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Skill Distillery

Denver

Skill Distillery

Avg Rating:4.53 ( 74 reviews )

Skill Distillery is an intensive, 16-week Java bootcamp in Denver, Colorado. The course is arranged into three units – Java Programming, Server-side Java, and Front-end Development. The curriculum focuses on the fundamentals of programming, Java (and its libraries), unit testing, Spring, Spring MVC, and using a source code repository. Students will also gain experience deploying web content to a web server and navigating the server file system from the command line. Skill Distillery graduates will be prepared to take the Oracle Certified Associate – Java Programmer exam and will be on track for a career as a web interface designer or a full stack application developer.

No prior coding experience is required; instead, Skill Distillery looks for driven, determined and passionate people wanting to make a change in their life. Prospective applicants must complete an online assessment, meet with an admissions advisor, and finish a logic test.

Skill Distillery’s parent company, Batky-Howell, has more than 25 years of experience training more than 40,000 IT professionals from companies such as HP, Lockheed Martin, Level3, Time Warner and Disney.

Recent Skill Distillery Reviews: Rating 4.53

all (74) reviews for Skill Distillery →

Recent Skill Distillery News

  • Java Bootcamp

    Apply
    MySQL, HTML, Git, JavaScript, SQL, CSS, Java
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week16 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$19,950
    Class size20
    LocationDenver
    Upcoming 2019 Cohort Dates: SD22 July 8, 2019 SD 23 September 9, 2019
    Financing
    Deposit$1,000 *Goes towards total tuition cost of $19,950
    Financing
    Climb Credit
    Meritize
    ScholarshipScholarships are awarded based on need to ensure high-potential students have access to the training they need to enter the technology workforce. Scholarships are awarded for up to 50% of tuition. https://skilldistillery.com/scholarship/
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBasic Computer Knowledge
    Prep WorkYes; 40-60 hours
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes

1 Scholarship

  • $500 Skill Distillery Scholarship

    Course Report is excited to offer an exclusive Skill Distillery scholarship for $500 off tuition!

    Eligibility

    Offer is only valid for new applicants. Applicants who have already submitted an application cannot claim this scholarship. & This scholarship cannot be combined with other offers.

    Qualifying Courses

    • Java Bootcamp (Denver)

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  • Graduate
    - 8/28/2019
    Craig  User Photo
    Craig • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    The hardest school I have ever done including my bachelor of science degree…but worth it because it is exactly what I needed to make a career change.

  • Miguel  User Photo
    Miguel • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Excellent course that supports Vet Tec. It is highly comprehensive and gives you the tools you need to begin a career as a Full Stack Developer. As with anything, you will get what you put into it. It is not an easy course and will seem overwhelming at times. The vast amount of skills you acquire over such a short span of time is telling and a direct reflection of the staff.

  • Excellent Program
    - 8/28/2019
    Cecil Kitch  User Photo
    Cecil Kitch • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    There are a lot of bootcamps out there but Skill Distillery is special. The small class size, and the rigourous selection of instructors from a cultural stand point make this place shine. You can really tell the instructors care and consider the individual strengths and weaknesses of every student. Behind the scenes, they are constantly strategizing your individual development.

    The hard skills they teach, you will learn, will prepare you to enter the workforce as a Junior Level / Entry Level / Associate programmer. During the program you are introduced to the concept of pair programming, which will grow your soft skills. Your success, personal growth rate, etc. will be closely linked to how well you can work with others, and how you respond to feedback. But the good news is, if you get accepted, you already have those skills!

    If you are concerned about not having a CS degree, rest assured that you will be qualified for the jobs. The challenge will be that you need to demonstrate knowledge and skills during the interview process substantially more than a CS grad. 

    Overall, highly recommend A+ program. Attending Skill Distillery has been one of the best decisions I have made for my personal growth and development. I am stronger problem solver, with a lot more tools, and a lot more jobs available. I am graduating today and I am already experiencing a rush of interest from recruiters on LinkedIn and other jobs boards.

  • Tom B.  User Photo
    Tom B. • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I enrolled at Skill Distillery in April of 2018.  After 11 years in the insurance industry, I decided to pursue software development, and the best option I found here in Colorado was SD.  The instructors there were knowledgeable, professional, and genuinely cared about the students learning and future goals.  The price was comparable to other full-time options and they did a good job of helping with financial aid.  I was able to land a job within 3 months of graduation and I'm using what I learned there every single day!

  • FANTASTIC BOOT CAMP
    - 12/25/2018
    Novak Dobrosavljevic  User Photo
    Novak Dobrosavljevic • Associate Java Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    SUMMARY

    The learning process was intense consisting of 60+ hours of work a week. Each of the instructors was among the best I've ever had the privilege of learning from. I accepted a job offer I am incredibly excited about, for a position I really wanted, only a day after graduation. Overall, it was the best decision I have ever made.

    In the following chapters, you can read about my background, other students' backgrounds, Skill Distillery's strengths, the school's weaknesses, financing, and the outcome.

     

    MY BACKGROUND

    Firstly, have no fears about your background. The first person who to have a job in my cohort had never completed their Bachelor's degree. That same person was consistently one of the top performers in the course and had multiple job-offers weeks before completing the course.

    When I joined Skill Distillery, my experience with coding was next to none. A couple of months prior to attending the boot camp, I picked up some Ruby as a hobby, doing it for a few hours a week. That was enough for me to know that I want to turn that hobby into a profession. I had a bachelor's degree in business from Germany and experience in business development/sales. However, I do not think that either of these was needed for me to get a job. All you need is a combination of passion for technology and problem solving, discipline, and an always learning and collaborative mindset.

     

    OTHER STUDENTS

    Other students in my cohort came from all walks of life. From people who spent 23 years in the Military, to those who haven't been born that long ago. From people with no degrees to those with advanced ones. From business owners, through chefs, to insurance sales representatives. One thing they all had in common was that they were ready for a change and willing to learn. 

     

    WHY SKILL DISTILLERY (Strengths)

    I did a lot of research before deciding which boot camp to enroll. Skill Distillery was a clear winner, and here are some of the reasons:

            1) BEST CURRICULUM ON THE MARKET

    Java is the most popular language in the world (source: tiobe.com). It is used in many disciplines - from Web Development, through IOT, to machine learning. It is an object-oriented language, just like any other of the six languages with the highest TIOBE index. If you only learn Javascript, like at most other boot camps, you will limit your possibilities immensely. Also, switching from a statically typed language to a dynamically-typed one (e.g., Python) is easier than vice versa. At Skill Distillery, you get to learn Java, as well as the most widely used technologies and frameworks used with Java for web development (Spring framework, Maven, Gradle, etc.). Finally, you will come out a very well rounded web developer, as you will learn front-end technologies such as Javascript and Angular, as well as MySQL, a language very similar to SQL, which used to talk with your relational database.

          2) BEST INSTRUCTORS ON THE MARKET

    At most boot camps, you will get to learn from recent boot camp graduates. At Skill Distillery, the instructors are world-class experts and have an average of at least 20 years in the industry. They are also great pedagogues, and their teaching style is very involving. Each student also gets the individual help they need whenever working on a project/homework. Finally, a big shout out to the teaching assistants who have done a great job, often sitting with us until very late hours on Saturdays, rather than enjoying one of Denver's breweries. Good job lads.

     

    CONS OF SKILL DISTILLERY

          1 ) EXTREMELY FAST PACE

    The biggest con is that you have to learn all of the technologies I mentioned above, and so much more, in just 16 weeks. What that means is that almost every day you will be learning a whole lot of new things, and there is very little time to catch up on something you struggle with. I stayed many nights until after 11 pm to cope with such a pace, especially in the first 5 weeks. 

    On the positive side, we did get to work on two 10-day group projects, (a mid-term and a final project), which give you an excellent opportunity to work on your weaknesses and to exchange knowledge with your peers. Besides, you will get a week to prepare for Oracle's OCA exam, at which time you will get to solidify and improve your core Java skills.

     

    FINANCING

    Skill Distillery has a deal with Climb for loans, or, if you are a veteran, you can use GI Bill. I used Climb's loan to pay for the school. I am a recent immigrant, so my credit history is short, and therefore I got a very high interest rate. None the less, the return on investment is great. Consequently, even if your credit is not too good, it is probably still worth it getting a loan and attending this program.

    Comparing to some other boot camps, financing options are lacking support for the cost of living. You will have to figure out how you will afford your living expenses during the boot camp, as you will not have any time to work. I strongly urge Skill Distillery to find a partner who will offer a loan for the cost of living in addition to the tuition amount, as that may open the doors of attending to a lot of people.

     

    OUTCOME

    My cohort graduated last week, yet 2/11 of us already have jobs. Another person created a cool application for which some real estate companies have already offered to pay a subscription fee.

    Almost everyone from the two cohorts before mine found a job within 90 days of completing the course. The lowest salary accepted by an alumnus I have met was still above 60k, and the highest is over 90k. Everyone I talked to said that their income significantly increased compared to what they were making before attending the course, with some people doubling theirs.

  • Sebastian Hellsing  User Photo
    Sebastian Hellsing • App Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I am a Marine vet and I was also a System Administrator wondering how to move laterally into software development. When I stumbled into Skill Distillery, I had 7 years of sys/network admin experience and about 6 months of teaching myself Java. I decided that I needed a hard change in what I was doing if I ever wanted to have a real career change into Software Development and I found this school. I wanted a bootcamp that focused on Java and Skill Distillery promised Java along with a full stack of accompanying technologies to give you the potential to do almost anything once taught. With that, I received and accepted a job offer as a Full Stack Java Developer 5 weeks before the course ended.

    I covered the cost of the course with the Post 9\11 GI BILL. This course will take 9 months of benefits and was 100% worth every dime considering how quickly I went from absolutely beginner programmer to employed developer.

    The instructors:

    Steve is a pationate teacher and he will explain something to you 99 different ways if thats what you need to get it. Sometimes known as the "Java Meister".

    Rob is a literal wizard disquised as normal person.

    Kris is what happens when Javascript becomes self aware. Sometimes its scary.

    Andrew is also self aware Javascript but pretty.

    --

    In all seriousness, this is the best team of instructors that I have had for any course. Each instructor has a deep understanding of what they are teaching and often answer questions with additional context that answers questions that you didn't even know you had.

    The Curriculum: 

    There is a lot of material that is gone through in this course. You absolutely need to do all of the pre-work to get the most out of this course. If you have questions, you need to ask them as soon as you think them up. Sometimes things start moving fast and once you forget that question its pretty much gone forever.

    The material taught in the course has more than sufficiently prepared me for my current position. You will do so much coding that it will shock you how quickly you learn a codebase and become actually useful on your first job.

     

    In the time that I have been here, students receive enough training in valuable industry technologies that multiple students received job offers before the course ended. 10/10 would recommend.

  • Dennis  User Photo
    Dennis • Graduate Verified via Linkedin
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    I will start off with saying when I first started my journey at the Skill Distillery, I was skeptical and wary. I had done a lot of research before hand and there were arguments for both sides. I am not skeptical anymore. From Day 1 to Graduation Day, I have had nothing but the best experience.

    On to the instructors. From Steve to Rob to Andrew and to Kris, I have to say that the Skill Distillery has the best instructors hands down. I have taken a Java course at a college located in Denver (not naming any names) and the experience was dreadful. Steve taught what I had learned in a semester in two weeks and I was able to retain it all. I would like to take the time now to address the anonymous complaint against Steve by saying that it not only pure nonsense but 100% unfounded. There is no instructor who is more invested in the well being and success of his students than Steve. He is hilarious, kind, passionate and he can be stern when he needs to be. Take from me, I have gotten called out for being on Facebook or dozing in class but never once did I think it was inappropriate or like I was being attacked. Steve is the best Java/Spring guru and you will learn valuable information from him. Rob is the terminal wizard. Actually Rob is pretty much a wizard at everything and I learned a lot from picking his brain. Kris and Andrew were our instructors for the latter half of the course. They tagged team what I thought was the most cahllenging subjects which were Angular JS and JS. The way they engaged the students and conveyed the subjects was perfect. Last but not least, I don't think any of the students in my cohort including myself would have succeeded so well if it wasn't for the help of Aaron the TA. Aaron was always there to help you and help put the technigal aspects into layman terms. I could go on and on but the TL:DR of it all is the instructors at the Skill Distillery are phenomenal.

    All the knowledge and all the material we covered was staggering. It was challenging to say the least. I will say that you can make it through this course if you put forth 100% effort. That being said this course is not for everyone. I believe I came in every weekend for a minimum of 5 hours to finish projects or to have study groups. I came in early and stayed late every single day. I don't think I would have done as well had I not. We covered Java in four weeks and we got pretty far into the advanced subjects. After that we dove into the OCP prep. That alone solidified a lot fo what we had learned throughout the previous weeks. After that we covered Spring and some front end topics. From there we moved to JavaScript and then to Angular JS. I have interviewed with a few companies and done multiple coding challenges while on my job search. Everything we learned was covered in the interviews and challenges. In a nut shell the knowledge gained from this course will eventually lead you to getting a career in Software Development. Almost 90% of my cohort has landed jobs including myself so I can attest that this place works!

    In closing, the Skill Distillery was the best decision I have ever made. It is in my opinion the best Dev Bootcamp out there because it teaches Java for which there are tons of job opportunities for. The instructors are also the best ones out there in my opinion. Cole, the director, works tirelessly to work with students as well as local companies to open up job opportunites. He is the reason I was able to land a job with a well known contracting company. The material taught here will open doors for you as long as you put in the effort. Skill Distillery has a lot to offer and if I were you, I would not hesitate to sign up!

    Sincerely,

    Dennis

    P.S.: If you have any questions feel free to hit me up at dennis.carrasquillo@gmail.com

  • Mike  User Photo
    Mike • Java Software Engineer (Aug 2017) • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I'm a veteran who has prior professional experience (not coding related at all) in the corporate world. My prospects were quickly turning into a dead end and I had a family to support. I knew programming was the way of the future but I didn't have the time to dedicate to getting a four year CS degree. If coding boot camps like Skill Distillery didn't exist, I would have been a slave to a less than optimal job outlook.

    Skill Distillery has given me the tools I need to successfully break into the software engineering/development market. If you have a clearance you will have an immense number of job opportunities. Those who do not have clearances have plenty of opportunities as well. The market is booming! However, I won't sugar coat it. The process to get hired for positions that don't require clearances will require more of a dog and pony show (white boards, live-coding, homework code problem-solving tests, technical question grilling, in-person culture fit interviews) when interviewing with prospective employers.

    Now, let's get back to the boot camp. Before you actually get to the boot camp, make sure you go through the pre-work. Attempt to understand as many of the concepts in Java as you can prior to the first day of class.

    The boot camp is NOT easy and you should not underestimate it. You WILL be challenged. The instructors are highly qualified and truly care about teaching as well as ensuring that the students progress if they encounter any road blocks. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Even if you think you're asking a dumb question, you're investing time and money to be there. Make sure you do everything you can to understand concepts that are troubling you.

    Ultimately, do your best to stay light-hearted while your committing yourself to the intense learning process. It will be hard, but it will also be very rewarding. This is one of the few professions where you can build something from scratch that can be useful and solve real-world problems. Skill Distillery has all of the resources you need to succeed in this field if you're willing to put in the work.

  • Greg E  User Photo
    Greg E • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    First, I'd like to address the one anonymous review trashing Steve.  It's totally bogus.  Steve is passionate, smart, and hilarious, but if he sees you doing something you're not supposed to during classroom instruction, he is not afraid to call you out.  Not once did he yell at our class or threaten to kick anyone out.  If there's an issue with a student, the conversation is always held in private, there is no public shaming at Skill Distillery.  Now onto my review.

     

    I can echo just about every other review on here and tell you that Skill Distillery was life changing.  Before SD, I was in the military as an Army officer and like many other veterans had no idea what I wanted to do after I separated from the service.  After the military I worked a few jobs where I was underemployed and extremely unhappy.  Less than a week after graduating from SD I secured a job with a top defense contractor making 36% more than I was making before with a benefits package my previous employers couldn't begin to touch.

     

    The level of instruction at SD is top notch.  The instructors and TA are extremely knowledgeable and they are totally invested in ensuring you succeed.  Our TA would regularly stay until 9, 10, even 11 at night and come in on weekends to assist students with understanding topics and completing assignments.

     

    One of my favorite aspects of the course was the strong bond my class had - everyone was always helping each other out.  The relationships I built in the class were invaluable and consider many of my classmates good friends.  The SD alumni network is also great and very supportive.

     

    SD is not for everyone.  I have a four year degree and completed flight training for the Army and Skill Distillery was easily the most difficult thing I've ever done academically.  I personally put 60-70 hours a week into the course and came in most weekends to complete assignments, though I did find that in the last third or so of the course there's a bit more breathing room as you start to get more comfortable with the material.

     

    Cole, the school director, has lots of connections and is always engaging with employers to help get students a foot in the door.  SD is always looking to improve and Cole is constantly looking for feedback.

     

    For those of you reading this that hold a security clearance, especially a TS/SCI, I would HIGHLY recommend this course if you want to be a developer.  Since completing the course I get roughly 2-4 phone calls and/or emails a day from recruiters.

     

    I'll close by saying you'll get out what you put in.  If you work hard and put in the time you will come out of this course successful.

     

    If you have any questions about the course feel free to reach out to me at gmengler at gmail.com

  •  Nik Marchese  User Photo
    Nik Marchese • Software Engineer (Entry Level) SE1 • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    This program was everything I could've wanted it to be. I applied for entry into Skill Distillery (SD) having never written a line of code in my life. At the time, I had a roommate who was already a successful software developer and all of my previous attempts to start a meaningful career had come to nothing. I decided to give software development a shot, and SD seemed like a good fit. The price tag was intimidating, but SD ended up being worth every penny. I learned an absolutely massive amount in a short period of time, and I enjoyed every bit of it, which is not something I can say about my 6 years of college. The program was difficult, and certainly not for everyone, but for someone like me (always enjoyed problem solving, and able to be fully dedicated to the program's relatively demanding schedule) it was exactly what I needed. Upon completion of the program I was able to get multiple job offers for over the salary I was looking for. The job I ended up taking was one that I was specifically referred to through SD connections. Now, a few months in, I am loving my new career and I'm excited to continue building upon the second to none foundation of coding knowledge I got from Skill Distillery.
  • Matthew Jump  User Photo
    Matthew Jump • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    First off I do want to say that Skill Distillery is definitely not for everyone. If you are willing to put in the time and effort then it can be very rewarding.

    I came into the program with probably a lot more to lose than most others that come into the program. I have a wife and 2 young kids, only an Associate Degree in a non-technical field, and no coding experience. 

    The first part of the program was a deep dive into Java in which I struggled with. The instructors, Steve and Rob, are excellent instructors. They are both very knowledgeable and passionate. Seeing a bad review about Steve upsets me because if it weren't for him I would not be where I am today, a software engineer which I will talk about. With 4 months of instruction from these 2 instructors I was able to take and pass the Oracle Certified Associate Java SE8 Certification. I personally put in a lot of extra hours but it was worth it.

    After that you learn a lot more technologies that are highly sought after in the industry. This portion is just as intense as the Java portion because you are learning new technologies every week/few days. In the latter half the instructors, Andrew and Kris, are just as excellent as the other 2. The teaching style was definitely different but they were able to explain things in a different manner that made it easier for me to understand. 

    With all of the things I was taught I was able to graduate Skill Distillery with a job already lined up. I recieved a software engineer position for a national company. I was able to interview confidently for this job about 4 weeks prior to graduation. I was hired alongside individuals that had Bachelor Degrees in Computer Science with 1-2 years experience and the only experience I had was Skill Distillery. It shows that you are taught a lot and the technolgies taught are desirable.

    I will reiterate that Skill Distillery is not for everyone. You will be in class for 8:30am-6:00pm pretty much every day during the week. You will put in extra hours at night and on the weekends. If you struggle like I did you will need to put in a lot more. But if you have doubts like I did, I will tell you it is worth it. You will not regret it. 

  • Life Changing
    - 2/9/2017
    Chris Buttaro  User Photo
    Chris Buttaro • Junior Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Without Skill Distillery I would not have the high paying, Junior Software Engineer position I have now.  In my new position I will be joining three Skill Distillery graduates already working for my new employer.  Before the course my options were to take a position setting up TV dishes on roofs, go back to my old job contracting in Afghanistan, or go to college for another two years.  That is not to say you it will be easy for you find a job after completing this course if you do not have a four year degree.  In my case I had a particular military background which helped me obtain my current position.  

     

    Skill Distillery is an excellent course for professionals who would like to start a career in the programming/Web Development industry.   It is challenging, and you will have to work many nights and many weekends.  That being said the atmosphere at the school is incredible, the instructors are highly knowledgeable, patient, and supportive.  You will be amazed at the skills you pick up in just four months time.

     

    You will have a lot to to add to your resume when you are finished.  Skill Distillery pays close attention to the most relevant technologies being used by the industry and focuses on teaching you only those skills you will need to get hired. You will been given an excellent prep-week and an opportunity to be certified by Oracle as an Associate Java Programmer.  You will have your own account with Amazon Web Services running a Tomcat server with many, impressive web-apps that you have built, up and running for employers to see. In addition all of your projects will be on a public github account that employers can also reference.  

     

    If you are accepted into Skill Distillery, it is because they think you have what it takes to get through the program and start a new career subsequently. Skill Distillery will provide you with the training necessary, in highly productive atmosphere, to enter into the software development field.     

     

       

  • Chana • Full stack job applicant • Student
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    This was a very worthwhile experience. I'm coming from a very different field, and I needed a school that has strong connections to local businesses. I also wanted in-person instruction from instructors with experience in the field. This school far exceeded my expectations, and I feel well prepared to start a new career in a different field. The instructors are prepared to personalize instruction where needed, and they do a great job of breaking down complex topics for people unfamiliar with the content. The graduates also find work pretty quickly after completion, and the school is a big help with job search assistance.The entire staff is very open to student feedback, and I felt that they were very responsive. I'm very glad I came to this school. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to train or retrain for a new career.

  • Best Program
    - 8/28/2019
    Dunwei Zheng • Graduate
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    Skill Distillery was one of the most challenging and over the top schools I have ever been to. Coming from a non coding background I believe what I have learned at this school has given me enough that I can succeed in this field of work. The Instructors here are very informative and down to earth they will help you whenever you need it but at the same time push you to the extreme to get you reading and breathing code. I will say this if you are not serious, can't handle pressure, and don't like failing this is probably not for you. Through this course you will come to understand that in coding you will have alot of pressure, you will be failing alot of code, and you will be playing catchup most of the program. But when everything finally connects you will be gratful for what this program has prepared you. You will be surprised at how much you know, and you will not regret it.

  • Gregory Kraehenbuehl • Graduate
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    This boot camp isn't going to be easy. I think a lot of us made the analogy that it felt like standing in front of a firehose of information that we were frantically trying to absorb.

    But I loved it, I remembered it all, and if I forgot anything I always had a fantastic resource to look back through to find my answers.

    This boot camp will absolutely prepare you for your future, and they are some of the kindest and focused individuals you will get to work with to help you on your journey. When you are graduated, they encourage you to hang out and look for a job in their lobby, and ask for help with resumes and cover letters.

    They are incredibly supportive, and the small class room (I had 10) means that you get a lot of focus and attention if you need it.

    You'll have to work hard. I kid you not. It will be worth it though, and you'll be better for it, and the employers they know come to them specifically for students because they know we are well prepared and people who are capable of learning.

  • LIFE CHANGING
    - 12/25/2018
    Novak Dobrosavljevic • Associate Java Developer • Graduate
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    SUMMARY

    The learning process was intense consisting of 60+ hours of work a week. Each of the instructors was among the best I've ever had the privilege of learning from. I accepted a job offer I am incredibly excited about, for a position I really wanted, only a day after graduation. Overall, it was the best decision I have ever made.

    In the following chapters, you can read about my background, other students' backgrounds, Skill Distillery's strengths, the school's weaknesses, financing, and the outcome.

     

    MY BACKGROUND

    Firstly, have no fears about your background. The first person who to have a job in my cohort had never completed their Bachelor's degree. That same person was consistently one of the top performers in the course and had multiple job-offers weeks before completing the course.

    When I joined Skill Distillery, my experience with coding was next to none. A couple of months prior to attending the boot camp, I picked up some Ruby as a hobby, doing it for a few hours a week. That was enough for me to know that I want to turn that hobby into a profession. I had a bachelor's degree in business from Germany and experience in business development/sales. However, I do not think that either of these was needed for me to get a job. All you need is a combination of passion for technology and problem solving, discipline, and an always learning and collaborative mindset.

     

    OTHER STUDENTS

    Other students in my cohort came from all walks of life. From people who spent 23 years in the Military, to those who haven't been born that long ago. From people with no degrees to those with advanced ones. From business owners, through chefs, to insurance sales representatives. One thing they all had in common was that they were ready for a change and willing to learn. 

     

    WHY SKILL DISTILLERY (Strengths)

    I did a lot of research before deciding which boot camp to enroll. Skill Distillery was a clear winner, and here are some of the reasons:

            1) BEST CURRICULUM ON THE MARKET

    Java is the most popular language in the world (source: tiobe.com). It is used in many disciplines - from Web Development, through IOT, to machine learning. It is an object-oriented language, just like any other of the six languages with the highest TIOBE index. If you only learn Javascript, like at most other boot camps, you will limit your possibilities immensely. Also, switching from a statically typed language to a dynamically-typed one (e.g., Python) is easier than vice versa. At Skill Distillery, you get to learn Java, as well as the most widely used technologies and frameworks used with Java for web development (Spring framework, Maven, Gradle, etc.). Finally, you will come out a very well rounded web developer, as you will learn front-end technologies such as Javascript and Angular, as well as MySQL, a language very similar to SQL, which used to talk with your relational database.

          2) BEST INSTRUCTORS ON THE MARKET

    At most boot camps, you will get to learn from recent boot camp graduates. At Skill Distillery, the instructors are world-class experts and have an average of at least 20 years in the industry. They are also great pedagogues, and their teaching style is very involving. Each student also gets the individual help they need whenever working on a project/homework. Finally, a big shout out to the teaching assistants who have done a great job, often sitting with us until very late hours on Saturdays, rather than enjoying one of Denver's breweries. Good job lads.

     

    CONS OF SKILL DISTILLERY

          1 ) EXTREMELY FAST PACE

    The biggest con is that you have to learn all of the technologies I mentioned above, and so much more, in just 16 weeks. What that means is that almost every day you will be learning a whole lot of new things, and there is very little time to catch up on something you struggle with. I stayed many nights until after 11 pm to cope with such a pace, especially in the first 5 weeks. 

    On the positive side, we did get to work on two 10-day group projects, (a mid-term and a final project), which give you an excellent opportunity to work on your weaknesses and to exchange knowledge with your peers. Besides, you will get a week to prepare for Oracle's OCA exam, at which time you will get to solidify and improve your core Java skills.

     

    FINANCING

    Skill Distillery has a deal with Climb for loans, or, if you are a veteran, you can use GI Bill. I used Climb's loan to pay for the school. I am a recent immigrant, so my credit history is short, and therefore I got a very high interest rate. None the less, the return on investment is great. Consequently, even if your credit is not too good, it is probably still worth it getting a loan and attending this program.

    Comparing to some other boot camps, financing options are lacking support for the cost of living. You will have to figure out how you will afford your living expenses during the boot camp, as you will not have any time to work. I strongly urge Skill Distillery to find a partner who will offer a loan for the cost of living in addition to the tuition amount, as that may open the doors of attending to a lot of people.

     

    OUTCOME

    My cohort graduated last week, yet 2/11 of us already have jobs. Another person created a cool application for which some real estate companies have already offered to pay a subscription fee.

    Almost everyone from the two cohorts before mine found a job within 90 days of completing the course. The lowest salary accepted by an alumnus I have met was still above 60k, and the highest is over 90k. Everyone I talked to said that their income significantly increased compared to what they were making before attending the course, with some people doubling theirs.

  • Kyle P • Java Developer • Graduate
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    This boot camp is very different from others i researched and heard about as it teaches Java! While this makes the course much more difficult, it also give you a huge advantage over other bootcamp grads who only know javascript or ruby. Java is a tough language to learn, let alone that you learn it in two months.The first two months focuses on Java and then you move onto finishing the stack while always using java for your back end.  This course is well worth you money and time but know it is a lot of material to cover in a short amount of time. Skill Distillery did an awesome job with amazing instructors. I would and do recommend this corse to anyone. I was one of the luckier ones in my class and was able to secure a job before graduation. I do feel strongly  that my class mates will have a developer job shortly.

  • Jeremy Botta • Graduate
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    I originally started looking at coding bootcamps after deciding that the way colleges handled Computer Science wasn't for me.  It felt like the material was moving so slowly and had a lot of information that wasn't relevant to actual programming.  After two and a half years, I knew a lot of concepts, but I knew almost nothing of how to really write a program.  Initially, this drove me away from programming, but I decided to try it again with a different approach.

    Skill Distillery stood out to me because of their curriculum.  Most of the other bootcamps put a focus on front-end development, but Skill Distillery teaches full stack development.  I really liked that I could put together a program and understand every aspect of it, rather than just bits and pieces.  Skill Distillery's curriculum is really tailored to be enticing to employers.  The technologies that they teach are the top technologies used in practice.  Java, MySQL and Angular in particular are all highly sought after.

    More importantly than the technologies are the fundamentals that this school teaches.  It's not just about plugging in code where it belongs, it's about understanding what that code is doing and knowing exactly why it needs to be there.

    There were times when the course got difficult, but the staff members were always there to lend a hand and were very patient.  

    I would highly recommend Skill Distillery to anyone interested in learning how to program.

  • Alex Murphy • Graduate
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    Making the decision to restart my career and enter the world of software development did not stop feeling like a crazy decision until the middle of my second week at Skill Distillery. I had just moved across the country, away from friends, family, and continued employment for…what exactly? To work harder than I ever had before towards the idea of coding for decent pay, rather than as a nerdy hobby? Essentially, yes, and it was the best decision I could have made at that point in my life.

     

    I started looking into coding bootcamps after spending several years in other industries, always working hard but rarely making more progress than simply treading water. After speaking with some old friends (and occasionally less emotionally invested acquaintances), I decided that the coding bootcamp that would best fit my needs and goals would be one that focused on learning the full development stack with Java as the base, general purpose language. Thus began my application process: with my search parameters in place, the filtering process was at hand.

     

    The bootcamps that focused on JavaScript, HTML/CSS, and other front-end frameworks were cut out from my search at the start. It’s not that these aren’t useful; it’s that my personality type needs to know how everything works, and so manipulating only one side of an equation without understanding where that information came from would drive me up the wall. This left the full-stack camps, and in this group Skill Distillery kept floating to the top of the list. Other reviews indicated smaller class sizes than other bootcamps (true), highly relevant curriculum (also true, and continually updated with private sector input), and most importantly to me, a teaching staff that was dedicated to and invested in the success of the students. This last part was more true than any college or vocational course I had attended previously, and is unquestionably the major driver of the success both I and my classmates had at SD.

     

    As a final thought relating to classmates, going through 16 weeks with my cohort led to incredible new friends bonded by the intensity of this process. We were all in it together, all invested in our collective success, and for all of these reasons I would not only do it again in a second but would (and have) recommended it to close friends.

  • Best decision ever
    - 8/28/2018
    Wilson • Graduate
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    I'm from the UK and previously worked in Investment Banking. I attended Skill Distillery after doing tons of research on the best bootcamp to go to. Skill Distillery really stood out as having the best class sizes as well as a solid full-stack curriculum. The course is tough to start with but once you begin to grasp the concepts, everything falls in place. A huge part of this is down to the instructors. Steve, our Java instructor, was fantastic and one of the best teachers I’ve had to date. He really cared about helping you learn the fundamentals and when it came to the end of the course, he really spent the time to make sure you’re in the best shape to get a job e.g. CV and cover letter. Andrew taught us JavaScript for the second part of the course and was amazing help especially when it came to our final projects (he’s extremely knowledgeable on all topics Angular!). Overall, I have no regrets about going to Denver, attending Skill Distillery, and would highly recommend to anyone thinking about switching careers!

  • Jackie McKenna • Future Software Developer • Graduate
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    For those hesitant to enter into a boot camp, I understand. I had concerns about my age, my ability to learn a new skill, not graduating with a bachelor’s in computer science, the possible stigma of being a boot camp graduate by employers/companies, and the duration of my job hunt.

    A little about me: I was in the military for 8+ years (non-IT related field), 30+ years old, with a bachelor’s degree in social science. Prior to completing Skill Distillery, I left the military during the summer of 2016 to pursue a second undergrad in computer science at a university located in Maryland. After a semester, I couldn’t fathom another 3 ½ years as I would be 33-34 years old by the time I graduated. Looking for an alternative solution, I started looking around for boot camps though it took me six-months to finally take the plunge and apply to a boot camp.

    I chose Skill Distillery because it was located in Colorado, approved by the VA so I could use my GI Bill, and taught Java. After completing their technical assessments (online multiple-choice logic test and a virtual Skype-like face-to-face logic test), I found out I made it and was ecstatic.

    The first month was grueling as we focused primarily on Java basics. The first two-weeks of the course, in my opinion, was equivalent to my one semester of Java during my undergrad. Take the pre-work (homework prior to entering Skill Distillery) seriously. I was lucky to have a semester of Java, but as I mentioned before, the semester of Java at my previous university only helped me for the first two weeks of the course.

    About a month into the course, the instructors prepare you to take the Oracle Java SE 8 Programmer exam. Majority of my classmates who decided to take the exam passed, to include myself (I mention this because of my initial fear of not being able to learn a technical skill and to quell anyone’s doubts about themselves because if I can do it, you can). Reasons why you wouldn’t want to take the test: one, the cost (~$250) and two, you did not do as well as you wanted to on the six to eight mock exams given prior to the Oracle Java exam.

    The months will go by quickly and you will get what you put into it. If you have any questions about a new concept, Skill Distillery’s amazing instructors will give you their undivided attention and make sure you understand it. During the weekends, you will have a weekend project (except for two or three weekends). When you have a weekend project, Skill Distillery will have a TA available to answer your questions during a Saturday or Sunday, in Skill Distillery's classroom, to assist you in your project.

    Since graduating the program on the 20th of November, about three-weeks of actively searching for a job, I had a few offers (I mention this as my proof that Skill Distillery will provide you with the skills to show employers that you are junior level material).

    I could go on and on and shower Skill Distillery with compliments. It is worth your time if you’re interested in becoming a software developer.

    If I had one suggestion, it would be for the program to focus a few more hours on the job preparation and hunt (resume, cover letters, more interview questions, technical questions, and behavioral questions). At the same time, Google’s search box, Skill Distillery’s alumni network, its staff and instructors, and the actual interview process will help you become more comfortable with the job search and give you a better idea of what employers expect from a junior level developer.

    Though, to defend Skill Distillery and my comment about the program incorporating a few more hours of job preparation, I want to mention that Skill Distillery does a great job in taking input from students. Throughout the program, at least twice, the founder, Bruce, came into our classroom to ask us for our thoughts to improve the program. The program and instructors continually change their curriculum to meet technical needs of employers and to improve their students’ overall experience. I have a really good feeling with Skill Distillery’s recent staff hire and dedicated time to enhance their curriculum during the month of December 2017 that the program will improve for the betterment of future students.  

    To give you an idea of how long it took to me to find a job (a prior concern of mine), my experience from the time I started my job search to an actual offer took about three weeks. The process was 1) talk to a recruiter and explain why I was a good fit, 2) conduct an online assessment and/or technical interview over the phone or Skype, 3) complete an on-site interview, and 4) wait to hear back and/or provide additional references. 

    Some of my classmates found jobs sooner or later. I want to note that I graduated towards the end of the fiscal year (Nov 20) so there was less emphasis on hiring and more emphasis on closing out a company's budget (from what I was told or maybe it was to ease my concerns during my job hunt). Either way, I mention this for future applicants to consider. It’s still possible to find a job during the end of the year, but it may be tougher.  

    To sum up the program, it’s worth your time and will give you the skills you need to be successful. At the end of the program, you will have your own personal website, a portfolio of projects on Github, a network of peers, alumni, and instructors/staff to reach out to and connect with, and the knowledge to become a junior level software developer.

    I wish you the best in your search for a boot camp! 

  • Christopher Bianchi • Full Stack Developer • Graduate
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    Making the transition into more technical roles in Software, I decided to pursue full stack development at Skill Distillery. While most programs offered only Ruby, SD focused on Java. Skill Distillery provided me the platform I needed to differentiate myself as a developer, and engineer, and learn dozens of new technologies in only 16 weeks, all of which were essential pieces to allow me to launch and design my own web applications.

    They focus quality and team dynamics above all else. There was no replacement for hard work, and there was no lack of quality professors and teacher's aide assistance on the side to ensure we all were truly grasping materials as we were moving at such a rapid pace. I couldn't appreciate more the time of the staff: Cole, Erin, Rob, Steve, Andrew, Kris, and Aaron. They are always willing to put the time in to help if you are interested in putting the extra time to learn.

    This program is not for those wishing to take an easy way out to become a developer. This program is a lot of hours, and a lot of work, however for those that really want to build an invaluable skillset to differentiate yourself in the market, come to Skill Distillery.

  • Great course
    - 8/10/2017
    Eric Lee • Graduate
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    I was an electrical engineer who was looking for a career change. I was skeptical about boot camp but skill distillery has changed my mind. 

    The staffs are friendly and the course is challenging. As long as you are eager to learn and interested in programming you will do well. 

    First half you will learn Java and get ready to take in lots and lots of information. Personally, I thought this was the most important and basic part of the class. The instructors are always excited and ready to ask your questions. Always try to come up with questions. 

    For the second half, we learn front end and in between. It is fun and the instructors make it easy to understand the technologies. 

    I do recommend skill distillery and I think it is an awesome course as long as you are motivated and excited in programming.

  • Jonathan Borgia • Software Engineer, Tools Development • Graduate
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    I researched and reviewed a lot of bootcamps before choosing SD. If you can name them, i probably looked at them (it was part of my job in marketing). Skill Distillery is not a laid back, take everyone program. Be ready to take a small battery of tests as part of the application process. They want to make sure you aren't wasting your time and wont be in over your head. It is a genuine full stack program (meaning you learn back end database architecture and management in SQL, middleware/businessware with JAVA, and front end design tools of HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, JQuery, and AngularJS). Most of the other programs I researched focused mostly on JavaScript and its derivatives. If you want to be a front end designer, one of those programs may be better suited to you. If you want to become a software engineer, you should pick Skill Distillery. The staff is super involved and take the time to work one on one when needed. I've been out of the program for 4 months now and am making over 90k/yr. Couldn't be happier.
  • Shaun Dashjian • Full Stack Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Skill Distillery is the place to join to prepare you to start your dream career as a Software Developer. Before I joined, I researched the various bootcamps available and Skill Distillery stood out for their commitment to effective education and successful career placement.

    I joined the school in January, 2017 and graduated in May, 2017. My experience has been life changing. Skill Distillery has a fantastic team of instructors who are highly experienced in what they teach and very passionate about software development and seeing their students succeed.

    During the 4 months of the program, I have learned a solid and effective software development skill-set and developed a portfolio of over 7 applications that showcase the value I could provide to future employees.

    Close to graduation, the staff prepared us for our job search with various tips. And following exactly what they recommended and leveraging what I learned in the program, I got and accepted an offer as a full stack software engineer after just 1 month from graduation. 

    Skill Distillery is a great place to learn and prepare for a great career as a software developer. Join and don't look back. 

     

Thanks!