engagement starts to drop. The only way you can keep people engaged and interested is to find interaction points that push them back up. Small questions get a little bit of a jump, larger interactions or group activities or a five minute project get a larger jump.

    In the classroom, you’ll have constant guidance with the curriculum, you'll be in a smaller group within your class, and you'll have stand-ups throughout the day.

    What is the teaching style for General Assembly WDI Remote?

    Our student-to-teacher ratio is going to oscillate between 4:1 to 6:1 - what we have found to be a good balance to set our students up for success. In terms of the teaching style, we have Lead Instructors who are responsible primarily for presenting material, and associates who are there to help out, provide additional guidance, run labs or morning exercises, etc.

    You'll have exercises in the morning, a morning lesson, an afternoon lesson, a lab in the afternoon lesson, and you'll have stand-ups throughout the day with your team leaders.

    Whenever you're in an actual lesson, you always have the instructors presenting and talking to you. But there's also always at least one other instructor in a different chat box who can answer any questions you have, and we have two other people as backups. If you have a moment where you’re just not getting it, we can easily have you jump on a microphone with one of your instructors, they'll walk you through the step, and then you’re back in the classroom.

    Why did you decide on an instructor-led class instead of a one-on-one mentor style course?

    We looked at multiple possible models. Not to knock the mentor-led model, but it’s still really tough for someone to take responsibility for themselves especially if they're isolated. The mentor driven model puts that responsibility on the students to get the work done, which is fine and that totally works for some people.

    What we wanted to do is provide an experience that anyone can succeed in, independent of their range of motivation.  

    At General Assembly WDI Remote, students are making a full time commitment, right? You don’t expect students to have a part time or full time job in addition to WDI Remote, right?

    Our absolute recommendation is that you're going to commit full-time for the 13 weeks. You will sleep, eat, breath, dream, code and then when you graduate you'll be ready to start that career.  

    Are the admissions standards for WDI Remote the same as the in-person immersive? Are there additional requirements like time zone?

    The time zone one is interesting. Because we are piloting this, we've stuck with a 10:00 AM EST start time so that anyone in the US from Eastern all the way through Pacific has reasonable start times. That said, we currently have a student in London who's taking this course and one in Australia. So people who are rearranging their schedules to take it. Everyone else will break for lunch and they can enjoy a 3am snack!

    The admissions process, if anything, is more rigorous than the in-person immersive because we want to make sure we're getting the right students in the room, who will succeed in this environment.

    We've added a component to the admissions to make sure prospective students understand the commitment as well as for everyone our end to understand the intentions of our students. Whether it's to relocate to one of our 15 cities to pursue their career there or whether it's to stay in their current city. For example, one of our students in LA can’t commute two hours to our General Assembly Los Angeles campus.   

    During the application process, we want to make sure that students will be able to get jobs in the city they want to work in. So if you’re in Toledo, Ohio, let’s find 10 or 15 web development positions in your city and let's see if it's the right fit. If those positions aren’t available, then we need to have a conversation about considering relocating somewhere else where there are more opportunities. But we make that very clear in the process. We mitigate that within the first or second interaction with the student and we identify that this is the right opportunity. Our admission process is defined on finding the right student for us and finding out that we're the right program for them.

    For our viewers who are not familiar with the WDI curriculum, can you explain what it's going to cover?

    The goal of WDI is to prepare students for a job as a full-stack web developer. We try to update the curriculum based on what is relevant in the workspace. Our curriculum covers HTML, CSS, and the entire MEAN Stack for JavaScript. Then we have a section on Ruby, SQL, and a variety of other technologies. We add lessons on PHP and other languages as necessary. But we constantly monitor what skills are relevant to getting our grads hired and make adjustments as necessary.  

    Okay, Adi would you share your screen and show us the WDI Remote platform?

    Yes! For WDI Remote, we’re really focused on ways for people to communicate. So our primary platform is Slack. Slack is a tool that developers use consistently, and it’s where you'll see the content that the instructor will be going over, interact with the content, ask and answer questions, and add in screenshots of your work. You'll also use Zoom which is a video and audio conferencing platform similar to Google Hangouts. With Zoom, you’re able to see your instructors and your other classmates.

    Another exciting thing about the platform is that throughout the class you can hashtag concepts. Later on if the student wants to look it up, they can actually use the search feature to be able to find the specific lesson or the specific day that that was covered. We'll be recording all of the audio and all the other content as it's going, and at the end of the day we'll be sharing a link. Theoretically a month down the line if you want to go back and revisit or if you miss a day of class and you want to revisit, you go to the recording, hit play, and actually start at the top of the lecture like you're back in the classroom.

    The class is interactive so you can directly message classmates, a group of your classmates, your instructor or one of the IAs (Instructor Associates) in the room if you have a question and don't necessarily want everyone in the class to see it. There are a variety of ways to interact with each other.

    Is it possible for students to pair program through these tools?

    One thing we realized when we were studying and analyzing a Web Development Immersive in-person course is that inherently every student was looking at two monitors – their own computer screen, and then the projector of the front of the room. Our students for Web Development Immersive Remote are actually required to have an external monitor. It makes the experience smoother, and it's also pretty much industry standard that developers work with an external monitor.

    So you're actually working in multiple or two environments. One is the entire classroom and then in this environment if you want to, if it's a paired program situation or a group project, you can then add people and you can share this with two or three other people and work in a collaborative online environment. What's really cool is it also tells you if the instructor comes into your project, just to check in and see how you're doing, and students can actually see who's writing which line of code so they can get proper feedback to the right person.

    A huge part of the bootcamp experience is building projects, right? How does that portfolio work factor into the Remote option?

    Our entire course is project based, because in order to start your career in web development, you need to show off your portfolio of work. There will be group projects but there'll also be a significant amount of individual work. Cloud9 will sync up with your GitHub account, so students will be able store everything in the GitHub repo and then share that as necessary. So we're basically providing them with the environment and guidance they need to develop their projects, to really get their foot in the door to get started in their career.

    Since this is a pilot program, I'm assuming there will be hurdles. How are you preparing yourselves for that feedback?

    Actually we're offering a tuition credit for the first cohort. Part of the agreement is to do some user interviews with us. I will talk to every student who is taking the course and get their feedback and we will be optimizing on a daily basis. Every day will be better than the last one. We've already vetted the approach we're taking, we've done multiple demos and we are so confident this is going to work. I think we're creating something special here in terms of a truly interactive, instructive online environment.  

    It sounds like a lot of work is going into building the online community, but do you recommend other offline things that online students can be doing?

    As part of our admissions process, we identify 8 to 10 networking events in the student’s area and basically commit to doing those. A huge component of the Web Development Immersive experience as well as the remote experience, is our career coaching. Every week you have a dedicated working lunch with your career coach (plus as many other sessions as you want to schedule).

    The goal is not only preparing students in all of the hard skills but also the soft skills that are necessary to starting that career. Things like: how do you handle the technical interview, your cover letter and resume, your LinkedIn profile, making sure you have a clear understanding of your brand, salary negotiation, etc. Our curriculum and our work with students extends beyond just teaching them languages and how to think like a programmer. It teaches them how to actually be a programmer.

    I know the first cohort hasn’t started yet, but are employers excited about the opportunity to work with online students or do you see that as a roadblock?

    We have been very fortunate to have worked with so many employers at this point. I asked about their major hesitations, and they listed all of the red flags I expected them to list. Then I explained to them exactly what we’re doing with WDI Remote – live lectures, collaboration – and their concerns dissipated pretty much immediately. They were like, "Oh yeah, then they're basically graduates of the Web Development Immersive." Since then, they've been fully supportive about this.

    Is there anything we skipped over that you want to make sure our readers know about the upcoming cohort?

    Our first cohort started May 16th but our next cohort will begin in July. My advice is start that application sooner rather than later because, with our pre-work requirement, there is a cut-off a couple of weeks before the course starts. This is to help everyone level set before they come for day one.

    This is not like your uncle's online course. This is not a forum of recorded content. This is a live classroom, constant engagement, assessments throughout, and project interactions. One of the soft skills that employers asked for consistently was the ability to collaborate. That's why we've been so keen on including it in such an integral part of our course. Our students graduate with this strong ability to collaborate in a remote environment, which is exactly what web developers need to be able to do.  

    I feel like we could talk forever, Adi, but I've learned a ton about WDI Remote. I'm sure this will be really helpful to our readers so I really appreciate your time.  

    My pleasure. Thank you for hosting this and letting me talk about something I've just had the absolute best time getting to work on and build. It's been so fun and I think the biggest thing I'd like to say is that this is going to delight a lot of students and I'm excited to see it happen.

    Find out more and read General Assembly reviews on Course Report. Check out the General Assembly website.

    About The Author

    Liz pic

    Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students considering a coding bootcamp. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube

  • Alumni Spotlight: Rachel Smyth of General Assembly

    Imogen Crispe4/19/2016

    Rachel was a touring singer/songwriter, classical musician, and finalist on American Idol before she switched careers to become a developer. After graduating from General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive program in NYC, Rachel landed her dream job as a full stack developer for Stationhead, a startup at the intersection of music & tech. Rachel tells us about the similarities between music and coding, her learning experience at General Assembly, and jam sessions with her new co-workers!

    Q&A

    What is your pre-bootcamp story? What is your educational background? Your last career path?

    I have a degree in classical voice and I was a singer for many years. I was a finalist on American Idol and toured successfully for several years. But I was ready to try something different and I had always liked technology. I coded my first websites in DOS when I was nine years old. My brother is a developer at Google, and he had some co workers who went to General Assembly, and suggested I check it out. Since my entire education was in classical music, you could consider me a real tech newbie.

    What was your career goal in attending a coding bootcamp?

    I originally I thought I would go into data science and learn Python, but I knew I should first learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Ruby. A coding bootcamp seemed to be the quickest way to ramp up – and at the very least, I knew I would get some good connections.

    Did you consider doing a 4-year CS degree?

    I did. I had started a Masters at McGill and I was going to go back to college for computer science. But I talked to my brother about going back to school and he said, “Why get a CS degree? A lot of what you use in programming you don’t learn in a CS degree, you may as well go to a bootcamp and get practical knowledge building projects.”

    Did you look at other coding bootcamps or did you only apply to General Assembly NYC?

    I looked at the women’s coding bootcamp Hackbright Academy, but it was in San Francisco. Because I wanted to stay in New York, I was deciding between Flatiron School and General Assembly. Flatiron School seemed to focus more on Ruby, and I had seen less job postings for junior Ruby developers. My thought process was that if I’m just getting started in tech, I’d rather have more options and not be fighting for four or five jobs. I also know people who have gone to Flatiron and totally loved it.

    How did you pay for the Web Development Immersive? Did you use a financing partner? Did you get a scholarship?

    I had a combination of scholarship funding and I had been saving up to go back to school to get a CS degree, so I had a good amount in savings.

    What was your class like? Was your class diverse in terms of gender, race, life and career backgrounds?

    There were 30 of us, including six women, who were all smart and cool. At General Assembly you have your own class, and students in other classes whom you can talk to, and learn things from in a different way. There’s a real sense of community. There is some competitiveness in that everyone wants to be the best they can be, but everybody wants to help each other learn.

    We had all kinds of backgrounds. Someone from QA, entrepreneurs, mechanical engineers, CS majors who wanted more practical experience, marketers, people from nonprofits, and someone who had quit pre-med. The youngest person was 20, and we had a guy in his late 40s. People say tech is a youth-centric industry, but slightly older people shouldn’t be discouraged from doing a coding bootcamp. It’s never too late. If you like building things why not do it?

    What programming languages did you learn in the General Assembly WDI?

    When I was there, GA was changing the curriculum a bit. We learned full MEAN stack, which includes MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node, NoSQL, SQL, and a little bit of React, so very JavaScript-based. But we also did a heavy unit on Ruby and Ruby on Rails.

    What was the learning experience like at General Assembly?

    Classes start at 9am, and latecomers do miss out. General Assembly introduces students to tech culture and agile methodologies straight away, so we start with stand ups and say what we’ve been working on, our strengths, and weaknesses. Then we do exercises, and analyze our goals for the day and week. Most days we have one or two lectures and a lab, and there was a lot of emphasis on building projects. The lectures go over some theory behind what you’re learning, then the labs reinforce the theory and apply it by building something. Class gets out at 5pm, then we have homework assignments, which most students would work on until 7pm or 8pm at night. I would often work on homework until midnight. I wanted to keep reinforcing, and practicing, drilling this information into my brain.

    What did you think of this style of learning?

    I liked it. Rather than sitting in a lecture for four hours where your brain spaces out, we had lectures that are 1.5 hours maximum, with breaks in between. It’s hard and intensive, but they are very thoughtful in how they structure the day. In General Assembly classes they don’t just teach you the nuts and bolts of how to build things, but also how to look at documentation, how to find answers, and how to debug your code. You learn how to learn.

    Have you found many parallels between music and coding?

    While I was in the course and building things, I realized it’s so much like music. You start with nothing and the possibilities are really endless – my imagination is the limit. Being a developer is pretty close to being a musician in that respect – you can build anything. I think it’s fun and fascinating. It’s a lot more creative than people think.

    What about the logic side, do you see parallels there with music?

    Yes, classical music is very analytical. I studied Baroque music and worked on things that are creative, but historically informed. So that’s very similar to coding too – the sky is the limit, but you need to work in the right framework, and have a good structural plan before you begin. I’m very creative, but I also like being really technical and analytical. As a developer you need both of those. You need to be able to figure out how to make a project look good, and also how to make sure it works and make it scalable. I did pop and classical music, so I’m used to being super creative, just going with the flow, but also knowing how to make informed decisions.

    What was your favorite project that you created? Did you get to use your own ideas?

    Every two weeks there would be some kind of major assignment – either a mini app or full fledged project. I loved our group project and I got to do some project management too. It was fun and a great learning experience. I was lucky that my team members were also awesome. We built a trivia app called Battle Royale. We got to deal with opening instantaneous connections and having users be able to play against each other. I also made a wedding planning app for all of my friends who are planning their weddings.

    What are you up to after graduating from the General Assembly course?

    When I decided I was going to work in tech, and be a developer rather than work in data science, I started thinking about my dream job. I thought I’d like to do something to do with music, and I’d like to help artists monetize their creations. And that’s exactly where I landed! I work at a startup called Stationhead, and it’s totally my dream job. Many of the developers are also musicians, so it’s a really special place and I’m super happy.

    What does Stationhead do? And what’s your role?

    We’re in stealth mode until our app deploys in a few weeks, but I can confidently say Stationhead is going to change the way you listen to, create, and consume music. I’m a full stack developer – I do what needs doing. If there is work on the back end, work on the database, work in the frontend, I can do it. Everyone on our team works on the full stack. There are 10 to 15 people and most of us are developers, with three or four people in operations.

    How did you find the job at Stationhead?

    On a site called Liquid Talent, which I love – it’s like Tinder meets LinkedIn. You can see a bunch of companies who are looking to hire now, and you can send them messages. It’s very informal and fast. I messaged Stationhead saying, your website looks like it needs work, if you’re hiring, let’s talk! I was very ballsy, and it worked. I graduated in December 2015, took some time off for the holidays, then General Assembly hired me to be TA in January 2016. I Interviewed with Stationhead in February, and started working for them in March.

    What was the interview/application process?

    There was a phone conversation, an in-person interview, then I worked with the team for a couple of hours to see how I mesh with Stationhead. We’re in stealth mode so I can’t talk about the specifics of the stacks they use, but in the phone interview they told me they worked in languages and frameworks that I hadn’t learned. But this was my dream job, and General Assembly taught me not only how to code, but how to learn to code. I had four days until my in-office interview, so I decided to watch every tutorial I could, build a mini project, and land this job. And I did it, so thanks General Assembly!

    How did General Assembly prepare you for the job hunt?

    The Outcomes team coaches you on getting jobs and how to take advantage of your past experience. They kept stressing that even though we may not have technical backgrounds, that gives us added tangential experience that a lot of other applicants don’t have. It can help set you apart in a positive way. They also cover how to network at meetups, how to write a good resume when you have little to no technical experience, how to prepare for technical interviews, and how to negotiate. A lot of their job is helping us feel confident, because we’re all thinking “how can I get a job? No one's ever going to hire me.” And the Outcomes team says “relax, take inventory of the skills you have, figure out how best to present yourself, and you’ll be fine.”

    What does your day look like as a web developer?

    I love it, I'm coding 10 to 12 hours a day. We have a very small team so there’s a higher level of responsibility and accountability, which can be a bit scary, but it’s also so rewarding. I know that when people download this app, they are going to use features I built and that is awesome. When you’re in a small team you can directly see your contributions.

    What was the ramp up period like at your new job?

    My team is all still learning. I remember seeing a cartoon that said Google was officially changing “web development” to “searching through Stackoverflow.” Part of being a developer is figuring out how to fix things. That’s what we do all day, we fix things. Also, I currently work with one of my former teachers from General Assembly at Stationhead. I brought him onto the team and now we work together.

    We’re getting the app ready to deploy on May 1st. So keep an eye out for us in the iOS app store!

    Now that you’re a web developer are you still doing music and singing?

    I’m still singing and recording. I’m in three bands and recently did a Christmas and Easter recording for my church. I’m in a wedding band, my church band and I have my own singer/songwriter band where I do original music. And at the Stationhead office we have pianos and guitars and I brought my ukulele in, so sometimes we have jam sessions. At 8pm or 9pm at night if we’ve been working on a bug for six hours, we might crack a couple beers, play some tunes, and get back to work. One of our lead developers on the backend was playing on the Tonight Show last week with his band. I am literally living my dream, it’s great.

    What advice do you have for people making a career change after bootcamp?

    1. I was thinking about doing a coding bootcamp for 18 months before I actually did it, and now I’m annoyed I spent that time not doing it. If you’re on the fence, take a short workshop, jump in. Because there is no time like the present to start doing what you love.
    2. With any coding bootcamp the experience is what you make of it. Students who leave class at 5pm and don’t do the homework may not have same experience as people who put in the hours. A bootcamp doesn’t magically make you a wonderful developer, it gives you the tools so you can help yourself. You must be willing to make that commitment.
    3. Also, I’m hispanic and a woman and I found out about lots of scholarship opportunities after I had already applied and been accepted to General Assembly. So if you are in an underrepresented group, research your scholarship options, because even if your school doesn’t offer scholarships, there are a bunch out there.

    General Assembly is great; I learned how to learn and it changed my life for the better. I am literally living my dream.

    Find out more and read General Assembly reviews on Course Report. And check out the General Assembly website.

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Learn to Code in 2016 at a Summer Coding Bootcamp

    Liz Eggleston7/24/2017

    If you're a college student, an incoming freshman, or a teacher with a summer break, you have tons of summer coding bootcamp options, as well as several code schools that continue their normal offerings in the summer months.

    Wondering what a college student or a school teacher can do with coding skills?

    Continue Reading →
  • Coding Bootcamp Cost Comparison: Full Stack Immersives

    Imogen Crispe7/24/2017

    How much do coding bootcamps cost? From students looking for free coding bootcamps to those wondering if an $18,000 bootcamp is worth it, we understand that cost is important to future bootcampers! While the average full-time programming bootcamp in the US costs $11,451bootcamp tuition can range from $9,000 to $21,000, and some coding bootcamps have deferred tuition. So how do you decide what to budget for? Here, we break down the costs of coding bootcamps from around the USA

    This is a cost comparison of full stack (front end and back end) in-person (on-site) immersive bootcamps that are nine weeks or longer, and many of them also include extra remote pre-work study. We have chosen courses which we think are comparable in course content – they all teach HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, plus back end languages or frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, Python, Angular, and Node.js. All schools listed here have at least one campus in the USA. To find out more about each bootcamp or read reviews, click on the links below to see their detailed Course Report pages.

    Continue Reading →
  • Campus Spotlight: General Assembly Denver

    Liz Eggleston2/10/2016

    General Assembly teaches technology, business, data, and design in cities across the U.S. and abroad. Their newly-announced, fifteenth (15!) campus will open in the LoDo neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. We caught up with Anna Lindow, the GM of Campus Education, to hear all about GA’s expansion to the Mile High City and what will set them apart in the growing Colorado tech hub.

    Q&A

    This is General Assembly’s fifteenth campus! What was the motivation to open a campus in Denver?

    Denver has been on our list of potential cities for quite a while. We felt that the demographics, the growth of the tech scene and the expansion of the business community make now the perfect time to launch in Denver.

    The Denver community has parallels to other markets where we’ve seen success. So we feel like all the indicators are there in terms of companies that are hiring, real estate development, business expansion etc.

    We also saw demand from students and were getting asked, “When will you open in Denver?”

    There are actually quite a few coding bootcamps in Denver- what will make General Assembly stand out in that landscape?

    We’re proud of the GA approach, and we’ll take the same approach in Denver to really try to understand the needs of the community as we develop. That means everything from using feedback from hiring partners to help build our curriculum, to offering programs that really meet the needs of the Denver community, which we expect to grow and change and evolve over time. We have the benefit of having a broad suite of courses and products that we can leverage depending on what the needs of our market are.

    We’re so thrilled to be creating a presence in Denver but we also believe that it’s important and valuable to our students, instructors and our team that we have a global presence and that people can take a course in one market and then seek employment in another. In fact, our first team members on the ground in Denver will be transferring from other GA campuses; there was a ton of excitement to move to the Denver campus.

    Our passion for the Denver market is really there on all levels, but it’s exciting to be part of a global network and we’re pleased to be able to bring that to Denver.

    What types of companies are hiring in Denver right now? Are they enterprise-level companies or a lot of startups?

    Whenever we look at a large market, we first look at the number of large companies because those are really the types of employers that hire entry-level employees. Obviously, Denver is a hotbed for startups so it’s a super interesting mix. I believe there are 20 Fortune 1000 companies in Colorado. Those are companies that are definitely going to be growing their talent force on an ongoing basis. As the tech scene continues to grow, that’s where GA is going to really support it on a talent side as well.

    In any market, we’re having ongoing conversations with the community- large companies, small companies, hiring/outsourcing firms- to fully understand supply and demand dynamics.

    We don’t follow the model of being paid by companies that hire our graduates. What we really like to focus on is what’s right for a student’s career. We do see students choose to go the Fortune 1000 route (we’ve had students at TD Ameritrade and Facebook), but students also choose small to midsize companies as well. That’s what is so exciting about the growing startup scene in Denver and in the larger Colorado region.

    This campus is opening in WeWork Denver. Have you housed other campuses in WeWorks?

    We have! In Boston, Austin and in Seattle.

    Why work with WeWork in Denver? What are the perks of being in a WeWork environment?

    Opening a classroom in WeWork allows us to provide a more holistic ecosystem for students as they’re getting started. If you open one classroom, you might not necessarily have large event spaces or as many built-in amenities, so it’s really fantastic to be able to offer the We Work amenities.

    Perhaps more importantly, it allows our students to be plugged into that community right away. We’re so thrilled to be launching in LoDo. It’s a fantastic neighborhood and we’re thrilled to be launching with WeWork in Denver because it’ll allow us to combine forces and be even stronger in hitting the market and supporting our students.

    When do the first GA Denver courses start?

    Workshops like Getting Started With WordPress and Introduction to Google Analytics start February, then our longform courses, starting with part-time courses like Front-End Web Development in May and then our full-time Web Development Immersive starts in June.

    How did you decide which classes would get to launch first when you open in Denver?

    There’s some variability market to market, but Front-End Web Development, UX Design and Web Development are bread and butter courses for us, given the global demand for these skills. We’re pleased to be able to launch stand-bys that we know all of our students are looking for. As we learn more about the market and get more information about where the demand is, we’ll be able to respond to that and decide what to go with next.

    The Web Development Immersive is very popular and it’s extremely relevant but we definitely have seen consistently increasing demand for UX Design Immersive. Our first two Android Immersive courses are sold out as well.

    Who will be leading the Denver GA campus and who will be teaching those courses?

    The campus will be led by Brooke Smith, one of our extremely talented internal leaders who was most recently running our programs in New York. We’re super thrilled that she’s made the move to Denver.

    Brooke will be spending a lot of time helping people understand the opportunities that teaching provides and starting to build that network of instructors. We use a philosophy and strategy where we work with practitioners to become teachers. It’s our job to empower them to become great educators. That’s what we will continue to do and the approach that we will take in Denver. We’re really excited to get to meet the leaders of the community and help turn them into great teachers.

    What types of time and resources go into training instructors?

    Great instruction is just like any skill set that takes time to develop. We often give the analogy of riding a bike where you really have to learn it by doing it. It’s actually really analogous in a lot of ways to the journeys that our students go on when they’re learning skills through doing them.  

    We really focus on finding people who have the orientation to give back to the community, who have the desire to help others, who have that coaching and development mentality, and then we help empower them with the skills to be great in the classroom. That definitely involves coaching, an observation and feedback-driven approach.

    Do you try to have one head instructor and TAs in the classroom?

    We do like to keep our ratios of instructional team to students in the 6-8:1 range, depending on the course. Also, depending on the subject matter, we like to experiment with different ways that will help us to serve students best. That could be co-instruction and we certainly do employ the concept of TAs.

    So many coding education programs are putting more emphasis on JavaScript lately; has GA started adding more JavaScript to the WDI curriculum?

    We’ve definitely made JavaScript a more robust part of our WDI curriculum. We also just announced our first JavaScript part-time course, because we felt that there was so much demand and interest in the market. That’s essentially replaced our previous back-end development focused on Rails. We’ve made that focus internally and we are seeing really great results so far for the JavaScript course. We do believe that’s an important direction to be focusing on.

    We’ll look forward to meeting the first GA Denver graduates soon! Anything else you’d like to share?

    Just that we’re excited to bring what we do globally to Denver!

    Want to learn more? Read General Assembly Denver Reviews on Course Report or visit their website here!

  • Collaboration in Higher Education: Universities + Coding Bootcamps

    Liz Eggleston10/19/2017

    When coding bootcamps started gaining popularity, we wondered if tension would arise between traditional universities and these alternative education providers. On the contrary, a trend arose and universities have now been partnering with coding bootcamps for a few years now. When the Department of Education announced the EQUIP Initiative in October 2015, these collaborations were formalized by the US government; but EQUIP is just one example amongst the myriad of strategic and independent partnerships between universities and coding bootcamps.

    Updated April 27, 2017

    Continue Reading →
  • 2015 Coding Bootcamp News: A Year in Review

    Liz Eggleston1/6/2016

    2015 was another huge year for coding bootcamps, and the team at Course Report had a blast covering it. We've seen acquisitions, attention from the White House, a focus on accessibility and new schools launching weekly in cities from San Fran to Sydney. As we connect with bootcamp alumni all over the world, success stories continue to emerge and it makes us so excited to see the future of bootcamps unfold. But we can't head into the New Year without reflecting on some of the greatest accomplishments of 2015, so read on for our top picks!

    Continue Reading →
  • Front End Development vs Back End Development: Where to Start?

    Lauren Stewart11/15/2017

    Do you want to be a front end developer or a back end developer? Understanding your career goals at the end of a coding bootcamp can make it easier to narrow down which school is best for you. This can be a tricky task if you aren’t familiar with these terms – but no need to worry now that you have this guide. Let’s dig into the difference between front end web development and back end development: which programming languages you’ll learn, which coding schools teach them, and what to expect from a career as a back end or front end web developer!

     

    Continue Reading →
  • How Mike Learned UX Design while Living at Common!

    Liz Eggleston12/10/2015

    Mike Walsh took a break from a career in social media to dive into a User Experience Design Immersive at General Assembly this year. When he settled in New York, Mike needed a flexible and reliable housing option. And as an avid follower of startups, Common was the perfect option. We chat with Mike about how travelling has informed his new UX Design skills, the benefits of a flexible and connected home at Common, and his next move!

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  • November Coding Bootcamp News Roundup

    Liz Eggleston12/2/2015

    Course Report has some exciting things rolling out in 2016, but for now, here's what you may have missed in November! Remember to email me with noteworthy news to include in next month's roundup.

    Continue Reading →
  • General Assembly's Web Development Immersive: Q&A Highlights

    Alex Williams11/5/2015

    Thinking about a career in web development? General Assembly conducted a Web Development Immersive online information session last week, and answered questions from Course Report readers! Watch the full info session below, and check out our favorite audience questions and answers from GA instructors and staff.

     

     

    Audience Q&A

    Can I learn enough to be the CTO of my own company or just build an MVP?

    Katie: Are students prepared to be CTOs when they graduate from this class? After 12 weeks, you’re not quite ready to be a CTO.  Will you be able to hire the right people? Yes! Will you be able to read and understand code and fix it? Yes! You could definitely build an MVP as your final project. We do have entrepreneurs that come out of this class. If you want to become a CTO immediately, this isn’t the best course for you, but if that’s  something you’re looking to move into down the line, then absolutely.

    How do I get financing for this course, especially if I don’t have a long credit history?

    Shane: Our students usually pay for this course in two ways. We set up a payment plan for all of our students with a minimum $250 deposit upfront. We spread out the remainder of the tuition in 4 roughly equal payments about a month apart. If this is something that is not feasible for you, we have financing partners in each of our markets that provide fixed-rate student loans. Provided you qualify through their credit checks, you’ll be approved for a loan within 3-5 days.

    GA has a close working relationship with financing partners. If you are approved and accept, we get notification. You work with the financing partners to establish a payment plan after the course is completed. All of our financing partners are on our website, if you go to the Web Development Immersive class and scroll down to the “Finance Options” section. They’re accessible if you want to ask specific questions about your credit history and how this could work out for you.

    Do you recommend taking the part-time Product Management classes or could WDI help me get a job as a Product Manager?

    Katie: The answer is yes to both depending on what your ultimate goal is. If you need to learn how to code for the Product Management position at your company, then yes, I would suggest taking WDI. It’s very good for a Product Manager to start as either a UX designer or a web developer before getting promoted into a product role.

    However, if the product role that you’re working on is not very technical, we have both part and full time Product Management courses that could be up your alley. Being able to work with web developers, product managers and UX designers is useful and necessary when you’re trying to become a Product Manager. Depending on what it is that you want to accomplish and how technical the project is that you’re working on, WDI could be a really great fit for you.

    I have recently completed the Codecademy Rails track- am I ready to apply for WDI? What kind of take home or live coding challenge is there to get into the program?

    Shane: I love to hear when students have started learning on their own. It’s a great first step in this  journey. The more you know from Day 1, the further you’re going to get in the course. Our pre-interview assignment specifically focuses on HTML and CSS and also JavaScript, if students feel comfortable including that in their project and workflow. While Ruby on Rails is not part of the project, I think that any type of coding experience goes nicely with the skillset that we are looking for. Our assignment comes with a full tutorial, so if you haven’t coded in the past, you’ll have time to work through these problems and make your first simple web page.

    Our instructors and admission producers across the country are looking for specific skills, problem solving skills. The pre-interview assignment is not the “be-all and end-all,” but we do want to see that you’ve put an effort into learning these skills and that this is really important to you. Andrew, can you talk about prerequisite skills?

    Andrew: The short version is you’re never wasting time looking into JavaScript. HTML and CSS is what the initial project is about. We don’t have an expectation that you have experience with Rails, Ruby or JavaScript. With that said, if you want to level up before entering the course, JavaScript is the place to put that energy. The Mozilla Developer Network is a great resource for JavaScript related topics. Going through Rails would be great. You're just getting a first pass on topics that we would cover in the course. Any minute spent on JavaScript is not wasted.

    I’m an international student that wants to get a job in the US market as a developer. How have GA students done this in the past?

    Katie: We do have international students who come to General Assembly to get jobs here. GA does not sponsor visas, so most students are here on a student visa. Every country has different US visa stipulations, so you would need to check that out in your own country.

    You can absolutely come to the US and take classes as an international student, but getting a job in the US has its hurdles. It’s very expensive, time-consuming and requires a lot of paperwork on behalf of the company that would sponsor your visa as they have to prove that they cannot find a suitable candidate in the USA. For example, if you’re from Spain and the job requires you to speak Spanish that would be an incredible leg up on someone here in the States that may not have that ability.

    We do not have relationships with companies that only hire international students. However, we are always looking to develop relationships with companies that have awesome opportunities for our graduates. I definitely say look into it as soon as possible. Getting a visa can take upwards of a year depending on what materials you need. All of that is the student’s responsibility. We would love for you take WDI here in the United States or elsewhere. We can still help you through the process of getting your resume, portfolio and your online presence together.

    What stack do you teach?

    Andrew: The best thing for me to do is take you through the stages in the course. We start with HTML and CSS, but JavaScript is our main focus. We wouldn’t use the word stack here, we’re just talking about creating a static web page. After that, we move into a stack that includes a Ruby on Rails backend and jQuery and JavaScript on the frontend. At the end of the course, we make a MEAN application, a Mongo database, an Express application using Node and Angular on the frontend. Some cities have a need for Angular.js, others for Backbone.js. That part would be tailored depending on where you are. But, they perform the same role.

    What kind of jobs do people get after this class?

    Katie: Not only can you be a full stack web developer, frontend web developer, backend web developer, there are a lot of other skills that you learn throughout this course that can lead to other career opportunities, including: QA Engineer, Developer Evangelist, Software Developer in Test, CMS Developer, Application Support, Implementation Engineer and Devops.

    It depends exactly what it is that you want you to do. If you want to be living and breathing code, then being a frontend, backend or fullstack developer is probably what you want to look for. But if you want to be on a client-side or testing applications, there’s other options including Application Support or Implementation Engineer. In these roles you’d be helping people work through their problems or helping a company implement their software.

    Devops is an exciting and interesting place to be now — helping engineering teams set up their development operations. That’s something we have seen our students go into over the past year.

    How do companies know that I am good enough or have learned enough to get a job after this class?

    Andrew: In the interview process, you would have the opportunity to confirm you have that basic skillset. Beyond that, the next stage in the interview is figuring out if you can learn on the fly. This is an industry where everything is changing left and right. When you’re on these interviews, you need to demonstrate that you can pick things up very quickly and have the right attitude for learning the next thing. How do they figure that out? Each company has their own process. They’ll pose questions that require you to think through steps. For example, an open-ended whiteboard problem.

     

    Want to learn even more about the General Assembly Web Development Immersive? Sign-up for WDI in a city near you!

    About The Author

    Alex williams image

    Alex is an educator turned programmer in training. Find out what she's up to at alexandriawilliams.com.

  • October Coding Bootcamp News Roundup

    Liz Eggleston11/4/2015

    Welcome to the October News Roundup, your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the bootcamp space. Do you want something considered for the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!

    Continue Reading →
  • Live Online Info Session: General Assembly Web Development Immersive

    Liz Eggleston10/27/2015

    Curious about the General Assembly Web Development Immersive? As Course Report readers, you have a unique opportunity to have all of your questions answered when we visit General Assembly for an online info session this Friday, October 30th at 12pm EST! We'll cover: 

    Continue Reading →
  • September Coding Bootcamp News Roundup

    Liz Eggleston10/7/2015

    Welcome to the September News Roundup, your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the bootcamp space. Do you want something considered for the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!

     

    This Week on Course Report:

     

    Aquisitions, Fundraises & Regulation

     

    New Campuses + Courses:

     

    September Must-Reads

     

    Have a great October!

  • September Coding Bootcamp News Roundup

    Liz Eggleston10/7/2015

    Welcome to the September News Roundup, your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the bootcamp space. Do you want something considered for the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!

     

    This Week on Course Report:

     

    Aquisitions, Fundraises & Regulation

     

    New Campuses + Courses:

     

    September Must-Reads

     

    Have a great October!

  • Which Chicago Coding Bootcamp Is Best for You?

    Nick Toscano9/22/2015

    Chicago is currently home to a growing lot of coding bootcamp and web immersion programs tasked with preparing students for a lucrative career in web development. Courses providers in Chicago have something for everyone with intensive programs in JavaScript, Ruby and Rails, Java and .NET.  There is a healthy selection of full-time courses as well as part-time bootcamps, workshops, and night and weekend courses for those looking to take their career to the next level. According to Startup Compass’s 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking, Chicago ranks number seven having moved up three spots in the last year year. This is the prime time to equip yourself with much needed web dev skills. Whether you are looking to join one of these 50 Chicago born startups, or have the entrepreneurship spirit to create your own, there is a course provider in the area that has the power to propel you towards your career goals.

    Continue Reading →
  • Flatiron School vs. General Assembly WDI

    Liz Eggleston9/8/2015

    Of the many coding boot camps found in New York City, the tech capital of the East Coast, Flatiron School and General Assembly are two of the most established and recognizable. If you’re looking to jumpstart your career as a web developer, both schools offer great Web Development Immersive (WDI) programs. Catered to the beginner, these programs aim to engage students in a fast-paced learning environment that will directly prepare them for professional opportunities. But what are the key similarities and differences between these schools?

    Continue Reading →
  • Which Los Angeles Coding Bootcamp is Best for You?

    Nick Toscano9/8/2015

    Move over tinsel town and make some space in the greater Los Angeles area for some of the finest coding programs in the country. While LA once paled in comparison to San Francisco when it came to the sheer quantity of bootcamps, we've seen a surge in LA coding bootcamps this year. There is a wide choice of code schools with campuses in LA's "Silicon Beach" that all bring a unique take on web development training.

    Continue Reading →
  • Alumni Spotlight: Darshan, General Assembly Data Analytics

    Liz Eggleston8/26/2015

    Data Analyst roles are in high-demand, with over 50,000 jobs posted in the last year at an average advertised salary of $105,540. According to the recent General Assembly report, Blurring Lines: How Business and Technology Skills Are Merging to Create High Opportunity Hybrid Jobs, Data Analysts “are typically expected to use data to drive insights and make a business case by generating hypotheses, developing creative problem solving approaches, and using data visualization to communicate results and strategy implications.” Data analyst roles often require business, marketing, and technical skill sets- a true Hybrid role.

    Darshan Sangani is a perfect example of this Hybrid role revolution. He was on a sales track at Megnetics, a startup company that he loved, but wanted to transition into a Data Analyst role. He enrolled in a part-time General Assembly Data Analytics course and is now a Sales Analyst, employing both the skills he learned at General Assembly and his background in Sales.

    What you were up to before you decided to take a General Assembly class?

    I studied Supply Chain Management and Operations Management at the University of Maryland. I worked for a corporate organization after graduating and I really wanted to transition into a startup. I quit my job about 6 months in and joined a startup called Magnetic. I was on a sales path at Magnetic, and I realized I wanted to revisit my roots and get back to the business and data analysis that I was doing in that corporate setting.

    So your goal in doing the Data Analytics course wasn’t to get a new job, but to change your career path within your current company.

    Right. I wanted to do data analysis but in a startup environment because my company is awesome.

    What is Magnetic?

    Magnetic is a digital marketing company that focuses specifically on search retargeting.

    What does a data analyst do?

    Data Analytics is garnering insight from collected data. You can generate insights from that raw data through cleanup and different manipulations to make sense of it. There is usually a story in that data that is beneficial to a businesses.

    What types of jobs can you get with data analytics skills?

    I work in the Business Intelligence department right now, specifically as a Sales Analyst. I had a background in sales, so it just made sense; I know how a sales organization works.

    Data Science is much more technical and business-oriented. You can really do a lot with Data Analysis skills, but data science is a different beast altogether. General Asssembly actually has a Data Science course, which I may pursue in future.

    Why did you choose General Assembly? What factors did you consider?

    To be completely frank with you, I work close to the General Assembly classroom, and that location was important. It also definitely had a good online presence and seemed like something I would be interested in.

    Is Data Analysis something that you could teach yourself online?

    There are a lot of different sources that you can use. I know Coursera and Udacity have online tracks in SQL training.

    I wanted to learn the skills but I didn’t really have the discipline to do it independently after work. Just having the accountability to do homework assignments, attend class, was good for me in a sense that it forced me to do it.

    So I chose to pay a little more of a premium to have the opportunity to attend a class and network with people.

    What was the application like for you? Did you need a certain background to get into the Data Analytics class?

    On a phone interview, the GA team vets your background and what you’re trying to get from the class; sort of a pre-interview to see if you were “qualified,” but there are no prerequisites to have a specific background. They have a screening process to ensure your learning goals align with the curriculum and environment.

    Did you ask your employer, Magnetic, to sponsor the General Assembly Data Analytics course?

    I did not, and looking back on it, it’s probably something I should have done. When I decided to take the class I was relatively new to the organization so I didn’t ask that question right away but it’s definitely something I would consider doing after my positive experience at GA.

    How many hours a week did the course take you?

    The course was twice a week, three hours each class, so 6 hours in total.

    Were you working on projects outside of those class hours?

    Yes, you have homework assignments for the first 5 weeks and then the last 5 weeks was spent on your final project, which is the culmination of the whole course. You apply all of the techniques that you learned and you put it towards a project interesting to you- it can be about anything as long as it uses two data sources. The idea is to use Excel and SQL to join the two data sources and tell a story from the data.

    Who were the instructors in your class?

    We had an instructor and two TAs. The instructor was a data analytics manager at American Express. The two TAs work for New York State in data analyst positions.

    What was the teaching style like?

    This is something I definitely liked about the class. It was very interactive in the sense that there was very little lecture. Their whole philosophy is based on the “I do it, we do it, you do it” method.

    The idea is that first, the instructor shows the class how to do a specific concept, and then you do it together as a class. Then you work on that concept by yourself for homework assignments. I’m not the type of person that can listen to boring lectures, so I definitely appreciated the teaching style that General Assembly used.

    What did you think about the teaching style in your undergrad compared to this type of class?

    I would say that GA was much better in the sense that we didn’t really go through a lot of theory; it’s more about getting into the nitty-gritty of the application of what you’ll be doing on a job. I like that because it really cuts through the B.S.

    How many people were in your cohort?

    There were 27 people in my cohort.

    Was it a diverse cohort in terms of age, gender and race?

    Yes, and that was another really good part that I liked. People came from really different backgrounds professionally, socially, and culturally, so it was a very dynamic mix of people.

    Tell us about those varied professional backgrounds- did everyone have the same motivations for being in the class?

    Everyone had different reasons for taking the course. Some people wanted to stay at their company and change departments like myself; others wanted to switch jobs entirely; others were not motivated by the job, they just wanted to learn the skills.

    Everyone’s motives were different and everyone was at different places in their career. Some were fresh out of college and wanted to get back into the classroom. Some were much more experienced, working for 10 years and trying to make a pivot in their career.

    What technologies did you learn in the Data Analysis course?

    A lot of people know Excel, but everyone is looking for that next layer. The real reason I took the course was to learn SQL and Tableau. Tableau is a Data Visualization application software used to make graphs and visualize findings. Those two core skills are very marketable in the job world.

    Were there assessments or tests throughout the course?

    Yes; the instructors gave feedback on every homework assignment and we had a mid-course and final project. We were held accountable for work that we completed (you need to complete at least 80% of the homework and the projects to complete the course). We were also given feedback on our final project, which we worked on for the bulk of the course.

    Can you tell us more about one of the projects that you worked on during the class?

    Throughout the course, our whole class worked with one data set, which was Citi Bikes data. The amount of data was obviously way too big for Excel, so we had to use strategies in SQL to trim that data down to a manageable level; then we could import that into Excel and do the analyses that we wanted to do.

    I appreciated having that continuous data source because you can go through the progression and the process with the same data and get to know the data really well.

    What did you find out about Citi Bikes in New York?

    We found that men use CitiBikes a lot more than women. We found out what the most crowded stops are. I think the most popular was on 1st Ave. We looked at average trip durations, which station-to-station route was the most common; all sorts of different types of information that is useful to know if you are managing Citi Bike to make your product better.

    Tell us about your individual final project!

    I’m a huge sports fan, so I used sports data, particularly NBA draft picks. I selected the picks between 11 through 60 and my sample size was 20 years. Everyone had the choice to pick a data set that was of interest to them. It always makes work fun when you actually care about the data!

    So during this class, you were working at Magnetics with the intention of switching career paths within your job. How did you go about that career change?

    I told my boss that I was doing this Data Analysis course, and didn’t say explicitly that I wanted to switch roles; but my team could see that I was doing a lot of ad hoc data projects in my sales role. The class was just icing on the cake. They could see that I was taking the initiative to do a class to better understand data.

    It was a combination of me expressing that I wanted to move in that direction and then taking an action to support that decision.

    It sounds like you also have a supportive boss and team, too.

    Yeah, which is extremely helpful.

    Was there a lot of emphasis on job prep in this Data Analysis class?

    We learned team skills, how to market our new skills in resumes, and got the opportunity to network with our peers, instructors, guest speakers, and other students and alumni in the GA community. There’s more emphasis on job prep in the full-time classes (our class was part-time) who get a dedicated career coach.

    So what is your new role at Magnetic?

    I’m a Sales Analyst. I look at our sales pipeline and our revenue and forecast future revenue and report it to our business intelligence team and management.

    Do the skills you learned in the Data Analysis class apply directly to this new job?

    A lot of it does- I’m not using SQL yet, but my manager introduced me to the team who does manage our data warehouse. That’s not my core function, but a lot of the Excel and SQL skills obviously helps because there are a lot of complex formulas. Learning that at GA definitely helped me in my current role for sure.

    It sounds like you’re on a track towards doing the Data Science Course. Have you thought about it seriously?

    Learning data analysis certainly prepares you with core skills, but the data science class calls for some prerequisites in coding Python. So I think there is definitely work to be done in the interim between those two classes.

    I just finished the class, so I’m trying to chill for a bit, but I will address those gaps and then will look at the data science track!

     

    Want to learn more about the General Assembly Data Analytics course that Darshan took? Check out their website here!

  • July Coding Bootcamp News Roundup

    Harry Hantel8/6/2015

    The July News Roundup is your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the coding bootcamp space. Want your bootcamp's news to be included in the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!

    Continue Reading →
  • 12 Takeaways from our Women in Coding Bootcamps Panel

    Liz Eggleston7/17/2015

    This Wednesday, our friends at LiquidTalent hosted a spectacular panel of women who discussed their experience at New York coding bootcamps and transitioning into their first jobs. Course Report was lucky to moderate the panel- here are 12 things we learned from this rockstar panel of lady developers! 

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  • Learn Digital Marketing at These Part-Time Bootcamps

    Harry Hantel6/11/2015

    Coding bootcamps offer a chance to learning the finer points of building digital products, but what about when the product is finished? Digital marketing has risen to become a fundamental part of most businesses as they try to reach more people, more effectively. These 5 digital marketing programs teach the fundamentals of creating and managing campaigns, as well as the necessary tools to understand what is and isn’t working.

     

    Continue Reading →
  • Learn Product Management At These 5 Bootcamps

    Harry Hantel3/6/2017

    While coding bootcamps can produce stellar developers, Product Management is another integral part of a company's technical team. It’s an organizational function that entails a combination of marketing, development, and analysis. The ability to get into the nitty gritty of coding is obviously a powerful skill, but product management ensures that the code is maximizing the effectiveness of that power and thus, maximizing profit. These product management bootcamps can turn you into an effective product manager by teaching you skills to contribute meaningfully to the big decisions that guide the lifecycle of of a product.

    Continue Reading →
  • Is a Coding Bootcamp Worth It? Calculate your Return on Investment

    Patrick Stanley12/1/2017

    Accelerated Learning Programs (affectionately called coding bootcamps) have gained popularity over the past three years in the education world; since bootcamps are largely judged by their ability to get graduates jobs, their success is aligned with a student’s success. Accelerated Learning Programs like General Assembly and gSchool make it their mission to fit students into a job market that is hungry for technical skills, a trend in stark contrast to traditional higher learning, where the benefit is defined over decades and across markets.

    But if you’re a career changer, you may be considering several paths to break into the tech world: classes at a community college, a four-year computer science undergrad, pursuing an MBA, graduate school, etc. For any of these options, a smart student will calculate their ROI, or Return on Investment.

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  • Learn Web Development at these 10 Part-Time Bootcamps

    Harry Hantel6/20/2017

    (updated August 2016)

    Continue Reading →
  • 14 Best Coding Bootcamps in the South

    Harry Hantel7/27/2017

    (updated August 2016)

    Slide across the roof of the General Lee, we’re heading south of the Mason-Dixon to check out the best coding bootcamps in the southern United States. There are some fantastic code schools from the Carolinas to Georgia and all the way to Texas, and we’re covering them all. Talk about Southern Hospitality!

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  • Learn Data Science at These 20 Coding Bootcamps

    Harry Hantel5/22/2017

    You don’t have to be a data scientist to read into these statistics: A McKinsey Global Institute report estimates that by 2018 the US could be facing a shortage of more than 140,000 data scientists. The field of data science is growing, and with it so does the demand for qualified data scientists. Sounds like a good time to pursue data science, right? No kidding! Data scientists make an average national salary of $118,000. If you’re looking to break into data science, or just trying to refresh and hone the skills you already have, Course Report has you covered. Check out this comprehensive list of the best data science bootcamps and programs in the U.S. and Europe for technologies like Hadoop, R, and Python.

     

    Continue Reading →
  • Learn iOS at These Mobile Developer Bootcamps

    Harry Hantel6/19/2017

    Apple’s newest, beginner-oriented programming language Swift has made developing for the iPhone a possibility for new and experienced developers alike. iOS developers earn over $100,000 on average, so it's a perfect time to learn to program for the iPhone. With the help of one of these iOS bootcamps, you could find yourself developing mobile apps utilizing Objective-C, Cocoa Touch, and Swift. 

     

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  • Learn Android At These 9 Developer Bootcamps

    Harry Hantel6/23/2017

    Google’s Android OS is the most used mobile operating system in the world, and the little green robot has been winning hearts and minds for years now thanks to its high customizability and flexible open source developing options. Android programmers work in the Android Studio and develop Android apps using SDK manager, earing up to $155,000 per year. It’s no surprise that you would want to learn how to develop for Android – do your research with Course Report’s list of top Android bootcamp and developer classes.

    Continue Reading →
  • 8 Traits found in the Ideal Coding Bootcamp Student

    Liz Eggleston9/27/2017

    What makes for the ideal coding bootcamp student? Experience? Perserverence? Natural Skill? We've compiled advice from instructors and founders at top programming bootcamps like gSchool, Dev Bootcamp, Wyncode, and Fullstack Academy- aka the folks making admissions decisions every day. Read on for the 8 qualities that bootcamps tell us they look for in potential applicants. [As of December 8, 2017, Dev Bootcamp will no longer be operating.]

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  • October Bootcamp News Roundup

    Liz Eggleston11/6/2014

    Welcome to the October News Roundup, your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the bootcamp space. Want your bootcamp's news to be included in the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!

    Continue Reading →
  • Paul Gleger & Jon Rojas of General Assembly DC

    Liz Eggleston10/9/2014

    General Assembly has campuses in over 10 cities and courses in topics from Digital Marketing to Web Development. We sat down with Paul Gleger, Regional Director of General Assembly in DC, and Jon Rojas, Programs Producer at General Assembly, to hear more about their roles at General Assembly and how the Washington, DC campus continues to grow. 

     

    Tell us about your backgrounds and how you got involved with GA, what got you interested in the boot camp space in general.

    Paul: I’m the Regional Director for the campus here in Washington, DC. I started with General Assembly in San Francisco as that campus was getting built out. Before coming to GA, I was with another DC startup that moved out to San Francisco. One of the things that I saw consistently was that it was extremely hard to hire developers and it took a long time. In San Francisco, it seemed like that was consistent across all companies.

    As General Assembly was expanding, I was attracted to the skills-based learning environment; the topics were things that I tried to learn on my own and it was exciting that there was a community of people going through the same thing and supporting each other.

    I joined GA to help build out the campus in October 2012.

     

    Jon: I worked for consulting companies in the DC area, working in the federal sector mainly on projects around strategic management.

    Last summer, I started thinking about becoming a web developer so I started going through Code Academy, Code School- all those free resources. Then I stumbled across Dash, which is GA’s online HTML/CSS tool, completed it in a couple of hours. I emailed Nathan Bashaw, the creator of Dash, and asked for more, and he told me that General Assembly would be launching an immersive program in April. I continued to teach myself. I quit my job in consulting and just spent hours a day to teach myself. Then I stumbled across a tweet from GA and saw that they were hiring for the producer role, and I knew that I wanted to be around people that wanted to learn web development as well as an environment that was creative and would allow me to learn development as well.  That’s how I became the WDI Producer in DC.

     

    Paul, at the time you started with GA, there weren’t a ton of established coding schools- how did you and the GA team define what the Web Development Immersive would look like?

    Paul: We approached it like we approach other programs. First, we talked with employers to determine the skillsets they were looking for on the job and then we started with curriculum development. We thought through the most practical applications of what we would be teaching and how that would pair with the overall GA student experience.

    We piloted the first course in our New York campus and learned valuable lessons from that initial program. Since that first launch almost two years ago, we’ve consistently collected feedback from instructors, students, and employers and made updates regularly. The constant iteration is what allows us to stay relevant with the quickly changing marketplace.

     

    Were the employers asking for Ruby on Rails when you all started?

    Paul: Yes; There continues to be significant demand for Ruby on Rails across all industries. It’s fast, it’s scalable; it’s what a lot of organizations are using. Also, for someone who wants to learn programming, Ruby on Rails tends to be a language that’s easier to understand.

    Do you envision Ruby on Rails as being the language that you all use as your primary teaching language for the considerable future or do you see moving to Javascript or another object-oriented language?

    Jon: I think it’ll change based on how the market changes. AngelList did a survey asking startups what programming language they use, and the majority was Ruby on Rails. But that could change next week or next month. I think we’re casual enough to be able to change the curriculum. I don’t want to lock GA into Ruby on Rails forever but I think as long as the market wants it, we’ll continue to teach it.

     

    What is the team like in the DC office? Do you have a curriculum developer in DC?

    Paul: Curriculum development is an overall GA operation that’s based out of New York. The DC team is composed of the Immersives Producer, Evening Course Producer, Instructor Outreach, Instructor Coach, Campus Experience, Local Marketing, Admissions, and Outcomes. Our outcomes manager/career coach has 15 years of experience in career coaching and career development here in DC – both from a recruiter side and working with a local school for several years in career services. He joined us and he’s helping students find their career pathway after graduation.

     

    Because you mentioned outcomes, let’s talk about it! In DC, you have finished one Web Development Immersive cohort; how did the placement go for the last one?

    Jon: We’re about 60 days out now. There were 19 students in the class and there were 15 that were seeking outcomes in the DC area. Since course completion, we’ve helped almost all of these students find their career path. We had a really successful meet and greet after graduation where we invited all kinds of companies and hiring partners to basically come to a science fair where the students have their computers set up to show their code. They’ve got their resumes and business cards and they’re talking to potential employers about what type of organization they would work at.

    We had easily over 100 people come through the doors. We had 55 – 60 different companies at the last one.

    And then when we did the UX meet-and-greet a couple of weeks after, and had an even better turnout.

     

    When you say 15 people were “seeking employment,” what were the other ones seeking?

    Jon: There was one student going to finish up law school so he wasn’t looking for employment yet. One student moved to San Francisco and was trying to start his own business, and one student was running his own agency.

     

    General Assembly does not take a referral fee, right?

    Jon: Absolutely. We tell students during admissions, you choose your pathway and we’re here to help you with the skill set. They choose the direction they want to go on and we’ll obviously be supportive whichever direction they want to go in. There is never a referral fee.

     

    Are the Web Development Immersives still beginner-focused or do you think they’ve evolved? (What do you look for in the admissions process?)

    Paul: There are a number of basic criteria we’re looking for. We look for people who have been experimenting with code on their own. This isn’t as if one day they woke up and though “I want to be a web developer so I’m going to go to GA.”

    We look for a pathway- what got you here and where you want to go. We look for past experience; professional, academic; we want to see a pattern of experiences, you’re going to stick with something. And there’s pre-work that’s associated with the class so we expect them to complete a certain amount of pre-work before day 1. We check in frequently and if students don’t complete the pre-work, this might not be the program for them.

    In terms of background, we really see everything. Our current cohort is probably the most diverse group that we’ve had… Everyone including an 18-year old who just finished high school who’s a super whiz in programming

     

    Jon: We have 3 students that deferred a semester and one student that dropped out completely out of Emerson. He sat down with his dean and said, “Hey, listen; the college really needs to have incubators and places where students can go create and be graded on real world things as well as just sitting in classroom lectures and taking notes.” The dean responded to him saying, “Oh, you’re just here too early because in our 10-year plan, that stuff will happen.”

    Another student, Sal, was an auto mechanic for the last 4 years so he’s been working on cars. He built out a Rails app that basically helps you track all your car maintenance.

     

    What was it like when you expanded to DC from San Francisco? Did you see the same sort of demand in DC?

    Paul: Initially, there were people interested in the program but we just didn’t have the ability to offer a Web Development Immersive at that point. For our early programs, the workshops and evening courses, there was tremendous interest; programs like front-end and back-end web development, UX design, Data Science, etc.

    I was surprised; I was a little bit nervous moving back to DC. I knew there was a demand for it, I just didn’t know how large it was. It’s been a very positive surprise across all of our programs.

    We have people coming from government, contractors, a lot of nonprofits, NGOs.

    A really interesting difference between DC and San Francisco: in San Francisco we had a lot of students coming on their own behalf. In DC, we’ve actually seen quite a few people whose companies are paying for them to take the program.

     

    I love that.

    Paul: That’s great, the fact that companies are accepting and actively moving towards this sort of education.

    Jon: One other thing I’ll mention which is just an interesting trend, there’s definitely quite a few companies in DC that are running their own internal training programs and I think that’s just something to think about.

     

    Which companies are doing that?

    Paul: One that was purely an internal school was LivingSocial doing Hungry Academy. Now, Wedding Wire is doing one and Motley Fool is also doing a program. We actually had a student graduate from New York and she joined Motley Fool’s internal training program afterwards.

     

    You said that you now have someone who’s going to be a junior instructor. Is that common to hire into those positions from the classes?

    Jon: Our first class that we launched in April graduated in July when we were staffing the August class. The team and I started having discussions about bringing in alumni; to have somebody there who had been through the class, and understood what the students were going through.

    All the feedback we received confirmed our hypothesis that alumni are able to empathize and help students faster. Students thought this set up worked very well because the junior instructor understood what they’re going through. I’m not aware if all the other campuses do the same thing but here in DC that’s something that’s worked very well.

     

    That sounds like a great resource.

    Jon: It helps with the planning because alumni know what’s worked in the past. We really try to make it almost like a 40-40-20 balance where they’re at most doing 20% of the instruction. Their role really is going to be walking around helping the students.

     

    Do you have a time limit for a Junior Instructor? Like can they only do it for one session?

    Jon: Yeah; it’s just a one time contract, we want them to head out and apply their skills on the job.

     

    What’s the instructor-student ratio right now?

    Jon: I try to make sure that we don’t go higher than 8:1. So we had the 3 instructors for a class of 18, 3 instructors for a class of 19 and the September class is 24.

     

    When does the next course start?

    Jon: September 22nd. The students will come in next week for an install-fest and orientation.

     

    What does a typical day look like?

    Jon: The typical day is lecture in the morning along with “code-along” and maybe some exercises as a group. We really focus on making sure there’s as much participation as possible. So there’ll be a little bit of instruction with putting concepts out there and some code-along stuff where they’re practicing those concepts. Then they might have some type of assignment like a mini project in groups so again, there’s more repetition of that concept.

    In the afternoon, there is a little bit more instruction, not too much, and then they break out into labs. I’d say that’s typical but they try to mix it up as much as possible- some mornings students will come in immediately dive into working on errors in homework and then go into instruction.

     

    Has the curriculum changed at all between the first cohort and this one?

    Jon: Absolutely; one of the best things about our curriculum is we have these standards and goals that we adhere to globally. But it’s really at the discretion of the instructors when they’re planning how they’re going to meet those goals.

    Having gone through so many WDIs, we have resources out there that instructors can pull from but they really make the lessons their own. In the last class, they were really interested in Node but it wasn’t part of the curriculum so they added that as a mini framework and a mini project.

    So if the students all want to learn something that’s outside of the curriculum, we try to integrate it wherever possible.

     

    Have you had attrition at all in the DC courses?

    Jon: In DC, we haven’t had any yet. Globally, it definitely does happen. But we’ve been fortunate enough to not run into that yet. Part of my role as a producer is to interview potential students. The Admissions team interviews them first on the phone and after going through that phone screen, if the admissions producer thinks they’re a good match, they’ll pass them on to me for an in-person interview.

    During the in person interview, I talk to them about their background; I see what they’re pumped about and then we go through some small code exercise stuff.

     

    Can you give us any insider info about the code exercise?

    Jon: The code exercise for the interview is just a basic HTML, CSS building an “about me” page. If you want to throw in some Javascript to show off the things that you learned or have done on Code Academy, that’s awesome. But it’s really just a basic “about me” page. We walk through the site; I ask them how they went about building it, their planning process, and try to see how they do problem-solving and all that.

    I also like to do brain teasers for fun just to see how they handle problem-solving.

     

    We just saw the UX Design Circuit, the online, mentored program. Is WDI going to do an online version soon?

    Jon: WDI will remain an in person program, but in the future there might be components we ask students to complete before they start the course online. For just HTML, CSS, and Visual Design we recently started something called Circuits which is a mentored online learning experience.

     

    Want to learn more about General Assembly? Check out their School Page on Course Report or their website here!
     

  • Instructor Spotlight: Faz Besharatian, General Assembly

    Liz Eggleston9/25/2014

    Faz Besharatian is the head instructor for the General Assembly UX Design Immersive in Washington, DC. We talk to Faz about the evolution of UX Design, how the curriculum is customized to each class, and the ideal student for the immersive GA course. 

     

    Tell us about your background and how you got involved with General Assembly.

    This is my second time teaching the UX Design Immersive at General Assembly. I reached out to GA when I saw their emails about the full-time immersives. For about 3 years I’ve been doing UX design consulting and working on my own projects. I didn’t realize how immersive it was at first! I’ve ramped down on my own consulting now.

     

    Were those positions all user experience as well?

    Over time it became that. It wasn’t called user experience at this time. I had a more a managerial role at AARP. There was a lot of prototyping I was doing at AOL, away from their main portal. I started originally as a graphic designer, then moved to web design, and gradually became a UX Designer.

     

    What would you say falls under the umbrella of UX design?

    I think you make your own career- you have to have a visual understanding, you should understand code, and research. You have to at least know and be able to critique it. So there’s a graphic designer, there’s a visual designer whatever the title maybe that’s working with you. But you’re within the team as more of a facilitator than a front end developer or a visual designer. You need to have an understanding of a little bit of everything but specialize and build that silo somewhere.

     

    What did you do your undergrad in?

    Graphic design. It was called graphic design/advertising; I don’t know how much was advertising.

     

    Have you taught before General Assembly?

    I was instructing classes at Corcoran for a while in web design, not user experience. I enjoyed it; it was very simple, basic web design. A little bit of information  architecture, a little bit of code.

     

    What does the curriculum look like for this class? How do you break up the 10 weeks?

    The curriculum is great – it’s awesome that General Assembly has a curriculum planned to get me started. I’m able to add in relevant experience, like what I’ve had with the teams I have been on.

     

    In Week 1, the students have a project and we build it out. The idea is to get them out talking to people, real world things.They work on a little bit of research, a little bit of sketching things, and prototyping. In the second project, we’re going to add personas in front and wireframes at the end. Each project, we expand the skillset.

    We don’t get to the visual design stuff until a good halfway through, and later get to their final project and client interaction.

     

    So the course is largely project-driven.

    Very - we complete 5 projects. It’s a blend of workshops and exercises and lessons and so forth. Right now, they’re working on the project but in the morning, we’re basically covering wire frame techniques, system design, in a lecture. In the afternoon, you’re learning a tool and applying it.

     

    How much flexibility do you have in the curriculum?

    We have flexibility. It’s a question of how much we change and what we should change. But my take on it was if we have a bunch of briefs and a bunch of projects to work on, it would be nice to have a couple of DC centered companies.  If there’s a point where you’re showing wireframes, I have examples that I can speak about if they want to see that. The students are  really more engaged when they see your work because you’re adding your flavor to it.


     

    Since you’re in the second cohort of this immersive, how iterative have you found it? Has a lot changed since the first one? Did you find things that didn’t work?

    I wouldn’t say a lot but definitely some. First of all, it’s a lot easier because I’m able to prepare for it and actually make some changes. I knew where to spend more time in workshops or add more examples or use different techniques.

     

    Do you have TAs working with you?

    There are two instructors. Last time there was a TA and this time there are two core instructors – and it’s a small class so that’s about all that’s needed; theres 11 people in this class.

     

    Since there is a Web Development Immersive working as well in GA right now, will you collaborate at some point?

    Yeah, that’s what we did last time, it was awesome. So yesterday when they were doing some presentations our folks sat in and listened. When we’re designing something we’re going to have them work with the dev team so that they can actually say if it’s acceptable.

     

    They can get to see what’s being delivered. There’s that interaction.

     

    Do you have a hand in admissions at all?

    No; only when they ask me. When GA has info sessions, sometimes I come in so they can see an instructor.

     

    What is your ideal student?

    I don’t know if there is an ideal student, but I think somebody who has some transferrable skill. Somebody with a graphic design background would benefit- there’s at least one person right now and there was one before. It certainly helps but I think it can also be a crutch.

    This is user experience. The whole thing is about empathizing. If you’re a people person, you’ll be fine. It’s not that hard to do this. It’s just learning a craft and having the interest to do it.

     

    Do you think that somebody needs to know what they want to do after they graduate?

    I think it does definitely help. It’s required to a degree. It’s easier to talk to somebody coaching-wise if they’re saying, “I really don’t want to work for this type of company.”

    You should know if you want to do something entrepreneurial, if you want to sit in a massive team or a small team- knowing that about themselves helps a bit.

     

    So everyone got to a level where they were employable last time; cool.

    In theory, you’re going to graduate, but graduating is not an evaluation. This cohort was all employable, and all had portfolios. They build it themselves. We give them advice and they build it from scratch.

     

    As an instructor, when somebody gets stuck in one of the immersive classes, how long will you let them be stuck on before you help them?

    The main thing is to make the students feel comfortable. If they’re coming out of this thing comfortable with the notion of being uncomfortable, we’re done. It’s hard to gage. I want them to be just frazzled enough. If I don’t see you floundering, I don’t know whether you’re getting it…

     

    How do you stay fresh in the UX world? Do you have time for your own projects? Do you get breaks in between immersives?

    There was a few weeks in between these two sessions. The problem was that the last class was building towards a portfolio so I’m still helping with it. It’s like an extracurricular thing. So it wasn’t totally a break. If you’re consulting or have a really flexible job, it works.

  • August Bootcamp News Roundup

    Liz Eggleston8/29/2014

    Welcome to the August News Roundup, your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the bootcamp space. Want your bootcamp's news to be included in the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!

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  • Student Spotlight: General Assembly Web Development Immersive

    Liz Eggleston7/29/2014

    Steven Weiss and Shawn Broukhim graduated from the General Assembly Web Development Immersive in April 2014 with a baseline knowledge of software development, but felt like they needed more structured learning and career development. They both got fellowships with the NYC Dev Shop, the self-described "Grad School for Bootcamps" and are currently working in project management and development. We talk to Steven & Shawn about their advice to future General Assembly students, how they've continued to learn after graduating, and their fellowship at NYC Dev Shop. 

     

    What were you both doing before you went to General Assembly Web Development Immersive?

    Shawn: I worked in music for a while. I wasn’t doing anything really with technology, but I took an online course to learn programming for sound.

    Steven: I worked at NPR for years as a sound engineer – oddly similar. It was super fun and I did that for a long time; I worked at a lot of voiceover studios editing and producing and it became unfulfilling after a while. The industry kind of plateaued as I’m sure Shawn probably found as well. There aren’t many new jobs popping up in music and sound. Similar to Shawn, I looked towards online courses whether it be Code Academy or any tutorials I could find, and started trying to learn on my own. I saw GA as a way to take an abbreviated schooling rather than something like grad school.

     

    Did you both feel that the online courses that you did helped you get into GA or did you feel like you needed any technical experience during the interview and application process?

    Shawn: There are very few technical requirements or background. The courses I did online just sort of piqued my interest.  They made me realize that this was something that I could pursue.

     

    Steven: It seemed helpful to have seen certain terms before and to see visually how things are set up but there didn’t seem to be many technical requirements.

     

    You learned full stack development: Ruby on Rails; have you expanded your learning since then? Have you learned new languages since you graduated?

    Shawn: I would say I’ve learned new things, done the bulk of my learning really, after the class. We’re basically introduced to a lot of core concepts in GA. It gave us the groundwork to then begin or continue our journey as web developers.

     

    Steven: Yeah, I took a different turn coming out of the course and I’m now doing project management. I went deeper into what we had learned at GA. I would totally agree that it gives you a good baseline – but it’s up to you to take it beyond.

     

    What level did you feel you were at, at the end of the 3 months? Did you feel like you were ready to start interviewing for a junior dev position?

    Shawn: I think the reality is that after finishing, I did not yet have enough experience to be a developer. There were jobs I was applying to but in actuality, this New York Dev Shop fellowship is a better situations for me- it will hopefully lead to a junior developer position.

     

    Steven: There just seems to be a need for a middle ground coming out of a bootcamp, because while you do learn so much, still, it’s 3 months; it’s not that long. I’m sure some people do get great junior dev gigs but I think it’s a lot harder than that.

     

    Did you go through the whole interview process with the jobs you applied for?

    Steven: Yeah, it was definitely possible to get interviews and to go out on them. It was a challenge, though. Bootcamps can be met with some resistance.

     

    Shawn: I interviewed in a number of places and the two positions that I was offered were for apprenticeships. I found that a lot of the people I talked to at meet-ups and events that GA offered, were looking for CTOs or positions I wasn’t necessarily qualified for.

     

    Steven: Coming out of that learning environment that’s structured strictly around learning; I think a lot of us wanted to continue that. We knew how much there was to know and we knew about 1% of it. So we want to learn more but we need an environment that will encourage that.

     

    Can you talk a little bit more about feeling like there was a stigma around it?

    Steven: It’s just numbers. There’ll be some good people and there’ll be some bad people. A lot of those companies are seeing a lot of applicants from these places - tons. We all apply for the same jobs; we’re in the same job world.

    Shawn: The reason why I think there is a stigma around bootcamps is that the number of students coming out of all these classes seems to be expanding quite quickly. There’s no way that the quality of every individual program will increase with that.

    Steven: It has to be much more of an individual experience coming out because there are lots of people coming out and it’s hard to generalize from everyone coming out of boot camps – which is difficult because we’re all associated with it to begin with. I think the hard thing would be figuring out how to make yourself more of an individual coming out. That was a challenge I faced- how are you different from these 27 other people coming out of the same exact thing with the same exact amount of experience? I think that would be the challenge.

     

    Were you pleased with the quality of instruction at GA?

    Steven: I thought the instructors were the best part. We had three instructors who each specialized in a different area.

     

    When did you start the NYC dev shop? Can you explain what NYC Dev Shop is?

    Steven: We started early June. NYC Dev Shop is a development firm that builds sites and apps, focusing on MVP’s for startups.  We’re mostly based in Ruby on Rails, and a few other technologies for mobile. They also host New York Tech Day and a D.C. Tech Day.

    We’re a small fellowship team made up of Shawn, myself, one designer and another developer named Jared who went to Dev Bootcamp. We start out with some internal projects then we’ll transition to client projects.

    Shawn: The structure of this fellowship is 12 weeks long and within that 12 weeks we build 7 different projects from scratch.

     

    Are you building those for clients?

    Shawn: No; the first 5 are just internal, just exercises essentially, and the last two are for actual clients.

    Shawn: The founder, his name is Alec Hartman. He basically described this program as ‘grad school for GA.’ We’re building on the skills we learned at GA; technologies that we used here will apply.

    Steven: Basically a transition to go from educational to eventually professional.

     

    Do you notice that NYC Dev Shop is particularly committed to hiring bootcamp graduates?

    Steven: Yeah, there’s a couple of us. There are two developers who are grads from GA. And within this fellowship, three of the four of us are from GA. I think they do recruit quite a bit from the bootcamp grads.

    It seems like developers and designers coming out of these bootcamps were just like blank pages. And since we know only a baseline level, they can mold that to whatever works best for them and the environment there.

    Shawn: But it’s kind of a unique situation because they’re really investing a lot of time, energy and resources to develop our skills.

    Steven: They expect, rightfully so, for you to be able to start immediately. It’s like “We hired you, now get to work.”

     

    What are your roles there?

    Steven: I’m a project manager. Shawn is a developer.

     

    Steven, do you miss coding?

    Steven: I’ll work on a little bit of stuff on my own; I want to continue learning. But it’s not where my strong suit is. I worked in the professional world for a while before, so my plan was to use the skills I had before along with the development skills to facilitate the client side. It really helps that I understand developers. That’s what I thought separated me from other boot camp grads that are coming out now.

    So I’m just trying to use that to my advantage and it seems like a great fit here. I get on with the team pretty well, I worked with clients so far pretty well.

    Shawn: I think it’s easier for us to work together because we’ve known each other for a while.

     

    Shawn, when you started in NYC Dev Shop did you know that you wanted to do development?

    Shawn: That’s definitely what I wanted to do. After I graduated, I’d grown used to having that structure from GA. When I finished, I wanted to look for something to continue that.

    Steven: I think there’s a void after graduating from one of these bootcamps. I’ll bet all of us felt like, I’ve done this all day every day for 3 months; now what do I do? That transition could be served a lot better.

     

    Can you tell us about some of the mentorship and support that you get at NYC Dev Shop. Do you have a senior developer or a mentor working with your team?

    Shawn: In terms of development itself, the code that we’re writing, it’s been hands-off in terms of instruction and senior guidance because they want us to hit the ground running and learn as much as we can through trial and error.

    But we have the opportunity every day, multiple times a day to ask any questions that we have and check in with the founder who also happens to be a senior Rails developer. We check with him multiple times a day; we can ask questions oc the developers but the developers who are on staff are busy working on their own projects.

    Steven: You can ask basic questions to get background or if there’s a big problem but it’s guided self-learning.

     

    How long have you all been in the fellowship?

    Steven: About 5 weeks

     

    After the 12 weeks could you be potentially hired on as a fulltime employee at NYC Dev Shop?

    Shawn: I think that is the goal if there aren’t any major setbacks.

     

    Can you give us an example of some of the projects that you’ve been able to work on in this role?

    Steven: They’re covering just general categories of sites that we build; either an e-commerce site or something based around social media and interaction.

    Shawn: We built a polling app where the users get sent a text every day and have to respond; We built a photo app and a dating app.

     

    Are you paid while you’re doing that fellowship?

    Shawn: A little bit, yeah. We get a weekly stipend.

     

    What’s next? Are you definitely satisfied enough that you want to stay with NYC Dev Shop?

    Shawn: Absolutely.

    Steven: That’s the hope for now; just to expand the roles we’re doing into professional work.

     

    Do you want to add anything that we didn’t touch on about GA or about your role now?

    Steven: I would stress that GA is such a personal process; it’s up to you. The big thing is knowing what you’re going to do after the fact. Where are you going to get a job? Do they help you get a job? I would stress to people it’s your own responsibility.

    Shawn: The thing that I learned after is really like Steven said, the importance of taking your own responsibility for what happens after the course. GA has resources but I feel that’s all still a work in progress in a lot of ways, especially as they scale. Things are changing; they can’t make the same promises that they did when it was a lot smaller. It has to be on you to make something happen afterwards.

     

    Learn more about the NYC Dev Shop or General Assembly's Web Development Immersive!

  • Course Report & LaunchLM: New York Coding School Alumni Panel

    Liz Eggleston6/10/2014

    If you're thinking about applying to a coding bootcamp in New York, then you must attend this paneled discussion with top coding schools! Join Course Report and Launch LM in the Hive at 55 downtown space for an evening with alumni from 8 bootcamps. 

    RSVP here to claim your spot- space is limited! 

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  • A House Divided: Zeke & Granger, Brogrammers at Flatiron & GA

    Liz Eggleston3/11/2014

    Zeke and Granger Abuhoff are giving new meaning to the term "brogrammers." The brothers are both learning to program at competing bootcamps in New York. Granger attends the WDI program at General Assembly (he transferred from App Academy) and Zeke is almost halfway through his Mobile Development course at Flatiron School.

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  • Webinar Series: General Assembly LA

    Liz Eggleston3/7/2014

    Course Report is kicking off our first webinar series, where we give you the opportunity to get valuable information straight from the source. We started this series with one of the most well-known and established programs in the US, General Assembly. Course Report is joined by Jessica Schneider and Tim Preston of General Assembly- find out what they're looking for in students and the types of outcomes you can expect after attending their 12-week Web Development Immersive!

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  • Q&A with Mercedes Bent, head of Web Development Immersives for General Assembly

    Liz Eggleston3/4/2014

    Mercedes Bent manages Web Development Immersives globally for General Assembly. The twelve-week, Rails-focused school employs their tried methods of teaching to produce full-stack developers who go on to get hired in the tech community or even launch their own products. Mercedes gives us the scoop on one of the largest and most established coding schools in the US- how she finds great instructors, what they look for in potential students, and some upcoming programs that will get you excited about General Assembly. 

     

    Tell us about your story and how you got into the coding bootcamp space.

    I grew up in the Bay Area and started learning how to code in high school, and intended on being a Computer Science major in college, but found it incredibly difficult to learn. I switched over to economics, worked in finance for a few years, and decided that I wanted to get back into tech. My parents were entrepreneurs, so growing up, I didn’t know that there was a career choice other than starting your own business. So I decided to go to a place where I could learn more skills about running my own company and learn some coding skills, which was GA.

     

    Why did General Assembly choose Rails as a teaching language and why do you think that was the right choice?

    We’re not tied to it forever, and we actually teach the same amount of JavaScript. I think almost any full-stack developer will tell you it’s important to be fluent in JavaScript so we focus on that heavily. Ruby on Rails is easy to learn as a beginner and it’s popular with startups in many of our markets, including NYC, so that’s why we went with it. If something changes in the future, we’ll switch as well. We did extensive research with employers in GA markets and we always build our curriculum based on what is needed in the job market so students are job-ready coming out of our programs.

     

    Do you ever think about doing a .NET or Python course in addition to the Rails course?

    We might be looking for an iOS course before Python. .NET is a bit more older and out-of-use in startup land, not in general (generally it is still very widespread), but if we find that our students are being attracted to larger, Fortune 500 organizations that are a bit older, we might. Maybe we’ll have something in our job training program if that’s what employers need at the moment. There are a ton of jobs in .NET, but most of the developer bootcamps are at the front of the curve in terms of determining the languages that will be more popular later. Most of our students are on the younger side and are attracted to startups and are more likely to get jobs with startups than those larger Fortune 500 companies. Back in 2012, we did a lot of research with the employers in our markets who are open to hiring junior developers. We teach students how to learn to be developers, not a specific language, so some of our students have even gone onto using Python in their jobs.  

     

    What are you looking for in potential students? Can someone be a complete beginner?

    We put a lot of thought into our education philosophy which guides how we select students. We do want to be a true beginners program, which is where we’ve kept our focus. We don’t believe in including a test as part of the admissions process. We’re an education institution, so we’re looking for traits that tell us the student will be a good learner. We’re looking for grit, motivation, and intellectual curiosity, being able to take feedback well. That’s been a really good path for us. I know that there are students who we would not have taken if we had a test, but they were really great learners and went very far in their three months. Had we had a test about prior knowledge, they might not have gotten in. We don’t want people who are solely self-interested, because we believe that teaching others as you’re learning helps build the skill set. We look for self-directed learners who want to be part of GA’s community.

     

    Do you offer any scholarships at General Assembly?

    There’s a great one that is being announced soon- look for an announcement in March or April. It will start out with fellows in New York, but will expand throughout the US and eventually will be international. I’m a black female and am deeply invested in increasing diversity in the tech world, but don’t think it should be done through check-the-box, tuition discount marketing ploys. I want to tackle this problem in a much bigger way.

     

    Once a student has been accepted, what kind of pre-work do you require?

    We take students through installing things they’ll need on their computers and we want them to get really familiar with Git and make sure they’re using the resources and frameworks that developers use in the real world. We make sure they can navigate their computers and focus on understanding the internet from a very high level. The bulk of what we focus on in prework is Ruby and Git. We want everyone to have the same baseline coming in, but that’s not going to be perfect. We have a “Week Zero” in most locations, where we have a study hall and instructors on site to help students get through the end of their pre-work.

     

    What’s the average cohort size in New York?

    It depends, market-to-market, but the average class size in New York is 20-25 students. In all of our markets, we keep a 7:1 student to teacher ratio.

     

    How do you find your instructors?

    It’s really difficult to find great instructors. Mentoring and teaching are not the same thing- teaching requires such an intense skill set. We have coaches on staff who train our teachers. We use inbound leads and outbound methods.

     

    Does General Assembly have a refund policy in place and how do you deal with attrition?

    We closely track the reasons that people leave the program. Half of the time, students who leave do so for personal family reasons. The other half- it’s a really hard program, and sometimes people just fall behind. We give them chances to meet project requirements, and if they’re not meeting those, then we don’t want to do them a disservice and send them out into the job field. Luckily, we have programs other than our immersion program, so we may send them to a slower paced class. Our refund policy differs from location to location so we are compliant with local laws. In NYC for example our refund policy is 75% in the first week, 50% in the second week etc.

    Can you give us a quick run-down of the WDI curriculum and what the teaching style is?

    We definitely believe in project based learning. Traditional education is all about learning and storing content, and using it when it’s time. This is very different than immersive learning- it’s about skill acquisition and repetition. A project-based curriculum is the best way to do this. We have 3 to 4 large projects (depending on the location) throughout the program, and students spend 1-2 weeks working on each of these. You’ll learn fundamentals of programming, HTML, CSS, Databases, Sinatra, Rails, JavaScript, .node, Ember, and computer science. Git and Github are used throughout. We employ a bit of just-in-time learning model that emphasizes teaching information as it can be immediately applied to a project, so the order may fluctuate market-to-market

     

    There are a number of online bootcamps and classes, so why do you think that an in-person bootcamp makes the most sense for the Web Development Immersive?

    One of the reasons is project based learning- being able to work on projects and being taught information that is timely for that project. We have a lot of students who have learned online, and I won’t knock online learning at all, but there’s something about being in a physical, classroom environment, treating it like work, having instructors to call on. The community is so important to success.

     

    How does General Assembly help graduates find jobs in tech?

    In Week 7 of the WDI curriculum, we introduce an overlapping job readiness curriculum, which is created and run by our Outcomes Team. There are two main events after WDI- the Meet & Greet, which is the large, science-fair-type event for employers to come and check out students’ project. The other event is for students who want to continue to train, and is a 3-month, paid apprenticeship with a real company. Monday through Thursday, you’re working with the company and on Fridays, you’re at General Assembly. The apprentice model is a great way to learn because the company taking you on knows that you’re a junior developer and we require outcomes partners to mentor the students while they’re there. Most of the students go on to get an offer f