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Grand Circus

Detroit, Grand Rapids

Grand Circus

Avg Rating:4.48 ( 42 reviews )

Grand Circus offers 12-week, full-time, and 26-week, part-time coding bootcamps, along with short workshops in Detroit, Michigan. Grand Circus’ mission is to elevate the city's tech community and is a center for learning, co-working, and events in Detroit. Students can choose between bootcamps covering Java, C#/.NET or Front End, and the workshops include introductions to coding, front end, back end, and web development fundamentals. Grand Circus instructors are experienced professionals, and focus on training students with a purpose and project-based instruction that delivers real-world experience. 

Although no coding experience is required to attend Grand Circus coding bootcamps, students must be smart, tenacious, resourceful, hardworking, self-motivated, and committed. Students should also know how to work with programs like Google Drive and Microsoft Office. To apply, candidates should fill out an online application form, then Grand Circus will set up an interview either in-person or over Skype. Once admitted, students will need to complete a 2-week online pre-course before day one of the bootcamp.

Grand Circus helps students develop interview skills and soft skills, and organizes networking events to introduce students to employers in Detroit. Students receive a certificate of completion upon graduation.

Recent Grand Circus Reviews: Rating 4.48

all (42) reviews for Grand Circus →

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  • After-Hours C# .NET Bootcamp

    Apply
    In PersonPart Time8 Hours/week23 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$9,750
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationGrand Rapids, Detroit
    This programming bootcamp will introduce you to the fundamentals of enterprise development (.NET), the use of Visual Studio, SQL databases, and how to design and deploy object-oriented applications.
    Financing
    Deposit$800.00
    Financing
    ScholarshipAutomatic $1,500 scholarship for veterans, women, and anyone who is a part of an ethnic minority group underrepresented in tech.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelWe ask that our students exhibit a growth mindset, accountability, and autonomy. We also like to see that applicants have attended at least one in-person workshop at a Grand Circus campus.
    Prep WorkUnit 1 must be completed at home and passed successfully prior to bootcamp start date.
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • After-Hours Front-End Bootcamp

    Apply
    In PersonPart Time8 Hours/week23 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$9,750
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationGrand Rapids, Detroit
    During this Front-End web development course, you’ll train with a whole host of programming languages and skills – in addition to JavaScript – as you work your way through every level of a web application, from the front-end to the server-side code.
    Financing
    Deposit$800.00
    Financing
    ScholarshipAutomatic $1,500 scholarship for veterans, women, and anyone who is a part of an ethnic minority group underrepresented in tech.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelWe ask that our students exhibit a growth mindset, accountability, and autonomy. We also like to see that applicants have attended at least one in-person workshop at a Grand Circus campus.
    Prep WorkUnit 1 must be completed at home and passed successfully prior to bootcamp start date.
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • C# .NET Bootcamp

    Apply
    C#
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week12 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$9,750
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationGrand Rapids, Detroit
    OVERVIEW C# .NET is a programming framework developed Microsoft and used the around the world in enterprise development. More importantly, it is in high demand among employers in Michigan. Our C# .NET Developer Bootcamp is 12 weeks - two weeks are at home self-paced lectures, followed by 10 weeks Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm in downtown Grand Rapids. It is intense, but in this bootcamp you will learn fundamental programming concepts necessary to apply to junior web developer positions. TELL ME MORE Our C# .NET Developer Bootcamp will introduce you to the fundamentals of enterprise development (.NET), the use of Visual Studio, methods using SQL databases, and how to design and deploy object-oriented applications. We cover the core software development skills that all .NET based web developers need. Units are divided by tiers and cover core server-side business logic and client side programming, and similar server side programming and persistence. To provide sufficient depth, concepts are taught using one of the most popular tools for a given tier, with an overview of other similar tools that are also popular in today’s job market. By graduation day, you’ll not only know the difference between ASP.NET and ActiveX, but you’ll graduate with a project you’ll be proud to show off to employers at Demo Day.
    Financing
    Deposit$800.00
    Financing
    ScholarshipAutomatic $1,500 scholarship for veterans, women, and anyone who is a part of an ethnic minority group underrepresented in tech.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelWe ask that our students exhibit a growth mindset, accountability, and autonomy. We also like to see that applicants have attended at least one in-person workshop at a Grand Circus campus.
    Prep WorkUnit 1 must be completed at home and passed successfully prior to bootcamp start date.
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • Front-End Bootcamp

    Apply
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week9 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$9,750
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationGrand Rapids, Detroit
    Our Front-End Bootcamp focuses on JavaScript (or JS), a dynamic programming language most often used to create interactivity in web pages. JavaScript supports object-oriented programming and is highly adaptable. It’s even used in non-browser environments like cars and microwaves!
    Financing
    Deposit$800.00
    Financing
    ScholarshipDiversity Scholarship Available
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelWe ask that our students exhibit a growth mindset, accountability, and autonomy. We also like to see that applicants have attended at least one in-person workshop at a Grand Circus campus.
    Prep WorkUnit 1 must be completed at home and passed successfully prior to bootcamp start date.
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • Java Bootcamp

    Apply
    HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Java
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week12 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$9,750
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationDetroit
    Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the US and is one of the most in-demand languages from employers nationally. Whether you want to create a mobile app or learn the language used to build LinkedIn, Java is a great place to start. It’s a programming language that can be used across platforms, scale without compromising security, and handle extreme traffic. That’s why Google uses Java to handle the (on average) 60,000 searches per second. Over the course of 12 weeks, students will establish a strong, work-ready understanding of Java and be positioned to start their career as an entry-level Java developer.
    Financing
    Deposit$800.00
    Financing
    ScholarshipAutomatic $1,500 scholarship for veterans, women, and anyone who is a part of an ethnic minority group underrepresented in tech.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelWe ask that our students exhibit a growth mindset, accountability, and autonomy. We also like to see that applicants have attended at least one in-person workshop at a Grand Circus campus.
    Prep WorkUnit 1 must be completed at home and passed successfully prior to bootcamp start date.
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes

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  • Ashlei Jones
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    I can't speak for the tution-based program, but the 'free'/sponsored program was not good at all. I am actually very convinced that we received less the experieced instructors (which I believe ultimately led to many student downfalls).

    I joined GC in Fall of 2016 with 20-something other individuals. Most of us came in with little-to-no experience and relied heavily on guidance from our instructors. I very quickly realized that this was not a great option, as our instructors often proved they were not experienced enough to handle all of our errors. And when I say that, I don't mean that they didn't know how to solve the problems (as they were very experienced in code itself)-- they were just terrible at teaching code to beginners.

    I opted to learn via Google and found myself at the top of the class and a lot farther along than anyone at GC has ever helped me. If you go into this program, be prepared to work and learn as independently as possible.

  • Nicole • Graduate
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    I completed the Java Apprenticeship bootcamp in October 2016 with the hope of at least landing interviews with Grand Circus partner companies. However, myself and all of the other individuals in my bootcamp were informed on the last day of class, that some of us would not receive interviews as initially promised. In fact, I later learned that no one that participated in our bootcamp (Cohort 3) received any interviews from companies associated with Grand Circus. Myself and others found this to be very disheartening, especially, since many of us had to make the decision to either leave current jobs or make changes to our daily schedules to accommodate the rigorous demands of the bootcamp. While it was understood that we were not guaranteed positions upon completion, we all worked really hard to prepare ourselves for interviews. I find it difficult to believe that Grand Circus did not know until we made it to our final class that everyone would not receive at least one interview from a partner company; which made many of us feel that Grand Circus was withholding this knowledge from us.
     
    During the bootcamp, my classmates and I felt as if we were treated differently than the other students whom paid for bootcamps. For example, we were encouraged to attend Demo Day; however, we were told that if we attended, we would have to give up our seats if other individuals outside of our bootcamp attended. We were also told that there was food available, but we would have to wait until everyone else in attendance ate, then we would be allowed to partake in the leftover "scraps."
     
     
    Throughout the bootcamp, I witnessed celebrations and feasts for those individuals whom had paid for the bootcamp experience upon completion of the program. When it was our time to graduate, there was no fanfare - no breakfast, no lunch prepared for us in celebration of our accomplishments as had been done for other bootcamp graduates. Instead, we were provided a bottle of champagne of which we had to share with several staff members. 
     
    One of the mottos of Grand Circus is, "When you are here, you're like family.So what happens after completion of the program? Well, based on my experiences, no one followed up with us to see how our career search was going, we did not get contacted in regards to the Upskills training we were told we would receive, and personally, I felt that my particular bootcamp was "forgotten" about as I saw numerous social media posts in regards to the accomplishments of other bootcamp participants (many of whom were of non-African American descent and had paid for the bootcamp experience). 
     
    In an article that appeared in the November 2016 issue of BLAC magazine shortly after I completed the bootcamp, the following was stated which is very misleading:
     
    "Through the apprenticeship program, each student completes two weeks of at-home training before beginning the six-week boot camp at Grand Circus. They are then placed at a local company as an apprentice, where they continue learning on the job."
     
     
     
  • C. Lee • Graduate
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    I was a part of the January 2017, Front End cohort at Grand Circus (Detroit). Speaking for myself, I had one of the best experiences of my adult life! I took a plunge and it paid off. I made some great friends and connections in Detroit's tech community and that may not have been possible if not for Grand Circus.

    There are a lot of reviews here about Grand Circus being 'deceitful' and I everyone is entitled to an opinion but let's be honest, the program works if you work it. Most of us go in knowing that we are not guarenteed a job upon completion, which is why you should realllyyyy way the pros and cons before dropping $8k. If you're a go-getter, you will inevitably land on your feet whether it be 30 days after graduating or closer to the 90 day mark. You absolutely have to go outside of the job boards and actually network and talk to people!!!! A job is not just going to fall in your lap because of Grand Circus.

    When it comes to comes to the curriculum, I strongly suggest practicing online as much as possible before you even apply for a bootcamp. Things will come at you super fast and if you do not have a basic foundation, you will feel (and probably be) left behind -- especially if you're in one of the bootcamps that's six weeks instead of eight.

    Grand Circus has a vast network, make use of it. Reach out to alumni, ask GC staff for soft introductions, etc. THE PROGRAM WORKS IF YOU WORK IT!

     

  • Melissa Jowers • Java Developer • Student
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    I had an absolutely fantastic experience with Grand Circus. They not only taught us the skills that we needed to get a job in the industry, but also introduced us to potential employers and helped us prepare for interviews. 

     

    I have recommended this boot camp to many of my friends, who have also had great experiences so far. 

  • Landall Proctor • JavaScript Developer • Graduate
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    I graduated from the August 2015, Front End - JavaScript bootcamp as I was looking to make a career change. Grand Circus was the spring board I needed to increase my technology skills and created opportunities for me to network with employers looking to hire.

    I can't say enough about the support provided by the entire Grand Circus staff during the bootcamp. From resume support, mock interviews (both technical and traditional), networking pitches, tough love and pep talks, they are there to help you succeed. 

    If you're seriously considering a career change into technology the Grand Circus bootcamps can help you do that. The curriculum is tough, but if you're willing to work extremely hard and don't give up before you've found the answer, you'll be ready for a new job as a developer. It worked for me, I was hired full time by a local Detroit start up 4 weeks after I completed the program. 

  • Jack
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    Grand Circus provided me with the best educational experience of all time and changed my life in ways that i did not think were possible.  Since completeting my bootcamp, i have the best job of my life and my career is exceeding my grandest expectation.

    Overall:
    My experience at grand circus was second to none.  Starting with my first "fact finding" phone call with the GC admin staff, I knew that I was dealing with passionate and knowledge individuals who cared about me and helping me achieve my goals. This initial feeling was confirmed and reestablished over and over again throughout my experience with GC.  I loved every aspect of my bootcamp experience and would recommend GC to anyone who has any interest in software development.

    Administrative:  Deciding to participate in a 10 week bootcamp was a significant decision for me - not least of all because of the financial aspect.  However, as soon as i began discussing the financial piece of the bootcamp i felt immediately at ease.  the GC staff were able to answer ALL of my questions and provide my with numerous options specific to my situation.  This was a relief and allowed me to focus on coding and getting as much out of the bootcamp as possible.

    Staff:  The GC  staff, down to the person, are seriously amazing.  They are incredibly passionate, knowledgeable, and supportive.  They are always looking out for their students best interest and, again, i felt immediately at ease once I met them on site at Grand Circus in downtown Detroit.  I developed lasting friendships with multiple GC team members.

    The bootcamp: The bootcamp itself was awesome! i loved my instructor, the curriculum, the unique approach to learning to code, the team work, and all of our deliverables.  I felt like i was family with my fellow bootcamp teammembers and have remained in close contact with many of them. The pace of the bootcamp was malleable - our instructor and TA adjusted it weekly to match the students' grasp of the material.  this was a HUGE value add as it ensued that eveyrone was able to remain engaged in spite of challenging material.

    Netoworking/job placement: UH-MAZING!  Grand Circus is DIRECTLY responsible for helping me find the best job of my life and launch my career in a completely new and exciting direction.  The GC staff used their networking contacts to secure me numerous interviews.  Since finishing my bootcamp i have started a new job with an industry leading organization that i was put in contact with through grand circus.  My role is closely related to what i studied at grand circus.  

  • Jack
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    Grand Circus provided me with the best educational experience of all time and changed my life in ways that i did not think were possible.  Since completeting my bootcamp, i have the best job of my life and my career is exceeding my grandest expectation.

    Overall:
    My experience at grand circus was second to none.  Starting with my first "fact finding" phone call with the GC admin staff, I knew that I was dealing with passionate and knowledge individuals who cared about me and helping me achieve my goals. This initial feeling was confirmed and reestablished over and over again throughout my experience with GC.  I loved every aspect of my bootcamp experience and would recommend GC to anyone who has any interest in software development.

    Administrative:  Deciding to participate in a 10 week bootcamp was a significant decision for me - not least of all because of the financial aspect.  However, as soon as i began discussing the financial piece of the bootcamp i felt immediately at ease.  the GC staff were able to answer ALL of my questions and provide my with numerous options specific to my situation.  This was a relief and allowed me to focus on coding and getting as much out of the bootcamp as possible.

    Staff:  The GC  staff, down to the person, are seriously amazing.  They are incredibly passionate, knowledgeable, and supportive.  They are always looking out for their students best interest and, again, i felt immediately at ease once I met them on site at Grand Circus in downtown Detroit.  I developed lasting friendships with multiple GC team members.

    The bootcamp: The bootcamp itself was awesome! i loved my instructor, the curriculum, the unique approach to learning to code, the team work, and all of our deliverables.  I felt like i was family with my fellow bootcamp teammembers and have remained in close contact with many of them. The pace of the bootcamp was malleable - our instructor and TA adjusted it weekly to match the students' grasp of the material.  this was a HUGE value add as it ensued that eveyrone was able to remain engaged in spite of challenging material.

    Netoworking/job placement: UH-MAZING!  Grand Circus is DIRECTLY responsible for helping me find the best job of my life and launch my career in a completely new and exciting direction.  The GC staff used their networking contacts to secure me numerous interviews.  Since finishing my bootcamp i have started a new job with an industry leading organization that i was put in contact with through grand circus.  My role is closely related to what i studied at grand circus.  

  • Anonymous • iOS Developer • Graduate
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    I can't recommend Grand Circus highly enough.

    The instructor and staff were all knowledgeable and helpful. I went from making ~$20k/year working two jobs to ~$80k/year at a Fortune 10 company.

    It was life-changing, to put it mildly.

  • Jon Werber • Developer • Graduate
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    The Android bootcamp at Grand Circus was a really good experience. The class size was perfect (~12) and the instructor Jayashree Ravi was really able to give meaningful one on one attention. Apart from the technical aspects of the course, building apps and learning Java fundamentals, the professor did a great job at simulating the modern development environment. 

     I came away from the bootcamp with hands on experience, a few apps in the play store, and within a month, a job. 

     

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    Outcome reports being inaccurate is nothing new, whether it's controversy over the U.S. Rankings for accredited colleges or private institutions (like Grand Circus) posting unverified statistics. The fact that the Grand Circus outcome reports on their site aren't conducted or audited by a third party should tell you not to bother taking them seriously.

    The instructors' knowledge is solid, they are extremely knowledgeable and can quickly answer any questions you have about your code.

    I completed a front-end bootcamp and once I started going to meet-ups and meeting more Grand Circus alumni, I found most of them were unemployed or found a job that had nothing to do with what language was taught in their bootcamp. Also, multiple students were kicked out of their bootcamp before having a chance to graduate, so the graduation rate reported in the outcome reports I saw has to be a joke. Keep in mind that this is a private, for-profit business that does not have to abide by standards or give students the right to dispute things the way that an accredited school does. They can, and literally will, kick you out with no refund if certain staff members have a reason to hold something against you. There are no clear-cut policies on anything other than the attendance requirement.

    If you are considering one of their bootcamps that imply you will get a job with a specific company after graduation, don't expect it to happen. Maybe one or two people in your bootcamp will actually get hired to work there at the end (and they will likely be someone who had extensive training or experience in coding before attending Grand Circus.) The employment services department at Grand Circus mainly posts links on the GC Slack channel to all the job openings for developers that are currently on linkedin. As if you can't find that yourself.

    Maybe in the beginning, employers were more likely to hire most GC graduates because this was such a new thing in Detroit, and honestly there still aren't many coding bootcamp options nearby. People from as far as Toledo enroll at GC. But now that a few years has passed since it was created, and employers have seen how students whose only coding experience was 2 months of learning the very basics weren't able to perform up to standards required of an actual developer and have fired so many GC students they hired, they are not so eager to hire recent graduates unless you have considerably more experience and skills beyond what is taught. The better bootcamps in this country, that successfully train students to work as soon as they graduate, can last 6 months to one year. For GC to keep telling people "anyone can code and be ready for employment after one of our bootcamps" is so laughable. You are learning the bare basics, which is a good start but not enough to qualify you for a full-time developer position without other skills and experience beyond what they covered.

    Try to talk about any of these concerns with the staff and you'll get their very defensive, pat responses of "We know what we are doing. We've trained hundreds of students." Absolutely nothing is offered to back-up what they say, other than trying to parade around the few alumni who have good jobs and got offers before they graduated because of their background outside of GC.

    GC is continuing to sell-out their bootcamps because they are the only option, not for being a great option.

    The main point is that if you want to attend one of their full-time bootcamps, be prepared by having a lot of money saved up since you will have so much homework to do (their 10 hours or less a week claim is such a joke) having to work even a part-time job can prevent you from being able to complete the assignments on time and adequately practice for your assessments. They are not qualified to use federal student financial aid and if you have money saved up in an education expense account, this is not a qualifying place to use your funds towards. Be prepared to act like you have no responsibilities, no children, no family, etc. and can go out drinking with some of the GC staff after being there all day, because that is the only way you can get the upper level staff to like you, say you are an awesome student and give you professional reccomendations, apparently.

    Pro Tip: If you decided to attend thier bootcamp, dont beilive they will help you find a job after graduation and dont beilive thier hiring percetage because its a lie, only 2 out of 18 students found jobs after the bootcamp. also they are very rasicst towards non whites "nothing new, right ?". 

  • Anonymous • full stack developer • Graduate
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    Overall, my experience at Grand Circus was great. The ciriculumn is very well rounded and will give you a good basis to starting a tech career. All classes have both a teacher and a TA, so there's plenty of help and attention in the classroom. The alumni network is very strong, and Grand Circus does an excellent job of creating a supportive and friendly atmosphere both when you're a student and alumni. As with any bootcamp, you need to take the daily homework assignments seriously and devote plenty of your free time to self study. The only serious critique I have of the Grand Circus bootcamp is that (1) I think the program could be longer and (2) while there is support in terms of how to go about job hunting, the school could do a better job of networking with companies in the area who want to interview students. Regardless, Grand Circus is a great program for anyone who's seroius about learning programming! 

     

     

     

  • Anonymous
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    The saying you get what you put in to it really is true w/ the Grand Circus program. The tech training they provide is solid enough that you walk away with an application and coding portfolio. This is very helpful when looking for a new job in the field. In the Detroit market, more and more employers are trusting the model of a coding bootcamp but it can be difficult to get that first interview if the HR team isn't in the know that a computer science degree isn't required to be successful on the job. It took me two months after graduation to get a job. I applied to probably 40 companies, had 4 in person interviews and was able to get an offer I was happy to accept.

    The time @ Grand Circus was awesome. The entire team supports students. Down to the little detail of cooking us breakfast on graduation day. They do the classwork of teaching you to code and then bring in other team members to teach other skills - - like making sure your resume is good, helping you prepare for interviews and how to talk to a tech hiring person. When you start struggling, the team really steps up to get everything in the right place. They’re big on feedback and that was really valuable to me starting out in a field I’m not at all familiar with.

    I think Grand Circus does a good job trying to get everyone on a level playing field. But it can be hard when some people are far behind technically or w/ their soft skills. I wasn’t the strongest technically and that got me worried. But I was still able to lock in a job before some of my peers. I knew the kind of job I wanted and applied, followed up and did everything possible to get that first conversation with employers.  It can get discouraging when you don’t hear back from employers but you can’t give up. 

  • Anonymous • Software Developer • Graduate
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    After realizing various college models were not providing the technical skills I wanted to build online apps, I started dabbling in a few online tutorials to learn programming. Luckily many of them let you get so far for free and I was able to get a strong baseline of Java, but I knew I needed more than that to get a career in this field. I knew a computer science degree is the traditional path, but in my 30s and with a family – I knew four years, with tons gen ed. credits necessarily and tens of thousands of $$$ in debt would not suite me well.

    I stumbled on Grand Circus from a friend, attended many meetups in the downtown area, spoke with alumni, attended their intro to code workshop and an open house and finally applied. Having some experience from the online classes really helped me start the bootcamp with a level head. I knew I wasn’t the best student, but I wasn’t the worst either. Grand Circus helped me understand areas that I didn’t know well and gave me the resources to better learn those skills. I think the best part of this program for me is that the staff was very realistic that this wouldn’t be a totally rosey journey. It’s a hard one that requires a lot of passion, dedication and hard work. They clearly explained a job hunt process that has worked for hundreds of alumni, created structure around the learning environment and helped me get a grasp on what it would really take to earn a career in a completely new field. The instructors are knowledgable and most have worked in the field, so that helps them better explain what it takes to be successful. The technical training was strong and they also do what they call soft skill lessons that helped me create a better resume and LinkedIn, improve my interview skills and get ready to talk to actual hiring employers.

    The last two weeks of the bootcamp students spend building a project in a group with others. Then the last day of the class is a demo day so students can show their projects. This event ended up with standing room only and at least five employers came to our booth after to talk about the app we had built. No online class or college education could have ever made those introductions. Be ready to work your butt off, but know that Grand Circus will help you every way they can. 

  • Anonymous • Back-end Developer • Graduate
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    I took a boot camp with Grand Circus in 2016. It was a terrible experience! The boot camp was geared toward "Detroiters" who were new to programming. It was very telling that the class geared towards "Detroiters" was almost entirely non-white, but the other boot camps were overwhelmingly white. I love Detroit and I love my people, but Grand Circus does not. There was a clear difference between the way the staff treated out class as opposed to the others. From being told that we were not allowed to be seated while the other students did project presentations to being told that we had to wait until everyone else before we could enjoy "scraps" (that's what they called it) at a Grand Circus event (that was not invite-only, btw. It was open to the public). I could go on and on with other examples.  The vibe at Grand Circus is non-inclusive. Detroit is over 75% African-American but Grand Circus student body is overwhelmingly white. Why? It's not because African-Americans aren't interested in learning technology, false. It's not that the classes are too expensive, because they offer free classes regularly. And if you check their website or social media, the few non-white faces you see are heavily recycled to give the appearance of diversity. Diversity shouldn't be an issue in a city that's majority African-American and have very strong communities of other non-white groups. Not 1 person in my class received a job via Grand Circus. NOT 1. Except, the program manager got a promotion with the Mayor's Office jobs program, go figure. We were intelligent, fast-learners, many students had previous tech experience and hustled to make connections. Grand Circus didn't do more for me than a W3schools tutorial could've done for me. If you're not a self-learner, it's a way to get free or cheap training, but don't expect anything else besides condescending attitudes and discrimination. 

  • Anonymous • Student
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    I attended the Java Bootcamp in Early 2016, and this review will be a summation of my experience with Grand Circus, this is in no way representative of everyone's experience in past and future Java Bootcamps at Grand Circus.

    I'll be dissecting the program using the below rating criteria.

    Instructors

    Our Instructor was an amazing woman name Jayashree Ravi. you could tell that she had a lot of knowledge of the curriculum, and knew the IDE (Eclipse) very well. if you had any problem, she could look at your code and immediately tell you what's wrong, and things to keep in mind while coding to prevent your problem from happening again.

    A big problem was that there was only one instructor, and 16 students. So if multiple students had multiple different problems, a line would begin to form, and as our problems grew increasingly complex, the wait would be longer. Jayashree was good at handling the problem though, and as you went through the program, you learned ways to deal with the long wait time.

    We had a TA, but they were Ineffective at best, and outright disastrous at the very worst. There would be times when peers would receive help from our TA, and their code would come back more broken and confused than when they asked. There was even a time where our TA spent an entire day working on one of our Labs with a group of some of the students who were falling behind in the class, and the next day, one of my peers said that they went home and cried for hours because they felt that they wasted a whole day (when your program is 8 weeks, and you're already behind, one day makes a difference)

    I think many students complained about the TA in every survey, but not a whole lot was done (what could be done?) to make them more effective.

    Overall, I found that the Instructors were good, and give it 4 stars. A more effective TA would bring this to a 5.

    Curriculum

    I personally found the curriculum lacking in many areas, that I felt left me somewhat unprepared for the real world, which incidentally doesn't matter much (i'll explain below).

    The program is separated into two parts, there's a two week take home part that you do once you pay your deposit (so if you pay it months in advance, you have months to do the work).

    I found that the pre-work wasn't adequate to prepare people for class, as well as there wasn't much help for people that needed it. to elucidate this point, 5 days before the program started, I was contacted by one of my peers, and they wanted assistance with the pre-work. When I met up with them, they didn't have Eciplse installed, and knew absolutely no Java. This student ended up struggling throughout the whole class and didn't do very well in the end. I feel like Grand Circus should have worked harder to be available for people who were having serious problems like that and followed up more to make sure our work was getting done.

    The rest of the 8 weeks weren't too bad, but one of my main complaints was that there was a huge discrepancy of skill in the class, which, amplified by the ineffective TA, hindered a lot of students in the class. I felt like this should have been addressed by requiring some sort of previous experience with programming. It's very difficult to take people with absolutely no experience in programming and make them junior developers in 8 weeks. A lot of the students with no experience in programming thought that the pace of the class was way too fast, and on multiple occasions, I would stay in the building until 10pm teaching people very simple Java syntax. Had they would have had some experience beforehand, it wouldn't have been so difficult for them to learn. At the end, they struggled, and didn't do as well as they could have.

    Job Assistance

    The program does really well with Job Assistance, there are many parts of the curriculum that deal with soft skills and job assistane, and they even put a lot of effort into helping you after you graduate. My only complaint here was that they didn't always have a lot of time to help you with practice interviews, which wasn't too bad in my opinion. They really did well on this part of the program.

    Conclusion

    I think that Grand Circus markets themselves very well, but falls short of expectations. Nonetheless they are a great school to go to, but my main advice is that if you choose to go to this school, take some time to really understand basic computer science concepts and if you can, just teach yourself some basic front-end/back-end skills.

    The way I see it, Grand Circus shouldn't be a place for you to go in with no experience, and expect to come out as a junior developer, it should be a place where you go in with all/most of the skills to become a Junior Developer, and you pay to solidify that experience, and get access to some Kick-ass Job assistance tools that will land you a job anywhere.

     

  • C#/.NET
    - 7/9/2018
    Riyad Abed • Software Developer
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Best decision you will ever make! I came into Grand Circus with having no previous software programming knowledge.  I was looking to make a career change from sales. The staff at Grand Circus is extremely supportive every step of the way. Dr. K is an amazing instructor that teaches what is needed in a way that is easy to understand. They have a great Career Services program led by Cody Grant that will give you the soft skills needed, as well as explain how employers view potential candidates. They have a strong relationship with around 200 employers.  At Grand Circus, everyone is treated like family and they have games and other activities that keep things fun and bring everyone closer together. I secured a job just one week after graduation. I would definitely recommend to anyone looking to begin a career in tech.