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The Firehose Project

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The Firehose Project

Avg Rating:4.82 ( 188 reviews )

[The Firehose Project has been acquired by Trilogy Education.] The Firehose Project is a full-time, 22-week and part-time, 42-week online coding bootcamp that combines expert one-on-one training with a customized, robust curriculum and a worldwide student support community. Students start coding on day one and are paired with a senior software engineer mentor to build their coding skills. Students also have access to a proprietary Q&A forum and technical office hours. Graduates will develop algorithms, design complex data structures, and learn fundamental computer science principles while building a portfolio of advanced web applications that work with APIs, user authentication, advanced database relationships, video streaming, and more.

Firehose has also launched a new job track designed to prepare students with everything they need to optimize their job search as a new developer and make their transition from bootcamp graduate to employed developer as smooth and swift as possible. Firehose worked with technical recruiters, alumni, senior developers, and partnered with BrandYourself, the leader in online reputation management as seen on Shark Tank, to engineer a track that provides students with optimal job preparation resources.

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  • Accelerated Software Engineering & Web Development Track

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    22-week program designed to help you become a professional software engineer.
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  • Dan • Full Stack Dev • Graduate
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    In a sea of bootcamp options, drinking from the firehose is the only sure way to become a dev and get started with a new career. There's too much to know to do anything differently.

    The firehose project's methodology, mentorship, and instruction team get it.

    Working hard under direction and in groups, I learned core concepts and was given the knowledge I need to succeed. 

     

     

  • A great foundation
    - 3/13/2017
    Brendan • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I chose The Firehose Project over the others for a multitude of reasons.   I would have to say, however, that I was most impressed by three aspects.  

    First, the dedication and involvement of the founders is stellar.  Marco and Ken are not 'take the money and run' kind of business people.  They have a real passion for coding and helping others to learn their craft. I had email exchanges with both throughout my time in the program and theiy attended every weekly office hours I was part of the program, even over the holiday period.  

    Second, the program included not only basic html/css/ruby syntax to create a series of web apps but also added in the principles of algorithms, getting students to deeply understand how code works.  

    Third, the formation of a pseudo-startup as the last stage to create a sophisticated chess app, including all the rules etc. teaches the principles of agile work and SCRUM methods.  This is a risk though, you get out what you put in and if the other members of the team aren't 100% on board you can end up disappointed with the outcome.  However, the experience with working as a remote developer did prepare me for what was to come. 

    Overall, I recommend The Firehose Project fully.  They gave me the advice, the material, the tools and the attitude that I needed to build the foundation of my career change over the few months I was enrolled.  To this day, I still regularly visit the site to get refreshers on how to do things properly and chat with other alumni and students about issues that arise.  While they won't guarantee you a job at the end, anyone who does is selling you a pipe dream.  Only you can decide how much effort you will put in and what you will take away when you're done. They will, however, do everything they can to make your time in the program a success. 

  • Nathan Elliott • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    ★★★★★

    For those who are financially or logistically unable to attend a full-time in-classroom or virtual classroom program but still want to get as close to the level of rigor and quality of those programs, this is a great alternative. I did an additional 2 month pilot course after finishing the regular curriculum (now part of the official curriculum), testing out some new front-end, JavaScript-centric material they were going to introduce. Within 3 months of completing those courses, I recieved multiple offers and I landed a great, challenging software engineering job that pays well.

    Who will have a 5 star experience with this program?

    • People who can just stick to doing what Ken and Marco recommend without trying to "improve" the program. After being employed for more than 6 months, you will find that you litterally knew nothing about how to best prepare for a career in software engineering when you were considering a bootcamp or other educational routes. Trust the people who do. Their living depends on it. They know more than you do. Spend your time following their advice and curriculum and resting. Don't waste time searching for tweaks, optimizations, or worrying about "what-ifs" and other paths once you have made your choice. It is an exercise in futility and will only waste your time and emotional energy (I know from painful experience haha).
    • People who are certain they want to become a professional web developers or launch a web-based entrepreneurial project.
    • People who have the courage to ask questions, even when it makes them feel like they might "look stupid" or make someone uncomfortable.
    • People who are self-motivated. You are not in a classroom, so there is no one who can see you 8-14 hours per day and tell you to pick it up or to notice that you are frustrated or upset. You need to be able to keep yourself on schedule and seek out help, guidance, and intellectual or emotional encouragement when you need it.
    • People who can handle dealing with problems they don't know the answer to. If you have never been humbled by software engineering, you haven't been working on tough problems. Everyone gets in deep water at some point. You have to be able to learn how to break problems down, do research, and ask for help when needed without letting your ego get in the way.
    • People who are willing to help out fellow students, contribute to the community, and be kind. If you get easily frustrated with people who are less knowledgable or less intelligent than you are, you won't have a very pleasant experiencing while pair-programming or working on group projects.

    What are the weaknesses of the program?

    • This is not a classroom or virtual classroom program - This should be obvious but it is still worth mentioning. If you can't get motivated to code without having a team right there with you or watching you, you won't be able to work in any program with this format. That doesn't make you a bad person, it just means a classroom or virtual classroom program is a better choice for you.
    • Remote admissions and admissions standards - This is not a program designed to exclusively cater to the wealthy and unencumbered by life responsibilities or to people already skilled in web development or a related field. The admissions standards are based around passion, having a good attitude, and showing that you can learn some basic HTML, CSS, design, Ruby, and how to deploy a website. By definition, the audience will be broader and people who are not fully committed to the program could certainly fake their way in. Every bootcamp has to make a trade off of some sort on admissions and there is really no perfect solution.
    • Time coordination - Even though this is a convenient, online program, I would highly recommended you insure that you can make the Office Hours, which were held on Wednesdays at 6PM EST, US while I was attending the program in 2016. If you are interested in joining an agile group project team, I would also recommend you make yourself as available as possible during evenings EST US time on weekdays and daytime on weekends. Since admissions is rolling, if you apply to and are accepted to join the agile group project, you may have to start 1-2 weeks before or after your anticipated start time. You will still get all the mentor sessions but it may cause inconvenience in your schedule.
    • You have to be self motivated - I know I've mentioned this, but unless you ask questions, tell people when are you feeling a lack of confidence, or when something isn't working out, they will never know. If something isn't working out with a mentor or you have been stuck on a tough coding challenge for a long time and grinding, you have to speak up. I would also highly recommend completing at least one additional solo project during the course to test yourself and have more to show prospective employers than just your capstone project.
    • There is a lot of material to cover to become a proficient web developer - I studied full-time and logged just shy of 800 hours during the program without running out of material. There are definitely a lot of students who work during the program and have success. I would just caution you to be really certain you will spend a minimum of 25 hours per week on the program unless you already have an education or experience in a related field. NOTE: The program length has been updated and this may no longer be applicable.
    • Don't expect to be a software engineering ninja by the end of the program - This should go without saying for any web development bootcamp. A web development bootcamp can take someone who is truly brilliant or has prior, related training to the level of mid-level developer at best. Most people will graduate any web development bootcamp at the level of a junior developer. After the program, you will have to seek out information outside of the curriculum to keep growing and round out your weaknesses (they will be happy to tell you where to look and continue answering questions). People who worked throughout the program and only spent 15 hours per week may need an additional month or two of self-study to get there. You will get out of this program what you put in. Have honest expectations and consider a different field if you are only in it for the money. There are plenty of easier and smarter ways to get rich than solving tough engineering problems all day.
    • No Hiring Network, etc. - I know some bootcamps have hiring networks of recruiters, demo days, etc. This one does not.

    What comes with the program and what are it's strengths?

    • 1 hour long mentor session per week with a personal mentor and 1 hour (often longer) group mentor session per week with the founders, that they call Office Hours.
    • An additional mentor session per week during the apprenticeship portion of the program from weeks 8 to completion. During this period you will either join an agile group project, join an open-source group project, or do an entrepreneurial solo project.
    • Computer Science Basics - You will work on well-known algorithms and data structures, lots of tough coding challenges, and learn core concepts like OOP, how the internet works, and web application designs concepts.
    • Project-based Learning - You will work through tutorials and documentation to build web applications with less and less information laid out as you go through the program. You will also have quizzes on basic, practical web application tasks in which you will build small applications or pieces of them.
    • Community - You have a forum for questions, a Slack channel full of awesome students, alumni, mentors, and staff who want to get to know you and help you, and Google+ community. I never had to wait long for help. I would usually ask a question when I was about to take a break to make a cup of coffee. While there is no officially guaranteed answer time for questions, I don't ever recall not at least receiving a response by the time I returned to my computer.
    • Basic Job Prep - Resume review, an overview and challenge problems for technical interviews, a number of articles on how to approach job search, how to speak to humans, etc.
    • Lifetime access to the website content, Slack channel, and Google+ community.
    • Responsive staff that acts on feedback. During the time I was in the program there was a pair-programming room added to the Slack channel, and multiple updates to the curriculum based on student feedback.
    • Learn the Ruby on Rails stack, Git, best practices like TDD, web development tools, etc.
    • Ken Mazaika is a beast. He answers about 8 bajillion questions per day, must work over 80 hours per week, is nice to people, and seems to really enjoy it.
  • Great Program
    - 3/10/2017
    Denis Martens • Graduate
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    The firehose project is a very well organized, well structured, and rewarding learning experience. The bootcamp includes self paced tutorials, weekly office hours (video chatroom), mentorship sessions, and 24-7 forum where to ask questions. In addition there are coding challenges to solve and a group project towards the end of the project. The team at the Firehose Project includes very talented developers all of whom also serve as mentors to students. For me, the mentorship sessions were the highlight of the week. I also really enjoyed the atmosphere during the office hours every week, it was always very laid back yet productive. Ultimately, the office hours and mentorship sessions always left me uplifted and ready to tackle whatever challenge came next. To anyone looking to learn to code and build web applications, I highly recommend The Firehose Project.

  • Shaun Shapiro • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    First, Some Background

    I graduated from college about a year and a half ago with a BS in Civil Engineering. I started to work in construction engineering after graduation with the intention of eventually becoming a design engineer. Over the course of my short-lived career, I realized it wasn’t the field for me, and I began exploring coding. I have some previous coding experience – did some Java programming in high school, dabbled in Python, etc. – but by no means did I have a CS background. Anyways, I began taking some free courses online to brush up on my coding skills – Codecademy, random blogs, etc. The great thing about these resources is they give you a foundation of how to write code, but if you’re like me, the real problem is figuring out how to put it all together and actually use your coding knowledge to MAKE something.
     
    That’s where Firehose came in. After some extensive research, I gave their two-week free trial a shot. I loved the structure and tutorials, and based on some previous reviews and my experience so far, I decided to go with them.
     
    The Coursework

    I went through most of the course on nights and weekends, while still working my job. It’s a flexible course structure, but the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it. I’d say plan on spending at least 15 hours a week if you’re still working your day job. The course was so enjoyable for me it didn’t really feel like extra work anyways!
     
    Over the course of 15 weeks (including the free 2 week ramp up period), you’ll build 3 Rails projects – a simple quote generator that will familiarize yourself with Rails (this one will be quick), a Yelp clone, and a site similar to Udemy – an online video teaching platform that will build on your experience from the last app and add a few more cool new things.
     
    In addition to this, you’ll go through common coding algorithms that are likely to show up in interviews, learn about object-oriented programming, the importance of Test Driven Development (TDD) and much more. You’ll also video conference with a mentor once a week for one hour, and they will go over whatever you want. Do take advantage of this. My mentor, Phil, was great at answering any questions I had, working through coding challenges with me, and suggesting things to study for next week.

    The Final Project, AKA The Big Kahuna
     
    In the last 6 weeks, you’ll build a much bigger project with a team of 3-4 people, and an experienced mentor who will assign tasks and guide you along. You will video conference once a week for an hour with them to discuss tasks, issues, etc. Our mentor, Jeff, was incredibly helpful in this regard. This project is really a culmination of your learning – the first 3 projects are more tutorial based (though they do get more challenging and less handhold-ey as you go). But this project is very much something you are building and figuring out as you go – you’re assigned tasks, and you have to figure out how to implement them. This project is probably the most important aspect of the course as it will emulate the real-life workplace of an Agile web development team.

    The Community
     
    I can’t stress enough how great the Firehose community is, either. Don’t skimp out on this. Do join the Slack channel at the beginning of the program. Ask questions, struggle along with others taking the course, and goof around and have fun. This is probably the aspect of the course I didn’t take advantage of enough. Ken and Marco are almost always available on Slack or via email, and have been so incredibly helpful to me. Near the end of my course, I started to consider quitting my job to focus more on the course and job hunting. I had a Skype chat with Ken, who took a look at how I was doing, my personal situation, and really encouraged me to go for it. So I did, and over the course of the next two months, I job hunted vigorously. I live in the SF Bay Area, so there are a lot of developer jobs here. But that  doesn’t mean it’s easy to get one. You have to hustle, put in the work. But Ken guided me along, encouraged me, gave me things to study and even code reviewed some code challenges I was sent.  Keep in mind, this was AFTER my 15 weeks were technically up. These guys really care, and they want you to succeed. Well, after two months I did, and I landed a job as a Rails developer just a few weeks ago, working for an awesome company.

    The Conclusion
     
    Firehose was an incredible experience, and I really had no idea I could make such a massive career change in a matter of months with a program like this. If you’re exploring bootcamps, do take the time to consider your options and what is the best fit for you. But coming out of Firehose I can say with confidence that your best bet might be right here.

  • Tate Price • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    It was hour number 8 of looking at the same computer screen and scrolling through the text to see if I had missed an important detail. I had not. I was stuck. I had admitted I was stuck hours before then began redrawing the same numbers and diagrams on the white board I had erased three times before. Frustrated was an understatement. I then looked at my dog who was hungrily eyeing the almonds on my desk and began to explain to him (for the fifth time) what I was trying to accomplish. He was rewarded for his patience but his kind ear did nothing to help my predicament.

     

    The above anecdote underscores (to me at least) the challenge and purpose of learning a new skill. I would eventually solve the algorithm and move onto a new problem but I always remember the struggle of being stuck, the steps I took to make progress and the ‘ah-ha’ moment when all the pieces came together.

     

    I am not a programmer by trade nor do I have what many would consider a classical technical background, e.g. engineering, mathematics or computer science. Rather, I am just a man who grew tired of relying on flakey developers to ‘make the magic happen’ and wanted more than to be on the outside looking in. Thus, I vowed to learn the trade.

     

    My search for the right development program started with in-person “bootcamps” that ran 3-6 months in major metropolitan locations and cost nearly $30,000 irrespective of room, board and the lost wages of being in school. Being a high risk gamble, those options proved cost prohibitive and I moved on to online apprenticeships which offered similar curriculum but with the added advantage of being remote, done at my leisure and far more cost effective.

     

    After prospecting six different programs, I narrowed my choice down to two: Bloc.io and theFirehoseProject. Each presented different advantages and disadvantages and the cost was (nearly) similar enough to warrant a full examination. I initially chose Bloc.io due to their customizable length of programs, higher amount of mentor meetings and what appeared to be denser curriculum. It took nearly three months of disappointment and frustration before I finally threw up my hands and transferred to theFirehoseProject to finish my coding education. In order to explain the sequence of events that led to both choices, I feel it is incumbent upon me to contextualize the differences in each respective program.

     

    Curriculum

     

    the Firehose Project

     

    Ken Mazaika and Marco Morawec (co-founders of Firehose) have a rather unique approach to teaching the fundamentals of web development. Rather than create a foundation piecemeal, they put you immediately into the driver’s seat of application development and include explanatory pieces of information at the exact moment when you need it (like MVC architecture, Object Oriented Programming, API integrations, etc.). Throughout the program they also include rather difficult and advanced algorithmic problems that force one to think beyond the typical CRUD applications (like the simple apps I was building over at Bloc). Creating several complex applications and solving the algorithmic challenges serve as preparation for the group project at the end of your program that teaches all aspects of Git, pair programming, JavaScript and several other important technical skills. Since the curriculum is non-linear, a student can direct his or her efforts towards the topic they find the most stimulating and build from there. You are required to complete some preliminary development work before other more difficult aspects are available but this is for one’s own good as man must crawl before he or she can walk.

     

    Bloc.io

     

    Bloc has a similar focus with some key differences. Mainly, Bloc uses step-by-step tutorials and questions to walk one through the fundamentals of beginning to code. Depending on the speed at which you learn, this can be a good way to ramp up your knowledge before diving into full-on application development. If, however, you find applied knowledge more useful than regimented modules, you might find this aspect both frustrating and regressive.(Most of the skills I gleaned from these sections could be found on a site like codewars.com or rubymonk.com. This is not to say it was not helpful to learn!) Bloc then takes a similar approach to Firehose and offers a series of CRUD apps that teach very specific pieces of knowledge. These apps provide a lot of useful features (API knowledge, rake tasks, Stripe API integration) but are somewhat lacking in terms of Test Driven Development and expanded knowledge, like algorithms or advanced usage of GitHub.

     

    Mentor Sessions

     

    This was a particular sticking point for me, as I tend to rely heavily on lecture material and in-class demonstrations to help clarify new information. But, as I learned the hard way, it is not the number of mentor sessions provided, but the quality and investment of the mentor.

     

    the Firehose Project

     

    Given the fixed length of the program, Firehose allots 12 mentor sessions or one per week starting on the second week of your program after you have already constructed and launched your first web application. I bristled at first as Bloc promises nearly triple the number of mentor sessions during your apprenticeship. However, while this might seem like an impediment, it actually forces a student to find solutions through diagramming, Googling or trial and error. Since this type of self-guided discovery comprises 90% of computer programming, absence of oversight turned out to be a blessing as opposed to a curse. Further, the quality of the Firehose mentor sessions proved far superior to Bloc. I lucked out and had Ken Mazaika (one of the co-founders) as my mentor and he was an incredible resource. As opposed to ‘driving’ while I watched, he constantly challenged me to think about what I was trying to do and why I was doing it rather than just showing me how do it. As a former attorney in training with an overly analytical mind, I needed to see the reasoning behind the code and this proved to be the impetus for me learning the methods. Finally, though we would constantly run over on the allotted time for our mentor session, Ken would make sure I had all of my questions answered and would point me in the direction of places where I could expand my study of a particular concept we covered that day.

     

    Bloc.io

     

    As much as I enjoyed the dynamic with my mentor, the quality of sessions did not match what I was expecting. We would meet twice a week to discuss my questions, but often times I was left watching as he produced the code. Given my inexperience in the world of computer programming, this approach did very little to help my growth. I would leave the sessions without having resolved the questions I initially presented to my mentor, as I would need clarification on a lot of the concepts we covered during that call. Furthermore, if I would ask about a particular piece of information I had uncovered during my self-guided coding, I was told to disregard the question if my mentor did not find it valuable. I will admit that some of my questions may have been elementary but only through understanding outdated information does one realize why the question is inferior. The timing aspect also proved to be frustrating as my mentor would frequently arrive tardy to our scheduled session due to a previous call and had to jump off early to attend to another student. I would sometimes feel like a burden when asking questions via e-mail and eventually resorted to leveraging other developers in lieu of reaching out to my mentor.

     

    Cost

     

    the Firehose Project

     

    TheFirehoseProject is either $4,000 up-front for a full stack development apprenticeship or $4,500 with several payment plans available.

     

    Bloc.io

     

    Bloc is $5,000 regardless of your payment plan. You can, however, qualify for a ‘scholarship’ if they deem you to be eligible. 
    * It is worth mentioning that Bloc charges a $500 cancellation fee if you cancel your membership after a month into the program. I learned this the hard way. TheFirehoseProject did not charge such a fee.

     

    Partner Programming

     

    the Firehose Project

     

    TheFirehoseProject has two main areas which are of use for people looking to enter a career as a web developer. There are weekly ‘office hours’ that bring all students into a community video chat with Ken, Marco and other guest mentors to discuss issues students have encountered. This allows an open forum for both general inquiries and specific technical questions. It also provides students an opportunity to interact with one another which is nice given that most of your coding will take place in isolation.

    The final 4 weeks of the program are dedicated to a mentor-lead group project which involved a lot of advanced coding skills (“how do I write code to validate check-mate?”), heavy use of Test Driven Development and a lot of technical pair programming with other students on your team. The group project has been incredibly helpful for understanding the real world web application development process for a novice like myself.

     

    Bloc.io

     

    Bloc, at least while I was enrolled, had pseudo-office hours where one mentor would answer questions from students in a chat room. Often times, the mentor would not be in attendance as I was informed that Bloc was no longer using this feature. Since there was no group project, I never used pair programming until I transferred schools.

     


     

    These four main points of comparison are what I used to rank the programs before enrolling. As mentioned, initially Bloc seemed like the better option given its higher rate of mentor interaction and the somewhat nominal difference in cost. 

    However, the difference in Curriculum and Mentor Quality, Real World Pair-Programming and Cost made my transfer to theFirehoseProject easy. 

    Sometimes the appearance of the school is just that: only an appearance. I suggest fully vetting both programs (if you are prospecting online schools) and talk to alumni from both to answer any questions you might have. 

    In sum, I am very happy with my choice of switching over to theFirehoseProject, despite the financial impact of transferring schools. But most importantly I now have the skills that I need and feel ready to work as a junior web developer.

  • Cecelia Havens • Project and Compliance Director • Graduate
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    What can I say about the Firehose Project? Well if you are looking for pros and cons of the program, this review is probably not the one you are looking for. Try as I might, I am hard pressed to find a single thing I didn’t like about the program.  

    I was searching for an immersive apprenticeship sort of program, to really push me into learning something new, something challenging and something rewarding.  What I got was so much more than that.  All the things you are searching for in a coding boot camp are present with the Firehose project so I won’t go into great detail about that. Their website does a great job of laying that out for you. What they didn’t tell me, and what I was most surprised by, was the community that comes with the program.  An entire community of coders and hackers all working together to learn a new skill, to share their knowledge and to lift each other up, I’ve never seen anything like it.  I have a couple degrees from a couple universities and I’ve never felt more of a sense of academic community than I did at the Firehose Project.  

    One of the great benefits of this program was being paired with a mentor. I was able to Skype an hour a week with my own personal mentor, who is in place to help you work on coding challenges and give you someone to bounce questions and ideas off of.  Your mentor is also available to help you bring your ideas to life and to give you industry advice.   Going into this program, I really thought my mentor was going to be the only personal connection I would have, but I was mistaken.  Ken and Marco are really great facilitators.  I was not expecting how involved and accessible they would be.  If I had a coding problem or a question they were always quick to respond and talk me through whatever challenge I was having, or answer my questions.  They explained things in a way that made sense to me, and really pushed my level of learning beyond what I thought possible in 15 short weeks.

    This program is hard, it challenged me in ways I never dreamed possible, but it rewarded me in more ways than I could have imagined. I am more than happy with my entire experience with the Firehose Project and I feel like I got way more than I bargained for in the process.   I drank from the firehose, and not only did I survive, but I thrived.

     
  • great program
    - 2/10/2017
    kathleen • Student
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    before beginning firehose's program, i did an enormous amount of research in order to decide whether a) they were a reputable/capable program, b) whether a remote program as opposed to an in-person intensive bootcamp was a wise decision, and c) whether students/former students of firehose who came from radically different backgrounds (namely, the humanities) felt as though they were fully grasping the material as taught by firehose and enjoying it at the same time. 

    given this criteria, i landed on firehose after speaking with admissions officers at numerous programs, including firehose. i live in NYC, so there's plenty of programs offered in-person, and i'll admit i initially took it for granted that i would be going to a bootcamp because i didn't even realize that there was another option. the more i thought about this, though, and read former students' reviews of their experiences, the more i came to conclude that a learning environment that defaults on an 80+ hour/week model for 3 months was a surefire way to burn me out on the material. i'm quick to learn concepts, but by that same token, i am coming at all of this from a field of study that isn't predominately in the maths/computer sciences and i frankly don't believe that my learning style (or anyone's learning style for that matter) is best served by such a relentless onslaught of information. it only seemed reasonable to then infer that this enormous stress of time in combination with a cohort of small peers could further compound the problem by adding in an inadvertent element of competition since so many gravitate towards this industry in hopes of entering a high-paying jobs market. this is not to knock in-person programs wholesale, i've heard many have great experiences - but i found in my research that the good/bad experiences were just-so: there wasn't much room for grey area. and i found it rather troubling that so many of the courses weren't instructed by those working in the industry per-se, but recent graduates of that very program.

    so, i branched out my search into remote programs. i initially looked at bloc, but given teh scope of that program many sentiments seemed to echo a lack of personal attention and the self-study was perhaps working as more of a disadvantage. it was sort of by happenstance that i stumbled upon firehose, and the more i read about it and the student/graduate reviews i read, the more i became confident that their program was not just the most individually attentive, but that their course *material* was most in-line with present industry standards and their emphasis on data structures and algorithmic coursework was a big draw that spoke to the program not simply being another 'code factory' where people leave and know how to execute functions they've memorized, but not have a fundamental grasp on why they're doing it in the first place.

    if i was going to dedicate 6 months of my life to learning how to program, i wanted to be ready to enter a job and not feel like i was still going to have to re-learn everything in the context of a specific application all over again. firehose actively structures their program so that as you learn you're building up a portfolio that you can show employers, and that the program is over a 6 month duration, you can exhibit this portfolio with that time spent clearly illustrated. it's not something hastily thrown together at the end of a three month spree.

    the one on one mentoring with an industry professional was what made me pull the trigger, though, and i'm happy to report that after 1.5 months of being in the program my experience mirrors and often exceeds my hopes for it. i have a fantastic mentor i meet with once a week who walks me through questions i have and instructs on everything from fundamental concepts to highly specific niche issues. this is more helpful to me than a lecture environment where only certain concerns are aired. i was a bit worried that meeting only once a week wouldn't be enough, but it's actually just right - the videos for instruction, the slack integration with others in the program, and the projects you're tasted with are a pretty full-time endeavor. and as you work, it's great to be able to note the things you want to discuss with your mentor to go over.

    i've already gotten so much out of this program, and i'm very much indebted to what, in my honest view, comes across as a genuine concern and enthusiasm for coding and firehose students' success.

    i encourage anyone who is interested and believes a remote program is the right fit for them to give firehose a chance.  

  • Anna Canelas • Student
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    I am not finished with the Firehose Project curriculum yet. I am in week 5 to be exact and so far it has been an awesome experience. I've already made three web apps in just 5 weeks! One of those is a website for my brother who is the Tennis Director at a tennis country club. The app allows tennis instructors to post lessons and users can sign up for those lessons. As soon as someone signs up, the instructor gets an email. This alone has proved to me that The Firehose Project is worth the time and money. Having the knowledge to build a website for family and friends is very empowering and exciting. 

    For the last year I have been trying to teach myself web programming. I tried books, Codecademy and a Udemy course but I struggled to stay motivated. Sometimes researching a coding error, I got from following tutorials would take hours and I had no one I could ask for help. This was really frustrating but I did not want to give up on learning how to code. I realized the only way for me to learn Ruby on Rails would be with the help of a coding bootcamp. I applied to a coding bootcamp in Miami and got in! But after researching for affordable housing options and not finding anything affordable I decided not to go. I did more research on course report and found The Firehose Project. 

    One of the best things about Firehose is that it's all online so I didn't have to move to another city. They also offer students 2 free weeks of Ruby programming lessons on their platform. During this 2-week period I asked questions in lesson forums and got replies within 10 to 15 minutes. Students can ask questions through the lesson forum, office hours, mentor sessions and on their slack channel. So far all my questions and problems have been answered! Before Firehose I would sometimes spend 3 to 4 hours working on fixing some coding errors so I REALLY appreciate the Firehose team for answering my questions in a timely manner.  

    During office hours you get to meet and ask questions to the cofounders of The Firehose Project, Ken Mazaika and Marco Morawec. They are both really cool, but from my experience interacting with Ken more, he is AWESOME! Last week when I was working on one of the curriculum projects, it was about 10pm when I asked a question on the lesson's forum and he took the time to make a video to help me with image storage on Amazon Web Services. That was amazing and really nice of him to spend almost half an hour helping me with this issue. I really appreciated it because honestly I didn't think anyone was going to reply until morning the next day and at the time I was very frustrated after trying several times to get image upload to work without success. With his help I was finally able to get the image uploading feature to work in my app. 

    I also think the lessons are much better written than anything else I have used to learn programming. They guide you on how to build the projects while also explaining how everything works. I'm learning a lot more from The Firehose Project than I was learning on my own. At this point in the program I really feel like I am getting my money's worth so a big THANK YOU to the Firehose Team for putting me on the right track. I hope to update this review when I am completely finished with the program.

  • Jared Gilbert • Graduate
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    Before enrolling in a bootcamp, I did a TON of research. After teaching myself front-end development over the 3 years before Firehose, I knew exactly what I wanted for a full stack education.

    At first, I was hesitant to enroll in a remote bootcamp. Being in Boston, there are a ton of local, onsite options, so I started looking there. Unfortunately, none of them had a substantial curriculum. Most were very simple 3-month introductions to web frameworks and tools.

    I started looking online and came across a few good options. At the time, none of them did anything with algorithms or computer science fundamentals. In addition, Firehose is still the only one that offers an agile group project, which was one of the best learning experiences of the entire curriculum.

    The group project, along with the computer science fundamentals, for less than any of the other options was a no brainer. In addition, they are constantly improving their curriculum and adding new features. Firehose is a leader in the bootcamp space and it seems the others are starting to take notice. 

    In the end, enrolling in the Firehose Project was the right decision and I had a great experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a comprehensive full stack web development education.

  • Joe F • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Software engineering is tough and you have to learn a lot of things on the fly, and that's the approach that Firehose takes. Their curriculum starts off very easy then begins to ramp up quickly. Each application builds off the last application you built and by the end of the course you are working with JS, admin dashboards, and other more complex aspects of web development. Throughout the course, you will have challenges which will force you to look outside the coursework and search for answers like you are on the job, these increase in difficulty throughout the course and help you learn how to navigate stack overflow and other coding question boards.

    One of the best aspects of Firehose is the 1-1 mentorship. You have 12 hours of 1 on 1 time with a senior level developer where you can pair program, ask questions, or work on something you're having trouble with. This aspect of the program is one of the things that makes Firehose so great. I used a lot of this time to work on my ruby coding knowledge, pair programming with my mentor, and learning how to solve the complex algorithm challenges you see in many job interviews. 

    If you ever are having problems or have any questions, everyone at Firehose, including the founders, are very accessible and are there to help you. There was never a time where I felt that I was in this endeavor alone.

    Firehose gave me the foundation to get my first software engineering role. If you are willing to put the time and effort in, Firehose can help you make the jump into the software engineering world. 

  • Great Course
    - 11/14/2016
    Max Ernst • Software Engineer
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    This was an excellent course.  The content of the course was made easy to understand but it covered a lot of ground.  The curriculum was focused on practicality -- getting projects up and running so you could see your results how well you actually learned things.  Plus, the content was very up-to-date.  I received a job offer mid-course and the course subject matter was as current, if not more so, than where I started working.  In addition, the mentors were great and very responsive to any questions no matter how seemingly simple. Can't recommend it enough. 

  • Great Investment
    - 11/11/2016
    Aleks Real • Graduate
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    It’s been about seven months since I started the Firehose Project in April. When I started, I was a college student with virtually no coding skills and now I have a job working as a mobile engineer working at a startup and I’m loving it. In this Firehose Project review, I’ll tell you the all of the things I loved and a couple of the things I didn’t like about the Firehose Project.

    Firehose Project Review

    There are several metrics that any bootcamp should be measured by to determine if they’re worth the money: technology, staff, tuition, mentorship, community, projects, group projects, job preparation, convenience, and curriculum.

    Technology

    The Firehose Project is an online software engineer bootcamp (aka coding bootcamp). The technology stack that’s taught at the Firehose Project is Ruby on Rails, Twitter Bootstrap, JavaScript, PostgreSQL, jQuery, GitHub, Agile Methodologies, HTML/CSS, JSON, Linux, AWS S3, and more.

    The Ruby language is where most of the emphasis is put when learning throughout the curriculum of the Firehose Project. Although, Ruby is not the most in-demand language, it is a beautiful language that is great for beginners and noobs to learn.

    The syntax of Ruby is simple and almost English-like, which makes the learning curve that much easier for beginners and noobs to pick up important programming concepts (syntax, object-oriented design principles, etc.). Sometimes, language can be a hinderance on your ability to learn software development because software development isn’t only restricted to the language. Software development involves design principles, best practices, agile methodologies, and more.

    Starting off with Ruby makes learning software development that much easier and I think for that reason, it’s a great choice for learning.

    The only downfall to learning in Ruby is that even though there are an abundance of Ruby positions, there are more in other languages. However, if you can program well in Ruby, then you can probably transfer those skills over to any other programming language with relative ease.

    At the Firehose Project, there’s also one track devoted to learning JavaScript but JavaScript isn’t the main emphasis for the entirety of the coding bootcamp. In addition, you learn many other technologies that are important for developing shippable web apps, which means you become a more well-rounded software developer overall.

    Staff

    I have never met a cluster of so many good-hearted people in one place. I love the staff at the Firehose Project; they’re great. They are genuinely supportive and they genuinely want you to succeed and grow.

    This is important because there are lots of coding bootcamps out there that don’t give a rat’s ass about you and just want your money.

    You won’t find that at the Firehose Project. Even though it’s a relatively small team, each staff member has a good heart and is honest. This is one of the biggest factors that led me to joining the Firehose Project seven months ago. After reading through their blog (great blog by the way), it was easy to tell that the Firehose Project was genuine and transparent.

    Another factor that got me to join was that I couldn’t find one reasonably negative review. I searched online through and through and I couldn’t find anything. This stood out because many of the other coding bootcamps that I had researched had negative reviews so keep that in mind.

    Rest assured, if you decide to join the Firehose Project, you’ll be in good and caring hands.

    Tuition

    Most coding bootcamps are going to cost you four to five figures. Anything less than that and you should probably save your money. Hack Reactor, for example, is $19,780 for onsite and $17,780 for the remote online option.

    Firehose Project, on the other hand, is more affordable and won’t set you back nearly as much. At the time when I signed up, tuition was $4,500, but ever since then, the Firehose Project has added more and the price has moved up to a $6,500 for a 24 week plan and $8,500 for a 44 week slow-pace plan.

    With everything you’re getting, you really can’t beat the price. If you’re considering  another coding bootcamp that is cheaper than that, do your research and make sure that it’s just as high quality.

    Mentorship

    One of the best parts about the Firehose Project that I took for granted at the time was the mentorship. At the beginning of the program, you’re connected to a mentor that mentors you once every week for one hour for the rest of the program.

    I can’t speak on behalf of the other mentors, but my mentor was kind and supportive. The fact that you’re connected to a senior software engineer is a great way to set you down the right path.

    Having a mentor with you is great because your mentor will help you establish good software development habits from the get-go. Also, if you have any bad practices, your mentor will let you know and set you right.

    On top of that, your mentor will be there to support you when things get tough on your coding journey.

    Having someone there to guide you is a huge help and will help guide you in the right direction from the beginning when your habits are beginning to form.

    Job Placement

    At the Firehose Project, the staff wants you to get a job and is proud of their student alumni. That’s the situation you want because the incentives are properly aligned in a way that works well for you.

    After you finish the main curriculum, there’s a job track that has 36 lessons geared specifically towards getting a job. Each of the job lessons gave insight into important job preparation and interview concepts that any software developer should be aware of.

    The lessons range from resume reviews to computer science principles that are brought up during interviews. Personally, I wish the computer science principles would have been taught throughout the course like with the algorithm challenges. Instead, you’re forced to cram all of the information at the end of the curriculum while you’re finishing your group project and you’re sending out resumes.

    Another thing that I wish there would have been was a GitHub review. Not having a good-looking and well-fashioned GitHub portfolio can only hurt you.This small fix would have definitely helped but it didn’t stop me.

    In addition, throughout the entirety of the main curriculum, there are also algorithm challenges which are also important for a lot of job interviews. I liked that the Firehose Project dispersed the algorithm challenges throughout the course instead of all at the end. This allows you, as a student, to gradually build up your algorithm skills as you grow your development skills.

    Regardless of my gripes, I do think that overall, the Firehose Project gives you a blueprint for success (I’m living proof) that will help you land you a job any way. Alone, getting a job is tough, but with the Firehose Project, it’s a hell of a lot simpler.

     

    Community

    One of the best parts of the Firehose Project has to be the community. When you sign up for the Firehose Project, you’re given access to the Firehose Project Google Plus channel along with access to the Firehose Project Slack channel.

    Over the course of your journey, you get acquainted not only with great mentors but also great peers. Posting is encouraged on the Google Plus channel and students are always sharing great stories on their journey.

    Also, the Slack channel is a great place to go to if you need help or if you’re stuck on a challenge. With several mentors always browsing the Slack channel, you’re almost guaranteed to get help on problems that you need help with.

    I used to message Ken Mazaika, the CTO of the Firehose Project, about challenges I was stuck on all the time (thanks for all the help Ken) and he would graciously help me. Honestly, this made me love the Firehose Project even more because he took the time out of his busy day to give me a helpful and descriptive responses.

    Also, students are always posting on the #general channel where a lot of good posts are shared all of the time.

    The community is also a great place to make friends and connect with other Firehosers. I’ve met a couple of other Firehosers in real life and still keep in touch with them. Overall, the community is very receptive to you and you almost always have people that are there to support you.

    Support

    The support at the Firehose Project is fantastic. Whenever you have a problem that you’re stuck on that’s giving you problems, you have a myriad of options at your disposal.

    For instance, you have support from your mentors every week. If there’s a concept or problem that you need more help explaining, you can always take it to your mentor at the end of the week or you can reach your mentor via email.

    You also can post any questions that you may have on the Firehose Project Slack channel that’s filled with other students that are working on the same curriculum as you are. On top of that, there are a handful of Firehose graduates that browse the Slack channel and offer help too.

    One last form of support is reaching out to your mentors on Slack. Whenever I had a problem that I needed more explaining, most of the time I reached out to Ken Mazaika directly on Slack. Unfortunately, I don’t think this option is available anymore because Ken has a lot more on his plate but you always have the option of reaching out directly to your mentors.

    Curriculum

     

     

    Projects, projects, projects. This is where most of your growth of a developer will happen. This is the 80/20 of your software development skill set.

    I’ve tried options like Lynda where they teach you in a lecture-like style and that doesn’t cut it when it comes to learning software development. You need a real-world application of developing software, not just theory and lecture slides.

    At the Firehose Project, most of the curriculum is project-based. This means that for each track in the curriculum, you are working on a project that you build yourself with guided assistance from the Firehose Project.

    Of course, I wish that the Firehose Project didn’t do so much hand-holding all the time but getting it right is a difficult balancing act. There are other online resources like Udacity that take the opposite approach and they have hardly any hand holding at all. The bad thing about this is that sometimes you find yourself trying to make leaps that you’re not prepared for.

    There are a total of seven project-based tracks and each incrementally introduces more complexity so that you grow along with the curriculum. The additional benefit is that as you progress through each track and project, you add more projects to your portfolio so it’s a win-win.

    Group Project

    This wouldn’t be a Firehose Project review if I didn’t cover the group project. The group project is, without a doubt, one of the best parts of the Firehose Project.

    The group project happens towards the end of your online coding bootcamp journey and you’re paired with a group of other students that are at the same stage as you in your journey along with a group mentor. Usually the group mentors are software engineers that are already working at companies themselves.

    Every week, there’s a standup where each of the group members of the project are assigned tasks in order to gradually build the grand finale chess app.

    The chess app is fairly complex because you and your group mates are responsible for coding and designing all of the logic for the rules. This means you’re designing algorithms for the different chess pieces, the game rules, and more.

    Working on the group project is also really fun too. Over the month period that you’re working on your chess app, you have the opportunity to make new friends and honestly I had a lot of fun working with my group mates.

    Overall, the group project is meant to be a real-life simulation of what it’s like to be a software developer at a professional company. The group project teaches you about the importance of communication, pair-programming, code reviews, and using GitHub.

    Convenience

    When you’re shopping around for bootcamps it always comes down to online vs onsite. Onsite almost always costs more because you most likely won’t be able to work a job (opportunity cost) and onsite bootcamps cost more because of more onsite expenses on the bootcamp’s part (leases, staff, etc.).

    At the Firehose Project, you can keep your job while working on the curriculum. Now, don’t think that just because you can do an online coding bootcamp on the side means you should half-ass it. You can technically half-ass it but if you do, you’ll just be wasting your money. You get out what you put in.

    The biggest advantage that an onsite coding bootcamp has over an online coding bootcamp is social pressure. When you’re in house at an onsite coding bootcamp, you’re in an environment that’s more geared for learning since you’re surrounded by your peers that socially pressure you to work. You’re more unlikely to slack off at an onsite coding bootcamp than you are at an online bootcamp.

    If you decide to go down the online path, be wary. You must be disciplined because there most likely won’t be anyone there to motivate you to work except yourself. I worked at least three hours everyday on the curriculum and I’ve met people that did even more than that. If you don’t think you have what it takes to succeed at an online bootcamp, then you may want to evaluate your options.

    However, if you’re up for the challenge, then an online coding bootcamp is the better way to go.

    To find out my final consensus on the Firehose Project, read more at Redpillprogramming.com

  • Valuable Program!
    - 9/16/2016
    Gaby • Graduate
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    Before going through The Firehose Project's curriculum, I was working in advertising & decided it wasn't for me. I started teaching myself JavaScript, Python, HTML, etc., using all the free/low cost online resources out there. Seeing as I was all over the place and not really building anything, I decided to look up bootcamps for a more structured learning path. After researching many onsite and online bootcamps, I decided to go with The Firehose Project for several reasons: low cost, remote-ness, weekly mentor meetings, and their algorithms/data structure part of the curriculum. 

    During the program, you build 3 Rails applications with the help of the curriculum and your mentor. I believe now they have more applications since I graduated and I can continue to learn the new stuff since I have access to that as well(woo hoo!). The applications are great for understanding Rails' MVC architecture, learning how to handle errors, test driven development, and getting experience with Git, GitHub, Heroku, continuous integration/deployment. The mentor sessions are extremely valuable because you are held accountable for your progress by a professional developer who challenges you every single week. One hugely important part of the curriculum is learning algorithms and data structures as you build the applications. These are not only an important part of becoming a well-rounded developer, but most likely will come in handy when applying/interviewing for jobs. Another great part of the curriculum is the group project in which you build a chess game with other students using the Scrum method which again, comes in handy when applying/interviewing for jobs.

    After the program, I landed a Software Engineering internship at a big tech company in San Diego. There, I applied everything I learned through the Firehose Project, especially using Git, GitHub, working in an Agile/Scrum environment, testing, and learning how to learn new technologies. I am now actively looking and interviewing for my first Software job & I am not kidding when I say I look over the Firehose Project's algorithm & data structure lessons/challenges to help me prepare. 

    I recommend the Firehose Project if you are looking for a strong base to start your career in software/web development! Everything is what you make of it, so don't just go through the curriculum thinking you'll find a job right after. Ken makes sure to highlight this in many of his blog posts: go to meetups, network, don't just learn all the things. Work hard & you will see results. 

    Happy coding!

  • Devin M. • Software Engineer Intern • Graduate
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    I loved my experience with the Firehose Project. The program delivers everything it boasts at a very affordable rate, but the community is what really makes it standout for me. The founders are very active and continously working with alumni and current students on improving the experience and expanding the curriculum. The mentors, in my experience, all have an avid interest in taking each student where they want to go academically. You'll have no trouble finding like-minded peers and helpful advice and troubleshooting, not to mention likely making some new friends in the process. 

    The teaching method was very practical for me. The lessons have a good balance of guided tutorials and self-guided challenges.  Most importantly, the method focuses on teaching you how to solve problems yourself and encourages you to come up with other solutions and variations with the apps you create. The remote friendly and self-pacing aspects of the coursework provided a comfortable atmosphere.

    Finally, I will conclude by summarizing my experience as 'worth every penny'. That said, you will get out what put into it. Don't expect to be handheld through everything and walk away with a shiny new job. All the resources you need are there, but meeting only the minimum requirements will get you minimum results. If you are willing to get engaged, ask questions, make mistakes, try new things, and push yourself then this course and the community will get you where you want to go.

     

  • Sean Lovinger • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Before joing The Firehose Project I was working as a software developer at a CAD/CAM manufacturing software company working mostly in C++. This was my first software job and it was a good starting experience. However, after working there for a couple years I decided I wanted to make a bit of a career change. I wanted to try my hand at web development.

    I had a played around a little bit with web development in my sparetime through things like Codecademy and CodeSchoolI, never really fully investing in it but now I was commited. I started looking around at different coding bootcamps to see what could help me get the experience I needed. It was a little overwhelming since there seemed to be so many programs out there. After reading through a ton of reviews and looking at a bunch of course websites however, I felt that The Firehose Project, with its mentoring sessions, dedication to programming fundementals, strong community and online format was the right fit for me. So I decided to give the free 2 week intro course a try. Durring the intro course I was really impressed with not only the content of the courses but the personal interactions I had with the staff, including the founders Ken and Marco themselves, which really impressed me. After that I was sold and signed up for the full course.

    After starting the full course I continued to be impressed by the The Firehose Project team and community. Right from the start you are welcomed right into the community, I got positive welcome messages from staff and fellow students and it really help things get off on the right foot. You never need to worry about being left out in the cold, whether it is using slack to communicate with the community, going to office hours with Ken and Marco or working one-on-one with your mentor you always feel like there is someone ready to help you out our just chat with when you need.

    The course work itself was very thorough and really help build upon and exand my limited web development knowledge. It puts you right into the thick of things getting your hands dirty by building out fully functional apps. It is focused on learning by doing, which I feel, for me, is the best way to learn. Even when doing the first app, despite it be a smaller, simpler app, you get exposed to all that goes into creating a web app and it only gets better from there. Then on top of the hands on experience of building real apps they also introduce you to basic and advance coding practices through video lessons as well as algorithim challenges. All in all, there is a wealth of programming knowledge contained in the course work and the best part is that they are continuing to expand upon that and you will have access to all of it even after graduating.

    Even with all those great resources to learn from, I dont' think it would have been nearly as effective if it weren't for the mentor sessions. Those were easily my favorite, and I feel the most benficial, part of the course. Each week you get to have a 1 hour 1-on-1 session with a senior web developer to work on pretty much whatever you want. It's amazing how much you can learn during these sessions. I remember spending a lot of time working on algorithms with my mentor and it really help accelerate my learning. I not only was able to complete all of the challenges but we even went beyond what was in the course and explored even more advance algorithms and get started on a personal project. I was also able to really improve my coding style durring these sessions by having Sean(my mentor) review my code. He help me understand how to better break down comlex problems into small clean pieces of code. I really owe a lot to Sean and all the help he gave me. Even after I had graduated I still kept in conntact with him and got help preparing my resume and getting job hunting advice. Again, I feel like the mentoring sessions are strongest part of this course.

    The next best thing though had to be the group project. You essentially get to feel what it would be like to work on a web development team as a remote developer. You have weekly team meetings with your senior devloper/team lead where you and the other team members discuss what you've been working, issues you might be facing as well as making new assignments for the next week. You gain a ton of useful real world experience such as having good communication between teammates through things like slack, doing pair programming and working with GitHub, doing pull requests and code reviews. It was a great experience that really help me get the feel for how a real web developer job might be. I had a ton of fun and really felt like part of a team.

    Alright so all those things are good and all but, it doesn't really mean much if you can't actually get a job. Luckily The Firehose Project has a lot resources for helping you out with that as well. They cover everything from resume, to technical interview questions to networking. There are also a number of article and videos from past students talking about their job hunting experiences that were super helpful. As mentioned before I also got some help from my mentor in preparing my resume and also worked with one of my former group project teammates to find possible job leads and to talk through technical interview questions with. Though they might not specifically go out and find jobs openings for you they do give you a lot of resources to work with and will be there to help with whatever questions or concerns you might have.

    About 2 months after graduating from the program I was able to land a job in my home town as software developer for a little company working with fruit packing companies. It is a little bit of an interesting situation, because I not only will be doing some web development but I also will get to use my C++ experience and hopefully build upon that as well. I sadly won't be working with Rails in this current job but I will be exposed to several new laguages and technologies which will hopefully just build upon the things I already have learned. Though I am still looking and hoping to find a Rails and/or Javascript position I feel like this will be a good experience and give me a little more exposure to the different types of web technologies out there. In the mean time I am hoping to start working on some of my own side projects to continue to build up the skills I need to land my dream job. 

    In addition to working at this new job I also continue to be part of The Firehose community by helping out as a volunteer student ambassador, helping students in the lesson forums when they run into problems. So if you end up joining and are ever run into a problem durring the course we might just bump into eachother.

    In conclusion, I just want to say that I was and still am very impressed with what Ken and Marco are building at The Firehose Project. It is a great course that only continues to get better as new improvements to the UI and new additions to the curriculum are added. This, built on top of an incredible community of both friendly and super smart people really make The Firehose Project amazing. So if you are looking for a coding bootcamp to help you get into web development (or just software in general) I highly recommed you give The Firehose Project a try.

  • Sara • QA • Student
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    Cliche at this point, but I have to say I never thought I'd be a developer. It seemed impossible, nerdy(yes.) and incredibly complicated. I went through every online resource and even signed up and paid for Thinkful's Front End Program. While my mentor was very nice and professional, the course was dense and I felt like a guinea pig. I figured I'd give their career plan a shot but things came up and I had to postpone. After doing a little bit of research, I found The Firehose Project. What an interesting name! And they have a 2 week free intro? These guys must be confident in the outcome! I might as well give it a try.

    You know that feeling you get when you finally find a book you like and can't put it down? That's how I felt with the intro. Immediately felt empowered and wanted to finish it. My plans after work were no longer "I can't wait to get home and find out what Kimmy Schmidt has been up to" or "Hey let's grab dinner and gossip about work!". Nope. I was looking forward to coming home to my loops.

    To give you a good example. I give up a lot when things get hard. I get excited with a fake feeling of accomplishment when I talk about a plan, but then I feel like it's aleady accomplished. I look for excuses a lot and tell myself I learn that thing later. Now 1 Month has passed and I have already deployed 3 websites, learned a great deal about OOP, Aced 2 quizzes and about to Ace a 3rd one. On top of that, I'm currently working on a tool for my team at work. Hopefully I'll hit The Project's requirements for the Chess Game. From what I saw, it teaches and helps you hone the skills you need to shine in the real world.

    Who do I have to thank? My mentor Dave. He's awesome. He's direct and tells me when I'm slacking off. He knows I have absolutely nothing to gain from him sugarcoating things. He never gives me the answer and makes me think. He, himself is an amazing thinker and programmer. I'm so thankful that they paired me up with him.

    Sure I was crushing hard on The Project after Marco sent me a novel explaining how FHP works. But the cherry on top was coming accross this article: http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2016/03/18/how-this-boston-coding-bootcamp-plans-to-aid-europes-refugee-crisis/

    The refugee situation has been so important to me and to know that I'm part of a community that cares with more than just words and tweets made me love FHP even more.

    Anyway. I wrote a lot. I never even Yelp. If you're thinking about FHP, don't hesitate. You'll learn everything you need to know to get started. And even better, you'll learn with confidence.

    Expect an update in about 2 months!

     

     

  • Ethan Siegel • Graduate
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    I joined the Firehose Project in December 2015 and recently graduated. The program itself is fantastic and has been a crucial part of my own transition into software engineering. I recently was able to get an offer for a full-time coding job and I owe that almost entirely to the Firehose program.

    There are a lot of good bootcamp programs out there but what sets Firehose apart is the personal attention you get from the two founders - Ken and Marco. I lost count of the number of time I sent Ken an email/posted in the forums and got a reply directly within an hour. Seriously...if it was between 9-5 Mon-Fri...I would post a question or send an email and receive a reply within an hour almost every time. This happened consistently for the entire program. I got an unbelievable amount of personal attention. 

    There are some challenges to the program since the curriculum is entirely online, which means there's a lot of coding on your own and following written/video tutorials. However! there is a very active and supportive Slack community of fellow students and alumni who are always willing to help out with bug troubleshooting/pair programming, or to just shoot the breeze if you're feeling particularly lonesome. 

    There is also a detailed and helpful section on job preparation - the program presents many common interview coding challenges, and offers a lot of tips on how to apply and prepare for coding related jobs (algorithm problems, resume feedback, resources to find answers to common questions like XOR etc). As far as actually seeking out companies and applying to them...Firehose leaves that up to you as a student, as they do not have a final 'demo-day,' or direct relationships with any recruiters.

    Overall, I have only good things to say about FP. It offers an incredible amount of value for the price and does an excellent job at walking you through computer science fundamentals as well as nitty-gritty app-building. To anyone who is considering a software bootcamp, I'd highly reccomend. 

  • Walley Yang • Software Developer • Graduate
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    The Firehose Project played a significant part in helping me switch careers to land my first software job. They have top notch, dedicated, and passionate mentors that want you to succeed. Give it 100% while attending and work with your mentors to achieve your personal goals.

    Review on Quora

  • bb
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    ... I have taken the 'free course' for quite a few online programs.  My biggest fear is paying a bunch of money, only to find out my learning style doesn't match up with their teaching style.  So after some codecademy.com courses (great, but just a first step) and three 'free preliminary courses', the one that I keep comparing the others to is the firehose project.  From day one, before you have given them a dime, they answer your questions and analyze your code.  When ever I felt lost on 'ruby basics' problems, they would answer my questions and offer support- for free.  If they are this involved before I have paid for or enrolled in the main course, I know I will be supported throughout.  I also like how the curriculum thus far is very, very incremental- which is very important for noobs.

  • Kofi • Graduate
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    I graduated from the Firehose Project a couple of weeks ago and had a great experience! Ken and Marco do a fantastic job and are incredibly dedicated. Each lesson has a built-in Q&A which you can consult as you work. If your question hasn't been previously asked and answered, you can post one with a screenshot and description of the problem/link to your code on github and someone from the team will respond almost instantly-- it never takes them more than a couple of hours to get back to you, no matter the time of the day or day of the week. 

    That way, you're never stuck with a stubborn error message or broken code and can progress throughout the week outside of your mentor sessions and office hours. I also liked the way a good number of self-directed lessons are sprinkled throughout the tutorials to keep you on your toes and challenge you to learn faster.

    The algorithm challenges also push you along in your journey to become a web developer. They understandly will take time to solve but with help from office hours and your mentor, you will get through them and be more prepared for the technical aspect of job interviews. 

    Another great feature is Ken and Marco's dedication to continually reviewing the course content for opportunities to improve. For instance, they have recently revamped the chapter on TDD in a way that vastly improves students' skills and practice with Test Driven Development. Since access to the course content remains after graduation, alumni were also notified of the change so we can now go back to work through the lessons and benefit from the change. 

    Finally, I'll say that with everything you get, the program is really reasonably priced and gives you great value for your money.

    I highly recommend the Firehose Project! 

  • Takehiro Mouri • Web Developer • Graduate
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    12 weeks ago, I had no idea where I would end up. I had no idea what I was doing. The only thing I knew that it was going to be a start of something new and exciting.

    12 weeks later, I find myself obsessed with coding. I code 5~10 hours a day and wake up everyday excited about learning more and creating more. I often times find myself not wanting to sleep because I want to code.

    Learning how to code has changed my life in a great way that I never thought was possible. It has given me not only a useful skill, but also an identity.

     

    My initial motivation to start coding was complicated.

    I spent my sophomore year thinking that I wanted to be a business man, maybe a consultant of some sort, eventually create a business, and basically invest my time and energy for going that super “ideal” route. I declared as a Business and Economics double major and I thought I was going to be right on track.

    Meanwhile I was interning at a small consulting firm and also doing some translation at the company as well. I saw a gap in the translation market, decided to test the idea out, and it worked. I started up a business and within 6 months I was making $3,000 a month in profit a month, which was pretty good for a college kid.

    And within 6 months, I was exhausted. I realized having money was nice, but I wasn’t passionate about money. I liked translating because I was creating something and helping other people. I liked giving my friends jobs because it gave them money. But could I continue this for a lifetime? Did I wake up excited about my business?

    The answer was no. You might say, “Well that’s the way it is. You barely even know business anyways, you’re still a college kid.” Which was probably true. But instinctively, I knew that even if I went out into the “real world”  of business, I would still be more passionate about creating things.

    I learned a lot about myself during these times. I learned that I love supporting people and helping people, but I suck when it comes to aiming for higher profit just for the sake of getting more money (if there is a mission I would be passionate about it), or anything along those lines. On the other hand, through translating, I learned that I really liked creating things for people.

    I thought deeply about what kind of career would make me happy. I always thought that it would be awesome if I could code, but I thought it was too late to learn it.

    In my freshman year, I tried CS50, the online Harvard introductory computer science course. It taught programming in C with pointers and memory allocation, and I was just confused out of my mind. It gave me the impression that coding was this super difficult skill to obtain.

    But one day in July, I saw some kind of article talking about “coding bootcamps” that train you to become a coder in a span of 3 months. 
     

    At first, I was skeptical.

    Coming from a slight economics background, I thought to myself, how could this be? If programmers are so high in demand and so short in supply, this must mean that programming is a highly specialized skill which is so hard to obtain that there is a supply in shortage. If it were that easy to learn coding, then the gap between the demand and supply should have closed by now, therefore it is probably a scam. Right?

    Wrong. I first looked at the statistics and realized that there was still a HUGE gap. Then I looked at some of the blogs of graduates of these so-called bootcamps. Some of them were indeed getting jobs after graduation.
    Gradually my trust towards bootcamps increased and I decided to take a look at the options.

    There was hackreactor which looked promising, but then I looked at the tuition: $17,780. Intriguing, but impossible.

    There was bloc which was also promising, but then again: $9,800. Still impossible.

    Then there was The Firehose Project. I did a lot of research about them and didn’t see any negative reviews at all. I read the blogs of students and graduates, and they all seemed to be super satisfied. The price? $4,500. A lot, but possible.

    This was the bootcamp I wanted to enroll in. I signed up for the 2 week prep course and finished it within days. I then had to persuade my parents which I wrote about in this blog post.

    Since then, a lot of things happened in my life.

    1. Changed my major from Business/Economics to Business/Computer Science
    2. Got my first job as a web developer at a local start up (Week 7)
    3. Won 3 awards at my first hackathon (Week 9)
    4. Selected as a finalist for the Capital One Software Engineer Summit (Week 10)

    The way I spent my time, the people who I hang out with, and the way I see things have completely changed.

    I realized that with the power of coding you can do and create so many things. If you have an idea for a business, you can now create it. If your friend needs some help for a website, you can help him.

    For a professional coder, this may seem like old news. But for me, it is still an amazing feeling to have the skills to create something cool.
     

    The Firehose Project has been an amazing experience for me.

    My mentor pushed me to learn things beyond the curriculum and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better. The curriculum went through the solid fundamentals of programming. The coding challenges involving advanced computer science algorithmic problems were extremely difficult, but through the office hours, I was able to receive amazing help and support that enabled me to solve them. I’m still on my team project (they allow you to continue on the team project even if you have graduated), but I know this will also be another learning experience as well.
     

    Here are three things I loved about The Firehose Project

    1. An active and welcoming community
    The community at The Firehose Project is very active, with people constantly asking questions on the Slack channel and posting valuable information on the Google Plus group. Alumni still hang out in the community (many of them working as a web/software developer) and they help out in solving advanced problems. I've made a couple of buddies in this communities and we sometimes even work together on problems and pair program as well.

    2. 1 on 1 Mentor Sessions
    At The Firehose Project, each student will have a 1 hour mentor session every week. How you choose to spend your time with your mentor is completely up to the student. For me, I always listed questions I had during the course work, or other advanced topics that I couldn't figure out. I couldn't ask for a better mentor. He gave me extra meaningful work/exercises and really cared for giving me the insight to improve as a programmer. Even after the program is over, I want to keep in touch with my mentor because he was such a great educator.

    3. Coding Challenges
    The Firehose Project provides many coding challenges which students will go through. These challenges are common interview problems or computer science problems and are very difficult. As a computer science major, I know that just learning Ruby on Rails isn't enough to become a good developer. Logical thinking skills are essential. As I am developing a complex website for a local start up, I find myself being able to solve problems and obstacles faster than before because of the countless hours spent banging my head against the wall trying to solve these challenges.

     

    The Firehose Project has given me the knowledge to learn coding on my own. It has given me a skill that I can turn into a profession. And mostly, it has given me a lifelong passion.


    I have documented my entire time with The Firehose Project in my blog.
    I highly recommend this bootcamp for anyone who wants to become a programmer and join a community of enthusiastic and friendly people.

  • Anonymous
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    Good courses, wouldn't recommend to people on the west coast though. They seem to be unable to accommodate people's schedules who are not in the same time zone. I am unable to participate in group meetings or office hours because everything is based in EST time zone. It's not like I work late, I'm off work by 3PM, but that seems to be when everything starts. They seem to think that 4/5 group members in a meeting is good enough, and that I have to work around it. I'm sorry but I didn't pay $4000 bucks to be at a disadvantage over other students. Overall it's a great program, I just wish they were cognizant of people not living on the East Coast

  • Matt S • Graduate
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    Choosing the Firehose Project was one of the best decisions that I’ve made.  Before deciding to drink from the Firehose I was weighing a bunch of options (from free to paid, online and in person).  Bloc was one of the original bootcamps I found that started me on the path to an online bootcamp a little over a year ago and I thought I would end up enrolling with them. With my professional experience being mostly in email marketing, their emails, cadence and content were pretty much on point ever step of the way, but even with those great tactics that I knew should be driving me to convert, I was never sure that I was going to get more from them than I could just by making myself sit down and review free resources and tutorials. I had come across the Firehose Project early on in my searches, but for some reason, I didn’t consider it. When I got serious and decided it was time to jump in I luckily checked them out again.  I watched a recorded info session and immediately I knew I would get more from this than any of the other programs I was considering because of the foundation of fundamental programming skills (algorithms and data structures) and problem solving built into the curriculum.  

    Ken and Marco understand that it’s not about just being able to copy/paste code and follow instructions - it’s knowing how to break down problems and find solutions.  This is something that isn’t just for Ruby or Ruby on Rails or even basic HTML and CSS.  Understanding the fundamentals gives you the ability to work with any programming language out there as well as tackle other problems you may encounter that don’t necessarily involve writing code.

    The group project at the end of the program gives you an opportunity to interact with a remote team of other developers and experience what working on a web application in the real world is like.  You’re given some direction on what needs to be built, but ultimately the features are yours to build and it’s up to you to decide how to best implement them while applying those fundamentals you worked on building leading up to the project.  In the past I’d worked alone on some of my own projects, which is great, but it doesn’t really compare to the considerations, challenges and achievements that you encounter while working with a team - something that I really had never considered up until that point (and something that is very important when switching careers). 

    The last thing I’ll mention about the Firehose Project is the community.  It is an amazing group of current and former students that you have access to in addition to your mentor and Ken, Marco and team.  From the discussions and knowledge sharing on Slack and Google Plus to the fantastic office hours, there is a wealth of information and tools available to ensure that you succeed.  

    I wholeheartedly recommend the Firehose Project to anyone considering a coding bootcamp.

  • Limited Curriculum
    - 1/22/2016
    Anonymous
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    The lesson structure is type the written intruction code and run them yourself. The program is similar to codecademy, but with real projects and one weekly meeting with a mentor. This is a good program for someone who wants a mentor on a weekly basis.

Thanks!