Recent Lambda School News
- Alumni Spotlight: Joram Clervius of Lambda School
- Guide to Deferred Tuition and ISAs at Coding Bootcamps
- August 2017 Coding Bootcamp News + Podcast
Recent Lambda School Reviews: Rating 5.0
Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence
A six-month full-time or one-year part-time online machine learning and artificial intelligence course that’s free until you get a job making at least $50,000/year. During six months at the Lambda Academy of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, you will spend nearly as much time studying computing fundamentals and writing code as you would in most four-year programs. You'll not only be an excellent machine learning, artificial intelligence, or data science practitioner, but will have a deeper grounding in the fundamentals of computer science, including algorithms, data structures, operating systems, and more. In short, you'll learn the practical skills and modern languages required to become a data scientist, but also how to think abstractly and solve problems from first principles. We're so convinced you'll get a job after finishing our course that you can enroll and take the entire course for free. Once you get a job making at least $50,000/year, you’ll pay a percentage of your salary for two years. Check out our website for the details. Our curriculum covers the following topics and more: - Statistics - Linear Algebra - Regression - Data Visualization - Principal Components Analysis - Neural Networks - Deep Learning - Computer Vision - Clustering & Search - Natural Language Processing - Data Collection - Data Science - TensorFlow - Amazon AI Services
- $0 down (No deposit, no down payment)
- Payment Plan
- 17% salary for 2 yr
- Minimum Skill Level
- Basic Python and simple calculus
- Placement Test
- Prep Work
- Pre-course work will be sent after acceptance to the program
OnlineFull Time45Hours/week30 Seats
OnlinePart Time15Hours/week30 Seats
Computer Science & Software Engineering
A six-month full-time or one-year part-time online computer science course that’s free until you get a job making at least $50,000/year. During six months at the Lambda Academy of Computer Science, you will spend nearly as much time studying computing fundamentals and writing code as you would in most four-year programs. You'll not only be an excellent web development practitioner, but will have a deeper grounding in the fundamentals of computer science, including algorithms, data structures, operating systems, and more. In short, you'll learn the practical skills and modern languages required to become a software engineer, but also how to think abstractly and solve problems from first principles. We're so convinced you'll get a job after finishing our course that you can enroll and take the entire course for free. Once you get a job making at least $50,000/year, you’ll pay a percentage of your salary for two years. Check out our website for the details.
- $0 down (No deposit, no down payment)
- Payment Plan
- 17% income for 2 yrs
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
- Prep Work
- Pre-course work is sent after acceptance to the program
OnlineFull Time45Hours/week40 Seats
OnlineFull Time45Hours/week40 Seats
OnlineFull Time45Hours/week40 Seats
OnlineFull Time45Hours/week40 Seats
OnlineFull Time45Hours/week40 Seats
$250 LambdaSchool Scholarship
Course Report is excited to offer an exclusive LambdaSchool scholarship for $250 off tuition!
Offer is only valid for new applicants. Applicants who have already submitted an application cannot claim this scholarship.
- Full-Stack Web Development (Part-Time) (Online)
Lambda School Reviews
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Lambda School, for me, was one of those “being at right place at the right time” opportunities. I was in limbo between jobs and going back to school after obtaining a few associate degrees and doing nothing with them. I had decided to resume my pursuit for a computer science degree and began taking courses at a local college. After realizing it would take 2 years to finish and an insane commute to the main campus without relocation, it almost seemed unrealistic with my financial position.
Then I ran into a talk on HackerNews with Austen talking about a thing called Lambda School. The Income Agreement Plan was exactly what I needed in my situation. It all seemed too perfect.
So now I’m 4 months into the Full-Time Web Development course, and gotta say it’s the most intense 4 months of anything I’ve ever done. Every topic builds off each other being able to add to a personal project applications as you learn to implement and cement the knowledge gained. All the way to deployment! The live lesson are fully interactive with amazingly smart instructors who know their stuff and fully and willing to help you until you feel comfortable with the content. The curriculum is fast paced but on point. As they tell you in the beginning, be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there, missing a day is like missing a half a week in college. You better invest in yourself as much as they invest in you. But if you do fall behind they will fully work with you to make sure neither of your time is wasted.
One of the coolest parts of the program in comparison to another higher education establishment is the flexibility they proved in their syllabus. For instance enough people wanted have python be apart of the course and bam! Lambda provides. They are always up to date with the latest technologies, and ensures that we are right with the industry. Which you probably won’t find at a university considering their curriculums are set in stone in many ways, and takes forever for a change to happen.
I’ve also made a ton of friends in this program and there are more than enough interesting people with all types of backgrounds.
They also provide a cool thing called brownbags, which is a section of time after lunch where a highly qualified person in a field of study or a software engineer that’s in the industry to present a cool topic that’s pertains to the interest of all students. It helps to get an understanding of what the industry is like or you can get your feet wet into an interesting subject like Machine Learning or Music Softeare, etc. it opens doors for connections and gives you a glimpse of all the possibilities you might not have noticed before.
All in all, Lambda School has been an amazing experience, I’ve learned more than I know my money will be worth, and I can’t wait to see the opportunities they provide upon graduation.
Lambda School is onto something incredible, and I feel very fortunate to be apart of it.
It’s not just a web development academy, it’s a building block for the next wave in the forefront of technology.
The income share agreement - instead of paying up front - was a huge part of why I chose Lambda School. Our interests are really aligned and they are super motivated to get me hired. If you can devote the six months to their program, you will become a much better programmer. The teachers are passionate, happy to share their expertise, approachable and, they are happy to help you out. The emphasis on live lectures really helped a lot to (I'd tried a lot of other courses and pre-recorded content just isn't as engaging). I've met a lot of great people and made a lot of friends. I took a couple of their free courses and that's what really sold me on the program. I really liked their teaching style. The program is very well put together so that week by week what you learn builds upon the previous material and pretty soon you are deploying projects you've made and engaging with cutting edge technology. Just as important, their grounding with Computer Science fundamentals has put me in a position to stay on top of current technologies and learn how to use new tools. If you have the time to devote to the program and want to become a full-stack software developer, I can not recommend Lambda School enough!
I recently finished the first ever fulltime cohort of Lambda School CS1.
I will keep this review short and to the point. I personally think Lambda School is a great investment in yourself. LS has helped me take my skills to the next leve. Before starting LS i had genaral knowledge of web technologies and could possibly create very basic static application, now i can confortably whip out a fullstack application by myself. I am sure many of the other students can attest to this.
All in all if you have time, you shold definitely join LS and take your skills to the next level.
I was always fascinated by technology and naturally chose computer science in University. But, the curriculum of my university was not updated enough to actually get a job or interesting enough to get along with current technology. So, I thought of going to coding boot camp to improve upon my skills in programming and design.
I chose Lambda School from a recommendation of a good friend of mine whom I had met on Medium. I went blindfolded to Lambda School without any expectation or opinion. And, they did not disappoint me.
Prior to Lambda School, I did have a knowledge of programming and had a fair bit of experience in developing websites. They helped me hone that knowledge and improve my skills as a software developer.
ReactNative, a completely new technology is the best part of course at school. You can absolutely do anything with this tool. And, I loved it.
Teachers were also very supportive of me. Even when I asked a question about Python and Django, course not included in the package; they were happy to help me.
Mentors did ask me if I wanted help on finding jobs, but I have always been fascinated with innovation and entrepreneurship. So, I chose to start my own startup and I have few small projects on my hand. All this would not have been possible without Lambda School.
So, if you are thinking of switching career to the software developer or any other community related to programming, you should do it. But, you need to attend coding boot camp to develop the habit of hard work and productivity; it does not matter which one you attend but you need to do it.
If you happen to be interesting in lambda school or want to do something awesome after you graduate, you are welcome into my startup. You can contact me through LinkedIn and we can go on to make a better world together as a team.
I learnt quite a fair bit in both mini bootcamps which covered the basics and touched on some more advanced material. Great taster of the full bootcamps. What set this apart from other courses I've done is the use of slack. There was a good group of really helpful fellow students from all around the world and having this chat feature helped with instant communication and problem solving.
Lambda has its perks:
- $0 to start
- Take classes from anywhere
- Learn from elite instructors
For me, the last point was most important. I wanted to learn the equivalent of the four semesters in a quality computer science undergrad program in just two semesters. Lambda provided that for me and has opened many doors for me in my career.
The fact that Lambda presents an opportunity to people who other wise would not have this type of option says a lot for what type of company it is. There is no hidden rules, hidden fees, "whats the catches" or anything of that sort. It is pure opportunity. If you want to be a better programmer they will make that happen. With anything else in life it is still about how much you put in. There is no magic wand to automatically make you amazing at development. but there is a school with instructors who spend an insane amount of hours to make it as easy as possible for you. I have gotten quite a few job offers and they started coming well before I graduated as I have not even graduated yet. The full stack side is amazing and throws you in the deep end but also throws you a float to make sure you don't drown. The instructors are amazing and it is literally the best thing I have done. I am able to talk to anyone with questions or etc about the school.
OK, so I don't want this to just be a rant and rave about the other bootcamp I attended (and paid $10,000 for), but Lambda School was seriously 1,000,000 times better.
The instructors were experts and very approachable. In the other program I couldn't even talk to instructors.
Luis was awesome, Ryan was helpful, Sean was great if not a little standoffish, and Beej and Aaron are clearly incredibly smart.
I had help instantly whenever I needed it.
The curriculum was hard, but much more in depth.
When I talk to students form other bootcamps I'm blown away by how little they know compared to how much Lambda School students do. Maybe it's that other bootcamps are all that bad, maybe it's that Lambda School's extra time and curriculum makes a huge difference, but I see Lambda School students graduating and getting jobs within days.
It's not perfect, of course, there were some communication issues around scheduling, but all in all it was a phenomenal experience, and one that I can't recommend enough.
As for my job search, I got a couple of offers quickly, but I'm still on the lookout, because I didn't love either of those comapnies.
I took the web development mini-bootcamp and the part time full stack web development course. It was tough in the beginning but I was highly motivated by the end of the course. It was the first time I worked so hard and invested time and money. But, it was all worth in the end. The teachers were always available to me, and really supportive throughout the process. I had a great time going through the course.
I didn’t have any experience in programming or advanced computing whatsoever. And, my sole intention in joining lambdaschool was to become a programmer and get a job. I did not research anything about the bootcamps, and joined lambdaschool because it was online and cost effective.
Now, I am glad that I joined lambdaschool but I immediately regretted after the first class. It was way too fast for me. And, I think almost all of the coding bootcamps are paced like that to cover everything in three months. Anyone who has no background in programming is going to have hard time going into these courses, and lambdaschool is no different. Don’t be afraid to ask, instructors are amazing. They will answer anything and repeat any time you want.
I eventually caught up, but I had to work a lot to barely catch up. But, I am glad that I was able to catch up and thankful for wonderful instructors who helped me, and Austen for the support.
I have been an anti-bootcamp person for a while. (I have a fair share of friends that have taken them and came out not much better than they went in). I was doing the normal FCC/Udemy courses and just not making it anywhere. Have a problem? Go google it and have a sparatic understanding of the question or get little to no answer at all and just randomly copy and past stackoverflow posts until your tests pass or code does what you want. This is the overwhelming issue with self learning or these "pre recorded" video courses wether they are on Udemy, MOOC's, Udacity and even some of the expensive online bootcamps are just recordings being played back for you.
I took the PT bootcamp so it was mon - thur 6pm - 9pm and sat 9am - 6pm I only bring this in because when i'm talking about what was being taught at the different stages it will vary if you do the FT or PT stuff.
Now I have no personal experience with any other bootcamp but from what my friends have told me/complained about with other bootcamps I knew I made a good choice right out of the gates. We started with Data Structures, Hash Tables, Linked Lists, Graphs, Binary Trees and lookups. Now this was tough and really challenged my brain but these were things that my friends were being asked about in their interviews and had no knowledge of from their $15k bootcamps. Immediately i'm thinking awesome this is a great start. Then we start ramping up and going over how to use these data structures, manipulate and do various other things that we will need through out the course. The other amazing thing was there were coding challanges at the beginning of every class. Really helped to drive home the ideas from the first week (as you can't learn all of that stuff and remember it from just a week or 2). Then we go over React and the basics, followed with Routing and then we dive into Redux and Redux-thunk. Now this in my opinion was almost worth the whole admission amount in and of itself. I could not wrap my head around Redux or Redux-thunk. I have had this same problem before and no course, article or anything else really cleared it up for me. Since these are live classes not pre recorded I DM'd Ben and we got on a google hangout and we took 15 mins, LITERALLY 15 mins and I was able to ask direct questions and get direct answer and I was able to wrap my head around how to layout the actions, reducers and store which was HUGE. Not waisting a day or 2 trying to tie multiple articles together to try and usually only gain an entry level understanding if that, was SOOOOOO amazing and SOOOOO worth it to just ask and be taught. Along the way we were building a front end project with React to connect all of the pieces together.
Then we jumped over to node and the backend. This again was a super huge benefit to have Ben the instructor right there and he even had some guest instructors teaching stuff which was awesome too (usually people in the field). A decent amount of those guest speakers are not instructors with Ben so you will get that benefit along the way. There isn't a whole lot for me to go in here but it was awesome to build backend servers with node, express, mongoDB and mySQL. Along the way we continued to build a backend server and keep on building through out the weeks we were learning this. After we had a lot of GET/POST requests working and doing various things for us we went over how authentication works. Encrypting passwords and the right way to store the encryptions (not the passwords) and how to check if someone was authenticated and provide limited access depending on that, which we used web tokens to keep track.
The last month for us was putting all of the previous stuff together to see how you put the front end and back end together (which this again was another HUGE mind blown situation). All of the other courses I have seen or taken were either FE (react/angular/vue) or the BE (node, express, templating language) and I never understood how the pieces fit together and that opened my eyes SOOO much. After that you will never look at site the same again! This time was really really cool cuz we were doing out own thing with minimal instruction (compared to the rest of the courses) or Ben would do a video, let us know what it was gonna be about then let us choose to watch or not. This was awesome because the instructor was available for more one on one time and helping along the way.
Also for what it's worth I interviewed and received an offer 2 days after the course end while I was back home. I was able to negioate an above average salary for both that area and the area I actually live in. The fact that I could speak to CS style questions (hash tables, binary searches, linked lists and things like that) put me according to the interviewer "above the other people interviewing" and allowed me to negotiate a higher salary.
Here is the big thing, can you learn the same things and end up with the same salary as I was offered for free?? Yes you can but I have been trying for a 1.5 with FCC and various other courses and NEVER got close, let alone the CS stuff that is really hard to wrap your head around. The money spent was the best investment in myself I have ever made. I got direct access to the instructor during the lectures, a direct path to learning, a great bunch of class mates and an environment mean to help you learn. Lambda School has free options know which make this an even BETTER option if you are willing to apply yourself and work with the team at Lambda School.
I hope this was helpful and if you are serious about becoming a "developer" I think this is a great option as the knowledge taught will put you more on the software developer side of things which in most areas equates to better pay/options.
Our latest on Lambda School
Joram Clervius was passionate about music and computers growing up. When college didn’t work out, he used his self-taught computer skills to get a job in web design. Joram soon realized that to build products from scratch, he needed to learn software engineering, so he enrolled in Lambda School’s full-time, online Computer Science and Software Engineering bootcamp. Now Joram is a Senior Developer at software company Nexient! Joram tells us why he chose Lambda School (hint: it’s to do with zero upfront tuition), how he balanced coding with competitive bodybuilding, and why he’s “so thankful” he “went the Lambda route.”
Can you tell me about your background before Lambda School?
I’m from Haiti and moved to Florida with my family when I was 10. Throughout elementary school, middle school and high school I was very involved in music, but also had a big interest in computers. I enjoyed taking them apart and teaching myself things. During high school and college, I did some web development and design projects for other students, but it was always just for fun; I never considered programming as a career.
Not too long after, I came up with an idea for a startup. I created a business plan, submitted it to the Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce, and won a grant to pay for office space. So I quit my job to start working on it. I soon realized that I couldn’t build my idea without more skills. I started to teach myself software engineering concepts, then enrolled at Lambda School.
Web design is very different from web development and software engineering. It’s like knowing how to make a house look nice, but not knowing how to build the house from scratch because you don’t know how to do electrical wiring, or plumbing, or construction.
Once I decided that I needed to learn software engineering, I struggled with not knowing where to start. There are so many languages and frameworks. Do I learn Ruby? Do I learn C? Do I learn C++? Do I learn Swift? Do I learn Java?
To tell you the truth – I’ve experienced what it's like to learn from Lambda School versus what it's like to teach myself, and I am so thankful that I went the Lambda route. There is no way I could have done it by myself.
How did you choose Lambda School and did you consider other online bootcamps?
I saw an online ad on Facebook or Twitter for Lambda School and they mentioned their deferred tuition – you didn't have to pay them back until you got a job. I had considered Wyncode and other bootcamps that were close to home in Miami. But I would have had to pay tuition upfront, so when I found out about Lambda School, I was really excited.
Did you think about going back to college to study computer science?
When I attended a demo day at Wyncode, I found that a lot of students had graduated from college with computer science degrees and still needed to go to a coding bootcamp. If you get a computer science degree, you know a lot of the computer science theory and computer architecture, but not so much about frameworks and development languages. I wanted to know how to build software, rather than just the theory behind the tech, so that made me less interested in college.
What was the application and interview process like for Lambda School?
I signed up, sent in the application, and received an email saying they had received more applications than they expected, so I'd have to take an entrance exam. That freaked me out because I really wanted to get in. I did the exam, which was mostly logic and math, with no coding. Then a couple of days later I got the email saying that I made it. I was really happy!
How did you stay engaged while learning online and balance Lambda School with your life?
Lambda School gave me a full schedule on Google Calendar. From the minute I woke up, I had my whole day planned out for me. Class time was at least eight hours of the day, and I would spend extra time studying outside of class. I was actually interested in learning this stuff, so I spent my nights coding and my weekends working on projects. I started coding from the moment I woke up each day and I have a computer and desk at home, so I just studied from home.
One of my hobbies is competitive bodybuilding, so I'm very active in the gym and work out a lot. That is a very important part of my day. After I finished studying and doing school work, I would go to the gym and work out, then come back home and continue studying.
What was the time commitment for Lambda School? Could you learn on your own time (asynchronously) or did you learn with your classmates at the same time every day (synchronously)?
The instructors taught us through live video lectures, so we could ask them questions, and they'd answer right away. The instructors paired us with other students for pair programming, and we worked on group projects. Every day I was interacting with other students and teachers.
Lambda School taught the course from the West Coast, which was three hours behind me in Florida. It was actually good for me because I didn't have to wake up as early as everybody else. Most people’s schedules were 9am to 6pm, but I started at 12pm and finished at 9pm.
Tell us about a typical day at Lambda School.
One good thing Lambda School does is to make sure students don’t focus on one topic all day long. At the beginning of every day, the very first thing you do is a code challenge. They give you an hour to work on it, then you start the morning lecture and you start learning things that have nothing to do with that code challenge. After that, you move on to working on either a project that was assigned to you the day before, or a new project. The topics get harder as they progress because you start working on multiple concepts at once.
Who were the other students in your class? Was your Lambda School class diverse?
Yeah, it was very diverse. I studied with students from all over the country, many different races, women and men, and all age ranges.
I liked that diversity a lot, because as a black man, especially in software engineering, I’m used to being the only other, the only person who is unique. Whereas at Lambda School, everybody has something unique about them, so that was really nice.
Lambda School actually has a completely blind entrance program where they don't know the gender or the race of the applicant at all; instead, they just see their answers to the application questions.
While you were at Lambda School, what was your favorite project that you worked on?
It was a personal project which I really took to heart. It was a crowdsourced dictionary for Haitian Creole. I built it with React, and I was very proud of it. Before Lambda School, I thought I would need two or three years of React experience before I would be able to build something like that.
How did Lambda School prepare you for job hunting?
Lambda School staff reviewed our LinkedIn accounts and our resumes, and told us where to go to apply for jobs depending on what our interests were. Whiteboard practice was the most helpful. Part of web development job interviews is solving problems on a whiteboard, and people can get nervous being put on the spot and having to code in front of other people. Practicing whiteboarding at Lambda School in front of the rest of the class made the hardest part of the job interview much easier.
Congratulations on your new job! Where are you working and what are you working on?
I'm a Senior Developer at Nexient LLC. It's in Ann Arbor, Michigan and I think the only completely US-based software services outsourcing company. It's a very big company, and we build software solutions for companies around the country. I've only been here for four weeks and love it. I moved to Michigan especially for the role.
How did you find the job at Nexient? What was the application process like?
I found it through a job listing website like Indeed or Dice. I sent Nexient my resume, then I got a callback. After that, I went through two interviews, then received my offer letter. During the interview, they tested I how much I knew and gave me a hard whiteboard question to test my knowledge. Because of that really hard interview process, I surprised myself by making it through.
The position I applied for was a senior developer role. I just decided that I wasn't going to be afraid to go for it, because my entire life, I’ve always tried to go for hard things.
How have your first couple of weeks on the job been? How did they onboard you and ramp you up?
Nexient is also a very diverse company, just like Lambda School. There are a lot of women here, and I work with one woman on my team. I like everybody that I've met so far.
Are you using the same programming languages that you learned at Lambda School or have you had to learn a new language on the job?
How is your previous background in web design useful in your new role as a developer?
It’s very useful. When I first started at Nexient, I asked my supervisor if I could restart one of my projects from scratch. I was able to come up with a whole new design for it, and it looks really nice.
Now that you have a job, have you started paying back your Lambda School tuition? How does that work?
Yeah. Once you start working and earning $50,000 or more, then you start paying 17% of your income. You pay that income-share for either two years or until you've paid $30,000.
What advice do you have for other people who are thinking about making a career change through an online coding bootcamp?
From my own personal experience, the coding bootcamp model does work, and it works well. As long as you dedicate the time and the energy towards it, you'll reap the benefits 10 fold.
That being said, it was really hard. With my personality, I’ve found that whenever things are hard, I enjoy them more. I focused hard on Lambda School because it was really hard and I ended up doing really well.
Just as they’ve developed disruptive education tools, technology bootcamps are also adopting payment plans which allow students to pay nothing or very little until they graduate and find a job. Deferred tuition and income sharing agreements (ISAs) are becoming more widely available, and give students who don’t have $20,000 in the bank, access to life-changing learning opportunities. This guide will help you sort through the details and differentiate between the terms; plus, we’ve even helped you start your research by compiling a list of coding and data science bootcamps that offer ISAs or Deferred Tuition.Continue Reading →
Why do journalists and industry leaders think that two coding bootcamps are closing? And despite these “shutdowns,” why do companies like IBM still want to hire coding bootcamp graduates? We’re covering all of the industry news from August. Plus, a $3 billion GI Bill that covers coding bootcamps for veterans, why Google and Amazon are partnering with bootcamps, and diversity initiatives. Listen to our podcast or read the full August 2017 News Roundup below.Continue Reading →
- If you don’t get a job making over $50,000 a year, then Lambda School doesn’t collect tuition.
- Your commitment: learning online, full-time, for 6 months.
- Lambda School is “synchronous” education, which means you’ll need to be online at 9am Pacific and learn with the rest of your cohort.
As the co-founder of Lambda School, what is your background and what inspired you to start an online coding bootcamp?
I was going to college for advertising and found that college was not a very effective use of my time. In fact, my co-founder and I both stumbled upon this idea. I was not in the financial position to afford a bootcamp, so I actually never attended one. I figured out everything on my own by reading books and building projects.
I wanted to create a more risk-free environment that was accessible to people that didn’t have $10,000 upfront. I had quite a few friends that did a coding bootcamp but didn’t have a good experience – $10,000 or more is a lot to spend at a bootcamp if you don’t get results. We created Lambda School because we wanted a bootcamp (plus a little more) that was free upfront and low risk for students.
Tuition is an important part of choosing the right bootcamp – explain why Lambda School chose to offer a deferred tuition model.
First, there are a lot of people who simply can’t afford to pay for a bootcamp upfront – that is obvious to anyone who has ever run a bootcamp. We’re so passionate about that idea that we don’t even require a deposit; it’s 100% free upfront. Even more than that, we wanted our incentives to be entirely aligned with those of the students. Part of our model is that if the student doesn’t get the job making over $50,000 a year, then we don’t make money. That’s very intentional. If we don’t do a good enough job, then we don’t get paid, and we think that’s fair. Bootcamps generally try really hard – but if a student pays $20,000 and can’t get a job, then that’s a really rough deal and we wanted to solve for that.
We knew we wanted to create a longer course with a lower price-point than other bootcamps. Deferred tuition requires upfront investment by a bootcamp. We could almost fund the deferred tuition model ourselves but partnering with Y Combinator to fund the model certainly helped. Y combinator has done a lot for us – we have about 50 hiring partnerships through them and they understand tech really well. They were primarily excited about Lambda School having a deeper computer science curriculum than the average bootcamp. Y Combinator companies will hire thousands of engineers a year and they need a deeper level of understanding if they’re building world-changing technology.
What should students expect with this new curriculum?
We spent a lot of time talking to different employers – we wanted to figure out why some employers will not consider hiring bootcamp graduates. We learned that the best bootcamps will teach data structures and algorithms, but most don’t, and that there are a lot of subjects that bootcamps don’t have time to cover. Subjects like computer architecture, operating systems, scaling – that was the knowledge that employers really wanted their employees to have. And bootcamp grads, almost by definition, don’t understand that material. It’s not that bootcamps do a bad job, but they literally don’t have the time to teach that material.
Lambda School is not just a coding bootcamp; we also include computer science as part of the curriculum. We’ll cover all the subjects that a bootcamp would, but we’ll also spend a few months giving a deeper understanding of computers and how they work, along with how to build apps to scale. Lambda School offers a more rigorous computer science lesson as opposed to just web development and web applications.
Has the Lambda School admissions process changed? Tell me about the ideal students for the new deferred tuition model.
When we were running a shorter bootcamp, we used the traditional interview and coding challenge.
Now, one of the most important parts of the Lambda School admissions process is that we are entirely race and gender blind. We’ve built an applications process that won’t let us interject our own biases as to which students we accept. We developed a logic-based challenge with behavioral scientists to determine which applicants have the highest aptitude for a technical career. The two things we really look for is innate technical ability and dedication, not necessarily how much you’ve programmed in the past. Can you think analytically? Can you think at a technical level? If you give us someone who is really dedicated and sharp, we know that 6 months later we’ll have a really solid engineer.
We also have pre-course work, and seeing a student complete that (especially quickly and thoroughly) also helps us know that they’re dedicated.
Are there time-zone requirements? Do students learn synchronously and need to be online at a certain time each day?
Yes. Students need to be available from 9 am to 6 pm Pacific. There is no way around this, because everything we do is interactive and live.
Do you expect students in different cities to see different outcomes?
In terms of students based in different locations, our main goal is to give as much access to as many people as we can. We originally wanted to host the bootcamp in San Francisco because that’s where the majority of our hiring partners are, but living costs here are expensive so it just didn’t make sense. We offer our bootcamp online so that people can attend from their own city without having to move and pay 6 months of SF rent.
There are more jobs in bigger cities, but there’s also more competition from them, so we’ve had a lot of success in smaller markets as well.
Is there required pre-work, or would you recommend taking a pre-course before Lambda School?
We’ve designed our own pre-course curriculum in-house. We actually want you to apply first and then we send you the pre-course work after your application. Once you’ve completed that pre-course work, then you can begin the application. You don’t need any coding experience before Lambda School – the pre-course material will take you through the basics. It may take you a little bit longer to get through based on where you are in your knowledge but we wanted to create a course where you can just get started and we’ll get you through the rest.
Do you have assessments or a way to track how students are progressing through the curriculum now that there is a new tuition model?
We bake that into the curriculum. Everything is live and interactive. We know that there are self-paced, online programs that show you a bunch of videos- we’re not that. Everyone learns through pair programming and working together with other instructors and students. We have a pretty good pulse on our students’ progress- we have daily challenges, and we’re working in Git, so students submit assignments to instructors and we’ll get those pull requests. Each weekly challenge is designed to see how students are doing in the class so that we can dedicate resources where needed.
Online education has a reputation for low completion rates. How do you keep students engaged while learning online?
It’s hard to discipline yourself when learning online – if you get stuck there’s no one to turn to and it’s easy to schedule your way out of the course. With Lambda School – we know when you’re online and we monitor when you’re working. There’s no difference between this and a formal classroom because we understand what people are doing throughout the course.
What types of instructors are teaching at Lambda School? How do they ensure success for their online students?
Our instructors have taught computer science at Stanford, come from the math program at Berkeley, and others have taught at coding bootcamps. We are matching Ivy league computer science knowledge with coding bootcamp expertise. We look for instructors who have experience teaching. There are a lot of people who are really good developers, but not as knowledgeable when it comes to teaching computer science. We do a good amount of training around ensuring our instructors know how to instruct. We usually give new instructors a trial run during our free mini-bootcamps that are open to the public. That gives us a good idea on whether we bring them on full-time.
Your incentives are pretty aligned with students getting jobs – how will career services work for students?
In the last few weeks of the course, we do resume preparation, update portfolios, practice for interviews, and code challenges. We have a career services team that’s there to help students find and land a new job. It all depends on geography. In the Bay Area we have a lot of connections and more partnerships. Outside of the Bay Area and New York, we do not yet have developed partnerships with every single geographic location, but we teach principles that help you find jobs.
What’s the biggest lesson your team has learned at Lambda School as you’ve been developing this new course?
First, don’t underestimate people. We’ve met some students who score well on the logic challenges, but for some reason when we talk with them we feel a little uncertain. Those are the people that always outperform. The people that you have to take a risk on and don’t have any other options – they prove that they’re really dedicated.
One of the biggest misconceptions that we battle is that applicants believe that Lambda School is too good to be true. They even think we’re a scam because it’s different to see a bootcamp that only gets paid if people land a job. Our team would love for everybody to completely understand the bootcamp world, but not everyone has exposure to this learning model. We were surprised at how many people were concerned with degrees and certificates as opposed to skill. If you spend enough time in Silicon Valley, you forget that that’s the way most people think. They don’t understand that degrees are not what matters anymore.
What is your advice for students embarking on a new online coding program? Any tips for getting the most out of it, especially if they are trying to change their careers?
Be honest with yourself about what you need. We see a lot of people who say they can teach themselves and that they are dedicated and hardworking, yet two years later they are in the same spot. My biggest recommendation is to understand that it’s okay to have help. It’s okay to have someone else write the curriculum. It’s really hard to learn things when you don’t entirely understand what you need to learn. Have humility, work hard, and be honest with yourself if a self-paced program isn’t working for you. Don’t be afraid to make the changes you need to provide a structure that works for you.
So you want to land a job after coding bootcamp? The statistics are on your side – 73% of bootcampers report being employed as developers after graduation. But did you know that many coding bootcamps go one step further and offer a job guarantee? We’ve put together a list of in-person and online coding bootcamps in the USA and around the world which offer guaranteed job placement. And don’t get caught off guard by the details – we’ve also included specifics about job guarantee tuition refunds, conditions, and tips to help you work out if a job guarantee coding bootcamp is right for you.Continue Reading →
Haven’t had time to keep up with all the coding bootcamp news this March? Not to worry– we’ve compiled it for you in a handy blog post and podcast. This month, we read a lot about CIRR and student outcomes reporting, we heard from reporters and coding bootcamp students about getting hired after coding bootcamp, a number of schools announced exciting diversity initiatives, and we added a handful of new schools to the Course Report school directory! Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.Continue Reading →
While programming bootcamps can offer a high return on investment, the average tuition at code school is ~$11,400, which is no small sacrifice. A number of not-for-profit and well-organized programs offer free coding bootcamps. Some of these bootcamps are funded by job placement and referral fees; others are fueled by community support and volunteers. Expect rigorous application processes and competitively low acceptance rates, but for the right applicants, there is so much to gain at these free coding bootcamps.Continue Reading →