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New York Code + Design Academy

New York Code + Design Academy

Avg Rating:4.02 ( 55 reviews )

The New York Code + Design Academy taught full-time and part-time courses in full-stack web development in New York City, Atlanta, Austin, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Washington, DC, and Amsterdam. The coding bootcamp has a "learning by doing" attitude through which students learn HTML5, CSS3, FTP, JavaScript, jQuery, Ruby, Rails, Database Theory, ActiveRecord, Command Line, Git, and Collaborative Software Development. The full-time program is 12 weeks, and the part-time program is 24 weeks. NYCDA encourages collaborative teamwork through team exercises and immersion in the tech community, and organized guest speakers and tech meetups.

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

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  • Anonymous • Unemployable • Graduate
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    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.

  • 100% recommend
    - 10/6/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    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!

  • Anonymous • Product Manager • Graduate
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    Your Instructor:

    A successful education, in addition to your earnest efforts, relies heavily upon who you get as an instructor. At NYCDA, this can vary wildly. I've heard amazing stories about past instructors, but I've also experienced others that know "just enough"-- and just enough doesn't cut it for beginners. In my cohort, most were disappointed, although the instructor was a great individual. (This is most definitiedly a failure of upper management). 

    TAKEAWAY: Ask about your instructor's qualifications before you decide to sign up.

    The Course:

    The course focuses mostly on Ruby on Rails for back-end, with some light vanilla JavaScript thrown in for front-end. The Amsterdam class offers other back-end options. You also get introduced to other stacks / libraries / languages like jQuery, Saas, Ajax, Sinatra, Postgresql, but not that much that you'd feel particularly strong in any. Be clear however, that you are expected to put in at minimum 10- 20 hours extra per week if you are to be able to keep up with basic concepts. I don't think this is stressed enough pre-enrollment.

    An individual considering taking this course should also be mindful that you are truly at a disadvantage if you enter this course without any programming knowledge-- and I'm also speaking to those who have basic HTML experience. That said, it is not impossible to complete the course with a working knowledge of programming, however, you will not be as fluent as you'd expect to be, from the awesome stories that you hear about graduates. This is the sobering fact.

    For students who actually have experience coding, self taught or not, even if it was from another bootcamp's harder prep work, this may be exactly what you need to solidify / enhance your skills. You will get the support necessary to do that.

    TAKEAWAY: Be truly ready to give up life for 3 months, and if you can, start doing lots of prep, beyond HTML. Free Code Camp is a great place to start! Be mindul of what stack is offered so that you're fully committed and engaged. Ask questions about statistics!

    Career Services:

    Student career services are essential at any learning institution, including NYCDA. Krystal Kaplan heads that department, and provides her support 110%. She's easy to work with, offers advice and actively helps with resumes, job preparedness, and diligently seeks out companies with which she can partner up with. NYCDA as a whole lacks in this department (go-to partners for their graduating students), but since Krystal joined the team, she has made major strides in improving this. I'd encourage everyone attending the program to make Krystal a close resource.

    TAKEAWAY: Do yourself a favor and be known to Krystal.

    In the end, I have not been able to recommend NYCDA to any of my friends based on my experiences there, but I have met some amazing people.

    If considering taking this course, ask a lot of questions prior to attending, look up past students on Linked-In and inquire, then make an educated decision.

     

     

  • Anonymous • Jr Developer • Graduate
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        My overall experience was excellent and definitely worth the time, effort, and money. The instructors were great in both teaching and knowledge of coding practices and best industry practices. Most of all, I learned the skills to continue my education and become a better problem solver-which is what being a developer is really all about.

        The pre-course consists of basic HTML, CSS and command line exercises to prepare the students for the first couple weeks of class, and ensure that they have basic computer skills. (This was also done a little bit in the interview as well.) I did find that some of my classmates had completed the pre-work, yet were allowed to continue and start the course, which I found strange. Nevertheless, they did not hold as back as once the course started it was full throttle for 12 weeks with no let up.

        I cannot emphasize this enough-you will only get out of the course what you put into it. You will be there in the class 40 hours a week at a minimum, and be working 20-30 hours (or more!) outside of that easily if you want to do well and land a job. Yes, you can skate through and “pass”, but you won’t get the best experience out of it that you could have. (Sound similar to college?) If you’re not going to work your butt off, you should give a hard thought on why you want to do this course and make a career change.

        The course topics start off pretty general, HTML, CSS, etc and building a basic static website, but before you know it, you’re onto learning JavaScript, Ruby, some Postgresql, and various frameworks associated with each. The pace is unrelenting, and you will pretty much feel behind the entire time (unless you’re a genius-but in that case, you can probably learn this stuff on your own without the community support). However sometime around week 6 to 8, it will all start to come together and become clear. Your projects will get better and much more complicated, and you’ll be impressed by what you can build in a week (if you’ve kept up).

        While the class does not go super in-depth to each topic, you’ll get enough of an understanding of programming languages to continue learning on your own, which is one of the most important skills to learn as a developer and take away from this class. Languages and frameworks will fall in and out of favor over your career, and if you cannot adapt, you will be left behind. You’ll have plenty of time to learn a different language or go more in depth after the course. It’s essential that you learn the concepts well.

        Overall, I found career placement to be pretty good, and I did indeed get a job at a startup afterwards. I received my full time job offer two months after finishing the course, as I started interning at said startup, which turned into a contract, and then the full time offer. (And I landed said internship from a speaker that came in during lunch one day.) I think one place where NYCDA could improve is networking to place graduates in paid/unpaid internships that may lead to full time or at least contract offers, as the graduates can at least get experience. Just like coming a freshly minted CS degree holder out of college, the biggest thing that every grad lacks from a bootcamp is industry experience. Networking is your friend, and any experience you can get for yourself towards the end of the bootcamp is excellent, even if it is just building static websites for your friends for free.

        The lunch and learn speakers NYCDA would bring in also tended to be very good overall. Most were developers from various tech companies, anywhere from Facebook to the local web dev shops. They all had the same message - you guys are on the right path and bootcamps are probably the future. (This was further confirmed when I had read that a local University had started up the own programming bootcamp for their CS grads…)

        I should mention that you will not learn a lot of computer science in this course, as it is not geared toward it, nor do you need to know a lot CS to start programming. You will learn some concepts, and it is best to pursue the more CS oriented stuff on your own after class, as you need it.

        Also, for job expectations, if you make it through, you will have the skills to be a VERY junior developer. You will most likely not be netting $90k+ a year jobs right off the bat (unless you’re incredibly skilled and end up in SF…but after housing the net gain is about $1). You’ll need to find  a place of employment that hopefully sees your potential and is willing continue teaching you as you grow into a more mature developer.

        Now that I’m working full time at the startup, I’ve found that the pace of the course and constant stream of new material has prepared me very well for the startup life. Most of the time, we’re sprinting to get new products built, and it is very similar to the pace of NYCDA and learning new concepts all the time, which is part of which makes being a developer so great-work hard and learn something new every day.

        Overall I’m very pleased with my experience with NYCDA, the quality of teaching, and most of all, the community and friends I made while there that helped me get through the tougher times in the course. Thanks!

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    NYCDA has some exceptional staff members and instructors, but dysfunction at the highest decision-making levels cripples it as an institution.

    There is little support for instructors and their teaching assistants, and the curriculum is not particularly designed past the first several weeks, which do serve as a solid introduction to HTML/CSS/JS/Ruby. Sadly, the instructors and TAs are fighting a battle against what appears to be some sort of organizational entropy. A portion of their lecture curriculum is written by graduates fresh out of the bootcamp themselves, rather than the instructors or the academic department, to the point where many instructors use their own material rather than the lectures they've been provided.

    Exceptionally low admissions standards are coupled with a lack of the standard set of "pass or leave" style assessments common at most other boot camps. The result is that students who hold the entire class back are allowed to persist throughout the course, resulting in a course that slavishly caters to the most needy student while hindering the advancement of those typically most-likely to succeed. Beyond this, the school tolerates outright code plagiarism by its students, even on their final projects. In short, their for-profit nature has them tolerate behaviour that would be grounds for immediate expulsion at most academic institutions. 

    All in all, it means very little to have "completed" NYCDA - the certificate at graduation isn't quite a rubber stamp you get just for walking in the door, but its not far from it.

    That said, I developed great relationships with my instructors and some of my fellow classmates, and did learn a solid amount of programming skills. But I can't in good conciousness recommend NYCDA to anyone else serious about making a career transition. 3 months after graduation, only a small percentage of students in my group (<20%) had full or part-time jobs in tech, excluding a handful employed by the school itself. The career services department ofters minimal support and their placement network is next to nonexistent. 

    I would strongly recommend waiting and trying to get acceptance into a more rigorous institution if you're serious about transitioning into tech.

  • Eh
    - 7/21/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    The experience was ok, but it left me constantly expecting a lot more. Generally it seemed like the course was kind of thrown together, with many concepts poorly explained, many sample apps irreparably broken, and the same project used multiple times in slight different flavors. 

    The curriculum seemed pretty weak compared to other bootcamps, and the career services department is a pretty big joke.   The instructors I dealt with were all pretty talented, but it felt like they were constantly fighting the curriculum to get things accomplished.  The school appears to be about graduating everyone, rather than teaching, so it often feels like the teaching is dumbed down to the slowest in the room.  There's no assessment structure to remove people who'll never succeed, and that feeling of being held back is ever present because of it. 

    The staff was pretty helpful, but it always felt like there was no management, and despite their saying 'we're here for you' the owners always felt like they were barely there.  They're young, and it shows through, with the ever present idea that they have no idea how to manage anything.  

    The school run job fair was a huge letdown, with what seemed like absolutely zero hiring partners of any sort.  

    I'm not sure what these older reviews experienced, but I'm hesitant to think it was the same school. Maybe the sale to a private institution made the management care less about the students, and more about expanding?

    I've had friends ask about it, and I don't expect I'd reccommend any of them to study at NYCDA, there are a number of other programs, that all seem to be stronger, more stable and more focused on students and job placement, rather than expanding and high graduation rates.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    The intensive program is great, if you want to learn Ruby on Rails and JavaScript, and you currently know nothing. It definitely teaches you how to make stuff, and further fundamentals of web development. 

    However. If you enroll with the sole purpose of getting a job, please go elsewhere. They are not great at that, I know dozens of WDI students before and after my class (December 2015) who are still struggling in search of a job. They do not focus on that: there are no hiring partners, their demo day (in my day) was hacked together and full of people who just had ideas for businesses, instead of actual employers. There are a ton of other bootcamps who will teach you relevant technologies for being hired now as a junior (Angular, React, Node, etc), and who have better career assistance. This is not out of spite, as I made great friends there. But it is out of empathy. Spend your money and time on a place that has proven successful in placing graduates in full-time positions. Sadly, that is not NYCDA.

Thanks!