Recent Lambda School Reviews: Rating 4.92
Recent Lambda School News
- Why Divvy Hires From Lambda School
- August 2018 Coding Bootcamp Podcast + News Roundup
- Getting Started in Android Development
- In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week33 Weeks
Java, Kotlin, and computer science
- Start Date
- November 5, 2018
- Class size
- $0 down (No deposit, no down payment)
- Tuition Plans
- 17% of income for 2 yrs after getting a job
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- We provide pre-course work lessons free of charge.
- Placement Test
In PersonPart Time45 Hours/week54 Weeks
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.
- Start Date
- October 29, 2018
- Class size
- $0 down (No deposit, no down payment)
- Tuition Plans
- 17% income for 2 yrs
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- Pre-course work is sent after acceptance to the program
- Placement Test
More Start DatesOctober 29, 2018 - OnlineApply by October 25, 2018December 10, 2018 - OnlineApply by December 6, 2018January 21, 2019 - OnlineApply by January 17, 2019April 1, 2019 - OnlineApply by March 28, 2019
A six-month full-time online data science course that’s free until you get a job making at least $50,000/year. During six months at the Lambda School, 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 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
- Start Date
- October 29, 2018
- Class size
- $0 down (No deposit, no down payment)
- Tuition Plans
- 17% of salary for 2 yrs
- Minimum Skill Level
- Basic Python and algebra
- Prep Work
- Pre-course work will be sent after acceptance to the program
- Placement Test
More Start DatesOctober 29, 2018 - OnlineApply by October 25, 2018November 5, 2018 - OnlineApply by October 29, 2018
Swift, Objective C, and computer science
- Start Date
- November 5, 2018
- Class size
- $0 down (No deposit, no down payment)
- Tuition Plans
- 17% of income for 2 yrs after getting a job
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- We provide pre-course work lessons free of charge.
- Placement Test
More Start DatesNovember 5, 2018 - OnlineApply by October 29, 2018January 7, 2019 - OnlineApply by December 31, 2018
A comprehensive, 30 week course that will teach you to be a UX developer.
- Start Date
- Rolling Start Date
- Class size
- $0 down (No deposit, no down payment)
- Tuition Plans
- 17% of income for 2 yrs after getting a job
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- We provide pre-course work lessons free of charge.
- Placement Test
Lambda School Reviews
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I started Lambda with very little development knowledge (some html and css) and got a job 2 weeks before even completing the program. The course was very challenging for me but an overall success because it got me to where I wanted to be.. hired! The remote setting can be difficult if you are easily distracted, but is great for those who feel most comfortable learning from their homes. The diverse coursework was a selling point for me as well as the option to do the ISA agreement.
Lambda was first introduced to me via an add on Facebook. It was advertised as a Software Engineering program that requires no payment if you don't find a job in the field paying an annual salary of fifty thousand dollars or more. With a strong background in troubleshooting electronics and a deep desire to learn how to code, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Being a skeptic, I dug up as much information about the program as I could to see if any scam reports were made or any concerns of legitimacy had arisen. To my surprise, I dug up blog after blog written by students participating or graduated from the program that expressed nothing but gratitude and gratefulness that they had the opportunity to attend. I thought, how could this be? Not a single negative review? It scratched the part of my brain that doesn't let good exist without condition, so I decided to apply so I could do my own reviewing.
Living in a small, the only opportunities to establish a lifelong career are provided by factories and retail stores. I've worked in various retail and factory positions and let me tell you, I was miserable. With strong research and troubleshooting abilities, I was able to gain feelings of accomplishment and joy by volunteering to help an online gaming community in my spare time. I quickly became their "goto guy" when a new game server needed setup or if there was a serious problem with one of their existing servers. They quickly gave me a title as their "scripter". I really thought I had a solid grasp of coding concepts until I began attending Lambda School. I quickly learned that I had no clue! The more I learned at Lambda the more addicted I became to learning. Absorbing so much knowledge in such a short amount of time is the most invigorating thing I have experienced and I am not afraid to admit that I am addicted! Being a Software Engineer/Developer is just that, a career of learning. Of course, the salary is great but it's more than money for me. Lambda opened doors in my mind that I couldn't have opened myself.
I have been liberated!
On graduation day I was winding down from the most intense learning experience I had ever endured when I began reflecting on the program. It came to me, the conditions required for something this great to exist. I had to be willing to put in the time and effort to persevere through an extremely steep and difficult learning curve. I had to stretch and bend my mind to reshape the way I learn and think. Those are the conditions required to be successful at Lambda and for me, they were worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears!
After over a decade in food service, I decided to pick my high school hobby of programming back up. I approached it the same way I had as a teenager - tinkering, breaking things, making toy programs that solved a tiny problem in a really inefficient way. Just a hobby really. The difference was that now I had a wife and a kid, and this kind of hobby, while intellectually fulfilling, wasn't going to magically pay the bills. Going back to college for years just to accrue massive debt wasn't really on the table for me. A friend of mine had graduated from a coding boot camp and got a high-paying job, and his testimony sparked my interest.
After a lot of research, I found Lambda School. Lambda puts its students through a full stack education in three months. Instead of sending them off like a lot of schools, it holds on to them for two more months to teach those fundamental, transcendental CS concepts like runtime complexity, data structures, searching, and sorting. Then Lambda School puts the students into groups and gives them one last push to make an app using everything they've learned while in the program, teaching them how to apply their skills in a collaborative, professional development environment. For someone really wanting to break into this field and have staying power in the industry, it sounded like the perfect fit.
Now here I am, six months later, and what has changed? Last Friday I finished my Labs assignment. Sunday I submitted my resume to a Front-End Dev position. Monday I connected with the recruiter. Tuesday I interviewed with the head of the development team. Wednesday I got an offer.
Thanks to full stack curriculum at Lambda, I had the skills they were looking for. Thanks to Labs, Project Weeks, and Lambda Hackathon, I had the projects to prove it. Thanks to the CS curriculum and the whiteboarding practice, I aced the technical interview. Thanks to the career team, I had the negotiating skills to increase my starting salary by at about $25k from what it could have been. The level of support that I've received from this school cannot be overstated. I went from front-of-house to front-end developer in six months. That's real. I'm still in shock to be honest. Choosing Lambda School is choosing to bet on yourself. I can't recommend these people enough.
I was lucky to be accepted to the second cohort of Lambda School’s computer science program. Before I joined I spent months researching coding bootcamps and none of them were feasible for me at the time. In addition, many of them appeared to lack core fundamental principles of programming and were bolstered up by inflated statistics. When I found out about Lambda School it seemed too good to be true, but with the school taking on much of the risk I decided to take a leap of faith. Now, I can tell you firsthand that Lambda School is 100% the real deal. I graduated in February and began a full-time position as a React developer in March. I’ve been amazed at the amount of information I’ve retained from the school and how well I was actually prepared for the job. Within 3 months on the job I’ve already been promoted and am leading my own team. I have Lambda School to thank for that. There are a few reasons on why this program works for me and can work for anyone with the drive to make it in this industry:
- Curriculum is top notch. I think it may be the best Web Development curriculum out there and why I was so willing to take that initial leap.
- They hire the best instructors in the industry. I don’t think I need to explain this more all you have to do is look at their credentials.
- Community. While being online can be a disadvantage it also allows more students to access the program. One of the things that many online schools lack is a sense of community. That’s not happening at Lambda School. There’s a sense of togetherness here.
- Feedback loop. This school is one that actually listens to it’s students and makes adjustments in realtime.
- You spend everyday working with people that are hungry. People that were never given a chance before ceasing on this opportunity. It’s truly inspiring and an environment that will bring the best out of you. To me this is the real magic of Lambda School.
I took a chance on a school that promised a lot and delivered more than I ever thought possible.
I graduated in the first Lambda School Cohort back in January of 2018. I was quickly set up with a job at a startup company in SF. I was worried about what would be expect of me from a small company and most of my knowledge coming from a 6-month boot camp. What I didn't realize at the time was that not only was I taught the fundamentals of what a software developer needs to code but how to continue to learn and grow.
I thought what they were promising was too good to be true but I ended up receiving more than I could have imagined.
Best decision I've ever made.
As a graduate of one of Lambda School's earlier cohorts, I still have access to the school's internal messaging platform with all the current students and teachers. Lambda School continues to get better, and for me, it was already the best. Today I am a Senior Software Engineer earning the highest salary I've ever earned in my life, and Lambda School is the only Computer Science education I've ever had.
Before I applied to Lambda School, I looked into another program local to me. That program didn't do much to alleviate my initial hesitations, and when I was introduced to Lambda School I was still hesitant. But Lambda School made it easy to consider them because they provided the best answer to the one question at the center of my doubts, will this work?
Before committing months of my life to a program, I wanted to know that it would be worth it.
Lambda School's teachers are talented professionals from some of the best companies. Their curriculum was developed with input from the companies I wanted to work for. And the daily schedule is structured to keep students engaged and moving forward. They commit their full arsenal to every student free of charge until that student is able to secure a high paying job.
What makes it even better, after graduation, they help the students to get that job.
I had been a student many times before becoming one at Lambda School. Lambda has been my favorite learning experience by far. It is not self-paced, but you do feel some sense of independence. Only later did I realize how valuable that was. As a Software Engineer, you are expected to be able to find answers on your own. At its core, Lambda’s curriculum instills this in its students.
Lambda School is worth it. I would definitely make the same decision again today. If you’re trying to decide whether you should apply or not, do it. Focus instead on getting admitted.
I graduated from Lambda School’s first full-time computer science class back in January. I didn’t have much coding experience when I started and it was really hard but I enjoyed the program and feel that I learned a lot. There are were a few things that I did not like about it, though. I was in the first class, however, and I know that things have changed since I started in July 2017, but I can only speak to my experience.
- Their free mini bootcamps are great (these are how I found out about Lambda School).
- It’s 100% online.
- They have an income share model so I don’t have to pay for the education until I find a job in the field (and I feel like they’re invested in helping me find a job, otherwise, they won’t get paid).
- They have great TAs who were really supportive and helped me understand the material whenever I would reach out to them. There were mostly 2 TAs when I was in the program, but they have many more now.
- Their instructors are very enthusiastic about the subjects they were teaching. That kind of enthusiasm is pretty contagious (for me, anyway). They’re also willing to help me understand any concepts that I struggled with whenever I reached out to them.
- The first half of their curriculum was great. It was pretty organized and well put-together. They knew what topics they wanted to cover and went over those topics. They changed the format of how they were teaching those lessons a few weeks into the program based on our suggestions/complaints, but they still went over the topics in the syllabus.
- They were really responsive to feedback. I’m not sure if it was because we were the first class, but we saw a lot of changes. They really request a lot of feedback and are open to improving their teaching model as needed. I think that things have stabilized for the more recent cohorts, but I’m pretty sure they still request feedback every week and take that feedback into consideration.
- They have career coaches who are supposedly very good, however, I’ve only had one session with my career coach due to personal circumstances that are delaying my job search.
- The second half of their curriculum was a bit of a mess. They seemed to be flying by the seat of their pants and had some things on their syllabus that they didn’t seem to cover and other things that they covered that weren’t on the syllabus. I was in the first cohort, though, so I think they’ve fixed this portion of their curriculum.
- They didn’t really have windows support. All the instructors I had were either using Mac or Linux and couldn’t help me troubleshoot my Windows problems (e.g. installing mongodb). It’s also little annoying when every lecturer is using the Terminal with Mac commands and I had to adjust some of the commands to work on a Windows Command Prompt, but I got used to it. I think they’ve since hired someone who knows Windows.
- They were a little disorganized towards the end of the program. They had stopped updating our class calendar and had a hard time setting some important dates, but when we actually complained to them, they set up a meeting to answer all of our questions and updated our calendar.
All in all, I had a great experience with Lambda School. I really feel like this school is invested in helping me learn the skills to become a programmer and get a job. Even now, I feel that I could go to anyone in the school for help and they would gladly help me. I would highly recommend Lambda School for anyone looking to learn to code.
In my previous field, I was a top performer, but having bills and kids, my 18/hour job wasn't cutting it. I wasn't living very happilly when every paycheck was taken away for bills. I never quite had enough to do anything for myself. I had been programming since my teens as a hobby, and I decided it was time to persue my passion.
After being accepted to 3 other coding bootcamps, but unable to afford the outrageous down payment of up to $15,000, I came across Lambda School. I was sceptical at first that Lambda was offering a complete 7 month CS course for 0 upfront, but after speaking directly to Austen Allred on the phone, I was reassured. I decided that since there was nothing to lose, to why not give it a shot!
I just graduated with CS4 in April 2018, and I've gotta say that everything Lambda has promised has so far came true. What really amazed me is how I started getting offers and recruiters contacting me only based off of the Lambda School work. I am currently heavily focusing on landing that job, but with the skills and career development that Lambda provided, I don't think it will take very long at all!
I took a gamble on Lambda. I was going to school for CS. Had 2 children and working for full time making $18 a hour wasn’t cutting it. I need to accelerate my track to becoming a Software Engineer. I went to Lambda learned skills the industry wanted and landed a job as a Software Engineer making a great salary. Thank you Lambda.
I completed 6-month full-time computer Science course at Lambda School in April 2018. It has been my best decision so far! Lambda School is not easy, that is for sure! Before joining this school, I had some programing experience which made my life little easy. Joining Lambda School didn't just teach me web development and other computer science courses but also made me confident and most importantly independent! Instructors here are very knowledgeable. Some have industry experience of more than a decade while some have even published their own books on computer science! They all are very kind and generous. No question is a silly question according to them and they all were so helpful all the time! (I know its too much of positive feedback but that's what I felt for them)!
6-months I was there were very busy. Other than the official class hours (8am - 5pm PST) I had to find couple of hours everyday to have more grasp on the topic we learned. I stopped all my outings for those 6-months and focused only on my studies. After graduating I feel so confident about my knowledge on full stack web development. I keep improving my knowledge day by day by continuous learning. I am looking for job opportunities right now, hoping to get one very soon! Lambda School is the best! No one can go wrong with this school!
PS: Lambda School sounds fishy.. or too good to be true. I know! That's what even I thought before joining this school. But you'll know the truth only after joining this school :)
It feels wrong to even call Lambda School a "bootcamp." It is so much more than that. It was a huge leap of faith for me to drop everything and dedicate 6 months full time to nothing but learning, but it was absolutely worth it. Lambda School's curriculum covers everything you need to know to get started as a software developer. The instructors are world class and are able to teach and guide students through challenging subjects with ease. My only regret is not finding out about Lambda School sooner. It sounds too good to be true, but it's not!
I was initially nervous about Lambda School. It seemed kind of too good to be true, in terms of the income share agreement. However, as soon as the course started it was apparent that everyone was focused on helping us develop.
Being able to still experience live lectures and interact with other students and instructors, while still being able to stay in my home, and not necessarily having to have childcare for my kids was a huge bonus and one of the main reasons I was able to enroll. Despite not being in a classroom setting, students are able to access project managers and instructors for video or text chat every day. Overall, there is a supportive and cooperative atmosphere.
The instructors are all professional and obviously passionate about the success of the students. They are open and supportive. The school responds quickly to critique and frequently seeks feedback from students. This feedback is put into place quickly.
I found out about Lambda School from an ad on Facebook. What caught my eye was the no money down AND you didn't have to pay until you have a job paying at least 50k. I thought it was too good to be true because you see bootcamps or other institutions charging 20k-30k minimum to teach you CS and Web Dev. I also thought that there was some super specific criteria that you had to qualify for that would apply to me. Even still I filled out the application just because...who knows?
Two days later I get an email from the CEO Austen saying that I've been accepted and sent me a link to the pre-course work. I am beyond happy at this point because not only do I have a chance to learn specifically what I need to get in the field that I want to, but also I wont have to add to the debt that I already had from college.
I attended Lambda School while working full time which probably wasn't ideal, but I still did it because there were really no other options for me. I worked 10 hours a day so I didn't have time for college and if I didn't work, I couldn't support myself, so online was the way to go.
All of the instructors are amazing, but I think Ryan was my favorite. He teaches like his students are his children, and he is very passionate about what he teaches.
Lambda School is different because its not just the teach you how to use a framework or a library, they teach you so that not only do you know how to use it, but also you know what is going on under the hood and teach you how to do it yourself. They also tell you why they are teaching you by giving real world scenarios and examples backing what we would see in the field.
10/10 would recommend
I graduated from college with a non-STEM degree and realized that I did not want to pursue a career in my field. I searched for awhile to find a coding bootcamp to attend, and didn't feel confident that the education I would receive would justify the cost. I finally found Lambda School and realized that their model did not match that of coding bootcamps.
I applied for their full time Computer Science Academy, and got accepted with no upfront cost, only an ISA promising to share my income for two years once I get a job paying more than $50k/year.
The curriculum is very modern and teaches you the fundamentals of CS, and software development. You have the opportunity to work on personal projects and and they are constantly updating the course so that they are teaching you the most effective way possible. I will say that the work is not easy, though. You are taught to troubleshoot difficult problems and become self-sufficient. The instructors are very accessible, though, and will make sure that nobody is falling behind.
Also, there is a full career development team whose job it is to find the students job after graduation. There are many resources to do so, and the job listings are constantly being updated.
After graduating from Lambda School, I realized that I have learned an incredible amount that I could never have learned on my own. I was offered an internship position as a TA, and that gives me the opportunity to review the curriculum and solidify my understanding, while, at the same time, assisting students who are learning it for the first time. It is a huge commitment to make, but the experience is one that I would do all over again.
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.
When you hear about a school that offers no tuition upfront for 6 months, you would tend to think it is either a scam, or the content is not up to par with a bootcamp that charges more.
This is absolutely not the case.
Lambda School has given me the skills to be a full stack developer, both technical skills and soft skills. I have just interviewed and accepted an offer from a company as a back end engineer, mostly because they were impressed with the skills I had coming out of a non traditional school.
Being one of the earlier students, I was able to watch the curriculum evolve to be better and better each iteration. We had to be flexible with the changes, sure, but it allowed us to develop adaptability while learning technical skills. The structure of the curriculum is strong now, with multiple experienced instructors, and enough assistants to allow one-on-ones for each student in the class. Sections are repeatable, so if you don't get it at first, you are able to repeat until you understand it. Each week called a Sprint ends in a Sprint Challenge, which is reviewed, and talked about with the student to highlight weak and strong points, and talk about the week.
The end of the program ends in a program called Lambda Labs, where you build a Capstone Project with 3 other students, led by an assigned Teaching Assistant. The project wireframe and idea is presented, and you have 4 weeks to bring it to life. At the end of the 4 weeks, you have a Capstone Defense, where you are interviewed by both instructors and hiring partners on the course material, design decisions, and other web development related questions.
Recently released is Lambda Next, and it really is the key to finding a job. Every day is structured to help you land a job, with job applications in the morning, community contributions in the early afternoon, coding portfolio projects after lunch, and interview/ white board practice at the end of the day. It is a really amazing program, and definitely a key factor to how I landed my first Developer job.
In the beginning of Lambda School, there were a lot of kinks to work out, but each week, they have improved more and more. It is an amazing school that no one else is doing. There is a program for everyone here, including part time programs. If you want to be a web developer, Lambda School should be your number 1 choice.
In 2017, my wife and I earned a combined income of $23,000. We did what we loved but there wasn't much money in it. At the beginning of 2018, we were preparing to move states and move into the next stage of our lives. We were going to move back home, spend time with my parents and somehow, survive.
Some background: In January of 2018, I started coding again after dropping out of college (pursuing a CS degree), a few years earlier. I was ready to change my life. I started looking around and bootcamps were all so expensive. I was going to go the freeCodeCamp route but it all seemed so difficult to guarantee a job. I have a son and I needed something more solid before betting our whole life on it.
I heard about Lambda school. I really don't even remember how. I thought it was too good to be true. Or a scam. Or that the school would suck. But I was completely wrong. We're used to being shafted, so it makes sense that I would think that. But boy was I wrong.
Now the review:
Lambda was super fast paced. But the concepts of the school were taught so well, that I was consistently learning and growing. I honestly never felt like I was being destroyed by the code. I was definitely challenged but never overwhelmed. The pace was great, but what Lambda did more than anything else, is it allowed me to practice what I learned. Mornings started with a code challenge, then lecture. Then the afternoon was spent coding - applying what we learned in lecture. I spent time studying before going into Lambda and it definitely helped. I put my head down and really pushed into the program. I did every "stretch" goal and worked my tail off to make sure that I got the concepts.
See, the thing about any school, is that you only get out of it what you put into it. With Lambda school, they're giving you an avenue to put everything you've got into the school.
I'll be honest guys, I've probably had too much coffee to write this review. But I'm hyped right now. The reason I'm hyped is because I just accepted a job offer for 4 times my wife and I's combined salary. And I haven't even finished Lambda's program. Lambda school is so good that I finished the first half of the program and had enough experience to apply for and get a job. I went into the job, preparing for the worst, but after taking a coding assessment, I was told that I had the best coding assessment they've seen coming into the company. After that, the company asked me if I would be interested in applying for a senior level position.
I was nervous about Lambda because I was afraid to take a risk on my education. I was going to have to quit my job, move in with my parents and go to school full time. It was a terrifying thing. And I've heard horror stories about bootcamps. I won't go into the deets, but I've had friends spend over 15 grand on a bootcamp only to be abandoned by them with hardly any knowledge to show for it. Lambda school is not this way.
Austen and the gang are constantly improving the program. They're making sure that students don't get left behind but that they actually obtain the knowledge that the program offers. Lambda school started a cool program called "Lambda Next" that basically keeps grads working on projects and applying until they find a job. I've never seen anything like it. The content is incredible. The instructors are incredible. The support is phenominal. If you told me what I was getting myself into, then I would've started at Lambda in November.
They're pumping so much money into the success of their students that there are only 2 possible futures for Lambda school. Future 1 is that Lambda School changes the face of education in America. Future 2 is that they spend so much money on the success of their students that they go bankrupt. Though, at the rate that Lambda students are getting hired, I really don't think Future 2 is a likely future. I was the fourth "Senior Engineer" hired within the past 2 weeks.
Lambda School has changed my life. At my current income, I'm going to be paying more in taxes than my family's whole salary last year. I get it, it's not about money. But last year, there were tears in my eyes as I sold one of my most prized positions because my wife and I needed to travel to visit family for Christmas. Lambda school has made it so that I never have to do that again. Lambda's ISA is an EASY price to pay to have my life changed.
If you're on the fence, do it. Your life will never be the same.
Our latest on Lambda School
What are hiring managers looking for in a new developer? A mix of practical engineering skills and foundational CS knowledge helped a Lambda School grad land a job at Utah fintech startup Divvy! We got to chat with Divvy’s VP of Engineering, Greg Larson, about why he chose to hire a coding bootcamp grad. Learn what stands out to hiring managers during the job interview process and how Divvy is partnering with Lambda School to help their students get more real-world experience!
Tell us about Divvy and your role there.
Divvy provides a spend and expense management solution for small-to-medium size businesses. We essentially help companies get access to credit and each of their employees gets their own Divvy credit card where administrators can plan and track expenses in real-time. We work with clients across the board – companies with one or two people, companies with thousands of employees, and they span from construction, healthcare, nonprofits, education, and other tech companies.
As VP of Engineering, everything technical reports up through me – software development, IT, DevOps, QA, and a few other functions. When I first started here, there were around 10 Software Engineers and since then, we've grown to over 30 full-time engineers across the board. One of my main functions is growth – sourcing, recruiting, and hiring our engineers. It’s up to me to strategize how we grow the team and what positions to fill. I used to lead interviewing and the tech assessment, but now that we're scaling, we've got more people to help with the process.
I used to work a lot more in the code in our early days – we are a startup, so everyone wears multiple hats. I still oversee the higher level architectural decisions, so other daily activities include working with the other executives and teams here at Divvy to ensure that we're able to support the vision and the strategy set out. That often means considering a new partnership that requires some technical integration, seeing if there's an opportunity to capture more of a market with certain features or internal tools to enable customer success. I'm involved in a lot of those discussions to figure out how we're going to execute on the engineering side, and make it happen.
How many Lambda School graduates have you hired?
To this day, we've only interviewed and hired one Lambda School graduate – Antonio – as a Software Engineer. We do have one other Lambda graduate in our pipeline right now, and we're doing our final group interview with him later today – we'll see how that goes.
How does Divvy usually source developers? How did you meet this Lambda School graduate?
With our employees being so new at Divvy, we have a lot of fresh networks to tap into. We have a referral bonus program for employees that refer engineers. Also, because Divvy has been experiencing meteoric growth, there’s some buzz about us in the local industry and are attracting better talent than normal because of the good things we're doing and the media coverage.
When I source candidates, I first try to search locally for people who have relevant experience and match a profile of the right kind of personality and culture fit. Our Lambda graduate came through a referral from a friend of one of our employees. We had heard about Lambda School, and how they take a different approach to the bootcamp paradigm. I had only heard good things about Lambda School, so I was excited to interview a graduate.
Did you have to tailor the hiring process at all for a coding bootcamp grad? What does your hiring process look like?
We kept the hiring process the same – we were pretty deliberate about that. We only judged him differently simply because he was a bit more junior, so our expectations were for a junior candidate.
Typically, we have an initial one-on-one interview. Depending on the situation, it's either a phone or in-person interview. It's a basic screening, so we don't get too deep on any technical things – we explore the candidate's background and experience to see if their interests align, and we get an idea of how they work with others. Assuming all that looks good, we then send them the instructions for a technical assessment to do on their own time. They have to build an application which usually takes a few hours. We try to be sensitive to people's time, but it's not something you can just hurry and get done in one night.
Once applicants return the tech assessment solution, we have a committee of engineers that reviews them. If everything looks good at that point, we have the candidate come in for a group interview or call in via video. We’ll ask about problem-solving, design and architecture, but there’s usually not a whiteboard test. Once the group interview is finished, if everyone gives the candidate a thumbs up, then we extend the offer.
The way Antonio performed in his interview made us feel pretty confident that he's a good fit now, but we also saw a ton of potential because he demonstrated that he can pick up on things quickly. He had already shipped one or two real products, so that at all made us feel really excited about hiring him. He’s been with us since April 2018.
What stood out about the Lambda School graduate you hired? What helped them get the job?
We knew that we wanted to hire one or two junior engineers. Our Lambda grad, Antonio, immediately stood out because he seemed to have a great balance between being confident, but not being a know-it-all. In the past, it seemed like other bootcamps produced grads who felt they should be hired and get paid tons of money right away. On the other hand, recently, I’m seeing almost the opposite where I interview bootcamp grads who don't seem confident or sure of what they want to do.
Candidates need to have a focus and understand the direction they’re going in. And Antonio had that. He had the confidence that he could do the job, but knew he would need to keep learning and progressing. He was really sharp in comparison to a lot of other candidates. He had applicable, practical experience, and knew the fundamentals of software engineering. That's something we like to see, especially because we're a fast-moving startup. People always need to be learning here – even our most experienced engineers are constantly learning new things. The ability to learn, demonstrate that you can learn, and use what you learned to be effective in your job, is really critical here.
Did you have to convince your team to hire a non-traditional developer?
Because I had heard good things about Lambda School, I was excited to see Antonio’s skills. I was curious to see if he would be more like a bootcamper or more like a computer science grad. Antonio seemed to be in the middle of the two, which was good. And because Lambda had a good reputation with me and a few other people whom I work with, I didn't have to really convince anyone.
Bootcamps do a great job of teaching efficiently, but you can still only learn so much in a short time frame. Lambda School is a longer program at 6 months, which is good because students have more time to soak in information.
Does Divvy have mentorship programs in place to ensure new hires are supported?
Yes, we assign a mentor to every new hire, regardless of whether they’re junior or not. Even our new senior developers have a mentor for the first couple of months to help them get acclimated to their role. We also put together onboarding plans for every hire’s first few weeks. All of those things are more high touch with candidates who have less experience, so junior engineers get more attention. We work with them closely and make sure they have access to people to help them. However, since Divvy is still a startup and moving really quickly, we're not in a place right now where we can take on too many junior engineers.
Antonio had some experience working as a professional Software Engineer, which is really helpful. No matter who you are, when you start at a new company there's a lot to learn; but if someone's already had a job in the tech industry as a Software Engineer, they've learned a lot already so we don't have to teach them the basics.
Is there a feedback loop with Lambda School about their curriculum? What does that relationship look like?
We're actually going to be trying something pretty exciting with Lambda soon. At the end of the Lambda curriculum, students do a capstone project and split into small teams. Divvy is going to be a partner company to give students more applicable experience with those projects. We're looking into sponsoring one of those capstone projects and be there to help, mentor, and judge projects. It’ll be a fun way to engage with the school and we’ll get some insight into how their students are doing.
Also, because our back end is built in Elixir, a less common language, Lambda is even willing to invest some time into teaching a group of students Elixir. That's obviously a win for us because if we want to hire one or two of these graduates, they already have some experience with Elixir.
Engaging with a school like Lambda is a lot of fun, and we’re building a good relationship. It helps the students because they get real influence from a real company, but then it also helps us because we get more insight into the curriculum and give input into how to shape some of the candidates that we might be interested in hiring.
Does this mean you’ll be hiring from Lambda School in the future?
That's the expectation. We're definitely growing, so as we have opportunities and the capacity to add more junior engineers to the team, Lambda School would certainly be one of the first, if not the first, bootcamp that we look at.
What is your advice to other employers who are considering hiring from a coding bootcamp, or Lambda School in particular?
Honestly, I think Lambda School is different enough that the same advice may not apply to other schools.
Hire for potential and not immediate skill or experience; look for what the candidate could be capable of. Sometimes that's hard to assess, but look at how well they did after the bootcamp, even just in the first few months after. That tells me a lot about their passion, dedication, and ability to continue to learn.
I would advise that anyone hiring from a bootcamp needs to be able to provide continuing education – more so than they would expect with other engineers. Expect that you're going to have to help them continue to learn because a bootcamp doesn't teach them everything. Bootcamps get them started on the path, but as an employer, you have to keep helping them along that path.
We are rounding up all of the most interesting bootcamp industry news that we read and discussed at Course Report in August! This month we heard about a $43 million fundraise and a big acquisition, we saw the decline of CS degrees in the tech job market, we read about a bunch of interesting alumni who were featured in the news, we looked at how coding bootcamps can help us avoid “robogeddon,” and we celebrated an initiative teaching women in prisons to code. Plus, we’ll talk about all of the new bootcamps in August and our favorite blog posts!Continue Reading →
How do you get started in Android mobile development? With cheaper (read: more accessible) devices and a large user base worldwide, Android jobs are abundant – but what makes a great Android developer? Chance Payne has a BA in computer science and is a self-taught mobile developer (and teaches the new Lambda School Android course) shares the ins and outs of Android. Learn about which devices use Android, get a better understanding of the Android job market, and see how you can be part of the next generation of Android developers.Continue Reading →
What happened in the world of coding bootcamps in July 2018? In our latest news roundup we look at the fascinating merger of two prominent bootcamps, an exciting fundraise for a bootcamp which focuses on apprenticeships, and a settlement worth $1 million. We also delve into the college versus coding bootcamp debate, celebrate lots of successful bootcamp graduates, and look at the proliferation of coding bootcamps in up-and-coming tech areas. Finally we look at new, innovative ways to finance bootcamp (and the potential for predatory behavior in them), and what the job market is looking like for grads right now. Read this blog post or listen to our podcast!Continue Reading →
The skills you learn in the classroom aren’t everything you need to work in a real tech job. Realizing this, Lambda School has launched Lambda Labs, a month-long final team project that gives students the opportunity to work in teams and build functioning products from start to finish. How do students in the online bootcamp collaborate remotely? And are these Lambda Labs projects helping students through the job interview process? We check in with Lambda School Instructor Ryan Holdaway and recent Lambda School graduate Cassidy Avery to find out!
What is Lambda Labs?
Ryan: Lambda Labs is the final experience for our students. Our goal at Lambda School is to train students to join dev teams and be able to contribute right away. We found that there was a gap between the kind of learning that takes place in a classroom and the kind of work that's done on the job. So we wanted to make that transition smoother and arm students with some of the practical skills they would need in their jobs.
Before Lambda Labs, students were split into teams for their final projects and could brainstorm and pick their own project ideas. A lot of times, those projects ended up being loosely defined, too ambitious, incomplete, or not practical to show to a potential employer. We felt like that was a pretty weak final experience for Lambda School students before we sent them out into the job market.
With Lambda Labs, we plan final projects in advance for students. We sometimes work with outside companies for that, or plan internal projects. The goal is for students to work on something that's useful from start to finish, professional and complete, and deployed to production on the internet. Our idea for Lambda Labs is to simulate a dev shop.
Is Lambda Labs offered with all the Lambda School majors – Web Development, iOS, and Machine Learning?
Ryan: Yes, it will be offered for all of the majors. We'll adapt it to each of the programs – web, iOS and machine learning. Students will work on practical, real-world projects that mimic a real job. Our long-term goal is to have students across different programs work together. For example, an iOS class and a web development class could work together where the web students write a back end system and the API, and the mobile students build a mobile client.
How does Lambda Labs fit into the overall curriculum?
Ryan: For the last month of Lambda School’s six-month program, students work on projects in teams of three or four, along with a project manager under the supervision of a professional developer. The project manager will lead students in daily stand up meetings where they'll discuss what each student was working on yesterday, what they accomplished, what they're going to be working on today, and any blockers that the team needs to resolve.
Students pick their own tools as far as technology stack and toolchain, and what to use for the database, back end and front end system. Teams follow a Kanban style project management system with tickets on a ticketboard that they progress through, including things in progress, things in testing, and things that are done and shipped. They'll have a Trello board with tickets and wireframes in the design document for what the project should look like, and they build it to specification.
We feel like that's really good practice for students going into their first jobs. When software developers start a new job, one of the first things they often do is build a project that somebody else dreamed up. We wanted to zero in on the skills needed for the job we were training students for.
What sort of projects will students work on? You mentioned company projects and internal projects.
Ryan: We have worked with a couple of organizations that gave out students projects. We have one month to work on a project, so if we find an outside project that fits within that scope, then we're happy to work with outside companies.
For our most recent cohort, we partnered with an organization that plans concerts and music events in Austin, Texas. They needed a platform to connect performers, venue owners, sponsors, and other vendors. A couple of Lambda School students build that over the last month.
If students don't have an external project to work on, they work on something planned by a member of the Lambda School team – a project that can be completed start to finish in one month. Ideas come from students, instructors, friends, and family. If students have ideas, we can work together to plan the project ahead of time so that preparation is done before the students start work. It's really important that they have work to do on the first day and are not wasting time planning a project and making product decisions.
For example, Cassidy's team built a standalone SaaS product that's a bingo card generator where people can create custom bingo cards for a specific event. It's a party game. Users can input different choices for their event, shuffle all the squares, and print out a bunch of cards. It was a fun project that students worked on for about a month, and delivered a nice, functioning, SaaS project.
Cassidy, can you tell us about your background and why you decided to enroll at Lambda School?
Cassidy: I am a pure career changer. Previously, my career was a bit all over the place. I started out doing software integration for a hospital as part of the medical records team. That experience initially sparked my first thoughts that I should be doing something more technical, because solving problems and making things work is really satisfying. I also did a lot of customer service management.
What made you choose Lambda School over another coding bootcamp?
Cassidy: Finding a good fit in a coding bootcamp was a little difficult. A lot of bootcamps require a lot of money up front, or they need you to move to another city. For me and my family, that was not something that we could do.
I heard about Lambda School in Spring of 2017. They were pretty new and small, but their goal was to align the school's needs to the students’ needs, and it was completely remote so you could do it from anywhere. They also don’t charge any tuition up front; instead you start paying once you get a job, which is really helpful to people that don't have the funding.
Lambda School is also an excellent school. They've been trying really hard to bring in some of the best and brightest instructors from top companies like Google, Apple, and NASA, who have worked in the field and have really impressive resumes. In addition to teaching us, they can also mentor us and tell us what to expect when we’re looking for a job. I thought their team was really impressive, so I jumped in.
What was the learning experience at Lambda School like? Can you tell me about a typical day before you started Lambda Labs?
We spent about eight hours a day, hands-on coding. During our lectures, we were coding along while we listened, and we had sprints where we would also code along. Then we would have small projects to complete, either independently or paired. At the end of the week, we would have individual projects to reinforce what we had learned that week. It was a lot, but it was really good. We had many opportunities to reinforce what we were learning.
Tell me about your experience working on your Lambda Labs project. What was your role and what sort of team were you working with?
Cassidy: I worked on a three-person team with a project manager who was a Lambda School employee. Just like in a real dev team, we had someone who would check our project every day, we did stand ups every morning, and we would check in with each other.
I did the full React + Redux build of the front end. I also started the database, got it to a bare-bones skeleton stage, then one of my teammates took it over and hooked it up to the other parts of the app. Our third teammate actually built the bingo card generator, and used a PDFMake at the end.
We all had our own little parts, but regularly throughout the day, we were checking in with each other and saying, "Anyone need any help?" Even though we were working from all over the country, we could still communicate at any time via Slack, so all my team members were available at my fingertips. If one of us was stumped about something, or wanted feedback about an aspect of the project, it was so quick to hop on a Zoom call and have a quick chat.
How much help did your team need from Lambda School staff?
Cassidy: For the most part, we were using the knowledge we already had to build the project, or doing a lot of research, which is what you would do in the real world. For example, our third teammate was doing a lot of research, and trial and error learning, to use PDFMake, to make it work appropriately and correctly with our project.
Just like in the real world, you don't know everything. It's impossible to know everything because the field is growing and changing all the time. We did what we knew, we learned what we had to learn on the fly, and if we got really stumped, we could always go to our project manager, and he might be able to guide us or point us in the right direction.
Did you learn new technologies or skills during Lambda Labs, outside of the regular curriculum?
Cassidy: The biggest skill we learned was how to work on a developer team. This was the first time we had worked on a project where we had different personalities coming together, making decisions together, and building things that would work together. We really learned to work with other developers in a different way.
It was really helpful to have a project that was basically given to us by a “client” that had goals, a structure, and a clear idea of what we needed to work towards. We didn't have to hit our heads together about what we were going to build, but we still came together to make decisions on how to build it. Lambda Labs was definitely different than working on projects on our own and I'm absolutely glad that we had the experience.
What was the outcome of your Lambda Labs project? Is it finished? Were you able to deploy it?
Cassidy: Absolutely. It’s hosted on Heroku. It's a functioning product. It's bangarangbingo.com.
That's awesome! And what are your plans now? How is your job search going so far?
Cassidy: I'm based in Charlotte, North Carolina right now. I've applied to a few jobs here, and to a few remote jobs, and I'm starting to expand up the Eastern Seaboard a little bit. I've had some interviews and nothing's really panned out yet, but it's been a really good interviewing experience so far. I am actively looking, and hopefully, I'll land that first job soon.
I’m looking for a role where I can use these new skills. I really like being able to do a little bit of everything on a project. So I am basically trying to find something that will give me more of that full stack experience and a chance to learn more on the job.
How did the Lambda Labs project prepare you for interviewing?
Cassidy: As Ryan mentioned, we used a Kanban board for planning our project. Now that I'm interviewing, I’m realizing that a lot of the companies are using the exact same sort of workflow that we used in our Lambda Labs project – Slack, Zoom, Kanban, and Trello or something similar.
On top of those tools, it's great to show off a fully-realized, well-executed project that was built and deployed by our team in 22 days. Now we can all say, "We have these skills just like a normal engineer out in the field, we know how to work together, we know how to follow the lead of a project manager, we know how to use the same sorts of tools that are used in the field to manage projects, and we understand how to build these sorts of projects." I think it's really important to be able to show that we know what we're doing.
As well as having that project to show employers, how else is Lambda school helping you with your job search?
Cassidy: They have a dedicated Career Services team, who are awesome. During the last month and a half of the program, we had mini "brown bag sessions" every other week to discuss everything from how to structure your resume and how to use LinkedIn, to how to focus your job search. We also did mock interviews, and regular mock whiteboarding to prepare us for interviewing.
Now that we're in the search process, we have regular follow-ups with the Career Services team to keep us on pace and make sure we're doing the right things. We check in with a career counselor at least once a week. And if they come across anything good for us in our areas that they know about, then they share that with us. So long as we're actually out there doing our due diligence and trying to find a job, Lambda Schools is also helping us find a job.
We read a lot of news about coding bootcamps in May 2018, so we chose the most interesting pieces, and we’re rounding it all up for you in this blog post and podcast! We look at yet another coding bootcamp acquisition, share many wonderful success stories about coding bootcamp graduates, touch on some partnerships between bootcamps and companies, and discuss the role of coding bootcamps in the future of education and talent pipelines. We also chat about diversity in tech at coding bootcamps, and roundup all the new schools, courses, and campuses! Read the roundup below, or listen to the podcast!Continue Reading →
So you want to be an iOS developer! You’ve heard of Swift, but you’re not quite sure whether it’s the right programming language for you. In this guide to Swift we ask veteran iOS developer Andrew Madsen, who now leads Lambda School’s remote iOS Major, all about the iOS language Swift. We’ll cover the origins of Swift, the difference between Swift and Objective-C, and what the future looks like for the world of iOS programming. Plus Andrew gives some examples of apps built with Swift, and a few great suggestions to start learning.Continue Reading →
Artificial Intelligence encompasses computer science, machine learning, and data science, but what does it all really mean? We spoke with Lambda School’s Director of Machine Learning, Thomson Comer, to get the details. Learn about the history and growth of artificial intelligence, how AI is commonly used today, and see what it takes to succeed in a machine learning course like Lambda School’s Online Data Science Major: Machine Learning!Continue Reading →
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 →
How do you get a job after coding bootcamp if you have no relevant, real-world work experience? Only 1.4% of bootcampers have worked as developers in the past, but most career-changers have little – if any– client experience when they start looking for a developer job. Some bootcamps help students overcome this hurdle by offering opportunities to work for the bootcamp itself, or with real clients through projects, internships, and apprenticeships. These opportunities can give students substantial experience to add to their portfolios and resumes, and kickstart the job hunt.Continue Reading →
There’s something about a good mobile app that just helps you throughout the day– be it your Linkedin, Google maps, CNN, Nike+ Training, or ESPN app– we depend on our smartphones for a lot. Due to the global rise of smartphones and tablets, mobile apps can be the go-to source for information, entertainment, productivity, e-commerce, and more. By 2020, global mobile app store downloads will reach 288.4 billion! With the rise of mobile applications on the market, the demand for mobile software developers continues to grow. We thought it was only right to give you a breakdown of what it really takes to be a mobile applications developer. From educational requirements to general stats on the profession to the top mobile coding bootcamps around the world– read below for our Ultimate Guide to Mobile Development Bootcamps.Continue Reading →
While programming bootcamps can offer a high return on investment, the average tuition at code school is ~$11,906, 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 →