New York Code + Design Academy
While the New York Code + Design Academy does not guarantee job placement, they provide career planning, portfolio review, demo days, and recruiting help to position students for success in the field. New York Code + Design Academy also offers part-time courses in Front-End Development, Back-End Development, and UX/UI Design.
Recent New York Code + Design Academy Reviews: Rating 4.02
Recent New York Code + Design Academy News
- 2018 End of Year Coding Bootcamp Podcast
- November 2018 Coding Bootcamp News Podcast
- How to Get Into 7 Coding Bootcamps
New York Code + Design Academy Reviews
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Background - I had graduated from college in January, but realized I wanted to work in tech shortly after graduating. Needing a quick way to enter the field, I did a search for coding bootcamps after hearing about it from my friend in college. After looking at a few, I chose NYCDA for being one of the least, if not, the least expensive bootcamp as well as having noticed the friendliness of the staff at one of its Open Houses before I put my deposit.
The Program - The 12-week program teaches you full-stack development, meaning you will learn both front-end (for visuals) and back-end (for functionality) programming. The typical day consisted of 2-3 hours of lecture, 1 hour of lunch, and then the rest of the day devoted to workshop to apply what was just learned or getting a head start on a project to be completed each week. The first 2 months were a little more strict on that schedule while the last month is mostly project based, so the schedule becomes less strict as you go on. The great thing about the curriculum is that while you will learn a core group of languages, the instructors are constantly thinking of ways to improve the curriculum so that you are well equipped with as many skills. They also gave various presentations from different speakers in the industry to talk about design, job preparation, coding interview prep, and tech industry updates.
The People - I came in the program thinking that the people I would be learning with would not be that important to my experience, but that thought was quickly changed. I was in a cohort of about 20, and while most of us struggled during the course, there are multiple instructors there that do well in offerring support (both academically and emotionally). Many stayed after to get extra help to ensure they understood the material. I was blessed with awesome and talented peers of all different backgrounds (think college students to mid-llife career changers) and while it was slightly awkward to make friends in the first week, it eventually became so natural to ask anyone for advice or to talk to them about anything. The instructor, Orlando, made it clear what was needed to know for each lesson and frequently drew upon his 10+ years of programming experience to offer valuable advice about the industry. Krystal Kaplan, the Outcomes Coordinator, was an awesome resource for career readiness and helped me a lot personally in finding a job by providing job resources and resume/Linkedin/and portfolio website sessions. There are also multiple T.A.s to help tutor during or after class and even the program administrators introduce themselves at the beginning and make it clear that they are approachable for any questions as well.
Summary - It is a tough decision for anyone entering a bootcamp as people face uncertainty with how they will do or what will happen after you finish. I left with many transferable skills, friends I will talk to for probably the rest of my life, and an entry-level full-stack programming job 1 month after graduating. Even if it isn't your goal to get a job in tech, this program is great to learn a skillset that will help you immensely either for fun or for other job industries, but you must work diligently and not give up easily to understand what you are doing. The difference between NYCDA and other bootcamps is, besides being significantly less expensive, the friendly culture - you can talk to most anyone there knowing that they will gladly in any way help you in your journey to learn how to code.
Let’s face it, the U.S. economy sucks right now for young people. We don’t live in the same era as our baby boomer parents did, where graduating with a B.A. in some worthless degree would still present you a plethora of job opportunities. This isn’t the case anymore. After making questionable career choices in the past, I decided that my career was in dire need of a reboot as badly as Batman’s film career did in 2005. Pursuing a STEM career is one of the few (and best) choices a millennial could make in the current economic climate.
The New York Code + Design Academy is one of the less expensive options for a coding bootcamp in the NYC area. While it doesn’t have the same prestige (yet) as The Flatiron School or Fullstack Academy, it provides a good education at a cheaper cost than other coding bootcamps in NYC. You will learn enough programming languages and frameworks to call yourself a full-stack web developer at the end of the Web Development Intensive course, but expect to be more of a Jack of All Trades/Master of None type. The school will offer you the basic skill-set, but it is up to you to keep refining your skills. Look at what skills are in demand, and focus improving on those.
Do note that because you will be learning 2 years worth of computer science material in 3 MONTHS, this class is going to be INTENSE. I was literally working on a homework assignment or project every day of the week, even showing up to school on weekends to get assistance from the TAs. But at the end of the course, I felt like a champion.
The staff was pretty friendly and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Krystal Kaplan, the Career Services coordinator, really cares about the students’ success. We still keep in touch months after my graduation. Some of the students in my class complained about the teaching methods of our classroom instructor. However, one thing I noticed about this was that the students in question who complained the most were also having the toughest time in class to stay ahead, whereas the best students in class didn't say a word. Crabs in a bucket mentality.
As far as job hunting goes, getting your foot in the door as a developer with 3 months of coding bootcamp won't be enough. Sure, there's always those one or two kids who somehow get jobs right after graduation, but this won't be the case for most. I even know graduates who moved back in with the parents after failing to find a job within months of graduating. I have some advice to counter this. One, you can find some sort of non-developer tech position, such as a project manager or QA analyst, and transition into a developer role that way. I like this method because you will have income rolling in while learning tech skills on the side. Another way is to pursue a freelance career. You may not make enough money right away to live in a major U.S. city like NYC or SF, but you have the option of living anywhere in the world (with good Wi-Fi, of course). The key is to live in a lower cost-of-living area while making a U.S. salary. This is what I'm doing now. You can do this short-term while still looking for work in the U.S.
At the end of the day, investing in a coding bootcamp was one of the best decisions I ever made. Before NYCDA, job hunting was the most painful, miserable experience of my life. Employers couldn’t care less of my existence. Now the tables are turning. Shortly after graduating, I’ve had a few interviews and even rejected a job offer from a start-up for not offering me market-rate salary. Finding a good job is still difficult, but not as bad as what it used to be. For now, I am living the digital nomad life of travelling the world, working remotely on freelance projects, and upgrading my skills.
TL;DR: NYCDA's WDI class is great, Career Service Department is awesome, but you must work hard and teach yourself to become a great programmer.
I recently graduate from the WDI class, and it was definitely one of the best decisions I ever made.
I had no prior experience in programming (of course I did some Codeacademy, but that's it), but I was always interested in the digital field and I was ready for a career change. I chose NYCDA because of their interview processes. Compare to other big institutions, NYCDA was more personalized and focused on my stories instead of their strict interview guidelines. I just thought that I could attach more to this institute than others when learning.
What I like the most about NYCDA is the career service department. The Outcomes Coordinator, Krystal Kaplan, is super great at her job. I can tell that she puts a lot of her time to bring recruiters and find opportunities for students. She also brought in graduated students to have a QA sessions with current students, which helped current students to briefly figure out which path they should focus on. Even after graduation, she keeps contacts with all of the students and share all the resources that she finds. I personally had a great experience with her, and I think she is the best. I know some graduated students from the other institutions and they did not have career service departments like NYCDA's.
Please note that great Career Service Department is not equal to job gurantees. However, it definitely helps, and I have to appreciate her hard works. It really shows.
Most important thing about attending a programming bootcamp is that everythign is up to you. Before I came in I thought taking the courses would make me a super great web-developer who can build anything. However, you have to know that there are so much things to learn in programming and you will have to learn new things every single time you build an application. If you are considering to take the WDI course, make sure you are ready to enjoy the hard work! :)
I graduated the Web Development Immersive on December of last year. I had Orlando Caraballo and Jen Shannon as my instructors and Krystal as my outcomes coordinator. All three are exceptional at their job as they all hold the student's best interest in mind. I know the curriculum and job assistance has come under some flack, but these three people have made the overall experience much more rewarding.
Orlando and Jen are very experienced instructors and definitely put me in a great place by developing my skill sets towards a professional career. Both are very experienced and able to communicate complex programming concepts into a simple, digestible form. Both are humble, as well as continuing to learn by themselves, so they are fluent when it comes to the language of learning. Their dedication to teaching and growing students are unparalleled when it comes to programming. Both of them understand that learning programming is hard, really hard, and they offer the academic, and moral support throughout the entire program.
When it comes to job assistance, I have never met a more talented and caring outcomes coordinator than Krystal Kaplan. Krystal has a keen eye for matching students with ideal professional environments. And that ability comes from the inordinate hours she puts in to really get to know the students, as well as reaching out towards building hiring relationships with companies. She gave me more of her time and effort than I honestly thought I deserved. When I was laid off she worked as hard, if not harder than I did, to find a good job fit for me. She changed my life from being unemployed to working at one of the biggest ad agencies in the world.
She has changed the careers services aspect of NYCDA for the better. I am excited to see what other positive changes she will bring to the NYCDA community.
There are many ways to go about your tech journey, but NYCDA stands apart from them all. It’s been less than a year since I have graduated from this school, but in that time it has expanded to several different locations. This growth is a testament to the type of value NYCDA brings to its students.
One major highlight is the community that has been set in place by the instructors and employees. The environment is supportive and encouraging for a student to succeed in whatever it is he or she is working on. As a beginner, you can reach out to any instructor or peer and they will be more than happy to help you any time of the day with any issue.
Another reason why NYCDA stands apart is because of the Career Services Team. After your coursework ends it’s time to find an opportunity that is appropriate for your goals and the Outcomes Coordinator Krystal Kaplan has proven to me that she genuinely cares. She supported me after I graduated by helping me refine my resume, encouraged me during my search for employment and ultimately referred me for an internship which aligns perfectly with my goals.
NYCDA is there to help you foster intellectual development in the field of tech and help you with your journey thereafter. The motivation to succeed ultimately comes from yourself, so have goals in mind and put in the work!
Ultimately, I am very happy that I made the choice to pursue learning at NYCDA !
December 2014: My contract at a large pharmaceutical company as a data analyst was coming to an end. I was scrambling to find a job with my experience at a Fortune 500 company backed by a business degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Come March 2015, I’ve sent out metaphorical stacks of job applications with little prospects. I stopped what I was doing and began pursuing skillset that had more demand, computer programming.
After extensive research on coding boot camps, I found information about New York Code & Design Academy. I went to one of their open houses in Center City Philadelphia and was quite impressed with the way the Chief Academic Officer, Zachary Feldman, described his program and the skillsets the class would produce. This reinforced my confidence in my decision to change careers and a few weeks later I was having an interview with the Director of Admissions, Nathan Conn. Nathan answered my questions and quelled the rest of my remaining uncertainties.
The next few weeks were harder. The program teaches you the back-end. The database side holds all of your Facebook Posts, your Twitter Tweets, your Instagram Grams. I had difficulty learning this stuff because it was a different way of thinking. But I understand the importance of being able to construct database tables and Creating, Reading, Updating, and Deleting data. Our instructor, Jon Wexler, is an amazing teacher and was able to break down concepts so that even a simple business major like me could understand and digest.
Throughout the course, the program’s Development Manager, Constance Ip, was constantly connecting with outside companies. We would have a speaker once a week and sometimes more because of her hard work. Speakers would give us insight into their role at their company and how our skillset could be applied into the job market once we graduated.
November 2015: My favorite part of the course was the Meet & Greet. This was an NYCDA event that is held for graduates to present their projects to a large group of prospective employers and tech recruiters. I met some really cool people at this event and a few of them worked really hard to help me find a job.
March 2016: I am employed at a large health insurance company with a highly marketable skillset.
June 2016: I finish a personal side-project making a website and physical menu for a small dessert shop in Chinatown. I show off the website to my classmates from August like a kid who just learned how to do a wheelie.
Job assistance post course needed work. I received very little assistance in the job hunt from the program post course work.
Summary: I believe I made the best decision in my life enrolling into this program. I often compare how value of 4 years of business school and vocabulary words I never use is nowhere close to the value I received in 12 weeks at NYCDA. My personal development has never been at a faster pace. I believe that the implicit problem solving abilities that I picked up programming has accelerated my ability to learn. I feel so much more empowered and able to express myself with this skillset.
I attended the web intensive programs at NYCDA, It was hard but totally worth it. The professors are great, the staff is really helpful and specially Krystal Kaplan from the Career Service department who helped me to network with awesome people throughout the course, build my resume and gave me tons of advice, I was able to find a full time developer position a week after I graduated.
I learned so much about programming, enough to be confident and overcome any programing challenges, NYCDA gives you all the tools to succeed and all you have to do is to use them wisely.
I was very hesitant when coming to this campus. Having had a terrible experience with another bootcamp that was in its inception, NYCDA, has the full-fledge support system that makes sure that you leave knowing how to create well-done web applications and also knowing how to learn.
The intensive typically consists of daily lectures from 10-6pm, and to say that they throw info at you is an understatment. But luckly the support system is activated long before class even starts. A month prior, the admissions councelor gave a thorough asessement of my skills (nothing to difficult). They basically want to know if you could follow directions and do basic arithmetic. After that, you get a confirmation within three days. Once you pay your deposit, you recieve a link to their video archives (which is massive), they also give you materials to study the basics of HTML/CSS. You also have connection to their student network via slack, where you can ask all the preliminary questions and get all the nervous gitters out. Very friendly and very informative. Topping that off..you also get access to your own mentor (my mentor was an instrcutor for the weekend kids class they established). All in all the support system is there. Also, its important to keep in mind that the intensive covers the main topics of the language. They don't cover everything within the three month span, but you can always reach out to any one including the CEO, for any questions and tips on any missing pieces.
Week 1 : HTML/CSS
Week3 : Ruby
Week 4 : Sinatra
Week5 : Ruby on Rails..
Week 6 : More Rails/ SaSS
Week 7 and On: Rails projects, incuding group work, and peronal project.
Just to emphasize: you get in what you put in. But during the massive span of time you realize that your ability to retain info increases exponentially. You have to put in the time after-school and you will get it. Also there are people from all walks of life, from those with no exp, to some who are already established but just want to learn Rails, but all of the info eventually clicks. The T.A. attend class and help you when you're completely stumpted. There's also a job support system via their job councelor. He does weekly presentations and 1 on 1's to develop a plan that's feasible to what you're trying to do after the course is over. They don't promise a job, but they do help you to get there.
And if you attend their monthly open house before you start the intensive you get 10% off tutition. Not bad at all...
They also started an intensive in Amsterdam, in which they'll have student housing so that's a plus as well!
All in all I'm very satisfied I chose this school. They know what they're doing.
Despite being a huge Unix geek and learning how to program a bit here and there, I ultimately decided not to pursue a career in software development. Around 5 years ago I realized it was time for a change and I started to learn Ruby / Ruby on Rails in my spare time. I eventually transitioned into working as a Junior Jr.™ Rails developer, getting freelance gigs when I could.
I knew that I needed some more formal education in order to progress in my career, but the typical “coding bootcamp” was not for me. I was already very comfortable with more or less all of the topics that most fully immersive programs would cover in the first six weeks. After spending months weighing my options I discovered the New York Code and Design Academy on Reddit. I took a look at their website and sure enough they had an Intermediate Rails course.
I ended up not taking the Rails course, because after sitting in on the iOS Development with Swift course one evening I decided that for me, programming a pocket-sized computer to do my bidding was infinitely more exciting than web development. I dedicated a tremendous amount of time to studying outside of class and learned a ton. By the end of the class I built a working app that used Core Data, MapKit and UIImagePicker.
Shortly after I finished the class, Jeremy Snepar (CEO and co-founder) contacted me with a potential job opportunity. To make a very long story fairly short, myself and another student who was in my class ended up developing the app together. Developing the application was true baptism by fire, we worked 60+ hours a week for four months and we had a great time. I’m happy to say that the app is available on the App Store for download. I could not have done that without my time spent at NYCDA.
So that’s my story, but I’ve yet to tell you what makes NYCDA so great. There are a lot of reasons, but one word in particular that comes to mind is community. From the first moment that I walked in the door I was genuinely treated like a friend. The staff goes out of their way to make sure that you’re having the best experience possible and is always their to help you with anything. You can stop in any time regardless of whether or not you have a class that day and get help or use the facilities to work (including Saturday’s and Sunday’s, they will actually give you a key if you want to use the space on Sunday when the staff is not there).
Zach Feldman (Chief Academic Officer and co-founder) is some how always available to give you a hand with your work, give advice or just to talk in general. Victor Wang (Business Development Manager) is one of the most helpful people I have ever encountered in my life, he was like my personal liason during my time at NYCDA and he is a good friend.
The instructor I had for my iOS development class was very professional, knowledgeable and dedicated. She is a true master of her craft but on top of that she is an excellent teacher which is a rare combination.
While NYCDA offers the “typical” Ruby on Rails immersive-style program, they also offer classes that focus on new and exciting technology including Angular.js, React.js and Go. I’m considering taking the upcoming React.js course.
Today I am proud to say that I am an iOS developer. NYCDA made that possible and I am eternally grateful.
I had been a coder as a high school kid but since then, moved into the health field and into teaching. Now I wanted back into development.
I took their web intensive course and came out knowing my way around code once again with solid background in Ruby on Rails and Front end technologies but more importantly, I had the ability to learn more on my own and the understanding of how today's environments work.
From there, at our class' Meet and Greet, I got my first job as an implementation engineer and from there have moved on and now am a full time front end developer!
I can tell you that all their instructors and supportive personel are all knowledgable in the field and will always go the extra mile for you to help you understand something, including giving you tips on topics after you graduate and get a job. The CEO Jeremy Snepar, even teaches a few classes on his experience at creating NYCDA as a startup and what those who want to create a startup can and should do.
They also have plenty of meet and greets / information sessions with folks who tell you more about the field and give you advice on getting a job. They even invite quite a few job agencies in that give you even more of an education on what you're doing right and what you can do better.
When I decided to switch back to technology, development in particular, I wasn't sure I could do it. I knew I wanted to do it, and for me, I knew it was fun. I also knew I couldn't do it alone. NYCDA helped me a lot and I'm knee deep where I wanted to be in a little over a year. That's right, in less than a year, with NYCDA and a lot of leg work on my side as well, I'm in developement, making apps and web pages and working with great people everyday.
I recommend NYCDA wholeheartedly. If you remain deligent and do what you have to do, they will teach you the skills and get you where you want to be.
I have taken classes a few other places and NYCDA is the best! I started out with Web 100 and then moved on to the Frontend class as well as Angular. I loved it! Not only did I learn a ton, but they helped me land a job post taking the classes and I'm still working there today. Every class is what you put into it, but not only are the teachers great here, but the staff is attentive, checks in with everyone and makes a point of ensuring that you are getting what you need to be set up for success.
I have had some experience with web development prior to joining NYCDA Rails 101 course. The class's curriculum is designed to engage students of all coding skill levels. The instructors and staff are super helpful. I also met my first employer at one of the Meet&Greet event hosted by NYCDA. I would highly recommend this school to anyone who is serious about learning coding and programming.
I'm a recent graduate of the WDI course given at the New York Code+Design Academy and I can definitely vouch for this school given the success I've obtained after graduation. The instructor truly cares for his students heavily. There was moments that truly tested my knowledge and he pulled me to the side to make sure he could teach me the topics in full depth along with some humor to keep morality and positivity going. Even the CEO takes out time from his work to have 1 on 1's with students to talk about interview techniques and how to implement them well. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have successfully landed the position I currently have and the crazy part is that he helped me while I had moved to Orlando, fl area through emails and video chats. All of the staff truly cares for your success and I valued that more than anything!
NYCDA helped to make my career change possible! Prior to enrolling in the Web Development Intensive course last year, I came from the education industry and had a limited knowledge of programming. Their 12 week intensive course taught me everything from basic HTML and CSS to Git and Ruby on Rails. I was skeptical at first - the course was fast paced, challenging and required a lot of effort, but I quickly realized I had learned the technical skills to build web apps on my own. At the end of the program, I had a portfolio with a few completed apps to show employers. Through their employer showcase at the conclusion of the program, I gained several interviews and was offered a Technical Lead role at an amazing startup in NYC!
The WDI teacher is really great - smart and witty, which makes getting through some of the challenging topics a bit easier. The staff is super friendly and class sizes are small so you actually get individualized attention. I had a great experience, collaborated with some awesome folks and became a web developer!
NYCDA ignited my career in the tech industry. Before coming in i had no experience at all in coding other than two weeks of self teaching myself the basics of the new IOS programming language. I was sure about what I wanted, I wanted to code and I was not going to let anything get in my way.
I searched online for a coding school and came across The New York Code + Design academy's website, after reading the stories of their students and checking out the amazing work that they had done in class I had to chose NYCDA to help me learn coding.
I took the IOS Development course which was for beginners. What I loved most about the class was that it was small, this was great because the teacher would help anyone who needed help. I learned a lot throughout the 8 week course and got everything that I expected. I will be uploading my first simple app to the apple app store in a week thanks to NYCDA.
NYCDA gave me that push that I needed, I still have a lot to learn but I feel like I could teach myself IOS and pick up everything quickly and implement it into my apps.
START NOW! Chose The New York Code + Design Academy to teach you how to code.
p.s. "It is never to late or too early to start coding"
My overall experience with NYCDA was great. Last summer I enrolled in the Web Development Intensive course with out having any prior knowledge of coding. I am now a developer at a tech startup in NYC.
The most important thing about this course is to put in as much as you want to get out of it. The hard work will pay off, and Jeremy, Zach and everyone is always there to help if you ever need anything. My best take away from this course, was that it gave me the tools I needed to begin my career in this industry. You are not going to learn everything you need to know in 12 weeks, but you will have enough knowlege to continue to learn anything you want.
I learened about this academy through a colleague, at which time I was entering a sales environment that required communication with developers, product managers and engineers. I decided to take Web Dev 100 to understand the basics - what different types of code there are, how they interact and how to read them when necessary. This course exceeded my expectations with excellent teachers, material and resources. The classes are fast-paced in a digestible and intimate way.
What's even better about his course - after learning the basics of code types, building your own pages, functions etc. - is that in the second half you move to a focused area of your choice. I decided to learn more about UI/UX, and am now well versed with designers as well.
I took this course to understand the innerworkings and language of development, and ended up learning much more than I ever thought. While most students take this class to jumpstart a career in coding, the same knowledge has exceled my career in digital publishing in an unthinkable way.
I decided to learn how to code in order to go in a new direction in my career. Moving to New York City was a huge gamble for me and at the time, I was not sure which bootcamp I should attend. The New York Code + Design Academy exceeded all of my expectations. Having no coding experience before, I'm still surprised that I am able to build a fully functioning web application on my own.
For me, what made the experience unique was the culture of the school. It felt like a private school for coding schools where the instructors and staff treat their responsibilites at a personal level. The dedication and enthusiasm to teach and learn was contagious. I have no regrets and even plan on taking some evening courses with them!
This was a great experience for me, but only because I worked for it. This type of bootcamp requires you to be motivated to succeed and put in the effort. If you don't show up to class or complete your projects, you're going to struggle. If you stay on top of your work load and do what is asked of you, you are going to succeed. I loved it here and I wish it was longer so I could've learned even more. Clayton Wert was part of the Student Success Department at the Philly campus and he was great at keeping us on top of job-related materials and setting ourselves up for success down the line and I am very grateful to him and probably will continue to seek out his help in all job-related areas!
I took this course in the beginning of the year, Dec. 2017 and I wish I hadn't. I'm not kidding, my experience was horrible.
Start off, the teacher Shannon was on vacation the first week so we got Brian Fountain to sub that week, cool, but then when he left and Shannon appeared, it all went down hill.
She was bad, knowledgeable, but a horrible teacher. Not very mature and was over-heard her FIRST day telling the school's admin, "I've never worked with a class so unprepared before." I guess she was expecting a seasoned class.
When confronted she simply blamed the school and left me feeling like a mistake had been made. Still, I carried on, simply because I had too. I already quit my job and made plans to stick it out.
I would like to say things got better, but they didn't. She literally flew off the handle if you asked a question she thought you should know. I'm serious, she slammed on a student's laptop like a kid who couldn’t get the circle to go into the triangle and said things like “ Sucks to be you” when you couldn’t get your machine to do something. She was there after all to teach you code, not help you learn to use your machine.
She absolutely hated repeating herself. Asking a question was a shot in the dark, you didn’t know if she was going to help you or hate you suddenly. Which left the class quiet and searching Google for help most of the time, or me anyway.
Some of the guys stormed out of class cursing and telling her to do her job.
So, what did NYCDA do about it. Nothing.
Now the good news, right into the second month we were told the school was shutting it’s doors. Awesome!
Shannon complained more about the school, let us all know that we weren’t getting a good deal, and looked for a new a job and ride while we taught ourselves code. Don’t get me wrong she did help, but asking for help was kind of like sticking your hand into an alligators mouth and hoping it didn’t bite your arm off because of it.
I’m actually surprised that NYCDA didn’t take action to help the class out, we complained and warned our head guy that Shannon was a mess, but what was NYCDA going to do, help us? We were only paying 10k for a three month course.
Actually, I take that back, she told us that Brian rudely Skyped her once. Cool.
Another thing about the place was the school, it was under construction in a rented out college where they were renovating our side of the building. Loud construction and smelly paint gave us all headaches, that lasted a little over a month.
What the hell right? I should have left that second week, asked for my money back, and watched 'how to' videos on Youtube for three months. It sure would have been a lot cheaper, plus, the screen won't huff and puff if you ask questions.
Talk about bad experience.
I won't bore you with the details, but if you're looking for an intense bootcamp with the latest stacks, professors who know how to teach programming and will challenge you: this is NOT the bootcamp for you! The professors are mediocre at best, the networking opportunities are... non existent?, they will teach you stuff that's 2-5 years behind what companies are looking for... I could go on.
I joined NYCDA after finishing my masters graduation as my masters was a management degree and I had very little web dev experience.The instructor(Brian) was good initially and it seemed like I had joined the right place. But, then at week 3, as rails started, he bothered to teach at a pace from where there was no coming back. You cannot pickup rails without Sinatra and even when you do everyone is way ahead.
He wanted to cover more and more types of projects. I guess his intention was good but there was no effort in making sure everyone was understanding what was going on. I had so many doubts it got overwhelming. A lot of students without a background in engineering or STEM join these courses. Students range from arts graduates, dancers, bartenders who wish to change their careers. The problem is the expectation set by non-stem graduates in understanding a language to be completely on your own is low.
Really need to cover concepts slowly and clearly.
I can only speak from my experience during the Atlanta "experiment." During one of the most crucial points in the program, as we are sprinting to the end, our instructor and community manager were basically told that the Atlanta campus was on-hold indefinitely. That doesn't really inspire teachers to teach. Moreover, I am not sure how much pedagogical training was given to the instructors in the first place. People can be great coders and have trouble teaching concepts---which brings me to the curriculum.
The curriculum is beyond lacking in fundamental CS concepts. Many language concepts were not adequately explained. Also, unlike, more successful coding boot camps, NYCDA-Atlanta relied on a single instructor, rather than bring in SMEs to teach different languages. There was not much emphasis on creating a portfolio of work. Also, at the end, there was no exhibition of work, as we had little to show. Additionally, we were asked to find our own prospective companies to attend an exhibition. As students, we didn't know who to ask. Also, interview training and other soft skill training was canceled, due to the fact that we had a hard deadline for finishng the course. There wasn't a concurrent course happening that required additional attention, nor were there subsequent courses scheduled immediately following such that space was not available.
With the exception of Rails trainng, I felt that I had been scammed, left with no support and abandoned. The only support that we currently have access to are people in NYC. NYC is a different environment than Atlanta, and currently, there has been no relationship building with Atlanta companies to help those of us from the class who wish to stay in the Atlanta area.
Overall, NYCDA is trained to sell, not teach. I strongly discourage anyone from attending or even considering.
I encourage anyone interested in web development to take any of the classes at NYCDA!! I wanted to make a career change, and was confident by the end of Web Development Intensive. I graduated with more than just coding knowledge; but like anything, you get what you put in. Everyone at NYCDA are great, and willing to help you with just about anything you might need during and after the course!
Our latest on New York Code + Design Academy
As we near the end of 2018, we're rewinding and reflecting on the most interesting and impactful coding bootcamp news of the year. Come with us as we look at trends, digest thought pieces, break down the ~$175 million in new funding, and more. We’ll also look at our predictions for 2019 and our hopes for the future of coding bootcamps!Continue Reading →
This November has been super busy in the immersive coding education world, and at Course Report! We read about how Amazon’s new headquarters will impact the coding bootcamps in New York City, we celebrated successful coding bootcamp grads, we were sad to hear that a school is closing, we heard advice for being successful at bootcamp, and found out about new initiatives to improve diversity in tech! Plus we look at new schools and campuses around the world and discuss our favorite pieces on the Course Report blog.Continue Reading →
So you’re thinking about applying to a coding bootcamp. What should you expect in the application and interview process? And how do you ensure you get accepted to your dream coding bootcamp? We invited representatives from 7 coding bootcamps to ask all the tough questions about getting into coding school. In this live panel discussion, hear tips and advice about coding challenges, prep programs and more from Flatiron School, New York Code + Design Academy, Fullstack Academy, the Grace Hopper Program, Hack Reactor, Galvanize, and Codesmith! Watch the video, listen to the podcast, read the summary or transcript.Continue Reading →
Did you want to switch careers into tech, but not sure if you can quit your job and learn to code at a full-time bootcamp? In this hour-long webinar, we talked with a panel of part-time bootcamp alumni from Fullstack Academy, Ironhack, and New York Code + Design Academy to hear how they balanced other commitments with learning to code. Plus, they answered tons of audience questions – rewatch it here:Continue Reading →
There are many ways to define success after bootcamp and one way to succeed is starting your own business! James Sullivan attended New York Code and Design Academy’s Software Engineering Immersive instead of college, and launched his own web development agency when he graduated! James tells us how NYCDA supported him in his entrepreneurial endeavors, what sort of clients he works with, and why that all made coding bootcamp worth it for him. Watch the video or read the summary.Continue Reading →
If you’re planning to take out a loan to pay for your coding bootcamp tuition, READ THIS FIRST. Borrowing money can be confusing and stressful, but there are a number of ways to make sure your debt doesn’t pile up more quickly than you were expecting. The team at Climb Credit, a student lender focused on career-building education, drew from their experience working with bootcamp students to put together this list of ways to be smart about your loan, and avoid accruing unmanageable debt by the time you graduate.Continue Reading →
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 →
Oh Summer, one of the best seasons of the year! While it’s a time to relax, bask in the sun, and plan trips with family and friends, summer is also an awesome time to learn. If you’re a current student, teacher, or professional looking to learn to code, a summer bootcamp is a great way to learn new skills in just a few months. We chose 28 coding bootcamps that offer summer courses to help you launch a new career in tech. Check out the following courses to help you #learntocode this Summer 2018.Continue Reading →
You’ve heard the terms “UX/UI Designer” and “Web Developer,” but do you understand the differences between these tech roles? As a UX designer and instructor at New York Code + Design Academy, Jimmy Chandler gives us the scoop. Learn what you should consider when choosing between UX/UI Design vs Web Development, the types of jobs you could land after a bootcamp, and the soft skills you’ll need in each role.Continue Reading →
In our End of Year Podcast, we're rounding up the most interesting news of 2017 and covering all the trends, thought pieces, controversies and more. Many schools are hitting their 5 year anniversaries – a reminder that although there is a lot going on in this industry, it’s still nascent and there is still room for new innovative approaches to the bootcamp model. We’ve chosen the most defining stories, and it was a very eventful year – a couple of big bootcamps closed, a ton of new bootcamps launched, some schools were acquired, and other bootcamps raised money.Continue Reading →
With the speed that tech evolves, coding bootcamps need to constantly iterate to keep their curriculum relevant for students. New York Code + Design Academy is working on a big revamp to their curriculum, which includes tweaks to their teaching approach, adding simulations of a real, agile work environment, and expanding the course to Philadelphia. NYCDA has assigned the task to Elyse Kolin, an Instructional Designer with a Master’s in Adult Learning and experience developing curriculum at Udacity. Working with Elyse is Orlando Caraballo, an experienced software developer with a traditional computer science degree. We asked Elyse and Orlando to explain the new changes and why they’re important for student success.
What you need to know:
- The length of the course will change from 12 to 14 weeks.
- Changes will apply to the Software Engineering Intensive course.
- The goal of this revamp is to train NYCDA students to be self-sufficient, critical thinkers who are ready to contribute to their new jobs from day one.
- These changes in New York will go live in January 2018.
- NYCDA is also launching a new Software Development Intensive in Philadelphia, PA in July 2018.
What made you excited to work at New York Code + Design Academy?
Elyse: I’m passionate about innovative approaches to adult education, so I was excited to work with NYCDA. They’re combining technical training with a more holistic education and they’re taking a cutting-edge look at a problem that many people are trying to solve. Also, the staff and students are wonderful – I love working with such passionate, solution-oriented and caring individuals.
Orlando: I was a senior developer at my job for about two years when I decided that I needed to transition into a career that’s truer to myself, and that’s how I found NYCDA. I found that NYCDA as a whole was very passionate about delivering a great student experience and that inspired me to be the best instructor I could be.
What drove these changes to the NYCDA curriculum?
Orlando: After teaching four cohorts at NYCDA since 2015, I noticed some gaps in our current curriculum and I had the opportunity to start filling those in when I became a Subject Matter Expert. When Elyse was hired in 2017, as an Instructional Designer, we were both tasked with revamping the current program. Employers expect developers to graduate from NYCDA as critical thinkers, and to be able to jump into a new language on the job if necessary. All of these changes are meant to transition the current curriculum into a program that produces a software engineer who is a critical thinker, can hit the ground running, and is very passionate about what they're doing.
Elyse: These curriculum changes are also based in research. Before we started redesigning anything, we did a thorough survey of the industry. We looked at what's competitive in the job market, what alumni need, and differentiated buzzwords from data. We learned that students must be able to build finished projects, learn independently, and communicate with others. We’re redesigning the curriculum to help them do all of these things more effectively.
Tell us about the major changes to the curriculum.
The SEI program will include:
1) Software Development Core: Programming fundamentals and computer science fundamentals like algorithms, problem-solving, critical thinking.
2) Project-based learning: Group and individual projects including milestone projects. We’re employing a method called Scaffolded Independent Learning, which really puts a lot of the ownership and power into the student because they can actually make decisions about how they want to proceed through the course. The whole goal is for our students to guide themselves to become an independent software developer and not somebody who relies on a teacher for all the answers.
3) Integrated workplace simulation: We utilize agile methodology, coding challenges, whiteboarding, midpoint reviews, interview practice, and presentations. We also have students build their own individualized project plan so that after they leave the program they can continue to teach themselves the necessary skills to be successful.
4) Career Support
Could you tell us a bit more about that integrated workplace simulation?
Elyse: In the full-time intensive programs, our students are typically career changers. We want to make sure the curriculum is aligned to their new jobs. The existing WDI is 12 weeks long, and it’s very heavy on technical skills. We realized that there was an opportunity to create a slightly longer program that also incorporated relevant professional and soft-skill development. So, this new program is 14 weeks long and integrates workplace readiness. We integrate agile principles, standups, coding challenges, communication, and group projects that have students practice SCRUM roles. We’re also adding fun simulations of real-world projects.
Will you do these projects for real companies or do you think these will always be simulations in the classroom?
Elyse: The tech industry is always changing and evolving, so our underlying process is iterative. In this version, we’re simulating these projects in the classroom, but we would love to work with a company one day. It's all about testing little parts of our program to see how they work and evolving from there.
How do you see the curriculum at a coding bootcamp influencing job placement?
Elyse: The majority of our bootcamp students are career changing, so we think it's important to have feedback from everyone involved in the industry’s hiring process. To do so, I conducted a series of interviews and surveys. We found that hiring managers aren’t just looking for technical skills, but they are also looking for someone capable of learning new tools quickly and solving tricky problems under pressure. We learned that we get to facilitate the development of a whole new professional identity. It’s a fun puzzle to solve!
Do you think this is how coding bootcamps need to evolve in 2018 – into this more soft-skill focused teaching?
Elyse: It likely depends on each bootcamp’s student population. Since many of our students are looking to change their career path, we’ve noticed that many students need more than technical training alone. Since becoming a developer is in many ways a professional “rebranding” or identity transformation, many students also benefit from a curriculum that integrates professional, soft, and problem-solving skills.
Being a programmer really means being a 21st-century problem solver. The problems that you're going to be solving are infinitely complex, your tools are always going to be changing and evolving. So our curriculum has to keep up with that.
Orlando: Speaking generally, I think it makes sense for bootcamps to experiment with a more holistic approach to education. I can’t say if every bootcamp for certain should transition into this model, but I do think it is worth exploring the possibility.
When I helped build this new curriculum with Elyse, I wanted to build a program that was designed to teach critical thinkers. It just so happens that we're using technology to teach people how to think critically. In the future, many of our problems are going to be technology-related, so this transition makes sense for what we envision the future to look like. Many people, unfortunately, have not had the luxury of learning how to develop their critical thinking skills in formal education so our intention is to build this skill set using technology as a pathway.
How do you keep the classroom experience uniform across all five NYCDA campuses?
Orlando: We have team members who specifically work on keeping the student experience very similar across campuses, but we also do like to have some uniqueness on each campus. Every city and cohort will be different from each other. For example, our students in the DC campus are culturally different from our students in NYC. Naturally, we have to cater those campuses to them. One way we do this is by hiring instructors who are very technically savvy, but who are also empathic. They have to be able to adapt their teaching style to their audience. We train instructors to be dynamic in the classroom and cater to their current cohort.
Will you roll out formal training for your current instructors when you make these curriculum changes?
Elyse: We realize that this new curriculum involves a lot of new material so we're developing a training program for that. We understand that teaching styles vary and students’ learning needs vary; we want instructors to be able to adapt to their learners. We try to support different types of learners by creating well-researched projects that accurately reinforce core programming skills. We also incorporate creativity and space for independent learning in these projects.
How do you measure students’ success at NYCDA? Are there tests?
Elyse: We assess learning based on projects and participation, as this is how developers contribute in the workplace
Orlando: We’ve tried many things over the years. In the past, we’ve relied on projects, in-class workshops, homework, weekly assessments, and exercises to reflect what the individual student is learning throughout the course. We also find that it is important for the instructor to measure student success by reading the overall sentiment in the room, identifying the general as well as individual blocks preventing the student from succeeding and mentally noting it as they proceed throughout the course. Both styles of student measurement establish a more complete readout of how the student is proceeding.
In the new program, we've kept a similar structure, but the difference is that now a student’s final grade is primarily going to be focused on their project submissions. Individual skills that lead you up to a larger, complete project are important, but a complete project is what we feel is most important for their success.
Would a student be asked to leave based on their performance in a project? How do you approach attrition?
Elyse: We really do believe in actively supporting a “growth mindset,” which means that if you are putting in effort, learning through your failures, and actively trying new ways to learn a particular skill, then it’s possible to achieve your goal. If you are turning your projects in on time, being communicative with your instructor, and being open and reflective about the methods that you've chosen, then we do allow students the opportunity to resubmit a project if it hasn't met the specific requirements.
If you don’t get a project right the first time, you have the opportunity to take ownership of that, learn, and resubmit your work.
Orlando: We find it most important that the student grows and understands how to improve, and places less value on establishing hard metrics for them to meet for their own success. Given that our program is primarily focused on simulating a work environment it makes sense we mirror the experience they will likely see when in the workplace. As a software developer, you're probably going to write code that does not function as intended on the first pass. We try to simulate that situation as best we can. The instructor looks at the code you write, gives you advice on what you can do to improve it, and also highlights things that you did right, which very much aligns with the idea of a code review. We encourage students to view this methodology as part of the learning experience as opposed to a hindrance to their learning.
What do you think makes a good instructor at a bootcamp?
Orlando: A really good coding bootcamp instructor is someone who can connect with their students on a relatively intimate level. You need to know what type of students you’re teaching and what drives them to be who they are. If you can connect with them, then you can cater the material to the individual.
As an instructor, I ask a lot of clarifying questions and try to really understand what frame of mind a student is operating under. I want to know where the student is coming from so that I can change the conversation a bit to fill in the right missing pieces. That only comes as a result of connecting. Naturally, when we train instructors we encourage them to establish that connection as well. In that back-and-forth process, the instructor can also learn to be a better teacher, and hopefully, that’s something that they’re passionate about as well.
Elyse: A good instructor at a bootcamp often has real-world experience with programming and working on a team. Many of our students will be looking to work in the tech industry, so being able to share that real-life knowledge is really helpful. It’s also extremely important for instructors to remember what it is like to be a learner. You can be the smartest engineer ever, but if you can't empathize with students, teaching will be a challenge. Overall, being kind and willing to learn yourself is key to being a great educator!
What do you predict will be the next future trend in coding bootcamps?
Elyse: In the bootcamp industry, I think some will continue to focus on programming languages alone. Others may start taking a closer look at the methodologies and teaching practices involved in preparing students for long-term success. We’ve found that preparing someone for a full-throttle career transformation through thoughtful curriculum design is challenging – but ultimately the most impactful for students.
Can you identify an ideal NYCDA student or is there a certain type of student that does well at NYCDA?
Elyse: First of all, I love our students! They are creative, driven and bring so many unique perspectives to their work. Students who excel in these programs are curious and open to learning through failure. In many ways, I think becoming a strong programmer is actually rooted in becoming an active member of a learning community. So students who do well are often interested in learning from and solving problems with others.
Orlando: I think that the ideal NYCDA student is very passionate. Even if they're not initially passionate about tech, as they learn more, we hope for them to grow that passion. There’s this “anyone can learn how to code” movement that has been happening for several years, and I agree with a revised version of that statement. Yes, anybody can learn how to code, but it takes an impassioned individual to become a long-term, successful software developer.
When will these curriculum changes go live?
Elyse: We are a licensed institution which means that all of our programs have to go through regulatory approval (which is good – it’s there to protect the students). There are multiple phases of regulatory approval in every state that we operate in. We are hoping that we will have the new curriculum ready to go in 2018.
October 2017 was a busy month for the coding bootcamp industry with news about growing pains in bootcamp outcomes, mergers, acquisitions, investments, a trend towards bootcamp B2B training, and diversity initiatives. To help you out, we’ve collected all the most important news in this blog post and podcast. Plus, we added 12 new schools from around the world to the Course Report school directory! Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.Continue Reading →
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 →
Aspiring game developer and artist Juliet Hitchner wasn’t fulfilled in advertising, so she enrolled at New York Code and Design Academy to hone her coding skills. She had been relying on Google and YouTube to teach herself but decided she needed guidance in best practices from NYCDA’s Web Development Intensive instructors. Juliet tells us the benefits to learning amongst other women at NYCDA, shows us her beautiful (and slightly creepy!) final project, and explains how she landed an internship at Inc Magazine!
What were you up to before New York Code and Design Academy?
I went to college for Game Design and focused on Conceptual Art and Texture Art. Before I made the switch over to NYCDA, I worked as a Production Manager for an ad agency. I really did not like that job. I wanted to get back to my roots in game design.
Did you take programming or CS classes during your Game Design degree?
When I graduated with a Game Design bachelor’s, it was still a very new degree. I learned some basics of programming because it was an aspect of game development but the course didn’t focus on it. We learned a little bit of C++ and Flash development with ActionScript.
I already knew the creative side of game development, and I wanted to get into programming to be able to develop games fully. I had already started teaching myself programming before I started at NYCDA.
What kinds of resources did you use to learn to code on your own?
About a year before I decided to make this huge career change, I was learning C# using resources like Lynda.com, PluralSight, and YouTube. I started dabbling in the easier stuff like HTML, CSS, and building very simple websites.
Did you research other coding bootcamps? What stood out about NYCDA?
Before I went to NYCDA, I actually looked at App Academy because you only pay tuition after you get placed in a job. A coding bootcamp requires a large chunk of money, so that was very appealing. I did all of their pre-course work in Ruby, and that also prepared me for NYCDA.
Ultimately, I liked that NYCDA taught front-end and back-end, while App Academy was focused on Ruby on Rails. I wanted to learn both sides of application development.
If you already have a degree in a technical subject (video game design), why did you need a coding bootcamp? Couldn’t you make the career change on your own?
People have told me that you can learn to code by yourself, but a lot of learning on your own means making mistakes and getting stuck. I wanted a coding bootcamp or school that would provide some direction and be there to help me. When I was learning alone, I spent time figuring out how to Google the right question, and then I would get 60 different answers. Instead, I wanted one person who could guide me to the best answer.
I also wanted to really make a career change and felt that employers would respect the fact that I went back to school more than being self-taught with nobody checking my work. I wanted to show that I could pass someone else's bar, not just my own.
What was the NYCDA application and interview process like for you? Was there a coding challenge required to get in?
When I applied, it was not difficult to get in, which is a plus and a minus. I liked the fact that it was open to people with different skills. On the other hand, that went against what I had read about coding bootcamps. I expected it to be hard and prepared a lot for the interview, but the interview wasn’t technical. They asked why I wanted to learn to code and based on that conversation, I was accepted.
I was a bit skeptical, but with any school, success depends on the student. It depends on how much effort you put in. You can just do the bare minimum, but I don’t think you’ll be successful when you graduate. I liked that people with zero coding experience could still be successful if they put in a lot of effort.
Was your cohort pretty diverse? Did everyone come from different backgrounds?
My cohort’s backgrounds and experiences were all over the spectrum. One of my good friends from NYCDA had zero coding background; she just knew how to send an email. We had a lot of women in our cohort, which was very cool. And some of them are in their 30's and 40's which was awesome. At NYCDA, you don't feel locked out of technology. If you want to make a career change, they're very accepting of everybody.
I learned with people who were butchers and mechanics and cooks in their last jobs. It was all over the place. Very few people had any prior coding knowledge. Two people dropped out for financial reasons and ~60% of my class graduated with me.
You’re transitioning from Game Design to Web Development – two male-dominated spaces. It’s cool that you learned with a lot of women at NYCDA!
Absolutely. When I went to school for game development, it was a rude awakening. Growing up, I played games with my brother and never thought that video games were “for guys.” I was just having fun. When I went to college, I ran into many issues for being a woman. There were very few women in my program and it was difficult at times. Some of my experiences would make your hair curl.
Even though there’s a huge focus on inclusion in tech, participation by women is still declining. Clearly, that means we’re talking about it, but companies and schools aren’t actually being more inclusive. Part of the reason I decided to attend a coding bootcamp instead of self-teaching was because I see how that’s perceived as a woman in tech. My boyfriend is a self-taught developer, and he’s seen as a “go getter." I’ve read articles about women who were self-taught entering the workforce and being self-taught is not viewed in the same favorable light.
How did that experience differ from NYCDA?
When I got to NYCDA, I felt fortunate that my class had so many women! They were smart and funny and it was so relaxing to learn with them. I think because the ratio of men to women was more even, the women felt more comfortable asking questions. I would like to think that as a class, we got more explanations simply because they were comfortable voicing what they were unclear on and it made for a better classroom experience.
Did you have to pass a final exam to graduate from NYCDA?
Everything was project based at NYCDA, so there was no test. There's homework that must be submitted in order to pass, and you have to meet certain requirements. There are two final projects – a group project and a final solo project. You can always check on your progress so you know if you’re on track. You can also talk to the TA who grades your homework.
What was the learning experience like at NYCDA? Did you like the teaching style?
I did like the teaching style. I’m an overachiever so I was that person that was up until 12am or 1am every night trying to figure something out. I went to a coding bootcamp because I wanted to learn programming quickly and I knew what kind of effort I would need to put in. I also had a great teacher!
Who was your instructor?
Orlando Caraballo. He was a great instructor. He came off as really strict but was very kind and patient. He wasn’t there to hold your hand, and for me, he gave me the space I needed to learn. I didn’t feel pressure to talk or ask questions.
What was your favorite project you built at NYCDA?
My final solo project was a pop-up style interactive storytelling website book called Nanny Dunkelheit. It’s inspired by a game I am currently developing in Unity. It took two weeks – I spent a week on the art and then a week on the functionality and the animation.
Live Project: https://dunkelheit.herokuapp.com/
Did you learn technologies during that project that were outside of the NYCDA curriculum?
What are you up to now since graduating in May? What has your life been like post-graduation?
I graduated on May 31st, and we did one week of Career Path afterward. I am currently in a seven-week internship at Inc Magazine as a Marketing Development Intern. And in September I’m starting a front-end contract with Fidelity, which is pretty awesome.
How did NYCDA prepare you for job hunting during that week of Career Path?
Some of the material during Career Path was a little obvious, but most of the information they give is really helpful. I think one of the best tips that I got from one of the career development instructor at NYCDA, Nicole, was to look at a job posting differently. She pointed out that when we're applying to jobs, we generally are looking for reasons why we shouldn't apply – X years of experience, specific programming languages, a certain degree.
Nicole, who spent time as a technical recruiter, explained to us what companies and recruiters are really looking for. She’s in touch with the people who are hiring and she’s very informed. It was helpful to get her perspective. She genuinely tries to help you succeed.
How did you get your Inc Magazine internship? Was it through a connection with the school?
Inc. Magazine reached out to NYCDA asking if anyone would be good for an internship. Nicole, one of the career development instructors at NYCDA, sent my information over to Inc and I got an interview and that was that. Their interview was not technical at all. They wanted to talk about what I learned at NYCDA and what I wanted to get out of the internship.
Do you feel like you are using what you learned in NYCDA in the internship?
Yes and no. I'm mostly creating SQL queries for Inc, and then doing some of their HTML site updates, creating HTML emails, and ads.
We touched very little on SQL during NYCDA, although we did learn a bit about the process. What's really cool about NYCDA is that they really encouraged us to learn how to learn languages on our own. They always told us that we would probably be required to learn something new at our first jobs. So they prepped me for that. SQL is not difficult to learn, but it would have been harder to learn without going to NYCDA beforehand.
What are your career goals from here?
My end goal is always to develop video games. My boyfriend and I have been developing games on the side for a few years now, but eventually, I’d like to have our own studio. All of the knowledge that I’m learning now goes into that goal. In the meantime, I'm just trying to land contract jobs. One interesting thing is that the Fidelity contract is a remote job. I get to work from home for six months, which is opens up a ton of opportunities.
If you look back at the last six months, what's been the biggest challenge in your journey to learn to code?
I wouldn't say it was easy. My biggest roadblock was my own self-confidence in this process. It’s very scary to quit a stable job to do a coding bootcamp.
It was also really scary to be confident in what the outcome might be. As you're stumbling along and not sure if you're going to make it, it’s tough to know that you’ll be successful at the end. But freaking out about your ability and what the future holds and whether this was a good decision – all of those things will hinder your learning.
Any advice for other bootcampers looking for a job now?
My advice for other bootcampers is to not get discouraged during the job hunt. After one day of sending out resumes, I was already thinking the worst: "I'm a failure. It's never going to happen." There’s a lot of waiting and remaining positive and productive is tough in the face of it. Everyone searching feels the same exact way you're feeling and it's a tough mental process.
Sportsrocket has hired four New York Code and Design Academy alumni into product management and software engineering roles (plus, all four have received promotions after one year on the job)! We sat down with Sportsrocket Product Operations Coordinator Sandra Drakulović to find out why her team loves hiring NYCDA graduates, how their degree-blind interview helps Sportsrocket find the most qualified candidates for the job, and Sandra’s advice for other employers hiring coding bootcamp grads. Plus find out why Sportsrocket plans to hire more New York Code and Design Academy graduates in the future!
Tell us about Sportsrocket, and your role there.
We are a media company focused on content management. Our product gives viewers access to their favorite sports whenever, wherever, and however they want. We work with some cool clients like AS Roma, the PGA Tour, National Lacrosse League, and Turner Media. We are constantly growing at a rapid rate.
Since we are a startup, I wear many hats, though I mostly handle HR for our Product team – this includes nearly every step in the recruitment process.
How big is the web development team?
We have approximately 40 engineers.
How many New York Code and Design Academy graduates have you hired?
We have hired four NYCDA grads. In the past year, all applicants who made it to the last round of our hiring process were predominantly from NYCDA.
How did you first get connected with New York Code and Design Academy?
The first role I recruited for was a Junior Product Manager role. The candidate who got the job was an NYCDA grad and that shed light on the school itself. He mentioned that he knew a few other people interested in developer roles, so we brought some of them in for interviews. 95% of the grads made it through the last round of our interview process, which doesn’t happen very often.
What roles specifically have you hired New York Code and Design Academy graduates for?
We’ve hired one graduate as a Junior Product Manager, and the others are Software Engineers.
Other than New York Code and Design Academy, how do you usually hire software developers?
Typically, if they don’t come from NYCDA, it’s a referral from one of our team members. The last resort is posting the roles to online job boards such as LinkedIn or Stack Overflow.
Have you worked with any other coding bootcamps yet? What stands out about these NYCDA bootcamp grads?
When we interviewed developers from other coding bootcamps, it was brought to our attention they weren’t yet ready to dive into the workforce. They know the content, but in more of a textbook fashion; they don’t know how to apply it. What NYCDA does differently, I think, is teaches students to apply their knowledge to real-life projects. One of our developers, Andrew Schultz, had a fellowship at NYCDA after he finished the program. Shortly after, he joined our team and is now one of our most valuable developers.
Did you have to convince your company to hire a bootcamp graduate rather than a CS graduate?
When a candidate comes in to do their technical test, the engineering team sometimes doesn’t even know whether the candidate has a degree. If a candidate from NYCDA comes in for an interview and aces their technical test, no one cares to ask what their educational background is like, because they are evidently ready to take on the role.
What sort of interview process do developers go through at Sportsrocket?
The first line of defense is me emailing the candidate to outline the job role, and if they are still interested, then I set up a call. I speak to them about their experience, if they are employed I ask why they are looking to leave (which isn’t usually applicable to bootcamp grads), and their salary range.
If all is a good fit, then I pass them along to our Director of Software Engineering, who will test their skills in a series of tests. If she is happy with the candidates then the next step is a pair programming session. In that session, we bring them into the office and they work with two of our developers for a few hours on whatever the developers are working on that day. It’s a jump-in, hands-on experience. We find that’s effective because not only do the candidates get to see the work they would be doing, but they also get to see if they are able to collaborate with their potential colleagues. If everything’s a fit, an offer is on its way!
Have you had to tweak the interview process for coding bootcamp grads?
The interview process itself, no. However, the preliminary discussion is of course different – usually I like to ask why they chose the boot camp route or why they chose to change careers, when applicable. I’ll ask how comfortable they are to start applying their bootcamp knowledge to a real product. Sometimes we talk about the app they created as their final project at NYCDA. It’s intriguing to hear about and more often than not, it’s a great way to showcase their talent.
You mentioned a technical challenge and a pairing exercise. How did the NYCDA grads do on those?
They’ve all done great. If they don’t pass the technical challenge, they don’t make it to the next round.
They work in those languages at Sportsrocket. It was actually very hard for me to find Ruby developers in New York, so the fact that NYCDA offers a course on Ruby means they had a pool of qualified candidates for me, which was great.
How do you ensure that the new hires are supported to keep learning in their first job?
When a new developer starts, we don’t throw them out there on their own – they always have support. Additionally, we like to have in-house courses on occasion, where a group of the engineers can devote two full weeks to learning a new language (or brushing up on a known one) in our office.
For one of these developer training sessions, I reached out to Tom Abogabal at NYCDA to see if he could help. He provided us with one of the Academy’s teachers, who came into our office and did an immersive course on Ruby on Rails for two weeks. I could not express my satisfaction enough!
Since you started hiring from the bootcamp, have your new hires moved up or been promoted?
Yes. Most of our engineers from NYCDA have been moved up to Lead Engineer, and the Junior Product Manager is now a Product Manager!
What does the relationship look like between Sportsrocket and New York Code and Design Academy? Do you pay a referral fee when you hire their graduates or are you paying to be a part of their hiring network?
We do not pay a fee. With our arrangement, their grads are getting jobs and we’re glad to be getting new, great developers. It’s a win-win!
Do you have a feedback loop with the bootcamp at all?
Yes, Tom is always open to that. We haven’t had a need to do so yet, but we did discuss their flexible options. If we wanted to do a mass hire at one point, rather than holding a traditional course, they could hold a course tailored to Sportsrocket and our platform, which I think is really cool. So then those cohorts would graduate knowing our entire platform, because that’s what they were trained on.
Will you hire from NYCDA in the future? Why or why not?
Definitely. At the moment we are expanding both our Bellevue and New York offices. NYCDA has a number of campuses so it will be really great that they’ll be able to offer graduates in other places as we continue to expand.
What is your advice to other employers who are thinking about hiring from a coding bootcamp?
In general, if you’re hiring from a coding bootcamp, test their knowledge before hiring. Test their ability to do the job itself, not the knowledge they have in a specific programming language. That’s one of the biggest flaws I’ve noticed in the hiring process. Someone can know Ruby – or any language – like the back of their hand, but not know how to properly apply that knowledge. You should be looking to hire applicants who know how to apply the concepts. They’ll be much more capable of getting any job done and immersing themselves in projects.
Many coding bootcamps offer full-time and part-time programs, so how do you choose? Will you get the same education in either program? We asked two New York Code + Design Academy alumni to compare their experiences and explain how they chose between the 12-week full-time, and the 24-week part-time programs. David Bonaroti explains why he needed a flexible schedule with the part-time program, and Jeff Chui talks about his need to get qualified fast with the full-time program. They also contrast their learning experiences, and discuss the New York Code + Design Academy career services.
What were your backgrounds before you decided you wanted to learn to code?
David: Before New York Code + Design Academy, I completed an MBA at the University of Pittsburgh. I worked at a real estate company in Pittsburgh for a year, then moved to New York City, where I currently work full-time for an ad technology company called Light Reaction.
Jeff: I was a student at Wake Forest University, but I got really sick, and had to withdraw. I spent around six months just working to get myself back on my feet. After that I was searching for a coding bootcamp, which led me to New York Code + Design Academy. Now I work as a developer at the McCann Erickson Advertising Agency.
There are a few other coding bootcamps in New York, so why did you each choose New York Code + Design Academy?
David: The most important thing when I was evaluating bootcamps was flexibility. Since I was working full-time, I needed to find the right balance, knowing that it would be pretty difficult going to class three times a week after a full day at work. After speaking to the admissions department at New York Code + Design Academy, I realized the schedule for the part-time program really aligned with what I was looking for. It gave me a lot of flexibility with work; I was able to work late if needed, and could still attend class. One useful feature they have is they record all the classes. If I couldn’t attend because I was out of town for business, or something came up during the week, I could still get the full lecture later that day, which was a really great safety net.
As well as the flexibility, the tuition was really attractive. A lot of bootcamps I considered were $15,000 to $20,000. Since I'd already gone to grad school, I have enough student loans. New York Code + Design Academy was very affordable while still maintaining the quality of instruction.
Jeff: I agree with the financial part of it. It was one of the most affordable bootcamps when I was comparing all of my options. Also, I visited the campus and met with Julie Lee, one of the admissions officers. When I was walking around and seeing what people were doing and how people were learning, it just felt right. I didn't know much about bootcamps at the time, so I couldn't make many logical comparisons, but I went with what I could afford and what my schedule allowed.
I wasn't really doing anything else, which is why I went with the full-time course. I also wanted to be around human beings while learning a new skill. I wanted to get an education even if it wasn't a four-year institution. I wanted to do something and learn something, so I might as well go all in.
Did either of you think about going back to college and studying computer science rather than at a bootcamp?
Jeff: I was thinking a lot about whether to go back for a computer science education, but from my research and from what a lot of computer science grads I talked to, it sounded like these four-year institutions didn't really provide the skills needed to get into the job market. When I looked at a three-month bootcamp program that was tailored towards breaking into, and performing well, in the industry versus four years and more student loans, it just seemed to be the right choice for me.
David: After evaluating my options, and with so many years of professional experience under my belt, it didn't seem feasible to start back at square zero for an undergraduate degree. I needed something rapid, and the bootcamp was the vehicle for that. I needed to learn as much as I could right away, and the pace of a four-year institution would have really hindered me. That's why I really enjoyed the curriculum at New York Code + Design Academy because they prepared you to jump in day one and know what you're doing.
What was the New York Code + Design Academy application process like and did it differ for either of you?
Jeff: The application process was simple. The first part was three personal statement questions asking why I wanted to learn to code, my experience in coding, and a bit about myself. After that I did an interview, which was a really unique process. Instead of being required to know something or take a technical interview, the admissions officer actually gave me what I needed to know. She showed me a few concepts, then gave me problems to see how I would apply the knowledge. It wasn't about what I knew or what my experience was, it was about how I solved problems and whether or not I was a fit for a bootcamp. I really appreciated that.
David: My experience was similar. For the part-time program, I needed to demonstrate that I had the initiative to finish the program since I would be balancing working full-time while going to school. I filled out the online form, came in for an in-person interview, and two or three days later, I received an email letting me know I had received admission. I put down a deposit, and started the bootcamp the following week. It was a quick process, and that points to the flexibility of this program.
I'm interested in what your cohorts were like. Jeff, could you tell us about the cohort at the full-time program. How many people were there and was it a diverse group of people in terms of gender, race, and career backgrounds?
Jeff: It was probably the most diverse group of people I've ever been around. We had around 20 students. We had people with kids, and people going to grad school. But it was not an even split between women and men. In terms of racial diversity, it was spread around the board. It was like a microcosm of everyone who wants to learn how to code. I really appreciated that, instead of going to a school with one group of people and one perspective.
Because I was in a full-time program, we stuck with each other for around 8 to 10 hours a day, depending on how long we decided to stay after class. We all became super close and really good friends. We supported each other throughout this whole process from day one, from when we didn't get a certain concept in the language, to when we graduated. We helped each other with job searches and sent each other opportunities. We still keep in touch now.
David, what was your part-time cohort like?
David: Our cohort was much more intimate. There were only six of us. It was a great instructor:student ratio. We also had a TA who was available most of the time. If you ran into a hurdle, you had the TA or the teacher there immediately to help you circumvent that problem. In terms of diversity, it was extremely diverse. We had two women and four men. We were all from different backgrounds, which was really empowering – when you have that level of diversity you're less intimidated. If everybody came from a background in math or engineering, you might feel intimidated if you didn’t have that same experience. But no one had that problem. A few were entrepreneurs, some worked for civil jobs, one was a waiter.
Having that network of people who are all jumping in at the same time into an entirely new industry that they've never worked in before builds a great bond amongst you and your classmates. With diverse backgrounds, you're all working towards a common goal. It really was great to have those people as my peers and to help each other along the process.
David, did most of your classmates have full-time jobs like you?
David: Yes. I believe five out of the six had full-time jobs. The one who didn't was a stay at home mom. She was pregnant during our class and had a child at home, so she was very busy. She was one of the best people that we had in our class, she did extremely well.
I'm interested in the schedule and the structure of the full-time and part-time bootcamps – how are they different? Jeff, can you tell us about the structure of the full-time bootcamp and maybe give me an example of a typical day?
Jeff: On a typical day we would start with a lecture about a certain concept. Then we would immediately try to apply that concept. The instructor would give us prompts like, "Now that you've learned this, let's see if you can build this,” or, “What can you use from what you've previously learned and apply it to make what you're building better or more applicable to the real world?" We would alternate between theory and practice throughout the program.
Class was from 10am to 6pm. After that, we would stay to work with the teacher, have our own little study groups to complete our assignments, talk about what we didn't or did understand, and help out other students. A full day could have ranged from eight hours if you just went to class and then left, or it could be 10 to 12 hours if you decided to stay after, depending on how much effort you put in.
David, how was the part-time class structured?
David: Classes were on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30pm to around 10pm, and Sundays from 10am to 2pm or 3pm. The curriculum was laid out in the same way as in the full-time class. For the first quarter, or half of the class, we’d learn about a topic or a framework and how we could use it in the type of program that we planned on building. The latter half of the class was where we worked on a hands-on project. At the end of class, we'd get an assignment to practice what we learned in the class that day. Then at the following class we’d talk about any problems or any discoveries we had, or something new that we wanted to add into the program.
Jeff, how many instructors or mentors did you have at the full-time program?
Jeff: We had one instructor, Orlando Caraballo, one teaching assistant, Horatio Rosa, and every student was assigned a mentor. I was assigned to the great John Wolfe. He was a really great guy.
Did the part-time and full-time students ever interact with each other at any point? Did you meet each other or work on projects together?
David: There was a common area in our campus where everyone sits before or after class, so there's a lot of interaction there between the students. There wasn't anything formal where they combine both of us, because I think we were operating on different schedules. By the time I arrived in the evening, most full-time students had already gone for the day. But on the weekend there were always a lot of people working on their own unique projects.
How did New York Code + Design Academy prepare you for job hunting?
Jeff: At the end of the program we had a meet and greet with employers. The staff worked really hard to show us off– show what we could do, and how we could contribute to their companies or the job market. Within two days of graduating, I had received three offers for interviews, and within a week I was already working at a startup.
Krystal Kaplan is the head of career services and is amazing. She really looked out for me in terms of the job market. A couple of months after I started my first coding job at the startup, the company went under and I was unemployed. I didn't have a degree or much work experience, but she put in the effort to find jobs that were a good fit for me. I was a hard sell, but she helped me get another job. That's a testament to how strong the career services are at New York Code + Design Academy.
David: At the conclusion of our program, Krystal scheduled three professional developers to come in for a meet and greet where we could ask questions about their experiences, their career trajectories, and how they came to be where they were. NYCDA did a really great job of explaining the interview process so we would know what to expect when we started transitioning full-time programming roles.
Krystal really does do the best job possible to help you out with anything– even just meeting somebody in her network and trying to set you up for interviews. They really hammer home the importance of networking. They do their best to introduce you to people. And that's really the best opportunity to get the roles you're looking for.
So Jeff, that’s great you found another job after the startup! Can you tell me about it?
Jeff: I'm working as a junior developer at the McCann Erickson Agency. I work in their production department. So after all the creatives are done thinking of ideas, they give them to us to build it out in the digital world. It's extremely fast paced, and there are always new things coming in. The reason I've survived this long in the company is because of the infrastructure that was in place at the New York Code + Design Academy. They set me up to succeed in an environment like this. It was not only the theoretical and technical points that I learned, but other job tips from Orlando and Krystal.
David, I know you only just graduated last month, but what are your plans now?
David: I am beginning the job hunt after figuring things out at my current job, and making sure I can easily transition out of there. I'm starting to get in full ramp-up mode looking for a position. I want to make sure that it's the right role, where I'm able to bring my professional experience from working at the ad agency because I want to stay within that industry.
It's been very exciting. I've been in contact with a lot of recruiters. I met with one a few days ago who said, "Where do you want to work because there's no greater job in demand right now than a programmer." So it's really great to have that flexibility, where you can literally pick and choose where you want to work based on the skill set. I tell everyone I speak to that this will probably be the best decision that you will ever make at least in the next 10 or 20 years. It gives you so much leverage. Everyone should consider doing it.
What's been the biggest challenge or roadblock in your journey to learning to code?
Jeff: It was just learning to code. It was just so different than anything I've ever done in my life. I was always a very liberal artsy, abstract thinker. I wasn't a very technical person. I didn't do very well in math or science classes. So just coming into a field of study that was so foreign from anything I'd ever seen before, that was my biggest challenge.
David: There were three big issues when it came to taking on this type of initiative. Number one is time, two is having discipline, and three is having the right mindset. For time, this might apply more to people in the part-time program who are working all day, and still have to go to class. It's fun to attend class three times a week, but then you have to spend time working on what you learned in class on three or four other days as well. You can't stop doing it. That’s the discipline part, you have to set time aside to practice. The only way you're going to learn to code, is to write code. You can watch as many tutorials, and read about it as much as you want, but you'll never learn more than when you try to build something, run into problems, and have to find solutions. When you can't turn to other people, your only real solution is trial and error, and there's no greater instructor than trial and error.
Mindset is probably the most important of those three. There'll be times during your class where you're filled with self-doubt; you're not understanding something, and you’ll want to give up. But that's such a common feeling. You have to power through it. Believe in yourself that you can get through it, and I promise you, you will get through. It'll constantly happen like that. It's a roller coaster where you feel you don't understand something and have to keep working at it. You have to believe in yourself and keep pushing forward.
What's the one piece of advice you would give to someone who's thinking about applying for a coding bootcamp?
Jeff: Keep in mind that it is a bootcamp and it is very, very intense. Whether you're doing full-time or part-time, that type of dedication is something that you need to be ready for. And also like David said, you do have to find a way to balance it, a way to effectively deal with the inevitable feeling of "I don't know what I'm doing," which is something that everyone is going to feel no matter what profession you're doing.
The other thing is to learn to learn by yourself. The reason I say that is these programs are only for a couple of months and no matter what you do or how intellectually gifted someone is, a couple of months is not going to teach you everything you need to know to succeed or everything you need to know to program.
David: The one piece of advice that I would give is, don't hesitate. If this is something you really think that you want to do, don't waste any time. Don't sit at your job and think "I'll apply in the next round or I'll apply next year when I'm ready.” You’ll never be fully ready. Just do it. I promise you won't regret this. Not only is it fulfilling, but professionally there will never be anything better that you do. Having worked in multiple industries, I can't tell you how different it is the way people evaluate you in the workplace when you have a coding background. You know how things work and how products work. Everything is becoming digitalized, and being able to speak that language will literally carry you across any industry that you want to work in, for almost any position that you would want to work in.
Welcome to the July 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to big fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. This month the biggest trends this month are initiatives to increase the diversity in tech, some huge investments in various bootcamps, and more tech giants launching their own coding classes. Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast!Continue Reading →
Since the first bootcamp acquisition in June 2014, we’ve seen several coding bootcamps get acquired by a range of companies from for-profit education companies (Capella Education), to co-working companies (WeWork), and other coding bootcamps (Thinkful + Bloc)! With rapid market growth in the bootcamp industry, for-profit education companies are taking note. These acquisitions and consolidations should come as no surprise, and some have been very successful, with schools going on to increase their number of campuses and course offerings. As coding bootcamps become more mature, we are seeing them get snapped up by more well-known companies, for increasingly large sums (e.g. General Assembly for $413 million!) We’ll keep this chronologically-ordered list updated as bootcamps announce future acquisitions.
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If you're a college student, an incoming freshman, or a teacher with a summer break, you have tons of summer coding bootcamp options, as well as several code schools that continue their normal offerings in the summer months.Continue Reading →
How much do coding bootcamps cost? From students looking for free coding bootcamps to those wondering if an $18,000 bootcamp is worth it, we understand that cost is important to future bootcampers! While the average full-time programming bootcamp in the US costs $11,906, bootcamp tuition can range from $9,000 to $21,000, and some coding bootcamps have deferred tuition. So how do you decide what to budget for? Here, we break down the costs of coding bootcamps from around the USA.
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 →
Mallory Bory was a talented Graphic Designer working in print when she decided she should be able to design- and build- a website. She enrolled in the Web Development Intensive at New York Code + Design Academy to to expand her skillset, and now answers all of our questions about deciding on a bootcamp, her final Rails project, and her new job as a Lead Designer at a tech startup.
What were you up to before you started at New York Code and Design Academy?
After graduating college with a BFA in Studio Art, I became a graphic designer, working mostly in print. My last position prior to NYCDA was as a Senior Graphic Designer with a consumer electronics manufacturer.
Did you have a technical background before you applied?
I had some knowledge of HTML and CSS, but that’s where my technical experience ended. I had no backend programming skills whatsoever. I’d tried a few online Ruby tutorials, read some articles, but I felt like a always hit a wall and nothing seemed to stick.
What was your goal in doing a bootcamp? To get a job, to start your own business, etc?
I wanted to shift my career from print design to web design and development. My goal was to have the ability to not only design a dynamic site, but to build it, frontend and backend.
Why did you choose New York Code and Design Academy? What factors did you consider?
After looking into traditional CS and web design programs, online courses, part-time courses, and bootcamps, I decided that a full-time, immersive bootcamp would be the most beneficial for me. NYC has so many great options in terms of code schools and I looked at a few different programs, but ultimately chose NYCDA. From the start, I could see how supportive and invested in their students the crew at New York Code and Design Academy was. They understood that I was a complete beginner and they were as excited to help me get going on my new career path as I was. Another big factor in my decision was the small class size.
What was the NYCDA application like for you?
After submitting my application, Jeremy from the New York Code and Design Academy team reached out to me within a week to set up the first of two phone interviews. Both calls were more culture-fit interview than technical. NYCDA places more emphasis on whether or not you have the desire and drive to learn, than what you've already learned.
How many people were in your cohort? Did you think it was a diverse cohort in terms of age, gender, and race, and technical skill?
There were 16 people in my cohort. Not only was the class diverse in age, gender and race, but also background. Everyone came from a different area of expertise….sales, construction, fashion, scientific research. As far as technical background, we all started out on pretty even footing, and before class began we all completed roughly a month of pre-work to prep us for the course ahead.
Who were your instructors? What was the teaching style like and how did it work with your learning style?
Were you satisfied with the curriculum/actual material taught in the courses?
I was definitely satisfied with the curriculum. It's impossible to become an expert programmer in 12 weeks, but the WDI course gave me the solid foundation necessary to continue to grow as a developer.
What technologies did you learn in your course? Were you able to learn it all in the short time you were in your program?
How many hours per week did you spend on New York Code and Design Academy?
Outside of the 8 classroom hours, I would put in an extra 1-3 hours on weeknights and around 4-8 hours on the weekend. As class progressed, and the projects got more involved, I would spend more time than earlier in the course.
Are there things you didn’t expect or that you would change? What was the feedback loop like?
It was a little more of an emotional roller coaster than I expected. I mean, I knew going into the course it was going to be a challenge, and that it was definitely going to get tough at times, but I didn’t quite expect to feel like everything was clicking one day and then be completely lost the next. When I hit the spots where it felt like it would never click, my instructors, and the rest of the NYCDA team, were always there to help get me over the wall. The feedback loop at NYCDA is awesome. They’re always listening and constantly taking in the student’s thoughts and suggestions to help improve the course and the experience.
Can you tell us about a project you worked on?
My final project was an e-commerce site that allows users to create an address book of contacts and then set up personalized greeting cards to be professionally printed and automatically mailed out to the intended recipients. For instance, you could log in today and set up all of the birthday cards you would send in an entire year, all at once. Once set up, the cards will automatically be sent out according to the delivery date you set. It was a solo project built in Rails and utilized a gem to help generate print-ready PDF files for each greeting card, an AWS S3 bucket for card storage, and a connection to Lob, a company that prints and sends physical mail, via their API. It took about two weeks to get the MVP built, and although it's not currently live, I'm hoping to get it running in the near future!
Did New York Code and Design Academy do job prep with your class- interview practice, resume building etc?
NYCDA provided several job prep activities. They set up Q&A sessions with technical recruiters, provided resume review, and even scheduled mock technical interviews at different tech companies throughout the city.
What are you doing now- did you move up in your career or get a new job?
After graduating, I focused on finding a position as a UI/UX designer. Currently, I'm the Lead Designer at a start-up tech company here in NYC. Working as part of the dev team, I’m responsible for our platform’s UI/UX design and have a chance to dig into some frontend code here and there. The knowledge I gained from taking the WDI course has really helped me to design more effective websites, and allows me to speak intelligently with other members of the dev team about how to tackle website functionality.
How did you get the job?
I found my current position through my own search.
Did NYCDA help with your job search once you graduated?
Yes. After graduation, New York Code and Design Academy continued to help throughout my job search. Their door was always open and Jeremy, Zach and the rest of the staff was always ready to lend a helping hand whenever they could. Whenever an opportunity arose that matched my skills, and what I was looking for, they would set up an introduction. Even now, 8 months after completing my course, I'm still part of the NYCDA community.
How long did it take to get a job?
I think it was about three weeks after graduating that I received my job offer.
Do you feel supported at your new company?
Totally, I love where I’m at. There are two more experienced developers and although I’m mainly working on the design-side, it’s great being able to ask them coding questions and discuss the back-end workings of our product.
Was New York Code and Design Academy worth the money?
I completely believe my time at New York Code & Design Academy was worth the money, and I would definitely recommend it. The skills and experience gained from the WDI course definitely opened a whole new set of opportunities for me as a web designer.
While quitting your job and diving headfirst into your coding education can yield impressive results, we also understand that not everybody can commit to a full-time, 12-week programming bootcamp. Jobs, school, families - life, in general, can prevent that kind of commitment. For all the students who can’t give 40 hours a week to a code school, we’re outlining some of the best part-time web development bootcamps around. With a variety of price points and locations to choose from, you'll find an in-person program that can get you coding, even with your busy schedule.Continue Reading →
Looking for coding bootcamp exclusive scholarships, discounts and promo codes? Course Report has exclusive discounts to the top programming bootcamps!
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!Continue Reading →
If you're thinking about applying to a coding bootcamp in New York, then you must attend this paneled discussion with top coding schools! Join Course Report and Launch LM in the Hive at 55 downtown space for an evening with alumni from 8 bootcamps.
RSVP here to claim your spot- space is limited!Continue Reading →
New York Code & Design Academy offers part time and full time courses to help students build their digital set. Jeremy Snepar, founder of NYCDA, talks with us about the intensive workshops in web, mobile app, and UI/UX design, what they're looking for in applicants, and how they help graduates find jobs in tech.
Tell us about your background, your role at New York Code and Design Academy, how you ended up opening a coding and design school.
I launched the school in 2012. The genesis of the school really began with the start of my career at the New York Film Academy where I began right out of college in a marketing and business development role.
I worked for 4 years at the New York Film Academy but left for a career as an investment banker. After spending about 3 ½ years working at Lehman Brothers, I made the move to a small firm called MESA, which really focused on digital media and entertainment. While an associate at MESA, I advised early stage digital media companies on M&A and raising capital and became involved with the New York/Bay Area tech scene.
It became pretty clear - when you’re working with companies on the inside and really getting to know their businesses - there was definitely a need for developers.
When you say “developers,” did you find a need for full stack developers or front end devs?
Everything; full stack developers, front end developers, web designers…I would basically model out head count needs for these companies and it was incredible how many developers they were hiring and the lack of available talent.
So I thought about launching a school like NYFA however focused on web design and development rather than filmmaking and acting. I incubated the idea with a friend from MESA and we launched our first class in September 2012.
What was the first class you started with?
The first class was our 16-week evening workshop. We really wanted to launch a class for working professionals who wanted to augment their digital skill set or at least explore curiosity, without interrupting their professional lives. So we began marketing the evening workshop to professionals in media, tech, law,finance, graphic designer and entrepreneurs. We found a market and that was really the start of the New York Code + Design Academy.
You now offer an immersive course- the Web Development Intensive. Is there a plan to do a front end design immersive?
Yeah; we’re interested in launching classes that have a tangible benefit for our students. If we see the demand and if we believe that we can deliver a great product that helps students find jobs as UX designers through a full time immersive experience, we’ll absolutely launch that.
What types of students are taking your Web Development Intensive?
Most of the students are career-changers, or at least career advancers. We’re not seeing companies financing the education of students through our web development intensive, although we do see that on the evening workshops. We have pharmaceutical sales reps, investment bankers, lawyers, paralegals; all sorts of people. We also have students fresh out of college who spent all this money on college but haven’t graduated without any tangible skills.
Do you see any entrepreneurs at all or students who want to be a technical cofounder?
For sure. One of our first students, Jack Latis entrepreneur and owned some flower shops in New York. He wanted to launch an e-commerce platform to sell his flowers online and rather than hire a technical consultant, he wanted to build it himself. He ended up building his site as his final project and launched it on our demo day. He now operates two e-commerce sites online selling flowers.
Are you teaching Rails for the Web Development Immersive?
Our main course is a full stack web development intensive that includes Ruby on Rails. We’ve also launched a class in Angular JS for more experienced developers to augment their digital skill set. We have mobile development classes both in iOS and Android development.
We’re always expanding the curriculum and trying to stay on top of the new emerging technologies.
Can you tell us about the teaching style for the immersive course?
It’s a mix of both lectures and workshopping. We are big believers in learning by doing and try to imbue that philosophy into all of our courses. With the web development intensive, students are working on no less than 6 projects, both individually and in teams. So they graduate not only with a tangible set of skills but also a portfolio of projects that defines who they are as developers. We start them off with simpler projects in the beginning and build their confidence as developers. It’s very important for us to get them up to that learning curve as quickly as possible but also build their confidence along the way.
How many students do you have in each cohort?
We keep cohorts small; we like to cap a class at 15 students. We’ll usually have two instructors teach the students but it really depends upon the particular cohort.
Can you tell us about your instructors? Do you have part-time instructors or fulltime?
We have full-time and part-time instructors. We like the part-time instructors because they’re also working developers, which not only keeps their skills fresh, but they also know what it’s like on the front lines. And they communicate that to our students, which we think is really valuable.
Our instructors also recruit students directly from class into their companies.
What are you looking for in potential students for the Web Development class? Do students need to have programming experience?
We look for the problem solvers, the proactive, and the ambitious optimists that believe anything is possible. All of our students are beginners and we’re unlike other schools in that we’re not giving students coding challenges. We don’t want students who know how to code already; that’s what we teach.
Do you have students do pre-work before they start?
How are you helping your graduates find jobs in tech?
That’s absolutely one of our goals and we do it in a number of different ways. We have career fairs at the end of every class. NYCDA founders and the entire leadership team also leverages our relationships to help place students. We also have a number of partners that we work with who actively recruit our students. We try to give our students the best set of skills that we think position them for finding work as an entry level developer, and using our relationships and our partners to help make that happen.
When you place a student, is that company paying you a recruiting fee?
We’re not taking recruiting fees right now. We might do that in the future as we develop but right now, these are personal relationships of the founders and myself. We just think that’s good for the tech ecosystem here in New York and good for our students. If it becomes a business in the future, that’s great but that’s not how we’re trying to make money right now.
Are you planning on expanding outside of New York at any point?
For sure, we’re in discussions already with a number of locations. When I was at the New York Film Academy, my job included expanding the New York Film Academy into new markets. I’m looking forward to doing that with NYCDA; it’s just a little premature to make those announcements.
Are you working with the education regulatory agencies in New York? Any plans to become accredited?
Absolutely. We are working with BPSS here in NY as well as some national accrediting agencies.
Is there anything else you want to share with our readers about NYCDA?
I would say that one of the most interesting things about our program is the flexibility that we provide students. Most students who come to the New York Code + Design Academy know they want to become web developers but they don’t know exactly how to do that. They don’t know the intricacies of all the different languages. So it’s our responsibility to not only teach them but also give them a great experience.
We've built a lot of flexibility into our 12-week evening workshop, which runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 9:30pm. All students take the same curriculum in the first 8 weeks but in the second 8 weeks, students select one of three tracks: Ruby on Rails, Front End Web Development, or User Experience/ User Interface Design. Students don’t have to declare their track until about 6 weeks into the program, so they can come in, learn a little bit about different technologies, and then make the decision to pursue the track that makes the most sense for them. Students love that flexibility and I think it really differentiates us from our competitors.