Some feedback - depending on the starting level of the class, 4 weeks is INCREDIBLY short. Taking a look at our class (Devbootcamp #1) - over 75% of the class went on to take dev jobs in some capacity with a $80k average salary...I don't know the validity of those marketed numbers. However, we put in 8-10 weeks. I wrote a HN post after that class "334 Hours of Ruby on Rails" (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3794069). Weeks are compounding...I don't believe you can really hit your stride in just 4 weeks without prior ruby experience. This would be a great introduction class - but job ready, I'm highly skeptical. Apprenticeship ready - sure.
If you want more than just a taste of Ruby on Rails - I would take the leap and try to get into one of the Devbootcamp classes in Chicago or San Francisco. I've also heard good things about Hacker School in NY.
I'm not saying its not a productive process. It might be just what's needed. Education is hard and important and it seems like progress is happening.
Since it's free to comment, I'll comment that I'd like to see these two newly invigorated paths cross-pollinate. Is there a way of getting all the advantages of in-person education at scale and with lower costs? Can technology be used to lower teacher student ratio without costing effectiveness?
This is all of course through the lens of the stuff reaching me via articles & blogs & HN. In reality I am sure that the majority of people learning stuff are completely unaffected by either MIT Open courseware, Corsera... It's really more an arc of HN interest, but still.
If you're looking for an online option, check out Tealeaf Academy for an online bootcamp: http://www.gotealeaf.com Disclaimer: I'm a cofounder.
Our courses are project driven and you learn with a cohort. We want to maintain the quality and intensity, without forcing you to relocate or quit your job. The trade off is that we mentor you for a longer duration. If that appeals to you, then Tealeaf Academy could make sense for you.
hint: hover over the faces on the world map for student testimonials
Would you guys should consider doing a podcast or something to document your progress & ideas. This is an area with a lot of interest and I think its likely that people would like to listen to conversations about what its like to run these 21 century courses. Might also be an opportunity to interview smart people and market your academy.
They approach this with distance learning materials, exercises regularly marked by real people giving feedback, IIRC regular monthly opportunities to go and speak to your peers and slightly less regular opportunities to meet the course tutors.
Once a year, depending on the course, they would run a 1 - 2 week intensive, usually in summer.
Universities are already starting to lose the monopoly they once held as more and more students realize that $200,000 of debt might not be worth it for a piece of paper.
Is this a way for designers & people who have dabbled with coding to become professional programmers (IE some sort of alternative to Uni) or a way for people who are already professional programmers to learn a new programming environment (IE alternative to on the job training)
We only charge tuition if you find a job as a dev after the course. Also, we've done this before: 93% of our grads have offers or are working in tech jobs now at an average salary of $83,000.
Companies that have hired from the program include: Facebook, Twilio, Zendesk, Thoughtbot and Carbon Five.
If you're looking for more material/exercises, check out the prep work that all of our accepted students complete before the course: https://github.com/kushpatel72/App-Academy-prep-work/blob/ma....
When we (Jumpstart Lab) did Hungry Academy and now gSchool, they were six months long for a reason. There's a _lot_ to learn to be a competent Rails developer, and you just can't get that from a few weeks of morning instruction.
Our instructors feel 4-weeks is enough time for training these experienced engineers. If it isn't, we'll extend the course. If someone is changing their life and paying money to take this bootcamp, we're going to do our best to care of them.
For absolute beginners, we'll offer a different track. It's remarkable what you guys accomplish in a six-month program.
> Ideal candidates will have some programming experience.
There are some details:
> want to get a job, attend the events and meetings we set up for you
Nothing too bad there, although I'm not sure how "want to get a job" is proven.
I like how the web-site forgets key details like "where is this course being run?" "Are you accredited?" "What supplies do I need to bring?" "Basic qualifications to start?"
South Lake Union is one of the startup hubs of Seattle--Amazon has most of its buildings here, TechStars Seattle is here, and a bunch of great small and medium startups.
We're not accredited--you can't get student loans for the program. You need to bring a laptop to the bootcamp (we should mention that on the site...shoot).
"You do not need to know Ruby or Rails, but it helps if you're familiar with basic programming concepts and tools, like running terminal commands and using a text editor."
Admittedly, the latter is not too precise, but they do state it.
Where is answered on the home page in fairly large typeface. Accredited is a bizarre question... As something that's trying to do something novel in education, you can assume not. Supplies aren't mentioned, but I think it's fairly obvious-- you need a computer. Basic qualifications are answered in the faq.
And yes, we have way more jobs for most types of positions than programmers available.
In general you often hear stories in the newspaper about "we cannot hire programmers!" but I know tons of unemployed programmers.
If you go actually look at the job postings in a lot of areas it is slim pickings right now. The pay is bad, the benefits are worse, and the competition is high.
Schools continue to pump out CS grads and compensation continues to plummet.
I think what they mean when they say "there aren't enough programmers" is "we have to pay them too much, look at India!!"
I also wouldn't describe my current job as "pay is bad, the benefits are worse, and the competition is high" because that would be lying.
Also, we're hiring. Check out the careers section http://www.rhythmia.com/
From people who graduated after me (in particular 2008 and beyond) they talk of even longer unemployment and even worse prospects.
Unless you work in a niche area it is damn hard out there.
Won't call C++ a niche area. I don't know where you are, but have you considered moving to a place with more developer jobs?
Even the jobs coming out of London aren't that good. My current job is better than most. As I said there is a lot of unemployed programmers around here and competition remains tight.
A lot of people got thrown out when a bunch of service and or financial companies went bust, and they've been stealing all of the interesting or well compensated work.
I have to say, having relocated several thousand miles myself, I find it hard to sympathize with the unwilling.
UnoriginalGuy said "If you go actually look at the job postings in a lot of areas it is slim pickings right now." I suspect he's right, and there are places/fields where demand is poor, but there are also others where that's not the case.
I work in DC, which arguably has one of the more vibrant tech scenes in the country outside of SF, NYC and Chicago. With that said, my managers have told me they spent months looking, both themselves and through recruiters, without finding any qualified candidates. I don't have a college degree and I have minimal professional experience in the field(internship). I don't even have much of a portfolio. I've been interested in computers since I was ~12, and programming for a bout that long. They hired me because I ask the right kinds of questions and have proven I can solve my own problems for the most part.
Now, the pay and the benefits aren't -amazing- like what you'll find from some hot companies, but it's pretty decent, more than enough for a comfortable lifestyle and buying myself some shiny toys every now and then. I would gladly take the lesser pay and much more relaxed work environment over the "rockstar programmer" falsehood that would likely be projected on me at a higher paying company.
I think you need to clarify this rather questionable statement. I do not know a single unwilfully unemployed programmer.
I speak to other humans who have a BSc in CS who are currently unemployed and have been unemployed an extended period.
If you need further clarification I am happy to try and provide it. But if you could tell me exactly what you want to know that would be helpful.
I'd advise your unemployed CS grad friends to come over here (Sydney) for a working holiday; they'll get work within days if they have in-demand skills (web/ios/android).
(Not for much longer, I'd like to think)
I wouldn't really call that unemployed in the sense of desperation that most people mean.
Salaries for web programmers in the US usually cap out around $100k for the most senior guys, +-20k, depending on the region (the Bay Area being the exception, where senior-level guys will get closer to 200). Programmers who do lower level stuff (OSes, etc.) can usually expect to cap out at something like 140, +-20k. In most cases, you're not going to get more than that unless you either a) become a manager or b) have unusual circumstances around your employment (like name recognition).
Over $100k for entry-level around Seattle seems too much unless that company is printing good money every milliseconds.
It is a great teaser and certainly is the most initially intriguing thing about this program, so from a marketing perspective it is brilliant!
This is just me though.
I'd be okay with it if it were a vocational school, but it's not.
I'd be interested to know why you find writing Android apps disgusting. My personal opinion is that hands on, real world experience like actually building software drives home theory far better than talking about building software. I'm not saying that schools should only teach android or something, but I would have been far more satisfied with my education if I had actually built things as part of it. Have students build a webapp one year, one or two mobile apps another, an os another year, a compiler another year. Something like that with the order shuffled, and you should be able to ram home all the theory you want AND students can graduate with a small portfolio, a strong understanding of current topics in industry and computer science, and strong theoretical knowledge.
Maybe what I'm saying is that the current "accredited" degrees are so sparse compared with these bootcamps that the value proposition of a 200k, 4 year cs degree vs a 10-20k, 10 week program is so fatally flawed as to be... not worth it.
The long and short of it is that industry is not the purpose of education. The knowledge gained should be for the sake of gaining knowledge, not for the sake of making money.
CS students don't feel like they understand theory? The correct response is to set up "bootcamps", hosted and endorsed by the university and vetted by the faculty, outside the classroom. Research practica and MIT's Battlecode and the like are examples of hybridizing this: using the structure of a class schedule to explicitly set aside time for building software.
It doesn't really matter; my opinion isn't going to sway anyone. The university has largely already been commoditized and that's a part of why it's so vulnerable to disruption. The purpose of the university is now hugely to serve as a state-owned racket at the behest of industry. And of course industry is unimpressed by the transient state it's currently in, as you are unimpressed: what industry really wants is, well... these bootcamps: ways for industry to make money so that industry can have more workers who make them more money, neatly cutting the state out.
Ah, but that's what I'm saying. I would fully agree with industry not being the purpose of education iff the only people who went to universities had the financial means to not need to join industry afterwards, and our world didn't require highly educated people for something other than research and education. It is unfortunate that the two are so incompatible at the moment, but I think they will adapt to each other in the next decade.
To address the initial point, I don't feel strongly about it but I don't think programming Android or iOS apps in college as part of a curriculum is a bad thing, even if it is tied to industry. As long as it's used as a vehicle to drive home cs fundamentals and theories, that is. Best way to learn to code is to code and all that.
They shouldn't. Universities should teach fundamental knowledge necessary in the field. I find it ridiculous that people go to universities and expect to be taught how to make websites and mobile apps. That's something you teach yourself over the weekend. You don't need to go to a university to learn that.
University is too easy. Pack in more info than is required by the accreditation. You might be able to learn to program iPhone apps in a weekend, but you won't understand the rationality behind a lot of the decisions you make. So professors should have their students watch the iTunes U iPhone course at home, then come in and work on an app, running through design decisions, data structures, what have you, all in the context of reality.
I think people have been told that you can't do both theory and actually build something.
Edit: If anyone does know of a program, I'd love to hear about it. Thank you.
Side Note: I've been teaching myself Python on Codeacademy, but am still pretty early in the coursework. I've noticed most of these programs focus on Ruby. Without getting into the ruby vs. python fight that is so easy to find online, does anyone know why these classes focus so much on ruby and not another language? Am I going down the wrong path?
I'm in Boston, did some programming in college (mostly C++, a bit of HTML and CSS - a few web sites for family, mostly for fun) and then had the slight misfortune of going to law school just before law crashed. We all make mistakes, but I did mostly IP so I hope it comes in handy down the road.
Anyway, I've been helping with a startup doing a little bit of everything and have been using Team Treehouse to work through Ruby and iOS (since that's what the coders do at work). I'm basically working for free and can only find "internships" for non-tech people. (I do have another part-time job that pays something)
I can't afford $10k for a bootcamp. If I keep going with Treehouse and Code Academy, produce some small projects, will that be taken seriously? These camps are full-time for a few weeks, but I'm learning part-time for months.
On one hand that seems like a pretty safe bet for them. How many programmers go six months without finding a (relatively low paying) job? Worst case: they give back the tuition. Not really a big deal.
On the other hand, I'm wondering how many start ups really hire people with only 4 weeks of training and no experience. Maybe a lot? I really don't know.
Big-corps; a lot more.
Boy, did I waste 10 years of my life.
Contractors/System Integrators who "body shop" for Big-corps: a lot more.