2019: A Codeup Year In Review

Codeup in 2019

It’s official – 2019 has come and gone and we’ve hit 2020 fast! At the start of this new year, we like to reflect on 2019, giving gratitude to everyone who supported us and celebrating our many shared victories. It was a year of life changes, ground-breaking firsts, and growth.

After such a big year for our community and students, we wanted to share some of our reflection highlights with you! Here’s what happened in 2019:

2019 Firsts

  1. Launched San Antonio’s FIRST and ONLY Data Science career accelerator
  2. Graduated San Antonio’s first class of Data Scientists
  3. Expanded our program to Dallas, TX
  4. Named San Antonio #2 Best Place to Work

By the numbers

  • 129 # of individuals who changed their careers at Codeup
  • 574 total # of Codeup alumni network
  • 16 # of alumni placed in Dallas
  • 25% military veteran students
  • 27% female students
  • 52% racial and ethnic minority students
  • $189,053.81 amount of scholarship funds given by Codeup to its students
  • 49 # of partner companies who hired from us
  • $6,327,295.40 salaries earned by Codeup grads in their first jobs as Software Devs and Data Scientists

Our mission is to empower life change. If 2019 wasn’t your year, maybe 2020 will be 🙂 Reach out to us – we’d love to help you create your future!

How To Pick A Coding Bootcamp Curriculum

How to Pick A Coding Bootcamp Curriculum

If you’re thinking about entering a career as a software developer, you’ve probably researched a few different bootcamps. During your research, you’ve probably seen a few different curriculum. Without already BEING a software developer, it’s hard to know what’s what. In this post, we want to explore how to think about a bootcamp curriculum, and recommend strategies about how to consider the best fit.

Let’s start with some terminology. Full-stack web development integrates work on both the front-end and the back-end. The front-end is the user-facing side that you interact with in a web browser. The back-end is the server side that involves the sending and receiving of data. Consider a restaurant website. A front-end only website would show a restaurant menu with prices, dishes, and ordering information. A full-stack web application would allow you to not only view the menu, but place an order and process payment information for that order, interacting with a database and back-end functionality.

Within that understanding, there are a few groupings of technologies:

  • Object Oriented Programming and back-end tech: This list includes programming languages like PHP, Java, C#, Ruby, and Node.js. These allow you to build functionalities into a web application. 
  • Database tools: Tools like MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, and Oracle let you store, send, and receive information.
  • Front-end technologies: Languages and frameworks like JavaScript, Angular, React, HTML, and CSS let you design a front-end interface.
  • Web frameworks: Spring Boot and Laravel are examples of web frameworks that help you stand up web applications more efficiently. 
  • Testing tools: In production, many companies leverage a methodology called Test Driven Development. This is when developers write tests first, and code second, letting them compare their code against a standard of approval. Common technologies include JUnit, PHPUnit, NUnit, MSTest, Jasmine.

With so many technologies out there, it can be hard to pick what’s best to learn. But here’s the secret: the specific technologies do not matter. The most important thing you’ll learn during a coding bootcamp is how to use these different categories of technologies. Whether you learn PHP or Java, MySQL or  SQL Server, the important takeaways are the fundamental concepts learned. Many Codeup alumni graduate from our Full-Stack Java program and go on to work in PHP, Python, Ruby, Groovy, and other languages. Ultimately, a loop is a loop and an array is an array. Languages differ, but once you’ve learned an OOP language, the differences become syntactical instead of conceptual. 

This leads us to an important point: the more technologies, the worse! The quality of a curriculum, and thus the value of it, is not defined by the number of technologies covered. In fact, it’s the opposite. Let’s give some examples.

Columbia University is one of the premier academic institutions in the world. They are an Ivy League university with a strong reputation. They recently expanded into the bootcamp space, and launched a web development program that covers the following technologies: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap, Express.js, React.js, Node.js, Database Theory, MongoDB, MySQL, Command Line, Git, and more. All of that in 12 weeks. Let’s decode that for you with the terms we’ve already used. This curriculum promises to teach you:

  • Object Oriented Programming and back-end tech: Node.js
  • Database tools: Database theory, MondoDB, MySQL
  • Front-end technologies: HTML, CSS, jQuery, Bootstrap, Express.js, React.js

Now let’s look at Codeup. We teach: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Java, Spring, MySQL. All of that, in 20 weeks. In the terms we’ve discussed, that’s: 

  • Object Oriented Programming and back-end tech: Java, Spring
  • Database tools: MySQL
  • Front-end technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery

The common initial thought is: why spend 20 weeks learning seven technologies when you could spend 12 weeks learning 10? And there lies the misconception. Many bootcamp curricula promise to teach you the latest and greatest technologies: React.js, Angular.js, Express.js, MongoDB, Node.js, etc. etc. etc. That may sound like a better bang for your buck, but it’s all a question of priority. Here is the reality of your choices:

  • Columbia bootcamp, broad and shallow: gain exposure to a wide variety of technologies in a short amount of time
  • Codeup, narrow and deep: gain expertise in software development fundamentals in a narrow scope of technologies

There is no inherent right answer here – it’s all about your priorities. That being said, here’s what we believe: Learning how to learn, learning how to think like a developer, and learning to program is far more important than gaining exposure to the latest web frameworks. When you understand programming fundamentals, you prepare yourself to learn whatever you want. It’s like learning how to work with a car: it’s great to know how to drive an Audi, but it’s pretty different from understanding how an Audi engine works and how it differs from a Honda. 

At Codeup, we focus on crafting you into a software developer. We focus on programming fundamentals, core web technologies, and applied practices. When you graduate, you’ve landed a job and have the skills to learn any technology. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, connect with our Admissions Team and we can tell you more! 

Click here to hear our Codeup Alumnus, Po Lin’s, story about his journey graduating with a Computer Science degree and how he supplemented Codeup’s curriculum to launch a career into software development!

Your Investment Towards Your Future With Codeup

Your Investment Towards Your Future With Codeup

Codeup has trained over 500 software developers over 6 years in San Antonio. But we’re new to town here in Dallas, so we’re getting a lot of questions. Top of that list is, “Why are y’all so much more expensive than the other bootcamps in town?” In case you haven’t noticed, our Full-Stack Web Development program tuition is an investment of $27,500. But the secret is, we don’t cost that much – we’re worth that much. Codeup isn’t a bootcamp – it’s a career accelerator. Tuition is an investment in your future, and the ROI pays off. Let’s dive into why!

First of all, the upfront investment to enroll at Codeup is only $1,000 – a down payment to secure your seat. The entirety of the rest of your tuition can be arranged with a combination of scholarships, grants, and loans to support the remaining investment. Our dedicated Financial Aid and Enrollment Manager helps you navigate all the intricacies of tuition planning (if you want to get a head start, read our blog about bootcamp funding, explained).

Codeup focuses on quality. While other bootcamps leveraged venture-funding and corporate capital to expand quickly, opening 10+ campuses at a time, Codeup opened one campus. While other programs focused on volume, we focused on quality. We spent five years refining our program before expanding. Here’s the result that you now get to enjoy:

  • A custom-built, high-quality curriculum: other bootcamps have made their instructors build curriculum while they taught it…(Link blog post about our curriculum)
  • Top-knotch instruction: Your instructors have a combined 30 years of software development experience and 10 years of formal teaching experience. Local bootcamps hire 1 experienced instructor for every 5 alumni TAs. 
  • Job outcomes: over the last 18 months, we’ve placed 99% of our alumni in-field within an average of 2 weeks from graduation. Even while operating in San Antonio, we placed 18 students here in Dallas for an average starting salary of $85,000. The Codeup promise is simple: get a job or 100% of your money back.
  • Private ownership: Codeup launched in 2014 with 3 co-founders. After the first class, the company had re-paid initial investment and was cash-flow positive. Since then, our growth has been entirely organic. We’ve never taken outside investment, split equity, leveraged debt capital, or lost control of the business in any way. Our 3 co-founders are our 3 owners. Other bootcamps have been bought, sold, traded, closed…they change hands as assets in a venture capital investment game. What does that mean for you? We focus on your outcome, they focus on their bottom line. Anybody been following WeWork lately? The valuation bubble is bursting, and our students won’t get caught on the wrong side. PS, WeWork owns the Flatiron bootcamp…

If you’re considering a bootcamp education, you’re really considering an investment in yourself. Let’s be really clear – this is NOT school. This isn’t a high school diploma, an Associate’s or a BS in CS. This is a pathway to a career, the salary that will earn and the meaning it will bring. Put on your investment hat: the upfront $$ isn’t as important as the Return On Investment. Our Dallas graduates have had an average starting salary of $85,000. At 5 months long, you still have more than 6 months to work in that year. So what is your ROI? In the same year you are trained, you earn back your money. Within 12 months, you 3x your money.

You might ask, why not use that same math on a cheaper program? The answer is simple: other bootcamps don’t view it the same way. They are giving you education, you are giving them return on THEIR investment. Let’s take a more specific look:

Have more questions about your investment? Give us a call – we’d love the opportunity to chat with you about your possible future career in software development!

The Best Path To A Career In Software Development

Best Path To A Career In Software Development (Is Not Always a Four Year Degree)

“Don’t I need a Computer Science degree to get a job as a software developer?” As a non-traditional educational model, we hear this concern a lot. Prospective students often compare us to four year degrees in CS with the concern that lacking a piece of paper and formal degree will prevent them from getting a job. We’re here to tell you once and for all: college is NOT the best way to become a software developer.

For the avoidance of doubt, there is a lot of merit to a four year degree, as well as a lot of valuable knowledge from a CS program that can apply to life as a developer. However, if your goal is to get a job as a software developer, there’s a more direct path.

Think of it this way:my plumbing is old and broken, and I need to replace it all. I hire a PhD in Fluid Dynamics – someone who really understands flow, gravity, resistance, momentum, and all the intricacies of what’s happening in my pipes. They come and explain how everything is supposed to work in my new pipes, charge me $5,000 for their time, and then leave. With my pipes still broken, I decided to hire a plumber – someone who knows how to identify the problem and fix it,and a week later my plumbing is fully functional and I’ve only spent $2,500. [Note, we kind of made these numbers up to illustrate a point. After all, we’re no drain surgeons.]

The message here is simple: theory is not the same thing as practical experience. With the rapid growth in web and IT, we’re no longer just dealing with cutting-edge technologies. Development is becoming the new blue-collar factory work, and the amount of code out there is astounding. It’s no longer as important to have high-level abstract education. Instead, the top priority is up-to-date practical experience.

Now, let’s get more specific. Why exactly is a coding bootcamp the better way to get a job as a software developer?

#1 Technologies: Technology changes at the speed of light. One day the popular framework is Angular, and the next it’s React. In one generation, companies are building with C++ and in the next they’re building with Java. Because of this rate of change, it’s hard for traditional learning environments to keep pace. While they continue to teach C++, we’ve moved on to Java with a Spring framework and MySQL database. Because we’re more agile, we are able to keep pace with industry trends.

#2 Curriculum structure: Have you ever watched Top Chef or The Great British Bake Off? You were probably pretty entertained, but how did that seared Ahi Tuna with orange mint avocado salsa and balsamic vinegar reduce amuse-bouche turn out? The sad reality is, watching experts do their thing doesn’t make you an expert. Nor does listening to lectures. Our program is built around the concept of praxis, which is essentially the practical application of theory, or the blending of theory and practice. Half of your 670 program hours are spent actually writing code, so you develop the muscle memory and experience of programming. This career is like an old-time trade, like becoming a blacksmith: you have to learn from masters and practice, practice, practice.

#3 Job placement services: If education is your goal, stop reading now. If a career is your goal, then you’re in the right place. Most undergraduate institutions have career service offices where you can get advice on your resume and attend job fairs. But Codeup makes you a promise: get a job after graduation or get 100% of your money back. There are no two ways about that: our singular focus is your outcome. Unlike traditional institutions, we sell jobs, not education. 

#4 Programming hours: This is similar to number 2, but so important that it’s worth repeating. The single most important thing a would-be developer can do is spend time writing code. Practice, practice, practice is the lesson above all else. You need to engage with the problem-solving cycle, learn how to fail, and learn to overcome the barriers inherent in programming. It’s a lot like learning an instrument. When you start out, you struggle to play single notes. You then practice scales and exercises, and before long you’re playing songs, thinking about the intonation and sound over playing the notes. With programming, you need to spend hours to get the basics under your fingers in order to graduate to complex problem-solving and application development. At Codeup, you spend 670 hours in hands-on, instructor-led classroom time. For those of you who like math, that’s roughly equivalent to the number of hours in a four-year degree. It just happens in 5 months, and those hours are hands-on.

If you’re still not convinced, consider the story of Po. Po graduated from Trinity University with a 4 year degree in Computer Science. He graduated with a good GPA, but couldn’t find work as a web developer for a whole year. Companies told him he didn’t have enough full-stack experience, a big enough portfolio, and was lacking modern technologies and languages. So, he came to Codeup. He paired his theory knowledge with our practical knowledge and landed a job immediately upon graduation. Since then, he’s moved to Dallas to join Cognizant, where he’s been able to double his salary and move into a new position as a lead developer. Learn more about Po’s journey here.

So, you want to be a software developer? A career accelerator like Codeup is the path for you. Still not convinced? Contact us and we’ll talk it out.

Financial Aid Options For Your Investment

Financial Aid Options For Your Investment

Anyone who has ever thought about a coding bootcamp has probably run up against this first barrier: the investment. Paying for a bootcamp is scary and confusing because it’s different from traditional education. There are no Pell grants or FAFSA loans. The university tuition center doesn’t process your application 6 months in advance. Today’s blog is here to break down financial aid and tuition funding for bootcamps.

First off, if you want to attend a bootcamp, there are a lot of ways to make it work financially. We recommend starting with the question of “Is this the right path for me?” instead of “Can I afford this investment?”, so you don’t count yourself out before the race starts.

Now, let’s dive into the types of tuition funding available:

  • Self-payment: This is the most straightforward form of payment. Many bootcamps will accept cash, check, credit card, and ACH. Some will even accept bitcoin! 
  • Loans: Probably the most common payment type is to secure a loan through a private third-party provider. A loan is when an entity lends you money that you repay over time with interest. Students are likely familiar with loans from FAFSA, but the bootcamp space is a little different. Traditional degree-granting colleges and universities are accredited and governed under the federal Department of Education. That means they are eligible for federal funding for student loans. However, most bootcamps do not grant credit and are not accredited. Since the emergence of the bootcamp model, we have also seen the growth in private providers who are specifically tailored to the bootcamp model. For example, Codeup partners with SkillsFund, Climb, and Meritize
  • Grants: A grant is a source of funding paid on your behalf without a requirement to be repaid, most often targeted at a particular mission. Many grants focus on workforce development and unemployment support. For example, Codeup partners with Workforce Solutions Alamo, Project QUEST, Skill QUEST, and Alamo Colleges who have provided grant funding for students to lower their tuition costs.
  • Scholarships: Scholarships fall into two buckets: externally-funded and internally-funded. Externally-funded scholarships are those where a third party, other than the school and the individual, pays for a portion of tuition. Internal scholarships are usually offered as tuition discounts from the school itself. For example, Codeup offers about $27,000 per class in scholarships to women, minorities, LGBTQIA, veterans, and first responders to increase access to tech careers.
  • VA Benefits: The last and least common form of tuition payment is VA Benefits. There are two groups here. Schools that have been in operation for over 2 years can apply to utilize VA Educational Benefits so transitioning service members and military veterans can use government benefits to cover school costs, most commonly with the Post 9-11 GI Bill. The second type of benefit falls under Employment Benefits, through which eligible providers can accept Vocational Rehabilitation, allowing veterans with 10% or more of service related disability to re-skill. Codeup was one of the first bootcamps to be approved by the VA and offers both of the above forms of benefits. Schools must go through a rigorous approval process and ongoing compliance requirements to accept these benefits.

Now that you have an understanding of the types of benefits for your investment, let’s understand their relatives pros and cons. 

                          Type of funding                            

                                    Pros                                 

Cons

Self-payment

No interest

No application process

Full payment due up front

Loans

Deferred tuition paymentLoan interest accrues

Grants

Free money!Application and eligibility determination process
ScholarshipsFree money!

Not everyone is eligible

VA BenefitsTuition and monthly housing stipend

Only veterans and dependents are eligible

What’s next? The remaining problem is that planning your tuition is still a complicated and multifaceted process. You have to explore grant eligibility, apply for scholarships, qualify for loans, and arrange payments. To help you through this, at Codeup, we have a full-time Enrollment and Financial Aid Manager on staff to help you!

Get started at codeup.com/apply to start the conversation around the financial aid you qualify for your future career in tech!

Hey Dallas, Meet Your Software Development Mentors!

Meet Your Dallas Mentors!

We may be new to town here in Dallas, but Codeup has a long history of training software developers. After launching our first class in February 2014, we’ve now successfully trained 574 alumni. So while the streets might look different around 75202, the code looks the same. To anyone nervous about trusting us ‘newbies’ with your careers, meet the incredible team of software development mentors you’ll get to learn from. 

Professionally, Douglas Hirsh and Fernando Mendoza have over 30 years of industry experience between them. They’ve worked at household names like CitiBank and bring a wide range of diverse industry experience across gaming, oil, and SAAS. Combined, they also bring nearly 10 years of formal teaching experience. Fernando worked as an instructor over the weekends while he was going through University for four years, and is also one of our most tenured instructors with almost 4 years of Codeup experience under his belt. PS, that’s over 20 cohorts and 400 students! Douglas is a life long mentor, but also taught at another coding bootcamp earlier in his career before joining Codeup.

Technically, the pair is experienced in a wide range of languages and technologies, including: 

  • OOP and back-end tech: PHP, Java, C#, Ruby, Node.js, Visual Basic, VB.NET, Andriod Development
  • Database tools: MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, Oracle
  • Front-end technologies: JavaScript, Angular, React, HTML, CSS, JQuery, Ajax, PWA apps
  • Web frameworks: Spring Boot, Laravel, CodeIgniter, ASP.NET Web Forms/MVC/Web API
  • Testing tools: JUnit, PHPUnit, NUnit, MSTest, Jasmine

But what’s our favorite part of this dynamic duo? They come from opposite ends of the development world. 

Douglas is a self-taught programmer. He started self-teaching at the age of 12 with a C++ book, and by the time he was 19 he was being paid to write code. Over the next 18 years, Douglas worked his way up to a Senior Developer and even a Chief Technology Officer. So although he wasn’t formally trained, Douglas knows not only the ins and outs of software development, but he also knows first-hand what it’s like to self-teach, learn on the job, and follow a non-traditional career path.

Fernando has also been programming since he was 15. He then received his BS in Computer Systems Engineering from the Institute of Technology in Uruapan, Mexico. Over the next 12 years, he progressed from a Jr. Developer to a Senior Web Developer. He even has his own freelance web development agency. With his formal background, Fernando brings deep expertise in software architecture, database design and administration, and CS theory.

When you join Codeup Dallas, you first and foremost join a classroom to learn alongside Senior Developers with 30+ years of practical experience and 10+ years of teaching experience. Contact us today to learn about kickstarting your career in software development in the quickly growing Dallas market!

Join us for our next learn to code workshop, where you will get to meet and learn from your Dallas software developer mentors! Click here to find workshops and more at our Codeup Dallas campus. 

Hey San Antonio, Meet Your Data Science Mentors

In February 2019, Codeup launched the very first (and still the only) Data Science career accelerator in San Antonio. Our first class graduated 17 students with an 88% employment rate for an average starting salary of $72,000. Right now, our second class is cranking through their final capstone projects, in which they take a Data Science project to life. As we gear up to launch our 3rd class next month, let’s take a moment to introduce you to the incredible data science mentors helping you make a career transition. 

Between them, Maggie Giust, Zach Gulde, and Ryan Orsinger have over 20 years of technical industry experience. They’ve worked as data analysts, data scientists, software developers, curriculum developers, instructors, and more. They’ve worked at large companies like Rackspace and HEB, and smaller companies like Whiskr and Grok Interactive. Together, they have over 12 years of teaching experience at Codeup and the university level

As we’ve talked about before (see What is Data Science blog), Data Science is the intersection of programming, math/stats, and domain expertise. That means that in order to learn this material and make a successful career transition, it’s even more important in this field than any other to have a diverse set of instructor backgrounds. Let’s break down our staff expertise by those categories:

Domain expertise: Domain expertise means having deep technical experience AND applying that experience across multiple industries and domains. 

Maggie has worked in data science for 7 years and data roles for 10. Maggie worked in finance practicing data science for security intelligence with Capital Group, built machine learning recommender systems for consumer retail at HEB, and produced data science insights at Rackspace to improve customer satisfaction.  Prior to joining Codeup, Maggie’s educational experience includes teaching high school math as well as the development and delivery of data science content and curriculum at both Codeup and Trinity University, where she serves as an adjunct instructor of data science.

Zach has been instructing, writing curriculum, and programming internal applications for Codeup since 2016. He has instructed hundreds of programmers and is Codeup’s principle curriculum developer. If you printed out all the curriculum Zach has authored for both Data Science and Web Development, it would be more than 1000 pages. In addition to his work with Codeup, Zach has worked on big data projects in the travel industry.

Ryan began building web applications for small and medium sized businesses in 2007 and has written software ranging from custom CRM systems for real estate brokerages to an event management platform for Dell. As Codeup’s most senior instructor, Ryan has instructed and mentored 37 data scientists and over 500 software developers.

This means that you will learn what businesses value from instructors who are experienced practitioners who have created technical solutions for multiple industries.

Math/Stats: Maggie holds a BS in Mathematics from UTSA and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Data Analytics. Ryan holds a BA from Trinity University in economics. In addition to building out the statistics curriculum for Codeup’s Data Science program, Zach is working on his degree in Software Development. One of our students said they learned more in one week of stats at Codeup than an entire semester at college. 

Programming: This is really where we shine! Zach and Ryan have been teaching at Codeup for 4 years in our web development program and have developed special depth of expertise in programming and teaching programming. They each have experience across OOP in Java, PHP, and Python, as well as database experience in SQL and web framework expertise in Laravel and Spring. They each have experience in both object oriented and functional programming, and experience building database-backed full-stack web applications in numerous languages (including Python, Java, Javascript, and Clojure) and web frameworks. Maggie has been working in R and Python for years in her different data science roles. When it comes to programming, these 3 can not only build you a Machine Learning model, but they can build a full-stack application, hosting infrastructure, database, and simple UI to go along with it.

What does this mean for you? When you join Codeup, you step into a classroom where the diverse skills needed in the field are represented in spades in your instructional staff. Not only that, but these are three incredible human beings with a passion for education and up-leveling others. If you aren’t satisfied in your career and are looking to make an impact, reach out to us. As our very own Ryan Orsinger likes to say, onward and upward!

Want to learn more about your mentors? Check them out here!

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Breaking the Mold: My Journey To Become A Software Developer

By Ryan Smith, Codeup Alumnus

Whenever I tell someone that I’m a software developer, I generally get the surprised “You? You’re a software developer?”.

I, like many others that have graduated from Codeup, don’t fit the mold most people think of when they think of people in tech.

To be honest, I can barely believe that I am one as well. Throughout 12 years in school, I was a straight C or D student when it came to math or science and wasn’t super excited about college. When I graduated, instead of going to college, I became a missionary in Colombia for two years. Colombia was an intense, immersive experience and I figured that when I got back to the States I would try out college. The results? I lasted a semester in college and did horrible in my science class. My first week in college and I called a Marine Corps recruiter to let him know that I would be joining as soon as possible. College just wasn’t for me. A week after my first semester and I was in boot camp. I spent the next 5 years in The Marine Corps mostly as a military working dog handler, trainer and instructor. It was honestly the best job I ever had.

Unfortunately, the military had other plans for me that didn’t involve working with dogs, so I got out and worked as a private security dog handler at the Baghdad embassy for a short time. I figured this was the next logical step. I came to find out that the job sounded good on paper, but sitting at a guard shack for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, left me feeling unfulfilled and wanting more out of my life. A week before going back to Baghdad for the last time, I was toying with the idea of coding and came across Codeup. I was accepted into the program a couple of days later and left for Baghdad and started once I returned. Compared to all my life experiences, Codeup was mentally one of the hardest things I’ve accomplished. But if I can do it, so can you. What would have taken me years and years to accomplish, took me about 5 months. Less than two weeks after I graduated Codeup I was offered a job as a software developer at a well-known company where I’ll start in about a week.

The decision to go to Codeup, give it my all and come out the other side a software developer- will affect my life in every way and also that of my future family. I’m grateful for all the staff and instructors there and thankful that I don’t just have a graduation certificate, but the actual skills I need to succeed for the rest of my life.

Are Coding Schools Regulated In Texas? It Depends.

by Paul Flahive, Tech Reporter at TPR

In December a post on LinkedIn celebrated the forthcoming launch of a coding program called Codebound, a partnership between San Antonio’s University of the Incarnate Word and local software studio Appddiction.

Then a competitor questioned the legitimacy of the training program.

“It looks like Codebound hasn’t been licensed by the state of Texas,” said Dimitri Antoniou in the post’s comments section. “In which case any and all advertising for their programs would be illegal and entitle students to a full tuition refund.”

Click here to read full story by Texas Public Radio.

Thinking About a Bootcamp to Transition Careers?

Thinking About a Bootcamp To Transition Careers?

Five Questions to Ask Yourself When Thinking About a Bootcamp to Transition Your Career

When I was researching ways to transition my career from education to the tech field, I wasn’t really sure about the questions I should be asking myself. It’s hard to know what you should be thinking about when it comes to doing something you’ve never done before; the more drastic the transition, the more difficult it is to know! For me, time was a deciding factor because I’m an adult with a family and all of the responsibilities that come along with that role. I knew I wanted a non-traditional path to my new career, and that’s how I found Codeup, a career accelerator in San Antonio, Texas. A year and a half after I started researching my options, I’m a month away from completing Codeup’s Data Science program, and I have a much better idea of what you might want to think about if you’re starting to do your own research.

Here are five questions to ask yourself if you are thinking about a bootcamp to transition your career.

  1. What is my end goal? If like me, you are looking to transition from one career to another, you should be comfortable with the idea that whether you are going into web development or data science, you will be starting out as a junior. I was in education for almost two decades, so when I left, I was at the top of my profession. It’s one thing to think about how exciting it will be to learn and do new things, but the reality can be more jarring than you think. Be prepared to struggle like you haven’t in many years and even fail sometimes. Keep your eyes on the prize, landing that first job in a new field, and cut yourself some slack as you struggle with new concepts and experiences. You didn’t start at the top in your last career, and this one will be no different.
  2. How stable is my personal life? If you’re thinking about undertaking an intensive program to start the next chapter of your life, the last thing you need is to be distracted by a shaky personal life. You’re going to need some type of outside support, so you can focus all of your energy and attention on learning and practicing new skills. The cool thing about an intensive program like a bootcamp is that you are done in a fraction of the time it takes to finish a traditional degree. You will often have to sacrifice your nights and weekends, though, and that can be rough on your loved ones. Make sure to think and talk about those sacrifices before you commit to a program. Remember, it’s only for a short time!
  3. How much time do I need to prepare myself? I took a full year to get my life in order before starting my twenty-week data science program, and that worked for me. That gave me time to complete my teaching contract, save a little money, and complete the intensive amount of pre-work I needed to do for my program. I know most of the students in my cohort did not need that much time to prepare, so the time you need will be entirely up to your unique situation. Be honest with yourself, and don’t let others make you feel rushed. This is a lifestyle change, so build a solid foundation for your future success.
  4. Are my finances in order? This one goes along with preparing yourself, but it’s important enough to deserve its own question. At Codeup, you are strongly encouraged not to work during your program, and there is good reason for that. For a short window, you are committing all of your resources to a goal, and most likely you will need most of your outside time to study and work on projects. This is a huge sacrifice for most independent adults, so make sure you are diligent when answering this question. There were a few people in my cohort who had no choice but to keep a part-time job on the side. Be realistic with yourself about how challenging this new field is going to be for you, about family responsibilities you may have, and plan accordingly for the months you will be without an income.
  5. Do I have a Plan B? You might expect me to tell you here that you should have a good, solid Plan B in place in case you bomb out of your program. Only you know what you really need to be successful, but I will tell you that I had no Plan B, and I used that to motivate me during the most challenging times of my program. There are going to be times when you feel like you emotionally and even physically can’t keep going in such an intensive program. If I had had an easier and acceptable backup plan, there are many times I may have been tempted to take that option. As I head into my capstone project, I’m so happy and proud that I kept pushing myself to meet the challenges I faced along this journey. You should decide before you start if a Plan B will help or hurt you. Personally, I gave myself no option but to succeed.

 

There are so many things to consider when planning a major transition in your life, but asking yourself these five questions is a good place to start. Your answers and your journey will be uniquely yours, so don’t be discouraged if they look different from other students in your chosen program. Even with the growing appreciation for diversity in our workplaces, it can be intimidating to pursue your passion if you have a non-traditional background; trust me, I know! All I can tell you is that there is room for passionate and committed people in every field, so do your research and go get your dream life.

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WRITTEN BY

Educator, data scientist, barre junkie. I work and play in San Antonio with my husband, daughter, and pup. Connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/faithkane

 

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