Prime Digital Academy
Prime Digital Academy offers an intensive, 20-week full-stack coding bootcamp and an 18-week UX design bootcamp in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Working directly with Twin Cities tech employers, Prime Digital Academy has created programs that equip emerging engineers and designers with the skills they need to make immediate contributions. Prime students learn modern technologies, practical methodologies, and critical behavioral skills through carefully crafted curriculum and real-world projects for pro-bono clients in the community. Prime’s immersive programs empower learners from diverse backgrounds to begin their new careers in months, not years.
Prime’s full-stack engineering course prepares students with the skills and hands-on experience to develop complex software to solve businesses problems. Prime’s user experience design curriculum prepares students with professional practice in research, design and prototype software that is usable and meaningful. Prime graduates have been hired by nearly 200 companies in Minnesota, and the tight-knit learning community continues long after graduation, with students participating in mentorship, community education and ongoing alumni career support.
Recent Prime Digital Academy Reviews: Rating 4.83
Recent Prime Digital Academy News
- April 2019 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup
- How to Get Work Experience Before You Graduate from Coding Bootcamp
- September 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast
In PersonFull Time65 Hours/week20 Weeks
- Start Date
- Rolling Start Date
- Class size
- Kansas City, Minneapolis
- 36 and 60 month financing plans available from Climb and Skills Fund.
- Tuition Plans
- Pay $1500 Deposit and remaining balance in Week 7
- $500 scholarship to student of color accepted into the program. Additional Minnesota, Minneapolis, and St. Paul grant-based tuition support may be available for eligible accepted students.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- 6 Weeks of required, flipped-classroom study and prep assignments.
- Placement Test
Prime’s 18-week immersive User Experience Design program was crafted to help people with interests in design, organization and technology build the foundational skills to start a career in user experience. Prime works hand-in-hand with industry employers to ensure that graduates are ready for the challenges of building complex experiences that are valuable for businesses and resonate with users.
- Start Date
- Rolling Start Date
- Class size
- 36 and 60 month financing terms available from Climb and Skills Fund
- Tuition Plans
- Pay $1500 Deposit and remaining balance in Week 7
- $500 scholarship to each person of color accepted into the program. Additional Minnesota and Minneapolis grant-based tuition support may be available for eligible accepted students.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- 6 Weeks of Online Pre-Work
- Placement Test
Prime Digital Academy Reviews
64 reviews sorted by:
- Only Applicants, Students, and Graduates are permitted to leave reviews on Course Report.
- Post clear, valuable, and honest information that will be useful and informative to future coding bootcampers. Think about what your bootcamp excelled at and what might have been better.
- Be nice to others; don't attack others.
- Use good grammar and check your spelling.
- Don't post reviews on behalf of other students or impersonate any person, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity.
- Don't spam or post fake reviews intended to boost or lower ratings.
- Don't post or link to content that is sexually explicit.
- Don't post or link to content that is abusive or hateful or threatens or harasses others.
- Please do not submit duplicate or multiple reviews. These will be deleted. Email moderators to revise a review or click the link in the email you receive when submitting a review.
- Please note that we reserve the right to review and remove commentary that violates our policies.
Click here to log in or sign up and continue.
- Wish I Did This Sooner!- 8/21/2019Julie Zembik • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: Minneapolis • Verified via GitHub
Prime was a great experience! They have a solid foundation of teaching, encouraging you to be independant while learning a skillset, and improving your soft skills! I graduated in March 2019 and I wish I did this sooner!
The environment at Prime Digital Academy is very supportive and their door is always open to you. They want you to succeed in many ways. Along with teaching you the MERN stack, they help with soft skills like public speaking, paired programming, code reviews, and livesolves. They also have great career development opportunities such as inviting recruiters to come help review your resumes, have working Alumnis and outside industry personnel come volunteer their time to be your mentors, hosting intimate seminars about various techs, and at graduation, host a career day to have you speak with Tech Recruiters! There is support after graduation too!
Going through Prime Digital Academy might not be for everyone as it's fast paced and if you prefer a more traditional form of learning, this may not be right for you.
- Amazing Experience!!!- 7/19/2019Konou Vang • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: Kansas City • Verified via GitHub
Enrolling into Prime Digital Academy Kansas City has truly the best decision I have made in my life. Today was graduation and I was happier today than I was when I received my Bachelors or my Masters. Words cannot sum up the value of what I learned, not just coding but personally as well. Now that I got my personal feeling about this program out of the way, I want to dive into what I have learned technically.
I built a full stack fully functional application that incorporates AWS that I use in my business. I then worked in a four member team to build a fully functional application to serve a client's need that incorporated the use of Google Calendar API and Twilio API! That's TWO APPLICATIONS that are in use! How many bootcamps can claim that?! That's just a part of the professional technical skills they teach. They also work on speech using the Toastmaster's method and taught us how to fail so that we can succeed. I'm not going to lie when I say that I don't get nervous to present in front of a crowd, but failing in front of my peers allowed me to succeed on the big presentation day.
Prime Digital Academy is the embodiment of Furious Learning. The instructors make sure that we are emotionally ready to learn, they lecture, and then give us assignments to reinforce and retain the information. It's not a joke when I say that you could be spending 60 to 80 hours a week on the accumulation of those assignments and weekend challenges.
I can only give the staff 5 stars but I wish I can rate them higher because they gave up 110%. Truly amazing people!
Prime might not be for everyone but when you put in the time and effort, it will change your life.
- Best Decision I've Ever Made- 7/19/2019Austin Burgard • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: Kansas City • Verified via GitHub
Prime is amazing and the best decision I've made in my professional life.
Prime is a full-time, intensive program. It doesn't fit everybody's learning style or life situation. As I began to look into software engineering I was uncertain about many of the options in Kansas City. I was even more wary of my online options, not because they aren't good (I have no experience with them) but because of my learning style.
I came across Prime while doing research on local programs and I set up an appointment that forever changed the trajectory of my life. This program is not easy. The instructors will push you to the point of failure. I wish I would've known that because then it would've made my first few weeks a bit more bearable. But it's when you get to the point of failure that you're ready to learn.
The instructors take massive amounts of personal time to help whenever there is a question but you have to be willing to ask. You can't get help until you put your pride away and ask. They bring in tech companies from the community, they teach how to speak, and they enable us to do real projects that help real clients.
I loved the cohort I was in. We all came from diverse backgrounds and that enabled us to work well together. There were times of friction, as in any group, but we rallied and encouraged each other to press on and now we're graduating.
Prime cares deeply for its students. I have never encountered a more helpful and loving group of people. One of the major positives is that they don't leave you after you graduate. They stick by your side and keep you accountable. They give you all the tools you need to succeed and are by your side every step of the way.
Prime not only made me into a software engineer but they helped me to grow as a person. I was pushed like never before, I wanted to quit on day 2, but I trusted the system and I'm incredibly thankful I did. I'm forever grateful to the wonderful people at Prime KC. They're amazing people, instructors, and friends.
- "Prime Is Real"- 5/21/2019Ben Pollack • UX/UI Designer for Thomson Reuters • Graduate • Course: User Experience Design • Campus: Minneapolis • Verified via LinkedIn
That was a quote from one of my cohortmates. Prime really is the best decision I could have made to transition my life as an adult switching careers. Before this program I was working paycheck to paycheck doing dead end retail and food service jobs. Having a degree in Grpahic Design, I understood the WHAT of design but Prime really teaches the WHY of design. The instructors, Ange and Kyre and Bryce, are so knowledgeable and really have your back. All of the staff at Prime are helpful and truly want you to succeed. The comeraderie amonst cohortmates and staff is unparalleled. One motto that seems to permeate through the entire schooling is "we all succeed as long as EVERYONE succeeds". One thing I had heard about bootcamps was the cut-throat nature of them. Prime is the direct opposite of that. Even alumni students truly WANT you to succeed. The program is intense, long hours, but so well worth it. I was able to find a job right away (in fact I got the job offer the day of graduation) and the staff is so helpful in finding something that is right for each student.
- Best choice for my career!- 7/3/2018Sarah B. • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: Minneapolis • Verified via LinkedIn
Prime was one of the best decisions of my career. I went from having no coding experience to having a job as a software engineer in six months. I would defiantly recommend this program to anyone who is willing to put their time and all energy into learning code.
- Best choice I've made in my professional career.- 6/21/2018Jonny • UX Designer • Graduate • Course: User Experience Design • Campus: Minneapolis • Verified via LinkedIn
Prime helped give me the foundation I needed to become a UX Designer in the industry as well as networking and mentor opportunities.
If you put in the time and effort, you'll be rewarded.
The staff is invested in seeing you succeed and the instructors are awesome.
- If you're willing to put in the work - do it.- 6/11/2018Carina A. Lofgren • UX Designer • Graduate • Course: User Experience Design • Campus: Minneapolis • Verified via LinkedIn
Prime gives you a blueprint, building tools and all the consultation you can ask for. It is up to you what to do with it.
Prime is structured enough to give you an appropriate scope of the many facets of the UX process, but flexible enough to allow you to explore areas that interest you most.
Prime not only prepares you to be a UXer but also to be a competitive and knowledgeable candidate in the industry. If you put in the work, there will be results.
I am happy to say two months after graduating I am happily employed!
Undoubtedly worth it.
- Life Changing- 11/2/2017Eric Austin • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: Minneapolis • Verified via LinkedIn
I don't know how else to describe it. In 20 weeks I went from being a competent computer user to designing and writing fully functional computer programs. Trust the curriculum, trust the instructors, trust the staff. They all want to see you succeed. I would recommend this program to anyone.
- Prime is the real deal.- 6/16/2017Lisa Schoofs • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: Minneapolis • Verified via LinkedIn
If you’re in the Twin Cities and are serious about getting into software development, this is absolutely the place to go.
The people that come through the door here are great. The staff are amazing, and are genuinely invested in your success & well-being. I think your experience could vary a little bit based on the cohort you’re with and your primary instructors. I happened to hit the jackpot, and had a phenomenal group of people to learn alongside and instructors to learn from. We got a chance to interface with most of the instructors at some point during the program, benefitting from their various experiences & coding styles.
They do a great job of setting you up for success post-Prime. While you’re in school, they offer support on resumes, networking, LinkedIn, etc. They set you up with mentors in the industry. When you’re done with school, the support continues. Plus, you have a network of Prime grads that are happy to help others out with continued learning and connections.
If you think this might be the place for you, I’d definitely recommend stopping by for an open house or giving them a call. And/or just apply and see what happens. You won’t regret it.
- Create your future.- 6/10/2017Keith Tomlinson • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: Minneapolis • Verified via LinkedIn
Prime Academy was a life changing experience. It is a weird place, in beautiful way. Every piece of Prime Academy is intentionally designed. The courses were designed by a true educator, someone who considers how people best learn and removes all pretense of formality focusing solely on the student's success. It is a challenging experience and should only be entered into by people who are committed 100%. It takes everything you have, but the gains are massive. Prime cares about its community and the impact those people will have on the greater world. This place knows that collaboration, not competition, is where the real joy exists. Relationships and soft skills are highly empasized. Get ready to be a seasoned public speaker! I would start again tomorrow.
- Tony Gillen • UX Specialist at Granicus • Graduate • Course: User Experience Design • Campus: Minneapolis
I had spent most of my professional career as a web generalist and have always wanted to get into user experience. Facing unemployment gave me time to examine what I really wanted to do and Prime Digital Academy gave me the opportunity to do it.
A curriculum taught by instructors with experience as professionals, the course work is very hands-on with projects from real-world clients allowing us to practice user experience. The program encourages progress over perfection with solid support in every step, which culminated in a high-level team project and presentation. Support staff prepared us for the job market with guidance in interviewing, resume writing, networking, and public speaker as well as our own personal development. Mentors also supported us with their own professional advice and portfolio critiques. In addition, learning alongside my cohort gave
My interview during career day, where I could really share my work and progression over my 18 weeks eventually led to my full-time position as a UX professional.
I am thankful for my experience at Prime and now get to work professionally doing something I love everyday.
- Honestly Life Changing!- 6/30/2019Margot • UX/UI Designer • Graduate • Course: User Experience Design • Campus: Minneapolis
After working in the service industry for far too long, I needed to figure out how I was going to sustain myself. Living paycheck to paycheck was both physically and mentally exhausting. My experience at Prime equipped me with the skills and mindset I needed to make a serious career change. A month after graduating, I was navigating competing offers that were more than three times what I'd ever made in my life- for positions that felt far more meaningful and exciting than my previous work.
I can only speak to my own experience, so here it is: Prime was very intense and exciting. I learned new skill sets and methodologies. I learned how to network, how to market myself as a UX Designer, & how to navigate the hiring process. I gained confidence in public speaking and experience working with diverse, sometimes challenging teams. I gained access to an unbelievably supportive network of alumni. I made new, life-long friends. I was pushed out of my comfort zone and forced to work through my perfectionism. I feel that I left Prime not only with a deeper understanding of UX design, but with a better understanding of my own strengths and opportunities for growth.
The staff is incredibly supportive and inspiring. They push you, but would never want you to sacrifice your physical or mental well being.
Is it challenging? Yes.
Is it intense? Yes.
Is it worth it? YES!!
If the cost is holding you back, I encourage you to speak with the staff about scholarships. There are several orgs in the twin cities who can help fund your education, especially if you identify as a cis or trans woman, or a non-binary individual. I was honestly surprised by how easy it was to get a scholarship. Ask about them early & act fast when they become available.
- Intensive, Up-To-Date, Accountable- 6/26/2019Leo • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: Minneapolis
I was skeptical at first, knowing that there are a lot of boot camps popping up, but Prime is the real deal. They put a lot of effort into making sure they're teaching tech that's relevant.
The instructors are top notch, and enthusiastic about turning people into engineers. It's also great to have a group of peers going through the same thing as you, and very motivating.
I came in with programming experience, so the things I found most valuable about Prime were the network and career help. Knowing how to set up your resume, who to talk to and how, and just having some confidence was very helpful for finding a job.
- Seriously, they're the best.- 3/18/2019Cooper Miller • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: Minneapolis
I came into the program knowing very little about programming and in 20 weeks with the help of the instructors, my cohort-mates, and everyone at Prime I'm starting a job as a Software Engineer at a local company. I've gained the skills to learn any new tech and search the web for related information. I've learned how to communicate efficiently with people and have also learned valuable soft skills in an incredibly welcoming environment. A literal safe space to be who you are and grow into what you want to become.
- Jonathan Kaiser • UX/UI Designer • Course: User Experience Design • Campus: Minneapolis
It's hard for me to speak or write about my experience at Prime without sounding like I'm exaggerating. But I wouldn't be going to the trouble of writing a review at all if I didn't think it was an outstanding educational experience. In fact, I've found myself telling friends that in many ways, Prime was more valuable to me than my Master's Degree. Before attending Prime, I taught at the college level, and I was initially skeptical about the whole "boot camp" model. I kept hearing glowing reviews from a few friends who had attended the Full Stack Development program, but it wasn't until I visited campus and had some conversations with the staff that I started to understand how rigorous and multifaceted and awesome the Prime curriculum is.
When I was looking at UX bootcamps, I also visited General Assembly in Manhattan, and it seemed large and impersonal compared to Prime. I was also unimpressed with the class session I sat in on -- it seemed like a passive lecture, presenting the same information I'd seen in online tutorial videos. In contrast to that, Prime is hands-on from day 1, with tons of opportunities to practice new skills as you learn them.
People are Prime's number one asset, and I can't say enough good things about the staff. They truly get to know every student, and give everyone access to an incredible professional network and helpful career development activities in addition to the regular curriculum. The primary UX instructors are not only experienced designers with impressive resumes -- they're skilled teachers who know how to immerse students in a brand new career and help them succeed. They are 100% dedicated to students, and they're always available to help. They also have deep connections to the tech community in Minneapolis and beyond, and they share that access with students.
If you're considering attending Prime, the best way to start is to schedule a visit and talk to people. Talking to students and instructors is what convinced me that it was a place I could spend 3 months of my life, and I couldn't be more glad that I did. An immersive program is not for everyone -- it's intense! Expect to spend 60-80 hours a week working on new skills and building a portfolio. I honestly enjoyed the intensity most of the time, but I'm sure not everyone would. But a couple weeks after graduating, I'm already starting a UX job that I love, and it definitely feels like the hard work paid off.
Talk to people and visit to decide if it's for you, but I highly recommend Prime.
- Steve Hogan • Associate Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: Minneapolis
I cannot say enough positive things about my Prime experience. It was a wonderful, life-changing time for me, and overall I believe they did a great job of setting my cohort mates and I up for success in the Twin Cities tech community. My instructors were fantastic, and it was clear from Day 1 that they truly cared about our success, and were very passionate about their work, often working late to answer our questions/offer help. The support/admin staff were also amazing, as they devoted so much of their time helping us with soft-skills, resume/cover letter guidance, and even arranged a "Career Day" for us where we each had several actual job interviews with local businesses. Also, I really appreciate how Prime is constantly seeking to improve and change their curriculum based on current tech trends/needs in the TC community. Finally, the environment at Prime is extremely welcoming and comfortable for all types of people and backgrounds. And the bond I developed with my peers was unexpectedly deep for me, as I gained not only immense amounts of knowledge at Prime, but several new friends as well.That said, it is a very demanding curriculum, can be mentally and emotionally exhausting at times, and will challenge you in countless ways. But ultimately I believe that what you get out of the Prime experience is what you put in. I devoted nearly my entire life to Prime for those 4 months, and it paid off immediately for me. If you aren't ready to give it your all, I would not recommend Prime, as it truly requires a 100% effort. The only small criticism I have of Prime is that the first few weeks devoted quite a bit of time to non-coding related discussions/speeches/exercises. While I recognize their importance, I would have liked to see those things pared down a bit in order to fit more coding/learning in. Overall though, I had an amazing experience at Prime and would recommend it to anyone willing to put in the effort and jump-start an exciting new career!
- Erin S. • UX Designer • Graduate • Course: User Experience Design • Campus: Minneapolis
So you are interested in a career in User Experience? GREAT CHOICE! UX designers are in high demand and the market is growing fast. The Problem: even entry-level UX positions are seeking candidates with 1 to 3 years of experience...but how does one gain the experience necessary to land their first gig in this field if no one will give them an opportunity to get their foot in the door? The Solution: Prime Digital Academy. This 18-week immersive course will not only provide you with a foundational understanding of the industry so you can talk the talk, it also affords students the opportunity to demonstrate what they've learned by partnering with real companies to solve real UX problems, so you can also walk the walk. By the end of this program, you'll have the direct experience and polished portfolio necessary to be taken seriously in any job interview. And it doesn't end there...after graduation, you'll become part of a well-connected and supportive group of Prime Alumni & Staff that are only a message away...talk about a lifelong competitive advantage!
- Prime Digital Academy worked for me!- 6/8/2018Andy Krueger • UX Designer • Graduate • Course: User Experience Design • Campus: Minneapolis
I attended the User Experience Design program from December 2017-April 2018. Three weeks after graduation I started my first job as a UX Designer. One thing that really impressed me was that even alumni who were unemployed a few months after graduation told me they'd do it again without question. The experience is truly that remarkable and transformative.
I cannot imagine how any program would do a better job of preparing for this career shift than Prime Digital Academy. Experienced professional instructors, caring and knowledgeable staff, and a solid curriculum based on the skills that employers are looking for. One major benefit of Prime is that you'll build a portfolio by doing meaningful projects for real clients. There's no substitute for learning by doing.
The flip side is that it's a lot of hard work, stress, and strain on personal relationships... but only for a few months. If you're committed to a change and prepared to give 100%, then I can recommend Prime with no reservations. You'll get out what you put into it.
- Not a joke- 6/8/2018Harrison B • User Experience Architect • Graduate • Course: User Experience Design • Campus: Minneapolis
I never thought that 18 weeks could change my life's trajectory so drastically. I was at a plateau in my career as a contract graphic designer and was tired of always struggling to find work. I always wanted to find my way into UX but was always shut down during the interveiw process in a job market that is amazing for UX. Feeling down on my luck, I decided to go to Prime so I could identify my shortcomings and improve the quality of my work. Prime offered me exactly what I needed for me to succeed: an amzing support system, REAL industry expereince, a huge network, great friends, and an incredible place to learn and grow.
Be ready for an intense 18 weeks. It is a lot of work but if you can stick it out you will not regret signing up.
- An amazing experience- 6/8/2018Josh K • UX Designer & Researcher • Graduate • Course: User Experience Design • Campus: Minneapolis
Having gone through school a few times, I honestly can't tell you how beneficial Prime Digital Academy was to helping me figure out what I wanted to do in life. No matter your background, Prime caters to your needs. I literally learned a life lesson every day, as well as learning about real life job scenarios, and how to be prepared when applying and interviewing for jobs. Is it a huge commitement? FOR SURE. Will it change your life? FOR SURE.
- Life game changer- 6/8/2018CB • Senior UX Researcher • Graduate • Course: User Experience Design • Campus: Minneapolis
- Fullstack Development Bootcamp- 10/13/2017Jeff M • QA Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: Minneapolis
Overall, my experience at Prime Digital Academy was positive and I am very glad I attended. I received the fundamental knowledge I needed to begin my career in full stack programming/development. I would highly recommend that anyone looking for a relatively quick way to get into this industry, they attend Prime. With that said, I feel my experience at Prime could have been better. I believe our cohort's instructors were not fully devoted to their position as educators. As a pair, they really required the students to come to them with their questions. On its face, that sounds fine... but in reality, a lot of us didn't know what questions to ask. The pace of Prime is very fast and it is easy to not realize when you're not grasping the fundamentals of something. Also, as a pair, they were not the most approachable individuals... They weren't aholes or anything, but they had the more "generalized" engineer personality, not necessarily the personality type required to be great instructors. Not to my surprise, both of them voluntarily left Prime to return to engineering positions after our cohort graduated. Now, the majority of the other instructors at Prime have been there for a long time, and they are absolute rockstars - from what I understand. Talking to other Primers, they have nothing but glowing reviews for their instructors... I think our lot just got a bit of bad luck. ALSO, the entire staff are some of the greatest and most caring people I have ever met. The experience at Prime is pretty intense and they are always there - and encourage you - to talk to. They become a sort of family to you, and it is pretty awesome... definitely will not forget a couple of staff members in particular. There are a lot of other perks as well. You will have access to endless coffee, RAMEN NOODLES, and PB&Js. Also, they have a great mentor program and 2 awesome careers days. Plus, they emphasize soft skills - public speaking, communication, etc - which is awesome because if forces you to get out of your comfort zone and really forces personal growth. Post graduation you continue to have access to all of Primes resources - even your Codeschool accounts (For a few months). They also have a weekly thing called "Alumn Scrum" which is pretty boss. It is aimed at assisting you in your job search and continuing education and personal growth. Lastly, I would reiterate that Prime delivers the fundamentals - or base - knowledge needed to get into the industry. It is in no way comprehensive. If you are looking for a comprehensive educational experience, you are better of getting a CS degree... but if you are comfortable with entering the job market not fully understanding what you know and needing to learn as you go... Prime is for you.
- Highly recommend- 10/13/2017Jake • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: Minneapolis
Attending Prime Digital Academy was the best decision I ever made. I always wanted to get into software development but I didn’t have the time or money to go back to school and get a degree. When I came across Prime I knew it was exactly what I was looking for. The instructors are caring and knowledgeable and the support personnel go way out of their way to help you in any way they can. Not only did a learn so much about full stack software engineering, Prime also takes time to work on soft skills, interview prep and resume assistance. I could not be happier about my experience at Prime.
- Code tomorrow.- 7/8/2017Y Paul Sussman • Developer Associate • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: MinneapolisI'm posting this because my instructor asked me to write an (honest and unvarnished -- their words!) review. Let it be testament to the value I derived from this program that -- though I was the one who spent the five figures, and I was the one who spend all those thousands of hours at the keyboard -- I feel it would be a betrayal of the effort they invested in me not to reciprocate by writing such a review. TL;DR If you're ready to fully commit half a year of your life to rebuilding your professional skillset, then you won't find a better vehicle to do so. Reasons why: The curriculum is consistently being improved upon (this was the value proposition that initially convinced me to enroll at Prime over a similar institution.) The content is derived from needs analyses from employers across the Twin Cities metro area, and continually refined for relevance (hello, ES6 and TDD...) Equally important, the syllabus is based on solid pedagogy: it moves from teacher-guided presentation, to controlled practice, to lightly-directed student application (both at a micro level, within a given day's lessons, and at a macro level, across the span of the months.) The instructors all had successful careers in software development that they set aside because of their love for the classroom. Each instructor comes from a slightly different programming background, but a passion for instruction and learning is the common denominator among them: and it's utterly impossible to fake. The administration is thin, accessible, and deeply invested in your success. More importantly, they're invested in your success as you define it: you want to build websites for an NGO? They can give you tips on how to make that happen. Want to spend five years in the cubicle farm at an F500 company, honing your skills before you depart for the coast? They've got ways to help you with that, too. At the most cynical level, your success is their success -- as a career-training school, they live or die by their graduates' employment rates. In my time there, though, I noticed that the commitment of the staff goes far, far beyond that: they understand, many of them at a personal level, the (various) circumstances that impel someone to apply for a coding boot camp. They know where you're at, and they're emphatically on your side. Smaller notes: It's an actively inclusive program, and they go out of their way to expand on this commitment. The atmosphere is professional, and hard-working, but lighthearted and unpretentious. The curriculum includes a parallel career-preparation thread; it is absolutely invaluable. (Had I known about it at the beginning of the application, I would have been mildly skeptical; had I fully understood it, I wouldn't have bothered applying anywhere else.) The network of alums only grows in value each week, and that's not a naturally-occurring phenomenon. Prime works hard to leverage connections within their community, and the (mentorship/shadowing/etc) results are quantifiable. I've spent a lot of time talking about why Prime is close to the ideal full-stack development bootcamp. A few granular qualifications: The "six months of working pretty much all the time" is no joke. You will socialize much less than normal, and other obligations will need to be put on hold. There will be times when the stress of unemployment leads you to view your intra-cohort progress competitively. That's natural, but also fallacious: there's not a shortage of jobs in the Twin Cities area, and a collaborative mindset will open you to more successful learning. By its nature, the software development field is ever-progressing: your learning doesn't stop at the final week (though the program prepares you very well for this.) You'll always be picking up some new library or framework in your free time, even post graduation: there's no relaxed lawnchairs-in-the-sunset after week 20. That's about all I've got! The Peace Corps motto at the time I served was "the toughest job you'll ever love." Well, Prime was easily the toughest course I've ever loved, and I feel very, very lucky to have participated.
- Take the leap.- 3/21/2017Potato Jones • Quality Assurance • Graduate • Course: Full Stack Engineering • Campus: Minneapolis
A good friend of mine, with a similar degree and job status, enrolled in Prime's program. He disappeared for a several weeks, and emerged a happier, fulfilled, and importantly, employed as front-end developer. Dissatisfied with my life as a pre-press operator with a degree in multimedia design that went nowhere, I decided to follow in the footsteps of my friend. I hated my current job so much, despite enjoying the people I worked with. Eager for change, I completed the application and resume challenge pretty easily considering HTML and CSS were part of my multimedia background. Functional programming however, a skill almost every designer should have, was definitely lacking. To my surprise I heard back quickly and was interviewed and later accepted into the program. The first few weeks were online code courses, which I would be lying if I said I didn't struggle through. I spent nearly 12 hours a week fumbling thru the labyrinths of loops and the variable vallies, juggling my hated job and my new passion. What eased my stress was the weekly video meetings with my group (cohort) and instructors. You could ask them anything. I even went into the building early and sat down with one of the instructors who took the time to slowly step me thru a problem my dumb brain couldn't quite get. It was at that moment I knew the faculty actually cared about my success, and pushed me to achieve it.
And that's really the best thing I got out of Prime, not to discount my new friendships, the support from the staff, or the sweet job I landed 2 weeks after graduating. Prime taught me how to put that imposter I thought I was away, and understand functional programming at a deeper level. A level they gave me the tools to explore on my own. It was the best, hardest, most frustrating yet most rewarding thing I've ever done for myself. In 18 weeks I was more marketable to employers than after 7 years of college (art school, I am no doctor, remember how I said 'not even middle of the class?'). The job market for young devs if competetive for sure, but it's definitely not lacking in careers. Suddenly I had many other options other than "pre-press operator."
If you're hear to ask "Should I go to Prime?" I'd answer back with a question: "Do you want to change your life?"