Best Coding Bootcamps of 2019

Committing to a coding bootcamp is going to be one of the most important financial decisions you make in your life. Not only are you investing thousands of dollars into the equivalent of a college semester, you are sacrificing monthly paychecks at your current job. You want to be assured that the training you receive at the bootcamp you finally decide to go to is relevant to the type of job you expect to get coming out.

There are several factors to consider when selecting a bootcamp. For many, the bootcamp’s location may be the limiting factor. Some bootcamps like General Assembly are international, some like Epicodus are regional, and others like Bloc are purely remote. For some people, a remote schedule is a great compromise while others may prefer a physical location where they get to interact with team members and other career staff. Finally, coding bootcamps vary in their focus on coding languages. Some may have a heavy focus on Ruby while others may focus solely on JavaScript.

One thing to note about the top flight programs in this list is that their screening process tends to be rigorous. They may involve several rounds of behavioral interviews as well as technical interviews. It’s an open secret that the best bootcamps pad their employment statistics by accepting self taught programmers and computer science grads. Even those that make it through the screening process are often dropped if they can’t make it through performance reviews.

If a coding bootcamp is something you’re seriously considering, it’s best to try many of the free online options available to prepare yourself for the steep learning curve. Codecademy and The Odin Project are two free resources that will teach you the fundamentals of full stack web development.

Along with general information about the bootcamps, we’ve included a bad review. Simply reading website copy provided by the companies themselves don’t give you the full picture of what the program has to offer. Bad reviews are more nuanced. It teaches you about the type of person that may fail in a particular program. It also tells you what a bootcamp may not want you to know. In the end, no program is perfect and it’s essential that you know which warts are worth ignoring and which ones would give you cause to reconsider.

Note: Most of the reviews and information pertaining the schools were sourced from SwitchUp.

Flatiron

Locations: NYC, Houston, Online, Washington, D.C., London, Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, and Chicago

Duration: 15 weeks

Cost: $15,000

Tech: JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS, Java, Node.js, AngularJS, SQL

Review:

I would absolutely not recommend Flatiron School to anyone looking to do a bootcamp. If I could do it over again, I would attend a bootcamp but it would absolutely not be Flatiron.

Pros:

-React is a good thing to learn

-In terms of the basics of actually getting a site up and running, that was taught

Cons:

-I experienced MAJOR sexism and sexual harassment at the Flatiron School. This happened multiple times, with multiple people, to different extents. As a woman, this is not a remotely friendly environment despite what leadership may say.

-The instructors are (even if they tell you otherwise) not people with teaching and industry experience. In some cases, they have had some industry experience, but most are just graduates of Flatiron School. So the quality of the actual instruction isn’t very good, and the instructors also haven’t ever actually worked as a professional engineer.

-Minimal focus on computer science/data structures/algorithms

-Curriculum is honestly a little limited- if you pick things up quickly, you’ll run out of things to do and end up teaching yourself for $15k

-Also, please read through the settlement with the NY Attorney General regarding job numbers. This place is not a magical path to a job as they may promise.

Overall, if you are interested in a bootcamp, definitely attend one! Just be very skeptical of all promises made to you in inquiries, interviews, etc and I would definitely recommend going somewhere other than Flatiron.

Ironhack

Locations: Berlin, Mexico City, Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, Paris, Miami, Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Bogota, and Munich

Duration: 9 weeks full time/ 24 weeks part time

Cost: $12,000

Tech: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, React, TypeScript, Express, MongoDB and Testing

Review: Iron Hack has a great reputation. The only real negative experience was over a scholarship dispute.

App Academy

Locations: San Francisco, New York, and remote

Duration: 12 weeks

Cost: Depends on plan. $0 (refund)- 25,000

Tech:Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, React.js, Redux, CSS, HTML, SQL

Review:

With graduation near, I can’t wait for this program to be over, but I am confident that it has prepared me well to land a job as a software developer.

The good:

App Academy is a high quality coding bootcamp, and if you make it through, you will be well prepared for a career in software development. The curriculum is clear and thorough. The program is continuously updated to reflect changes in the industry. The students and staff are passionate about learning and coding. The staff are very helpful, and due to the tuition agreement, they are very invested in the students’ success.

The bad:

App Academy advertises that there is no coding background or experience required for their 12 week bootcamp. This technically is not wrong, but I would never recommend this program to someone with no coding experience. If I were to do this over, I would spend several months teaching myself to code and would take some free online classes before starting App Academy. The stress and lack of sleep I’m experiencing during this program are affecting my physical and mental health, and it would be much more bearable if I had known a lot more coming in.

General Assembly

Locations: Dallas, Providence, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, NYC, Washington, D.C., Austin, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Denver, Chicago, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Online, Boston, and Santa Monica

Duration: 10 weeks

Cost: $14,500

Tech: JavaScript, HTML, CSS, jQuery

Review:

I have to say that I’m disappointed with the program. I expected a more professional approach from an institution like GA, especially given the cost and the effort I put into it.

My experience at GA doesn’t justify the cost of this program (around $200/session). There are courses online much better structured, with more practice and better documentation for a fraction of the price.

To clarify what I understand as good an effective learning experience, let me lay out what I expected:

Pre class work: provide documentation about the topic before the class, so students can be prepared. It’d improve the understanding of the material, reduce the time the instructor has to spend explaining it, and give us the opportunity to have questions ready.

Post class work: for the whole course we are going to have only 3 exercises. If I know something about coding, it’s that the only way to learn it is practicing. We need more exercises, more getting our hands dirty, more feedback…

Documentation: I expected to get good documentation to follow during the course, which also I could use as a reference in the future. A Jupyter workbook is not the right tool for presenting learning material. Every time I tried to find something, I had to navigate through different quite long workbooks. For each line of code I have questions, I need between 2 to 7 minutes to find the answer. That we are learning python doesn’t mean that the material should be in python.

As a summary, I went from being very excited about the program to feel that I overpayed for something I could have done online.

Bloc

Location: remote

Duration:

Cost: $8,500

Tech:Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, jQuery, HTML, CSS, AngularJS, React.js, Node.js

Review:

I have been at Bloc for a year and have waited to write a review but I am at my wits end. Since my first day, I had a mentor who was a former Bloc student. They gave me very little support and always cancelled our meetings. Looking back they really didnt offer me any “mentoring” and was not qualified in my opinion to be a mentor yet.

Luckily now I have a great mentor but honestly he is the only positive part of my Bloc experience. The hours they say it takes to complete are not feasible. I work full time and it takes hours to finish projects, not to mention the revisions. Hey I totally get that things need revisions but its not realistic to say 1 project takes 4 hours! try more 10–15 hours realistically from start to finish.

Now the grading….we are being timed to complete the program. Again, some of us have full time jobs and they are suppose to take 48 hours to grade. Well it actually takes 4–5 days…and you have to wait to continue to the next project depending on the material. I have also asked for someone to call me from the support team multiple times and yet nobody has…..luckily I have UX designers who are friends & they have taught me more than Bloc. Do not waste your money. I regret it in hindsight. I am sure there are better programs out there with more supportive staff.

Thinkful

Locations: Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Houston, Portland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, Online, Atlanta, Miami, Tampa, Chicago, Raleigh-Durham, Denver, Boston, San Francisco, Detroit, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Austin

Duration: 16 weeks(full-time)-24 weeks(flex)

Cost: $9,500(flexible) — $16,000(full-time)

Tech: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Node.js, MongoDB, React.js

Review:

I started this program with broken promises. Before enrolling the school GUARANTEED A FULL TIME JOB OR A FULL REFUND. None of it has happened. The first month was great the easy stuff. The months moving forward I was assigned about 7 different mentors.

Reasons being they did not know javascript or they would direct me to google. A lot of times the mentors would complain about the low rate of pay. The Q & A sessions offered are even worse, the mentors pick and choose who they want to work with. If they didn’t like you or if you did not meet a certain requirement they would again point you to google or say they don’t know the subject matter.

About 75 % of the Q & A’s I registered for were cancelled, no reason was given. The curriculum is dated and old it is a lot of reading and more reading.

The mentors are not experienced at all. They just come to collect a paycheck and update their skills on the expense of the students. The school does not monitor the mentor sessions or the Q & A sessions which are just a waste of time.

The slack channel your questions will go unanswered or if they answer it they will shame you and point you to an article on how to ask questions. I was not a professional programmer I was a student looking to learn. This program is not designed for students to be successful. Not a single assignment was graded or was any feedback given. I was given a pacing guide on month 8 of the program.

The statics show a 98% success rate which makes sense. If you go above the 6 months they will forcefully withdraw you to keep the data looking good.

Save yourself the time and money go buy the same course on udemy for $10 bucks. Employers do not look at education they look what can you build. The stuff learned here I was not even able to get a UNPAID internship.

CodingDojo

Locations: Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, San Jose, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Berkeley, Tulsa, and Online

Duration: 14 weeks

Cost: $13, 495

Tech: Front-End Development, HTML/CSS, Javascript, Twitter Bootstrap, jQuery, LESS, PHP, CodeIgniter, MySQL, Ajax, Angular.JS, MongoDB, Express, Node.JS, Socket.IO, Redis, Postgres, SQLite, Coffeescript, NGINX, Heroku, Ruby, Rails, Python, Java

Review:

Coding dojo met but did not exceed my expectations. I went into it with an already marketable skill set and considerable knowledge of software especially in Python . But to be fair I didn’t know what it took to get a job in Silicon Valley and coding dojo was one element in my journey of getting there over the last year.

Their course material is pretty good, and the instructors all cared a lot & worked hard for the students. Many had deep computer science knowledge &/or real world work experience as well.

However, I was rather put off at how blatantly disingenuous their claimed graduate job placement rate is. I took an extra month to graduate* & got a job in software development after 8 months, which puts me ahead of at least 70–80% of my classmates who graduated (and it’s a tough program, out of 35–40 ppl the 1st day about 12 graduated that I know of in my cohort). Other cohorts at that time had about the same stats. All this while if I turn adblock off, practically every page features a Coding Dojo ad claiming 95% of graduates are hired w/in 6 months.

They charge you to keep using the learning platform after you graduate (unless you beg them for free access, but I never got around to it b/c I was too heated over that whole situation combined w/ the stress of job hunting & my own sour recollection of their phoney baloney job placement stats & an Eastern European girl I was briefly involved w/ before I finished studying there)

Hack Reactor

Locations: Austin, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, remote

Duration: 12 weeks

Cost: $19, 780

Tech: AngularJS, CoffeeScript, CSS, Data Structures, Express, Git, HTML, JavaScript, jQuery, MongoDB, MySQL, Node.js, SQL, React.js, Blockchain

Review: Read this medium article for insight into Hack Reactor’s flaws.

If you want to learn more about coding bootcamps, watch our podcast episodewhere we talk about how coding bootcamps have impacted the job market for developers.

Visit our website for more articles.


Best Coding Bootcamps of 2019 was originally published in codeburst on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *