According to the RocketU website: Unfortunately, RocketSpace is no longer able to offer our developer education program due to requirements of the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.
Recent RocketU News
- Learn Python at these 9 Web Development Bootcamps
- Student Spotlight: Geoff Boss, RocketU
- Q&A With Duncan Logan, Founder of RocketSpace & RocketU
Recent RocketU Reviews: Rating 3.8
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As with all bootcamps, you get what you put in.
- It gave me a structured schedule to force myself to learn. This led to reading a ton and learning ReactJS.
- Worked on awesome projects with some great people.
- Met people with diverse backgrounds. For my final project, the two other members came from very different places (A math major graduate and an entrepreneur from Hong Kong ). Also met some people that I'm sure I'll maintain contact with.
- Web dev is interesting to learn and Django is an awesome framework.
- 12k is super steep
- Instruction period was only 6 weeks and the instruction materials were BAD.
- Not really any job support.
- Besides Suman, who is awesome, the other instructors gave me bad architecture directions which led to a ton of wasted time. I ended up reaching out for outside help regarding ReactJS and waiting for Suman to show up when I have Django questions.
- You can just Google or ask StackOver flow and get better answers.
- No one there knew front-end best practice.....
- When someone's attending a web dev bootcamp and they say they want to work on graph database or set up machine learning with Hadoop/Hive/what ever...I think the instructors have an moral obligation to curtail the students' focus.
- While most are awesome, some students didn't seem to belong, they ended up wasting a ton of class time and patience.
Me and the other people who went through this bootcamp learned a ton, but we definitely could've learned way more if the instructions were better.
My time as RocketU was filled with ups and downs from day one, beginning with the change of curriculum. None of the students were notified of the change prior to arriving (Not very ethical of RocketU) and frustrated many. This resulted in many dropping the class in the first week. However, their overall goal to change the curriculum was with good intension. Instead of spending approximately 10 weeks learning frameworks and two weeks building a final project, it is crammed into six weeks of learning and six weeks building three different projects of your choice. This gives you more time to explore technologies and build projects working in teams – a skill required in any software job. As you can imagine, anything done last minute is not done properly. There was several times where we received instructions that were ambiguous and contained errors and spelling mistakes - a frustrating time for us all. Numerous times we asked for new material and instructions and never received it despite being told they are working on it. I certainly hope they have fixed this for future classes.
The full-time instructors are very friendly and genuinely want to help out but the downside is that they are are not very experienced. Majority of the time we were left alone with a student who had graduated from the previous cohort and often resulted in us being miss-guided and not shown best practices. There was no one in the class who was an expert in front-end development. Again, a huge problem since all apps require front-end development. There is a new instructor for the upcoming cohorts who we worked with briefly for about a week – I do question his experience and ability.
RocketU market themselves and being a bootcamp with ACCESS to 175+ startups. This is not completely true. Yes, the bootcamp is in a startup working space but you can’t just go for a chat to any of them. They are running a business after all. However, there are ‘lunch and learns’ which RocketU organize and they are often have someone from one of the Startups in Rocketspace come and speak to you about their specialty. The lunch and learns are a hit and miss – some are very insightful and others are a sales pitch for their product.
From day one you are told that you are going to graduate the course being junior-medium full-stack developers. Depending on your prior experience you might be a very junior full-stack developer but if you are new to programing then don’t kid yourself. The course will give you a basic foundation but you will have to work extremely hard after the course to build up on your skills and to get a job in software development.
RocketU spends sometime trying to prep you for Interviews and demo/hiring day. We were told we would do mock-interviews prior to demo/hiring day. One student was lucky enough to go through this experience. The rest of us were only taken through this process afterwards (It’s not to late but too late for the actual day). The mock-interviews were also open to whatever you wanted to discuss. From my interviewing experience after the class, you will be asked technical questions and this is something that needs to be practiced in the class. The demo/hiring day is a good experience and RocketU genuinely does try to get you a job (even after the class they will send you emails about job openings).
They have recently opened up hiring days to alumni as well. This is a great feature for alumni but also put student graduating from the course at a slight dis-advantage to begin with since you have less experience.
Overall, I learnt a lot but I could have gained a lot more from the class if the above things had not happened.
I recommend RocketU to anyone trying to learn how to code and thinking they can possibly teach themselves at home.
Overall I'm happy for choosing RocketU. Having zero programming experience prior, I learned a ton in 12 weeks and ended it with 3 real full-stack projects now on my resume. The hard reality of attending any bootcamp is that it’s a lot to teach and learn in a very short amount of time. It’s ultimately up to each student to try to take as much out of the program as they can. I saw attending a bootcamp as only a first step to learn how to code. RocketU is still relatively new (I was in their 6th cohort) and yes, there were some ups and downs in this cohort as they were growing their staff and changing up the curriculum. There were regular check-ins/feedback sessions between staff and students though and I felt the team listened to feedback and made positive changes throughout the course. I see them making these changes to make it a stronger program for the long-term.
My favorite part of the program was being in a group setting. There’s something about struggling to learn something with others that helps me learn better. Plus I met some interesting people who I now consider friends. My second favorite part was the projects phase of the course (the whole second half) where I learned more by having to design, code, and implement a full project.
The overall experience was pretty terrible. For anyone looking into this bootcamp and hoping for interaction with the start-ups, there will NOT be any. The curriculum was worst than anything from Coursera. 12K is very steep for knowledge that you can Google. I had to teach myself numerous time, since most of the instructor have no front-end experience. None of the teachers really know Angular. There are numerous bootcamps around the Bay Area, I would recommend anyone looking into RocketU to go somewhere else. The positive reviews were all by people who worked for the bootcamp.....
They completely changed the curriculum a few weeks before my cohort started which makes all of the previous reviews irrelevant. They brought in a new general manager, and he seems to have no idea what he is doing. 1/2 of the class dropped out within the first week. As the bootcamp goes on, people are continuously dropping out because the quality of the material has just worsen. From talking to the previous cohort, only three people ended up getting hired. All the previous reviews complementing Yeti, guess what, they are no longer involved anymore. I had to drop out of this to join General Assembly because the people running it don't seem to care. I would really caution you before you join. unless your company's paying for you, I would turn to more establish bootcamps like DevBootcamp or General Assembly.
There are a few things that I love about this bootcamp. The instructors from Yeti are wonderful, they're extremely knowledgeable, truly want to help students learn and they have provide course materials that only years of industry experience can come up with. The students are simply awesome. We got along so well that I was very close to have an teary eye on the last day.... Like other reviewers have mentioned, Lunch and Learns. They are very valuable and also serves as another opportunity to reach out to potential employers.
If you are reading this, I'm sure you are concern about hiring rate of this bootcamp. I too did not find much info before. But I just want to bring up a few points. Sure, hiring rate is important, as it seems to be the 'return on investment'. It seems to me hiring rate is overly simplified way of evaluating a bootcamp. Mainly because looking for work itself is a fulltime job. It heavily depends on how aggressive a graduate is, how well this person do on interviews, whether his/her projects are all completed and deplyoed, whether this person is picky on which company to apply, etc.
It boils down to how much effort you've put into the projects and job search. The bootcamp teach you the skills you need, network with the startup founders for you, you also need to put in the effort to learn and really PUSH yourself. There are quite a few of my classmates found work within a month of graduation, some even have multiple offers (the ones who look aggressively).
All in all, I recommend this bootcamp. I had an amazing time and I've made some very good friends.
I recently completed the Fall 2014 Cohort at RocketU. Before joining RocketU I had tried another bootcamp in the area. After a few weeks I just couldn't keep up and decided to drop the program. I was upset and unsure whether I could learn to code but decided to keep trying on my own. I spent a couple of months going back through lessons on Codecademy, CodeSchool, and Treehouse. I was lonely working by myself and really wanted the camaraderie and structure of a bootcamp. Once I started looking around at different bootcamps I happened upon RocketU. I applied and, within a couple of days, I was speaking with Mimi, the RocketU Program Manager. I was a little hesitant since I hadn't heard much about RocketU and couldn't find much about the program online. I was also nervous about spending the time and money on another program.
Mimi invited me to attend Demo Day for the Summer 2014 cohort so I could see for myself the types of projects students created after just a few months in bootcamp. After the Demo Day, I was very impressed with the quality of work the students presented, the staff and instructors at RocketU, and the RocketSpace community.
Class is held from 9am – 6pm and consists of lecture and coding alongside the instructor as well as several do it yourself exercises which you can work on with a partner or by yourself. A large homework assignment is assigned usually by 4:00pm and you have until the next morning to work on the assignment. Class starts by having a couple of students present their code to the rest of the class. The instructor will ask questions and may complete a mini code review of the presenters work. If the student was unable to fully complete the assignment, the instructor will help guide them through a difficult part of the assignment. Presenting a coding assignment prepares you for demo day by learning how to speak technically and demo a project.
Extra perks include Lunch and Learns about two times a week and breakfast every morning. RocketSpace events are free and there are at least two happy hours a week. Students have access to RocketSpace 24/7 and there is a gym located in the building.
I can’t express how pleased I am to have attended RocketU and to give coding another chance. I discovered that I really can code and I'm in the process of starting a new job as a web developer.
I'm profoundly greatful for the education I got at RocketU. I learned more than I could have imagined in 3 months. I had very little programming knowledge before I started and I came out with a very strong base and understanding of what it takes to become a full-stack developer. I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking to dive into the world of coding in a supportive and friendly environment.
Our latest on RocketU
(updated August 2016)Continue Reading →
After graduating from college, Geoff Boss decided to attend RocketU, a 12-week Python bootcamp set in the middle of the Rocket Space campus. Geoff tells us why RocketU beat out other coding bootcamps when making his decision and how learning to code is "like a rollercoaster."
What were you up to before deciding to go to RocketU?
With an International Relations degree in hand, I worked freelance for a while before joining the winter 2014 cohort.
Did you apply to other bootcamps? Why did you ultimately decide on RocketU?
I applied to two other bootcamps before deciding on RocketU. I had already dabbled in Python and decided that I wanted to continue learning that language. After learning of the unique RocketU environment, which sits at the heart of RocketSpace’s startup incubator and their ability to teach Python, I knew this bootcamp was for me. These factors made me set on attending RocketU’s full stack developer bootcamp.
Which instructors/mentors were especially helpful to you? Did you feel like the teaching methods worked with your learning style?
Two of the primary instructors, Rudy “The Django Master” and Randal “The Java Script Enthusiast” brought their passion and knowledge to the classroom everyday. Teaching a bootcamp is difficult because each student absorbs information differently, but the Yeti instructors tried to adjust their teaching style to each student, being patient as they would pass by each one of us and answer our questions.
Can you talk about a time when you got stuck in the class and how you pushed through?
Learning code is a process that is quite like a rollercoaster. You learn each new line of code and language and sometimes you hit a roadblock and you may get slightly frustrated. However, with perseverance and determination it begins to click and you push through again. I believe succeeding is a mix of receiving help and integrating that information in order to understand and proceed with your project.
Tell us about your final project what technologies did you use, how long did it take, what does it do?
What are you working on now? Do you have a job as a developer or entrepreneur? What does it entail?
Currently I work with Heylets, a small San Francisco based company. When I arrived I began to rebuild their web presence from scratch, starting with a Django web app.
Would you have been able to learn to code and get a job without RocketU?
No definitely not. I had an interview for a software engineering internship before applying to RocketU and I was unsuccessful. In hindsight, I couldn’t have made a better decision.
In January 2011, Duncan Logan founded RocketSpace, a tech-accelerator for funded companies based in San Francisco. Since opening its doors, RocketSpace now supports over 500 companies, all contributing to the flourishing community that call RocketSpace their home. Six months ago, they broke onto the education scene with RocketU, a world-class developer bootcamp, where graduating students fluent in Python on Django- (many of whom now work for the RocketSpace housed companies - think Uber, Spotify, and Supercell) will gain access to advanced courses, facility and some of the hottest tech-startups on the planet!
We catch up with Duncan and Paul (RocketU Ops) about the unique developer bootcamp and what they’re looking for in potential students.
What is the RocketSpace, story and why have you now moved into the Developer Bootcamp space?
Duncan: Ever since RocketSpace started, we have focused purely on technology companies who have raised at least one round of funding. Between our current companies and our alumni, we’re over 500 companies. Our alumni include many of the best startups in the Bay Area such as Uber, Lead Motion, Pocketgems, Domo, Kabam and Podio. We cover across gaming, B2B and B2C, a full mix of technology. If you combine the amount of raised capital within RocketSpace, it’s over 3 billion dollars; which gives us a very different background than a typical bootcamp.
The reason we got into the education space is because the one thing that is consistent across our community is that all companies within RocketSpace are well-funded, and the vast majority of that funding is to be spent on hiring talent. We see this huge shortage, and not just for programmers per se, but for programmers who can get across the bar. If you’re a company that’s been funded by any of the quality VC firms, then you will know that the success of your business comes down to the quality of people you can attract and hire. You set a bar, and never hire below it. There are some great education organizations out there, some online and some physical that want to get students from knowing nothing to knowing something. That’s fantastic, and definitely drives awareness to the importance of developer bootcamps, but those students aren’t going to cross that preset bar unbeknownst to them. Most won’t be hirable having done only a 3 or 10 week course in one particular language, they will still probably be too early for most companies in RocketSpace to hire, and will most likely have to do an internship before anything real-time.
What makes RocketU unique?
Our difference is looking for people who have a good grounding in code, and then taking them above the bar. Honestly, even on our course, only 50% - 75% of the students will get over that bar in 10 weeks. The other half will need some practical experience i.e. an internship before we can place them.
Having such a close proximity to tech companies makes us view the graduating student as our product and not necessarily the curriculum we sell. Our vision is to create a brand and quality standard around the students that graduate from our course, that will be recognized nationally.
Why do you think Python is the best teaching language?
Paul: I graduated from the very first RocketU course, and got hired as a consultant at a company coding in Ruby on Rails. I spent a weekend working through Ruby tutorials, and then started on Monday. Python & Django are a really good foundation for other frameworks and languages.
Duncan: We listened to our RocketSpace companies, and heard what they were looking to hire, we found that most were looking for Ruby and Python. And then we researched what other bootcamps were already offering, and found that it was a lot of Ruby, and less Python. Python and Django is harder, so people wanting to do this course we believe, will have a deeper commitment to get into coding. Eventually, we will add Ruby and other languages as we continue to build out the curriculum.
What are you looking for in potential students? Can you quantify how much coding experience an applicant should have?
Duncan: We get about three people / day applying to RocketU, and the course is limited to 15 students. The first interaction is really key: we’re not looking for people who want to learn coding as a hobby, we want and look for people who seek a career in technology. To maintain this level, we set a coding challenge that has to be passed, before you can be admitted into the course.
What is your cohort size?
Duncan: We only accept 15 students per class, and each class has an instructor and teaching assistant. The core education ends at 5:30pm, but our instructors continue with them beyond if individuals need it.
Of your 15-student cohort size, how many are typically male vs. female?
Duncan: It is always a challenge to attract female students into tech and onto the technical courses. Physically, out of the 600 people at RocketSpace, less than 100 are female. At the moment, in our current course, there is only one woman. We want that to be 50/50 but I think it starts earlier in the education process, we need more women studying S.T.EM. subjects coming through school.
Once a student has been accepted, what type of pre-work is required? How do you ensure that everyone is on the same page on Day One?
Paul: We have them learn up on web fundamentals; I’ll send them challenges, for example I’ll give them a picture, and they have to turn it into a static webpage. They do a lot of reading on web protocol, terms and definitions. We have everyone’s test scores from their application, so teaching assistants can engage with the students before the course, and will work closer with anyone who had lower test scores. Students are hugely receptive to this, they don’t want to be the one who is behind. Especially if they’re paying for it!
There are a number of online boot camps and online classes that teach Python and other languages. Why do you think in-person classes are the most effective?
Duncan: A lot of people choose RocketU because they’re learning to code, but it’s also a 10 week interview to work with the companies at RocketSpace. The classes are set right in the heart of our RocketSpace campus, where we have beers and events and constant interaction with the start-ups. Start-ups will present at Lunch-&-Learns, and they love the fact that we’re running a bootcamp. They’re always asking who are the best students and who looks promising because they want to hire them. And vice versa for graduates, a lot of the students know who these companies are and they want to work with them.
But also, we see people who say they’ve been trying to learn online for six months, and frustratingly they’ve gotten nowhere, so they’ve bit the bullet and decided to immerse themselves for 10 weeks.
If someone isn’t looking for a job as a developer with a company, but instead wants to start their own business, is this a red flag, or do you welcome the founder mentality?
Duncan: In all of our classes, we see a couple people in this space. We welcome it. During the course, all students have to build a product, and obviously if you’re a founder, you’ll start working on that product you eventually want for your business. At the end of the first four weeks and at the end of the course, we do demo days. This is where the RocketSpace companies’ CEOs, founders etc. will sit and watch the presenting demos. For founders working on their own products, they get vital feedback from the community, plus it’s also a way to show off their product.
Do you have any graduates of RocketU who are now applying to RocketSpace?
Duncan: Not yet, but give us a year! What’s interesting, from an entrepreneurial point of view, is I sit through demo days and look at these ideas, I’ve expected the technology to be really good, but the idea to be weak, but in fact there have been some really good ideas, where I come away saying to the student, “if you were wanting to be an entrepreneur, I think you could get that funded.”
How do you help students find jobs once they’re graduated?
Duncan: That’s key, and without beating around the bush: we profit from students getting jobs,. If a student comes out of RocketU and we place them in a company, that company will pay us for that placement. And if the company is in RocketSpace and they need a desk to sit at, well, we benefit from that as well. We really take the time to understand their needs and wants in an employer, so we sit down with every student on a 1-1 basis, and hear from them how the course is going etc.
I’ll be totally honest though, I know there are bootcamps out there that say their students get places immediately after the course and they all get six-figured jobs, but I just don’t believe that. There are definitely students that come out of our course and have to go into internships before they get a job. Once they finish the course, they’re welcome to stay at RocketSpace to keep working on their portfolio and interviewing. I would say that within four months after the course, 100% of students who want a job, have a job. But having their own demo day, and then receiving 100K jobs offers the very next day, is just not realistic for most.
Anything else you’d like to add, Duncan?
We’re hiring like mad to build and grow RocketU. People put their life on hold to do this course, so they want it to be as intense as possible. There’s great demand, and I think it’s great that there are so many people doing different variations with bootcamps. We are firm believers that America will have a thriving technology sector and that is going to require legions of quality coders for years to come.
Does RocketU sound like your next big move? Check out their school page for courses, dates, and costs.