Lambda School is an online coding bootcamp that trains people to become software engineers, data scientists, or back end developers at no up-front cost. The computer science academy offers full-time, 6-month programs for Web Development and Data Science, and a 9-month program for Backend Development, which is jointly developed by Lambda School and Amazon. Throughout the rigorous programs, students will demonstrate mastery of core front end and back end technologies as well as computer science fundamentals. Remote classes are live and interactive, and include one-on-one help, professional mentorship, opportunities to build real products, and frequent code reviews. The school also helps students find employment by providing interview preparation, portfolio review, effective resume writing tips, and salary negotiation practice. Students graduate with 900+ hours of hands-on technical experience for Web Development and Data Science, and with over 1,400 hours of hands-on coding experience for Backend Development.
Lambda School's mission is to "remove every possible barrier to a world-class education and become the best place in the world to launch a new career." To fulfill this mission, they offer a deferred tuition model, so students only pay a percentage of income after they accept a job, and only if they're making at least $50k per year. Other tuition options include tuition installments and discounted upfront tuition.
During the application process, prospective students must complete the precourse work or entrance tests as well as provide a high school diploma, GED certificate, or college transcript.
Recent Lambda School Reviews: Rating 4.2
Recent Lambda School NewsRead all (47) articles about Lambda School →
Start Date September 27, 2021 Cost $0 Class size N/A Location OnlineLambda School is launching a new 9-month full-time program to train backend engineers. Graduates will be prepared with the skills necessary to land entry-level software developer roles at companies of all sizes. Our curriculum is jointly developed by Lambda School and Amazon, and is based on critical knowledge, skills, and attributes required to succeed as a backend engineer. Each graduate of the new Enterprise Backend Development program will leave Lambda School with over 1,400 hours of hands-on coding experience and will have the practical skills required to succeed at companies like Amazon, without needing a 4-year CS degree. Admissions open July 2021, and our first cohort will launch in September 2021. Go to our site to learn more! Our curriculum covers the following topics and more: - Java Programming - Data Structures and Algorithms - Software Engineering - Testing - DynamoDB - Concurrency - Interview Preparation
Deposit $0 down (No deposit, no down payment) Tuition Plans No upfront payment required. Pay 17% of your income for 24 months (up to $30K) after getting a job making at least $50,000.
Minimum Skill Level Java fundamentals Prep Work Pre-course work is sent after acceptance to the program Placement Test Yes Interview Yes
More Start DatesSeptember 27, 2021 - Online
- REST, MySQL, Git, Data Structures, Data Analytics , Cloud Computing, Business Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, Agile, SQL, Python, Data Visualization, Data Science, Machine Learning
In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week36 Weeks
Start Date August 30, 2021 Cost $0 Class size N/A Location OnlineWith 26% annual growth, Data Science continues to top emerging job lists year after year. Building on centuries of statistics and mathematics, Data Science uses computational techniques to help the most innovative companies in the world scale. From self-driving cars to dynamic business insights for Fortune 500 Companies, Data Science is changing the world. If you enjoy mathematics and love using data to make decisions, a career in data science could be for you. Lambda School's Data Science program is an intensive online training for a career in applied statistics and machine learning. Our curriculum covers the following topics and more: - Python - SQL - Data Visualization - Machine Learning - Linear Algebra - Databases - Statistics & Modeling - Natural Language Processing
Deposit $0 down (No deposit, no down payment) Tuition Plans No upfront payment required. Pay 17% of your income for 24 months (up to $30K) after getting a job making at least $50,000.
Minimum Skill Level Basic Python and algebra Prep Work Pre-course work will be sent after acceptance to the program Placement Test Yes Interview Yes
More Start DatesAugust 30, 2021 - Online Apply by August 13, 2021September 27, 2021 - Online Apply by September 10, 2021October 25, 2021 - Online Apply by October 08, 2021
OnlineFull Time40 Hours/week36 Weeks
Deposit $0 down (no deposit, no down payment). Tuition Plans No upfront payment required. Pay 17% of your income for 24 months (up to $30K) after getting a job making at least $50,000.
More Start DatesAugust 30, 2021 - Online Apply by August 13, 2021September 27, 2021 - Online Apply by September 10, 2021
Lambda School Reviews
109 reviews sorted by:
- Horrible- 9/28/2020Billy Gene • Student • Course: Full Stack Web Development • Campus: Online
- Unsatisfied with Management- 5/4/2020Brittney Thomas • Course: Full-Stack Web Development (Part-Time) • Campus: OnlineThis program was great until it wasn't. I had been withdrawn after only inquiring about withdrawing, I was only seeking information, but they have decided to move forward with the process. So after snapping out of a depressive state from me losing my job from Covid-19, losing a parent, and while all being pregnant, I sent a letter of appeal, for them to still not work with me and have not have the best open communication, whereas I wouldn't hear anything for a week so it prolonged everything. I've been with the program for a year before all this has happened, I put in hours, stressed and cried over it while working a job that had ridiculous overtime where I had to pull all nighters just to try and keep up and they still denied to help after just one stressful week.
I believed in this program and all they said to me was I can reapply after 6 months...I have written back more questions and how I felt and haven't gotten a response in almost 3 weeks. I honestly feel like I would've been better off purchasing classes from online courses, at least I wouldn't have to now owe $30,000. I would not recommend.
- The Bottom Line- 2/8/2020Chris Schroeder • Data Scientist • Graduate • Course: Data Science • Campus: OnlineOpinions about Lambda vary but I'll outline the bottom line. Is Lambda perfect? No. In any organization? No. Will Lambda get you where you need to be if you put in the time? Yes.
For me a program like Lambda needed to do one thing: give me enough experience to get my foot in the door with jobs that were previously inaccessible. There are rough spots in the curriculum and organization but at the end of the day I have gained the skills needed to find work in my desired field. What's more, I have developed a network of peers that will serve me well into the future. This is all the more true because Lambda is driven to improve by using feedback and data to fine tune the process.
If you want to gain the skills to change careers while joining and ever improving network you will be hard pressed to find someone doing it better than Lambda.
- Lambda Works!- 2/8/2020Iraj • Student • Course: Full Stack Web Development • Campus: OnlineI was job hunting ,had a CS background but employment gap killed me then I joined lambda and it gave me my confidence back and the the practical learning boost me to start applying again and I landed a job . So stoked to continue both my job and lambda .
Thank you Lambda :)
- The best decision!- 8/13/2019Jameson Brown • Front End Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Stack Web Development (Full-Time) • Campus: Online
I had been working in hotel management for about 6 years when I decided to pursue my passion for technology and problem solving and become a software engineer. I looked at many options from University, State College, Online University, and bootcamps. There are so many options to choose from but after research I knew the bootcamp route was the one for me. I researched and found the best bootcamps for me, put together pros and cons and ended up choosing the Full time Full Stack Software Engineering course at Lambda School. Let me start off by saying I have absolutely no regrets about my decision. Now that I am graduate and working in the industry, I will share a list of some of the pros and cons of my experience with Lambda. Notice some items are on the pro and con lists.
Class/group structure - Its very similar to a lot of real world work environments. Students are split into smaller groups/teams that are led by a Product Manager(which is typically a senior student at Lambda). These small groups were vital to my success at Lambda. They become your support system, friends, family, etc. We learn together, fix bugs together, tell stories, laugh, vent, etc. Having a great group makes all the difference at Lambda.
Agile environment - Lambda is very agile and adapts quickly. From operations flow/procedure to last minute curriculum changes to based off whats needed/used in the industry and what hiring partners are looking for. This is incredibly nice cause you are not stuck learning tech thats not used anymore and your skills are more relevant during the job search. Lambda believes in finding the need for a change and making it quick, not waisting time or making excuses why not to change.
Instructors and staff - When I attended Lamba(5/18 - 12/18) the instructors and staff were amazing! They were all very involved and personally invested in each students struggles, concerns, and ultimately their success. Lambda will not hold your hand the whole way but for someone that is dedicated they will find the level of support very helpful and way above what other bootcamps and universities offer. I even unofficial was mentored by one of my instructors who helped me grow, network, and prepare for where I am today. The school has grown so much and many of the instructors are now directors over different programs and have hired more instructors. Hopefully they maintain the culture that was there when I attended.
Income Shared Agreement - The way Lambda uses ISA to pay is beneficial in so many ways. To name a few, it gives those without the opportunity to down pay for the program or cant get a loan or whatever the case may be an equal opportunity. Talent can come from anywhere and Lambda is giving everyone the chance. Its also beneficial because it aligns the goals of the student and the school. If the student isn't successful, nobody will benefit. Lambda is just as interested in your success and job hunt as anyone else.
Job Search Support - I received so much support when I graduated and began my job search. Besides the instructor that became a mentor to me, I was assigned an amazing career coach named Gigi, I received many follow ups from instructors, staff, and even the founder of the school Austen. Through their help and networking like crazy in my area I was able to land my dream job at an amazing company. Lambda Mission Accomplished!!
Class/group structure - This is also included as a pro from above. The reason I included this on my cons list is the very reason it was on the pros list. If you dont have a great PM group with great vibes this can make your experience really challenging. Since this becomes your little family and support group you learn to really lean on each other and without that I dont know what my outcome would have been like.
Agile environment - This is also included as a pro from above. The reason I included this on my cons list is because as great as agile methodology, if not done correctly it can cause its own set of problems. On some of the changes while I was a student it was so sudden and without any preparation that nobody including staff were completely ready for it and it created issues, confusion, and frustration. I think remaining agile is definitely best but Lambda should understand the issues it can cause and try to be more prepared for the change with the appropriate tools and resources in place.
Saturated Market - The market in a lot of places is incredibly saturated. Yes the growth of the industry is huge and more and more jobs are becoming available, however, there are also a ton of juniors looking for their first job as well which really saturates it. This is not Lambda's problem directly, however, I feel that staff, instructors, and career coaches need to do a better job at making this issue clear and expectations are set correctly. From talking too many other students, it is a common feeling that Lambda painted the industry as growing and that there is a deficit of engineers and finding a job should be easy. Upon graduation you learn that about the saturation and confusion starts to kick in. It is what it is, but would be nice to have been aware the whole time so expectations are realistic.
Overall I love Lambda. No bootcamp or university is perfect but of the options I truly feel this is the route to take. If you are thinking about the bootcamp route, do your research, make a decision, and jump in full speed. Lambda will help support you along the way and will be there even after you graduate and find your first job. Above everything else, Lambda values feedback and takes it very serious. Every single piece of feedback is listened too and will be followed up on. This feedback is what fuels the rapid growth/success of the program and the agile practice. Once you are a part of Lambda School you will always have that network and support system that you belong to and again, I could not be more excited and without regrets about my decision.
- Major career upgrade- 8/13/2019Jacob Lyerla • Software Engineer
I am going to just say this may not be for everyone.
That being said if you don't put in the work you will not succeed, there is ever opportunity to get you where you need to go, and even if you are new and not sure you can do it there are people that will help you every step for every level no one who is willing to get put in the work gets left behind, Lambda does a lot to make sure the students are getting the support they need to succeed, this only works if you do.
The course is incredible value for money.
I went from working construction in the Arizona heat to making a very good Salary working in Boston, It took a grind and a lot of hard work and effort to get there, I won't say it came easy, but I got it and Lambda showed me the way to get there.
Passion for programming is really a must, that is not a Lambda thing that is a developer thing, if you don't want to be doing this than it's probably not for you, if you can find the joy in solving difficult problems with amazing developers and friends than you will do fine, for me solving hard problems with unique thinking, finding out fun ways to solve hard problems, it's really amazing.
I will say if you are not a team player this may not be the course for you, there is a lot of pairs work and working with teams, and really if you are not a team player it will be hard to find a place inside of the industry, to get the most out of your time at lambda be sure to make a lot of connections and you will grow as a developer and as a person, meeting so many people from different background and learning to approach code in different ways.
The instructors are Lambda are just amazing, really I don't have anything bad to say about them, some of the most inspiring and great teachers I have had, the are some of the best and they impress me with how well they do, I am really glad I got to meet and learn from each of them.
Job assistance was amazing Kelsey my career coach is one of the main reasons I never gave up on my job search, and they are improving they the way the connect the students with the hiring partners all the time, so I can only see it getting better from here.
Curriculum had a few hiccup but overall it was very good, in my class we learned MongoDB and I know they teach the students SQL now, I don't regret learning MongoDB though it's really awesome I enjoy it, however I use SQL at work so MongoDB has not come in use beyond personal projects.
- Lambda completely changed my life!- 2/27/2019Jeremy A. Jones • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Stack Web Development (Full-Time) • Campus: Online
After accepting a job offer today that has completely changed the direction of my life for the better, I have an immense feeling of gratitude toward Lambda School. My base salary has gone up almost 3.5x from my former career as a teacher in San Francisco!
I decided to join Lambda School on a whim and honestly, it was something I stumbled into by chance from a series of events that happened over a couple of weeks that led me to meet a Lambda student who referred me directly to Austen Allred, CEO of Lambda. After getting special permission to complete the coursework in under a week due to my life circumstances, I joined the CS8 cohort that began in early February 2018.
The curriculum is rigorous to say the least, and my having no previous programming experience, apart from maybe some very basic HTML & CSS, every day and week was admittedly quite overwhelming. With that being said, the instructors at Lambda are A++ and the support system is like nothing I'd ever seen before in my 11-12 years as an educator. The system, though continually evolving , is designed where no student is left behind, and each individual student gets all of the support they need (granted they put in 100% effort) to succeed.
In just a matter of a few weeks, I had gone from basically knowing nothing to building responsive websites. In just a matter of a few months, I was building full stack web applications from end to end. By the time I got to Lambda Labs (apprenticeship program), I was working on a small team to build a first-of-its-kind app to market in only 5 weeks under the direction of an experience engineer/mentor. The progress students make at Lambda in just a short amount of time is truly incredible, and I would attribute this to two things: 1. Lambda's curriculum, instructors and staff. 2. The amount of work you put into the program.
On top of all this, Lambda's career services program is truly revolutionary. I've never seen or heard anything like it. Each student is assigned to an individual career coach and also has access to all of the other career coaches and other student success staff at pretty much anytime. One of the coolest things at Lambda is that graduation isn't celebrated, job offers are. To help you get job, the sales & outcomes teams work tirelessly to bring in new partners. In short, they set you up with all of the opportunities you need to be successful; you just have to step up to the plate and hit a home run when you're up to bat.
After I finished the curriculum in late July 2018, I signed on as a Teaching Assistant (internally known as a Project Manager) for 4 months (in my case). This program, open to most students upon reaching a certain point in the course, is pivotal in growing your skills for the tech industry. Having the opportunity to work more closely with an instructional team and mentoring and teaching others, launched me to a new level. It also helped me understand how much work goes on behind the scenes to run a school at the top notch level Lambda does. The amount of work and energy put into this school to make it an industry leader is phenomenal.
If anyone is looking to join one of the programs that Lambda offers and launch yourself into the technology industry, this is undoubtedly the best there is. The difference between Lambda & other schools is that Lambda isn't a bootcamp. It's a full fledged CS program merged with your track of choice (web for me) and designed to make you successful on day one of your job as an engineer. Even if you do have a CS degree or have worked in engineering for a while, Lambda would still be beneficial to you. In fact, I've talked to several folks with CS degrees who were in my cohort, and they said the education at Lambda was much better and much more relevant than anything they learned in their respective 4-year university programs.
I cannot thank Lambda School enough for changing my life and the lives of so many others for the better. They are a one of a kind in this industry, led by visionaries, and I truly believe they will come to lead the industry across the world with this model.
- Software Engineer- 2/13/2019Abdessamad Khaled • Software Engineer • Course: Full-Stack Web Development (Part-Time) • Campus: Online
- Best alternative to a CS degree- 2/10/2019Mason Morrow • UX Engineer • Graduate • Campus: Online
*Full disclosure: Lambda asked me to write this review about 2 weeks after I had accepted a job, in exchange for some Lambda swag.
I'm skeptical of any company that promises to replace traditional education, because it's often framed with disingenuous arguments about student debt, the uselessness of educational bureaucracy, and what education should philosophically be. For most people, education is about gainful employment, which I disagree with.
That being said, I'm also a self-appointed expert in educational fraud—where established universities mislead students about outcomes in favor of enrollment numbers, or in my case fees—with the excessive private student loan debt to prove it. Yes, the interest is variable, and Sallie Mae is now a member of my family. Did I mention that my cosigner, my mom, is on the hook for payments larger than her mortgage? (Ask yourself, why is this legal?)
Point being: if you are thinking about taking out student loans, only do so if they are federally backed. NO private loans whatsoever. I have the lovely privilege of having *all* types of student debt.
Moving on. Lambda School. I was in the Fullstack Web track. I started in April of 2018, finished in October 2018, and was on the job market just as everyone was leaving for the holidays. I managed to land a job through my own efforts in January 2019. The career assistance was meager when I graduated, but better than any other career service I've had at the two universities I've attended. As of February 2019, I can say the career assistance has exploded in support and there are unbelievable companies giving presentations every single day that are looking for talent.
This has been my experience with Lambda as an organization: continuous improvement at an unbelievable pace. They take feedback incredibly seriously, because incentives are aligned if you are using the income-share agreement. It was main reason I chose Lambda (alongside the remote nature of the program), because I was weary of financial blunders that I continue to deal with from past educational experiences.
If you have the option to attend and complete a CS degree, do that!
Then attend Lambda!
Or better yet, attend Lambda in your last year of your CS degree.
I say this because of my experience so far at my new job. I made a production level contribution of several hundred lines of code in a framework I did not know on my 7th day of work. They said it was probably a record for first contribution. Am I an algorithm or data structure expert because of Lambda School? Absolutely not. Do I know how recursion affects computer memory and how to avoid writing quadratic algorithms because of Lambda? Yes.
Let's break down some problems I encountered with Lambda:
PM groups - most problems I faced at Lambda revolved around my project manager group, which is just a small group of students you interact with on a daily basis, led by a project manager (which during my time was a Lambda student who had completed most or all of the course). It seemed that people's Lambda experience was largely influenced by who your project manager was, and who else was in your group. The format for these daily "standup" meetings definitely needs standardization, so that the hundreds of hours spent in these meetings are structured for a purpose. (This may have already changed! Remember, I've already been out of the program since October 2018).
Code Reviews - I never really felt like my code was reviewed regularly, or if it was, the feedback was not always given, or it was non-technical. If you need help, there is always someone to help. However, sometimes when you are stuck, you don't even realize you are stuck. Lambda really requires personal responsibility and awareness, and making yourself vulnerable if you don't know what is going on.
Pair programming - Looking back, I wish I had been forced to pair program more. I did a fair amount of it in the latter half of the program (remember they are always changing things—usually for good reason), and now at my job I realize how fundamental this is to working professionally as a programmer.
Growth stage - The organization is incredibly intelligent, but always be aware that this is an investor-backed venture that could sour for a lot of reasons. Thankfully, the income-share agreement reduces that risk to basically 0 for yourself, and my personal ISA terms are generous.
And for the incredible benefits of Lambda:
Lambda for life - you have full access to the curriculum, which is always being updated, for your life or that of the company (whichever is shorter).
A growing network of Lambda students all over the world, ready to help at the post of a Slack message.
If you get in to Lambda, you will be surrounded by highly motivated people (usually), which is probably a principle that their admissions process screens for.
If something goes wrong while attending Lambda, they will go out of their way to help (including financially).
A sincerely kind and positive atmosphere, which I hope never changes.
Overall, Lambda continues to surprise me, and I'm thankful to have chosen it and been accepted. It's also not bad that I found some dollars along the way. If you know you like staring at computers for hours on end, and continually being frustrated / elated, then programming is probably for you. Like I said, CS degree first (for lots of silly and not so silly reasons), and Lambda 1.5st because sometimes ain't nobody got time for that CS degree.
- Lambda School actually cares about you- 1/29/2019Alex McEvoy • Engineer 1 • Graduate • Course: Full-Stack Web Development (Full-Time) • Campus: Online
I had spent the last 3 years trying to get into the world of software engineering. I'd taken several MOOCs, received two certificates in introductory programming courses, one online and one through a 4 year university's certificate program. I'd even started classes in a post-bac program (I already had a bachelors in Biology) through a different 4 year university's online program, in order to receive another bachelors in Computer Science. The whole time I was job hopping from positions in landscaping, arborist work and house painting. I'd applied for over a hundred jobs in entry level positions and internships, and still didn't feel like I could call myself ready for the workplace. Lambda school changed all that.
From day 1, your broken up into small teams with a poject manager, who is genreally a Lambda student further along in the program. You have daily standup meetings and weekly sprint challenges, which are evaluated and graded. You are encouraged to peer program and both help those who don't have as much experience, or to get help from those who do. This structure is very similar to what you'll experience in the real world of programming, which is just one of the ways that Lambda school prepares you for your new career.
The full stack web development program (which is the program I went through) trains you in modern frameworks like React, Redux, Node, Express, knex, Postgres and even version control like Git and Github. Lambda is ultra responsive to the wants and needs of both the market and their hiring partners (one of whom I recently got a job with). My cohort in particular saw a shift in curriculum from one back end stack to another, all to ensure that we had the most in demand skills when we graduated. Lambda moves in days where other boot camps move in weeks and higher education moves in years. With an education from Lambda school, you can be sure that your skills will be valued.
The computer science curriculum is really what sets Lambda school apart. I'm confident that my ability to speak about Big-O notation, runtime complexity and various algorithms/data structures is what got me my job. This portion is tough, and they throw not only 2 new languages at you (Python and C) but new frameworks like Django as well. You learn about operations on the CPU and even create a terminal emulator. The idea is getting you used to learning new things, quickly. I found that while a lot of us struggled during this portion, it really helped me to set aside my ego and realize that in this field, the learning never stops, and the most important thing is to stay curious. Again, this portion is what sets Lambda apart, and ensures that you have the tools to learn any tech stack.
The capstone project was an amazing experience and the closest thing you'll get to real world development experience while still in a relatively low pressure, educational environment. That being said, get ready to work like crazy and learn a ton. We all came away with pretty impressive pieces for our portfolios and I know of at least 5 people who got jobs based solely on the merit of their capstone projects.
The career team is awesome and if you haven't looked into Lambda Next, check it out. It's basically a continuation of Lambda school UNTIL YOU GET A JOB. None of this "We've fulfilled our responsibility, it's on you now" mentality which has driven higher education for so many years. These people take a lot of time to work with you, even when your out of the program, to try and find something that's the right fit for you.
If you can, try and save your money, move back in with your parents, whatever it takes to go back to school full time for the 6-8 months. If you can't swing that, maybe go for the part time, year long program which takes place nights and weekends. It's definitely worth it. I more than tripled my previous income and am entering into an exciting field where I'm truly valued as an employee.
- It works!- 1/12/2019Ashwin • Student • Course: Full-Stack Web Development (Full-Time) • Campus: Online
Let me start by giving some background. I have been an accountant for over 4 years. I was always passionate about coding and web development. I have been trying to teach myself how to code for several years now by going through tutorials online, MOOCs, blog articles and what not - just like some of you reading this right now. I was determined to change my career and that's when I found Lambda. What I learned in the past 4 years, I learned all of that and more within just a couple of months into the curriculum. It is amazing how efficient and thorough you can be with all that guidance and structure. I have not graduated from Lambda and I have already landed my dream job as a developer. I have come to a realization that it is not about how much you know, it is about how well you know something. I'm happy to say that "IT WORKS". Whatever Lambda is doing, they are getting it right. I was overprepared for my job interview and at the job I only needed minimal amount of training before i was assigned projects. It is a wonderful feeling going into a job knowing that you are going to standout. Lambda is not just about getting you a job they are actually more concerned about you keeping the job or go higher. We learn not just about computers but also about how to conduct yourself at the workplace and more. Right from Day 1 you will know that everything you do is ultimately going to get you your dream job.
- A Worthy Endeavor- 1/4/2019Brandon Alexander • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Web Development • Campus: Online
Lambda School was the most fun and challenging part of my academic career. Every day was a different puzzle that would unravel by days end and I would be better for it. Lambda taught me so many things that I use in my daily work life.
Lambda's curriculum as a whole is great in almost every aspect. I really enjoyed the teachers and the coursework. The only reason that I would call it 4 stars is that it was in flux during my time there. It has since grown to a now 30 week program which will be terrific for future students.
The job assistance is great. I had fun learning about how best to build emails, resumes, portfolios and a variety of other useful tools. I really enjoyed Lambda Next which is a program that was created to help you succeed in your job hunt post Lambda. The meetings really helped me focus on improving my public image with LinkedIn, AngelList, and my portfolio. Lambda Next is really useful if you put the work into it.
As a life experience this was one of the best. This school helped me to get a great job and an even better future. I would honestly recommend this to anyone who isn't afraid of hard work and is willing to dedicate themselves to it. It will amaze you how much more you will learn under guidance from good instructors.