Your Education is an Investment

At Codeup, we think of your education as an investment. Check out our white paper for helpful tips on how to calculate your ROI.

You have many options regarding educational routes to your desired career path, so why choose Codeup? That’s something only you can decide. Some people love that it’s 10x faster than a college degree, others love that you’ll graduate with more projects and experience than many college graduates. Maybe for you, our job placement services, where we help you perfect your resume, LinkedIn, and interview skills, with a whole team dedicated to finding you a job, is worth the $27,500 tuition. Or maybe you’ll love the Codeup community, with staff always willing to help you, alumni always willing to mentor you, and even after you graduate, you will continue to see support from Codeup in the form of continuing job placement assistance, events, newsletters, supportive Slack channels, and social media sharing of your coolest projects.

Clearly, there are lots of pros to investing in Codeup! There are also potential cons to other routes, such as missed opportunity cost, learning fewer skills across a longer time span, and missing out on work experience while spending more time in another institution. However, what you deem a “pro” and a “con” may look different, and what exactly you prioritize when thinking about large investments will also differ. 

To get some assistance on how to navigate whether or not Codeup is worth the investment to you, specifically, and to see how Codeup stacks up against other options, please download our PDF: “Education Finance 101: Think of your education as an investment” where we’ll walk you step-by-step through how to measure the return on investment of various educational routes.

Calculate for yourself if Codeup is worth it! Over 700 alumni thought so.

 

 

Have questions? Reach out!

Build Your Career in Tech: Advice from Alumni!

Codeup alumni Bryan Walsh and Misty Garcia share advice on how to build your career in tech. Features quotes and recordings from the virtual event.

Bryan Walsh, Codeup Web Development alum, and Misty Garcia, a Codeup Data Science alum, joined Sarah Mellor, Director of Marketing & Admissions, and Stephen Salas, VP of Business Development, in a virtual Zoom event to offer you their insights into building a career in tech. If you’re interested in becoming a Lead Software Developer for a government contractor, like Bryan, or having Misty’s title of Data Management Analyst for a healthcare tech company, keep reading (and watching!) to see how they made that possible.

What were you doing before Codeup?

Both panelists were established in their positions before finding Codeup. Misty had been an electrical engineer for 11 years, while Bryan worked in hospitality for 14 years. Both hungry for a change, Bryan found San Antonio before finding Codeup. While answering customer questions about why an application wasn’t working the way it should, Bryan wanted to fix the problems, so he figured out a way to make that his job. Misty, however, first found data science before finding Codeup. Below, Misty discusses what stood out to her about Codeup.

 

What if you’re torn between data science and web development?

Both panelists knew exactly which program they wanted to apply for prior to even finding Codeup, but that isn’t always the case. So, if you’re torn, there are a number of things we’ll help you think about. What are your interests? What is your background in? What are you expected to know before applying vs. before starting? What is your desired timeline? It will really help to talk this out with your admissions manager rather than on your own because you share a common goal, which is for you to succeed in the best program for you.

 

There are always new things to learn in tech. How have you learned new skills and new programming languages on the job?

The most important thing you’ll learn at Codeup is how to learn. We can give you a solid foundation in skills like Python or Java, and you’ll learn very quickly. But technology is always changing, and much more important than any singule particular skill is the ability to learn. Here, Bryan hits on how Codeup prepared him to learn new skills that they weren’t explicitly taught in Codeup, but needed on the job.

 

How did we help with your job search while in the program?

In addition to our curriculum, we also train you on professional development. In the midst of changing career paths so quickly, it can be easy to doubt yourself, or to not know the industry standards and expectations regarding the job search. To help you out, each student is coached professionally, in the ways that Bryan mentions here.

 

What if you graduated but hadn’t yet gotten a job offer?

In addition to professional development, we also offer job placement assistance. Not only will we help you develop the skills you need to land a job, but our Placement team goes above and beyond to actually make sure you get a job, and that by no means stops after you graduate. Misty didn’t graduate with a job lined up, but still worked closely with the Placement team until she had one.

 

What would you say to someone second-guessing this career move?

The field of technology is always going to change. You’ll always have to learn new things and you might start to feel like you can’t do it. But Bryan says you just gotta push through. Misty has similar advice, below. Additionally, if you feel like tech is something you can’t do, still apply for Codeup and as you move through the admissions process, allow us to work with you from where you’re at in order to get you to where you need to be. That’s what we’re here for!

 

While building a career in tech, what sets the successful students apart?

Be willing! Be willing to be vulnerable, willing to admit what you don’t know, willing to work together, willing to ask for help when you need it. Instructors and admissions staff can’t help you if we don’t know that you need it. But so long as you seek out guidance, even if it means going outside of your comfort zone, we’ll make sure you succeed!

 

And that’s how to build a career in tech! Desire the change, believe in your capacity to do it, follow through with a willingness to learn, and soon enough, you’ll move from entry-level developer to Lead Developer, or from job seeker to helping a company build their first data science team.

Codeup is always ready and wanting to help along the way, it just starts with your application!

 

How to Succeed in a Coding Bootcamp

Codeup Instructors Douglas Hirsh and Fernando Mendoza share their tips for how to succeed in a coding bootcamp

We held a virtual event called “How to Succeed in a Coding Bootcamp” featuring our Dallas-based Full-Stack Web Development instructors, Douglas Hirsh and Fernando Mendoza. To start our incoming students off on the right foot, we wanted to hear what advice they have to optimize a coding bootcamp experience. Check out their top tips below!

Practice

“Practical information and practical skills are going to be acquired by practicing every single day.” – Fernando

Practice is an essential part of learning something new. You could watch people bake all day long, and still not be any better of a baker yourself. That’s why our students spend more time actually writing code than listening to lectures. You’ll practice alone, with your cohort, and with instructor guidance. Through this practice, you will change the way you think and approach problems. The instructors agreed that practicing on your own through fun side projects, like creating a program to organize your baking recipes, sets the most successful students apart from the rest.

 

Consistency

“The reason Codeup is every weekday from 9-5 is because we need you to be fully invested. If you only coded on weekends or in your free time, you would forget everything you saw last time and wouldn’t be able to build upon what you know.” – Fernando

Don’t just practice. Practice consistently. Many of our students have tried the self-taught route and eventually ended up at Codeup. Why? Practicing every now and then doesn’t cut it when it comes to something as complex as programming, the same way practicing every now and then isn’t how you learn a language or an instrument. The way to succeed at something is by practicing it frequently and consistently. Codeup is fully immersive for that very purpose.

 

Prepare yourself

“The best thing you can do is the prework that we assign.” – Douglas

Help your future self by doing the prework assigned before the first day of class.. This isn’t just busy work. It’s for you and only you. We won’t take a grade on it, it’s really, entirely, to set yourself up for success. We will move incredibly fast and it will feel like drinking from a firehose, even if you did do the prework. Do future you a big favor by getting used to what drinking from a firehose feels like!

 

Problem solve

“Replace frustration with curiosity, then experimentation.” – Fernando

As you consistently practice the prework, you will come across errors. Instead of getting frustrated, let the errors trigger your curiosity of “why isn’t that working?” and “how do I get it to work?” You can google the keywords in the error message and figure out what to do. This gives you practice problem solving on your own instead of immediately asking someone else for help. While we love helping our students, we will expect you to have already tried to figure things out because we believe in your ability to problem solve. When you do need help, this process helps you frame your questions. We won’t give you answers, but we will happily point to a different way of thinking about an error. It will make getting it right that much more satisfying.

 

Active learning

“We want you to be in the mindset of understanding and not discovery. The prework is what takes you there.”- Fernando

Problem solving your way through the prework allows you to be an active participant in your own learning. You’re giving yourself exposure to a topic before class so that during the lecture, you’re not discovering something new, but trying to understand it. You might not get it the first time you see it, but now you know what to look out for in the lecture.

 

Failure is temporary

“Think about where you were 5 weeks ago. Use evidence over time that things have gotten better rather than dwelling on failure in the moment. Failure is learning. Failure is good.” – Douglas

As you progress through the program, you will face obstacles and failures, and you will doubt yourself as a programmer. When you feel like you can’t do something, compare yourself to who you were and what you could do 5 weeks ago, instead of comparing yourself to “real programmers.” After reminding yourself of your progress, think about what obstacles are keeping you from moving forward and how to overcome them, instead of defaulting to “I can’t.” Kevin Kelley once said, “Pros are just amateurs who know how to gracefully recover from their mistakes.”

Learn to communicate

“We have you do group projects and paired programming projects and you get a lot of really good experience working with people remotely. It’s a really good skill to have.” – Douglas

Programmers are not in a room alone all day with 10 screens in front of them. They are frequently communicating with their team, with different teams, and with different clients. You’ll need to know how to storytell and how to present your work and yourself. Throughout the course, you will frequently be working with others and presenting to others. Now that we’ve gone remote, our students are learning to work together from far apart.

 

How successful you are in a coding bootcamp starts with you and how much you’re willing to put in. If you’re ready to continue putting in time and effort, check out our events. Our workshops will give you exposure to code, and our panels will let you hear the perspectives of people who made the same career change you’re hoping for. You got this! Together, we’ll help you succeed not only at our coding bootcamp, but in your career.

From Bootcamp to Bootcamp: Two Military Veterans Discuss Their Transition Into Tech

From Bootcamp to Bootcamp: Jeff Roeder and Benny Fields share their Codeup experience

Are you a veteran or active-duty military member considering your next steps? Our alumni have been in your boots. In a recent virtual panel, two vets discussed their transition into technology careers with Codeup: Benny Fields III, a retired Air Force Master Sergeant turned Full Stack Web Developer, and Jeffery Roeder, a Navy Intelligence Analyst turned Data Scientist. Whether you’re interested in Data Science or Web Development, here are some key takeaways from the event. 

Why Codeup?

“The GI Bill was a huge plus, but the icing on the cake was the placement program.” – Benny Fields

After retiring from the Air Force, Benny Fields took a job as a technical writer, but he quickly became more interested in the software he was writing about than the writing itself. His friend suggested looking into a coding bootcamp, which he did. He liked that Codeup accepts the GI Bill and the icing on the cake for him was learning about the work our student placement team does to get you hired.

What does Codeup’s Student Placement Team do?

“They’ll give you every imaginable tool to get placed. They have tons of connections- it’s crazy. Colleges aren’t gonna do that for you.” – Jeff Roeder

We’ll buff up your resume, set up mock interviews, and give you the know-how to nail your interviews and get a job offer. From how to dress, to what to say in a thank you letter, Jeff said it best: we’ll give you every imaginable tool to get placed in a new career. And it’s backed up by our tuition refund

How did you pass the technical assessments during the application process?

 “They basically tailored their workshop to me. That’s the kinda stuff that Codeup’s gonna do, they’ll get you there!” – Jeff Roeder

Jeff Roeder heard about Data Science classes at Codeup from a friend who had seen our “crazy billboards” (one of which features Benny). He’s a former intelligence analyst, but the admissions process wasn’t entirely a breeze for him. After studying and studying, Python just wasn’t clicking, and he failed one of his technical assessments. He was about to give up on it, but our admissions team wasn’t ready to give up on him. We personally invited him to one of our Saturday workshops where we taught him step by step how to build the foundation he needed. 

How does your military experience relate to your experience at Codeup?

“They were like ‘hey, you’re gonna learn Spanish and you only have six months to do it,’ which is much like going to Codeup to learn something new, you only have six months to do it.” – Jeff Roeder

When Jeff first joined the Navy as a linguist, he was told to learn Spanish in six months. When he joined Codeup, he was told to learn Data Science in five months. They were both immersive experiences where people of different personalities and different cultures joined together for a common goal. As Jeff put it, you may not always like someone or relate to them, but you need each other to accomplish what needs to get done.

“Coming to Codeup, I had to be flexible because I had to learn to adapt to new technologies with new people that were way younger than me and were catching on faster.” – Benny Fields

For Benny, one similarity is that in the Air Force, you have to be flexible. He was used to having a planned day and changing it at the drop of a hat. In the tech field, things are always changing, and flexibility and constant learning are essential. This is where the military flexibility really came in handy for him.

Jeff and Benny may have completed different Codeup programs but they both had the same journey from bootcamp to bootcamp. Both failed their technical assessments at first and had to leverage our resources to get through the admissions process. They both worked with our financial aid team to use their VA benefits for the course, and they both left Codeup with a job and a new skillset.

Mission accomplished.

 

If you’re looking for your next step and want to learn more about using VA benefits to attend Codeup, talk with our team today! And don’t miss our next virtual event – check out our calendar at codeup.com/events!

How to Get Started On Any Programming Exercise

Graphic header for blog "How to start any programing exercise", with photo of Codeup instructor, Ryan Orsinger

Programming is hard. Whether you’re just beginning to learn or you’ve been programming for years, you’re going to run into roadblocks and get stuck. Our Data Science Instructor, Ryan Orsinger, has seen 36 cohorts of students come through Codeup and helped build their problem-solving skills through live, audience-centered lectures. Check out his recipe for success below:

Scenario:

You’re learning to code, learning the syntax for a programming language, and working on thinking programmatically. The lesson or lecture is completed and now you’re now facing a programming problem that is expecting you to understand and apply the new content.

How do you get started?

 

Here’s your algorithm for getting started:

1. With intent, read the curriculum and the code examples.

2. Go back and deliberately read the example code very closely and slowly.

3. Copy any example code into your editor.

    • Identify the pieces of syntax that you recognize.
    • Identify the code for the new concept that you’re working with.
    • Ask yourself how the syntax or concepts you know already support and connect with the new topic or new syntax. Often, the new is relatable in terms of the old.
    • Ask yourself questions about the code example
      • What is this entire code example supposed to do?
      • What piece of the language is this new concept?
      • Is the new code a new piece of syntax? Or is it an existing piece of syntax?

4. Run the example code

5. Observe results. Think about each piece of code. What is it doing, what did you expect it to do?

6. Try modifying the example code so that you change variables to see different results (one at a time…)

If the example code demonstrates how to make a loop from 0 to 9:
– Modify the code to make a loop that starts at 1 and ends at 10.
– Modify the code to make a loop that starts at 10 and counts down to 0.

7. Try removing as many moving pieces from the code for the new concept as possible… try to isolate a unit of work that uses the new concept and test it in isolation

8. Read the first exercise problem. Read it slowly, with attention to detail.

9. Ask yourself questions about the exercise:

  • Can you explain or restate the problem in plain English?
  • Are you able to write down the steps from problem to solution in English, without using any code?
  • Break the exercise down into pieces. Each piece is either something you’ve seen or it’s new.
  • Given the concept for this lesson, identify which part of the exercise uses the new topic
  • For the new piece, what is similar between the exercise code and the example code for the lesson?

10. Work to write code for a smaller problem than the exercise asks.
If the exercise says:
– Prompt the user for a number between 1 and 50
– If the input is not numeric or out of that range, ask them again for a number. Repeat until they give a number between 1 and 50.
– Start by making sure you’re able to prompt a user, then store the result of prompt to a variable for later.
– Go after the low-hanging fruit first. Momentum begets momentum.

11. If you’re still having problems and stuck, go to step 1.

12. If friction, confusion, and “writer’s block” persist, then ask for help from another human being. Explain the steps you’ve already taken, and attempt to ask your question as clearly as possible. Here’s a good resource on how to ask effective questions!

 


Ryan Orsinger is a proud instructor here at Codeup. Check out his personal blog for more insightful information here!

 

 

 


 

If you were inspired by this article and have any questions about our programs, give us a call. We’d love to chat.

Getting Hired in a Remote Environment

Graphic that explains the purpose of blog; How you can get hired in a remote environment

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.

How To Launch Your New Career With Codeup During COVID-19

How to transition careers with Codeup during Covid-19

The last few weeks have been challenging for the world as we respond to the spread of COVID-19 and focus on the safety of our communities. At Codeup, we remain hyper-focused on our employment outcomes and delivering excellence to our students. However, we want to ensure we are doing so in a way that maintains the health and safety of our students and staff. For that reason, we’ve moved our classes from in-person to online for the time being. We continue to carefully monitor the situation both federally and locally, and will update our response accordingly. 

The spread of COVID-19 has disrupted many of our daily lives and future plans. As you explore new opportunities for your future, we hope you find that Codeup can still be your place to learn, grow, and invest in yourself, as it has been for our  600+ alumni that have transitioned into new careers with us.

Here are a few updates on how Codeup is responding to the challenges we face today: 

Live Instruction

Screenshot of Codeup students in virtual learning

At Codeup, you’re completing 670 hours of live instruction from our full-time instructors. That hasn’t changed just because we’re hosting class virtually! Our instructors are still delivering live instruction through video calls. One instructor leads the class while another instructor or Teaching Assistant supports, utilizing virtual breakout rooms to help students troubleshoot as they run into questions. We also utilize those virtual breakout rooms for pair programming projects with other students. 

Job Search Support & Student Placement

We have always complemented our technical curriculum with a professional development curriculum – and that’s all still live, too! Our Student Placement Team uses video calls, phone calls, and emails for resume editing, LinkedIn profile building, and job interview practice. In fact, our team just recently sent out best practices for video interviews – check them out here!  

As a career accelerator, we measure our success through our student outcomes. Our number one goal is to get you hired in-field after you graduate. Through these difficult times, it’s been great to see our recent grads still getting hired! You can follow along with their progress on our Alumni Portal

Free Events

Thanks to tools like Zoom, we are able to continue to host all of our events virtually. Whether you’re looking to get your feet wet with programming languages or meet our alumni and staff, we’ve got you covered. The best part is that you can join us from the comfort of your own home! Want to explore our upcoming events? Check out our events calendar here.

Upcoming Classes

We’re still accepting applications for our upcoming start dates, including: 

  • San Antonio Full-Stack Web Development: May 26th
  • San Antonio Data Science: July 13th
  • Dallas Full-Stack Web Development: July 13th
  • San Antonio Full-Stack Web Development: July 20th

We are working towards these classes starting in-person, but our Admissions Team can provide the most up to date information. 

What’s Next?

Codeup will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated. In the meantime, if you’re wondering how to start your career transition journey with Codeup, schedule a call with our admissions team, who is always ready to help!

15 Tips on How to Prepare For Virtual Interviews and Meetings

In response to the spread of COVID-19, many companies are making the switch to remote work – which means their hiring processes are moving remote, too. Our Student Placement Team recognizes that preparing for a video job interview involves different considerations and logistics than an in-person one. We’re sharing the tips they’ve gathered and have been coaching our students around to ensure you’re set up for success!
  1. Use your computer, not your phone for video calls. 
  2. Test audio and camera at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled interview. If sound quality isn’t great, use a headset or earphones to avoid an echo.
  3. Elevate your laptop with books, board games, etc. so your camera is at eye level to avoid staring down into the camera.
  4. Dress professionally—and not just from the top up! Dress the part to act the part.
  5. Make sure your username is your first and last name (as shown on your resume), and it is properly capitalized.
  6. Position yourself at a table, against a plain and neutral background. Avoid positioning yourself by a window and make sure there is no clutter around you.
  7. Check the lighting in the room. Light the room from the front and not from the back.
  8. Close all other applications on your laptop and turn off notifications.
  9. Silence your cell phone and disable vibration.
  10. Have a copy of your resume on hand.
  11. Attach post-its around the laptop screen with prompts and questions you wish to ask the interviewer
  12. Exclude kids, pets, etc. from the room during the interview.
  13. Have a pen and paper on hand.
  14. Have a glass of water next to you.
  15. Have the phone number of the interviewer in case the video connection is lost. 
On a career search and looking for more tips? Our team of professionals is here to help! Contact us to learn more about how Codeup can help you in your career journey! Many of these tips were referenced from The New Rules of Work by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew. If you found these tips useful, check out the book, and don’t forget to share them with a friend to help them on their career search!

How To Have A Second Career Start With Codeup

Grow your technical skills for a second career start with Codeup

 

     A lot of students enter Codeup from a previous career. We encounter diverse professionals from teaching, military service, the service industry, music, and more. From those prospective students thinking about a change, we often hear concerns like: “I don’t have any technical skills or background,” “I’m just a teacher,” “I’m only a barista,” “I’m only a hobby computer person”…”I could never be a software developer.”

 

     The good news is YOU, the people with a wide variety of non-software development backgrounds, are our specialty. At Codeup, you’ll leverage the qualities that make you good at what you already do, to excel in a new field.

 

     If you’re thinking about switching careers, you’ve probably already followed a plan: you listened to advice from a guidance counselor, went to college, developed a skill set, landed a job, and grew in your role. But maybe you found the day-to-day wasn’t what you expected, that what you’re good at isn’t good for you, or even that you want to learn and grow more. Maybe you need a second start?

 

     With over 574 alumni, we’ve heard that story a lot. We’ve also seen some surprising trends in common careers before entering Codeup. If you want a change but worry about the leap, check out some of the wide-ranging jobs Codeup grads come from and how their skills made them successful in the tech industry:

 

Teacher/Educator

  • Deep understanding of how to learn and study
  • The ability to understand someone else’s point of view
  • Experience structuring your time, managing a massive workload, and maximize output.
  • How to move yourself and others past learning barriers

 

Server/Barista

  • A work ethic focused on the need of your customers
  • The ability to think outside the box to find a solution
  • Experience working on a team to accomplish something special

 

Musician/Creative

  • Experience learning, reading, and becoming fluent in different non-verbal languages
  • The ability to build something new based on a set of parameters (a key signature, genre, and instrumentation is a lot like a programming language, functionality, and customer)
  • The skill of using your base knowledge to improvise a tune on the fly

 

     One of the biggest misconceptions we hear from prospective students is that they are at a disadvantage coming from a non-technical background. In fact, your background, whatever it is, is an ADVANTAGE in learning a new skill and entering the tech workforce. There are plenty of CS graduates, but there are very few Marine-veteran-musician-digital marketers turned software developers.

     Want to see for yourself? Hear from our students as they share their career stories, and see how far they’ve gone as developers! 

     If you’re looking for a second start and see yourself in any of the above careers or skills, we’d love to help you find your passion. Connect with our Admissions team to learn more.

 

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 curricula. 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 within 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, MongoDB, 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 inherently 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!