We Got Coders
The 6-month Web Developer Fast Track program combines six months of full-time training and work experience. The first half of the program consists of the 12 weeks intensive training above. Successful completion of this phase is followed by 12 weeks of paid work experience in a real web development team. Trainees will be placed on-site with clients, applying their knowledge to real-world development projects. Within 6-8 weeks of the second phase, We Got Coders aims to secure offers of permanent employment from their hiring partners, for all of their trainees. The 12-week Graduate Scholarships are available to exceptional candidates who have recently graduated from university, preferably in a Computer or Science related degree. All applicants must be able to demonstrate self-motivation and a strong interest in coding, including proven independent study of programming.
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Recent We Got Coders Reviews: Rating 4.56
Web Developer Fast Track
We train web developers to be job-ready in six months, using a combination of training and work experience. Working with our clients, we earmark permanent entry-level web development positions in suitable agile teams, who are practising full-stack web development with Ruby. The training program begins with 12 weeks of intensive, classroom-based study, covering everything you need to know in order to become a successful web developer.
- Payment Plan
- Flexible payment plans
- Placement Test
We will augment your skill-set with an advanced 12 week web development course, consisting of intensive, classroom-based study. The training is provided free of charge for consultants who stay with the firm for a minimum period of 24 months.
- Minimum Skill Level
- A demonstrable coding ability, preferably an on-line portfolio or GitHub account with coding samples
We Got Coders Reviews
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I discovered WeGotCoders by chance while browsing the internet and the course really peaked my interest. I was super fortunate that it was located only about a 20 minute drive from my house so when they announced they were doing an open day for potential new students I jumped at the chance to go meet the people at WGC and see what it was all about.
I was super impressed by not only the location and the house but also by Dan (the owner and lead instructor at WGC). I did a code challenge and was offered a place on the course.
I did the course with 5 other awesome people and had an amazing time. It was also one of the toughest 3 months of my life as you are basically learning and coding from 9am to 9pm (if not later each night), and is something I am really proud that I accomplished.
You don't just learn how to code, you learn how to think as a developer, how to discuss and explain your code to others and also how to present your code properly to other developers. This is nerve racking at first, but after 2-3 days you settle in fine and this becomes the norm.
A typical day at WGC looks like this:
9am-10am - 1-2 people will present their code from the previous day, explaining what they did, why the did it and then the group discuss any other approached they could have taken and any code improvements they could make.
10am-3pm - Dan or one of the other instructors will teach the days lesson which will teach you any new concepts, technologies etc. This is generally mixed up between lectures and code alongs.
3pm-Late - You are then given your daily coding challenge and you then split off into pairs or small groups to work on the challenge, which will you will then present the next day in the morning.
Once you finish your course you have 2 weeks to make your final project which you will then present to CEO's, CTO's, startup founders etc who come along to see what all the fuss is about. As it happened there was a CEO at my presentation who I would eventually go and work for. While this does not always lead to a job, there have been members of WGC who were literally hired the same day as doing their presentation.
Once I had finished the course I went for 4 interviews which were arranged by Dan. I was offered 3 out of the 4 jobs and after much deliberation accepted a job working for an awesome security startup. I worked for that company for 9 months until they unfortunately ran into some funding issues and I had to move on.
As it happened Dan was looking for developers for a new project that was starting, and the CEO who I had presented to only 9 months earlier hired me to help build his Pharma startup.
I was really pleased that Dan found me so many interviews for some really cool jobs almost immediately after the course. Dan will do his very best for you and try to get you interviews and a job after you graduate, but this does depends on if there are any opportunities available at the time, otherwise his hands will be tied and you may have to find something yourself.
So would I recommend this course to anyone who wants to become a developer? Absolutely! You cannot go wrong with the course as long as your willing to put in the hard work that is required.
The course will give you all the skills you will need to become a junior/mid level developer with skills that employers love. I don't know a single person who graduated from the course who didn't get a job as a developer, which in its self pretty much tells you as much as you need to know.
This course could have been absolutely fantastic, and I really wish it had been. However, I'll list the positives before getting into how it let me and some others down.
- Lorin, the main instructor, is incredible. He will answer any question he can, or he'll go away and figure out the answer if he can't, then go through it with you. A natural teacher - friendly, hilariously quirky and uncompromisingly dedicated to the success of his students. He was there for all of us whenever we needed help, even late into the evening, and always found a way to bring out our potential.
- The chef, Zoe, is also amazing at what she does. I'm fairly health conscious, and pretty much all her meals were nutritionally balanced and tasty. The cookies and cakes weren't so healthy, but they were too good to pass up!
- The curriculum covers a wide range of principles and code libraries, enabling to you to put together a decent project in a short space of time by the end of the course.
- I expressly chose a residential course for the study-focused environment and sense of community, and we certainly had that. We all coded throughout the evening and would often work together on each other's problems, which both provided support in terms of studying and also in understanding that we were all having the same sorts of problems. You're not tackling it on your own!
- The house is spacious and well situated for getting both to the shops and gym in town and also the nearby train station.
I wish I could end my review here, but it wasn't all as good as hoped for. The negative points almost all centre on Dan, who runs the course and also (when he feels like it) provides some of the tuition. As such, if Lorin is no longer an instructor on the course when you’re reading this, I’m not sure that I can recommend the tuition. In any case, I will try to be brief, as I don't intend this to be a personal crusade.
- Where Lorin never made anybody feel stupid and welcomed class input, Dan was too busy trying to make himself look clever and would treat the rest of us patronisingly or make someone who gave a wrong answer feel stupid, which actually discouraged class participation and discussion.
- When in a bad mood he will take it out on his students. He once interrupted our class with Lorin to accuse us of stealing cables, talking to us like badly behaved children rather than clients who were paying a lot of money to be there. On other occasions he complained that he couldn't hear any work going on, as if we should be pounding our keyboards to kingdom come or else we couldn't possibly be doing anything productive. All because he was in a bad mood. And you have to live with him.
- During the weeks we were away, some of us left things at the house (toothpaste, shower gel, etc.) only to find they had gone missing when we went back. This despite Dan's charging us rent when we were away to keep our rooms available, so there shouldn't have been anybody in our rooms when we weren't there. But he did have people there, and when the missing items were brought to his attention he was uncaring and unhelpful, as if what amounts to the theft of his students' belongings is of no importance to him. Which, I suppose, it isn't, because he already has your money.
- The bedroom fiasco. Not all bedrooms are as advertised. Mine, for instance, was a loft space converted into the housekeeper's living room. It was sparsely furnished with (I'm assuming) a cheap Ikea bed, with a wardrobe and chest of drawers to match, had a threadbare carpet, as well as wires and screws coming out of the walls, which were themselves faded and peeling away in places. And it was cold. Then, when one of the nicer bedrooms became available, Dan at first refused to let me transfer (because he prioritised letting it out on Airbnb over his student, which never actually worked out) and once he did offer it to me, he wanted me to pay £533 a week (almost double the already steep £280 a week I had agreed to pay when I signed up and thought I'd be getting a decent bedroom). The takeaway? Dan is just after your money, however he can get his hands on it.
- Dan also has very strong opinions on, well... everything actually. But in relation to religion and politics, you'd better agree with him. He referred on more than one occasion to my faith as a "cult" and was generally derisive of it, so I'd think very carefully if you have any strong political or religious convictions of your own before applying.
- The job situation. Dan said on the day we presented our final projects (which presentation exactly zero employers attended) that he had a couple of jobs in mind for me, one remote and one with a company local to my home in Oxford, both potentially at around £30k salary. A couple of weeks went by and I heard nothing, so I contacted him to find out that he hadn't even arranged anything with one of the companies. Another couple of weeks went by and he rang me to give me notice less than 24 hours in advance of an interview for a job down in Poole offering £23k. Poole, for anybody not local, is nowhere near Oxford. In fact, it's over two hours away, and he had at no point checked whether I would consider a job there. When I turned it down, he threw a tantrum, tried to bully me and use emotional blackmail to make me take the position, then deleted me from the course communications and informed me that he could offer me no further help finding a job. He had already deleted one of the other guys in my cohort who had managed to get a job on his own through a developer friend, so this came as no surprise. Dan was consistently disappointing in how he treated us.
I apologise for writing such a long and negative review, but I would feel bad if I didn't warn you of what you will have to deal with. At the end of the day, I have a job as a web developer now, but that was from my own effort, so I'd strongly advise you to weigh up your options before applying and, if you do get on the course, to go in with your eyes open and expectations low.
- extrordinary locations
- it's litterally a mansion
- rooms are what you would find in a luxurious 4-start hotel
- immersive experience
- you code, sleep and eat there
- at the time, I was free to stay even during weekends. I don't know if this still holds true but ask Dan
- instructors are always helpful
- there for you at 11am, there for you at 11pm sometimes
- great support and very helpful advice
- great foundations (backend)
- you will learn lots of good programming good practises
- you will exercise your brain by learning new design patterns which are useful
- you will learn that reading docs is good. (I still struggle with that!)
- Dan has a great method for teaching. You've probably seen that already if you've been at any of his free workshops. He is quite knowledgable about Ruby and Rails. He is also very patient
- Lorin is also extremely patient and with a natural talent for teaching. Very knowledgable about databases
not so positives
- definately a great experience
- I have learned insane amounts while being there and this experience also gave me the right (backend) foundations to learn even more and even faster later on at my job (which I started 2 days after finishing the course!)
- it's a tough course but, after taking the course, you'll be ready to start as a junior dev.
- if you like / are curious about / are interested in backend, this course will get you VERY well prepeared. If you are passionate about Ruby, even better!
Curriculum: I found the curriculum quite good. Learnt using mostly the latest of technologies out there and this was a good preparation for the ever changing world of programming. You will find that you will be under immernse pressure and that is normal. there is just so much to learn
Assessment: After your course has concluded, you will go away to a location of your choosing and work a project of your choosing for 2 weeks. The goal is put everything you will have learnt to use. The projects are done invidually (each man for themselves). When you return with a complete project, you have a unique opportunity to present in front of your future employers, instructors and colleagues. They will see for themselves what you can do. Its important to note though this isnt some type of graduation exam. Whether you get a job there and there or not is ver circumstantial. Its not a hiring fare.
Teaching Style: Classes consist of up to 8 students at any time. I found this especially useful because that meant not having to fight for the instructor attention. It also makes it easier to have this learning ecosystem going on.
Instructors: I found both instructors to be very knowledgable. It is worth noting that they have different teaching styles which is what makes it great. You get the best of both worlds. One preferes a more semantic approach while the other loves to just dig into code and run crazy with it. Alas they are both great instructors and I benefited greatly from this difference in styles
Location: We did not do typical classrooms, most of the times the classes are held in the most comfortable sitting rooms. They are desks present but one can always choose the sofa or the floor. It does not matter really. The area is generally quiet and the house has a massive garden which is great for relaxing the mind given the intensity of the course. The house is also very close to the town where there is a few shops and a nearby gym. The train station isnt too far either. Its a nice location.
Accomodation: So the house is a mansion and comes with the luxurys you would expect of a mansion. every room is en-suite and you get white towels and sheets changed every week. The whole house controlled by a system so you can air play or watch tv from anywhere in the house. Oh and there is a sauna somewhere in the mansion. It is worth mentioning though that it is not the cheapest of accomodations but well worth it.
Food: There is a proffesional chef on site who makes quite the amazing meals. You get lunch and dinner every Mon - Fri. Breakfast stuff is available and you would have to help yourself on that. And food is included in the accomodation fee along with bills and all that other stuff.
Culture: Parties are held at the mansion here and there. There is no discrimination of any sort. Everyone who comes here comes with one goal: to be a great coder. The instructors will always reinforce the idea that everyone is equal here and everyone should feel that way. Think of it as a family during your time there. I have met amazing people there during my time. There is also occasional trips to the local pubs (there is a few around). It is also quite normal to clock out around 5.30 on a Friday and start to have a few drinks to unwind the week (I like that part the most).
Job Assistance: WeGotCoders does not guarantee a job because that is impossible to do. You getting a job will very much depend on skill and determination. They will however do their best to get you employed as soon as possible. Sometimes it takes longer and sometimes not. I got a job with WeGotCoders about a month and half after the end of my course and that is where i work now. Most of my colleagues also found jobs around the country failry quickly. If I had to estimate, I would say... 90% of WeGotCoders students get decent jobs straight after finishing the course.
I hope you found my review insightful and best of luck
This course was really fantastic. As a female in my late 30s, I wasn't keen on a frat-house environment. And given my learning style, I respond best to small classes and personalised tuition. I wasn't disappointed on either front. The mansion is beautiful and quiet and our chef created delicious meals. It meant that we were able to wholly focus on consuming the large amount of course work. Most days I was doing 12 - 14 hours coding and loving it!
The two instructors clearly cared about our progress and were determined to show us how to be exceptional developers. They made themselves available when I needed help, even if that meant evenings and weekends. I valued their perspectives given they have an excess of 30 years development experience between them. They were very different to each other and that meant that we learned alternative viewpoints and styles, all within the framework of well organised content.
I enjoyed the mix of working on my own and working in pairs / teams. I learnt a lot from the other delegates and have formed life-long friendships with many of them.
For someone who was basically a beginner coder when I started, I found this a safe and positive learning environment. As a business owner and entrepreneur it gives me great satisfaction to know that I can now confidently create well tested, well written code and I am working on some MVP's as we speak.
I was put in a really awkward position when one of the instructors (an irresponsible, cradle-snatching, American man whose name my sister has suggested that I leave out of this review) had taken it upon himself to play matchmaker on behalf of a slow-witted misogynist who had also enrolled in the course. This instructor would use mealtimes as an opportunity to make inappropriate comments about my supposed compatibility with the misogynist in question, who was a drug-addicted trainee with the IQ of a carrot, and would encourage him to treat me like the prize at the end of a video game and not like a colleague or an equal. The drug addict would regularly talk to me in a patronising tone and on one occasion, whilst drunk, the disgusting little man put his arms around me and tried to sniff my hair whilst we were alone (an idea I honestly think he could only have gotten from the cradle-snatching American)! Rather than being reprimanded, on another night, for turning what had been a normal out-of-office-hours conversation into a full-blown argument that woke the neighbours or for practically threatening me with violence after I corrected him on a mildly offensive and inaccurate comment he'd made, he was mollycoddled by a group of guys on the course (guys who must have found my intelligence, honesty, my refusal to blindly conform to some gender stereotype and possibly even my youth as I was the youngest in the cohort at age 23, far more intimidating than I could have guessed) and the Boris Johnson look-alike who runs the bootcamp demanded that I apologise to the drug-addicted misogynist (I refused as I see no reason to apologise for correcting others when they make factual errors and even less of a reason to apologise to spoilt man-children who still believe women exist primarily to service men. I apologised to our neighbours instead). I actually suspect that the Boris Johnson clone identified with this misogynist so much that he later sought ways to sabotage my team during the group project (though I will admit that this suspicion is largely drawn from circumstantial evidence and the founder's generally rather shifty nature).
I found the Boris Johnson clone's attitude whilst he was teaching the course to be rather disappointing overall. He would frequently disappear for hours on end during class time because he had "a call to make", for instance, and would generally refuse to share the code he wrote when he actually was in class. He tended to treat his students like children, nagging us all for the most trivial reasons and setting house rules that made no sense. On top of that, he seemed to have a weird fixation on my ethnicity and some of the subtext in our later conversations in particular would suggest that he views minorities merely as tools to make white liberals feel better about themselves.
Luckily, I didn't have to pay for the course upfront when I was unable to obtain a PCDL as I'd taught myself Ruby on Rails before I'd enrolled. Given the way in which the founder treats his students, the policing of people's emotions that went on and the hostile environment that I had to endure as a strong, independent-minded, and decidedly single woman, I'm rather glad that I didn't and have no intention of paying anything close to the £8000 rip-off that he typically charges. With that in mind, things were certainly more bearable when the American was teaching the course and not meddling in his students' affairs as he is the better teacher. However, the fact that he hadn't made the effort to sort out his immigration status before the start of the course struck me as a miscalculation on his part.
On a lighter note, the food - which I did pay for during the course - was great as our chef was very talented. I'm not usually one for the outdoors but I did appreciate the beauty of the garden on occasion which was quite lovely in the summer. My room was rather comfortable as well (even if it didn't have a lock). In the end, I managed to find a job at a really cool startup without the help of We Got Chauvinists and now earn more than I would have done on one of their salaries. I will leave the reader to draw their own conclusions regarding this.
I really recommend this course if you are looking to properly learn and have a great start in the web development industry. Overall, you need to be prepared to work hard and interact with other peers during the course. The interaction part is very important, not only because you can learn new software development techniques such as pair programming, but also because you will work better in a team, discussing diverse approaches.
The course is intensive and well organized, every week you learn lots of new concepts and have interesting projects to work on. Also the size of the classes are perfect. In this way you can be offered an individual tutoring and feedback.
My favorite part of the course was the group project, since it is a great preparation for your first web development job and also for your final project.
If you are determined to change your career or get practical experience using good practices in web development, this is definitely the course you should go for.
This is definitely a course for someone who really wants to be a web developer. If you're only a little bit interested and fancy giving web development a try then go elsewhere because this course is not for you. The pace of the course is very fast and a lot of material is thrown your way. Be prepared to work long hours and be seriously challenged. It is also a very practical course. Don't expect any books or PowerPoint slides - a lot of stuff is live coded in front of you. There is a lot of emphasis on TDD/BDD and pair programming too. Which isn't to say that it isn't fun or anything like that - just don't expect an easy ride.
The instructors really do want you to succeed. Their passion is clear to see and I never had the feeling that they didn't care about your work. They were always willing to answer questions and to give you help when you got stuck.
I didn't take up the accommodation option so I can't speak about what it was like to live in but of course I did attend every day and can say that the working environment is really great. No dingy classrooms with plastic seats. Rather wood panelled rooms with comfy sofas! And the food was awesome!
My only real criticisms are that the course tried to cover too much material in the time available and that the instructors would sometimes get carried away by their own enthusiasm and introduce us to stuff that we weren't quite ready for. This sometimes led me to feel that things were left unfinished.
Overall, I would say that the course is worth doing if you are really serious about becoming a web developer. It will be one of the most intense 3 months of your life but will reward you if you are willing to put the effort into it
I was in the January 2015 cohort of WeGotCoders. Working for years as a linguist, I joined the course with the aim to make a career change and enter the web development industry. It proved to be the right choice. One year and a half later I have a full time job as a web developer and I plan to keep progressing in this field.
The course was really intensive and sometimes hard to keep up with. People interested in the course shall be prepared to fully commit for these three months and focus solely on learning how to code. However, it definitely pays off! The curriculum comprises of all the necessary knowledge that a junior to mid-level developer needs so as to score a good job.
Dan, the instructor, was very helpful, always there when the trainees needed him. He used to urge trainees to experiment with code, cooperate with each other, exchanging knowledge and opinions and, in the end of the day, coming up with a solution for every coding challenge. This process simulates the way that a real development team works and that is what makes this course so unique among all the others.
I also had the chance to live in the residential house which helped me a lot to focus on the course. Not having to commute every day, having things like every day food being taken care of, proved to be very beneficial and time saving. Thus, I had more time to sharpen my problem solving and coding skills.
The final week’s presentation resulted in me getting placed to a job only a week after the course ended. So, it goes without saying, that I would highly recommend the course to anyone interested in web development.
I was in the January 2016 cohort and it was one of the best experiences of my life. 12 weeks of intense web development, we worked hard and we played hard and we all emerged as web developers ready to work in the real world. I'm writing this review as a full time employed web developer in London, this program works!
Being able to live in a mansion during the course is not just amazing but highly recommended, as I genuinely believe that being completely immersed with highly enthusiastic developers is a great motivator and pushes you to do better.
The mentors were amazing, both with many years of experience in the industry and both highly vested in your success.
If you're serious about becoming a web developer then this is the best way of starting.
When I arrived at We Got Coders I had a lot of doubts about my abilities and lack of experience. Over the next few weeks they quickly disappeared. It’s a very intensive course, but Dan and Lorin made sure that nobody got left behind, making themselves available in the evenings and at weekends. The fact that we were living in a mansion with an amazing chef didn’t hurt either. In a very short time they helped me turn myself from a complete novice, to a capable web developer, managing to secure a great work placement within a couple of hours of my final presentation. I would recommend this course to anyone who's serious about getting into web development!
TL;DR Brilliant course, best in the country in my opinion. Definitely will result in a job if you work hard.
This course is about seriously learning to become a web developer. Be prepared to spend most of every day, all day, studying code in a relaxed, fun and friendly environment. While it remains focused on teaching, learning and code, it does this in a way which is relaxed and non pressured. There is great support, and the mentor is live in as well so he is available pretty much all day every day. Of course, he has his free time as well, but he is available much much more than a regular tutor would be.
When I was on the course we spent most days coding from 9am till 10pm. This changes depending on how interested you are in the topic being covered that week. The curriculum is very varied so you are exposed to a lot of different areas of web development throughout the 3 months.
If you focus, knuckle down, take an interest and work hard you can come out of this course a gleaming pristine example of a professional web developer.
Being prepared for this course is also very important. I would say you should take minimum 3 months of self study to be properly prepared. The more prepared you are the more you will get out of the course.
The course itself, and it's tutors are very helpful to prospective students so if you want to know what materials to use to prepare then just send an email to the company.
- They actually do help you to get a job at the end by organising interviews for job positions.
- The topics the course covers are the most relevant to working in web development.
- The technologies the course teaches you to use are the most up to date, and recent available. For example ReactJS, Mocha, Chai and RSpec.
- The live in environment allows you to study as much as you want.
- Must be prepared to spend 3 months studying.
But seriously, this course will change your life. It changed mine.
I had recently graduated university with a degree in Computer Science and was looking for some practical experience in Web Development. I found this course and applied hoping to gain the skills required to work professionally in the area and left with a job as a full stack web developer. The instructor Dan took us from the basics of Ruby to building multiple fully tested applications. His approach of gradually building on each layer of the stack helped the entire cohort gain an in depth understanding of how these type of applications come together as whole. Both the back and front end were covered in depth ensuring we were job ready within three months and all who completed the training are now happily working in the industry thanks to Dan's support. I can't recommend the course highly enough, if you've got the drive to work hard and want to fast track your career in web development I can think of no better place to apply than We Got Coders.
I went to WeGotCoders as part of University work experience and came out of it into a well paid job as a full stack Ruby on Rails developer. Having been taking part in Computer Games Development at University for 3 years, I had some of the basics down, but by 6 weeks in everyone was on the same level, and by 12 weeks in we covered most of my University course, and were all immediately employed after the end of the course.
I would highly reccomend anyone, regardless of their computer experience or knowledge, to participate as long as they are willing to put the work in!
<!--StartFragment-->I was in the first generation of We Got Coders students. I would thoroughly recommend the course to anyone looking to start a career in web development.
What really separated We Got Coders apart from other similar courses was the 12 week work placement after the training portion ended. We put all of our training into practice, worked with clients, and received backup from our course tutor about one day per week, with regular check-ins to make sure we didn't get stuck or head in the wrong direction. We all received permanent offers to become junior web developers from the clients we worked for at the end of this stage.
I would like to start this review by saying that We Got Coders is not just another web development course but an idea. Dan Garland, the founder and the lead instructor of We Got Coders has finally bridged the gap between developers with a theoretical background and today’s market requirements, by providing them with hands-on experience on the best practices of Agile Web Development.
During the course we were able to immerse in the ins and outs of web development by doing pair programming on cutting edge technologies and popular frameworks such as Ruby on Rails and Backbone.js.
The pace of the course is really fast and the expectation for all trainees is to accomplish at least 80% of the assignments which means that a prospect candidate should devote himself 100% on the course and the material to be taught.
The idea behind this is not only to evaluate the suitability of the trainee to be able to cope with the demands of today's industry, but also to make sure that he understands what he is doing, as this is a prerequisite for a successful career as a software engineer.
As far as the structure of the course is concerned, it consists of 2 phases, the training phase and the mentoring phase.
During the training phase, we were taught the best practices in today’s industries and, most importantly, through the retrospective of a senior developer and the approach of how we can do things better than we are currently doing.
This includes test driven development, user stories, responsive and pixel perfect design, as well as learning to tackle tasks effectively by breaking them into smaller chunks.
During the mentoring phase, we had the chance and the honour to work as consultants with leading startups who take web development seriously and they would only hire top developers in the market. Alongside our instructor and mentor we were able to implement new features and performance refactoring into their codebases that we are proud of.
The last fact made us more empowered as developers as our clients were pleased by our overall performance which led into full time employment by the end of the course.
Today we are able to accomplish any given task that we are assigned to and perform over the expectations of a junior web developer which makes a We Got Coders alumnus more of a mid-level developer. This is quite impressive considering the amount of time that we spent during our training.
Therefore, my only advise to those who are looking to get into the web development industry and are determined to accomplish their goals, is to have a look at this course as I am sure that they will not get dissapointed.
Personally, I highly recommend We Got Coders as, at least for me, it was more of a salvation through the years that I have spent struggling in order to achieve a respectable level of knowledge which was finally achieved by my graduation from the course.
Our latest on We Got Coders
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We Got Coders is a 6-month, full-stack coding bootcamp, specializing in Ruby on Rails. Take a tour of the new We Got Coders campus in Bedforshire, an hour from London.
The Location: We Got Coders web development trainees will learn how to code in a unique, 19th century waterside residence just 45 minutes from London.
With over 8,500 square feet of indoor space there are multiple break out rooms for trainees to relax and work in.
Trainees will stay in a property with state of the art facilities including under floor heating, programmable lighting, a home cinema with surround sound system, games and reading room.
Dan Garland of We Got Coders, said: “We wanted to create an environment that is more conducive to learning without the stress and potential burnout associated with intensive learn to code programmes. We chose this location because it is strategically located between London’s Silicon Roundabout and Cambridge’s Silicon Fen and hope to leverage this to our trainees’ advantage."
We Got Coders takes a unique spin on the coding bootcamp model. Dan Garland is the founder of the consultancy that recruits, trains and places top web developer talent in London. We chat with Dan about their application process, teaching approach, and the meaningful long-term relationships We Got Coders forms with it's alumni.
Tell us about your background and how it led you into We Got Coders.
I was a Ruby contractor and was finding this gap for junior developers who were very able and willing but couldn’t really deliver in value to the teams that they were in because they didn’t quite have the level of experience. On the other hand, there were companies looking for people with a of minimum two years Ruby and Rails experience and I found myself mentoring these juniors to the right level. So, We Got Coders grew quite organically out of that.
My big hope is that I can help others to achieve their goals; where other's have graciously helped me in the past. Although I've been a web developer for over ten years, it took me a long while before I felt confident enough to say I was a truly independent developer; and had I enrolled on a bootcamp style course, it might have been a lot quicker to get to where I am now. I feel that this is what gives me an insight into the challenges my trainees face, and why I'm determined to help them achieve at We Got Coders.
How did you learn Ruby on Rails?
I taught myself; with a lot of help from people in the community. I think community is an important part of learning to code. Books can show you the basic syntax, but they can’t show you approach or rationale. I was quite lucky in that I had a few mentors – unofficially and informally, who showed me how to make progress. I got more through that collaboration than I ever did at university.
Did you study computer science at university?
Yes, at the University of Bristol. It’s a very formal and theoretical course but at the end, you don’t have any practical ability. Looking back on the experience, if I were considering university, I wouldn’t think twice about doing that versus a bootcamp. Of course, it does ground you in other ways but in terms of getting a job in a Rails team, people need people to be productive virtually immediately.
Does your program resemble an apprenticeship?
That’s part of what we do. If you look historically, a lot of universities actually began life as that. We Got Coders are building a network of hand picked developers who we’ve trained in-house. Our mission is to take on terrifically talented and enthusiastic junior developers who are going to stick around and be part of our team. In return, we give them that mentor support the same way I had it when I was learning to code.
We bridge the gap between a boot camp and that first hire.
Are you the main instructor?
I’m the founder and main instructor; and we’re very actively looking for new instructors. Our aim is to be training about 50 developers.
It’s great that you’re focused on long-term relationships with alumni.
As far as I’m aware, we’re the only organization with a bootcamp model that actively works with its trainees after the course in this way. We are effectively prepared to take a risk on our own trainees where we’ve seen that hunger and desire in the first 3 months, and put our money where our mouth is, said we’ll put these people on the payroll; give them an opportunity to earn their course fee back and get them the experience that they need.
Do you work with the hiring partners to develop the curriculum at all?
We work very closely with our clients to establish what it is they need. So when people ask me about a particular technology, we have to be able to react to that.
The other thing to note here is all of our consultants who come through the training program have gone on to do full-stack web development in Ruby teams. Ultimately, many web jobs are in name only and you’re really doing things that are auxiliary or around the edges. I’m determined to really put people in the thick of it; get them out of their comfort zone, get them doing things which I would expect a mid-level person to do. I’m actually considering dropping the word “junior” from our marketing because our junior developers are coming out of our courses and going straight to production, they’re shipping code, pretty advanced stuff. It’s pretty impressive to see what they’ve achieved.
How are trainees evaluated and how do you decide whether they’re on track to stay in the program?
I’ve had some experience with other schools and one thing I thought was lacking is the amount of feedback. So we give continual feedback. All of our exercises are on Github. We do line by line feedback. Every exercise our trainee submits will be pored over by our instructional team who will see the rationale, see the approach; they’ll leave line by line comments on the actual code that’s been written and suggest improvements where necessary. So that level of immediate feedback is useful because then people can see where they can improve.
Further, every month we do an assessment, which looks at various areas like code quality and communication skills.
I have a number of performance criteria; it’s not an arbitrary decision. For example, we require that they have to be submitting 80% of the course work we set them. They have to have good attendance; they can‘t miss more than 2 days of the course. We’re looking for soft skills like punctuality, communication, that kind of thing. And we have a final project.
The final project is a 10-day sprint where they have to come up with an independent web application of their own choosing. It has to draw on things they’ve done in the course; it’s actually a demonstrative project. And we set them very stringent criteria on what the project should be like.
We’re talking about the bread and butter stuff that clients really need. If they can independently, without my help, build that app within 10 days, that’s a very good indicator for me.
On the final project day – I think we’re also unique in this respect – we only invite industry to come and view the final projects. We invite CTOs, hiring partners and people who are in the Ruby community here in London to come and listen to a short presentation.
It’s an opportunity for the partners to get a feel for what they’re like. I can see at this stage, have they got the wherewithal to build this app stand in front of my own clients and persuade them that they’ve done a great project? I can really tell when I’ve got a good candidate on my hands. It’s not an automatic thing but based on our discretion. If you meet our performance criteria, you get on the second part of the course. At that point, they are contracted so they’re on the payroll for 3 months.
Have you had students attend from outside of London or outside of the UK even?
Yes; we have had people from all over the UK and one who relocated from Greece especially.
We are very diverse in terms of age, gender and race. . The last group started out as 50% men and women; we had different racial backgrounds, different academic backgrounds people from CS programs, an architect, a graphic designer, a pilot and someone who had been a self-employed entrepreneur.. Not all exclusively are college graduates although it happens that the vast majority of them do have a degree, but not necessarily software or computing.
What does a typical day look like?
We start each day with a retrospective where we look back on the previous day and we look at people’s code. Then we move on to a bit of knowledge transfer followed by an exercise about the concept being talked about. In the afternoon, they’ll actually be coding, obviously, there will be support and help and advice. We work in pairs. It’s kind of established as best practice in the industry that you work in pairs, So at any one time, someone’s driving, someone’s observing, someone’s giving advice. Each trainee would then be keeping up with each other’s approach. A lot of it is about explaining your rationale; why have you gone about it this way.
So there are plans to expand for this upcoming year?
Yes, very much so. I’m also very actively considering other locations in the UK and in Europe, so watch this space.