Project Shift offers a full-time, 12-week coding school in downtown Durham, North Carolina. The school's mission is to offer students dignity, purpose, hope, and new opportunities by equipping them to create, and by inviting them to be part of something bigger than themselves.
Project Shift accepts students who are smart, ambitious, and humble (in other words, "character matters much more than accolades.") The admission process consists of an application and an in-person interview (can be conducted via Google Hangouts). Project Shift encourages applicants of any background, but you should expect a brief technical assessment.
Throughout the course, students will collaborate on production-grade web applications. Graduates can also build a lasting network with the Project Shift's connections to local companies, investors, and industry professionals.
Recent Project Shift Reviews: Rating 4.94
Recent Project Shift News
In PersonFull Time70 Hours/week13 Weeks
- Start Date
- June 3, 2019
- Class size
- Loanwell, Skills Fund
- Scholarships are available to accepted students.
- Minimum Skill Level
- With an advanced curriculum, our main concern is that students entering the program love coding. Therefore, we require that students be knowledgable in one programming language, or take our prep course.
- Prep Work
- Upon acceptance, students receive around 40 hours of prep work to be completed before the program begins.
- Placement Test
More Start DatesJune 3, 2019 - DurhamApply by May 17, 2019
Project Shift Reviews
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I went to Project Shift with absolutely no tech background. My background was sales and financial planning. I was living in the Middle East when I heard about Project Shift. In April 2018, I flew to Durham and attended (My pregnant wife remained in the Middle East until we met up after Project Shift concluded).
It was an absolutely amazing experience with Aaron, Sean, and Morgan. This course/fellowship requires a lot of hard work, but it pays off. At the end of week 8, I was hit by a car on my bike and suffered a rough concussion. Project Shift did everything they could to try and help me catch up from missed time. Regardless, I missed almost 2 weeks of content.
But! In spite of all that- the day after out final project demo, I got a remote contract offer to work from the Middle East. While that was happening, I started the interview process with a couple companies. Three months later, I had companies sending counter-offers against each other to try and get me to work for them.
Now- I am working for an amazing company where I am excited to go to work. I am able to support a family with a single income.
To summarize: Less than a year ago I made the decision to completely changed careers into the tech world and because of Project Shift, I have experienced amazing opportunity followed by amazing opportunity.
I would do voluntarily do this program again just to hangout with Aaron and Sean in the fun learning atmosphere they created. The intimate class size and heart that they have for this program is not to be understated - I genuinely felt like I was a part of a family there, and still do as part of their alumni network. This is not to downplay the fact that this was one of the most taxing things I've ever done in a 3-month span. It is NOT easy, but the reward of how much I was able to learn about web development and my own personal growth in that time span is more than enough to make me look back on it fondly.
-Intimate class size allows you to get to know peers as well as instructors
-Convenient location in downtown Durham's WeWork, which is fully stocked with amenities and surrounded by cool local businesses
-Offers a part-time preparatory course that is very cheap and can be applied to your tuition for the full-time class, should you enroll
-Despite his expertise, Aaron has the energy of an upbeat puppy, which makes you feel un-judged and able to learn things even though you may feel a lot of self-doubt
-Inctructors take care to give you the context and history of the technologies you're learning so that you have a big picture of the web development world
-Algorithms and Big O notation
-Has an impressive local network of recruiters and current software engineers to connect you with
-Assigned a personal mentor that I connected with outside of class for added perspective
-Sean's tough love is exactly what I needed to prepare me for the most challenging job interviews
-They STILL help me with technical questions and career advice over slack even though I'm no longer a student
-I moved to my hometown of Charlotte right after the course ended, and found an amazing local network of developers thanks to a tip that Sean gave me via message (this same network helped me land a dream job as a Software Engineer at Skookum)
-The group project final and your solo demo are challenging and way more relevant to a potential employer than the projects I've seen from other bootcamps
-You feel the repercussions more in a small group if some of your classmates have a different definition of working hard compared to you (referring to the final cohort project)
-It's a fast-paced program and you WILL fall behind if you don't constantly push yourself. This is all bootcamps though.
-Our cohort felt the growing pains in a pronounced way because of the location changes leading up to the new WeWork building's grand opening. This is unlikely to be a factor for the cohorts after us since Project Shift is all settled into the new building now.
-Communication pitfalls were frustrating at times when we weren't sure which instructor was arriving/when with how the days were split.
-Typos and grammatical errors in the lessons occasionally annoyed me, though the actual intellectual content and resources of the lessons were all there. Just something that should be improved for professionality and branding's sake.
- Accomplished my goal of stepping away from IT support/ops and into a JS engineering role
- Provided a good framework in which I could code every day (including 8-12 hrs per weekend at my own pace) for three months
- It's a small startup with hard-working staff who care about your success personally
- Cohorts are limited to ten people, so you really get to know everyone including the instructors
- Attempts to teach concepts in a logical order, sometimes taking the harder route of learning an older framework first so that you have more context for the new one. Flipside of this is that we were stuck in outdated land for a long time.
- Took me from being shaky at simple scripts to writing a functional full-stack app.
- Projects provide real artifacts to show off (or to hide forever ;) )
- Price was reasonable for quantity, quality, and availability of training and staff, and for the increase in salary I saw before/after the camp.
- We had an awesome TA who went way above and beyond and truly made the difference in all of our success. Can't praise him enough.
- Public demo night was an awesome opportunity -- I had three people from name-brand companies approach me about jobs after watching me present. That's value.
- Growing pains. I was part of the third cohort. They're still figuring things out, such as:
- Unrefined training content was littered with spelling, grammatical, and code errors. Daily struggle. I hope they're working on it but I really didn't see any acknowledgement of the issue or action taken to fix it. Everything is usable but... it can feel unprofessional.
- Logistics. We moved offices three times in three months. Future cohorts shouldn't run into this, but it was a distraction and we were treated like second-class citizens by one of the offices ("go park half a mile away in a sketchy lot where people don't feel safe at night").
- Geared towards people truly switching careers, so they sometimes don't really know how to handle tech professionals with overlapping experience. With an IT background I often did not find any value in the trainings geared towards teaching computer science, and there were sometimes inaccuracies in the material. They should really structure this in a way that allows for opting out and focusing on coding.
- I did not use job support services as I found a job myself part way through the program. The requirements to get the services felt like they would be pretty burdensome, so have a frank conversation about expectations for both parties prior to enrollment. I don't think they explicitly offered this service when I enrolled, as we never talked about it until like halfway through the program.
- There were a couple instances where I felt like staff went too far towards acting like cool kids -- keep finding the right balance of teacher/mentor vs. student.
Sean, Aaron, Morgan, and Alex brought many different types of experiences to the table. By the end, I felt like I had created a close relationship with them all and their support during and after the program was priceless. As far as the content of the program, they taught us many frameworks and theories that are applicable to software development today (like ES6, React/Redux, Node, etc.).The stucture of the program does not focus on grading which I enjoyed since grading is stressful for me. Instead, they focus on making sure we are making weekly strides and connecting new material with old material like finishing a puzzle. I would recommend any prospective or current students to take advantage of the electives and to soak in all you can since you'll never know if it will come up in an interview. An example of this was Sean's elective on Cybersecurity. I interviewed at a bank and since I attended the elective I felt confident in answering questions about security.
As far as my experience post-Project Shift, I had three interviews the week after demo night, two of which led to second interviews and then job offers. Morgan, Sean and Aaron would constantly send us leads to the group and to me personally when they saw positions that aligned with my interests. Any job search comes with anxiety and rejection so it's important to keep that in mind, but I think Morgan helped in ensuring me that everything would be okay and that these things take time. Although the past 3-4 months have been stressful since I was devoting 60+ hours a week on coding, I'm fortunate to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 3 weeks after Project Shift I accepted a job as a Junior Java Developer. I'm so grateful for the curriculum at Project Shift, the people I met at Project shift, and for this risk that I took on that ultimatley changed my life and now I can say I am doing what I love.
I find myself telling anyone who asks about Project Shift the same thing: it was the most enjoyable and engaging learning program that I've ever experienced. If you're serious about switching into a career in software development, I highly recommend Project Shift. For a time, I was skeptical about code schools, but the more I learned about this program, the more I realized that it checked off boxes that other schools couldn't. After interviewing with Aaron (the founder and one of the instructors), I felt confident that this was a serious opportunity for someone like me who enjoyed coding on and off for years but wanted to dive deeper and start a new career path. I love that the cohort size is capped at 10 students. This maximized my ability to learn and made me feel as if I was more than just a warm body filling a seat. I quickly discovered that both instructors, Aaron and Sean, are enthusiastic and tireless in their efforts to help you learn the nuts and bolts of being a successful software engineer.
During my cohort, the lessons were generally straightforward yet challenging. Learning was enhanced by pair programming, which was built into most lessons. The curriculum was well thought out and well paced. To me, Project Shift does a great job of teaching practical development skills in current technologies while also incorporating universal programming principles, which are applicable regardless of which language or technology you use. Also, the instructors make themselves readily available when you feel stuck or have questions.
Before and after the cohort ended, both Sean and Aaron went above and beyond for my career search - they responded readily to any questions I had via chat message, video chat, and meeting in person. Both gave helpful advice and guidance throughout the process or applying, interviewing, following up, etc. Less than three months post-Project Shift, I started my career as a full-time software developer, and I owe that to a connection I made through my Project Shift mentor. I can say with confidence that this program prepares you to become a software engineer because from day one on the job I have been applying lessons learned from Project Shift.
I was a member of Project Shift's first cohort and, being a former teacher, I knew the first iteration of any course was probably going to be a bumpy ride. But I did it anyway for a couple of reasons. First of all, I just really liked Aaron. Is that a dumb reason? Maybe, but it worked out. I could tell he was passionate about what he wanted to do, and I loved his enthusiasm. Secondly, I liked that the program was competative to get into and they wouldn't just accept anyone. Another bootcamp I was 'courting' at the time that shall remain nameless made it obvious (to me) that they were just trying to fill seats. That was very offputting to me because I wanted to be in a course with others who had similar abilities and goals since this was such a tight timeline.
The actual course exceeded my expecations. Like I previously said, I was expecting a ton of hiccups, and Aaron and Sean were both extremely candid about how this was the first time and they were probably gonna screw some things up. And for sure there were issues here and there, but overall, the curriculum was really well thought out. You could absolutely tell how much time and energy they put into deveoping the course materials. Also, I found the lessons easy to follow and, more importantly, easy to learn from. I liked working closely with the other members of the small cohort (there were only 7 of us), and I really felt like I got to know everyone and we had a ton of fun.
In terms of post-bootcamp, it's only been a few weeks so I cannot really speak to long-term career prospects, but I will say that Sean and Aaron have been super supportive and have put all of us in touch with people in their large network, many of whom have job openings. I was lucky because I landed a part-time contract position like two weeks out, which works perfectly with my schedule. It was really a best case scenario for me, and I found out about the opportunity via one of Sean's connections.
Each week of the course has a different focus. Monday through Thursday, students partner on guided lessons. Fridays are for all-day evaluations (the name sounds scary, but they felt more like a project than a test), which were almost never completed by the end of the day--expect to spend plenty of weekend and evening hours working on these.
I expected to learn a lot and I did. Maybe the thing that surprised me the most was how much fun our cohort had together--over the course, we had a slew of class inside jokes, periodic ping pong breaks, and prodigious use of the Slack party parrot.
I gave four stars to job assistance as our career counselor left mid-cohort and the mentor and guest speaker programs are still being worked on. Less than a month after the end of our program, it's too early to know much about job outcomes. Speaking for myself however, I had the great fortune of finding a job within a few weeks of graduation.
I am so grateful that I was a part of Aaron Hayslip's very last bootcamp in Israel. While I know personal family issues were the only reason Aaron was prevented from continuing at his previous bootcamp, I am also certain he would be a success at leading the future coders of the world anywhere he is. The bootcamp I attended was Aaron's brain-child as is his new endeavor with Project Shift so I can do nothing but try to convince anyone looking to jump into the ever-growing lucrative world of web and app development to stop considering and just sign up already.
What can I say about Aaron? He is genuine, funny, thoughtful, but above all, an amazing teacher in the realm of coding. I am achieving my own dreams of leading a talented app development team (all also grads from Aaron's previous bootcamp by the way) and I am sure that Aaron had a strong influence in leading us all in this direction of success. The biggest compliment I think I can pay Aaron is not that he is smart and a great teacher, but rather that he just "gets it." He is very aware of the current trend of web development and has a keen talent for positioning himself and everyone associated with his endeavors for success, not only professionally and monetarily, but perhaps more importantly personally. He just gets it. Sign up for Project Shift, be prepared to work harder than you've ever worked and watch your dreams come true.
While I did not attend Project Shift, I have graduated one of Aaron's previous courses, The 2nd full stack coding bootcamp at Elevation Academy, Tel-Aviv.
Aaron is a great teacher. His passion and drive towards teaching are immediately noticable. Charismatic and funny, yet knowledgable and serious, I truly believe any project of his is a great career-shifting oppurtinty for anyone looking to get into the programming world.
I'll start with a disclaimer - I was never part of "Project Shift", BUT, I was part of "Elevation Academy" cohort 3 in Tel Aviv Israel that was managed by Aaron Hayslip, so I suspect the vibe of "Project Shift" will be not much different...
The 12 weeks I've spent in the cohort were amazing time for me, very often thanks to Aaron. Whether it was a question that he would always answer (yes, even if he is busy at the moment, he would make a point of coming back with the answer later on), or agreeing to my suggestion to make a video of the classes since I almost always missed the morning ones.
Aaron was always on top of the subject that was taught, even if sometimes he admitted he learnt it only in the passing week and always had the patience to explain a certain topic again and again - a trait that never stopped amazing me.
In short, I'm of a mind that Aaron has the knowledge and the right attitude to teach coding. The combination of the two makes "Project Shift" a great opportunity for people who are searching for a place that will teach them just that.
I was a student in Aaron's first bootcamp academy. I was immediately blown away by his ability to make the complicated seem simple along with a dash of humor. He believes in all of his students and is dedicated to ensuring everyone's success. After the bootcamp, I was easily able to find new job opportunities based on the strength of my portfolio and the projects I worked on as a bootcamp student.
Aaron was my instructor when he ran this course in Tel Aviv.
I must say: the curriculum was well-organized and engaging.
Yes, it's true the program is expensive. But, I see it as an investment for the future. About 4 months after completing the program Aaron ran in Tel Aviv, I got a job as a Product Manager for a promising startup company.
I am Super-Happy to see that Aaron is now offering this program in North Carolina. I am positive that people who are hungry to succeed in hi-tech will use this course as a stepping stone to a brighter future.
I was in cohort #2 and Project Shift really changed my life, I have never been so happy to go into work because I’m really doing something I love, at a place I love.
I graduated with a degree in Psychology and was working in Real Estate when I discovered Project Shift. After speaking with Aaron and Sean I moved to North Carolina from New York to start my new journey. Within 2 months of graduation I was hired!
Could not have done it without you guys!
I would like to start off by saying that this was one of the most challenging seasons of my life. Coming in with hardly any software experience, I knew there was going to be a steep learning curve. However, Aaron, Sean, Morgan, and the TA made this curve achievable. Project Shift not only taught me how to become a programmer but also how to learn and to keep learning. The approach is so much different than what I have heard about other courses. They actually care about the whole person and take time to walk with that person through the ups and downs during the course. Once that confidence was instilled, I was able to really begin applying what I was learning. If you are on the fence then you are where I was when I started this journey. As I look back, I know it was totally worth it.
When I started looking at bootcamps, Project Shift immediately stood out to me. I was very excited about their selective admission process. I was confident that if I was accepted I would succeed.
Before I started, I was a bit worried that 3 months would not be enough time to get job-ready. The precourse work prepared me for what was a very fast paced curriculum. I worked many weekend and evening hours to make sure I got as much as I could out of each lesson. The curriculum builds at a very good pace. I was constantly challenged, but the material was never beyond my understanding. Aaron and Sean were both very easy to talk to and were always willing to answer questions and help me understand anything that I wasn't sure about.
I had a job interview on the last day of the cohort with one of Sean's connections. After a follow up interview and a code challenge, I was hired.
My experience with Project Shift has turned out better than I could have ever expected. If you are passionate about programming, and you are willing to work your butt off, you will not regret this investment in your future.
Like some of the other reviewers, I have not taken part in Project Shift, but I was in Aaron's first bootcamp Tel Aviv, both as a student and later as an instructor (note, I do not work or have current plans to work with Project Shift in the near future).
As a student I learned a ton from Aaron - he's got a real knack for explaining concepts at their core level - even if he doesn't understand something to its fullest (which is rare, but happens) - he will do the extra work to research and get back to you with a full answer.
Later, as an instructor I saw just how much work he was putting into the bootcamp behind the scenes. This is one passionate guy - he loves this thing, and it shows.
Again, I have not participated in Project Shift, but since Aaron is leading it I feel confident giving it my fullest, most confident, and heartfelt recommendation.
I have 2 bachelor's degrees from highly regarded universities and an extremely academic family (PhD's all around); so quitting my life and opting for code school instead of grad-school was a hard sell, both to myself and my friends and family. Still, after years of thinking about it, looking into various coding programs, I decided to go for it.
I did A LOT of research on my program options, but chose Project Shift for a few reasons:
1. small cohort - they cap each one at 10.
2. competitive program where everyone has to apply and to go in knowing some basics.
3. teachers who are currently/had previously worked as developers.
4. there is no job guarantee
**Now I think I should explain #4 because some people might be confused about why no job guarantee was actually not attractive. To me, guaranteeing a job is suspicious. I have friends who graduated from one of the best law schools in the country and have had a hard time finding a job. Finding a job is hard work and it seems just a little too good to be true to guarantee a job. I figured that there has to be a catch; and after some research and chatting with friends, I realized there is- a job guarantee is just that - you may have a job - but it may not be somewhere you want to work; and if a program guarantees jobs, well, you better bet that you will have some pressure to take whatever is offered, even if it's less than ideal.
I won't say that schools offering a guarantee are bad - I am sure that there is some competitive pressure to make this type of offer and I don't have experience with them, so I can't really speak, personally, about how these promises pan out. I can say, however, that I opted for a program that didn't make any guarantees other than giving their all to teaching you and prepping you/helping you in the job search process; and I feel like Project Shift did exactly what they promised (and more). I recommend just doing research and asking a lot of questions - when are people getting jobs, where, do you have a list of where each student is employed that I can see?
Students should be prepared to work... A LOT. I describe it to my friends as taking 5 college classes in a summer school session. BUT, the rewards are awesome, the people are nice, and I found a job within a month of finishing Project Shift from a connection that I made during the program. It's work that I am interested in at a company that is really impressive.
I couldn't be more pleased with Project Shift - excellent level of education. Awesome program where I ended up with my own final full-stack application and experience in a simulated agile environment to talk about during my interviews.
If you are like me and have been thinking about this for ages but are worried about taking the leap, I say go for it!
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