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Viking Code School

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Viking Code School

Avg Rating:4.62 ( 27 reviews )

Viking Code School offers a full-time, 12-week full-stack JavaScript online program, and a part-time Flex Program teaching full-stack JavaScript or Ruby on Rails. Viking Code School trains novice-to-intermediate programmers to become full-stack developers. The Immersive Program is a 12-week online program that helps serious students become full-stack JavaScript web developers. These cohorts are limited to carefully selected students who work together throughout the program to solve challenges and build projects. Students learn using a combination of live instruction, one-on-one help, pair programming, tutorials, lessons, projects, and code reviews. In the part-time Flex Program, students choose from three support tiers which include live, instructor-led office hours, Q&A support, a private student community, and optional mentor sessions. Students learn on a self-paced schedule from tutorials, lessons, assignments, major projects, and with the opportunity for pair programming with fellow students.

Viking Code School aims to provide the support of an in-person class with the flexibility of learning from home. While students don't need previous programming experience, applicants should be highly motivated, capable of learning quickly and should communicate well. Viking Code School is incentivized to get students software engineering jobs- if graduates do not get a job within 6 months, the Immersive Program tuition is completely free, and the Flex Program Guaranteed Tier offers a full refund. 

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  • Viking Full Stack Web Application Engineering FLEX

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    Start Date Rolling Start Date
    CostN/A
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    With Viking's Flex Program, you can take the same course as our best-in-class, 12-week Immersive Program but at your own pace and with exactly the level of support that best fits your life. You will learn the fundamentals of software engineering and the modern web development stack and become a master of picking up new technologies and solving complex problems, the hallmark characteristics of successful engineers. Our Flex Program offers full-stack tracks in JavaScript and Ruby on Rails. Both tracks cover: HTML, CSS, Git, data structures, algorithms, SQL, NoSQL, JavaScript and React with Redux.
    Financing
    DepositNone
    Tuition PlansDial in exactly the level of support you want and choose from any of our available plans, which are pay-as-you-go.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelStudents are expected to work very hard and learn quickly but there is no minimum bar aside from completing the prep work.
    Prep WorkThe Viking Prep Work includes a combined 300+ hours of content at no charge. You'll cover web dev basics, design and engineering. before diving into HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, and Getting Hired. You can start at https://www.vikingcodeschool.com/prep
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewNo
  • Viking Full Stack Web Application Engineering IMMERSIVE

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    AngularJS, HTML, Git, JavaScript, Sinatra, jQuery, Rails, CSS, Front End, Ruby, SQL
    In PersonFull Time80 Hours/week
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$11,800
    Class size15
    LocationOnline
    With Viking's Immersive Program, you'll spend 16 intense weeks working closely with instructors and your fellow students to learn the fundamentals of software engineering and the modern web development stack. You'll become a master of picking up new technologies and solving complex problems, the hallmark characteristics of successful engineers. Our core technologies are HTML, CSS, Git, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, SQL, JavaScript and AngularJS.
    Financing
    Deposit$2,000 non-refundable deposit
    Tuition PlansPayment plan is available
    Refund / GuaranteeStudents eligible for tuition deferral pay 18% of their first year's salary during the course of that year or a fixed-price option of $11,800.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBe prepared to write code, build an app, and pair-program with an instructor. This is very rigorous program with a challenging application and interview process.
    Prep WorkPrep covers everything from basics of web development to design to engineering to coding. It can be found at https://www.vikingcodeschool.com/prep
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes

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  • Matt Hinea  User Photo
    Matt Hinea • Full-Stack Web Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Viking is great. The course material is top-notch. I bring techniques I learned at Viking to my job as a full-stack developer almost every day. My coworkers, all of whom have CS degrees, who stopped accepting applications from code school grads just days after mine came in, have told me that I'm "full of useful tricks" (100% of which I learned at Viking). I actually logged back into my Viking account today to brush up on Rspec and Rails testing, because we're rolling out a new application at work, and because the content and writing is so much better than anything else I can find on the internet. There's enough info in the Viking courses to keep you busy for well over a year, which is generous, since the immersive course is only 4 months or so, but it's great to keep coming back to. I can't speak to the quality of students of every cohort, but I can say that my cohort (Summer 2016) was jam-packed with brilliant, kind, and all-around lovely people, all of whom I really admired. Pair-programming for 6-8 hours a day meant that I was able to sustain myself for the duration of the admittedly heavy course load, because it felt like I was socializing the entire time I was learning. Erik, Viking's founder, is a really stand-up guy, and a terrific person to have in your Gmail contacts for life, and the instructors I worked with (Kit, Chris, Andur) were all basically perfect at their jobs as well. I have weirdly fond memories of going through the immersive program at Viking, weird only because despite the course being so time-consuming, technically challenging, and entirely remote, it was also lots of fun. All that in combination with their job hunt support and payment plan makes me think you'd be hard pressed to name a non-traditional CS program that could even compete. If you can think of one, email me.

  • Nicolas Amaya  User Photo
    Nicolas Amaya • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I graduated in the March 2017 full stack javascript immersive program. I live in Europe and so I did the program paying the full fee rather than with the deferred fee program. 

    I'm now building my own startup based on a web app and I find, with much joy, that I have the skills to make it happen.

    If I had to say one thing about the program, it would be that it really will turn you into a professional developer. It is designed with that goal in mind, it expects a lot of effort from you but gives you the necessary support, and it really helps you push through that barrier.

    Obviously being a professional developer is not about reaching a static set of skills, it means continuous improvement and further experience, so I would underscore that this program is great if you are serious about working as a developer.

    Favourite things about the program:

    - A focus on understanding the way things work under the surface rather than just getting them to work.

    - Relentless building of app after app after app, working constantly with other people.

    - The curriculum is top notch, and the instructors are extraordinary.

    - Even a while after finishing, I have the feeling I belong to a great community.

    Negative things:

    - I only really have one, which is that I found it really hard to keep healthy habits during the program. It's very consuming. This was probably made worse by the fact that, in Europe, the program ended every day at 2am.

    For me the program was a high investment for a high reward, and I would do it again without a doubt.

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    tl;dr:

    This program hammers into you the inner certainty that whatever you need to build, you can understand the needs, find and learn the necessary technology, make solid design decisions and ultimately build a solid product. I recommend it wholeheartedly if you want to be a professional developer.

  • Greg Filipczak  User Photo
    Greg Filipczak • Full Stack Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    The other reviewers do a great job of giving an overview of the program, so I'll focus on the individual experience. I just finished Viking's immersive program doing the new Javascript track, and it was excellent. The curriculum is broad enough so that you get a good overall picture of full stack, but it also provides tangible skills since you're building projects every day. That said, the program is intense. Your skills will improve to a point that you'll have a hard time recognizing the developer you were when you first started, but you will gain those skills through hard work. Do not expect this program to be something you can just slide by - they have high expectations and it will pay dividends to your skillset by the end. Just be prepared to work.

    It's definitely intense, but it's also a really fun program. It may feel a bit overwhelming at times, but you won't be alone. You pair program every day with fellow students, so you'll be sharing the experience with other people who are going through the same thing. I can't tell you how helpful that was to me. You'll also learn a ton from your fellow students and get different perspectives on the same problem. It's really valuable. You also won't feel isolated from the group because you meet everyone three times a day. Once in the morning to talk about the reading homework and theme for the day and twice to go over code - right after lunch and at the end of the day. Those code reviews are extremely helpful because you'll get feedback on what you've written and it will push you to write better, cleaner code. It's going to push you out of your comfort zone at first, especially if you've been learning to code by yourself up to this point. It may seem scary, but it's one of the most beneficial parts of the program. I've already mentioned that it will improve your code, but it's also going to make you a more confident developer which is really important coming from a non-traditional background. I just got hired, and the interview process was a breeze compared to what you get used to at Viking. That's not to say that it isn't fun, though! The instructors do a great job of keeping the lessons interesting, but they also have a lot of fun with the group. You'll get to know them and the other people in your cohort well because you'll be working with a different one of them pair programming throughout the day. Pair programming may not be for everyone, though, so you'll need to break out of your "I'm never wrong" mindset. Again, this is a really beneficial skill to develop as a coder and was something that was communicated to me by my employer. You need to be able to communicate effectively and work within a team, and Viking does a great job to prepare you for that. It may feel abrasive at first, but you gradually learn to enjoy it, and you'll be a better developer for it.

    The instructors are fantastic and willing to help at a moment's notice. They're also a great source of reassurance as well. I highly recommend this program if you're looking to get your money's worth. You will be pushed, but it's so worth it at the end. Apply!

  • Pramod Jacob  User Photo
    Pramod Jacob • Web Developer • Student Verified via GitHub
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    Hi all. My name is Pramod, and I’m a web developer who had the privilege of attending Viking Code School from the Fall of 2016 to early 2017.

    Viking Code School changed my life in ways I couldn’t have possibly imagined when I first started. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone with a passion for programming and the drive to work extra-hard (emphasis on the *extra*) to start a career as a full-fledged software developer.

    Before I attended Viking, I studied mechanical engineering in undergrad and worked for General Dynamics as a full-time engineer. Within just one year, I was simply “going through the motions” at work. I realized that mechanical engineering simply wasn’t the right field for me - the work I did was not technically challenging or stimulating by any means, and to be quite frank, it was a bit soul-crushing. So, in my free time, I decided to pursue a passion that I’ve always had but never fully delved into - programming. I latched onto it fast, and I quickly realized that I wanted nothing more than to be a software developer.

    I started researching bootcamps, and I looked into programs like Hack Reactor, Flatiron, and the New York Code & Design Academy. Viking bested them all during my search for the following reasons:

    1. It’s not easy to get in. Many bootcamps will simply let you in without testing your knowledge, but I had to go through a rigorous interview process in order to get invited to the program. Viking expects excellence, and it felt great knowing that I was in good company.
    2. There are no up-front costs that will break the bank. You don’t have to pay for the bootcamp until after you get a job. That means Viking has a vested interest in your success - they’ll do everything in their power to ensure that you find a rewarding software developer position.
    3. The program is remote. I learned web development from the comfort of my own home in Philadelphia, and I didn’t have to break the bank by moving to bootcamp hotspots like San Francisco or New York City - amazing towns with jaw-dropping rent prices.
    4. The program covers algorithms & data structures. You’d be surprised at how many bootcamps don’t even touch on these topics, but knowledge of algos is absolutely fundamental for becoming a software developer, especially for the interview process.
    5. The program is heavily project-based, and the projects are fun! The best way to learn programming isn’t just by learning theory - it’s by applying your knowledge over and over again. Projects are, far and away, the best way to learn programming, and you do a lot ofcool projects as part of Viking. In the few months I was there, I made a Facebook clone with Ruby on Rails, a historical stock portfolio simulator with AngularJS, Tetris, Snake, and a one-stop resource for learning resources (with a team of 5). And those are just the projects I can remember!
    6. A large chunk of the program is devoted to the job hunt. Resume reviews, mock interviews, and networking tasks are all a vital part of the program. I wasn’t kidding about Viking’s vested interest in your success! Personally, this was the most difficult part of Viking for me but quite possibly the most helpful and rewarding.
    7. The program is TOUGH. Just look at how thorough and comprehensive the prep work is over at the VCS website. And that’s just the beginning. After the prep work, you spend 10 hours a day for 15 weeks becoming an honest-to-God professional web developer. You tackle some really comprehensive yet fun projects, and you’re frequently tested on your knowledge. All of this requires a LOT of drive and motivation. Sometimes, you’ll have to work extremely hard just to keep up. That being said, if you get through the crucible, you will come out as an excellent software developer.

    The 15 weeks I spent with Viking was quite possibly the most difficult thing I’ve went through in my entire life, but I had amazing instructors supporting me all the way through and excellent friends within my cohort. Despite the difficulty of the program, it never felt like work. Instead, it felt like I was spending time in good company and learning programming along the way. Looking back, I wouldn’t trade those 15 weeks for anything.

    Thanks to Viking, I was actually able to get an amazing web development job before I even finished the program. On top of that, I realized as soon as I started that I was more prepared for the job than some of the other bootcampers who were hired - bootcampers from reputable programs like General Assembly and Flatiron. If that isn’t a testament to Viking’s quality as a bootcamp, I’m not sure what is.

    All in all, I was initially hesitant of signing up for a bootcamp, knowing that many were scams simply out to get your money. Viking Code School is not one of those bootcamps. Your success comes first, above all else. If you’re willing to put in the massive amount of effort that Viking expects from you, then you will become a developer - but you gotta want it. If you’re serious about becoming a true, full-fledged software developer, then Viking is the best bootcamp out there, bar none.

  • Philip Johnson  User Photo
    Philip Johnson • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I was in the Viking 2016 immersive program and am currently working as a software engineer at a large financial firm. Before this I had gotten a degree in English and was working as an editor and teacher. So I had quite a career switch.

    Also, I should probably mention that whilst looking for a job after the program, I actually ended up working part time for Viking as a teaching assistant, aiding the primary instructors by helping students squash bugs, etc. and covering some office hours in the evenings. I even made a few humble contributions to the curriculum.

    Anyway, I looked at several schools before choosing Viking, but I ended up there for three reasons. First, it fit my schedule/location because it was, of course, online. Second, the deferred tuition allowed me to afford the course and also ensured I would become skilled enough to actually be hired, since the school’s fees were contingent on my getting a job. Finally, I was extremely impressed by the clarity and depth of the free prep work.

    I took the Ruby/AngularJS curriculum, but really I think the specific technology wasn’t especially important; I work mostly in Angular and C# now, both of which I learned on the job. What was great about Viking was that I was taught not just specific coding syntax but how to think like a developer—how to approach problems, how to write maintainable code, how to architect an application, how to work with other developers, and that all important skill of development—how to Google for solutions. Learning so much so fast during the program taught me how to learn new skills on my own.

    Viking isn’t for everyone. One really has to be self-motivated, because, frankly, it’s a ton of work and long hours for many weeks. It was difficult to keep up, especially at the beginning. And there are naturally ups and downs during the course—days you feel dynamite and others when you’re convinced you’re hopeless. The program was worth the effort, however: I came out solidly prepared for the job. My manager has said I far exceeded his expectations (thanks?), and I’ve heard similar stories from classmates. (One company I applied to informed me during the interview that I was the only applicant ever to get 100% on their take-home problem set.) I’ve also encountered students from other bootcamps and have been a little stunned by the shallowness of their programs’ curriculums. So I’ve been so floored with my selection of Viking.

    As for the job search afterward, it was definitely not easy, and for whatever reason (maybe my location, maybe luck, maybe that damn English degree) I was one of the last people in my class to find one. But in the end I had a couple companies interested in hiring me and I now not only love my job, but also feel right at home talking shop with the rest of the developers.

    So, long story short—I couldn’t be happier with my experience at Viking. It has a superb curriculum and a terrific community, myriad Slack emoji, and offers a life-changing opportunity.

  • Morgan Martin  User Photo
    Morgan Martin • Web Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Hey, my name's Morgan, I graduated the 2016 Immersive program at Viking.

    TL/DR: Attending VCS was the best choice I have made so far in my 22 years of living. It helped me jump-start my career when college couldn't, and now I enjoy going to work every day because I get to do what I love. However, it is not an easy program and it will make you work every step of the way.

    Before Viking, I attended college for computer science. Unfortunately, funds ran dry and I did not want to take on student loans. I had read that it was possible, albeit difficult, to get a job in software without a degree and that web development was booming. So, I left college three semesters in and set out to teach myself web development.

    I did a lot of research to try to find some of the best free resources online. I found out about The Odin Project which is a sister project to VCS, though I didn't know it at the time. I quickly put all my energy toward progressing through TOP. As it turns out though, learning to program is HARD and teaching yourself to do it is even harder. And on top of that, I was working various full time jobs throughout these months/years and was always too busy or tired to sit down and program when I got off work.

    Eventually, I got a lucky break and was able to put back enough money to look into attending a code school. It was about that time that I received a promotional email from The Odin Project informing me of VCS, so I studied my butt off for a couple weeks and I was in!

    There were a couple of nervous months where I continued to teach myself and did the prep work I was assigned, and then finally the program began in July.

    I was very impressed with the lesson material and content, as it was exhaustive as well as exhausting :) It's been said that code schools are akin to drinking from a firehose and VCS was no exception. But despite how tired I felt on weekends, it was well worth it. I think the lessons/projects hit the sweet spot of teaching us just enough to make us feel confident, but didn't waste too much time elaborating on minutiae either. Of course, I can say that in retrospect, but while I was in it, I felt like I was only retaining 10% of the knowledge being thrown at me.

    Also, I should note that the instructors were phenomenal. Infinitely patient and they had a deep understanding of the material. I asked those guys question after question for four months and very rarely did I get an "I'm not sure." Even if they didn't know they would either try to find out or point me in the right direction.

    Okay, story time. So at the end of the program we had our final, two week long projects. We split up into groups, and as fate would have it, I ended up on in the small group of four vs the other team's intimidating 10 (or so.) We took a couple of days to plan out our projects according to the SCRUM methodology as best we could and got to work. Unfortunately, after about a week my team and I realized we had very little to show despite our best efforts. Communication was not where it should have been and the project suffered as a result. So, we got our butts in gear, essentially re-built our project from the ground up(!) and by the time presentations rolled around at the end of the week, we had a reasonably well working application that we felt fairly proud of. The reason I mention it, is because after that quite stressful week, my team members and I unanimously decided we had learned some valuable lessons about persevering through a project and seeing things to the end. I use some of the lessons I learned during that week every day at my new job and I am grateful that Viking's structure gave me the opportunity to learn them.

    After final projects, the program was technically "over." I use quotes because it wasn't really. We were still expected to spend the majority of our time applying to jobs, going to code meetups and whatever else we could think of to try to get an interview. Erik gave us plenty of ideas to implement in our job search process but it was still a nail-biting month and a half for me while I hunted for my first dev home. But in the end, I got two offers and chose the lesser one because the company was closer to home. And I got a 5k bump in salary thanks to Erik's great negotiation advice.

    So to wrap it up, I would definitely recommend Viking to anyone interested in beginning a career in web development. It is not an easy program, but you will learn a ton, and if you work really (and I mean *really*) hard you WILL get a job at the end of it all. If I could do it without a college degree, anyone can!

    P.S. If anyone reads this review and would like to reach out to me to ask questions about the program, feel free. Like some of the other Vikings that have commented here, I had some trouble sourcing information about the program when I first started researching it and it ended up feeling like I was taking a very big leap. It all turned out good in the end, but if I can help someone in the same shoes as myself assuage some of that anxiety, I would be more than happy. My email is `morganm5201@gmail.com`. Cheers!

  • Melissa
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    Since they were aquired by Thinkful, the flex program is too expensive! It used to be a fair amount but $1500 a month!? How can I afford that living where I live. It's out of my reach now. Greedy.

  • Mike L. • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Hi. I’ve read through the other reviews on this site and agree wholeheartedly with what everyone else has said about VCS (except for that one guy who didn’t do the program). I graduated from the July 2016 immersive program and am now working as a software engineer in cyber-security solutions.

    There isn’t much more to say than what has already been addressed in other reviews. I will say, though, that after talking to friends who have graduated bootcamps and having shared our experiences, I haven’t come across a bootcamp education that is as comprehensive as VCS’. The education I got here was thorough and exhaustive, giving me a wide range of knowledge that was not only helpful during the interview process, but has been very effective in helping me growing as a developer. Just a couple days ago, I was explaining to someone (a bootcamp grad) the difference between BFS and DFS, and I realized other bootcamps do not have a data structures and algorithms unit (VCS does).

    Ultimately, this bootcamp does what all good bootcamps do: They teach you the fundamentals to get you to your first job, where you’ve learned enough to help more seasoned developers build things and allow them to help you continue your path as a developer. Even though I learned more at my bootcamp, my bootcamp grad friends are also employed, learning a ton, and enjoying the work. When comparing VCS to other great bootcamps, the real differences that I’ve found are the deferred tuition option and the fact that it’s an online program.

    The deferred tuition is a no-brainer positive. I only paid a down payment and nothing else until I was employed. It’s great. I never had to fear that I was sinking a ton of money into something that wasn’t going to get me a job. If anything, that’s probably why the education is as amazing as it is. They really want you to get a job. On the other side, when looking for jobs, I never felt any pressure to take the first job that was offered to me (so that I could pay them back sooner). Quite the opposite. I was always encouraged to find something that I found interest in and wanted to learn (which I did).

    The online element of the program was, for me at least, a mixed bag. Before starting the program, I was so glad it was online. I didn’t have to move anywhere, I didn’t have to wake up early for class (I’m on the East Coast), and no commute. No commute.. let that sink in. I could wake up, sit down in front my computer in my pajamas, and start class. It was glorious. The flip side, and this is something I realized after talking to others and working as a developer, is that writing code with a group of people is different when done online as opposed to in person. I think VCS does a good job of handling this by doing a lot of pair programming and group projects, but at the end of the day, white-boarding out a problem is better done in person than through video chat (imo). It’s a part of being a developer that I’ve come to enjoy a lot (the in-person collaboration) and only got a piece of at VCS. Being home all day in your pajamas, while awesome, can sometimes be isolating. I wouldn’t discourage a person from doing this program because of it (unless you absolutely hate pajamas and being home. Well, I guess you could remote from a cafe), but I do think it is something to be considered.

    Hey, I guess I did have some things to say. Anyway, if you got in the program or are considering applying, do it! It’s a ton of work, you meet interesting people, and at the end of the day, you build a lot of cool stuff. Also, I can’t help but reiterate what others have said about how great the instructors are, but yeah, they’re great. So that’s all I have to say. Viking Code School: I liked it.

  • Alex Lach • Graduate
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    TL/DR: I graduated from the Viking Code School’s July 2016 immersive program, and it is both as challenging and rewarding as advertised.

    I studied political science in college and worked in politics and campaigns for about 5 years before starting at VCS. I started teaching myself programming after my job became more and more focused on data and analytics. I realized I had a passion for the mix of problem-solving and creativity that coding afforded me, and after a year or so of teaching myself through various online resources, I realized two things: 1) I really wanted to transition to a career in software and web development, and 2) I would never make that transition while learning on my own.

    After hearing about people in similar situations enrolling in coding bootcamps, I started doing some research. Like you’re doing right now, I read tons of reviews of different programs on sites like this one, trying to figure out the best match for me. So here are some answers to some of the questions you, like me, might have:

    YES, students really do get legit engineering jobs after the program. I might as well address this at the beginning, since it was the most important thing for me as well. I received my first offer about 6 weeks after the program ended, and a second offer shortly after that (which I accepted) as a Full-Stack Engineer at a biotech start-up in Cambridge, MA. When I accepted my offer, over half of my cohort of 13 students had already accepted offers and the others were right on my heels as well. This is real, folks.

    YES, it’s a ton of work. Compared with other bootcamps, VCS has both more weeks and more hours per week. 70 and 80 hour weeks were routine, so you need to prepare yourself to let the program pretty much take over your life.

    Living on the East Coast, class started at 11 AM, with an hour or so of review and QA from the last night’s reading. We would then spend 3 hours with a partner (different classmate each day) on a project, usually incorporating some of the concepts we had read about the night before. During this time, you could ask for help from one of the TAs if you got stuck on something. After lunch from 3 - 4PM, we would come back together as a class and do code review of what people had built in the first session, and then usually spend 10-20 minutes solving an algorithm and explaining our answers. That was followed by another 3 - 3.5 hour session with the same partner, either continuing the morning’s project, starting a new one, or continuing an ongoing project that might span a few days. The day wrapped up with another session of code review (this was usually done in smaller groups, not the whole class) and then an hour or two of reading a night. So yeah, it’s no joke.

    Of course, the benefit of those longer hours and increased number of weeks is that VCS is able to provide a wider and deeper curriculum than any other bootcamp I researched. This was one of the main factors in why I chose this program over others. It’s been said in a number of other reviews, but I learned more than I could even imagine.  And while it could be exhausting at times, it also never stopped being energizing, as it’s easy to get excited when you’re literally learning dozens of new things every single day.

    NO, it’s not for everyone. Having just talked about the workload, clearly not everyone is ready to commit to 70 or 80 hours a week of work, and that is certainly reasonable. And furthermore, VCS has higher standards for its applicants and includes a tougher interview process than any of the other bootcamps I was considering. But what this means for you, as a VCS student, is that your classmates end up being just as committed to working hard and learning as you are. I was constantly impressed by the ability and dedication of my fellow students, and with this bootcamp (like so many others) based largely on partner and group work, it’s critical that you’re able to trust, and learn from, other members of your cohort.

    YES, you will have support along the way. Apart from not having to dig into your bank account until you have a paycheck again, the other benefit of VCS’s deferred payment model is that they’re committed to and invested in your success. But the team that runs the program are clearly not just doing this to make a buck. It was evident from the first conversation I had with Erik (the founder and main instructor) that he is passionate about educating people to succeed in engineering roles on day one. He and the TAs are almost always available to talk about the course material, your bigger picture goals, and the job search process.

    NO, you don’t have to commute. VCS is one of the only full-time immersive bootcamps done entirely remotely. In my experience, this was almost entirely a positive thing. When you’re spending 70 or 80 hours a week in class, being able to save 5 or 10 hours a week of commuting to and from your bootcamp is incredibly important. It can potentially be the difference between occasionally being able to see your friends and family or not.

    The instruction and partner work, all done through Google Hangouts, was really smooth and I ended up really getting to know my classmates and building good relationships. Plus, you get to meet students from across the country and world (and potentially gaining a couch to crash on if you’re ever in their neck of the woods).

    YES, you will be prepared for the job search and the interview process. Pretty much from day one, you’ll be doing things with an eye toward the job search and interview process. The daily algorithms I mentioned earlier are meant to mimic the types of whiteboarding questions you might see in an interview, and were essential for learning how to tackle those quickly. During the first half of the program, and even before you start, there’s a focus on really figuring out what type of company and role you would want, what salary range you’re looking for, where you would move, and all types of other questions to really get your job search honed in on only roles you would want. And starting in the second half of the program, you start networking and sending out applications, and as was the case with most students, getting some interviews.

    VCS has a good set of materials to help you prepare for the job search, both on the technical side and preparing for behavioral questions. But the best thing is their focus on networking and getting in through the side door. Yes, you will be applying to dozens of jobs a week at times, but VCS will make sure lots of your time and energy are spent reaching out to engineers at companies you like, attending meet-ups, and going to hackathons. It’s simply a reality that recruiters are getting dozens of resumes every day, and having some sort of connection can at least give you a chance to interview. And then it’s all up to you.

    NO, I can’t make this decision for you. But I can’t recommend Viking Code School highly enough. It’s the best career decision I’ve ever made.

  • You'll be pushed
    - 2/15/2017
    CJ • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    My name is CJ, and I’m a graduate of the July 2016 cohort at Viking Code School. I’ve always had the dream of being a software engineer, but got side-tracked into a different path for various reasons. When I learned about the web development community and its forward-thinking mindset, that dream was re-ignited once more. I bounced between multiple technologies ranging from Python to Java, but was always stuck at the learning phase. I could never get to a point where I could be confident about my ability to take an application from zero to sixty.

     

    Viking Code School provided everything that I needed to reach that phase. Its curriculum closely mirrors the AGILE process of rapid iteration. You’re pretty much coding all day, seven days a week. During the evenings, you’re reading up on the following day’s lesson and catching up with the latest on sites like Hacker News.

     

    Viking Code School is not for everyone. You need to be passionate about not just coding, but software engineering in general. If you’re like me and don’t come from a technical background, be prepared to ramp up an algorithmic mindset in order to keep up with those who do.

     

    That said, I’ve enjoyed every single bit of the experience during my cohort. I would recommend it to anyone who’s passionate about the industry and needs the skill to participate in it.

     
  • VCS Review
    - 12/31/2016
    Leo A. • Graduate
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    If you are considering attending a coding bootcamp, I would recommend putting Viking Code School (VCS) on the shortlist. 

    The foremost question on most people's minds when looking for a bootcamp is, "will this get me a job?" In the case of VCS, the short answer is: yes. Is it a guarantee? No, not entirely. But what VCS does offer is deferred payment (based on you getting a job), which adds a layer of accountability and helps you to focus on learning, networking, and interviewing. 

    The format of VCS is focused on pair programming through Google Hangouts. At times this could be hit or miss due to connectivity issues, but overall it was a very effective way for multiple people to work on code. VCS is a remote program, which has its pluses and minuses. You can save time and money on commuting and relocating. You do miss out on learning in a classroom environment, but the nature of software development narrows the difference between working 'in-person' and remotely. The teaching assistants were top notch. They were knowledgeable far beyond what was the necessary for the class, and, most importantly, were invested your learning.  The class size was small, starting with about 20 people and ending with 13 (people having dropped out for various reasons). I would also recommend looking at The Odin Project and the VCS prep work to get a general feel for what the VCS curriculum will cover. 

    If you do decide to attend VCS, be ready for 11+ hours of living and breathing code every day. This is not an easy program and taking shortcuts will quickly come back to bite you. You will feel constantly pushed and at the edge of what you are comfortable with, which is necessary to pack so much information into such a short period of time. This is not a program for everyone, so consider all of the implications and do your research before you make the jump.

    For me, the program was a good match. The structure and pace of the program forced me to learn quickly and kept me focused day after day. Technically all the curriculum material is out there floating on the internet, but I know myself well enough to understand that I need something to keep me on track. Once I started the program I felt like I was learning more in a day than what I had learned in a week of self-teaching. And this accelerated learning quickly paid off. I started interviewing for jobs about halfway through my VCS program and was soon offered positions at a couple different companies. I decided to join as a Devops Engineer at a well established tech company. How quickly you get a job may vary depending on location and background (I have an engineering background), but VCS equips you with the tools necessary to impress interviewers and get in the door. Overall, I would give VCS a full-hearted recommendation to anyone looking to start a career in development.

  • Johnny Steenbergen • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Hey there, Johnny here from the Viking Summer 2016 immersive cohort

    First off Viking Code School (VCS) is bad to the bone, please read on!

    TLDR: VCS is a completely legit, life-changing experience that I recommend with every fiber of my being! But it’s not for the faint of heart, prepare to work your tail off

    RATING

    I would rate my experience a solid ->

    “holy mother of pearl I loved this program and the perspective it has given me!”

    A solid 100%, a ★★★★★/★★★★★ rating.

    I reallllly enjoyed my time with VCS!

    How’d I get here you ask?

    I was an electrical engineer and project lead at the Boeing Company working on state of the art power supply designs before joining VCS. I began using software to eliminate a lot of the minutia in my day to day. I fell in love with SW it and found myself bombarded with entrepreneurial ideas that I didn’t know how to make a reality.

    Now, all that has changed.

    What have I gained from my VCS experience and what can you expect?

    First off, I’ve received numerous job offers from companies near and far while classes were in session and after. I’m extremely happy to be joining Asynchrony Labs here in January 2017. I’m also working to build the entrepreneurial dreams I’ve had over the past few years. Viking prepares you with hands-on projects. It will challenge you in ways you’ve never been challenged before. Most of the people here have touched on the style of teaching you will see at Viking and it is really amazing. I’ve also shared a blog on medium outlining the life of a Viking student (check it out here).

    You won’t be spoon-fed the material, you will have to put in the work so you are prepared to crush the multitude of projects you will be completing. Get use to the agile workflow b/c we embrace it at VCS. It's a huge benefit to have had this exposure when you start to interview with companies who will be using something like it (if they are worth their salt).

    The curriculum itself is soooo much better than reading a university textbook. I spend 100s of hours in my university days boring through textbooks. Freaking hated it. But at VCS you will be able to build alongside the material (do it, it’ll help you learn the material a lot better!) and you won’t feel the boredom like you would at the university. You will learn best practices in the industry.

    The Proof is in the pudding

    Check out the prep work they have on their website, it really showcases the complete software engineers that they are building through the program, not just some code monkey. If you enjoyed the prep work, you’ll LOVE the program!

    Buckle up you’re in for a treat

  • Fantastic Program!
    - 12/27/2016
    Hannah S. • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I had a fantastic experience as a student at Viking Code School! 

    To start, here is a little background on me. I graduated from UC Berkeley in Civil and Environmental Engineering and worked at a startup doing semi-technical work and working side-by-side with software engineers. That’s when I decided to take the leap and become a full time software engineer!

    Why Viking over other bootcamps?? When I applied to coding bootcamps, I did A LOT of research. In the end, I narrowed it down to bootcamps with the deferred payment model. (App Academy and Viking Code School). I got into both and decided on VCS for a few main reasons:

    1. Small Personal Class Sizes. My cohort was only 13 people and we had 4 instructors, which made for a really great personalized learning environment. I attended the App Academy jumpstart program and was a little turned off by the number of students in each class (~65) and the lack of personal attention.
    2. Longer Program Length. The VCS program is four months long while most others are 2-3 months long. There is just so much to learn, and the longer the program, the better you will understand the material.
    3. The people! The instructors are terrific and are both great programmers, and fantastic teachers. They also have a deep understanding of the job market and are always there to help.
    4. The course material. Before the program, I did the prepwork on vikingcodeschool.com. I was VERY impressed with the material. You should definitely read through all of it and decide if it fits your learning style.

    A note on remote learning….Yes, VCS is a remote program, which scared me at first also. There are occasional technical difficulties, but overall they do not hinder the program. Pair programming over google hangouts was actually very effective. You don’t get the casual side conversations, and sometimes you have to work a little harder to convey what you’re thinking. However, I was always working with someone or in a group meeting, so I never felt alone! You also don’t have to commute which makes a huge difference especially when the program itself takes up ~12 hours a day including homework. You also can jump out of bed, wear whatever you want, and save money on commuting and eating out. Now that I have a job, I actually really miss working remotely!

    A note on program intensity…The program is A LOT of work. The instructors are there to help you if you are willing to put in the work. I’ll say it again, you have to be willing to work really, really hard! We had quizzes every Monday, and if you did poorly on multiple you were kicked out. We started with 21 students and finished with 13 because people didn’t realize how intense it was/were asked to leave/decided it wasn’t the right type of program, etc. Class is 8am-6pm PST M-F, we had ~2hrs of reading every night and multiple assignments on the weekend. Just know what you are getting into and be realistic about how much time you are willing to devote!

    I received my first job offer a week after the program ended and my second a few days after that. It took some of my other classmates much longer (a few months), but I think it helped that I had a technical background and I worked overtime and did more than was required when it came to job stuff. I am very happy in my current position (Fullstack Software Engineer at a ~200 person silicon valley startup) and am extremely grateful to VCS!

    VCS is a really terrific program and I highly suggest it! Hope this review helped! :)

Thanks!