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Skill Distillery

Denver

Skill Distillery

Avg Rating:4.65 ( 100 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.

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  • Full-Stack Web Development w/ Java Bootcamp (Online)

    Apply
    SQL, MySQL, JavaScript, Java, HTML, Git, Front End, CSS, AngularJS
    OnlineFull Time43 Hours/week16 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$19,950
    Class size15
    LocationDenver
    Become a software engineer in as little as 16 weeks. Upcoming 2020 Cohort Dates SD 27 July 13, 2020 SD 28 September 21, 2020 SD 29 November 9, 2020
    Financing
    Deposit$1,000 * Applied toward total tuition cost.
    Financing
    Tuition PlansMonthly payment plan options are available
    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% off tuition https://skilldistillery.com/scholarship/
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBasic Computer Knowledge
    Prep WorkYes: 40-60 hours
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • Full-Stack Web Development w/Java Bootcamp (Onsite)

    Apply
    Java, HTML, CSS, Git, JavaScript, MySQL, SQL
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week16 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$19,950
    Class size20
    LocationDenver
    Upcoming 2020 Cohort Dates: SD 27 July 13, 2020 SD 28 September 21, 2020 SD 29 November 9, 2020
    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
  • Part-Time Full-Stack Java

    Apply
    SQL, REST, MySQL, MVC, Java, GitHub
    OnlinePart Time14 Hours/week18 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$9,950
    Class size35
    LocationDenver
    Skill Distillery’s Java full-stack programming is an immersive, hands-on program where you learn the critical coding skills to build a lasting career as a full-stack Java application developer. Our goal is to create an environment where you can focus on building the skills you need to transition into a career you love.
    Financing
    Deposit500
    Financing
    Tuition financing options available through Climb
    Refund / GuaranteeThe deposit is 100% refundable.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelNo prior experience is necessary
    Prep WorkOnce you have been accepted into the program, there is required prework.
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • Web Development with Java (Online)

    Apply
    MySQL, Java
    OnlineFull Time42 Hours/week12 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$14,950
    Class size30
    LocationDenver
    We started with a simple question: What programming skills will give our students a competitive edge in today's job market? We did the research, and Java is the clear winner. Java gives our graduates twice as many job opportunities. For over 15 years, Java has been and is one of the most popular programming languages worldwide with over 51 billion Java Virtual Machines installed.* The bottom line is Java is here to stay! When it comes to Java we "wrote the book." We have trained over 40,000 students in Java over 20 years as well as published Java training materials used by companies worldwide. No other school comes close to our Java experience and expertise.
    Financing
    Deposit$1000
    Financing
    Financing is available through CLIMB Credit Loan

    In Full: $14,950

    Monthly Payments: $4,650

    0% Interest Loan: $581

    Monthly Payments During and After Course

    Climb Credit Loan: $81-$175
    Monthly Payments During Course ($479-$532 for 36 months after course)

    Pay After You Get Hired: $774**
    Tuition PlansIn Full: $14,950 Monthly Payments: $4,650 0% Interest Loan: $581 Monthly Payments During and After Course Climb Credit Loan: $81-$175 Monthly Payments During Course ($479-$532 for 36 months after course) Pay After You Get Hired: $774**
    Refund / GuaranteeYes
    ScholarshipYes. See website for details.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelHS Diploma
    Prep WorkPre-work is provided once accepted into the program.
    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

    • Full-Stack Web Development w/Java Bootcamp (Onsite) (Denver)
  • 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. 

     

  • Matt Gmur • Graduate
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    I graduated from Skill Distillery in May and I have to say that attending the bootcamp was an extremely rewarding experience.

    I came into the program with a B.S. in Economics and some technical work experience but no programming outside of a 101 C++ class 5 years ago. The program is very fast paced and it's easy to fall behind if you're not keeping up on the labs and projects. If you decide to attend then I would recommend doing all of the assigned pre-work and as many Codecademy and HackerRank courses as you can stomach. Getting familiar with loops and methods before you attend will be extremely helpful as the first few weeks can be pretty brutal if you’re starting from scratch.

    The instructors at Skill Distillery are excellent. They deliver the course material in a very clear, accessible way that makes learning how to code exciting and rewarding. Programming is complicated but they do a fantastic job of explaining very complex subjects in a simple and concise way. Class sizes are small so it’s easy to get help if you’re struggling with a lab or project. My class had 13 students and we formed a pretty tight bond amongst the cohort and our instructors by the end. Class is actually a lot of fun and I looked forward to going everyday. Class time is broken up into periods of lecture followed by hands on labs so the days actually fly by and you’ll always be engaged.

    There are easier bootcamps out there. If you want to go to an easy bootcamp then Skill Distillery probably isn't the right choice for you. The biggest thing I can say about the course is you will get out of it what you put into it. If you expect to coast and do the bare minimum then you won’t learn much and you won’t enjoy the program. Expect to put in 60 or 70 hours a week. My cohort had students who showed up in morning at 7:00 AM and didn’t leave until after 10:00 PM, including weekends.

    I’d hazard to guess that the negative reviews that you read here are from people who didn’t have the right expectations going into the program. Either they thought the course was too hard or they thought that they were going to be handed a job with their graduation certificate as they walked out the door. The program is designed to teach beginners how to write clean, functional code and it does a very, very good job at exactly and only that. If your expectations are different Skill Distillery probably isn’t for you.

    If none of that scares you then I hope that you decide to attend. This course has been a great investment for me personally and if you’re willing to put in the time and hard work I know it will be for you too.

    -Matt

  • Chaz • Junior Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I graduated from this course in March and can't say enough good things about it.

    For starters, if your primary concerns are the same as mine, I found a job within two weeks making six figures (individual results may vary). 

    Regarding what I realized was really the important part while I was in the course - the instruction was top notch and the class atmosphere/chemistry was extremely positive and engaging. Make no mistake though, this is challenging. I've got an undergrad from a top university and the better part of an MBA and this was by far the most challenging thing I've ever done academically. This being the case, the instructors' ability to make it fun and engaging is absolutely critical and these guys nailed it.

    Since there was a bad review that mentioned Steve by name, I'll say specifically that this blew me away. I liked everyone, so I don't want to play favorites, but Steve was my favorite. Legitimately probably the best instructor I've ever had, and again, I've been through a fair bit of "traditional education" including a degree from a top ranked university and countless military courses in my previous career. The man literally has "JAVA" tattooed on his knuckles. Ok, he doesn't, but he should.

    Give Cole a call today if you're considering this course.

  • Joshua Bone • Graduate
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    When I was searching for bootcamps in summer 2016 there were only two programs in the nation that accepted the GI Bill, so I can’t really say that my choice of Skill Distillery was based on extensive research. That being said, and knowing what I know now about the industry, I consider myself extremely fortunate to have attended this school. 
     
    Some things you should know:
     
    1) Skill Distillery is, to my knowledge, the only bootcamp that teaches the Java programming language. This is a very important fact. Java is a completely different beast than Javascript (which most bootcamps teach, and which you will also learn here). Knowing Java automatically puts you into reach of many thousands of jobs that most bootcamp graduates will never have a shot at. (If you’re new to this, do an Indeed search for the keywords “Java Developer”). If your primary interest is designing nice-looking websites, then there are certainly better programs out there; however, if you’re looking to get your hands dirty learning full stack Java development, well, that’s where the money’s at, and to my knowledge there’s only one show in town that’ll get you up to speed in such a short amount of time.
     
    2) Skill Distillery is best suited for transitioning professionals. To my knowledge they are selectively looking for people who already have awesome resumes. You’ll be in class primarily with people who have college degrees and/or security clearances, and probably years of experience in their respective fields. I don’t want to scare people away from applying, but you should know that the quality and talent of your fellow students here will be off the charts. Not to worry though—there’s no competition, grading, or class ranking here. Everything is pass or fail, and the instructors are amazingly generous with their time, often staying after hours or coming in on weekends to ensure the success of every student. At least half of the projects are team efforts, as well. 
     
    3) Skill Distillery’s educational program can be neatly divided into two very distinct halves, each with its own very unique teaching style:
     
    The first half (taught by Rob and Steve) is a very rigorous and formal course learning back-end (server-side) technology. You’ll cover Java in 4 weeks, and will then spend a week studying for the "Oracle Certified Java SE 8 Programmer” certification. Taking the test is optional and will cost you an extra $245, however, the instructors will provide you with plenty of study materials, practice exams, and feedback to help you make that decision. For reference I think about half of our class earned the certificate, which makes a pretty stellar bullet point on your resume! After this you’ll move on to SQL databases and the Spring framework. If you weren’t overwhelmed already, this is where it really started to feel for me like jumping into the deep end of a pool with no swimming experience, but after enough repetition you WILL start to get it, I promise. You’ll build your first CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) applications and deploy them to your very own AWS server. 
     
    The second half (taught by Kris and Andrew) starts around this point, and the contrast in both the course content and teaching styles is a little startling, but it works. Up until this point there was pretty much only one ‘right’ way to do things—you learned by repetition, and if you did something wrong (such as forgetting a semicolon or a bracket) your program broke in an obvious way. Now you get into some big and powerful front-end technologies: Javascript, JQuery, and Angular. With these languages there always seems to be a dozen ‘right’ ways to do something, and hundred more ‘wrong’ solutions that can break your website in weird and puzzling ways. For this reason, you’ll get a lot less formal code review in this portion of the course. Kris and Andrew are always available (and very, very helpful!) for the many moments where you’re stuck on how to implement a feature, or trying to find an elusive bug in your application, but if your project works they’re probably not going to give you feedback on how you implemented it. Don’t get me wrong, the instruction is still invariably excellent, but due to the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ nature of front-end programming, it’s a little easier to get lost during this portion.
     
    4) Skill Distillery provides decent, but not great, interview preparation and job hunt support. This is the single biggest change that I would recommend for the program, and I would highly recommend than any potential applicant develop their own plan to begin studying for interviews early on in the program. For reference, our interview prep consisted of being handed a copy of “Cracking the Coding Interview” on the Monday of our final week, and having a few short lectures and whiteboard problem-solving sessions throughout that week. I’m sure this will be enough for some job interviews, but I’d really like to see 10 minutes per day reserved for whiteboard practice starting as early as week 2. My advice for prospective students is to create an account on HackerRank and make it a personal goal to solve one problem a day for the entire 4 months. As far as job hunting goes, although the school does not guarantee employment, Cole (the school director) is very enthusiastic about finding placement for students, and has a pretty impressive list of contacts. The potential downside is that many of these contacts are specifically in the Denver area or else are for students with security clearances.
     
    5) Skill Distillery really cares about its graduates. By attending this program you automatically become part of a small but growing network of alumni who have positions in various companies and corporations around the state and the nation. Cole does his best to stay in contact with his graduates as well as following up with their employers for feedback. I know that several companies have been so impressed with their hires from this program that they have gone on to hire more students, and I suspect this phenomenon will only grow. Additionally, alumni are frequently invited back to the school to give talks about their interview experiences, which makes for a very nice networking opportunity.
     
    In conclusion, choosing Skill Distillery has been the best decision of my life. I graduated less than a week ago and have had a half-dozen callbacks and two formal interviews so far, both of which I think went very well. I don’t have a job yet but I’m feeling confident I have the skills I need to succeed in the software industry. 
     
    (My background: Former Navy Officer with 10 years of military experience. 4-year technical degree. A fair bit of amateur coding experience plus a couple of college courses in Computer Science.)
  • R Hammond • Graduate
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    You are likely scanning reviews on this site because you would like to make a better, more informed decision on how to best prepare for a new career as a Java developer. A few months ago, I too was in your position trying to develop metrics to help me weigh the pros and cons of each bootcamp offering. I recently graduated from Skill Distillery with no regrets.

    I enjoyed the experience because the staff presented a well designed curriculum with great detail and attention toward the skills employers are looking for in software engineers. It wasn't just the knowledgeable instructors and thoroughness of the various web technologies presented during each instruction block, but also the bonding and friendships which developed among my classmates.

    I interviewed and was offered a developer position shortly before graduation. Comparing what I learned at Skill Distillery to my current employer requirements; my knowledge and skills are on par with fellow coworkers in most areas and more advanced in others. I have to admit, at Skill Distillery, you won't get fancy tables or snack bars, but you will get the best instructors, a quality education and the best Java bootcamp experience of those offered in the Denver area.   

  • Great Experience
    - 12/19/2016
    J Moye • Graduate
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    Skill Distillery is one of the best educational courses I've ever taken. 

    The content and the execution are both excellent. Maybe these things were lacking in previous cohorts, but at this point it is very polished and is a great learning environment. My cohort is only a month out from graduation and about half are already employed in full time Java developer roles. 

    What makes Skill Distillery great?

    1. The instructors (and admin): 

    • Always someone available. Whether you're having trouble with a concept, or you want some overall wisdom for a particular design decision you're trying to make, they are there and can help you keep moving forward. One of the most valuable things was understanding their debugging process. If I was stuck on something for way too long, they could come over and not just show me the error, but show me how they would find the error. This led to many "Aha moments" for me. 
    • They all have different teaching styles and skillsets, and this is good. For me this kept lectures engaging and allowed me to learn from different angles. 
    • The admin-side was great as well. They were always there for personal help or even just to hang out and relax the brain for a minute. 

    2. The environment/structure

    • You are absolutely immersed in all things code for 50+ hours a week with daily assignments and weekly projects. The combination of reading, listening, and learning about code followed by actually writing your own code from a blank editor really helps cement the concepts learned. 
    • Everything you learn early in the course you continue to use throughout. So even if you don't fully understand something, you're going to keep using it until it finally clicks in your head. That is the coolest moment.
    • The overall energy and focus in the course is intense and part of what makes it great. Of course this isn't forced on you, but you're there with 10+ other people who have dedicated the next few months to living, breathing, dreaming code. This comes with its exhausting moments but it's totally worth it. 
    • Studying for (and passing in my case!) the OCA exam. This is kind of a pain in the butt in the moment because you just want to make stuff! But it really does help you learn some of the weird, less intuitive parts of Java, which you then end up remembering when you're writing some method that doesn't behave how you thought it would, and you're able to much more quickly understand and fix it. About half of our cohort passed the exam, and most were pretty close. Being able to learn a topic that is typically studied for 6+ months, and pass or even come close to passing in 8 or so days we had, is pretty cool in itself. 

    3. Learning Java

    • If you can learn Java in <3 months, you can learn JavaScript in <3 weeks. This is exactly what we did. The strictness and verbosity of Java does make it harder to initially understand, but once we got it, understanding JS came fairly quickly. This carry-over was further demonstrated when my team was able to throw together and debug a Python script for use in one of our projects in about 10 minutes. 

    4. Classmates and alumni

    • I sincerely enjoyed meeting and working with everyone in class. I consider them friends and hope to keep in touch and see how we all continue to grow as developers. The alumni network has already proven valuable for me as I'm getting in front of hiring managers thanks to alumni referrals. 

     

    I highly recommend attending this coding bootcamp. It was very worth it and I am highly grateful I got to attend! I haven't found a job yet but I'm confident I will, and I'll update this when I do.

  • Steven Adams • Graduate
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    In just a few months, I was able to acquire the skills necessary to land a job.

    Skill Distillery was a challenging course, but I am so thankful to have gone. There were times when I felt ready to give up, times I didn't know what I was even learning only to finally understand it a week later.
    I really enjoyed having multiple teachers present information coming from different backgrounds and experiences. The multiple rotating teaching styles helped as well, especially since different students learn in different ways. 

    As a USAF Veteran who had a bad experience with attending a school that claimed to be "Veteran friendly", I was thankful for the care Skill Distillery gave to its prior service students. It was also fun having Vets from all four branches in my class, providing comradery and an easy way to get to know one another through shared military experiences. 

    Sprinkled throughout the program were several pair, group, and individual projects ranging in difficulty and time allotted to accomplish. These projects instilled the skills learned and helped me get a sense of how to work together on a team, a skill essential to today's tech industry workplaces.

    Although the school lacks the flashiness of some of the other local boot camps, in the end, it helped me (as an extrovert) remain focused on my studies without distraction. I also enjoyed the small class size allowing the teachers to spend more one on one time with each student. 

    Again, Skill Distillery was super challenging but I am thankful for the skills learned, the relationships made, and the opportunities I now have going forward. 

  • Go Here
    - 12/8/2016
    Nick Lang • Software developer • Graduate
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    My first goal is to besmirch the haters. The only thing I can imagine is that they weren't willing to put in hard work. It sounds like Clayton Boyle had a "winning" personality that convinced others in the class to leave with him so that he could feel less defeated by his decision(sorry not sorry). My class was a bunch of normal human beings that worked together and encouraged each other to push through the hard work. 

    I recently left the Army, and wanted to start a career in programming. Although web-dev is enjoyable, I was really looking for skills that would make me more versatile. I feel I can confidently say Skill Distillery provided both.

    After the first five weeks of study, I took and passed the Java OCA exam. The take/pass rate for the class was about 50% and involved a lot of hard work. Normally the Java OCA is taken after someone has held a programming position for at least 6 months, so those that didn't take/pass were by no means behind in class. That anyone passes is a huge gold star for the excellent instruction provided.

    In those first few weeks and the remaining 14 we worked on many projects, building them from the ground up. One of my final projects involved building an SQL database, writing the server-side Java framework, incorporating two API's, utilizing a server-side python script for natural language processing, and building the html/css/javascript frontend. The only thing the course didn't teach was the python, and I was able to pick it up and write the script in just a couple of hours due to the strong programming mindset that those first five weeks of Java provided.

    The course is a lot of hard work, and entirely worthwhile. I've been dabbling with programming for years, but the structured approach and necessity to finish projects took me further than I would have been able to take myself. If you are looking for a challenge and want to be a great programmer, I highly recommend Skill Distillery.

  • Annie Fisher • Full Stack Java Developer • Graduate
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    Skill Distillery is much more than a coding bootcamp. They do not want to produce a mass amount of "coders". They want to produce competent software developers ready for the workforce. How they do it: The class sizes are smaller, allowing an effective student : instructor ratio. The curriculum has great depth and is influenced by market demand. The instructors are all vastly knowledgable and truly love what they do. Every single student is of concern to the entire Skill Distillery team. They have a growing alumni. One of which I am now proud to be part of. The alumni is a key component to obtaining a quality job after the program is over. Companies throughout the United States are growing confident hiring new graduates from Skill Distillery due to the reputation of the alumni. This reputation is a direct reflection of the amazing job Skill Distillery does. This is an intense program and takes a great deal of work and commitment. 19 weeks is a short time to go from never touching code before, to becoming a software developer companies want to hire and keep. With the instruction and guidance from the Skill Distillery team, I did just that. 

  • Steven Zuber • Graduate
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    Skill Distillery is what every bootcamp should aspire to be. The combination of teachers took our class, almost none of whom had any background in programming, and gave us the technological exposure, hands on training, and expert instruction to turn is all into capable full stack developers. 

    We spent the first few weeks learning Java. We covered the basics of programming in a strictly typed language and object oriented programming. As a wrap up to the completely Java focused portion our class spent a week reviewing for the Oracle Certification Exam and half of us passed it. A typical Java programmer is writing code for a year and half before taking this exam. 

    We moved onto other technologies throughout the program, but never left Java completely. We learned MySQL to create persistent databases for our applications. We learned HTML and CSS to make our projects presentable online. We learned Javascript/jQuery/Angular to make our web pages dynamic. All of these skills were taught patiently by instructors with a variety of backgrounds. Two of our instructors have been programmings for decades and the other two come from strong computer science backgrounds and bootcamps. This combination means that I never felt that I had an instructor who didn't know where I was coming from. 

    That feeling of personal attention and focus is what really stood out for me at Skill Distillery. Unlike other bootcamps I’ve heard of, they’re not out to just make money off of their students. They look good if they put out quality programmers, which works out great for the students too! If I needed additional help or resources on anything, the instructors were more than equipped to help me. 

    On the subject of job placement, they did all they could. They helped us revamp our resumes, they put us in touch with recruiters and local groups, and they gave us the knowledge base to expand our skill set to accommodate specific job requirements. Perhaps the biggest asset was the portfolio of web projects we put together starting about halfway through the program and we put them on an AWS page that any hiring staff can go look at. The only thing they couldn’t do was guarantee placement, but that’s a rule with how the school is set up, not a weakness of the program. Four out of eleven students in my class had jobs before graduation and a fifth had a job two days after graduation. 

    If you are serious about getting started in a programming career, I really can’t recommend Skill Distillery more highly. 

  • Steve Nagle • Graduate
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    Overview

    I'm in my last week here as a student, and it's been a long, difficult, and rewarding journey.  I am incredibly glad that I took the opportunity to attend here, and I've truly enjoyed my time with my fellow students and staff here at the school.  I was apprehensive about my decision, both concerned with dedicating several months of my life to a career transition and also dedicating the money that boot camps cost.  That apprehension passed quickly.

    You'll want to study hard.  Keep your brain fresh.  Work together with your classmates and develop a sense of camaraderie.  It makes the time at the school much more enjoyable.  Pressure, stress, and self-doubt are your biggest opponents here.  Attend class, ask questions, and prep with their recommended Java instruction or your own.  It will definitely pay off.  They'll help you here, but they can't do everything for you.  If you have a sense of curiosity and self-sufficiency, there's no reason that you can't succeed here (or in life in general, right?).

    Program

    The program is challenging.  I came into this with minimal knowledge of development.  I self-taught some python, took a class in high school about 15 years ago, and took some math classes in college.  I felt an inclination to switch careers into tech, specifically development, and self-teaching was simply too slow and arduous.  I wanted to learn an OOP-based language, some sort of full-stack experience (based on what I'd read online).  There are very few boot camps around the country that offer a broad curriculum like what is offered here.  It's very intensive--prepare to cram information into your brain for months--and also very nuanced.  I'll speak more about the quality of instruction next.  If you are looking to learn fundamental, common-use languages like Java and JavaScript and you also want to learn a ton of other technologies that are relevant or dominant within industries, this is the place to go.

    Instruction and the Staff

    The staff here are outstanding.  Our cohort was primarily instructed by Jamie, Rob, Kris, and Andrew.  Jamie has since left, and the school replaced him with an instructor named Steve.  Although I didn't have much opportunity to work with him, he seems like an excellent hire and I have no doubt that he'll add to the already tremendous quality of instruction that you'll find here.  The instructors are enjoyable, both as teachers and as people, and they care a lot about your personal development, and the development of your development skills.  I struggled initially in the program, but evolved quickly to feeling great about my skill set and my capabilities.  This is a direct result of the hands-on curriculum and awesome instructors.  

    I cannot emphasize enough how comfortable it is to work with the staff.  Cole is the school director, and he's great with the students.  Bruce, the owner, is easy to talk to and is often present.  Janet in the back is usually busy at her workstation, but she's diligent about ensuring that snacks and soda, which the school makes available to students, along with special events (lunch parties, etc) go smoothly.  She did a great job of handling our finances, including VA.  The school here is very vet-friendly.

    Jamie (who left recently to return to the private sector), Rob, Kris, and Andrew were all terrific to learn from.  They are a group of instructors that love coding and teaching.  I can't say enough as to how much I owe them; the time spent explaining concepts that I didn't understand, always being available to help, and staying on top of technological changes (distributions, frameworks, dependencies, etc).  They took me, a former marketing manager, and guided me through some very hard material and some challenging projects.  My thanks goes out to them.  You don't have to worry about distant instructors that check out and leave you hanging.  They're top notch.

    What you learn

    You learn full-stack development here, and it's not easy.  Java and JS developers are needed in the job market, and you'll spend more time than you'd imagine on every link in the tech chain.  By halfway through the program, you'll be creating fully-functional web applications using everything from SQL to JavaEE to Spring to HTML/CSS.  I still can't believe how fast I progressed.  By the end of the program, we were creating even better web applications by adding front-end development with JS (and jQuery, Angular, etc) and even some MEAN stack projects as well!

    My brain, which I'm sure atrophied since college, was re-energized.  Intensive and immersive learning, like studying abroad to learn Spanish for example, is a proven effective method for "re-wiring" a brain, as long as it's done right.  The program moves fast because it has to: the concepts and technologies here are difficult.  Weekend projects, both solo and in groups, along with some self-study and in-class keyboard time reinforce what you learn in lecture.  Our class was just shy of a dozen people, and we almost always had 1-2 instructors available for help during labs/projects.  This isn't something that you'll find at every boot camp or coding academy.

    Summary

    This review is getting long.  The summary here is easy: if you're serious about wanting to be a developer, and if you're up for the challenge, SD will do it's best to get you there.  They're still a new school (most schools like this are), and they're still networking with companies and alumni to create more comprehensive job placement assistance.  This might be their biggest point of improvement, but they're aware of it and continue to work on it.  In my interviews so far, employers have been impressed with the fundamentals of my knowledge and my experience with industry tech that I worked with here.  I'll update this review when I take a position after I've officially graduated from here in a few days, but I feel confident about that side of things.  To be honest, I really enjoyed learning again, and I'm pretty excited to keep learning even when I'm working.  I'm a developer now, it's what we sign up for when we go into the profession.

    Choose your boot camp carefully.  It's a financial investment into yourself, so make sure that you understand what languages, technologies, frameworks, curriculum, etc that you're getting yourself into.  Do more than just google salaries by language.  There's nothing gimmicky here.  No feeling of profit-over-student.  I was worried about both, but so glad that I made the decision to attend because neither was an issue.

    Thanks again, to both the SD staff and my fellow students.  I had a blast during my time here and it was quite a ride.

Thanks!