In addition to the classroom hours, students will get 20+ hours of career sessions through the Pathway Program™, which focuses on developing soft skills and connecting you to the right companies through events like Employer Matchmaking. Career coaches and mentors will help with resume building, interview coaching, strengths assessment and more. The team will work with students from the start of the program to ensure they don't just get a job as a programmer, but that they are on a fulfilling, rewarding career path.
Recent Tech Elevator Reviews: Rating 4.95
Recent Tech Elevator News
- How Students Can Land Tech Jobs in Philadelphia with Tech Elevator
- The Best Programming Language to Learn at Coding Bootcamp
- An Inside Look at a Tech Elevator Capstone Project
Deposit $125 FinancingFinancing available through Sallie Mae or SkillsFund Tuition Plans $7,750 due on day 1 of the bootcamp, $7,750 due in week 8 of the bootcamp
Minimum Skill Level Beginner Prep Work 30-40 hrs Placement Test Yes Interview Yes
More Start DatesJanuary 27, 2020 - PhiladelphiaMay 11, 2020 - PittsburghSeptember 14, 2020 - PittsburghMay 11, 2020 - ClevelandSeptember 14, 2020 - ClevelandMay 11, 2020 - ColumbusSeptember 14, 2020 - ColumbusMay 11, 2020 - DetroitSeptember 14, 2020 - DetroitMay 11, 2020 - CincinnatiSeptember 14, 2020 - Cincinnati
Deposit $125 FinancingFinancing available through Sallie Mae or SkillsFund Tuition Plans $7,750 due on day 1 of the bootcamp, $7,750 due in week 8 of the bootcamp
Minimum Skill Level Beginner Prep Work 30-40 hrs Placement Test Yes Interview Yes
More Start DatesMay 11, 2020 - CincinnatiSeptember 14, 2020 - CincinnatiMay 11, 2020 - ClevelandSeptember 14, 2020 - ClevelandMay 11, 2020 - ColumbusSeptember 14, 2020 - ColumbusMay 11, 2020 - PittsburghSeptember 14, 2020 - PittsburghMay 11, 2020 - DetroitSeptember 14, 2020 - Detroit
Tech Elevator Reviews
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- Great education experience!- 1/24/2019Mitch Dorsey • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Cincinnati • Verified via LinkedIn
- Believe the Hype- 1/22/2019Seth Willits • Software Developer I • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Cleveland • Verified via LinkedIn
Attending Tech Elevator's Cleveland Campus was one of the most rewarding professional decisions I have made. My decision to change careers came later than most students who attend Tech Elevator. I was twelve years into a career making decent money, but I was unhappy and didn't see a positive road ahead. Once I made the choice to change careers I began researching coding bootcamps in the area. I gathered information and attended multiple open houses at different schools. From the very beginning, Tech Elevator stood out as a very well run program with a great deal of success accomplishing its goal of training students and helping them find a job.
Being older, and later in my professional life than most students, I had a healthy dose of Imposter Syndrome as my cohort started in September. In addition, coming from an industry that focuses on trusting people's actions over their words I was skeptical of whether the things the staff was telling me were actually as good as they said they were. From the very first day, the staff and instructors blew me away with how much they believed in what they do. And it was infectious. They made it impossible not to believe in them. From my .Net instructor, Josh, answering every one of my countless questions with an unmistakable passion for his industry, to the Pathways Director, Kelly, demonstrating her unbelievable talent to polish a student's professional profile and prepare them to shine in an interview the entire program set me up for success. Add in the always available one-on-one tutoring sessions with Craig, the amazing Java instructor, Frank, doing one-on-one whiteboarding practice, and the curriculum developers/instructors Joe and Dan always answering questions and you can't help but come out of this program as a strong junior developer ready for a long career in tech. Every staff member contributed in some way to making my experience at Tech Elevator amazing.
The Tech Elevator program is intense, and learning to code is not all rainbows and unicorns, but if you've made the decision to change your life and your career, you cannot go wrong with Tech Elevator. I loved every minute I was in class (yes, even the none rainbows and unicorns minutes). I still love the friendships I created and I love the fact that in less than a month from graduation I have a new job as a software developer working with a handful of the very same friends I shared my Tech Elevator experience with. I changed my whole life for the better with Tech Elevator.
- A truly amazing experience I will never forget- 1/17/2019Sawyer Redpath • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Cleveland • Verified via LinkedIn
I really enjoyed my time at Tech Elevator and learned so much. When I started at Tech Elevator I was in a somewhat unique position, I had done some programming classes in college and knew that I wanted a career as a software developer and that I was capable. For a lot of the students at Tech Elevator it was much more of a "leap of faith" as they had come from all walks of life and decided to try to learn programming for the first time ever. What amazed me was Tech Elevator made capable and successful programmers out of everyone. The students that I had seen struggle tremendously in the beggining left Tech Elevator with so many new skills and many have already gotten themself jobs as junior developers (with the help of Kelly, Marty and the amazing people behind the Pathway Program). Keep in mind this is still less than one month after graduation, but it seems a lot of my fellow students have found jobs already.
As someone who had done some post-secondary programming classes I was VERY IMPRESSED with how relevant the technologies and skills were that we were taught. The skills that you learn at Tech Elevator are EXACTLY the ones that companies are wanting Junior Developers to have. There is individual tutoring available (included in the price of your tuition) that is very nice to have for those who struggle on a certain subject.
I was in the .NET cohort in Cleveland and my instructor Josh was the best instructor I have had in my academic career, hands down. There were many times he explained a subject that I had another instructor try to teach me before (that hadn't quite clicked) and I had that "it finally makes sense now" moment. He would ELI5 (explain something to us like were 5 years old) and then explain it at a higher level, and then connect the dots inbetween to the point where I felt confident in my understanding after each day. Josh was a great instructor but was also a fantastic mentor to all of his students. He met individually with us all constantly to talk about our side projects, how we were feeling about the cohort, our job search, and much more. He was always there to provide valuable guidance and was truly a great mentor to me.
I guess I should mention that if you plan on getting good value out of the program it is going to take hard work, and if you are planning on "half-assing" it then this program is not for you. It's hard work but if you are determined then I promise Tech Elevator will make a great programmer out of you.
Something I didn't expect is I made so many great friends and valuable connections during my time at Tech Elevator. You are really treated like a sort of family there. I was lucky and really liked everyone in my class so I made great friendships there, but also the staff are so friendly and genuinely there to support you always in your continued success as a programmer. I really feel comfortable reaching out to my previous instructors and really any staff at Tech Elevator if I need help with anything job related or programming related in the future.
TLDR: If you like programming or are interested in programming then JUST DO IT! It was an amazing experience that I got so much value out of. I can't say enough good things about all the staff and my experience at Tech Elevator.
- Best Decision- 1/7/2019Kelly • Application Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Pittsburgh • Verified via LinkedIn
It's hard to put into words how much I appreciate what Tech Elevator has done for my career. This program completely changed life. I was working in a low paying, dead end job in Human Resources when I decided to put my life on hold for 14 weeks and make a complete career change by attending the bootcamp in Pittsburgh. I'm so glad that I did. Even before the bootcamp started, the Director and Administrator were so helpful in getting me set up with the tools I'd need to be successful in the program. The instructors were so informative and you can tell they really want you to succeed. This program is fast-paced and extremely intense. You have to want to be there and keep the end goal in mind as you work through each long day. Putting in the hours that it takes to learn the material each day is key because the next day will add on to what you just learned. The instructors make sure that you know they are there to help you each step of the way and will sit with you until you are confident in moving forward.
Outside of the coursework, you will attend events for your Pathway Program that are just as important as the course material itself. This was a huge factor in my decision to attend Tech Elevator over other bootcamps because they show you just how much they want you to succeed in your new career by literally setting up interviews to get you a job. Companies will come in and give presentations about their daily work and what types of positions they have available. This allowed me to decide what industry I wanted to go into (I had no clue when I first started the bootcamp) and my Pathway Director really took the time to get to know exactly what I was looking for. I ended up with a job BEFORE graduating from Tech Elevator and I really don't think that would not have been possible without the pathway program.
If you're thinking about attending Tech Elevator and you have the drive to make a real change in your life, don't hesitate, do it. This program is incredible and the people you will meet along the way are even better.
- Worth Everything- 11/12/2018Bradon Studebaker • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Columbus • Verified via LinkedIn
A decision as momentous as dropping your life for a few months and starting over is not one anyone should take lightly. With that being said, there is no place other than Tech Elevator that I would have ever even considered doing this. I write this review about four months out of the program and well into a wonderful job as a full stack developer.
I was quite nervous when I came in to meet with Katie and Ben. At this point, the reputation of this institution precedes it. Any small amount of research will quickly reveal the accolades this place merits. My apprehension was instantly erased upon coming face to face with the people who were going to help me guide my future the way I wanted it to go.
This program is no small challenge. People from all walks of life and the broadest of skill ranges came into this program and left with what they needed to be what they wanted.
The work is rigorous. You will need to turn off the noise on other portions of your life as best as you can. You will struggle. You will persevere. One thing you never will do is free-fall. A feeling most of us probably feel leading up to applying to this program. The support network and interpersonal relations make TE what it is. Work your ass off and you WILL attain your goals.
Nothing but love. Thank you to the Pathway staff, the technical instructors, and my fellow students. From top to bottom, this will change your life if you let it.
- Highly Recommended- 10/21/2018Tim Johnston • Lead Developer • Graduate • Course: Java Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Pittsburgh • Verified via LinkedIn
What is the program like?
14 weeks long, 3 hours of technical instruction each day in the morning, several hours of professional development / career-related instruction per week, daily programming assignments (sometimes solo, sometimes pair programming, sometimes both), several “mini-capstones” throughout the program followed by a larger final capstone project at the very end.
The workload is intense. For me, it was a minimum of 60 hours a week, frequently more, including a lot of evening and weekend hours working on assignments, reading supplemental materials, or crafting professional resources like my resume and LinkedIn. I thought this was a major strong point of the program. You need to learn enough material to make yourself an asset to a tech company, and the only way to do that in three months is to really immerse yourself in the material, go beyond the bare minimum when studying and doing assignments, and taking the initiative to learn as much as possible. Tech Elevator definitely encourages and facilitates this.
Another plus of Tech Elevator is that there is a lot of comradery between students, creating a really supportive environment where bonds are formed quickly. It was fun to form a new group of friends and to enter the industry as software professionals at the same time as them. Moreover, the collaborative nature of software development in the real world was stressed to us, and having a close group of fellow students was a great introduction to learning how to design and implement software as a member of a team.
Finally, but maybe most importantly, Tech Elevator has a professional development and career prep program called the Pathway Program that runs concurrently with the technical coursework. The Pathway Program guided us through how create professional materials that check the exact boxes that tech recruiters and hiring managers are looking for, provided interview prep and practice including mock interviews with actual local tech recruiters, brought employers on-site to chat about what its like to work at their company, and culminated in an event that was essentially speed-dating but for job interviews. A full day of 30 minute interviews with local tech companies actively hiring junior developers. If you’re anything like me, the hardest part of the job search is just getting a foot in the door and landing that initial phone screen – Matchmaking skips you right past this process and sets you up with a number of face to face interviews.
Is Tech Elevator worth it?
Go to an open house, talk to to the instructors, take some introductory coding courses, read about what a career in software is like. If everything sounds good, you enjoy learning, and you’re prepared to fully commit yourself to school for 3 months, Tech Elevator is absolutely worth it. Easily the best career decision I’ve made.
From matchmaking alone, I landed 7 2nd round interviews and 3 job offers. My salary increased by 43% relative to my previous job, and my career options moving forward are the best I’ve ever had.
It is a LOT of work, but if you know you’re up for the challenge and want to move into a career in software, I 100% recommend it.
- Best Decision for my Career!- 9/24/2018James "Jacob" Bennett • Programmer Analyst • Student • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Cincinnati • Verified via LinkedIn
My prior experience with jobs was basically only sales and being a substitute teacher. I always wanted to get in the tech field and I was so desperate, I would have done anything! I just never had an opportunity to explore it. I kept recieving emails back from companies saying I dont have enough experience and because I couldn't even get in the door, I will never have tech experience. I then came across Tech Elevator which at first glipse seemed suspicious. "Really? Change my career in 14 weeks? Yea Right!". But I kept thinking about it and could not stop but wonder what this could do for me.
I knew that if I was going to do this, I would never give up because this could be my life changing moment. I applied and got in. This opportunity was extremely difficult but I invested everything into it and it paid off. I was getting there at 8 A.M. and not leaving sometimes until 10 P.M. In the end, I knew what I put in is what I am going to get out. The staff there is amazing and they do not get enough credit. This was one of my hardest and best decisions of my career and of my life. I now have a career in tech!
Thank you Tech Elevator!!!
- Life-Changing Results- 9/19/2018Bakhary Drummond • Software Developer I • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Cleveland • Verified via LinkedIn
3 Things you should ask before considering this program:
- Am I ready to change my life in 14 weeks (or less!)?
- Can I commit to learning as much as I can from this program?
- Do I enjoy being surrounded by people with a passion for learning and uplifting others?
I answered yes to all three, and here's my experience:
The staff at Tech Elevator are genuine and supportive no matter what their role or daily interaction with you. Kelly, the Pathway Program Director was such an integral part of my education and preparation for entering the field of software development despite not helping me write one line of code. She worked tirelessly with me as well as 35 other students in my cohort to craft clean, polished, and professional LinkedIn profiles and resumes that highlighted our experiences and new skills.
I was in the .NET class of Cohort 8. Our instructor Josh was literally the best teacher I have ever had. He explains all of the concepts in a way that makes you feel like you knew them all along. Everytime I stepped into his classroom, the energy and dedication he put into each of his lessons motivated me to learn more.
This was by no means an easy 14 weeks. At times I was unsure I was going to learn enough to get a job after graduation. With lots of help from Marty, the campus director, Kelly, and the instructors, I honed my skills and recieved a job offer after the first round of Matchmaking interviews.
I'm so grateful for all the help and support I recieved at Tech Elevator and I highly recommend anyone who's interested in a career in software development or even software in general to attend.
- You'll Get What You Put Into It- 9/17/2018Mason Kamolpechara • Programmer/Analyst • Graduate • Course: Java Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Columbus • Verified via LinkedIn
TLDR: If you do everything the program asks of you, I would be very surprised if you don't get a tech job within a month of graduation. If you skip exercises, don't bother going back to concepts you didn't understand, don't network, don't practice interviews/whiteboarding/elevator pitch, etc, you can still graduate, but you might not get your money's worth. But even then, you still have a good chance of getting a job.
You will get at least what you put into this program. People come into the program at all levels: some people come in with a wealth of coding experience but need some job help while others come in with no coding experience and are willing to take the plunge into the unknown. Regardless of where you're at, the program will 100% help you get a job if you're willing to put in the work. One previous response is absolutely correct in that you could be lazy and still graduate by stealing code or not finishing exercises or skipping interview practices or skipping over difficult concepts. But why would anyone want to drop more than 15 grand just to lie to themselves and their instructors? All you're doing is hurting yourself when it comes to do real interviews, and they're what actually matter.
As far as the actual instruction, both the coursework and the instructors are excellent. I was honestly moved by the amount of time and effort the instructors are willing to put into their students. If you don't understand something, they will work with you until you do. If you have a good grasp on all the material covered, you shouldn't have too many problems getting through most technical interviews.
I found the most valuable part of Tech Elevator to be Pathways Program. The biggest and most important thing they do is help you network, especially the matchmaking days. Tech Elevator will give you the chance to have face-to-face time with ~8 companies and provide you with the contact information of ~30. Make use of this. I cannot stress this enough. One misconception is that you Matchmaking is all about the face-to-face time. While matching is without a doubt a huge advantage, you can still email companies you liked but didn't get matched with. I didn't even speak with the company I'm working for at Matchmaking--I just applied and emailed the contact person listed. That list of 30+ professional contact emails is probably worth a fortune in of itself. In addition to the networking, the opportunities for professional interview/whiteboarding feedback were invaluable and the constant work on my elevator pitch really helped me answer the quesion asked at every single interview I ever did: "Tell me a little bit about yourself."
Overall, I would recommend Tech Elevator to anyone willing to treat the program as a real job. As long as you can put in a ton of hours to understand concepts you don't get at first (or second or third or fourth) and make use of all the meetups, interview practices, and contact information provided, I'd be very surprised if you couldn't get a job within a couple weeks of graduation. Anyone with questions can feel free to find me on LinkedIn and I'd be happy to oblige.
- The best decision I've ever made for my career- 9/17/2018Nabiel • Developer I • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Cleveland • Verified via LinkedIn
Tech Elevator was an awesome experience. In my time there I acquired the skills necessary to transition into a career as a developer. I had a slight background in programming Java but had only worked as an IT specialist. After reading the reviews online about Tech Elevator and hearing of their extremely high job placement rate I ended up leaving college and attending this boot camp on a whim. It was definitely not a mistake. I was fortunate enough to have a job offer a month before graduation after the first matchmaking event.
If you get accepted I HIGHLY recommend attending the next available cohort. I was in the .NET class and I can say Josh is an amazing instructor. He had a way of explaining things which made things clear and easy to follow. That being said you will spend a lot of time coding over the course of the 3.5 months you are attending and it will be very challenging. However if you work hard each and every day and have the drive to keep pushing yourself you will have no problem completing the program. Don't be discouraged. Although it's a lot of work it's also a lot of fun. You will meet a lot of great connections, both students and employers / developers.
Kelly, the pathway director, will also pave the way for you to find a great career. She works very diligently and honestly cares deeply for the students to pursue work in the IT field. A HUGE part of their very impressive job placement rate is because of her hard work and dedication. She will help you build an amazing resume / LinkedIn profile, set up mock interviews for you, or even just give you a pep talk if you need it.
- A great Program- 9/17/2018Brian Mulh • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Java Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Columbus • Verified via LinkedIn
I can't say enough good things about Tech Elevator. I came in with almost no experience and after 14 weeks accepted a job as a software engineer. While I still have so much to learn I feel the curriculum was a great starting point. The instructors are all great and always willing to help. Even on weekends they will usually respond in minutes to any questions. After graduating, I have reached out and they have responded quickly to my questions. The program is also great in helping you get a job. They will help you prepare for interviews and also bring in hiring companies to interview with. While they do as much as they can to prepare you for a job, you won't just be handed a job. If you do the bare minimum and just try to skate by the 14 weeks then getting a job might be more difficult than some of the other students. I would make sure to try to do extra work on the side to set yourself apart. This is a great program and I would recommend it highly, but don't expect it to be easy or that you will get a great job just because you made it through. While you can easily get a great job, you better be prepared to dedicate all your time to this program for 14 weeks.
- The Best Decision I Ever Made- 9/16/2018Sacha Sade • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Java Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Columbus • Verified via LinkedIn
I came from a 10-year career in HR and had the opportunity to work at a few different tech companies, being either directly or indirectly involved in hiring software developers at three.
Long story short, I knew for a while that I wanted to move from HR into software development, but it wasn’t realistic for me to go back to school for another degree. Eventually, my family was relocated from Atlanta to Columbus and after struggling to find an HR job here that aligned with my experience and values, I came to the conclusion that Tech Elevator would be my ticket into software development.
Like a lot of people, I did a ton of research and talked to former TE grads and ultimately decided to do it. The program is designed to set you up with the tools to graduate as a junior-level full stack developer and I feel I got exactly what I paid for in that respect. I started at zero and learned so much but truly, the thing that sets Tech Elevator apart from other bootcamps is the relationships they have forged with employers, which as I’ll explain below, wouldn’t be possible if the curriculum wasn’t legit. Those relationships aren’t just the result of marketing, they are built on the reputations of the students who graduate and get hired.
I applied to TE and was set to start mid-January this year when a family emergency pulled me out of state and a subsequent job offer in my old field came up that would allow me the extra time I needed in January to handle my stuff so I accepted it. I was already regretting my decision when my Director of Engineering told me how awesome the 3 guys he hired from Tech Elevator are (each had been in place for about 6 months) and that he’d absolutely look to TE for his junior developer needs going forward. Those were the final words I needed to hear, so I reached back out to the team to see if there was a seat left for me in cohort 5 and thankfully I got back in! If that director’s words weren’t enough, on my first day of class, I found out that one of Columbus’s large employers who also happens to have hired a large number TE grads over multiple cohorts was actually sending a group of their current employees to learn Java alongside us. That fact speaks for itself; employers believe in what they get from Tech Elevator.
In terms of my experience during the program, Brian was my instructor and is truly, truly awesome. He is so dedicated to his students, so supportive, really organized, incredibly smart, has a ton of work experience, and can figure out where you’re going wrong very easily. He’s also available way beyond class and office hours to help over TE’s internal messaging app. All of the instructors are around after class for office hours and are available to help all of the students, and will try to help you out even if they are teaching a different language. Everyone is so helpful and supportive and they all really care about your success.
The Campus Director and Pathway Program Director are a former HR professional and technical recruiter respectively and as a former HR professional myself, I can tell you that they both absolutely know what they are talking about when it comes to the elevator pitch’s structure and importance and the guidance they give on resumes and interviewing. The Pathway Program is spot on.
During matchmaking I met with 9 companies and received offers from two before graduation. I believe I was really close to an offer from a third when I removed myself from the process after having accepted one of the offers I received. A fourth company I met with was interviewing for a future hiring class (as many large orgs do for junior roles), and judging by the reaction I got when I informed them I accepted an offer, I feel that I may have been a strong candidate for that future class as well. A fifth company is still in touch with me to keep our relationship warm as I gain experience (although I am super happy with where I ended up). In terms of the types of positions available, all 9 of the companies I interviewed with were hiring software developers, although the third company was leaning toward a database maintenance position for me, I think because they were looking for more of a heavy hitter for their developer role.
In summary, it was an awesome experience and very, very much worth the money. I feel great about what I have learned and I feel awesome about my new career and my new company. Thank you, Tech Elevator!
- The Real Deal- 9/9/2018Timothy Hart • QA Analyst • Graduate • Course: Java Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Columbus • Verified via LinkedIn
If you are looking to join a coding bootcamp, I would highly recommend Tech Elevator. I graduated this August and had a very good experience. The instructors are very knowledgeable and extremely helpful. The Pathway program does an incredible job of helping you learn how to present yourself to future employers.
If there is a catch to the program, it is that nothing is handed to you. As good as the number are for job placements, if you do not put in the effort, you will have a very difficult time. Tech Elevator gives you all the tools you need but you have to personally put in the work to succeed.
- Trust the process.- 9/8/2018Melissa Petrov • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Columbus • Verified via LinkedIn
I can’t say enough positive things about this program. I was a stay at home mama for the last almost five years and was incredibly nervous about starting a career for the first time. I have a degree in Communications but zero experience. I had zero background in coding as well.
To start off the instructors at Tech Elevator are beyond talented and caring. It truly blows my mind how brilliant they are. John made class exciting every day or at least tried to and he is always there if you need the extra support or help. Before leaving everyday he makes sure to ask if anyone needs assistance before heading out and he’s right there when you message him a question on his own free time. He truly is there to see you succeed. He is always asking what he can do to make the experience better.
The Pathway Program was EXTREMELY helpful, from helping craft a resume, to mock interviews, to matchmaking where they help you make connections (which is ultimately what helped me secure a second interview, third interview and ultimately a new career). I didn’t know where to begin when it came to job searching and my technical interview skills needed a lot of practice. They provide all the help and support that you need. Katie and Ben know their stuff. Listen and do it.
I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with such talented people and to be part of Tech Elevator. The program is tough (really tough....I was on the struggle bus a lot of the cohort), but it is more than worth it. I did my research before applying because it all seemed too good to be true but now having gone through the program, they have a FIVE STAR review/rating for a reason. As one of my classmates told me when I started to doubt myself....”Trust the process.”
- Aref Jadallah • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Columbus • Verified via LinkedIn
I had a fantastic experience at Tech Elevator. I was in Columbus Cohort ’s.Net group and would (and have) recommended it to anyone looking for a career change who is remotely interested in a career in tech. It’s a major commitment of both time and money, but if you’re up to the task it’s an incredibly rewarding experience that opens doors you wouldn’t usually have access to. In my case, the return on investment was absolutely worth it as well. I spent ~$15,000 and 14 weeks on Tech Elevator and came out on the other side with a valuable skill set and a salary $30,000 higher than what I was making beforehand.
If I had to sum up my experience at Tech Elevator in one word it would be “support.” 14 weeks is a long time to be bombarded with new information on a daily basis while getting ready for – and then going through – the job-search process, not to mention balancing your personal life. Perhaps unsurprisingly, pressure and stress can mount, and you can feel like you’re beginning to fray at the edges. It will be frustrating, your cohort-mates will get on your nerves at times, and it’s not easy to find people who get what you’re going through. People will discount your experience, friends and family will think you took a 3-month vacation to learn how to play with computers and that your stress is “nothing compared to the stress of a job.” I can tell you that when I went through all of this, the instructors and staff at Tech Elevator were there Every. Single. Time.
I came in with no technical experience and when I was stuck on something instructors, in my case, primarily Andrew Frank and John Fulton, patiently sat with me until I understood what I was doing. During the job-search process, whenever I had questions or was confused or frustrated, Ben Knisley and Katie Detore were there with whatever I needed, whether it was guidance or just someone to talk to. I wrote earlier that friends and family may not understand what you’re doing or the challenges that come with the boot camp experience, but the instructors and the Tech Elevator staff absolutely do, and they couldn’t be more supportive.
You will learn to program at Tech Elevator, but more importantly, you will learn to be a professional programmer – a distinction I didn’t know existed until I enrolled. I always thought that if you could code, there would be companies begging to hire you. Wrong! There were several people in my cohort who were incredibly talented and knowledgeable programmers before they enrolled but couldn’t even get an interview with a recruiter – not to mention a hiring manager – because they didn’t have experience. Tech Elevator solves that problem because they have great relationships with companies who are looking for just the sort of person who is willing to leave a career and dive headfirst into programming. Better yet, Tech Elevator will bring those companies to you and GUARANTEE that you get an interview with them through the Employer Matchmaking event.
If the previous 514 words weren’t enough for you to know that I was extremely satisfied with my experience, let me be very clear – I was extremely satisfied with my experience. But, I wouldn’t be a very good reviewer if all I did was gush and there were some things I wish had been done differently. The first is actually not a “complaint” of mine, but one I heard repeated a few times by cohort-mates and it’s that certain aspects of the technology stack we learned on was a bit outdated. But, do you know how many interviewers brought that up as a problem? Literally none. You learn to program and think like a programmer – that’s what matters. What interviewers were looking for was an understanding of underlying concepts and a willingness to learn. In my cohort, people ended up in positions doing languages they had no exposure to during the cohort. I know one cohort-mate is doing PHP and at least three who are doing Ruby. I myself took a Java job after completing the .Net course.
One critique that I do have is that I think the approach to actually teaching the technical side of things should be reevaluated. The format of the instruction was that we were in the classroom from 9 am – noon-ish on most days. In general, the last 70-90 minutes were spent doing Lecture Code, which is watching an instructor talk through completed or mostly completed code. It is terrible. My instructor, John, is an incredibly engaging and passionate instructor, who made many boring topics interesting. Even he couldn’t make lecture code bearable. I can confidently say that of the 18 (I think) people in .Net with me, maybe 5 actually paid attention during lecture code. Most of us used that time to apply for jobs, search the web for the spiciest of memes, or nap with our eyes open. I have never studied pedagogy, and certainly never tried to teach anyone how to program, but there has to be a more effective way than lecture code. Personally, I would have preferred to have our assigned daily exercises (i.e. homework) be a bit longer and have the instructor walk us through a few problems as we coded along. Alternatively, I think breaking us into pairs or small groups, try to solve a problem, then whiteboard our solutions in front of the class would be an extremely valuable and effective replacement for lecture code. Not only would students be forced to actually think about the material, they would get the added benefit of forced whiteboarding and having to explain their code – something that many people struggle with come technical interview time. Additionally, they could see the different ways their classmates thought about/solved the problem.
Another critique I have is a lot broader and not actually as important, it’s more of a time-saving technique. I wish that I and my cohort-mates had been put on different “tracks” based on our skill level from a technical and career-prep perspective and then had events be mandatory or not, based on our track. For instance, there were some people in my class who already knew every technical topic that we covered. I’m not exaggerating when I say that they didn’t learn a single thing from being in class, not because we weren’t being instructed well, they were just already very knowledgeable. Those same people, on the other hand, benefited greatly from all the Career Pathway events. They generally were lacking some soft/professional skills and learned a lot at all the Pathway events. On the other side of the coins were people like me, who needed the classroom badly, but didn’t get a whole lot out of most of the Pathway events because we’d worked in professional environments before and could handle non-technical interviews well. I think it would be an improvement if I had been in a different, technical-skill focused “track” than my already technically proficient classmates. Class, but not all the Pathway events, should have been mandatory for me and the reverse for my classmate. Again, this isn’t a big deal, just a subtle improvement and I only bring it up because, at times, I could have really used extra time with an instructor or just time, in general, to work on a project, when I had to go and sit in on a Pathway presentation that I, personally, didn’t get much out of.
In conclusion, if you’re considering Tech Elevator, just do it. It was an excellent experience and more than worth the investment of time and money.
- Answering that One Question- 9/3/2018Craig Lawrie • Systems Test Engineer • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Cleveland • Verified via LinkedIn
If you're looking into a coding bootcamp, attending one, or have already graduated, you probably know the "One Question" that I'm talking about. Maybe your friends and family asked it. If you're still in the looking phase, you're probably asking it of yourself. The question isn't "which bootcamp". The question is, "can't you just learn that online for cheaper?" I'm here to put that question to rest.
There are plenty of resources online, including educational videos, practice problems, volunteer and paid tutors, competitions, networking, job boards, you name it. You can learn anything online. But when it comes to making a career change, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When you can learn anything, what should you choose to learn? When are you going to start, when are you going to put your hours in, and how do you know when you’re done? How do you prove to an employer that you’ve got the right knowledge for the role they need to fill? What even are the job titles and companies that you should be looking at for this skill you want to use?
Enter Tech Elevator. Sure, they teach you to code. Sure, they have highly qualified, talented instructors available full time to teach you, coach you, review your work, and answer your questions. But again, that’s the tip of the iceberg. Tech Elevator’s goal isn’t just to teach you how to code, it’s to get you a job in the field of software development. Whatever skills the local job market needs, those are the skills that Tech Elevator is teaching its students. You know that you’re learning the right material at the right pace, because the reputation that TE is building and looking to maintain with area employers is that their graduates are ready to fill the roles.
And that’s not all. While you’re a student, you’ll be practicing how to communicate your skills with peers, instructors, and potential interviewers or employers. You’ll attend workshops and panels about building your own brand, including talking about yourself, building your resume, and having a good linkedin profile. You’ll learn more about the industry, such as having potential employers come in and talk about their company and openings. You’ll learn about various jobs in the industry, including roles that focus on the database or on a website aesthetic, but beyond that also to project managers, quality assurance analysts, business analysts, and more.
Finally, there’s Matchmaking. This is where Tech Elevator proves their reputation with the local industry by cramming interviewers from local industry into every square inch of the facility. Students get interviews with small companies, large companies, and everything in between. The employers generally count these interviews as a “phone screen” or “initial interview”, getting students on their way towards employment.
This reputation that I’ve mentioned is what it keeps coming back to. It’s a virtuous cycle. Tech Elevator needs to train students well in order to make employers happy, and they need to make employers happy in order to attract new students. And, they’re succeeding all around.
I hope that answers the “One Question”. It’s worth going to Tech Elevator. There is no substitute for a good school that cares about the success of its students.
- The five people you meet at Tech Elevator- 8/31/2018Phultron • Graduate • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
Person 0, John (this is programming, get used to starting at 0): John cares deeply about programming. He cares even more deeply about educating students. 30+ years of programming have transformed his mind into a technical problem-solving machine. He deftly identifies and corrects bugs in your code, all while explaining in plain English the mistake you’ve made. He is warm, and frequently states that his goal is to correct and educate students without “making them cry.”
John will patiently work with you day and night. He is available almost every evening and virtually every weekend. Which is good because you will need to put in the hours to understand this material. John could have secured a private sector position for significantly more pay, but he loves educating and it shows.
John will be one of the most compassionate, caring, well informed educators you’ve ever encountered.
(the same sentiment applies to every instructor at TE)
Person 1, Ben: Ben is a well-connected former recruiter who is responsible for employing fifty people every three months. During mock interviews and the resume refining process, his criticisms will come from a sincere desire to see you succeed. He is a corporate cupid and a tremendous advocate. He’ll take the time to learn what you enjoy and do his best to find the right recruiters and companies for you. You want this man in your corner.
Person 2, Jane: Jane is a fictional representation of what, in my view, are the majority of students at Tech Elevator. Jane has little to no programming experience. She didn’t finish college, but she has several years of solid work experience. She’s smart, scrappy and willing to hustle.
She starts the program with unbridled enthusiasm, bolstered by her successful completion of the prework in JS and HTML. The world is her oyster.
About three weeks into the program she has to take up meditation at regular intervals because the ambitious course load is starting to wear on her sanity. That’s ok, the moment will pass.
Jane will frequently feel that she is inadequate, and she will question her ability to program. It seems like everyone else is learning this so much faster than she is. They aren’t, but that’s ok, the moment will pass.
Jane will, at one point, feel so stressed out that she’ll consider quitting TE and begging her former employer to take her back. She won’t because she’s smart. She knows the moment will pass.
During her first technical interview she has a full-fledged nervous breakdown. Her mind is filled with every dumb thing she’s ever done, she’s convinced she can’t do this. That’s ok, the moment will pass.
A month after graduating from the program she has had several interviews. Some were disastrous, some were near misses. She is terrified that she has made a huge investment for nothing. That’s ok, the moment will pass.
Two months after finishing the program her patience pays off as she finds a position that is a perfect fit for her skillset. Turns out, her dream job wasn’t with company A doing job 1. Instead it was with company B doing job 6. She rejoices, and yea, the world rejoices with her.
Person 3, Jack: there will be someone like Jack in your cohort. Jack has convinced himself that he can’t do this. He rejects the notion adopted by Salman Khan that “You can learn anything.” His ability to thrive and improve is diminished and he is unhappy with the results. In his view, everyone else is responsible for his inability to perform.
Person 4, Alex: Alex is a fictional representation of a friendly, older-brother like figure who has a wealth of programming knowledge. He enrolled in Tech Elevator to take advantage of the corporate connections, not to learn the material. He could practically teach the course. He’s about six foot, six and has a face etched with smile lines. Be friends with Alex.
Person 5, Big Daddy Warbucks: Daddy Warbucks is a recruiter from that great company you’ve always wanted to work with. He or she will meet you during matchmaking, a company presentation, or an introduction from Ben.
Big Daddy Warbucks has a checklist of characteristics (s)he is looking for. For each company that list is different. A few examples:
Many traditional companies might have strong checks in place and they’ll only interview candidates with a bachelor’s degree. Many companies, perhaps startups, might eschew candidates who have jumped through the traditional hoops and received a degree, in favor of people who haven’t been molded by the system.
Some companies might be in search of a programmer who is familiar with Python, but they’ll take a chance on a Java programmer with grit.
For some companies, equal opportunity isn’t just a catch phrase, it’s part of the culture. They understand that diversity makes a company stronger. In a coin toss between the abilities of two candidates, they will pick the [insert disenfranchised minority here].
Some recruiters (Big Daddy Warbuckses (sp?)) will meet you and think “Wow! This candidate is incredible! I am so glad I came to this matchmaking event. If only I had a position for them.” six months later, a new position opens up. Big Daddy Warbucks picks up his/her gold-plated telephone, takes a big puff of his/her cigar and calls you from his/her perch on Mount Olympus. Congratulations! You are to be exalted!
If you’re like me, you’ll waffle between being a Jane and a Jack. Do your best to be a Jane.
Tech Elevator is an outstanding institution. You will develop powerful cross-linguistic technical problem-solving abilities during your time here.
Can you start at Tech Elevator without having written a single line of code and go on to secure your dream job as a programmer? Absolutely.
Are you a more compelling candidate if you have extensive previous programming experience? a degree? worked in a programming adjacent field? Experience leading teams? Demonstrate strong interpersonal skills? Very physically attractive? Under 50?
Yeah, probably. Some people are better qualified than you, others are less qualified. Get over yourself.
Should you place your hopes and dreams on a single company, position, or sector?
No. Not only is that not realistic, it’s also unfair to you, the job seeker. Besides, you might find during the education and recruitment process that there is a job you’d never considered that’s more interesting. Or, like me, you might find that your dream job is a position where programming is a component of your job, rather than the sole focus of your job.
Can you learn this material on your own and forgo the bootcamp route? Maybe.
If you have the self-discipline, tenacity, and sheer intelligence to learn everything Tech Elevator teaches in three months BY YOURSELF, you shouldn’t be looking for a job. You should be starting your own company. So… Good luck!
Is the course worth $15.5k? Yes*
*this may not be the case if you don’t apply yourself, if you don’t show up, if you don’t put in the leg work to find a job, if you have a bad attitude, if you don’t network like a player. In short, if you kick against the pricks.
Advice to management:
You’re doing a great job teaching students and employing people. Far be it for me, a lowly graduate to advise you on your business practice and pricing. Just… Keep the main thing the main thing.
Suggestions on alternative revenue streams that will allow tuition to keep pace with inflation:
Programming for high school students.
Corporate sponsored cohorts (I believe this idea was being thrown around already.)
Corporate matchmaking for vetted mid-career professionals (Networkers gonna Network.)
A cheaper, self-paced, online version of the course (should be easy to whip up, right?)
Your smart folks, you’ll figure it out.
- Student- 8/24/2018Elihu Reynolds • Product Support Specialist • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Cincinnati • Verified via LinkedIn
Tech Elevator was a great experience. I do wish that I had more of a tech background. However, the most important thing that Tech Elevator taught me is how to teach myself going forward, and that is incredibly valuable. I met some incredible people, and I learned a lot of full stack development. Overall, a great experience.
- "Life-changing" absolutely applies.- 8/22/2018Bethany Warner • Web Developer • Graduate • Course: Java Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Cleveland • Verified via LinkedIn
A college buddy who works in software development recommended I look into Tech Elevator after I came to him with questions about what his job was like, because he'd interviewed and hired candidates from the program before. Having never heard of a coding bootcamp before and coming across this concept with a skeptical mindset of "oh yeah, sure, college said their graduates were hired, too", I did a lot of research. I talked to graduates I found from meetups and off of LinkedIn, both in person and online. I went to an open house. I talked to numerous employers in the area on what they thought of Tech Elevator and other local bootcamps. I read, I swear to god, every single review on this website and anywhere else I could scrounge up. After all of that, I showed upon the first day still not sure if I was being scammed.
Going to Tech Elevator was the best decision I've ever made, hands down.
The curriculum is checked against employer and industry demands and changes with what the program sees employers looking for in job descriptions. Unlike many other bootcamps, everything is chosen with the goal of graduates finding in-field employment and being prepared to hit the ground running on their first day. The program is expensive, but worth every penny. The instructors are hired carefully, and there's always someone on hand to help you sort through a problem. They do a lot of good to handle the frustration students often accumulate as they struggle to learn new things, in addition to of course teaching the material in the first place. TE does a great job of fostering an environment that welcomes questions and minimizes the idea that you're in competition with your fellow students. Instead, you're encouraged to use one another as resources and allies in both the learning process and the job search.
The program can be stressful - not in that the workload is overbearing, but in that you're likely trying to mold your brain to think in entirely new ways and that's exhausting. Do NOT expect to be able to work another job while you're in the bootcamp. How long in the day students stay and if they come in on weekends seems to be dictated by the culture of your particular cohort, but the effort of absorbing the material and putting it to use takes a lot out of you. I highly recommend sorting out your food situation ahead of time/being ready to commit to meal prep, and if you foresee an issue arising while you're in the program or in the month or two following, do your best to handle it in advance or perhaps even put off program until you can fully invest in it.
Tech Elevator does a lot to train and prepare you for the job search itself, and is very hands-on in helping you achieve your employment goals. An entire segment of the program is career counseling in the form of their "Pathway Program". Go in expecting to value and work on the job search almost equally with learning to code. TE employs well-connected, engaged staff specifically to teach you to network, write a solid industry-standard resume, how to find and efficiently apply for jobs, and decide which track/role within software development you'd like to start out in. This staff adds up to a huge portion of the equation that will get you a job! Listen to them! As a piece of the pathway program, employers come in twice a week for most of the bootcamp to try to market themselves to the students as desirable employers. This gives the students and the employers a chance to talk to each other/network and get a feel for what everyone's goals are and corporate culture is like, and test if they're a good match. Another part of the program is something called matchmaking. Matchmaking takes place towards the end of the bootcamp, and it's a day or two of formal interviewing in ~25minute rounds with employers. Both of these pieces - the employer showcases and matchmaking - are integral to networking and immersing yourself in the industry.
I went into the program having never coded before and having never successfully had a career - just a lot of jobs. Between the instructors, the pathway program, and innumerous stress-relieving rounds of ping pong, I found employment within a month of graduating. I can't recommend the program highly enough. I'm still in a state of disbelief over the vast improvement my life has gone through thanks to Tech Elevator.
- Believe the hype.- 8/15/2018Shane O'Neill • Junior Software Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Cleveland • Verified via LinkedIn
About a year ago, I was sitting in the same position you are right now. I was unsatisfied with the current status of my career and spent hours pouring over the reviews of various coding bootcamps available to me in Cleveland. You may find yourself reading about Tech Elevator and thinking 'This sounds too good to be true.' I can assure you that, I too, had the same suspicion.
I spent time tracking down graduates on Linkedin and pestering them about their experiences, attended the open house, and met with staff. There was reassurance along every step of the way that this was the right decision. Prior to TE I had earned a Masters degree in Music and was tired of the teaching/performance lifestyle - not only did I desire something with more consistency, but something that would challenge me in a new way. Given my background, I can assure you that I had almost zero coding experience before Tech Elevator. This was indeed a bit daunting because a fair amount of students enter the program having dabbled with code in some respect.
Now onto the program itself. What can I say that hasn't been said many times over on this website already? I went from a complete novice on day one, to a confident junior developer by graduation. The curriculum has clearly been designed with care and is a product of the numerous cohorts that have gone through the program. As a general rule, I felt we spent the appropriate amount of time on each topic to get a strong sense of understanding, and each new topic neatly stacked onto what you learned prior. It is evident that TE hires its instructors with great care. Personally, being in the C# .NET bootcamp with Josh was wonderful. He has a natural talent for teaching, finds clear means of conveying concepts, and is generally very helpful. The help doesn't stop with your track's specific instructor. There are always other staff members willing to help you out.
A lot of the reviews on here will talk about how hard the program is. Yes, I would absolutely agree with you that it is indeed difficult. However, I found that if you stay on top of your work and don't fall behind in your daily assignments it is really quite manageable.
So what was the outcome of all this? I'm sure you have by now read the wonderful statistics on job placement upon completion of the bootcamp. That indeed was one key point that sounded too good to be true to me. When all was said and done I was overjoyed to have two job offers the week before graduation and started my new career as a web developer two weeks later (with a generous salary increase). While there is still certainly much for me to learn, I was able to start my new job with a strong foundation and the ability to pick up new skills/concepts with relative ease.
TLDR: Tech Elevator changed my life for the better. Believe the hype.
p.s. Don't hesitate to contact me on LinkedIn if you would like to chat about my experience at Tech Elevator!
- Be prepared to give it your all- 5/23/2018Shana • Application Developer • Graduate • Course: Java Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Columbus • Verified via LinkedIn
Of course I read these reviews before enrolling in Tech Elevator. Despite knowing in my head that "this is going to be intense", there is no proper way to know how intense it is until you're sitting in that chair and there is a seemlingly endless stream of information and homework. Each homework assignment is due in 2 business days, so if you start falling behind it is very difficult to catch up.
I am someone who is not really motivated on my own, so the environment and speed of the bootcamp, as well as all the deadlines, was an excellent fit for my learning style. I also get too easily distracted at home, so I spent most of my evenings (and many weekends) working on homework in the classroom. Interestingly, this caused one of the tech startup companies at Rev1 to notice me and drop by to talk to me a couple of days before matchmaking. In any case, this led to me being able to complete all of the required homework, except the very last assignment (sorry Brian!).
This program prepares you for your first job as a programmer. Being taught the basic concepts of programming, and the Pathway Program with all the mock interviews and LinkedIn advice, will ensure that there is nothing standing in your way to get your first job. I got my job through matchmaking, and received a verbal offer the day of graduation. It wasn't even a company I had picked to meet with. The network of companies that Tech Elevator has established is truly impressive.
The instructors and staff are very professional and patient. Here is where I give my shoutout to my Java instructor, Brian (more review points for the competition with John :P). Brian is simply brilliant, I have no idea how he seems to know everything and figure out problems within minutes, sometimes seconds. Furthermore, he never makes you feel bad about asking him a question (and I asked a LOT of questions). I loved when we were in lecture and someone asked him a question, he would sometimes respond "If I knew the answer to that, I would be out there building it!" which shows he has a true passion for what he teaches. Sometimes he would get so excited about a topic that I started asking him questions just to slow him down so I could keep up.
The comraderie with the other students is great - you're all in the same boat, most likely you hit similar roadblocks with yesterday's homework, you work together... it's really fantastic. Occasionally you may run into issues with the pair assignments, as not everyone learns at the same pace.
All in all, if you have decided that programming is the route for you, this bootcamp is the all-inclusive springboard that will push you into the field faster than you could ever achieve on your own. I almost doubled my previous salary. But I also had to sacrifice the majority of my social life and hobbies for 14 weeks.
I wouldn't trade the experience for anything, and I miss being there!!
- Best career decision you can make!- 4/3/2018Lindsay • Web Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Cleveland • Verified via LinkedIn
I had been unhappy with my previous career for a couple years, but wasn't sure what direction I wanted to take. After exploring post-graduate options I was ready to start down a new path, but wasn't interested in spending several years in school. When a couple friends suggested I look into coding, I started to research the different bootcamp options in the area. After attending an open house at Tech Elevator, it was clear this bootcamp was heads and shoulders above the rest, and I immediately knew this was the place for me.
Every single employee at Tech Elevator is there to help you succeed. The staff are genuinly invested in each student to reach their full potential. The instructors are incredibly knowledgable, and you'll find more than someone to teach you the technical skills; they take the time to get to know each student and share invaluable lessons they've learned from their own career paths.
Outside of the technical skills I learned, the Pathway Program was crucial in my ability to land a job. I've never been comfortable speaking in front of people and talking about myself, and the Pathway Program requires you to do both (eeek!). By the end of the 14 week program I felt completely comfortable standing infront of a group of strangers and telling them about my journey that lead to Tech Elevator. The Pathway Program sessions as well as the expert panels brought in gave incredible advice and instruction on crafting a resume to get you noticed, how to effectively network and leverage those connections, and make sure you are prepared to ace every interview. I have no doubt that without the Pathway Program, I wouldn't have receieved multiple job offers upon graduation.
If you're ready to make a change, Tech Elevator is the right choice!
- A life-changing experience- 3/25/2018Jason Mann • Developer • Graduate • Course: Java Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Columbus • Verified via LinkedIn
- Xander Barnhart • .Net Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET Coding Bootcamp • Campus: Cleveland • Verified via LinkedIn
My previous work experience was working in restaurants, working as a maintenance man and every crappy job in-between. I’ve never really made enough money in my life to do more than just survive.
I grew up with very little hope that I would rise above ‘just barely getting by’; and what little hope I had, left a long time ago. Like most of my generation, I was told that college was the only option if you wanted to achieve any success in life. I could barely afford one semester, let alone a degree. Undeterred by my financial restrictions, I went to college and hoped to, somehow, make enough money in my life to pay off a Bachelors’ of Political Science degree. I lasted about a year. What I found at a traditional college was the primary purpose was not to gain information that would help you secure employment after graduation. The purpose was to make social contacts and to foster a budding drinking problem.
After a year plus of college I dropped out with only a very high tolerance to distilled liquors. The next ten years I drifted from line cook, to factory worker, to restaurant server, and finally landed in Ithaca, NY and worked at a food Co-Op. An actual 7 degrees of separation led me to find out about Tech Elevator. At first, it really did sound like a con; trust me, I have heard a lot of them in my life. But, after some prodding from my always patient girlfriend I took the admissions test. Not thinking anything would come of it. Two phone interviews, driving to Cleveland for an in person interview and prying a cosigner signature from a family member; I was enrolled. All of the work was still ahead of me.
The first day of class came. The staff of Tech Elevator was beyond welcoming. The first thing a staff member said was, “Why don’t we go around the room and introduce ourselves and talk about our experience with technology”. My answer said a lot about the difficulties I would have later in the program; “Uhh, I technically own a computer. With that, I pass”.
My attitude the first week could be described as one of a “feral animal’. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I just wanted to be alone and work on my class work. Turns out, that’s not the most effective way to learn. Slowly I started to talk to classmates and my teacher. Slowly I started to muddle my way through the first module. It was only when my former boss offered me my job back in Ithaca that I realized the chance I had. I had a chance to never wait tables on Mother’s day. I had the chance to never fix a stranger’s clogged toilet again. I had the chance for a future, a real future.
The advice I got early on was “the more you give to this program; the more you get out of it”, and I really took it to heart. I knew my previous background was limited. So, I resolved to be the first one there every day and be the last one to leave. I went to meetups on a weekly basis. I went to every pathway program, every talk. I ate more pizza in 14 weeks than I had in the last 14 years. With hard work, determination, encouragement from the staff and my teacher, and an unbelievable amount of coffee; I was able to land a job. I got a pretty good job, at a pretty good company, making pretty good money; about twice the amount I had made the previous year. I started off as a junior developer. As a junior developer you’re the ‘low man on the totem pole’, so to speak. My cubicle is located right next to this huge bank of printers, fax machines, and copiers. So, every time something goes wrong with anything, the person trying to print turns right around and asks me if I know how to fix the machine. This brings me to my one gripe about Tech Elevator; they didn’t teach me how to change a printer’s toner. Beyond that, Tech Elevator was the best, most amazing experience I have ever had.
On-Time Graduation Rate