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Grace Hopper Program

Chicago, New York City, Online, Online

Grace Hopper Program

Avg Rating:4.91 ( 46 reviews )

The Grace Hopper Program is a 17-week, immersive software engineering program for women with no upfront tuition cost in New York City (13-weeks of the course will be on campus). Named for pioneer computer scientist Grace Murray Hopper, the program is driven by three values: education, opportunity, and mentorship. By employing a deferred tuition model, students only pay tuition once they secure a job after graduation. Grace Hopper aims to lower the barrier to entry and accept qualified candidates who cannot afford the upfront cost of a coding bootcamp. Once graduates land a job, they pay $19,610 tuition in installments over 9 months.

As an affiliate of Fullstack Academy, The Grace Hopper Program teaches the same JavaScript-focused curriculum. Graduates will be fluent in Computer Science fundamentals like algorithms, data structures, and object-oriented programming, React, HTML & CSS, JavaScript frameworks (Express.js, Node.js), SQL, and test-driven development. 

Applicants must be women (the team defines "women" as anyone female identifying -- including transgender, genderqueer, and non-binary) who are passionate about coding and have the drive to succeed in an immersive environment. The immersive course is not designed for pure beginners, but if an applicant's technical skills are not advanced enough to pass the coding assessment, then the Grace Hopper team can provide learning resources to prepare you for the interview. 

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  • Bootcamp Prep in a Month

    Apply
    HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Express.js, Node.js, Front End
    In PersonPart Time10 Hours/week4 Weeks
    Start Date August 10, 2020
    Cost$100
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationNew York City, Chicago
    Fullstack’s Bootcamp Prep will help prepare you for admissions into our prestigious Grace Hopper Program. This rigorous course will also prepare you for admissions into other highly ranked coding bootcamps. You’ll learn more than just the fundamentals of programming—you’ll learn how to solve real-world coding problems using the JavaScript language.
    Financing
    DepositN/A
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelAdvanced-beginner
    Prep WorkIncludes a 10-hr prep workshop. Not required, but highly recommended to help students get the most out of class.
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewNo
    More Start Dates
    August 10, 2020 - New York City Apply by August 8, 2020
  • Bootcamp Prep in a Week

    Apply
    HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Express.js, Node.js, Front End
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week1 Week
    Start Date August 22, 2020
    Cost$100
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationNew York City
    Fullstack’s Bootcamp Prep will help prepare you for admissions into our prestigious Grace Hopper Program. This rigorous course will also prepare you for admissions into other highly ranked coding bootcamps. You’ll learn more than just the fundamentals of programming, you’ll learn how to solve real-world coding problems using the JavaScript language.
    Financing
    DepositN/A
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelAdvanced-beginner
    Prep WorkIncludes a 10-hr prep workshop. Not required, but highly recommended to help students get the most out of class.
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewNo
    More Start Dates
    August 22, 2020 - New York City Apply by August 20, 2020
  • Grace Hopper Program

    Apply
    HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Express.js, React.js, Node.js, Front End, SQL
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week17 Weeks
    Start Date September 21, 2020
    Cost$19,910
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationNew York City
    The Grace Hopper Program is an immersive coding bootcamp in New York City exclusively for women+-identifying students. To reduce financial barriers for women+ students of all backgrounds, we offer deferred tuition, which means women train now and pay tuition only once they’ve found full-time employment in software engineering. The Grace Hopper Program fosters a supportive and diverse community to make tech more accessible for all.
    Financing
    Deposit$3,000
    Tuition PlansGrads pay $19,910 in installments over 9 months - deposit is counted toward this amount. Payments begin at the end of a graduate's first month of employment. If no work is found within 12 months of graduating, no tuition is owed.
    Scholarship$1,000 Ada Lovelace Scholarship $1,000 Edie Windsor Scholarship for gender nonconforming individuals & LGBTQ+ women.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelAdvanced-beginner/Intermediate programming skills
    Prep WorkFour week-long remote Foundations class precedes 13 weeks on-campus
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
    More Start Dates
    September 21, 2020 - New York City Apply by August 2, 2020
  • Grace Hopper Track

    Apply
    HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Express.js, React.js, Node.js, Front End, SQL
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week17 Weeks
    Start Date September 21, 2020
    Cost$17,910
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationChicago
    The Grace Hopper Track is a deferred-tuition option for women within the co-ed Software Engineering Immersive program taught at Fullstack Academy’s Chicago campus. Women at the Fullstack Chicago campus have access to exclusive mentorship and community-building opportunities, and pay tuition only once they've found full-time employment in software engineering. The remaining elements of the Fullstack education—curriculum, instructors, career services—are shared across the entire student body, and are not specific to the Grace Hopper Track at Fullstack Chicago.
    Financing
    Deposit$3,000
    Tuition PlansGrads pay $17,910 in installments over 9 months - deposit is counted toward this amount. Payments begin at the end of a graduate's first month of employment. If no work is found within 12 months of graduating, no tuition is owed.
    ScholarshipTuition in Chicago includes a built-in $2,000 scholarship to reduce costs from $19,910 to $17,910. Also available: $1,000 Ada Lovelace Scholarship $1,000 Edie Windsor Scholarship for gender nonconforming individuals & LGBTQ+ women
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelAdvanced-beginner/Intermediate programming skills
    Prep WorkFour week-long remote Foundations class precedes 13 weeks on-campus
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
    More Start Dates
    September 21, 2020 - Chicago Apply by August 2, 2020

Shared Review

  • Eternally Grateful
    - 3/12/2020
    Sylvana  User Photo
    Sylvana • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I am so thankful to Fullstack Academy and Grace Hopper for giving me the skills and confidence to find a job with a company that I love. Let me start by giving you a little background. I studied electrical engineering in college and worked as teacher after graduating, so I had some coding background but I was mostly self-taught. Before Fullstack, I was able to build simple apps by following youtube tutorials or searching stack overflow, but I felt like I was lacking a lot of foundational knowledge. It turns out that, yes, I was lacking foundational knowledge, but there was so much more that I had been missing. After Fullstack, I have a much clearer understanding of the full stack data flow and best practices. Beyond that, I also met some amazing people and found the most loving, supportive community. Anyone who went through the Grace Hopper Program would agree that it is a wonderful, safe bubble, where you feel comfortable asking questions and seeking help. Everyone is genuinely interested in your success, and do their best to help you reach your goals. This is true of both teachers and students. In a field as competitive and intimidating as software engineering, the Grace Hopper program was a wonderful oasis that made learning easy and enjoyable.
  • Laura  User Photo
    Laura • Web Developer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I had a fantastic time at GHP and wouldn't have chosen any other bootcamp. They don't just give you experience with development, they also prepare you for pair programming, agile methodology, the interviewing/job search process, and for whiteboarding exercises. That being said, there is always room for improvement. The fellows need more guidelines on how to do their jobs, since some fellows were diligent with their grading and their advice, while others were just scraping by.  Instructors tell you to embrace the "productive struggle", which is fair if you have an idea of what you're doing, but sometimes students would get 100% lost and wouldn't even know how to search for a solution. At that point, some instructors need to learn how to identify what is best for the student, rather than expect them to figure it out on their own. It's a tough program, especially if you don't have a CS background, but I'm glad I went through it and love the community I'm now surrounded by.
  • Mallory  User Photo
    Mallory • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    The Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy in NYC helped me make a successful career transition into software development. Before starting at Grace Hopper in the fall of 2019, I was working in a different industry in a non-tech role and had been coding in my free time for about 6 months on and off. To prepare for admission to Grace Hopper, I taught myself some Javascript basics, and then attended the Fullstack Academy online Bootcamp Prep course. By the time I graduated from Grace Hopper, I had built several full-stack web apps, including a capstone project that I could showcase during job interviews. Through the curriculum and additional self-study of algorithms and data structures, I learned core skills that made me a competitive applicant for software engineer roles.

    One of the most valuable parts of my experience was joining a highly welcoming, collaborative, and empathetic community of women and non-binary software developers. My classmates not only challenged each other in the classroom, but also cheered each other on through the extremely fast-paced curriculum and into the job search process. I'm grateful to be part of such a strong community to navigate a new career in tech with. 

    Pros:
    - Deferred tuition
    - Challenging and rewarding curriculum
    - Inclusive, supportive community
    - Opportunity to attend the school's 'Launch Day' near graduation, which can provide networking and interview leads
    - Career counselor available throughout the job search process

    Cons:
    - Large class size (almost 40 students) sometimes seemed to overstretch instructors, teaching assistants, and career counselors
  • Teressa   User Photo
    Teressa • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I have so much gratitude and love for my Grace Hopper fam. The instructors are super knowledgable (S/O NATALIE LANE  AND DAVID ADEWOYIN), the career success coaches, my cohort mates, just the ENTIRE staff. You are set up for success the minute you enter the program. Despite the challenging pace and the jam-packed curriculum, I had the time of my life building web apps with teammates that I could later talk about in interviews. Staying engaged with the material and vocalizing your concerns will get you the personalized support you need to get up to speed in learning the newest technologies. The program is aptly named as an "immersive" course - there are workshops, lectures, office hours, panels, review sessions, and checkpoints to test your mastery of the material. The cohort sizes may vary depending on the time of the year but there are smaller learning teams with a dedicated teaching fellow who will help you navigate through the bootcamp's material. There is also a program lead that checks in with the cohort to address any real-time improvements that can be made to the learning environment. I put in my all, and as a result I've gained lifelong friends, robust projects that make me a competitive software engineer applicant, and a network of fierce women software engineers. 
  • Haley  User Photo
    Haley • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    If you are thinking about making the switch into a tech career, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Grace Hopper program. You learn so much, so fast, while being surrounded by an amazing group of supportive women! Everyone at GH is looking out for you, and rooting for you to do your best. I remember looking over the curriculum when I was considering applying, and thinking about how foreign all these terms were, it seemed like an impossible task to learn so much in so little time. When I saw the capstone videos from previous grads, it felt so out of reach, seeing the amazing things that people had created. But now, after completing the program, I can say that I completed these tasks that seemed so insurmountable at first. I worked really hard, and it all paid off. There are a lot of bootcamps out there, but if you are going to pick one, the Grace Hopper program really is something special.
  • Worth It.
    - 12/18/2019
    Crispina Muriel  User Photo
    Crispina Muriel • Software Engineer / Former Teacher • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    The bootcamp-prep curriculum is free. Please go check it out and see if it matches your learning style. I just graduated from the Grace Hopper program at Fullstack Academy in New York. 

    I can't tell you how much I appriecated every aspect of the program. The instructors went above and beyond to make sure that everyone understood. The fellows were a little less helpful but at least we had immediate help when we needed it during workshops. Any time a fellow could not help they were always guided by the instructor, and we always had access to the instructors when we requested office hours. The curriculum is strong, understandable, comprehensive, and extremely relevant to what I see I need to know, now that i'm on my job search. The instructors have pre-made slides that help in case you need to review a concept. Every single task that you are asked to do has a counterpart sample that has been done inside of some part of a past workshop or past lecture. You are guided to the answers and instead of expecting you to just google the answer, you are able to sift through their curriculum and find it there. 

    Even though I did not get to meet the founders, I really appreciate them for their obvious care and planning they put into this school. I feel that the Fullstack & GraceHopper schools are masters at lesson design and pedagogy. 

  • Jessica Wallin  User Photo
    Jessica Wallin • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I can't say enough positive things about my time at the Grace Hopper program. My cohort's team of teachers did a great job of teaching us a lot of new technologies very quickly while making us feel supported and confident in our skills the entire time. We were encouraged to ask questions, and the team was very availible to hold office hours and provide extra help on the curriculum when needed. In addition, the cohort was under the supervision of a program lead, who checked in frequently to address our concerns or frustrations, and fellows, recent graduates who stay on to help the next cohort. The team at Fullstack/Grace Hopper is absolutely dedicated to providing a holistic education. They understand that bootcamp is rigourous, and the support they provide goes much deeper than technical. 

    The second half of the program focuses on using the skills and technologies learned in the first half to actually build applications. Along with improving our technical skills, this process is essential for teaching teamwork and working collaboratively, which are essential skills for a software engineer. I loved working alongside the amazing women in my cohort, and learned so much about communication, delegation, and writing understandable and consistent code during these projects. We also followed the kind of agile workflow we could expect in the 'real world', and were encouraged to adopt new technologies during project work.

    Finally, the career success team was so helpful during the second half of the program and beyond. In addition to providing resume reviews and interview prep, they hosted a series of panels and extra events to help ensure we left the program prepared for interviews and networking.  After the program, the team provided help and support throughout the job search and negotiation process. I was lucky enough to be hired by one of the companies they paired me with during our cohort's interview day!

    I am so proud to be a Grace Hopper graduate and I highly recommend this program to anyone looking to start a career in Software Engineering.

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    The Grace Hopper program has been absolutely one of the most unique learning environments I've been in.  It is fast-paced, and they expect you to work hard.  The first six weeks were FULL of lectures and it was a bit of information overload.  But the remainder of the course was much more project-based, and expands thoroughly upon the topics covered in the lectures.  The staff and instructors are very willing and available to answer questions, but it is entirely up to you to ask the questions and get the help you need.  They do not coddle people, but they will always set aside time if you ask.
    My cohort was ~30 women who were overall very solid teammates and great people to work with, some of which I would consider wonderful friends.  The projects are team-focused, and communication skills are essential.
    The challenge for me is staying motivated and focused, as it can feel overwhelming at times.  However, if i had been self-studying for the same amount of time as the program, I would have NEVER accomplished even close to what I was able to produce within this school.  I was pushed beyond what I thought I was capable of, and I am forever changed and thankful for it.
    So glad to recommend this program to any women or non-binary people looking to break into web development and programming.

  • Brynn Shepherd  User Photo
    Brynn Shepherd • Software Engineer • Student Verified via LinkedIn
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    "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." 

    David Yang, one of Fullstack/Grace Hopper's co-founders, brought up this quote during his parting words to my cohort as we graduated. It resonated so strongly with me and sums up how I feel about attending Grace Hopper. Despite having majored in computer science as an undergraduate, I never felt confident enough in my skills as a programmer to pursue an engineering career. In addition to the practical skills necessary to land a software engineering job in 2019, Grace Hopper provided a supportive, nurturing environment unlike any I'd experienced before. It was such an incredibly inspiring and fulfilling experience and I can't recommend it highly enough!

  • Would recommend
    - 10/19/2018
    Alexandra Ash  User Photo
    Alexandra Ash • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    TL;DR

    I had a great experience at Grace Hopper at Fullstack Academy and I learned a lot. It is expensive but is a good investment in your education. Overall I would recommend it, but it’s not perfect.

    Grace Hopper vs. Fullstack Academy of Code

    The Grace Hopper Program in NYC is an all women’s program within Fullstack Academy of Code. The curriculum is identical, the instructors and most of the staff are shared (the instructors only teach one cohort at a time, but rotate through both programs). The main difference is the all women environment and the deferred tuition. Another difference is that in the summer, the main Fullstack Academy of Code includes college students who will be returning to school in the fall, which is not the case of the Grace Hopper program. Students from both programs are invited to optional lectures during lunch and other joint activities.

    The Curriculum

    Fullstack Academy/ Grace Hopper teaches full stack javascript, which sets it apart from most other bootcamps (many teach Ruby on Rails). One advantage of full stack javascript is that you get to do a deep dive into a language (javascript) that you will need to use on the front end anyway. On the other hand  a lot of people don’t really take javascript seriously as a server side language, and it has some quirks which make it harder to learn. I am undecided on whether I would recommend a full stack javascript curriculum over a Ruby on Rails curriculum or a curriculum that incorporates Python.

    One great thing about Fullstack/Grace Hopper is they are constantly improving/changing their curriculum as technologies change. While I was there we learned Node.js and express on the backend and React with Redux on the front end. We used a sql database (PostgreSQL) for our database. They really take seriously feedback on what works and what doesn’t and are constantly improving/changing the curriculum. I think React with Redux is a good choice for the front end.

    Computer science concepts (data structures, algorithms etc.) were incorporated throughout the curriculum, which I really liked.

    The schedule

    Builders

    Some students (including myself) are accepted to the program on the condition that they complete a two week  remote “builders” program which reviews javascript fundamentals. This program does not cost extra. I found it to be very helpful and was glad I was “invited” to do it. I did it while working and it was totally manageable.

    Foundations:

    Foundations is a remote, part time program to continue developing your foundation in javascript and programming. I found it to be quite good. I continued working while completing this program which was doable but busy. Supposedly the program is 5 weeks, but the last week just setting up your computer and is optional. When I took the course (summer 2018), the bulk of foundations used pre ES6 javascript and then we learned ES6 at the end. I’m guessing this is because they hadn’t yet had time to redo their videos.

    Junior Phase: The first 6 weeks of the program is junior phase. This consists of lectures followed by “labs” which are short solo practice assignments and “workshops” which are longer structured assignments completed in assigned pairs. Pair programming is an essential part of the curriculum, and while not every pair will be a positive experience, overall I think it really does help one learn. In junior phase we also had readings/videos to review at home and weekly homework assignments. There were also two tests and a project to help evaluate student progress.

    In my cohort there were 5 fellows (teaching assistants who have recently graduated from the program). The fellows answer questions during workshops, help with grading, have office hours, and hold group lunches once a week. The fellows did great work and were a big part of the program being so good. The teachers were also quite good - they varied from pretty good to extremely excellent. Usually you have two teachers for junior phase, but because one of ours had a vacation scheduled we had some “subs” (other instructors in the program) who ended up being excellent.

    The students varied in background and I thought the program did a pretty good job accommodating this. There was optional lectures and optional extra work if you wanted to dig deeper into the curriculum, and there were extra study sessions (by invitation) on Saturdays for students who could benefit from more practice. However, if you wanted to slack you could, you need to be self-motivated to get the most out of the program. For the most part the other students in my cohort worked hard and it was a good culture of learning.

    Review week: The schedule varies slightly cohort to cohort, but while I was there we had our final exam the first day of “review week” and has the remaining 4 days off. I would have liked if they had been more clear about the schedule upfront. The stated purpose of review week is to review any materials you are weak on, but it is essentially a vacation as you aren’t required to be on campus (although I would recommend doing some review work during this period). During review week the instructors determine which students are ready to move on to “Senior Phase”. If you aren’t ready, you are invited to redo Junior phase (you are charged extra tuition which is also deferred), they call this “replaying”. In my cohort 1 student dropped out in the middle of Junior phase, 1 dropped out  between junior and senior phase, and three “replayed”.

    Senior Phase: Senior phase is project based. Working on projects is a great way to learn. The instructors did include a few lectures which were good, and I would have liked a few more. The first project is an e-commerce site group project, the second is a solo 4 day “hackathon” project and the last is a 2.5 week capstone project completed in groups. Except for the first project the topic and technology is up to you/your group. I found that in this section of the course you had to be especially self motivated - the resources were there, but if you wanted help from an instructor you had to make sure to request it. I thought the code reviews by the instructors were helpful. Each day in senior phase we also had “REACTOs” which are white boarding practice in pairs. They were great practice although they were different/more difficult  than anything I was asked in an interview.

    The program does a good job packing in a lot of material in a short time, but I felt that the last week and a half was a bit light in content. They focus on making videos for demo day, which are more of an ad for the school then anything useful for one’s portfolio, and on getting ready for launch day.

    Value

    The program is expensive.

    In terms of an investment, in my opinion it is worth it, you will likely make back the cost of the program in a year (or less) at your first job (not counting the cost of taking time off for the program and the job search).

    As compared to other education options I would say the cost is slightly higher but the quality is better. Grace Hopper is a bit more expensive than other bootcamps, but is not the most expensive bootcamp. It costs about the same as a semester at a private college, but prepares you for the workforce better in my opinion. So the price is probably inflated just as most education is these days, in my opinion.

    An aside: free bootcamp options

    In an effort to increase diversity in software engineering there are some free bootcamp options for people who qualify. Here’s three I have heard of, and I’m sure there’s more.

    1. If you are a New York City resident check out whether you are eligible for the NYC Web Development Fellowship (and whether the city is still funding this program). This is a tuition free program at one of 3 partner schools one of which is Fullstack Academy of Code. While I was at Grace Hopper there was a cohort of Web Development Fellows. They had the same curriculum as Grace Hopper/Fullstack, although there are some (mostly small) differences in the program because it is funded by the city. There aren’t new cohorts as frequently as in Grace Hopper/Fullstack. But basically it is a Fullstack Academy of Code education without the cost.

    2. If you are looking for an all women’s experience and would be interested in living in Seattle and pursuing a longer program check out Ada Developers Academy which is tuition free.
    3. Resilient Coders in Boston is a free, full-time, 14-week Javascript coding bootcamp that trains young people of color for apprenticeships and careers as software engineers. I met a couple people from this program at a meetup, but don’t have any first hand information about it.

    The Job Search

    I found that the program had prepared me pretty well for technical interviews, although I did continue to study. I was mostly applying to small and medium sized companies.

    Career counselors: Our cohort had a dedicated career counselor. I found her advice (during and after the program) to be helpful, although at times a little generic. I really appreciated that I had  someone in my court who I could message on Slack or arrange a call with if i needed advice on what to say to a potential employer in a particular situation, whether an offer was good, how to negotiate, etc. She was very responsive and I really felt that she was in my corner. It made me feel much more comfortable during the negotiation and decision making process. We also each had a remote career counselor who helped us polish our resumes and our “pitches”. Mine was a bit helpful, but I didn’t rely on him very much.

    Job search curriculum: The career search portion of the curriculum was ok.  The advice on resumes was really helpful - the format they suggested worked for me! The advice for LinkedIn profiles and Github profiles was also helpful. The advice they gave in person was better than the out of date advice in the ‘workshop’ which they admitted needed an update. They put a big emphasis on writing technical blog posts. I think this is the kind of thing that might help you if you do it but isn’t going to hurt you if you don’t (I didn’t).

    Launch Day: Launch day (formerly called hiring day) is a career-fair style day to introduce ourselves to companies in New York City. It is combined with the Fullstack cohort. Each student has ten minute interviews with at least 3 companies. The companies are assigned to you. At the end there is a networking session where you can talk to any company you would like to. Because I was primarily looking for jobs in Boston I treated this as a chance to beta test my resume and pitch which was helpful. My classmates who were looking for jobs at Launch Day were somewhat disappointed by the quality and selection of the companies. Our launch day was Labor Day Weekend so that may have made it harder to get top notch companies there. I believe that some people did get jobs from launch day, but not the majority.

    Overall Grace Hopper/Fullstack’s network with employers in not strong. Unless you get a job offer from launch day, they are not going to find you a job, or find you jobs to apply to. That is up to you. But they are helpful with advice on how to perform the search, prepare  for interviews and negotiate an offer.

    Alumni Network:

    They don’t provide a directory of alumni, but they do invite you to a slack channel for alumni once you graduate, which is pretty active. Among other things, alumni post job openings, many of these require a few years of experience, but some are looking for junior developers. I found this to be very helpful. I also met up with a few alums in the Boston area in person.

    General advice:

    Before I chose and attended a bootcamp I had a really clear idea of the gaps in my knowledge that I wished to fill and I found a bootcamp that targeted what I wanted to learn. This helped me get the most out of my experience. As you look for your entry into software engineering I would start by considering what you know and what skills and projects you already have under your belt, and choose a course of study (whether a bootcamp, studying on your own, pursuing a CS degree, working on projects, or something else) that compliments what you know and fills in the gaps. Employers care about what you know and what projects you have made, they don’t care whether you are self taught or went to a bootcamp.

    Feel free to find me on LinkedIn if you have any specific questions about Fullstack Academy or Grace Hopper.

     
  • Isabel Hirama  User Photo
    Isabel Hirama • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    My summer at the Grace Hopper program was without a doubt the most intense and most fruitful learning experience of my life. It wasn't easy, but it was absolutely worthwhile.

    I had previous coding experience, in Python with a focus on data analysis and machine learning, and I decided to complete a bootcamp to gain software engineering skills that I could combine with my data science skills in order to be able to a) actually make cool stuff that people can use, and b) have the skills to be considered for a wider variety of jobs. This prior experience definitely helped, but many of my most talented cohort-mates hadn't had any coding experience before preparing to apply for the bootcamp. I would recommend Grace Hopper for people with any level of prior experience.

    I'll lay out some of the highlights that defined my experience at Grace Hopper in terms of pros and cons.

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    Pros 
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    Preparation resources: Fullstack Academy (the umbrella bootcamp that Grace Hopper is a part of) has a great array of resources to help you prepare to apply and get in. I used a combination of one of their in-person bootcamp prep classes, and their online "JavaScript Jumpstart" course. These are both great as opposed to using outside resources because they prepare you specifically for what you'll be assessed on in the application process.

    Program content: The Fullstack/Grace Hopper team do an amazing job strategically creating, honing, and constantly improving their curriculum. Talking to graduates from previous cohorts, it's easy to tell that every cohort gets an updated, carefully edited iteration of the curriculum. This applies to everything from small details such as what order workshops are presented in, all the way up to major changes like teaching completely different frameworks (e.g. switching from Angular to React), if they assess that a newer technology will be more in demand on the job market.

    Program structure: The program is split up into three phases (one remote preparation section, then six weeks of Junior phase, then six weeks of Senior phase). This was really helpful in terms of making things more digestible. The one week break between Junior and Senior phase is something that I think all bootcamps should implement! In Junior phase your time will be spent on a mix of lectures, labs, and workshops. In Senior phase it's a mix of team projects, individual projects, interview prep, and career success prep. I really appreciated this structure. You consume and process a TON of information in Junior phase, and practice using it through small projects. Then in Senior phase you put it all together through bigger, longer-term projects. I really appreciated this structure and found it very conducive to learning and mastering skills.

    All-female environment: Learning software engineering with a group of thirty women was a wonderful experience. My favorite part about it was actually that day-to-day I never really thought about the fact that we were all women. I was just able to completely focus on learning, rather than spending mental or emotional energy on dealing with interactions tinged by gender bias. Coming from tech education experiences where I was one of very few women in the room, there was an incredible difference in how much better and more unhindered my learning experience was.

    Location: The bootcamp is located in the financial district, which is much less crowded and tourist-ridden than midtown. If you live in Brooklyn, I highly recommend commuting via ferry. The building is five minutes from the Wall St/Pier 11 ferry terminal. I barely had to go to midtown or take the subway all summer!

    Deferred tuition: An obvious draw!

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    Cons (Really just one thing to be aware of going in - not necessarily a true con.) 
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    This applies to any bootcamp, but make sure you're willing to fully commit 100% mentally, emotionally, physically, and logistically. Most of your waking hours will be spent coding or thinking about code, and you will dream in code at night. This is only a con if you're not prepared for it/willing to embrace it! The total immersion of a bootcamp is a PRO in terms of learning, even if it's challenging and requires a lot of stamina! Also, if you've worked for a startup before and that's a helpful point of comparison, I found that working for a startup was similar to bootcamp in terms of the time required. However, startup life was actually a lot more stressful than bootcamp life because with a bootcamp you have an end date, and the experience has been carefully engineered and honed over multiple iterations to make sure you have the best possible experience. With a startup you have neither of those things!

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    Conclusion 
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    Get in the right mindset, do the preparation necessary to get in and do well, and take the plunge!

  • Ella Pitassi  User Photo
    Ella Pitassi • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I first took the bootcamp prep course while working to see if I loved this new field enough to quit my old job. I enjoyed BCP so I continued to study and told myself once I was accepted into Fullstacks emmersive program I would quit. It was a big change but one of the smarted decisions I have made. I chose to attend Grace Hopper but debated back and forth some -- between GH and Fullstack.

    The students in my cohort had a wide range of backgrounds - from CS degrees to just learning enough to get into the program. Regardless we were all in it together which makes the atmosphere supportive. In addition, the instructors are extremely skilled and helpful, usually there are two at a time teaching a cohort which is great because you get exposed to a variety of teaching skills. The ciriculum is dense.. I worked every day and weekend to keep up (as you can imagine I had no social life during the program). It is not a long program and it really has to be as dense as it is for you to go in knowing very little then graduating expecting to get a job. I busted my ass but it was very rewarding. After the program, because I loved the atmosphere so much and wasnt confident about looking for a job I became a fellow. This was great because you gain confidence as you help the new students, also you essentally get to go through the program again.

    I would definitely reccommend Fullstack/Grace Hopper to anyone who is interested in learning to code likely looking to get a job as a developer. It is challenging but if you enjoy coding/learning it is very rewarding. If you arent sure then I would suggest the bootcamp prep course to get a taste of what will be taught in the full time program.

  • Jane Costa  User Photo
    Jane Costa • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I did the Grace Hopper program, which is the same curriculum as Fullstack Academy but has deferred tuition and is for women only. The curriculum is STRONG!!!! Before you get to campus and during your very first week, you will coding and learning very advanced computer science topics. They truly ensure that every student knows their stuff and is prepared for the job search ahead including whiteboarding interviews. I never had a doubt throughout the program that I would have any trouble finding a job because of what and how they were teaching.

    One of the great things Fullstack did was make sure from the beginning that students are ready and that everyone is on the same page. Just to get into the bootcamp, you need to know javascript and be able to solve somewhat diffucult problems as well as be familiar with recursion. However, they have a lot of great resources to get you accepted such as the online bootcamp prep course. Foundations covered some pretty advanced topics but they provided a mentor for each student and paced the work over 5 weeks so that everyone could master it and there were some tests along the way to make sure everyone was learning the material. I learned so much before I even got to campus and I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to converse about code and solve quite challenging problems on the very first day.

    I realize that talking about the material in light of how advanced it is could scare some people away, but I just want to say that I found the program extremely friendly and not scary at all. They just want to make sure everyone is ready and on the same page, and they provide a lot of resources to get you there. If you ever feel like you are falling behind, they will not kick you out like some bootcamps will. Instead, they will get you the help that you need, and even allow you to repeat the first half of the program (junior phase) if you are struggling. Everything they do is to make sure you succeed.

    I also found they focus a good amount on soft skills, which was amazing to see. They make sure students learn to communicate about issues that arise during pair programming before these issues ever arise, they talk about unconscious bias, they have retrospectives to reflect on different parts of the program, make sure students are taking care of themselves emotionally, etc. I found that students are able to give feedback about the program and the feedback is taken seriously and changes are implemented almost immediately as a result of student feedback.

    The career success program is very strong as well. They don't just teach you how to code and build projects on this program. A big portion of the second half of the program was focused on getting students hireable. We had regular mandatory meetings with the career success team, practiced interviews (behavioral, technical, and whiteboarding), received feedback on resumes and linkedIn profiles, and so many presentations on job hunting. The career success team really sticks with you throughout the process and after you graduate to make sure you get hired.

    Overall, this program was amazing for me. I went to a different bootcamp before this program to turn around my career, felt like I didn't learn enough to be hireable, and I constantly felt anxious and unready to find a job. Grace Hopper/Fullstack Academy was a night and day difference. It eased my worries and I never once doubted that I could find a job in the end. At first I was concerned because Fullstack teaches pure JavaScript instead of mixing in some of the other competing languages, but I truly believe that it served me well. I was able to learn really complex topics in depth and branch out past just web development. I also believe that now I can learn anything. In a nutshell, I learned amazing things, I built amazing projects including web apps, a mobile app and VR app with AI, I made amazing friendships with the women there, I constantly felt uplifted, and I had a job offer 10 days at the end of the program.

Thanks!