PDX Code Guild
Recent PDX Code Guild Reviews: Rating 4.33
PDX Code Guild Reviews
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As with anything in life, what you put in is what you get out. Learning to be a programmer is no exception. I attended PDX Code Guild, worked hard, and now have a job that I love.
Most of my classmates love code guild and still frequently go there for meetups. If you work hard and are honest with yourself on what you need to improve on, you will flourish at code guild. I have seen many people do this: Those that are successful have used programming to augment their passions, interests, or past careers. Those that I have seen fail were more focused on making money, or their heart wasn't in it.
So my advice to anyone on the fence reading this. Go for it. I had been pushing through online tutorials and books for months. This was a great foundation, but when I got to boot camp I was able to take my ability to the next level. There are certain things that the instructors, having worked in the industry, can teach you that books just can't.
Realistically many of you reading this are probably wondering what the post graduate job hunt is like. There is no magic job tree for junior programmers. I got rejected close to 20 times before I even got a phone interview. But if you keep learning and stay persistent it's entirely doable for anyone. Despite getting email rejections alot, I had a job within a week of graduation and significantly increased my income. Coming from a business career definitely helped, but regardless of your background you can earn a livable wage with the skills you start learning here.
tl;dr: If you want to learn programming. Code Guild is a great place to do that. It ended up being one of the best decisions I've made.
The instructor mentioned by so many of the positive reviews below, who was the new head instructor who crafted the "more structured curriculum" left PDXCodeGuild recently.
She quit due to disagrements on what is owed to students. She felt that students deserved better and was burnt out on fighting management to achieve that.
I want to write as honest a review I can about my experience. For anonymity, I will say that I finished the class in 2015.
Class size is small. For me it was 8 people. During my time there, average class size hovered around 8-12 students. This makes interactive instruction possible, and really allows you to get to know your classmates well.
The school is licensed by the State of Oregon. This means that you may qualify for job retraining grants and other state and federal funding sources. You do need to research this, however. Code Guild staff may help you identify sources of funding, but it's up to you to do the legwork if you want to avoid paying full price. Being licensed is also for peace of mind: if for whatever reason the school closes, chances are good that you can get your money back.
After 12 weeks, you will learn all the basics of computer programming and full-stack web development.
There is also the chance that you will be taught by an instructor who themselves just graduated from the PDX Code Guild. At this point in time (Feb 2016), there are recent graduates of the bootcamp teaching classes. While I personally know these instructors and can attest to their intelligence and overall competence at programming, I think it's something to be aware of. You can certainly learn the basics from them, but you will miss out on advanced concepts or years of industry experience. Of course, you are welcome to disagree with me.
Like any code school, you will hear all the success stories, and not hear about the not-so-successful ones. You will be told how you can come with zero experience and leave as a qualified junior software engineer. However, it should not come as a surprise that some of these successful folks may already have a computer or other STEM backgrounds. A recent superstar from the last graduating class had a math degree, for example, and other students had previous careers in software testing or frontend web development. Some already had exposure or training in other languages such as MATLAB, PERL, PHP, or C++.
If you're coming into this program with absolutely zero experience, you may be frustrated at having to learn absolutely everything from the ground up, while some of your classmates seem to know everything already. I had exactly one semester of computer science training about ten years ago and there were a couple of moments where I felt absolutely lost in this class.
After graduation, it's not uncommon for students to take up to 6 months to review the course material, build up a portfolio, network, attend meetups, learn more specific frameworks and languages based on their interests and intended area of specialization, and then finally be hired.
Code Guild will teach you all the basics. Being job-ready largely depends on your prior background and your willingness to take more time off following graduation to really hone your skills. Remember, you are competing against graduates of other code schools, and more are graduating every 12 weeks or so. Be aware of who your instructor is and what his or her background is prior to enrolling in the class.
Having said all of this I know that there have been much stronger classes with better instruction and there is now a head instructor who has created a more structured curriculum.
I'm a recent graduate of the 12-week Developer Bootcamp offered by PDX Code Guild, and I am very happy with the education I got here. I started the course with intermediate Python knowledge, and I picked up all other components needed for web development pretty much from scratch. Our instructor, Tiffany, did a superb job in covering a very wide array of subjects needed in every day development work, and equipped all of us in the class with the necessary tools to get a job and further develop our skills. Tiffany was very accessible throughout the course, and she was super dedicated to helping us absorb as much knowledge as possible.
The school also provided substantial assistance for our future job search, including networking opportunities, resume preparation, and job interviewing practice. With this assistance I think I am also well positioned to find a job.
In summary, PDX Code Guild did an excellent job in preparing me to get started in a software engineering position. I think the value I got from attending this bootcamp was fantastic.
I'll be graduating shortly from the PDX Code Guild Developer Bootcamp and highly recommend it for anyone looking to get into web dev / programming. Unlike some other code schools in Portland, the classes are small and regimented. You'll get a lot of 1-on-1 time and plenty of suggestions on how to network and learn material outside the scope of the curriculum.
I cannot stress this enough: when it comes to learning how to code, your instructor is the key to your success. Every code school hires great programmers, but programming and teaching are two radically different skill sets. Tiffany, the lead instructor at PDX Code Guild, is both. I felt like she was very dedicated to making sure I understood the material and never let a question go unanswered. In our class we had students whose skills ranged from beginner (like myself) to advanced, and she was able to make sure everyone was challenged and learning at a pace appropriate to their knowledge. Fair warning though: if you are a beginner, be prepared for a serious challenge. I'd recommend checking out the curriculum and then trying to learn as much as possible about those languages via books and online tutorials, lynda.com, Treehouse, etc.
Watching online tutorials can only get you so far though. At some point you're going to want to go off-script, so to speak, and when something breaks in your code, you need someone there who can identify issues and quickly troubleshoot them. Often it comes down to a variable in the wrong place, or a line of code that's indented incorrectly, or a missing comma. Working in a group environment with a knowledgeable instructor is the only way to get that experience IMHO.
I also made some great connections with my classmates. With their diverse backgrounds and experience, I learned as much from them as I did from the class.
PDX Code Guild is in a great location. The opening of the Tillikum Bridge has created a new tech corridor from OMSI on the east side to PDX Code Guild, PSU and its award-winning Business Development Accelerator, and OHSU on the west. If you're in Portland, I expect you'll be hearing a lot more about that in the months and years to come.
For me, PDX Code Guild was just the right fit, but don't take my word for it: do your research, visit the other code schools in the area, talk to current and former students and then make the decision that's best for you. Like any relationship, the quality of the experience comes down to finding the right person and being the right person. For my part, I'm totally psyched about all the new tools I have to create cool stuff!
I'm happy to answer questions for anyone thinking about applying, you can find me on Twitter @john_broxton
Todo list/Task Manager
Weather Forecast App using forecast.io
Mini HTTP Server
A personal portfolio website
E-Commerce Front end using AJAX to query product info
A SQL back end for the E-Commerce Project
Capstone Project (mine was a recipe engine that created a cocktail recipe
book based on the ingredients you had on hand).
The classes are small (max of 12), so you get a lot of time with your instructor, and they are able to go in depth into software design concepts and design patterns. They also offer advice and career guidance, help you organize your LinkedIn and Github and provide professional headshots.
I worked full time (as many of my classmates did), and the hours were long. There is no homework, but I think that in order to get the best results, one should set aside the 4 month period for learning. I spent many nights and weekends perfecting my projects, and it paid off. I received a job offer the day after class finished from the #1 firm I wanted to work for. I have also been contacted by recruiters in other local tech firms based on the strength of my LinkedIn and portfolio. I accepted the offer, which was more than a 50% raise from my current position. Fair warning, PDX Code Guild advises that it typically takes 3-6 months for a student to find employment after completion, so YMMV. They also advised not to take offers under a certain level (I'll leave it to the Code Guild to provide that information), and the offer I received was over the number they recommended. Over all I am very happy, and would definitely recommend PDX Code Guild.