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Skill Distillery

Denver

Skill Distillery

Avg Rating:4.66 ( 103 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)
  • Cole R • Software Developer • Graduate
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    Summary:

    Skill Distillery is an intensive training program teaching in-demand technologies.  Being successful in the program requires dedication and hard work.  Completion of the program and understanding of the curriculum will give you the skills necessary to build and deploy a full stack Java web application (of relatively small scope).  These skills are in demand – after one month on the job market I was invited to 6 on-site interviews with different organizations and received 3 job offers.  During these interviews, employers were impressed with my knowledge of Java, the architecture of web applications, and how relevant the skills I had been taught were to the jobs they were hiring for.  Skill Distillery has enabled me to begin a career in software development and was a great use of my time and money.

     

    Know What You Are Getting Into:

    I chose to attend Skill Distillery because of their focus on Java development for the back-end.  Java is not the easiest language to learn – it is sometimes verbose and it is not always as easy to do a simple task (or build a web application) in Java as it may be using other languages/frameworks.  Java has great performance, proven scalability, and is in use on a large scale in enterprise applications.  These considerations contribute to there being lots of Java jobs out there.  Some reviews have mentioned that there is a dearth of entry-level and junior-level Java positions.  It is true that there are many more job postings for Java developers with experience than for entry-level positions, but those junior-level positions do exist and are obtainable upon completion of the program.  It may take work and time to find those positions, but you should expect and prepare for that; a job will not simply fall into your lap because you complete this program. 

    You should only do this program if you are excited about the doors that knowing Java might open for you and ready for the challenges and frustrations that you will encounter while learning it.  I would not recommend doing this program simply because it is the only coding program that your V.A. benefits will pay for.  I would not recommend enrolling in this program unless you have taken some time to determine that you enjoy programming and you have a fair bit of aptitude for it. 

     

    Curriculum and Instructors

    If other reviews have not made this clear – the first quad of the program on Java fundamentals is really well put together and the lead instructor Jamie is fantastic.  Parts of the second quad were rough.  The material was more difficult and we had a guest instructor for two weeks that I felt was not very competent.  I had to do a lot of independent work in this quad to understand the material.  While there were some major issues with the instruction and course materials, the stuff we were being taught (SQL, JPA, Spring, Spring MVC, and REST) was the absolute right choice in terms of curriculum and what employers want you to know.  I am confident that Skill Distillery is working hard to make the delivery of this material smoother and more effective.  The final two quads focus on the front-end.  I felt that the front-end basics could have been taught more succinctly and would have enjoyed the opportunity to study some JavaScript frameworks (Node.js and Angular) in greater depth.  The time spent learning Java at the beginning of the program made learning JavaScript a breeze.  

    Job Assistance:  

    We had a resume workshop, interview preparation instruction, and the opportunity to do a mock interview.  These things were all very helpful preparation for the job search.  There were also a number of emails with job leads.  

    Skill Distillery gave me the skills I needed to land a software development job that I am very excited about.  The curriculum that they are teaching is extremely well-geared toward what employers are looking for.  

  • Kimberly Saviano • Java Developer I • Graduate
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    I was part of the second cohort at Skill Distillery (SD) and my 19-week program ran from July through November. Of our initial class of 10 (with an additional person who audited some of it), two people dropped out fairly early, and one person joined us halfway to retake the second half of the course. We had a close-knit group where most everyone got along really well, we initiated study groups on weekends, some went to meetups together, hung out socially, and really got to know one another. Our group was dedicated and worked hard, I was impressed with how much each of us learned and I would be happy to work with any of them again in the future.

    I tended to go in pretty early each day and often stayed late, plus I was reading and practicing coding for many of my evenings. This is not a bootcamp to sign up for lightly - it was very consuming and challenging, forcing us to assimilate a great deal of knowledge, introducing us to a large variety of topics, and requiring a passion to learn and experiment on your own to really get many of the concepts. I chose to learn at Skill Distillery because they were the only bootcamp I could find that was teaching a "real" language like Java whereas most of the other bootcamps offered framework languages like Ruby on Rails or did JavaScript for the full stack (both front-end and back-end). I wanted a true foundation to build a new career upon and I wanted that to be either Java or .Net.

    Following the course, I took some time to myself to relax for the Thanksgiving holiday and then spent the first two weeks in December getting my resume polished, crafting my website to showcase several examples of code I had written in and out of class, ordering business cards, and starting to network more heavily in meetup groups. But the job market was pretty much shut down for the holidays by that point and it wasn't until the new year that I felt like I really got serious about finding a job. Two weeks from that point I had my first two job offers, and in another week, I had negotiated and accepted a position as a Java Developer I for a mid-size company (I start at the beginning of February). The technical interviews, that I was nervous about when first going in, went great, with questions about Java and object-oriented programming that I could answer immediately and correctly, and I really got the sense that my interviewers were impressed by the depth and amount of what I knew, and that most recent grads from bootcamps do not have as much command of these foundation concepts. While technically it was about 8 weeks or so from graduating to securing a job for me, given the holidays, it seems to me like it was really only two-or-three weeks from when the business world came back to life to getting a job.

    Was the Skill Distillery program perfect? No, of course not. There was a TON of information to get through and some concepts went by way too fast, and for others it felt like time was a bit wasted going over older technologies to develop an understanding and appreciation for newer technologies. I thought most of the Skill Distillery-written material was good, but there were some questionable materials which I understand are being replaced in future classes. I think the program could be strengthened by having more consistent teaching (in an effort to introduce us to different perspectives in the industry with guest teachers, I think less of that and more consistency would be better) and having projects that built up with the student's knowledge (i.e., take something simple with console output to eventually have a fullblown website dynamically drawing from databases and providing output where the complexity and techniques used in the backend evolve and mature with new concepts, etc.) rather than "throw away code" from tutorials that was abandoned. I actually think they should have MORE homework and grading and reading assignments, and I say that already recognizing that we were working at a full pace schedule with little time to ourselves already. 

    But a bootcamp is supposed to be hard -- if you are not in 110%, if you have too many distractions or obligations, this may not be for you. You need a support structure for yourself, resources taken care of so you don't spend study time worrying about things. If you have a spouse/partner, they need to understand what kind of commitment you are taking on. I have always been very big in volunteering my time and serving on the boards of non-profits, but I had to trim my schedule a lot to make room for this course, and in retrospect, I should have trimmed even more off my schedule to dedicate to study. Further, Skill Distillery wants to be able to take someone new to coding and get them through all this at a breakneck speed. I wouldn't actually recommend that -- do a course or two online BEFORE you start a bootcamp, make sure you have the real basics down and that you are committed and self-disciplined and really desperately interested in the subject enough to take this plunge. 

    I'd even suggest that Skill Distillery consider reducing the scope of the bootcamp. Right now "Full-Stack" is the buzzword everyone says they want but no decent size company actually wants the person designing the UI to also code the backend logic and database connections. The skillsets and talents are too different to make anyone a master of both (although I'll agree with enough experience, one could be decent at both). Instead I think Skill Distillery should go all in on what they are really good at: Java back end coding. Maybe spend a few weeks introducing JavaScript and some of the frameworks, but in my opinion, there were too many specifics to cover to get good enough at any of them. I feel like I learned enough about HOW to approach libraries, APIs, and frameworks, and far less about any particular one. 

    But that is what companies want from junior developers: they want someone who knows HOW TO LEARN NEW THINGS. We're juniors - we're not meant to know a ton about anything, we're meant to know how to take in a great deal of knowledge, integrate it into the basic concepts that we understand, and start the practice with good coding techniques. That's where I feel like I am coming out of the Skill Distillery bootcamp. 

    For me, Skill Distillery delivered what I was looking for and expecting. I have a firm understanding of a fundamental programming language that will always be relevant and useful. I got some experience with integrating databases and using some frameworks and libraries that help me do the work better. I feel like I am starting with good coding practices that will serve me well and an understanding of the importance of testing and working together on a team. I never thought for a minute that Skill Distillery would be the end of my learning, but just the beginning. I am making a huge career transition into something I always wanted to do but never thought I would be successfully able to transition to. Now I'm going into my first developer job and I'm excited, and a little scared, and yet confident, too, that I'm going to be able to build on all I learned and was introduced to at Skill Distillery to make a great career for myself

  • Get READY TO WORK
    - 1/22/2016
    Draddog • Communication Engineer • Graduate
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    You had better bring you A game, because these guys are not playing.  I'm serious!  If you are going to walk the walk and talk that talk you had better be ready to sweat.  I'm talking 10 hours a day and catch up on the weekendes.  You are going to compress 1500 hours of coding into 16 weeks.  If you can't adapt to the needs of the job, if you can't take intellectual pressure then get out of the kitchen.  BUT!!!! if you can hang in there and hold on until the end you will be ready to handle anything the job market has to through at you.  You wont find better.  Easier yes, better doesn't exist.  Try, hit up Seattle, San Fransico, New Your, or India.  To be honest thier should rename themselves to the IronWorks.  So roll up your sleaves and get ready to job.

     

    BTW Rob and Jamie are the bomb!

  • Anonymous
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    look here's the deal. Skill distillery is worse than second rate.  It's the red headed step child that has always dreamed of becoming the first rate biological first rate loved first born. I do t know what to tell you, every accurate review thus far ? All negative reviews) have already stated the truth. Skill distillery does not deserve your 16k. Go to Turing or otherwise. You'll be glad you did. 

     

    Response From: Bruce Batky of Skill Distillery
    Title: CEO
    Wednesday, Jan 20 2016
    Hi Anonymous, 

    We have a pretty small cohort of students in each class and we strive to provide a lot of individual attention. Since we dont know who left this review, I cant respond to any specific challenges you may have to our program. Were you a student here? Our door is always open if you would like to share your experience with us. 

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions or ideas you may have: bruce(at)skilldistillery.com

    ~Bruce
  • WORTH EVERY PENNY
    - 1/15/2016
    Aaron Aguil • Student
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    PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE REVIEW IF YOU WANT A 100% IN DEPTH  ANALYSIS OF COHORT 3 AND THE REVIEWS POSTED BELOW

    First off, because Mr. Anonymous two reviews below mine is suspicious of the five star reviews, lets ignore ALL of the positive reviews on this page. That leaves SIX reviews, of which FIVE, I believe were written by students from my cohort (SD3). Some of their comments are justified, but I feel that they may have been decieved by their own expectation of a program that was never offered to them. I only say this because I was one of the people who complained constantly, requesting more changes to be made. I now realize that the program structure is in tact and the program need not make changes for one particular cohort. In this review, I will attempt to address all of the grievances that the previous reviews have mentioned. I will discuss EXACTLY what happened throughtout my time during the course of my enrollment. 

    1. Quad 1 was by far the most promising portion of the program. The instructors were great (which EVERYONE else below me has confirmed) and everyone felt confident with program structure, as well as course material. Labs and keyboard time was abundant and 5 of 9 people who took the exam, including myself, passed the Associate Java Programming certification, which I felt was a good percentage based on the difficulty of the test. I came into this bootcamp with zero (AND I MEAN ZERO) programming experience and learning Java was an ambitious task. Yet, I managed to pass the Oracle certification with the help of extremely knowledgeable TA's (Andrew and Kris) and instructors (Jamie and Rob). As a prior Air Traffic Controller, I thought controlling live aircraft while adhering to hundreds of pages of rules and regulations was hard. I expected to cake walk through this bootcamp. That was most certainly not the case!

    2. Quad 2 was when things became more difficult.  Some of that was due to the difficulty of course material. We were warned numerous times that quad 2 is the bottom of the curve in regards to “The Pain Cave". As if the program couldnt get any harder, learning SPRING MVC was an @** whooping to say the least. I feel that it was in this section that everyone lost motivation. Many of the complaints were about dry material and long lectures. I can say that based on our classes feedback, changes have been made and were made at the time of complaint! It hurts me that they would write reviews saying that the school did not attempt to adjust course content based on student feedback. I am seeing those changes every day. I wont say that im not disappointed seeing others reap the rewards from my criticism. Its discouraging in a way to see the next cohort benefit from these changes, but thats how life works right? I do want to mention that I am MORE than comfortable with building full applications using Spring and Java! Yes, Quad could have been taught in a more interactive (meaning more keyboard/lab/project time) manner. However, that has changed and I feel that we were given enough tools to learn the material. 

    Also keep in mind, from my understanding, NO other bootcamp teaches you SPRING MVC. That already puts you ahead of the competition if you can mention that you have built (even small) applications front to back using these technologies. 

    3. It is ABSOLUTLELY FALSE that the school did not consider our feedback! Approximately two weeks into Quad 2, and realizing the difficulty of learning SPRING MVC, many people (INCLUDING MYSELF) began to complain about the teaching methodologies of the program. This was completely disregarding what we were told multiple times that two other cohorts had gone through the same program structure/curriculum/course material. Due to our persitent requests from class organized/one on one feedback sessions, the school attempted to cater to our needs. We asked for more lab/keyboard time. WITHIN 48 HOURS this was created for us. The TA's also spent time outside of work to create a lab that they felt was more accomodating to what we wanted. Ultimately, we were unsatisfied (AGAIN INCLUDING MYSELF) with what they had orgainized. Everyone wanted to do a project that showed individualism and creativity, rather than showcasing a project similar to everyone else in the class. However, what we failed to realize, is that it is extremely difficult for instructors to control the scope of everybodys project when students are given free reighn to determine what they want to build. I realize now that the ideas we were confident in implementing were not realistic based on our capabilities at the time. I also realized that although individuality shows creativity, most employers are concerned with collaboration and team work. We were offered this opportunity in Quad 3. 

    4. In quad 3 the complaints kept building and the school made, in my opinion, too much of an effort to cater to what we felt was good for us in hopes that we would be satisfied. This is something that will NOT happen again because they have realized that their structure is solid and produces legitimate programmers. We have had countless hours of feedback during quad 3 and changes were made within 24-48 hours. This is not to say it was exactly what we wanted. And I feel this is one of the reasons for everyones departure. 

    5. Paired programming has now been implemented in the course structure starting with SD4. Although that may not have been the case throughout my time at Skill Distillery, it is something that will be focused on moving forward. Also, what the other reviewers failed to mention was that paired programming and Agile was expected to be implemented into quad 4 of our class. But its hard to see the results of the feedback if you leave prior to giving the school a chance to making the appropriate adjustments.

    6. This is DEFINITELY worth your GI Bill. Yes, it takes 9 months of your alloted time. However, just based on the first 4 weeks of the course, I would be able to skip ONE YEAR of intro to programming courses in school. Also, you are unable to take web application courses without previously taking intro programming courses. This alone will take you AT LEAST 2 semesters of school, which equates to 8 months. That is ASSUMING that you are able to fit in Javascript/Node.js/Angular.js/CSS/HTML etc into your course schedule.

    And by the way, a university will not spend money, nor train you for a week, for an Oracle Java certification. You'd be lucky if you were capable of even taking and passing a java certifcation test after an intro to java course!

    7. NO ONE GUARANTEED JOB PLACEMENT! The school DOES care about your job placement and they actively work with employers to assist you after completion of the program. Their network of employers may not be as big as some of the other bootcamps. However, I just went to an event in Denver and multiple employers were familiar with Skill Distillery and personally mentioned that the school has been in contact with them regarding employment! Keep in mind, we were told ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL that there is no guaranteed job placement. However, this is the case for every bootcamp that I have talked to (Hack Reactor, Dev Bootcamp, etc.). This is not to say that they arent pushing for you to find a job. Why would ANY institution care about enrollment and not about job opportunities? They wouldn’t be in business for very long.

    One of the complaints below mentions marketability as a java programmer. I WANT TO NOTE that one of my classmates was one of 15 students to SUCCESSFULLY complete Dev Bootcamps New York program, a class that began with 40. I asked him why he decided to spend another 16k to come to Skill Distillery. His response was that upon completing Dev Bootcamp, he asked his instructor what the next best step would be to take in becoming a successful programmer. His instructor said to GO LEARN JAVA! 

    Skill Distillery doesn’t pride itself in students becoming expert Java developers. They pride themselves in producing smart and capable programmers that can be groomed to learn any language based on their exceptional fundamentals in Java! 

    If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me via email.

  • Challenging
    - 1/14/2016
    Ted Kubach • Student
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    After having just left medical school early upon becoming disillusioned with a career in healthcare I sought out various development bootcamps to geek me out for a stimulating career in technology. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this program. Having worked previously for a creative digital agency out of NYC, and working directly with the CTO and CEO on talent management, I was accustomed to the technologies being sought after. I ended up choosing SD over 2 other competitive bootcamps I’d been accepted into primarily because of their unique Java/JS program of study. Being quite accustomed to the day-to-day rigor of higher education, I figured that I’d be able to slide through this program without much difficulty. I can now say without question that the learning experience at Skill Distillery is on par with the most challenging of STEM curriculums.
     
    If you can’t handle a demanding intellectual experience, one that will completely consume you, then this program is not for you. You will likely be disappointed and dropout. However, if you feel you can rise above your own ego and personal failures (which you will encounter) then I think this will be a very rewarding experience for you and your career. 
     
    Ted Kubach
    SD4
  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    I attended the SD program prior to the authors of these other reviews, and I feel compelled to add my thoughts to the discussion.

    Following the same format…

    Pros: I like the location and the building SD is housed in. There is a common area, kitchen, and additional space for students to study. Garage parking is free for students, and there are restaurants surrounding the school. The program started out very promising, with the first quad’s Java instruction being top notch. Spirits were high during and immediately after the Java certification exam, but this enthusiasm didn’t carry through to the remainder of the program.

    Cons: I agree with the thoughts of other students that Java EE is not suited for bootcamp instruction. While the material presented was fascinating and well taught, there are fewer job opportunities for entry level Java engineers than for entry level coders of different languages. Modern technologies were not covered, and students leaving the school are at a disadvantage competing against other boot camp graduates when interviewing for local jobs. Job placement assistance was non-existent, and the program's voluntary attrition rate looks to be extreme. 

    I find suspicious the five star reviews from students that have yet to complete the course. The shortcomings of SD appear after the first quarter and I suspect some damage control is taking place. I wish everyone the best and hope that things improve for current and future students. 

    I cannot recommend the school at this time. 

  • Do your research
    - 1/13/2016
    Anonymous • Student
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    Do not be deceived by the five star reviews.

     

    Overall Experience: The first part of the program was superb. If I were to have written a review during the Java portion of the course, I would have given it five stars out of five. After five weeks of studying and practicing pure Java, about half the students were able to pass the Oracle Certified Associate - Java Programmer exam, which is impressive in my opinion.

     

    The program self-destructed in the second quad of instruction. In stark contrast to the first quad, there was very little hands-on time. The few exercises that were featured in the second quad consisted of copying and pasting code written in a book. The materials were absolute garbage. If you truly believe you can learn databases, MVC, and Java EE from someone reading out of a dry, uninspiring book, then perhaps this course is for you.

     

    The same continued in quad three, which was the front-end portion of instruction.  At this point, most of the students would show up to the classroom only to tune the lecture out and try to learn on their own. Before the quad concluded, eight of the eleven students decided to withdraw.

     

    Instructors: This was the one part of the program that made it bearable. The instructors are extremely knowledgable and able to effectively communicate with students in spite of the tremendous gap in knowledge and experience. Unfortunately, they can only do so much when given awful material to teach from.

     

    Curriculum: The program prides itself on offering instruction on “non-trendy” languages. There’s a reason other bootcamps focus on Ruby, MEAN, etc: People are able to obtain employment in them with little experience. Do yourself a favor and research entry-level Java jobs before making a decision, as most of them require one to three years of previous development experience to be considered.

     

    Job Assistance: I have no way of sugarcoating this. They do not care what happens to you after you complete the program. Concerns arose when previous graduates were not finding employment, and we were told they were of questionable character and talent. The word “zeroes” was used to describe previous graduates. This lack of professionalism did not sit well with anyone. In addition to this, we were constantly told companies were inquiring about hiring graduates and that we would receive emails as proof, but that never happened. If you are considering this bootcamp, you are likely a mid-career professional looking for a change, so keep this in mind before you make any life-changing decisions.

     

    Do your research before you make a decision. Look at job advertisements to see which technologies and languages have the lowest barrier to entry in terms of experience. Don’t take a bar chart on a website as gospel. Perhaps the program can change for the better over time, but at this point you are probably better off spending your time and money elsewhere. They advertise 25+ years experience in teaching programming, which is true, but it is stated in a deceptive manner. Their experience is in shorter corporate classes, which has virtually no relevance in a bootcamp environment.

    Response From: Bruce of Skill Distillery
    Title: CEO
    Wednesday, Jan 20 2016
    Dear Annoymous (sic),

    I am sorry to hear that you were not happy with your experience here at Skill Distillery. We know that this program isn't for everyone and we know that learning Java is difficult. Passing the Java Oracle exam is a big accomplishment and is very valuable, but that is just the beginning of the journey to becoming a skilled programmer. The latter portion of our program is where things get really difficult, and we know that some students will not make it through. 

    Based on our last 5 years providing boot camps to corporations and our previous two decades of teaching people to code, we chose the most in demand technologies for our curriculum. We are teaching the most sought after skills based on our experience with companies and data from sources like the US Department of Labor and Glassdoor. 

    We spend a significant amount of time working with companies to place our students into internships and jobs.  Just this morning, two of our graduates were placed with a major tech firm in south Denver as entry-level Java Programmers after only two weeks of submitting applications. We also spend time and energy helping students prepare resumes and performing mock interviews. But, for students to take full advantage of our network and hiring resources, they need to stay the full 19 weeks and graduate the course. 

    If you would ever like to come in and chat about your experience, try again to complete the program, or learn more about our hiring resources, please send me an email: bruce(at)skilldistillery.com

    ~Bruce
  • Not recommended
    - 1/13/2016
    Anonymous • Student
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    Pros:  

    The Java instructor was excellent.  He is a true teacher whose gift has helped many and will continue to do so.  The first portion of Java was successful.

    Cons:

    This bootcamp did not produce as promised.  After the first portion of Java programming, everything fell apart.  The course content was advertised as unique and created in-house, however, instructors ended up reading out of external courseware manuals.  The learning process consisted of unengaging lecture with very little hands-on programming.  Important concepts like Agile methodology, paired-programming, and GitHub were not adequately understood or practiced.  Instruction in later portions was substandard for a variety of reasons: some instructors had little or outdated industry experience, while others were simply not skilled at teaching the material.  Additonally, there was no career planning component and very few graduates currently are employed in the industry.  Lastly, prior and current student personal information was not kept in confidence, which created an unprofessional atmosphere.

    If looking for a bootcamp that offers GI Bill support, please wait for other area bootcamps to receive approval from the Veteran's Administration.    

     

  • Maya Mohan • Student
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    First off, Jamie Placensia, Why are reviewing a school you never went to? Second, move on! Welcome to the real world, no one owes you anything.

    I am a current student at skill distillery and so far, so good! Jamie is an excellent instructor, TA's are helpful, and there's a good group of people in my cohort who come from all kinds of backgrounds. We all kind of help each other out. The program kicks your butt, but what do you expect? I feel myself being constantly pushed, but I know at the end it will be a rewarding experience. 

    I will update this review when I graduate :) 

    -------

    Hey Folks!

    I am back updating my review from 1/12/16 like I promised I would!! I'm a woman of my word. 

    All jokes aside- I'm not going to lie, the negative reviews that I read on this site bothered me. Paying $16,000 for a school that had a lot of negative reviews while I was still in the program, made me worry about what was to come. They made a lot of changes from the cohort before mine, and so my experience was much better than theirs.

    I am honestly so glad I stayed. I had ZERO coding experience before the program, and at times, I truly did struggle and worried about whether the program was for me. But the instructors, the TA's, my fellow students, and our school director, helped me stick through it, and man is that the most rewarding experience to say that I graduated! I am so thankful for the program and people I've met.

    I now will be working as a junior java developer at American Healthcare Technologies, where I was doing marketing before.

  • Pelham • Student
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    I came to Skill Distillery with no prior coding experience whatsoever.  I was worried, but the excellent instructors and support staff at Skill Distillery have made me feel at home, and I'm learning so much every day.  I looked at coding boot camps all over the country, and frankly,I could not be happier with my decision to attend Skill Distillery.

    Response From: Cole Frock of Skill Distillery
    Title: School Director
    Thursday, Jan 21 2016
    Hello, 

    Thank you for your positive review and thank you for being our student. I couldn't be happier to see your progress and success!

    ~Cole
  • Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I enjoyed my time with Skill Distillery. The staff were courteous and professional, and they cared about the students. It's a genuine challenge to fall through the cracks at their school.

    I went to SD for the enterprise Java development aspect of the program. It's a very difficult school to complete successfully. I think a large part of that is due to the nature of Java as a full-fledged programming language and not a scripting language. After working my face off in the program, I’m now working with startups in Denver, Houston, and Santa Barbara. I can’t describe the sense of pride I have from completing something as difficult as SD’s program and being a success afterwards. Their curriculum is great; it hits all the major topics that you need to get going as a developer, and it provides a springboard to something even greater if you put in the work. My advice is to work your ass off and make great projects.

    I can attest that the staff take feedback very seriously and act on it quickly. The only "downside" that I saw was that the location isn’t "cool," but that’s not really what you’re there for.


    I was hired before I graduated the program, so they must be doing something right!  If you want to be a developer, go to this bootcamp. They teach the most prolific technologies with an expertise rarely found in other training programs.

Thanks!