Coding is for Women

Coding is for Women Event Recap

In a world where 91.5% of developers are male, it’s important to remember that coding is for women, too. Our first Coding is for Women event was a space for women interested in coding to come together (virtually) and learn from each other. Women tuned in from New York, Washington, New Mexico, and of course, our home base of Texas.  The panelists for this event were two members of our instructional staff with experience working in the tech industry. Here’s what they had to say about the barriers, opportunities, and overall experience getting into and working in tech!

 

Tell us about yourself.

Madeleine: I graduated from Codeup’s first Data Science cohort, worked as a Data Scientist for about 2 years, and now I’m back as a Data Science instructor! I love this institution [Codeup] and can’t stay away from it.

Jasmine: I graduated from Codeup’s Web Development program last June. Now, I’m working at Codeup as a Graduate Fellow, and have a part-time job as a React Native developer.

 

What were you doing before entering the tech field?

Madeleine: I was a Starbucks barista and supervisor for 11 years. I went to college on and off, changed my major about 8 times, and had a two-year gap period. It was a long process by I ended up getting a Mathematics degree. I couldn’t find a way to utilize it, so that’s when I started looking into bootcamps. As soon as I graduated from Codeup, I immediately began working at Booz Allen Hamilton for a couple years.

Jasmine: I was a Pharmacy Technician for about 7 years. I started as a cashier and worked my way up. I reached a point where there was no where else I could go. The next step would’ve been Pharmacist which I didn’t want to do, so I decided to pursue tech instead.

 

What made you decide coding is for you?

Jasmine: As a pharm tech, I realized I was more interested in the software we were using than the medicine, and didn’t want to deal with the general public. I became curious about why the little Java coffee cup was popping up on my screen every day and started getting interested in the behind-the-scenes of the platform we were using. I knew that I could do it because there are a lot of transferable skills between the two careers.

Madeleine: I got some experience programming in college, but it sat in the background and didn’t mesh well with my degree. After college, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my degree so I started working aimlessly, not knowing what to do. As much as I sincerely loved the service industry, it’s almost impossible to make a sustainable living. I wanted to start utilizing my skills more. I heard about data science but didn’t know what it meant. I looked into it more right as Codeup was opening their Data Science program. It was the perfect fit to make use of  my math, programming, and natural creative storytelling skills.

 

Did someone help push you towards tech?

Jasmine: I graduated Codeup after the pandemic struck, and the job search started to feel really isolating. I found this support group of women who would meet up every week, talk about the job search, what leads we had, troubles we were having, and made connections that led to the job I have now. So, it’s really important to find community and find support during the hard times. The women in tech groups are strong support communities and support systems!

Madeleine: It was an old friend from high school, actually. After college, when I wasn’t really doing anything, we had reconnected. He had just signed up for a bootcamp, which was actually formerly Rackspace Cloud Academy, which is now Codeup Cloud Academy. He helped me understand how bootcamps can fill in the gaps of traditional academia, which tends to fail at helping people find satisfying careers. Then once I was in Codeup, I got so much guidance from the instructors and career advisors that I am very, very grateful for.

 

What was your first week like officially as a data scientist?

Madeleine: It was extremely daunting. I was shoved into this tech world after working in coffee shops my whole life. Booz Allen is a firm full of extremely talented people. I taught myself cybersecurity on my own. The other data scientists before me were a Doctor of Computer Science and an Astrophysicist. So, I was sitting here with my Bachelor’s degree and a bootcamp certificate thinking “okay, I hope I got this.” It turned out Codeup prepared way more than I anticipated in that context, where I was able to use my tools from Codeup to identify flaws in the methodologies that were being used. I was able to improve it on a pretty quick turnaround. I was really able to secure my footing and get a good reputation in the field before I even felt confident in what I was doing. The imposter syndrome may never really goes away but it was great to see that I can use the tools that I’ve learned even though I’m doubting myself.

 

What advice do you have to beat imposter syndrome?

Jasmine: In my current role, I’m using a technology that we didn’t learn at Codeup, but Codeup taught me how to learn so I’m learning! I feel the imposter syndrome almost every day.  I definitely felt like “What am I doing here? I have no idea what I’m doing.” Some advice I was given, and has helped me a lot, is keeping track of accomplishments you’ve done on the job. It’s great to look back on and see how much you can do and have done.

 

What advice do you have for women breaking into the industry?

Jasmine: Learn how to learn. That’s how you’re going to get ahead, and that’s something I really learned at Codeup. We couldn’t learn everything, but when you learn how to learn, you can learn anything on your own.

Madeleine:  You can’t learn everything! Don’t overburden yourself with what you should or could know. Keep studying what you enjoy naturally, persist, keep practicing. It may be hard to find a job but keep practicing. Don’t undervalue networking.

 

Any interview advice?

Madeleine: You will have technical interviews. What gets in the way for interviewers is a perceived lack of confidence. If you can’t sell yourself in that way, everything else as far as technical knowledge comes to a halt. Keep track of everything you can do as far as technical skills. Be able to fill dead air and answer questions even if you don’t know the answer. If you get to a question you don’t know, try to probe the interview to get to a mutual point that you do know. Try to slice through ambiguity, and have general conversational skills. Even if you can’t answer it directly, you can get to a point where you can elaborate on something you’re interested in tangentially, or connect with the interviewer in a different way. It could show off some other suspect of your talent, or at the very least, show confidence.

Jasmine: At the end of the day, companies want to hire someone that will make a contribution. One way to show that is by doing your research on the interviewer and the company. Who are the higher-ups, who has been hired recently? Show that you are interested in them.

 

Any advice for the job search before the interviewing stage?

Jasmine: Keep a spreadsheet of every single job you’ve applied to, what resume you sent them, and where you found them. Look for communities that you identify with and network with them. I am in a group for Latinx people in tech. When I’m being really targeted with looking for positions within my community, I get a better response.

Madeleine: Get involved in communities! Geekdom is a great place. I am involved in the Queer community in San Antonio. You might find yourself networking in places you didn’t initially expect, but get involved, and try to be as engaged as possible. Be yourself and show your personality if you want people to remember you. Women might be expected to be more demure, or submissive in the way they present themselves. But there’s a balance between not being perceived as aggressive, and still showing that you are confident in your skills or your personality. 

 

What advice do you have to get good at coding?

Jasmine: Go to a bootcamp! I was pretty self-motivated but I still wanted more of a push, more of a community, and structure. Codeup is a great way to learn how to code, but it’s not like riding a bike! You will forget how to code if you don’t code. Stay on it so you don’t fall off.

Madeleine: I’m a big fan of Codecademy if you’re just trying to get your feet wet and see if you like it. For data science, Data Camp is a great resource as well. Codecadamy can also help with Codeup’s Python pre-work and challenges during the admissions process.

 

What happens when you don’t know how to do something on the job?

Jasmine: In my experience, employers expect that as a Junior Developer, you’re still learning and you are going to have to learn some things on the job. They don’t expect you to know everything, but they do expect you to be willing to learn and ready to hop in. In my position, I’m learning a new programming language on the job. At Codeup, you’ll learn how to learn a language quickly, and you can take that with you for when you get hired.

Madeleine: When I was at my previous company, I had to learn Deep Learning and Cybersecurity very quickly. They helped me out with getting certifications and offering stipends for learning resources. But conversely, when I wanted to grow personally in my data science skills, that was all self-taught and on my own time and from my network.

 

Huge “thank you” to Madeleine and Jasmine for joining us as panelists for this event! They’ve offered a wide wealth of resources and experiences to grow and learn from. To recap major points, learn how to learn, keep practicing, become confident in your skills, and be yourself when you network. There are plenty of female coders out there, and plenty of communities to join to meet like-minded women. Here in Texas, Women Who Code has communities in Austin, Dallas, and Houston. In San Antonio, check out Geekdom (a coworking space for all) and this Meetup community for women developers. If you’re interested in attending Codeup, make sure to apply for our Women in Tech Scholarship!

Do Coding Bootcamps Help You Get a Job?

Do Coding Bootcamps Help You Get a Job?

Wondering how or if coding bootcamps help you get a job? We can’t speak for the other guys, but at Codeup, our job isn’t done until you have yours. To see how many of our students actually get hired and what their salaries look like, click here. Rest assured that if you don’t get hired within 6 months of graduating, you will get your tuition back. How is this possible? Besides a top-notch curriculum and expert instruction, each student undergoes professional development and has a full team working to get them hired. Keep reading to learn how this coding bootcamp helps you get a job!

Career Coaching and Professional Development

Ever tried career coaching? Don’t knock it ‘til you try it! Launching a new career takes more than skill. You gotta have what it takes to get yourself seen and nail your interviews. Between our various professional development staff, each student will receive about 10 hours of individual coaching. Beyond that, you can set up as many 1 on 1 sessions with our Career Coaches as you want. You’ll have workshops and deliverables, both in the program and post-grad. We’ll personally review your resume and LinkedIn, and you’ll learn about the expectations of you as a professional and how to meet them. We’ll even help you nail your first impression with mock technical and behavioral interviews.

Keep in mind, we don’t do it all for you! We give you the tools and coaching, but you will be the one applying for jobs and implementing what you’ve learned. This isn’t your optional career help desk or a one-and-done session. This is an ongoing, baked-in part of the curriculum! You’ll come out of Codeup as a true tech professional.

Your Own Team of Recruiters

The career guidance doesn’t end there! Imagine having a whole team of recruiters sending you applications, setting up interviews, proof-reading your cover letters, and coordinating your job search. Add to that the accountability it comes with. It’s like having a coach telling you what you need to do every day to get results, and how to learn from past mistakes. On top of that, you get to leverage our employer network of companies like Booz Allen Hamilton, Oracle, and Whole Foods. We are constantly forming new connections with employers to grow our network, thereby growing your network, as well as nurturing long-lasting partnerships. 

Showcasing You to Our Network

How else do coding bootcamps help you get a job? Through Codeup, hiring managers will see your face on our emails, social media, Youtube, your own dedicated page on our website, and a highlight of your final capstone project. Rather than sending a resume out into the ether and never knowing if anyone saw it, you can be certain that we’re showcasing you to every audience that we have. We even leverage our partners’ networks with similar marketing materials to help us reach new audiences. That is a lot of value!

We’ll Continue to Have Your Back

If you aren’t hired right after graduation, we will not leave you by the wayside. If it takes 6 months to find a job, that is how long your team of recruiters will work with you. When your skills are rusty and you’re just not getting those technical interviews, our Technical Career Coach will work with you even after graduation. If you don’t get a job within 6 months of graduating, you will get your money back. That peace of mind: priceless.

Ready to take on your job search with us? Learn to code, get hired, or your money back! Apply now, or give us a call to learn more: (210) 802-7289!

Oops I Got a Degree In…

Image of Nicole, Data Analyst and Jesse, Data Engineer III

Is your degree not getting you the job prospects you hoped for? Having doubts about college? Accidentally study Wizardry for four years? We have heard many stories about degrees that didn’t pan out long term. At our event “Oops I Got a Degree In…,” Codeup Data Science alumni Nicole Garza and Jesse Ruiz were living proof that your degree doesn’t have to box you in. Our Director of Marketing and Admissions, who studied Health and Exercise Science, led a discussion on how their seemingly non-relevant degrees got them to where they are now. Keep reading to see how Jesse went from Ivy League graduate to Codeup alumna, and how Nicole went from interning for the mayor to building up a data science department.

 

What did you get your degree in?

Nicole: My name is Nicole and I have a degree in Political Science with a minor in Sociology.

Jesse: I’m Jesse. I have an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, then studied Fine Arts in graduate school.

 

What did you do after getting a degree, and what made you realize it wasn’t for you?

Nicole: I interned for the mayor’s office, but you need a certain personality type to do politics. I’d rather be behind a screen.

Jesse: I was an artist and taught art. It was a really fun and amazing opportunity but it wasn’t financially secure

 

Why pursue a career in tech?

Nicole: I did some jobs where I had to work with data, descriptive statistics, and a database. Then I got interested in pursuing that at a higher level.

Jesse: With my degree in Philosophy at an Ivy League, I got lots of training in analytical thinking and study habits. I did well in calculus and physics, and being an artist took a huge amount of self-discipline and creativity. I see all of those things largely in data science.

 

What helped you know if data science was the career path for you?

Nicole: Both my brothers are developers, and software developers are a great resource to help understand the coding part of data science. Some courses in my undergrad had a heavy emphasis on research, data, and statistical analysis and I remembered that I enjoyed those.

Jesse: I started searching for other career opportunities and took a lot of quizzes about what the best career is for your personality. I did a lot of research in the field and consulted my cousin who is a software developer. It took me about a year of part-time self-teaching for me to actually understand the field.

 

How would you recommend for someone else to decide on a career path in tech?

Nicole: Take a short online class to see if it’s something you’d perhaps enjoy. Something very simple and basic. Talk to people in the field. Think about past courses or experiences that you enjoyed or were good at. 

Jesse: Take a predetermined period of time taking some courses and harnessing your network. Talk to your cousin that’s in the field, or the career services at your alma mater to think through your options with someone else.

 

What made you want to quit your job and go all in?

Nicole: The job I was at before Codeup wasn’t for me. It was very repetitive and I wanted something different, more creative, something that would get the wheels of my mind turning. I started researching options and wanted something that started at a beginner level. Then shortly after, Codeup announced their new data science program. I did some research on it, took the tests and the rest is history!

Jesse: It takes a leap of faith. At the time, I was going through some health issues. I was worried about not having health insurance and living at home with my mom and barely making enough money. Codeup has done a great job of helping students work through even the really serious aspects of the decision-making process. I gave myself a year of researching and studying, and then I got funding. When I got funding there was no turning back, I was gonna do this. I think about if I would have done the program if I didn’t have funding, probably. The cost is scary. But if you spend enough time thinking about it, considering the field, and introspecting about where you want your personal life to go, I think that’s what it takes

 

When you actually started working as Data Scientists, did you ever feel like you weren’t “good enough?”

Nicole: When I first started at the company I’m at now, they were just using Excel to do everything and used zero coding. So, I came in and they really relied on me to help innovate and change things. I started changing a lot of the processes from Excel over to Python and R but I was afraid that I was not doing things correctly because I was new to the field. I was scared I was kind of leading the company in the wrong direction or something. But I double, triple checked everything I did and made sure it’s right. Now, we’ve been growing and the company has more than doubled in size!

Jesse: Finding a job afterward is very stressful and uncertain. Once you start working, you kind of go back to lots of learning and adjusting. Sometimes in my new team that I’m on, I feel like there are moments I don’t really know what I’m doing. But it’s obvious to me that no one knows everything, and I can know things that more experienced or senior people might not know and that’s okay. So no, I haven’t experienced it that much.

 

And finally, what are you doing now?

Nicole: I work at Guardian Premier Solutions. I think they found me through the Codeup Alumni Portal and contacted me. We interviewed for 30 minutes, and within one week they asked when I can start. We monitor psychological and physiological data through devices and tests to determine the best type of military training candidate. That’s something I’ve really been enjoying, and I really enjoy my coworkers as well. They really value input and new ideas, and I love that. Really grateful for this job, it’s been really great. Thanks, Codeup! 

Jesse: Initially out of Codeup, I worked with a small boutique consulting firm, I was a contractor developing Excel macros. I was there short term and then got a job at USAA, also as a contractor. I was working on a team that was doing some design work and making presentations. Then, I transferred to a team that did data reporting, then to a team that did machine learning. I became a full-time employee and now get benefits. Honestly, everything’s been great and I’ve achieved everything I wanted to out of Codeup, which includes moving out of my mom’s house! I’m living a more stable life now. Overall, it’s been really great. 

 

Hopefully, these stories serve as inspiration to not put yourself in a box simply based on your degree! The tech field is welcoming to anyone that can learn the skills, no matter their educational background. If you’ve been wanting to pivot to a different field than what your degree is in, Codeup is the perfect place to start! Learn more about which of our programs is best for you here.

What to Expect at Codeup

Wondering what to expect at Codeup? Let's explore life before, during, and after Codeup

Setting Expectations for Life Before, During, and After Codeup

Have you been wondering about whether or not you can keep your current job during Codeup, or if Codeup classes will let you work around certain hours of certain days, or if you really have to apply so far in advance? We get questions like this all the time from prospective students. To make sure you’re successful in your career transition, let’s first set up some expectations about what you can expect before, during, and after Codeup. What is it like to experience life at a coding bootcamp?

 

Before Codeup

 

Do the Prework

The number one, most important, most helpful advice we can give is: do the prework! Give yourself a month to carefully understand and complete the prework we assign when you’re accepted, which was made to help you practice active learning and problem-solving. You’ll soon find that programming is all about practice and getting that muscle memory, like learning to play an instrument. You will thank yourself if you finish it, and risk falling behind if you don’t.

Apply Early

In order to complete the prework, you’ll need to apply early. Why? Take the start date you are considering, and subtract a month. You’ll need to be accepted by that date in order to finish the prework. The multi-step application process can take several weeks to over a month. Combining the prework timeframe plus the application timeframe means you should apply seven weeks before your start date. This will also give you enough time to secure grant funding, if applicable, as that also takes about a month to be processed. You can learn more about our application process here

During Codeup

 

Understand Your New Schedule

Codeup classes are full-time, immersive experiences. As a Codeup student, these are the times you will need to be in class:

  • Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm*^
  • *Early release every Monday OR Tuesday: 9am-4pm
  • ^Half-day every Wednesday: 9am-12:30pm

 

Classes are being conducted daily via live Zoom calls with instructors and other classmates. Optional office hours are held before and after class for additional help. You should plan to spend 20-25 additional hours per week practicing what you learned in class. You should also arrive at your workstation with coffee in tow 30 minutes before class starts so that you can map out your schedule for the day, and review what questions you have going into lecture. Combining office hours, planning, and practicing, you can expect to be occupied from 8am to 7 or 8pm almost daily.

 

Limit Outside Distractions As Much As Possible

Now that you know your new schedule, you can probably see that you won’t have time for much else. Just for a few months, you’ll have to do the bare minimum outside of Codeup. 

You will need to quit your job. Before joining Codeup, try to save enough money to pay your bills for 6 months. We strongly suggest you avoid working outside of class, as this typically results in poor classroom performance, and we really want you to do well. If you have to work, calculate the bare minimum you need to earn each week in order to get by. Then, spread out your workload to do a little bit here and there throughout the week rather than full days on the weekends, because you do need rest days! The best options are flexible jobs where you’re in charge of your own schedule, such as food delivery, rideshare, dog walking, babysitting, etc. This is not the time to take an overnight shift at your current job or start your own business.

You may need to downgrade your living situation to save up. Some students have sold their houses to make this investment possible. Some have moved in with in-laws to save on bills. Some have had to find roommates. Do whatever you can, within reason, to not have to work during Codeup!

You won’t be able to adopt puppies, but you can get a fish, try raising plants, or look at pictures of puppies until you can get the real thing after you graduate! The last option is great because you’ll have a reward to work towards, but you have to earn it!

Outside classes are also a no-go, but you can watch YouTube videos and documentaries on a new subject you’re interested in. 

Family and friends may not get to see you as much, but every weekend you can tell them all about what you’re learning and appreciate the time together that much more!

Remember, it’s only 6 months of complete dedication to changing your life at a coding bootamp, and then you’ll be thanking yourself for the sacrifices you made!

Take Notes the Right Way 

Gone are the days of copying lecture notes word-for-word. (Did that ever work, anyway?) Since you’ll have an online curriculum to read through and refer back to, write notes on what you don’t understand during reading, practice, or lecture. It’s good to track what exactly doesn’t make sense and what you’ve tried that didn’t work so you can ask more targeted questions, whether to peers, Google, or instructors. This way, you’re building yourself a roadmap to follow when you return to your studies each day.

Study = Practice

Learning how to code is like learning an instrument. Practice, practice, practice. You can do all the reading you want, watch all the video tutorials, and still not know how to code if you don’t actually code. There’s no cramming for exams, no writing research papers. It’s continuous learning and adding to your arsenal through a few additional hours of study/practice every day.

Network

In order to make the most of your experience, build on skills, and help yourself for the job search in the long run, you’ll be encouraged to attend meetups, join community Slack channels, and try to meet others in the industry to build your support network, so you have plenty of people to ask for help. You don’t have to go through this alone!

 

After Codeup

 

Git Push Everyday 

While this sounds totally foreign right now, it will become a daily mantra! Every Codeup student will make an account on a website called GitHub. On a daily basis, we’ll expect you to “commit” code, which means to make a revision to a code file, and then “push” that revision, which, in this case, means to transfer it from your computer to GitHub so that others can keep track of how often you’re coding. This is important to keep up after graduating Codeup to keep your coding skills fresh, and so that potential employers can see that you’re actively working on your craft.

Keep Learning

Every day between graduation and the start of your job, you should become more valuable and skilled, not less polished and more rusty. The learning never stops, especially not in tech, and especially not in data science! What’s all the rage one year may be out of date the next, and it’s your responsibility to stay on top of the latest technology, programming languages, and practices.

Your Job Search is Your New Full-Time Job

We have a whole team dedicated to helping students get jobs! Our placement team will assist you even after graduating. You’ll spend time every day on either finding new listings, touching up your resume and LinkedIn, applying, or interviewing…and that’s in addition to coding every day. You gotta put in the work to find work. Do be prepared to get rejected sometimes, but trust the process. It’s much better to face these mass unemployment rates with a whole team working to get you hired rather than on your own.

In summary, you get out what you put in. Our most successful students finished their pre work and made significant life sacrifices to stay focused and committed to the program. Others that weren’t ready, willing, or able to make the changes they needed were unfortunately not able to finish. However, those that do continue to reap the rewards! If you would like to hear more about life at a coding bootcamp like Codeup, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 210 – 802 – 7289 to talk to a member of our admissions team today!

What is Codeup’s Application Process?

Codeup's application process

Curious about the application process? Wondering why you need to apply so far in advance? You’ve come to the right blog post! From pre-work to technical assessments, to financial aid and interviews, there are a number of reasons you need to apply 1-2 months ahead of your start date. To explain Codeup’s application process, let’s start by working backward.

 

Web Development & Data Science

Note: The tilde (squiggly) means “approximately”.

 

Pre-work (~1 month)

After being accepted, every incoming student is given a set of pre-work to do to familiarize themselves with some coding basics. You won’t be expected to have everything memorized, but some exposure will be required for you to hit the ground running on your first week of class. Many have likened our bootcamp to drinking out of a firehose- there’s a lot of ground to cover in 5 months! Completing the pre-work is the best gift you can give yourself in order to soften the blow. Take the start date you are considering, and subtract a month. You should be accepted by that date in order to finish the prework. 

 

Tuition Planning (~1 month, concurrent with pre-work)

Once you’re accepted, you’ll meet with our Financial Aid and Enrollment Manager to discuss your financial aid options. She’s also Codeup’s School Certifying Official for VA Benefits, which take roughly 2 weeks to be processed. Scholarships are awarded about 2 weeks before the first class day, so you will need to have applied for any scholarships before then. Grants can range from 2-8 weeks to be processed and secured, but usually take about a month. You will need to be accepted before applying for grants. The tuition process is finalized in the month leading up to the start date, while you’re also working on prework.

 

Behavioral Interview (~30 min)

Think of this as a casual job interview. We want to make sure you are culturally and behaviorally cut out for Codeup. The intensity and rigor is not for everyone. In this step of the application process, we’re looking for motivated, positive, hard-working, and dedicated character traits. Bonus points if you read our blog post about tips for nailing a video interview!  

 

Technical Assessments (~1-2 weeks for Web Development, ~1-4 weeks for Data Science)

For Web Development, we will give a couple of technical assessments to test your problem-solving skills. They are not necessarily pass/fail tests, but rather, they help us see how we can best prepare you for class. Those who do not do well on the first challenge have additional opportunities to develop their problem-solving skills. We want to be sure you are set up for success in class! 

For Data Science, the technical assessments may take much longer as there are more prerequisites, but it varies from person to person. We require a basic level of Python, math, and stats prior to being accepted. How well versed you are in those subjects determines how long this process takes. Could be a week if you were a math major in college, could be months if you’ve never heard of Applied Statistics. Plenty of our students knew nothing about stats or Python before applying but worked through our recommended resources (tutorials and workshops) in order to get to the level they need to be on. Don’t count yourself out! But do be realistic about how long it will take you to learn. If you were to apply for our Data Science program a couple weeks before class starts, knowing nothing about Python or stats, our Admissions Manager will be happy to provide all the necessary resources you need for a future start date, but you may not be qualified in time for the next class start, considering you’d also have to finish pre-work in that limited time. 

For both programs, we have weekly study sessions with our Teaching Assistants to help you with any material that’s causing you trouble!

 

Campus Visit (~1 hour, same week as application)

We may be virtual right now, but we’re still doing virtual campus visits! You can think of this as a program overview. We’ll discuss the admissions process, the curriculum, the schedule, how things are looking now that we’re remote, and any questions you might have.

 

Phone Call (~15-30 minutes, same week as application)

You can think of this as an initial admissions consultation or phone interview, but really we’re just making sure it’s the right fit! Some people think applying for Codeup means getting paid to learn to code, some people think we teach medical coding. This call is just to introduce ourselves, make sure you’re crystal clear on what Codeup is (a full-time career accelerator that trains and places data scientists and software developers), and to answer any questions you might have.

 

Application (<5 minutes)

The first step in your application process is your application! It’s basically just sending us your name and contact info so we can get the ball rolling on making you a Data Scientist or Software Developer! How exciting!

Now, are you pumped to begin your own application process and experience all this in action? You can fill out your super quick application here. Our (helpful and friendly) Admissions team will be in touch ASAP to help you change careers. Even if you’re not sure if Codeup is right for you, we can help you work through your doubts and hesitancies in your initial phone call.

 

With an Admissions Manager as your guide, our Teaching Assistants as your personal tutors, and our Financial Aid and Enrollment Manager as your tuition planning assistant, you’ll never have to go at this alone! Apply now!

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 when it comes to your investment in your education. 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 for Web Development, or $29,500 for Data Science. 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

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. It’s no different for how to succeed in a coding bootcamp. 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 not only succeed in a coding bootcamp, but in your career.

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

military veterans in tech

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 military veterans in tech discussed their transition into the field 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 to help military veterans in tech, 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. Both are now successful military veterans in tech!

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

Get Started On Any Programming Exercise

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.