As a career accelerator with a tuition refund guarantee, we have always been focused on employment outcomes for our students. Going Remote hasn’t changed that! We thought we’d pause today to explain how.
First of all, our career placement services are built on one-on-one relationships. Our Employer Partnership Managers work with students individually to develop a professional portfolio, define a strategy, and conduct a job search. And they don’t let off until you’ve signed that offer letter! Since we’ve gone remote, our placement team has digitized their curriculum so it’s accessible to all our students, and they’ve continued working one-on-one over Zoom.
Those one-on-one relationships aren’t exclusive to students. It’s the same approach our team takes with their network of hiring managers and recruiters. From curriculum advisory panels to guest speaker lunchtime talks, we involve employers as often as we can. We forge a personal relationship that encourages repeat hiring, open communication, and trust.
Lastly, your job search kicks off with a bang in our staple Developer Days and Data Scientist Days. Normally, these are in-person demonstrations of capstone projects that end in a reverse job fair with employers. On April 16th, we hosted our first-ever virtual Developer Day. Over 160 people tuned into it live! Not only did we maintain the quality of the event, but we increased attendance and visibility. That event, especially while remote, kick starts your job search, connects you with employers, and increases your visibility as a candidate.
In person or remote, we remain committed to empowering life change and helping our students land jobs in new career fields.
If you’ve been affected by COVID-19 in any way (layoffs, health, family, etc), check out our recently announced COVID-19 Relief Scholarship.
Hi, my name is Douglas Hirsh, and I’m a Web Development Instructor at Codeup Dallas! I’m passionate about technology, software, human behavior, and teaching. As we prepare to launch our first cohort in Dallas, I want to share why I decided to teach at Codeup.
Quick about me: I’m a self-taught developer! I have enjoyed an 18 year career in tech, during which I’ve worked at companies ranging from small startups to Fortune 50 and made my way up through the ranks to Senior Developer. I’ve also worked as an instructor at another coding bootcamp and a CTO of a local startup.
How did I hear about Codeup? I saw them post on Slack! I was excited about the idea of returning to teaching, and reached out. We began talking, and I spent over a dozen hours getting to know their team, from management to instruction. During our conversations, I made up my mind: I wanted to work for Codeup. Here’s why!
#1: Codeup has a well-thought-out and high-quality curriculum. Not only that, but it teaches programming fundamentals. Some bootcamps teach programs that cover a dozen different technologies: React, Angular, Node, Ruby, Rails, Mongo DB, MySQL, Python, etc. As a developer, I can tell you: that’s crazy. Instead of a list of keywords, I discovered Codeup teaches a narrow scope of technologies with a focus on teaching students how to learn software development, giving them the power to go learn whatever technologies they want.
#2: Codeup promises, and follows through, to refund 100% of a student’s tuition if they don’t find a job after graduation. A lot of places say, ‘Hey come on over, we’ll help!’ I knew Codeup was for real and not just a money grab when they told me: “if a student does everything they’re supposed to and doesn’t find a job, that’s on us, not them.”
#3: Codeup has an impressive network of employer partners. They place graduates at companies like USAA, Accenture, Oracle, SWBC, and other large companies with a reputation. Having worked at a bootcamp, I know exactly how hard it is to get a company like USAA to consider bootcamp grads. That upped their cred in my book WAY high.
#4: Codeup accepts the GI Bill. In my eyes, the government legitimized them with their stamp of approval.
Lastly, and most importantly, Codeup helped me realize my passion for helping bring other people into this amazing field. I’m so excited that I get to teach at Codeup, and help so many find a career they love. If you want to learn to code or start a new career, reach out to us – we’d love for you to decide to learn at Codeup.
This time last year I was a college student majoring in Kinesiology and decided to take a step down from management roles to focus on school. I didn’t have any major goals or expected to make any life-changing decisions, then I lost my best friend, my mentor in life.
Tito Bradshaw lived life to the fullest and was a leader in the cycling community. This death kickstarted me onto a path to change my life and do more than I ever thought I was capable of. Like Tito, I decided to go on an adventure and explore New York, push my body past its limits in strength and endurance and somehow I ended up in the right place at the right time and met some people from Codeup.
I always thought I would just be in sales my entire life and have an uneventful life, this year I have done more than I could have ever imagined. Conversations went from “Look how much I sold!” to “Look what I programmed!!!”.
I am so humbled to end this year not as “Eddy the Sales guy” but as a Software Developer! I’m excited to land my first dev role, explore new city’s and most importantly give back to my community. I know if Tito was here he would be proud.
Just a few months before starting at Codeup in the Redwood cohort, I was sitting in the football stadium at the University of Colorado at Boulder, pondering what I would do after graduation. The commencement speaker that year was Kate Fagan, a sports reporter and commentator at ESPN. In her speech, something she said stuck out to me: “Try replacing ‘should’ with ‘want’ and, as frequently as you are able, make decisions with that rubric. Life is best when your ‘should’ and your ‘want’ are aligned.” Sitting there in that stadium, I realized that I knew exactly what I should be doing after graduating, which was applying to attend graduate school for the next five years. But the actual truth was, I didn’t know what I truly wanted. Did I really want to jump into something for five years that I wasn’t completely sure about?
With this in mind I moved to San Antonio after graduation, mostly to be closer to my family. One night at the dinner table, my brother-in-law mentioned several eye-catching billboards around town promoting a local coding bootcamp named Codeup. I had dabbled a bit in coding when I was in college, so my interest was immediately piqued. However, there were doubts nagging at the back of my mind. Am I even capable enough to attend an intensive coding bootcamp like this? I’m not really a super logical person… Am I cut out for this? etc, etc. Despite having a ton of reservations about my capabilities and the usefulness of attending a boot camp, I decided to take a leap of faith. And just a year-and-a-half later, I celebrated my one year as a software developer at Armor in Richardson, TX. In some ways, it feels like a dream. The hard work I put in, the days and nights of impassioned coding, pushing through all the excuses… and finally landing a dream job?! It’s a colorful blur.
So that’s why in this post, I want to address five common excuses that may be keeping you from considering a career in technology. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really make sense to let your fears and nagging doubts keep you from the job of your dreams.
1. “I’m not cut out for a career in tech”
This was one of the primary fears at the forefront of my mind when thinking about doing a complete shift to a technology career. And, as I went through Codeup, I heard this many times from my peers. To be honest, it doesn’t ever fully go away. There are days even now at work where I think I’m in over my head and that I don’t belong there (Imposter Syndrome, anyone?). This fear completely disregards the fact that I’m already doing it. The truth is, it isn’t always easy. Technology is constantly changing, creating new problems and forcing those within the field to continuously find new solutions. At my company, even our most senior developers are learning something new every day. We all have our doubts sometimes, but those self-limiting beliefs shouldn’t keep you from pursuing anything you set your mind to.
2. “I wouldn’t fit in with engineers”
Let me ask you something. What does a veteran, electrical technician, and college music teacher have in common? Well, there was at least one of each in my cohort at Codeup, and all of them excelled and went on to become software developers. Other characters in my cohort included a stay-at-home-mom, barista, marketing professional, and a chef. All of these, however, are just arbitrary labels. None of these people told themselves “I’m just going to be a barista forever, because that’s who I am” or “My personality only suits being in a teacher, so I’m not going to try something different.” The reality is, our self-concept is always constantly shifting. There was such a colorful diversity of backgrounds, personalities, and skill sets at Codeup, proving that there’s no one type or mold of individual that can pursue a technology career.
3. “I don’t want to work alone all day staring at a computer screen”
There are days where indeed this is the case for me, just “heads down coding”, but more often than not my days are filled with collaboration and communication with my teammates. When someone runs into a problem they don’t have the knowledge to solve, they track down someone who does. When a few of us are working in the same codebase, we make sure to frequently communicate to make sure we’re not stepping on each other’s toes. On top of that, we get to be a part of producing the product, providing feedback and suggestions. There are very few days where I just sit at my desk all day, boring holes into my computer screen. Although my experience may certainly be atypical, the main point I’m trying to make is that there is a large range of positions and cultures within the technology field. There are also other roles within the technology field beyond coding and data analytics, such as evangelists and solutions consultants. Both of these have lots of interaction with people and clients! Don’t be afraid to try a few different things until you find your fit.
4. “I don’t have enough experience”
Most of us at Codeup did not come in with prior experience in coding. The great thing about coding bootcamps is that they typically take you from 0 to 100 in a condensed period of time. They guide you through the entire process, allowing you to maximize your success, with everything from technical skills, networking, portfolio-building, and resume review. Even with bootcamps aside, there is a plethora of both paid and free resources online that give you the ability to learn a lot of the preliminary skills you would need. There are communities (e.g. Chingu) with the sole purpose of learning and building projects in new technologies. Experience can be gained, so seek out those resources. They’re only a few keystrokes away.
One thing to note about the technology field is that it’s becoming more and more heavily based on experience and not your formal education. Many companies will see the value in someone who has practical experience. The reality is that many companies are shifting towards seeking out individuals that can come in and hit the ground running with practical know-how instead of purely theoretical education.
5. “I’m not tech savvy enough.”
Although basic computer skills are necessary for success, it’s probably not as much as you think. And like I mentioned above, being able to excel in this field is all about embracing change and learning to learn. You may think you’re not tech savvy because you always have issues with your radio or you can’t get your apps to work right or you get frustrated with your computer software for not doing what you want it to – all of these things are valid struggles. Trust me, I’ve been there. The reality is this: Many of these skills can be learned.
As you look into pursuing a career in the technology field, don’t let these thought patterns keep you from getting where you want to be. Instead, ask yourself the real questions: Why do I want to do this? What kind of lifestyle do I see for myself? What am I passionate about? Excuses are excuses, not truths about you and your life. Set a vision and relentlessly pursue it, letting all these limiting beliefs slide off of you. They don’t have to define your journey.
Joyce Ling is a software developer at a cloud security company based in Richardson, TX. In her free time, she sings in a women’s chorus, rock climbs, plays guitar, and currently runs an organization to bring queer women together in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex.
Codeup welcomed the Wrangell cohort on July 23. With the start of this cohort, we launched a new blog series: the Codeup Student Check In. We’ll interview a student over the course of the 4.5 months to see how things are progressing from first impressions all the way to graduation. Thus, welcome to the Codeup Student Check In: Month 3!
Codeup: How has your experience been at Codeup so far?
Wrangell Student: I’ve had a great experience so far. Everything has been what I imagined and more. I have learned things in a short amount of time that otherwise would’ve taken me months upon months to learn. The people here are some of the kindest and most supportive people that I’ve met in a long time, and I’m happy to have this experience in my life.
C: Describe what you’re learning right now. Is it hard/fun/challenging?
S: We’ve just started our capstone project which is the final hurrah of our Codeup experience. We are in the planning stages and it’s honestly a little overwhelming due to the sheer amount of information we’re communicating to our teammates and because of the volume of work that’s going to be done over this next week or two. Nonetheless, I am excited by the challenge and I know that our final project is going to be something that I will be really proud of and really happy to have been a part of. I’m excited to see how it will all pan out.
C: How has the learning process/information gathering been?
S: I love doing research and the focus of my research has shifted from solely academic to a balance between academic and professional. I am still researching new technologies as well as doing further research into the current curriculum but now I am also doing research into potential companies I’d like to work with. I’m interested in their mission and if their goals align with mine, both short and long term.
C:What has been the most memorable part of this month?
S:The most memorable part of this month has been actually shopping for new interview outfits, looking at myself in the mirror, and seeing a young professional. This has been one of my long-term goals and it’s a great experience seeing it come to fruition.
C:How do you feel your skill level compares to last month?
S: I think my skill levels are increasing each month. Now that we are going into full stack applications I can finally see the cumulative success of my time here.
C: How have the instructors and staff been helpful? Have you started working with the placement side of Codeup? If so, can you elaborate on that?
S: I am grateful for the mock interview process with the instructors. It’s really helpful to have your instructors grade you on your performance and prep you for real world interviews. These instructors all have some sort of practical experience and firsthand knowledge of the professional world. Their experience and advice is invaluable.
C: Did you learn anything new at Codeup that you weren’t expecting?
S: I wasn’t expecting to learn as many people skills as I did. I thought this was strictly a technical school and this really came as a surprise. I have really learned how to network and how to talk to people that I otherwise would have been scared to talk to. I’ve learned that people are people, just humans, and improving conversational skills to talk with them is valuable. Learning the value of a human connection in the professional world is a very exciting thing.
C: Have you been interviewing for jobs? What has that been like? If not, do you know what type of role you are looking for? (Ie. Developer, Q/A, Tech sales, Tech Ed, etc)
S: I’ve had a few interviews this weekend and they have been very exciting and stressful. Having interviews back to back is both a blessing and a curse. It’s important to destress at home and really be aware of your emotions and reactions to stress. Time management is another big challenge. How much time do I put into studying versus interview prep? How much time can I dedicate to other life roles and be a good girlfriend, good daughter, and good pet owner while still fulfilling my role as a student and job seeker? These challenges are tough to overcome, and this is where emotional awareness can really help.
C: If you can give one piece of advice to any prospective students, what would it be?
S: Really do your research. Know what you’re getting into. You can’t go into anything blind! Get as much knowledge as you can so you can thoroughly prepare for and enjoy this journey. A great plan will save you a lot of suffering in the long run.
Codeup welcomed our newest cohort, the Wrangell cohort, on July 23. With the start of this cohort, we are launching a new blog series: the Codeup Student Check In. We’ll interview a student over the course of the 4.5 months to see how things are progressing from first impressions all the way to graduation. Thus, welcome to the Codeup Student Check In: Month 2!
We took the time to sit down with our Wrangell student to see how they’ve been doing so far!
Codeup: Describe what you’re learning right now. Is it hard/fun/challenging?
Wrangell Student: In this section of the curriculum we are learning about the basics of Java and the building blocks that make up the language. This language is more verbose than previous material, and one of the hardest parts is understanding the instructions and translating them to code.
C: How has the learning process/information gathering been?
S: A wide variety of resources are available. In addition to the curriculum, I utilize the Head First Java book and the Oracle documentation. Another challenge is combining the knowledge from all these resources into one.
C: How do you feel your skill level compares to last month?
S: Comparing my skill level now with that of last month is no contest. Everyone around me is improving as well and I am excited to see my classmates skill levels growing. Our skills are improving exponentially!
C: How have the instructors and staff been helpful?
S: The instructors hold study hall before class and after to give us extra help. They’re constantly posting resources in our slack channel and encouraging us to ask questions. They have no problem going back to review material or clarify any questions we have. At the same time, they encourage our learning. They don’t give us the answer if it’s obvious or an easily searchable question.
C: Share a fun experience you had at Codeup!
Our great staff gave us some very cool thermoses. I’m a diehard sticker fan. I immediately ordered coding and anime related stickers for this thermos and they’re going straight on the thermos the moment they come in!
C: What has been the most memorable part of this month and has anything exciting happened?
Something exciting that happened was that I got my first star! Instructors give us stars for asking good questions. I’m the type of person who needs to google the answer first before asking something. I wouldn’t want to ask something that is easily available on the internet. However, Java is very challenging, and I just needed to ask questions and I got a star! Super exciting!
I remember during my first day of Codeup I began to doubt my ability to overcome the challenges that lay ahead. I soon learned that what I was experiencing was “impostor syndrome.” Jason Straughan, Codeup’s CEO, introduced us to this phenomenon that same day. Thanks to his kind advice I was able to identify, and overcome my doubts. Codeup shared many valuable lessons with me, but some lessons were taught through exposure outside of the Vogue building. If you decide to enroll at Codeup, you will find yourself learning many things outside the classroom. I realized through my own journey that there are things Codeup didn’t tell me. So, I’ve narrowed it down to the 5 main things I had to learn on my own as a newly placed software developer.
You Need to be Multilingual
You need to be adaptable and willing to open your ears to all ideas. They say the best way to learn a different language is through practice. In most of our professional and non-professional lives, relationships will have an assigned lingo to properly cater to that relationship. Furthermore, professional groups and organizations like projectQUEST, H-E-B, and Codeup have their own kind of language. These languages are used to identify and recognize individuals of that group or organization. It is important to keep this in mind before you start ANY application process, or start working with new people.
Even though I did not have a college degree, I still had an interest in developing coding skills. I understood early on in my application process that I was in control of my outcome. I assumed determination contained the key to my success, and soon found myself being referred to ProjectQUEST for financial assistance.I would have never known about ProjectQUEST if the Codeup staff had not offered this vital information. The dedication and support offered by these organizations helped me through the multiple application processes. If you plan to visit projectQUEST or Workforce Solutions to inquire about their grants, make sure you’re determined to learn their language, and earn the money. If you have the right amount of determination you can find the proper channels fueling San Antonio’s STEM ecosystem through a simple Google search. Determination is one of the common denominators all Codeup graduates share, and if you too share this similarity, check out the scholarships offered by Codeup.
Codeup’s mission statement is the following, “At Codeup, we focus on two things: you and your success. Find a job within six months of graduation, or get 50% of your tuition returned.” Let me assure you they deliver in service, content, and in career guidance. However, the staff cannot force you to either study the curriculum or develop programming skills for you. There are people that come ready to overcome adversity, then there are the few who expect to be fed morning tacos with a silver spoon. If you’re seriously considering Codeup, you need to prepare yourself to manage the beautiful chaos of assignments, interviews, and presentations.
My high school soccer coach had a saying, “Do you think Ronaldo is going to parachute from a helicopter and score for you?” We never expected Ronaldo at our high school practices but that was our coach handing down some of his kind wisdom. He used this as a tactic to build the team up before the start of our shooting drills. Ronaldo is a world star player who plays at a professional level so what coach Ramos was really trying to say was, “Work hard if you want the goal. Don’t expect someone to come and score for you!” You need to have a sense of responsibility before embarking on your own journey and launching your career.
Have a servant’s heart.
Some lessons weren’t coming from a screen or projector and I considered these some of my favorite lessons because they spoke more about human character. A perfect example is when the Codeup staff noticed a need in our community and decided to share their passion for service with all San Antonians. The office staff volunteered to serve at the San Antonio Food Bank. This was one of the unspoken teachings Codeup shared with me – these amazing individuals create an environment where you can grow in skill and as a human being. Kudos to them!
I will iterate once again that Codeup will not force you to do something you don’t want to do. As a newly placed member of this ecosystem and a Codeup graduate I would like to ask Codeup fellows and members of the community to ponder, “How are we contributing to the San Antonio ecosystem?” Having the heart of a servant is something Codeup can’t force you to do, but is a skill necessary to achieve self growth and development.
Codeup is geared to focus on your professional life, and not your waistline. The Codeup family loves to spoil the cohorts with food, they must know the way to a developer’s heart. The morning tacos, the pizza, and snacks should be enough to lure you into the Vogue building. I loved every bite and sip of these delicious perks. However I do have to confess I gained a few pounds during my time at Codeup. I was also on a budget so the ramen noodle isle at the Walgreens became very familiar. Now that I look back I wish I only had one slice of pizza instead of my usual three.
One of the hardest parts of my Codeup journey was finding time to exercise. Taking care of myself felt impossible in this intense immersive environment, but believe me when I say “It is possible!” This was thanks to one of my colleagues, who insisted on completing daily reps of stairs up and down the Travis Park garage.I felt instant restoration after just a few days of exercise. This simple exercise routine helped me deal with stress and gave me enough time to meditate on the things that pushed me towards triumph.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
The saying “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” has stuck with me since I was thirteen years old, and made the dumb decision to complain about my job in front of my dad. My dad was not fond of me complaining of the man who signed my checks, so he shared a lesson behind his belligerent words. This made me realize that my ego was blocking my ability to humble myself, and that I needed to be thankful to the people that were trying to help me. His wise words taught me to stay loyal to those who become part of my upbringing.
This saying has stuck with me ever since, and I decided to mark it as a special lesson. A lesson I could only acquired through experience. I realize now the same goes with any organization or relationship that we hold, professional or non professional. We should be able to acknowledge where our loyalties stand, and if we are giving the proper amount of recognition to those who have helped us.
The Codeup staff did everything in their power to plug me into a bigger network of opportunities. Lastly, I was exposed to a network of genuinely loving, and caring people. These amazing benefits make me appreciate the Codeup program so much more. I walked in with the desire to learn computer programming. I am leaving with the ability and skills that say “I am a software developer!”
Competitor Bootcamps Are Closing. Is the Model in Danger?
Is the programming bootcamp model in danger?
In recent news, DevBootcamp and The Iron Yard announced that they are closing their doors. This is big news. DevBootcamp was the first programming bootcamp model and The Iron Yard is a national player with 15 campuses across the U.S. In both cases, the companies cited an unsustainable business model. Does that mean the boot-camp model is dead?
Bootcamps exist because traditional education models have failed to provide students job-ready skills for the 21st century. Students demand better employment options from their education. Employers demand skilled and job ready candidates. Big Education’s failure to meet those needs through traditional methods created the fertile ground for the new business model of the programming bootcamp.
Education giant Kaplan and Apollo Education Group (owner of University of Phoenix) bought their way into this new educational model when they purchased The Iron Yard and DevBootcamp. They purchased their competition with the intent to scale up the model. Unfortunately, Big Education is too habituated to coming up short for students. They bought the upstarts that challenged them, tried making changes to run those bootcamps in the “Big Education” way, and, sadly, they’ve closed the doors when they realized that scaling education is more challenging when student outcomes truly matter.
The bootcamp model is still new and there will be plenty consolidation, competition, and changes in the future. This model is based on actually being adaptive, innovative, and sustainable. And there’s always room for innovation.
What we’ve learned at Codeup…
Education is challenging to scale.
Prioritizing quality over growth pays off.
What we’re doing at Codeup…
Higher standards in our application process are leading to better student outcomes.
Our reputation and commitment to quality is opening new doors to previously uninterested/unreachable employers.
In the beginning, the majority of Codeup graduates went to work with startups and small businesses. We’re now seeing a larger amount of our graduates place at medium to large sized businesses.
Demand is growing and employers are learning that the results are in the graduates.
Codeup’s model is sustainable, inclusive, and works.
Call or contact us today to see how Codeup’s commitment to quality and approach to being a career accelerator can make a profound difference in your life.
A New Trend: People Relocating to San Antonio for Codeup
Starting early in 2014, we started seeing an interesting trend: the number of applicants from outside of San Antonio began growing. While our first class was 95% San Antonio residents, we’re now seeing over 50% of applicants from outside our fair city.
This recent article from Silicon Hills News is pretty representative of this trend. Laura Lorek, the founder and publisher, profiled a number of the folks who’ve come from places like Indiana, Missouri or Austin to do our program:
At Codeup, we’re often asked how our program compares with Rackspace’s Open Cloud Academy (OCA). As we operate out of the same building and teach concepts in a somewhat similar domain to a lay-person, it’s important to note that we probably have less in common than one might think.
Here are some differences:
At Codeup, you’re becoming a programmer/software engineer/web developer, and at Rackspace OCA, you’re en route to be a systems/network administrator.
Codeup teaches you how to build things, while Rackspace OCA teaches you how to maintain and manage things others have built.
Class sizes at Codeup are smaller, a more intense program, more instructors per student, and duration is longer.
Codeup is more expensive (We think you get what you pay for!)
Codeup is more selective than Rackspace OCA- our acceptance rate is right around 35%.
More companies need programmers (i.e. Codeup grads) than Linux admins (OCA grads).
Depending on your salary statistic website of choice, you’ll get a different answer to the always-important “How much money will I make?” question. Averaging results from various websites, salaries tend to be pretty similar across the two career tracks. That said, web/software developers enjoy a greater array of career options than do IT systems administrators.
Don’t get us wrong, we think Rackspace OCA is a great thing. It’s right for some people and Codeup is right for others. No matter what, please tell your friends that either is a great route to get into the tech industry.