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Holberton School

Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, New Haven, San Francisco, Tulsa, Tunis

Holberton School

Avg Rating:4.67 ( 79 reviews )

Holberton School is a two-year software engineering school with campuses in San Francisco, New Haven, Tulsa, Bogotá, Medellin, Cali, and Tunisia that trains individuals to become Full Stack Software Engineers. The school's mission is to train the next generation of software developers through 100% hands-on learning.

The curriculum adopts a project-based, peer learning approach. As an alternative to college and in lieu of formal classes, students solve increasingly complicated programming challenges with minimal instruction. Students will develop resourcefulness as they search for the tools they need to solve these challenges while working with their peers. Rather than focusing on tools and frameworks, students at Holberton "learn to learn" and develop problem-solving skills. Throughout the course of the program, students work on industry-level projects and build their own applications.

Holberton School is free until students find a job and is open to anyone over 18 years old. No programming experience is required. Admission to Holberton School is based only on talent and motivation, with no consideration given to gender, nationality, ethnicity, age or social status.

Holberton School mentors ensure that the Holberton curriculum stays up to date. Holberton mentors work for rising startups and top-tier Silicon Valley companies such as Google, Apple, LinkedIn, Tesla and Airbnb. Mentors

Recent Holberton School Reviews: Rating 4.67

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  • Full-Stack | Project-based curriculum

    Apply
    Start Date None scheduled
    CostN/A
    Class size50
    LocationNew Haven, Medellín, Bogotá, San Francisco, Tunis, Cali, Tulsa
    At Holberton School Tulsa, we offer a two year, Full-Stack Software Engineering curriculum with reduced Income Share Agreement and Need-Based Living Assistance. Students who attend Holberton School Tulsa can take advantage of a $1500/month need-based living assistance, and for students who live and work in Tulsa after graduation, students can see their ISA repayment rate reduced to 10% of their income for 3.5 years after graduation, effectively cutting the cost of their schooling almost in half. Holberton School's Full Stack, project-based learning curriculum is divided into two sections: Foundations - Students enter the first part of Holberton's curriculum with no prior coding experience required. Through our unique project-based curriculum, students will be presented with programming and technical challenges of increasing difficulty and complexity, and through individual and group projects, students will develop a deeper understanding of core programming skills and techniques. Holberton's Full Stack Software Engineering curriculum starts our students off with Foundations, a program designed to help our students learn the core skills of becoming a well-paid software engineer. This curriculum starts with command line interfaces and C, and over the course of the first nine months, will teach students low level languages like C, higher level languages like Python and JavaScript, data structure and algorithms, Unix programming and scripting, infrastructure design and management, systems and security, and more. Through our true Full Stack approach, students will learn front end and back end development, DevOps, and supplementary professional skills that will help our students take on any development role they are interested in. After Foundations, students may opt into one of our four Specializations: Low Level & Algorithms, AR/VR, Full Stack Web Development, and Machine Learning. Using the same learning techniques students developed through their Foundations program, students can drill down on a specific programming field that is the most interesting to them. Examples of Holberton projects a student may work on: - Clone Twitter and a service of your choice such as Airbnb - Build a search engine - Code your own shell - Create a computer virus - Contribute to an open source project - Build secure and scalable infrastructures that support your applications - Organize meetups - Interview industry leaders - Student projects are open-sourced online on the project host of their choice.
    Financing
    DepositN/A
    Tuition PlansHolberton School uses Income Sharing Agreements to fund student education. After students obtain a well paying job, students will pay back a fixed percentage of their income for 3.5 years. Additional details at holbertonschool.com.
    Refund / GuaranteeStudent may withdraw within the first 30 days with no money owed.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelNo experience required
    Prep WorkStudents complete first part of curriculum as application process
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • Full Stack with Living Assistance and Reduced ISA

    Apply
    Start Date None scheduled
    CostN/A
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationTulsa
    At Holberton School Tulsa, we offer a two year, Full-Stack Software Engineering curriculum with reduced Income Share Agreement and Need-Based Living Assistance. Students who attend Holberton School Tulsa can take advantage of a $1500/month need-based living assistance, and for students who live and work in Tulsa after graduation, students can see their ISA repayment rate reduced to 10% of their income for 3.5 years after graduation, effectively cutting the cost of their schooling almost in half. Holberton School's Full Stack, project-based learning curriculum is divided into two sections: Foundations - Students enter the first part of Holberton's curriculum with no prior coding experience required. Through our unique project-based curriculum, students will be presented with programming and technical challenges of increasing difficulty and complexity, and through individual and group projects, students will develop a deeper understanding of core programming skills and techniques. Holberton's Full Stack Software Engineering curriculum starts our students off with Foundations, a program designed to help our students learn the core skills of becoming a well-paid software engineer. This curriculum starts with command line interfaces and C, and over the course of the first nine months, will teach students low level languages like C, higher level languages like Python and JavaScript, data structure and algorithms, Unix programming and scripting, infrastructure design and management, systems and security, and more. Through our true Full Stack approach, students will learn front end and back end development, DevOps, and supplementary professional skills that will help our students take on any development role they are interested in. After Foundations, students may opt into one of our four Specializations: Low Level & Algorithms, AR/VR, Full Stack Web Development, and Machine Learning. Using the same learning techniques students developed through their Foundations program, students can drill down on a specific programming field that is the most interesting to them. Examples of Holberton projects a student may work on: - Clone Twitter and a service of your choice such as Airbnb - Build a search engine - Code your own shell - Create a computer virus - Contribute to an open source project - Build secure and scalable infrastructures that support your applications - Organize meetups - Interview industry leaders - Student projects are open-sourced online on the project host of their choice.
    Financing
    DepositN/A
    Tuition PlansIncome Share Agreement with reduced repayment percentage if students live and work in Tulsa after attending school. Additional details on holbertonschool.com
    Refund / GuaranteeStudent may withdraw within the first 30 days with no money owed.
    Scholarship$1500/mo need-based living assistance available. Additional details on holbertonschool.com
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelNo prior coding experience necessary.
    Prep WorkApplication process serves as necessary prep work.
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewNo

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  • Philip Yoo  User Photo
    Philip Yoo • Software Engineer • Student Verified via LinkedIn
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    I'm a student from Batch 1, which is the second batch from Holberton (since we go by zero index in programming). Also, I'm currently in the second phase of the program, where you get 6 months to either find a job/internship to work in the industry or you can self-study. So I have not completed the program, and am sharing my experiences so far.

    The general timeline of the program is:

    -> 9 months of intensive study in 3 general topics: low level programming with C, high level programming with Python and a little Javascript, and devops with bash and using the Linux environment

    -> 6 months of self-study or finding an internship/job

    -> 9 months of part-time or full-time study in a topic of your choice

     

    Holberton school utilizes a peer learning approach where students learn together and really learn from each other. There are no real instructors, however the staff will often jump in and help out or provide a deeper dive into certain topics. Also, the school has a ton of mentors who you can get in contact with to ask questions, whether it be related to the curriculum or not. This is a very great resource as you'll find that throughout the program, you will come to realize more what you wish to focus on. Since the first 9 months of the curriculum is heavily based on the 3 general topics mentioned above, you don't get a lot of leeway to really focus on what you want to learn. However, knowing the 3 general topics above (I think) is essential to becoming a solid developer.

    Depending on how deep you want to dive into the curriculum topics (and the daily exercises/projects), there should be time on the side to study your own things if you wish. 

    I believe the more you put into the program, the more you get out of it. Just attending the program and participating in it is oftentimes not enough to succeed in the industry. So if you're prepared to dive into the program, and are committed to finding a career in tech, I highly encourage you to constantly challenge yourself, always look to improve your understanding, be open to changes, and adapt to the type of information you receive and don't be stringent in your understandings.

    My overall experience was positive. I don't think I would be where I'm at today without my experience at Holberton. I do believe the curriculum and culture of the school could be improved, but as I was only the second batch through the program, they were still improving upon the school.

    Another great thing about the school is if you want to improve the curriculum, you can do so. As each new batch goes through the program, the curriculum will likely be improved and iterated upon.

  • Student
    - 11/4/2017
    Siphan Bou  User Photo
    Siphan Bou • Software Engineer • Student Verified via LinkedIn
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    Pros

    Peer learning
    Project-based, hands-on
    Full-stack curriculum
    Network of industry experts
    Staff and mentors care about students
    Projects prepare you well for professional life

     

    Cons

    Inaugural batch faced a trial and error approach

     

    Being lucky enough to be selected for Holberton School’s first batch, I agree with many reviews of my fellow schoolmates regarding peer and project-based learning. Along with their vast network of experts working in the tech industry, project-based peer learning make up the school’s strengths.

    The fact that the curriculum is full-stack (meaning, containing low-level programming, algorithms and data structures, web development, sysadmin and devops projects) is also a great advantage. The majority of the projects we worked on proved quite helpful for my first professional experience in IT; first as an SRE trainee, and now as a developer (I was originally interested in both roles, and later decided to focus on backend development). Some examples of these useful projects include building your own API for a website in the style of AirBnb while storing your data in a MySQL database, using Docker, load-balancing your servers. Do not underestimate the power of C. I believe practicing coding in C makes you a better programmer, or, as John Carmack puts it: “Low-level programming is good for the programmer's soul”.

    In my humble opinion, the financial and personal investments to attend Holberton School pay off, as it was surprisingly easy for me to land a job after finishing the first year (at vente-privee.com, a European 3 billion dollar revenue company https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vente-privee.com). You should know that I had no experience in programming prior to joining Holberton!

    Another positive point is that the staff and mentors do care about the students, you see this consistently as they regularly keep in touch with you (ensuring you ask for help and that you get the help you need, making sure you are ok, and not just projects-wise, also in your personal life ie settling in the bay area).

    The only downside I can find is that my batch being the first one, the staff could not have any previous experience with managing this disruptive type of school (which pretty much works like a startup, where everyone is encouraged to bring in new ideas). Consequently, they had to revise and adapt some of the projects that were deemed not very helpful (though one can say that it helped learning either way, and that in the workplace you might also face projects being abandoned or modified along the way). Even that disadvantage had a plus side; being the inaugural batch made us feel special, and the staff certainly took extra care of us!

  • Chandler Mayo  User Photo
    Chandler Mayo • Full-Stack Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Holberton is setting the standard for training new software engineers with a two-year program that can take anyone, no experience required, and make them an impeccable Full-Stack Software Engineer.

    I was coding and working with peers on the first day at Holberton. This was a refreshing change for me after years of dreading going to class in public schools where my daily objective was to sit down and listen to a topic I was scarcely interested in. Holberton has overwhelmingly embraced project-based and peer learning and it creates a natural way to learn that I have never experienced before. At Holberton you’ll learn the most from your peers and mentors while working on projects and that will give you a tangible edge when you go to get an internship or job. Having the opportunity to learn from project-based learning with my peers surpasses sitting in a classroom lecture any day.

    There are no upfront costs to study at Holberton. The school charges a percentage of your internship salary and your salary once you find a job. You’ll still need to find and afford your own accommodations in or around San Francisco for the duration you are attending the school on site. This was a challenge that I found exceedingly difficult and at times it affected my ability to be at the school because I was looking for a place to live. Holberton has taken a step in the right direction and is working with companies like Google, Accenture, Scality, and CloudNow to help students defray living expenses.

    A great thing a new school can do is set themselves up to be able to adapt to what their students need and Holberton is exceeding at doing that. I was in batch 0 that started in January of 2016. Since my batch started, the school has made many improvements to projects based on feedback from students. Additionally, Holberton has worked to improve interactions with experienced mentors in the community. New students are only going to have more opportunities to exceed with Holberton.

    TLDR: If you want to be a Full-Stack Software Engineer, the elite program Holberton has to offer is exactly what you need.

  • Amazing School
    - 10/13/2017
    Steven Garcia  User Photo
    Steven Garcia • Student Verified via GitHub
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    Holberton School is unparalleled in it's curriculum which is focused on prepping it's students to learn the full scope of coding to fully prepare them for a career in the software engineering field. The entire program consists of a two year dual-sided commitment in which you are given the time to grasp not only writing your own code, but in addition fully understanding how the hardware of a computer is able to utilize what you have been taught how to create. The curriculum accomplishes this by starting the students with a low-level language (C)  to understand the logic of a program's inner workings. Once students have been able to grasp these concepts, a more complicated syntax of a higher level language (Python) is introduced; this enables the students to understand more thoroughly the mechanics of the web as well as the vast scope of other applications of computer programming. After my first nine months at Holberton I was able to get a job as a Software Engineer at a medical tech company, so it is personally proven that their innovative model of teaching and peer learning truly works. I would deeply recommend Holberton to anyone, regardless of their origins or experience that feels a true passion and desire for a vocation in this field; they will help you cultivate that passion into a life long career.

  • Electra Chong  User Photo
    Electra Chong • Software Engineer • Student Verified via GitHub
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    Full disclosure: I was part of the first experimental batch at Holberton School, which was granted full reprieve from the tuition model.

    Overview (lengthy, skip to get to my subjective review if you're more interested in my personal experience than a discussion of the school's model)

    This school operates like a Silicon Valley start-up, all the way down to the funding. The school raised venture capital to be able to train students without charging up-front tuition. Instead, the school operates on a deferred payment model where a portion of your salary (17.5% the last I checked) is paid to the school for three years once you obtain your first software engineering job.

    As the school touts, there are some positive implications to this payment model. The school only benefits from your enrollment if you are successful, so you can trust they are truly invested in your learning. There is less up-front risk to enrolling, and the model is more accessible to those with less savings who cannot afford to pay tuition for a school until they actually reap the benefits of their training.

    That said, 17.5% of your salary is no trivial slice of your salary and earning potential to just hand over. Depending on the bootcamp (which Holberton does not identify as), tuition can cost as little as $2000 for a month-long bootcamp to $18000 (HackReactor), or $60,000 for a 2-year-long program similar to Holberton in length (MakeSchool).

    [Skip in-depth calculations if desired]

    Let's say you earn a cool $85,000 as your starting salary as a software engineer (lower end in Silicon Valley, depending if you start at a small start-up or larger $$$ company). Ignoring the salary raises you can expect to get within your first few years as a SWE, 17.5% of that salary over three years totals to $44,625. The salary you can expect to take home after taxes is $41,225 (usually ~$56,000 without the 17.5% cut). You can expect to be frugal your first three years as a software engineer if you live in SF, a very expensive city, but it should cover housing and living costs adequately and still let you earn some small savings, according to my calculations. You should do your own, estimating living costs.

    Anyway, you might be wondering why you would want to fork over 17.5% of your salary for three years to this school, other than the neat fact that you don't have to pay for the cost of the school up-front, when there are other more cost-effective bootcamps in the range of $3,000-$4,000 out there.

    Those bootcamps are usually only one to a few months long. That's long enough to probably learn one framework well and build a functioning web app and ship it. This is a crucial experience that can help you get hired at a start-up. There are definitely people that have been hired successfully out of a bootcamp and have gone on to thrive as programmers.

    Unfortunately, a few months at a bootcamp is not really sufficient to build a strong foundation and understanding of software engineering, in my humble opinion. Holberton does not attempt to teach you a single framework but instead aspires to train you to become a versatile full-stack software engineer who can learn new tools + languages easily and debug systems, thanks to a strong foundation and good soft skills.

    There are the three main areas Holberton focuses on in their goal of training good full-stack software engineers, which are reflected in the curriculum tracks: low-level, high-level and sysadmin/devops. This means you will learn about how computer programs work at the low-level (such as pointers, memory allocation and typical data structures) by building your own C library from scratch. You will learn about higher-level programming concepts like object-oriented programming and the model-view-controller paradigm, and how APIs work by building them. You will also work on remote servers, learn to use the command line, deploy firewalls and dns servers, and set up databases for your apps.

    Holberton actually pitches itself as an alternative to traditional 4-year universities which offers degrees in CS. Unlike universities, where the curriculum is often theory-heavy, taught passively and centered around academia, what you learn at Holberton is highly oriented towards the skills you will need on the job in the industry. There are no instructor-led lectures, other than some live coding sessions; instead, you learn to collaborate with peers and to learn from resources you find on your own to complete projects which are assigned through the school’s intranet. Best -- no student loans.

    Onto my subjective review of my personal experience!

    I personally found Holberton’s hands-on method of learning to be very engaging. There was always excitement about what we were learning to do. It was a contrast to an Intro to Computer Science class I took in college, which involved a lot more textbook reading and weekly labs where we built small Java programs. That was all right, but nothing thrilling (and was why I opted not to major in CS in college).

    One thing I feel that makes Holberton different from any other school is that I felt the founders were personally invested in making sure we were learning to be good software engineers. I feel other bootcamps are fairly impersonal and mostly about generating revenue by training you to be a software engineer. Training good software engineers is a passion of Julien and Sylvain (co-founders of the school), who themselves worked at fancy tech companies (Docker, LinkedIn) and saw the shortage of quality junior talent in the Silicon Valley.

    Was I successful after I attended this school? Yes, I think so - I started working a full-time job after nine months of training and was able to adapt to the role quickly. One of the strong advantages of the school is that Julien and Sylvain also had many connections in the tech industry from years of working in it themselves prior to starting the school. As French engineers, they started a global French engineer network called while42 prior to Holberton, and they draw upon the pool of connections they have at companies throughout the Silicon Valley for mentors for the school and job connections for students.

    This relates to another important aspect of the school, which is that it strives to teach soft skills in addition to the technical skills needed to be a good software engineer. In addition to the project-based and collaborative curriculum, the school often hosts meet-ups which are open (and free) to the public with Holberton’s mentors. Your social network and ability to work with others are some of the most important assets you have for your career as a software engineer, and the school understands and encourages this.

    The strong community feel was one aspect that had a huge impact my experience. The students come from a broad range of backgrounds, thanks to Holberton’s accessible application process (no previous experience necessary, no bars on age) and tuition model. You become very close with the other students at school due to spending so much time at the school, working together. I valued my own batch and several that followed had a decent gender balance (generally around 40:60 female:male), which is atypical of Silicon Valley in general.

    Please keep in mind that the curriculum is very intensive, and you will be spending most of your time at school trying to complete projects by deadlines. As much as I enjoyed the projects, I’m susceptible to burnout (having experienced it in college before), and you have to take care to protect yourself from it during this program. It’s all right to take a step back and have some time on the weekend after the first few months -- you will need it to sustain yourself.

    Something that deserves to be acknowledged is that students have dropped out of the program or decided to repeat the curriculum when they could not keep up with the pace. Julien and Sylvain’s earnest goal is to train anyone to be a programmer as long as they have the drive and collaborative mindset, regardless of prior experience. However, being able to adjust to the unfamiliar ways of thinking for programming can be a challenge and require substantial time and practice in some cases.

    It’s definitely easier if you have are familiar with the thinking required for math and science subjects. If you feel these are weak subjects for you, I suggest trying to familiarize yourself with programming a bit in advance with the abundance of online or local resources available. It’s not impossible if you don’t, but it will be harder. Be prepared to ask for help when you need it, and to learn how to problem solve without giving up!

    Other considerations -

    You will need to be able to handle the cost of living in the Bay Area for the duration of the program if you are moving. This may require savings and budgeting.

    The school is still fairly new (close to 2 years at time of writing), and the founders/staff are refining the curriculum and resources available with the start of each batch. Ideally, they will be able to assist with the cost of living or relocating to the Bay Area of the school one day, but this is a future goal you will need to inquire about to find out the current status.

    Final word:

    Would I have attended Holberton School if it were not free for my batch? Probably not, for reasons totally unrelated to the quality of education. I come from a low-income background and am quite financially risk-averse, so even though the tuition is not charged up-front, I wouldn’t be able to tolerate both the cost of relocating to SF and the subsequent salary cut without additional resources or scholarships.

    I might have ended up going to School 42, a free school in Fremont, because of these reasons. However, the culture at School 42 and Holberton School are far different (theirs is more of an elitist sink-or-swim hands-off model, and the gender balance is terrible in comparison), and I personally vastly prefer the education, support and community feel that Holberton provides. As it is, I lucked out and am super grateful for everything I have gained from attending Holberton.

    My advice is to do your research, look into all the various boot-camps and alternatives out there, and find the one that best fits your personal preferences in terms of learning experience. Finally, balance that consideration with your needs regarding length of program and cost. Good luck!

  • Diego Fernando Rodríguez Orejuela • Ruby on Rails Software Developer • Student
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    Holberton School is the best programming bootcamp in Latin America. In my experience, I studied at the site in Bogotá, the first in all of Latin America. "Project-based learning is a proven, alternative learning methodology to the traditional teacher-led reading and memorization educational method" is the way the school describes itself. All this is true. Personally, I studied a professional career in Journalism, but at the end I wanted to move to learning software development. After evaluating several options and finally concluding that I was not going to be another 5 years in a university studying Software Engineering, I found Holberton School as the most suitable option in time, methodology and application to market times. I have spent the 9 months of foundations, and at this moment I have obtained a job with salary and personal compensation not imagined in my previous area of study. I will continue in a few months with the specialization, and I will tell you how it goes in this experience.

  • Rodrigo Sierra • Python Developer • Graduate
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    Holberton change the scenario of education, first of all, you don't have to pay in advance you pay later when you have a job in the tech industry, second, there are no instructors or professors you learn by yourself or from your peers as it is in the real world. The program is really demanding and needs all your energy and concentration to succeed. It only lacks a review of some useful web development frameworks at the end of the program to give students more tools to get a job easier but in general, it covers the topics needed for a software engineer.
  • Marc C • Student
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    I'm more than halfway through my first year at Holberton and so far am very pleased with my experience. I enjoy the style of learning Holberton provides, specifically the self-motivated peer-learning. This type of learning might not work for everyone though. If you're the type of student that needs consistent feedback and direction then this might not be the program for you.

    In fact, one of my gripes with the program is there's maybe too little feedback. I'm learning a ton, but would like some professional feedback on the code I've written and the projects I've completed. Since it's an accelerated course, expect to race through difficult concepts. You'll need to spend a lot of time studying on your own and researching topics to fully grasp the material. This is can be a good and bad thing.

    Overall, I'm really glad I made the decision to attend this school. I really think Holberton is going to be a household name in 5 years. They're changing the game. I recommend this school to those who are interested, despite its shortcomings. It's a new school and I expected things to not be super smooth. Nevertheless, it's a great experience.

  • Geraldinne Bohórquez • Software engineer • Student
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    Holberton School is not the easy way to learn to code but nowadays I think it is actually the best option. The most valuable there is that they are teaching you not just how to code but how to learn whatever you want. The hardest is not the curriculum or the projects you are working in, the hardest is actually yourself because you will have to face the failure every single day and the voice in your head telling you to give up is getting louder while you keep learning. 
    So, take the risk and the chance to challenge yourself with Holberton by your side!

  • Heindrick • Systems Software Engineer • Student
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    First-year was a memorable experience. I got to meet really cool people at a nice new location. The curriculum requires you to complete 24 hours to a couple of days projects. I really loved the program because it was designed for you to learn, think and solve without teachers. But that depends on your learning style and it will definitely help if you have knowledge of computers and basic operating systems. I never got a chance to complete the second year because of getting hired by a company. To anyone that wants to become a Full-stack software engineer, I recommend this school.

  • Emma Gachancipá • Student
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    The peers are awesome, you learn from everyone, and the most important you learn is how to learn. Also you improve your soft skills while learning english everyday.

  • I am Holberton
    - 7/26/2019
    Alvaro A • Contreras • Student
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    In holberton you define your future. Suitable only for the best.

  • Koome Mwiti • Full Stack SE Student • Student
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    Pros: 
    - Convenient - Accessible easily from the Bart Station in SF
    - Affordable - Getting trained to become a full stack software engineer and no down payment needed - Amazing! 
    - Great facilities accessible 24 Hours a day with state-of-the-art equipment  - They even have a nap room to rest your mind
    - Peers - Learning from my peers is and will be probably the best experience ever, everyone has something to offer
    - Projects - The projects are extremely relatable such as building an Airbnb clone from scratch
    - Learning speed - The speed of learning gets you to push yourself to the limit, no excuses if you want to get a valuable education
    -  I was watching the movie Atone on Netflix and I was super happy that in 3 months I could identify the code the bad guy was using to detonate some bomb using a linked list. If you push yourself you grow fast!
    - Fun for cheap - I have noticed that despite sf being expensive, you can have extreme fun quite cheaply since most events and hangouts are free or affordable e.g $5 silent discos
    - When you get a job after Holberton and work in some cities, you might get a reprieve in the fees you pay, not sure which ones exactly

    Cons:
    - SF is expensive, you better have a plan on how to study and survive in SF the first semester
    - Learning from peers need a bit getting used but upgrades your soft skills
    - The spring semester can be quite cold for those not used to it, better be dressed
    - Accomodation can be quite costly, its better to share in SF
    - If you are planning to work and study full-time, that will be a stretch, chances are your grades will suffer
    - You loose touch with most of your friends because of the busy schedule, its a tradeoff.  

  • Rene • Student • Student
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    Figured this would be a wonderful platform in which to speak on my current school Holberton. Personally I identify as someone who always loved to learn but was never a fan of rote memorization in classrooms simply for the sake of test taking or sitting in a lecturn for an hour without the chance for discusson. At Holberton they focus on peer learning and self accountability in your work, which for the last 4 months has made for the best learning environments I have found the privilege of being a part of. The school's curriculum is geared towards teaching us how to think and introducing us to the various tools/languages we would use in order to lay the foundation of being a full stack engineer or for some going into more minute detail of an industry they have already been a part of for years. Students in my group range from all different career backgrounds, ages, identities and experience and everyone is able to get something out of it. I would definitely check out the school's model if you find yourself wanting to start anew and have a true grasp of the functionality of programming for any tech carreer you want. 

  • Lucía Rodríguez • Student
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    I've been at Holberton School three months and a few weeks at cohort 8 and I'm glad to be here. We're the first cohort in Bogotá, also, and my impressions of Holberton School are mostly positive. The routine here helps to catch up with the common workflow for coding, and this is specially useful if this is your first encounter with any programming language. 

    For most of my friends who works in the tech field, facing C the three first months was weird because of its complexity, but our project forces us to think in a variety of options to solve some tasks (I even see them as quests sometimes). The work environment here is great and you can find people really skilled at programming and people who is newbie on this field. 

    I really enjoyed all the Unix commands component and, despite all my struggles with C, I think it was amazing for my problem-solving skills. It's hard, that's true, but it has been an amazing ride. We don't have formal instructors and maybe for people more used to formal education, this can be a deal breaker. Instead of teachers, we have support of other fellow students, our mentor or students of the same cohort but in other locations and most of the times, we get the help we need and we understand as the tasks goes.

    I think we've received support from all the staff, even in personal situations which affects our performance. Holberton is home for a lot of students here and I'm glad to be here. 

    Tasks go quickly and it's hard to be up to date but most workflow on the tech field goes at that rhythm, it's exhausting but it fills you with energy at the same time. Be aware of how far you've learned in three months is gratifying. At this moment we're facing Python and it's cool how your problem solving skills gets stronger every day, a little bit. If you're in Bogota and you want to study a really intensive coding programming, Holberton can be your option. 

  • Miguel Cortes • Student
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    Holberton is one of a kind bootcamp. With an emphasis on peer learning, there are no teachers, but students learn from each other and learn how to both learn and teach difficult concepts. There are PLDs or peer learning days, mandatory days where you can learn from others and refineries where you train with your peers following a detailed frameword and sets of questions for interviews.

    In contrast to most programming bootcampts we don't start with a fancy text editor and HTML, rather with a plain Linux terminal and Emacs or Vim. We start programming with C to understand how the hardware works at the low level before going to Python and so we are able to build our own libraries for faster speeds on Python programs.

    We learn Unix, Devops, Git, Python, Front end, Backend, Databases. Not just what you learn in a typical bootcamp, but this program goes beyond everything else.

  • Haroldo • Student
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    I have been here for two months (first cohort in Colombia) and all I have to say is that I consider a precious gem all the knowledge I have acquired. It is a really hard and intensive program, there is no doubt of it. Since first day, you will be told that projects won't be easy and it will get harder and harder over the time. However, the knowledge and skills you receive in exchange make the hard work worth. In this program you will have to read a lot and develop the self-learning skill. You will be challenged to develop the team work skill as well. Finally, after two months, I can take a look back at the beginning and I can say I learned a lot from C and GNU/Linux besides the soft-skills I have developed. Best decision if you want to become a software engineer who also knows how to work in teams, share your ideas, etc.

  • Allison Weiner • Student
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    I have been loving my experience at Holberton and their commitment to making software engineering accessible for everyone. I am deaf, so when I was accepted and requested accommodations, they immediately went to work making sure I would have an equal experience with other students. This showed me that Holberton truly does have a commitment to educating different types of software engineers, and isn't just in it for lip service.

    I entered the program knowing almost nothing about programming/computer science. I just knew some HTML/CSS and VERY basic bash commands. Now, 5 months later, I have a strong knowledge of C and have built some pretty cool and robust programs. I love how the projects by nature encourage us to implement best practices for each language and really understand what we're doing instead of just writing code that works. The project based model enables us to be self-reliant and try to figure stuff out on our own before turning to the staff, which is a skill future managers will really appreciate. Peer learning also helps us gain the skill of leaning on our peers (which will be co-workers in the future) and the group projects replicate what it's like to actually work as a software engineer with others. There is also an emphasis on practice interviews, which is known as the toughest part of getting a job in the industry, which makes me even more confident in my ability to find a job once all is said and done.

    This program is really tough and requires a lot of your time/attention but I can honestly say I've never had so much learning. I was an accountant with no passion for what I was doing and now Holberton has reignited my passion for learning. I'm so excited to start working as a software engineer when the time comes.

  • Marine • Full stack engineer • Student
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    I was part of the first batch student of Holberton school. I picked Holberton school as an alternative to a regular four year college education. I had this thirst to learn more about technology and building software. I thought Holberton was a good option for me as it was a two year program that would give me the proper time to really get a good grasp on what a career as a software engineer would involve and allow me the space and time to grow as young professional. Holberton school did not disappoint! I had an overall great experience. The content was fun and challenging. I had a good sense of community there, learning along side my peers. I loved that I also got to gain experience during the internship phase. I got an internship at a small medical tech company (where I am still currently working). I would definitely recommend Holberton to anyone who wants a strong foundation and be able to develop a good network to build  a software engineer career on top of.

  • Cece • Student • Student
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    My name is Cece and I'm a student at Holberton School. I'm in Cohort 6 which started in June 2018. I am almost done with my first 9 months and have nothing but good reviews for this school. When I started at Holberton, I barely knew how to write a function; now it's just second-nature for me. I will admit that the course load is intense, but it's all worth it. Holberton is great because you learn more than how to code. You learn coding fundamentals that will carry you throughout your career. I've gained valuable lessons on how to network and be a professional. Plus, I didn't need a communications class to teach me how to talk in front of others. Instead, Holberton provides students with oppurtunities to give a presentation in 3 minutes; allowing you to work on public speaking and being comfortable in front of others. If you're looking for a school that values learning and its students, Holberton might be a good fit for you :)

    I've given instructors 5 stars, but Holberton has no formal instructors. Instead our peers are our instructors. We learn from each other. In the event that my peers can't help, I have access to faculty and Holberton mentors (Industry professionals) to get my answer.

  • Dennis • Student
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    I’m a current student at Holberton School at the San Francisco campus. You go through Holberton’s full stack which is a project-based curriculum covering both low level and high level programming as well as Systems Engineering/Devops. During this time, I’ve learned how to use C, Python, and Bash as my go-to languages and also developed a solid understanding of how web technologies interact with each other and can configure my own servers. And because Holberton focuses hard on the fundamentals of computer science, I also found myself being able to pick up new technologies, frameworks, and languages much easier now than when I first started – a skill I found myself appreciative to have. Programming for me is something I needed to learn by experience and by doing and I’m glad Holberton’s projects have helped me with that.

    Alongside the curriculum, Holberton also utilizes a peer learning model. For me, I really enjoyed working with my cohort; everyone came from different backgrounds and cultures and it was a pleasure getting to know them as they shared the same aspirations of getting better everyday and building out cool projects. In fact, everybody in Holberton School’s community has been great as they’re always willing to help in whatever ways they can and to also build up the community and inclusiveness. It helped a lot with Holberton’s culture.

    One caveat is that the program isn’t easy. Acquiring software engineering skills in general does not come easy and there is a time commitment where you must make the program the priority. Like everything else, you’ll have to put the hours in to master the concept. There will be some projects that can seem intimidating or confusing at first and you may find yourself hitting some sticking points. Although it’s unfun, it can also be a good thing as it forces you to think more critically about the problem and experiment more on how to make sure your process doesn’t break again. You become a better problem solver as you acquire the ability to break those colossal problems into manageable chunks and can now work on progressively more complex problems. The structure of Holberton’s program helps with this as you are first introduced to projects that makes sure you have the fundamentals handled before moving on to more advanced projects. Overall, Holberton’s curriculum worked well for me so far and I’ve been pretty satisfied with my experience.

  • 7 Months in...
    - 2/9/2019
    Brent • Student
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    Pros:

    In 7 months, I've become proficient in C and Python, and currently am gaining a ground-up understanding of web infrastructure and web based applications (Nginx, Haproxy, MySQL, HTML/CSS, Flask, etc.). The program doesn't take shortcuts, and emphasizes a foundation of core concepts before delving into specific applications, coding languages, frameworks, etc. Learning C before Python probably isn't the fastest way to get started coding, but offers a much deeper understanding of what exactly happens under the hood, but you'll be be able to pick up new concepts and languages much faster in the future. I've been happy with the curriculum, and I feel like the pacing and progression have been well thought out. It's been intense, but I've never felt legitimately overloaded.

    The peer learning model has been productive for me, but you also have to be ready to break out of your shell, ask questions, and make it work for you. This is not a traditional classroom environment, nor a traditonal academic teaching model. Just getting the "right" answers for "good" grades (a la college) will ultimately not be productive or helpful (afterall, nobody is going to ask what your "grades" were at Holberton).  This isn't a program you can expect to skate by on by just showing up and checking the right boxes. The program is intensive, and you will only take what you put into it.

    Cons:

    Peer learning is partially dependent on quality of peers. The school needs to ensure applicants are ready to succeed in the program and buy into the leanring model. Old habits die hard, and changing peoples' mentality of how school and learning works doesn't happen overnight. 

    The SF campus is cool and offers alot of options for workspaces, but noise and disruptions from people hanging out and laughing are too common.

  • Carrie Y. • Jr. Software Engineer • Graduate
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    When I was looking to transition into a tech career, I looked into both traditional college options as well as boot camps, the former being too long and expensive (I couldn't afford to be not working for four years) and the latter being too short (I didn't think I could learn enough in just a few months or less). After researching Holberton's 2-year program, it felt like the perfect balance, long enough to get a solid programming foundation as well as having deferred tuition. It meant that the school is investing in its students and if the students don't succeed, then the school doesn't, and it speaks to the school's ethos and quality of curriculum.

    Along with that, I loved the hands-on, project-based peer learning model. You really don't know how much you understand about a subject until you try to teach it to someone else, and peer learning gives you the opportunity to find out. Not only do you learn technical skills, but from the very first day you're taught real-life skills necessary to succeed in the industry, such as problem-solving, self-sufficiency, and helping those around you as well as yourself. Soft skills are important too, given the peer learning model -- learning to communicate and collaborate with other engineers is just as important as being a good programmer.

    Attending Holberton was an amazing experience for me because it changed my perspective on how to learn, how to collaborate, and what education can be.

  • Jesse Hedden • Jr. Software Engineer Intern • Graduate
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    Holberton School is in a league of its own when it comes to providing students with the necessary skills to go into software engineering. Not only do you learn computer science fundamentals that most other 'bootcamps' gloss over, but you learn key work environment skills such as public speaking, project planning, and teamwork. The program is not for the faint of heart. You must truly be ready to work your ass off, because the curriculum moves fast and hard. But if your goal is to become a software engineer in a relatively short period of time, Holberton offers the tools that you need to learn, and to learn how to learn.

    Holberton allowed me to transition from working in the public education sector to my current role as jr. software engineer intern. It also allowed me to discover my passion for machine learning. While ML is not offered in the first year of the curriculum, I chose to pursue a final project that was entirely machine learning based. With the time-management and research skills I acquired at Holberton, I was able to have a functioning ML model to present at the end of my first year.

    Highly recommend!

  • Student
    - 1/10/2019
    Stefan Silverio • Student
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    The Holberton School offers anyone who's excited about software engineering (and willing to work really hard) a chance to reinvent their life for the better. Before attending the Holberton School, I completed my freshman year at Santa Clara University. I was frustrated by the lack of hands on and experimental learning. It felt like high school - where students where more focused on absorbing information quickly for high stakes exams than actually understanding things. The Holberton School is the opposite. It's a unique space where all your peers are there because they want to learn. You get to solve problems together, build cool things, and ultimately be the master of your own education. For me, overall, the first four months have been great. My advice to you is - don't wait. If you want to apply - dive in. Go for it. It's worth it 100%.

Thanks!