Demo Day Summary

Demo Day Summary

 

Demo Day at our new space in Geekdom’s Event Centre was a success! Read on for a recap of Codeup students’ final projects.

My Garage Sale

Kevin Bongiovanni, Nicole DeBord, Felice Malaszowski
My Garage Sale offers a promotional platform for home garage sales. Hosts can create seamless sale pages and avid “pickers” can browse local listings quickly and conveniently.

The app was built using the Laravel framework, PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, jQuery, CSS3, HTML5, Twitter Bootstrap, and the Google Maps API. Version control was handled with GitHub. My Garage Sale also features tagging systems and image uploads.

InsureJoy

 

Chris Fuhrman, Travis French, Marissa Vega
InsureJoy takes the hassle out of buying life insurance. Users can browse life insurance policies without overwhelming and pushy insurance agents, using simple, clear, and transparent price comparisons.

This web app was built using Laravel, PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, jQuery, Twitter Bootstrap, and Dropzone.js. InsureJoy also features user logins, an admin/company dashboard, profile/user dashboard, 3rd party integration, and contact messaging. Version control was completed using Git and GitHub.

Rover Sleepover

 

Calvin Glover, Michael Gudowski, Stephanie Riera
Rover Sleepover creates a space for four-legged friends within the growing sharing economy. An “Airbnb for dogs,” the site connects dog owners with dog lovers who understand the stress of finding a safe place for a “Rover” to stay over when his/her owner goes out of town.

Rover Sleepover uses the Laravel framework, Google Maps API, PHP, MySQL, jQuery, HTML and CSS to create a simple user interface application for both users and hosts.

Serve Search

 

Jeff Brown, Paul Love, David Runnels
Serve Search was built with the idea that serving one’s community and making the world a better place should be easy. The app applies the approach of on-demand movies, one-click shopping, and the convenience of the “get it now” culture to volunteering with community organizations.

Serve Search was built using, Laravel, PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, jQuery, and Bootstrap. Development was done in the Vagrant environment and version control was completed with Git and GitHub. The site was designed mobile first and is fully responsive.

Interested in hiring a Codeup grad?  Check out grad profiles on our nifty alumni portal!

Codeup Named a Top 30 Coding School

Codeup flag

Codeup Named a Top 30 Coding School

 

While awards aren’t why we do this, it’s nice to be acknowledged!

In a recent study of coding schools, Codeup was named a Top 30 program out of all of the learn-to-code options worldwide including programs in faraway places like New York, London and Honolulu.

Thanks to our awesome staff, kick-butt students, employer partners and supporters for making our success possible.

Here’s the report from Switchup.org:

https://www.switchup.org/research/best-coding-bootcamps

Team Codeup

Learn to Code (And Keep Your Day Job!)

Learn to Code (And Keep Your Day Job!)

Looking to transition into the field of computer programming but can’t quit your day job? Want to advance your current career by adding “coding” to your resume?

Codeup’s Night Bootcamp might be the answer for you! Starting in March, we’re launching an “after hours” option for aspiring professional computer programmers who want to attend a Codeup bootcamp, but can’t commit to a full-time schedule during the day. Night Bootcamp’s course content mirrors that of Day Bootcamp, but classes run on weekday evenings and alternating weekends.

Just like Day Bootcamp, classes are in person, with live instructors leading you through a project-based curriculum in a collaborative learning environment.  It’s the same Codeup “special sauce,” just on a different timeline.

You can see our results for yourself on our Alumni page. From our November cohort, 11 out of the 12 are working and the 12th is a Codeup Fellow. We’ve created over $2.5 million dollars in new tech salaries. Intensity + focus + solid staff + positive environment = great output.

Night Bootcamp lasts nine months, beginning March 20th and ending December 18th. The course includes over 650 hours of classroom instruction, with additional instructor-manned study halls for students who need extra time.

If Night Bootcamp is the learning opportunity you’ve been waiting for, apply now or check out the Night Bootcamp page for more details.

__________________________________________________________

UPDATE: We no longer offer part-time classes. This modality of learning proved extremely unsuccessful with alarmingly low completion rates. In our experience, if you’re fully committed to changing your life and work toward it full-time, it will happen. If you are only partly committed and work toward it part-time, you’ll fall back into old patterns.  Ultimately, our mission of “empowering life change” did not align with part-time classes.

 

Can a Simple Algebra Test Predict Programming Aptitude?

Codeup classroom Dallas

Can a Simple Algebra Test Predict Programming Aptitude?

Every year since the establishment of Computer Science in the 1960s, 30-60% of CS college majors have failed their Introduction to Computer Science course because they simply could not learn to program. Despite hours of studying and tutoring, most of these underperforming students struggle with, and many ultimately give up on, programming as a career. So here is the ultimate question- Can a simple algebra test predict programming aptitude?

What sets apart these computer programming can and can-nots?

Education researchers have been looking for the answer to that question for well over five decades. In that time, they’ve looked at dozens of possible predictors of programming aptitude, including:

Most of these studies have found little to no predictive power in the variables they looked at. Or worse, when they do find something that’s predictive of programming aptitude, the techniques appeared to be so complicated that other researchers are unable to replicate their results at another university. Our impression is that research in this field has slowed. At this point, there seems to be no silver bullet for predicting one’s aptitude for early programming success.

A simpler approach to predicting aptitude

We’ve been running a hands-on coding Bootcamp that jump-starts students’ careers as computer programmers specifically for web application development. We accept less than 1/3rd of applicants. As part of the screening, we have prospective students take a basic algebra test.

We also gauge student progress throughout the course and take note of individual progress using an internal normalized stack ranking. A student is given a 4.0 if they’re at the top of their class, and a 1.0 if they’re struggling to apply concepts learned in class. These stack rankings serve two purposes: first, they reveal who should be receiving 1-on-1 help and tutoring during the Bootcamp and, second, they stand as a useful measure of each student’s early programming prowess.

Now that we’ve had over 60 students through our Codeup Bootcamp program, we decided to plot the two variables — performance on the algebra test and programming aptitude — against each other. Below, each dot represents a graduate.

 

Shown above, our students’ performance on the algebra test predicts their future performance on programming tasks. As with all studies involving human subjects, there’s a fair amount of variance and outliers (e.g. the highly-rated student who scored only a 52% on the algebra test). But we can still confidently say that a student who scores a 75% or higher on the test will most likely be an above-average programmer, whereas a student who scores 60% or below will most likely be a below-average programmer.

It’s important to note that students graduating from our Bootcamp program are entry-level web developers; they can write a complete MVC web application using PHP/HTML/CSS/JavaScript from scratch, but they won’t immediately be leading the software design team for the next Twitter or Facebook.

What do these findings mean?

It’s fairly common for incoming Computer Science majors to ask the question, “Why do I have to learn all this math if I just want to learn to program?” The correlation above suggests a possible answer: The ability to understand basic mathematics is likely correlated with the ability to “think algorithmically,” which is well-known to be a foundational skill for expert programmers. Computer Science was founded in mathematics, after all.

On a more practical level, we’ve possibly found a simple method for sorting out the ninja programmers from the less capable programmers. So, if you’re a college student considering a major in Computer Science, take a look back at your algebra scores from high school to get a sense of your algebraic aptitude. And if you’re a recruiter for a growing tech company, try adding a basic algebra test to the interview process when hiring new programmers. In both cases, a 1-hour math test could save you thousands of dollars.

Methods

At the beginning of the Codeup Bootcamp program, students are given between 35 and 55 minutes (depending on the test version) to complete a basic algebra test. The test contains 25-40 questions, such as:

Adriana’s age is 1/3rd of her dad’s age. If her dad is 36 years old, how old is Adriana?

and

There are 3 consecutive integers with a sum of 69. What are they?

No partial credit is given.

To determine a student’s overall stack ranking, we have our instructors periodically rank each student according to how well they have been performing in the current programming module. Students are assigned a 4.0 if they’re at the top of their class, and a 1.0 if they’re struggling to understand and apply coding concepts. The majority of the students receive rankings of 2.0 and 3.0 such that the stack rankings for the entire class form a normal distribution. A student’s overall stack ranking is simply the average of their stack rankings over the entire Bootcamp.

The chart above shows the linear regression over the performance data of all 62 students who have graduated from Codeup Bootcamp. These 62 students come from 3 separate cohorts who took 3 distinct algebra tests. Scroll to the graphs at the bottom of this post to see that, when applied to the data from individual cohorts, all linear regressions show the same positive correlation between test score and programming aptitude with p < 0.01. This finding has therefore been replicated twice with three distinct cohorts of students.

In summary, these math tests – along with stack rankings – have been a handy diagnostic tool for us, and we’d like to share our findings with the world in an effort to both shed light on our own experience and hear plenty of feedback from others. In this new and growing industry, there is so much to learn, and we hope that this study provides food for thought and space for conversation.

Feel free to send lots of comments, questions, and suggestions our way!

 

(See discussion about this post on Hacker News: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8741868).

Interested in learning more about our program and admissions process? Contact us here and we would be happy to chat!

Words of Thanks from a Codeup Mom

Words of Thanks from a Codeup Mom

We’d like to share an anecdote of thanks from the proud mother of recent grad, Cory Rodriguez:

“I wanted you to know that I was thrilled to be a part of the Demo Day presentations. My son, Cory, and his friend, Frank, have been jump started into a career that will lead them into the future. As long as they stay abreast on the latest technology, they can rest assured that they will always have a career in web development.

You were all I heard about last year and this year and I love you for doing this. Not only did they learn the skills to be a web developer, but you also included the other ingredients that come from lessons you learn in life. They totally went full circle in this course and no college would have given these guys what you have.

I cannot say thank you enough for being kind and understanding and knowing what it is really like after you have earned your degree and what really happens once you are out in the real world!

Your class stands out among the rest. It’s a new idea and a wonderful concept and I hope Codeup will continue many years into the future. God bless you Michael!”

Congrats Cory and Frank, we’re proud of you as well!

Advice for Programmers

Advice for Programmers

As our most recent cohort flies the coop, they leave us with a plethora of wise words for aspiring and experienced programmers alike:

“Work together as much as possible.”

“When you’re stuck on something, don’t be afraid to walk away, take a break, and come back.”

“Read the documentation.”

“Everything builds on the foundation.”

“Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

“Ask questions even if you think you’ve got it!”

“Take advantage of all the resources available to you.”

“This is all about cooperative and collaborative learning.”

“Accept the confusion. It’s all part of the process.”

“Break everything! Break your code! It’s a great way to learn how things work and how to fix stuff. Don’t be afraid to break things.”

“Leave good comments in your code. You’ll thank yourself later.”

“Working together starts with getting to know each other.”

What are some words of wisdom you’ve gathered from the workplace?

Women’s Scholarship Recipient: Stephanie Riera

Codeup programming students

Women’s Scholarship Recipient: Stephanie Riera

Congratulations to Stephanie Riera! She will be the recipient of the first women’s scholarship for our November Bootcamp. Stephanie will be getting 50% off of tuition.

I would not have the opportunity to learn programming in such a short amount of time if it were not for this scholarship opportunity. Now I have the means to start a new career with a renewed set of skills that are currently in demand. Becoming a programmer means I can take on any cool project or perhaps a business idea and see it come to fruition. It also means I can embed my creativity in the process, which is awesome, because I’m a stickler for details.

Way to go, Stephanie – we’re pumped to have you in our upcoming class, and we can’t wait to see you in the Codeup classroom!

How to Hire a Programmer in San Antonio

How to Hire a Programmer in San Antonio

Most of the time employers don’t know where to start when it comes to finding their next developer. Programmers with real-life coding skills are in high demand but prove difficult to find. Where do employers start looking? What skills should they be looking for? San Antonio has a treasure chest of programmers hiding in universities, bootcamp programs, and tech communities just waiting to be hired.

College grads are eager to jump into the workforce after a rigorous four years of tests and lectures. Graduating Millennials have a sense of mission; they’re ready to make a difference in the world and the companies they work for. San Antonio colleges like the University of Texas at San Antonio and Trinity University have top tier computer science programs that produce swells of potential hires every year. Employers can contact UTSA’s computer science department to be listed on their page of job opportunities or make a profile on Campus2Careers. Students pour a strong foundation for their career by getting their degree but don’t usually gain applicable skills from college curriculum alone. Curriculum can become quickly outdated with the ever-changing methods of the technology industry. If they don’t develop their programming skills independently of their schoolwork, they fall into the large majority of job applicants that don’t know how to solve basic coding problems. Graduation is only once or twice a year, leaving a short window of employment opportunity. The students who already know how to code have jobs lined up long before they get that diploma.

When graduates realize they can’t find a job without real-life coding skills, they often look for a way to fill the gaps in their university education. In need of a quick, effective way to learn, they turn to our program, Codeup. And it’s not just college grads; individuals from all walks of life come to Codeup to change the trajectory of their careers. They want to be programmers, designers, builders of products and ideas. In three months Codeup students get over 700 hours of instruction from experienced programmers equipped with the most relevant knowledge. The intense program produces individuals who have worked on realistic projects and are ready to jump into the workforce. They have a portfolio of work to show, they have experience, and they have passion. With a class graduating every three months there’s plenty of chances for employers to grab someone with real skills. We believe that must be pretty good if 93% of Bootcamp students from our first cohort have found jobs within four months after graduating.

Universities and accelerated learning programs aren’t the only places companies looking for a programmer can search. Technology meetup groups provide a casual, encouraging environment for savvy programmers who want to hangout with likeminded individuals. There are plenty groups in San Antonio: San Antonio New TechSA Open StackersAlamo City Python GroupSan Antonio Dev OpsSan Antonio Web Development Group, and JDEV Meetup, just to name a few. Groups like these give opportunities to pre-screen candidates who potentially have more experience than those exiting learning programs. Employers need to be careful with their approach, though. It’s inappropriate to make an announcement about a job position at events like these; the group wants members of the community to engaged and involved, not just headhunters. This process is more time consuming but can be effective with consistency and patience. A lot of the meetups are held at Geekdom and are populated by Geekdom members. Posting on the Geekdom job board is a quick way to get to the people who are looking for immediate employment and reduces the amount of hours spent attending events.

If all else fails, employers can post job opportunities on social networks, ask friends, or take a chance with Craigslist. There is no such thing as the perfect job candidate. The structure of code, frameworks and libraries used, testing conventions, requirements, and deployment management are all based on what the company needs— everyone is different. As long as the candidate can prove their knowledge in tracking real coding scenarios, the rest is simply a culture fit.

Top 3 Reasons to Attend Codeup Demo Day

Relocation scholarship to San Antonio | Code Tech Bootcamp

Top 3 Reasons to Attend Codeup Demo Day

 

Why attend the next Codeup Demo Day? Here are 3 great reasons:

1) It’s a reverse job fair.

Employers, it’s your turn to relax, socialize, and be wow’d while our students do the hard work of showing off their capstone programming projects. Come and enjoy some refreshments while our web developers do their best to catch your eye!

2) It’s the perfect place for networking.

How would you like to be in a super cool space brimming with local tech and business professionals? Who knows, there might even be one or two people from the mystical land of Austin.

3) It’s a great way to support Codeup students.

Our students have been programming their tushes off for weeks, and all of the classroom hours, coding exercises, and group activities will finally culminate in this one epic event. Feel free to bring friends and family!

Convinced? Quick! RSVP below!

 

Need more convincing? Quick! Contact us here!

(Curious about Codeup in general? Our home page eagerly awaits you.)

Where Kids Can Learn to Code in San Antonio

Where Kids Can Learn to Code in San Antonio

 

Programming can be fun for kids and helps develop essential skills they’ll be using their whole lives. According to a study on the cognitive effects of learning and computer programming, when kids learn how to program, they’re not just learning a programming language, they’re “gaining powerfully general higher cognitive skills such as planning abilities, problem-solving heuristics, and reflectiveness on the revisionary character of the problem solving process itself.” Through learning code, kids are learning to learn. Coding will be an important skill for the next generation, who will be more connected to the web than any of their predecessors. Here are a few great programs for kids and teens in San Antonio:

San Antonio Youth Code Jam is an annual, semi-unstructured event backed by the 80/20 Foundation, Rackspace Hosting, SAStemic and other sponsors that help keep this event free. Kids bring their own laptops and other tech gear to have a day of code exploration. A collaborative environment allows kids to meet other kids who like the same things they do while learning from each other. Webmaking and digital literacy are developed through fun drag-and-drop games or more involved personal projects. Until the next event, check out their list of digital resources.

Branching off of the regular Codeup programs, Codeup Teens gives high school students the chance to learn something often left out of traditional school curriculum. Every 4th Saturday of the month at Geekdom they can get an afternoon of instruction with the Codeup staff. Students usually work on web technologies like JavaScript or Scratch, but the team will always make accommodations based on the student’s skill set. TurnerLogic CodeKids runs a similar program for middle school students.

SAStemic is vital to San Antonio’s technology environment. They advocate to fill the wide spread need for STEM education in schools and communities. Initiatives like Geekbus provide a traveling makerspace filled with 3D printers, robotics, and other electrons for exploring. Schools get access to STEM experiences without having to buy equipment or leave the classroom. Other programs prepare students for national competitions like the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition and the Alamo First robotics competition. Hopefully with continued efforts from SAStemic, San Antonio will see strong STEM programs in every school.

The tech community continues to give opportunities specifically for women; Girls Inc. inspires little ladies to pick up a computer and start writing code. They just kicked off a program in San Antonio partnering with Made with Code to give San Antonio girls a safe place in an industry dominated by boys. In a collaborative space, girls make friends, code 3D printed bracelets, and program avatars to dance across their screens.

Teaching kids to code enables youth to learn the process of learning itself, which puts them at a huge advantage amongst their peers in continuing education. With programs for every gender, tech savvy level, and age group alike, there are so many opportunities for kids in San Antonio to start coding.