About Alchemy Code Lab
Alchemy Code Lab is Portland’s most advanced software development training program, going beyond code school to develop the whole person, including comprehensive career services that consistently place grads directly into mid-level developer positions... Read More
Our course offerings evolve constantly to reflect innovations in software development. Students hit the ground running with the most current toolsets in the field. You’ll collaborate with experts and organizations in Portland's tech community, providing insider access to the industry nationally.
This six-month immersive program is led daily by senior level developers. Every day, you’ll interact with a curious, bring cohort of future developers to gain the technical and interpersonal skills you need to be a valuable member of a professional team.
Our holistic approach to teaching offers not just the ability to solve problems, but teaches future developers and engineers how to produce quality code that can build products with meaningful impact. The team at Alchemy lives what they teach, supporting each other in passion projects and creative endeavors.
Alchemy drives real opportunity and diversity in tech by providing tuition financing opportunities including scholarships for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ students, acceptance of US Veteran Benefits, and an ISA program that can allow you to defer payment until after you’ve been working for 6 months.
Do you represent this school? Suggest edits.
In this free, optional prep class learn the tools and workflows of modern web development and get the context you won’t find in online exercises and tutorials.
● Get your computer set up and begin to use real development tools
● Learn how to store your code in the Cloud using git and GitHub
● Experience a collaborative environment and see how developers ask questions to learn
CODE 102: Being a Developer: Tools, Technologies and Learning
Duration: 1 week
Get familiar with the nuts and bolts of the tools of modern software development and get accustomed to the pace and learning style of our rigorous program.
● Computer set up and execution of key workflows with VSCode, Terminal, and Git
● Tips, tricks, and shortcuts of the computer as a developer tool
● Practice HTML and CSS layout techniques by replicating existing designs
● Debugging and system validation in the browser
● Group collaboration in a remote environment, including branching, merging and pull requests
● Adapt to working as part of a team where everyone succeeds
● Adopt a mindset of continual learning as a software developer
CODE 201: Fundamentals of Software Development
Duration: 4 weeks
By the end of Code 201, you will be able to:
● Define the structure of a web page using the semantic hierarchical structural conventions of HTML5
● Apply CSS and HTML to implement page layout styles, including grid, fluid, & responsive techniques -- and style content with color, typography, and images
● Utilize Test-Driven Development (TDD) with qUnit to create tested, verified functions through unit testing that enforces correct code behavior, including Continuous Integration (CI) testing in the cloud.
● Use the development tools with the Chrome browser to inspect and adapt your code
● Adopt standard control tools and workflows -- including Git, GitHub, and VSCode -- to write functional, properly styled code and collaborate efficiently and harmoniously in professional environments
CODE 301: Intermediate Software Development
Duration: 4 weeks
After completing Code 301, you will be able to:
● Design and create a web applications using React JSX-templating, components, and basic state management techniques
● Explain the fundamentals of how the World Wide Web works, over the internet
● Navigate and utilize asynchronous programming for communication between the browser, web server, third-party APIs, and the database
● Use NodeJS and ExpressJS to build a web server
● Design dynamic frontend and backend applications which can function together or independently and are deployed to cloud platforms
● Utilize SQL to effectively read and write data using a Postgres database, persisting one-to-many relational data across multiple tables in a SQL database, sourced from third-party API or user-generated content.
● Utilize dependency management techniques to build with third-party libraries
● Follow agile software development practices during week-long sprints, including pair-programming, stand-ups, daily retrospectives, project management with Kanban boards, regular refactoring, and working in a shared code base.
Duration: 14 week
Upon completion of the this course, you will:
● Be able to build and contribute to server-side and client-side applications, using architectures and framework that promote maintainability, scalability, and collaboration.
These skills will be fully demonstrated during project week during their team development of a prototype, adhering to industry best practices and patterns
● Gain professional proficiency with ExpressJS, NodeJS, Authentication and Authorization, advanced SQL, , React, Redux, and React Hooks
● Integrate and leverage third-party ecosystems systems like Twitter, Twilio, and Slack to extend the reach of your applications.
● Establish a compelling online brand, network, and resume featuring the professional software development knowledge, experience, habits, and practices you have gained
Average Ratings (All Programs)
- Injoong Yoon | Software Engineer
- Graduated: 2018
"Intensive and rewarding coding bootcamp experience"
The course itself is extremely rigorous and intense - more than fulltime, Monday thru Friday from 9am-6pm, and I often found myself doing additional work or studying after I came home. However, I can't imagine it working as well any other way, since you're learning an enormous amount of specialized and complicated skills in an extremely condensed timeframe. Knowing your own limits and taking care of yourself when you need to are key to succeeding in the program.
The people are wonderful. I was lucky enough to be in an amazing cohort and my peers were all extremely supportive of each other. Marty and Ryan were both great instructors, patient and helpful and able to explain the more difficult concepts well. Shannon, the career services director at the school, was vital in helping us stay connected to the larger tech community in town and make the connections necessary to get our foot in the door for job interviews. I was able to land a job at a software development firm roughly three months after I'd finished Alchemy, and I apply what I've learned from the program on a daily basis. I genuinely don't believe that I'd be where I am today without having attended Alchemy. The price is high (in terms of money, time, and work required) but I found it to be absolutely worth it.Comment
- Kristin Hortsch | Fullstack Software Engineer
- Graduated: 2018
"Fantastic, learning-filled experience!"
I became a developer because I didn’t want to teach anymore. I chose Alchemy because it seemed like an incredibly comprehensive program when compared to the other options in PDX. I was sold when I went to visit it in person. left that in-person visit... Read More
The school definitely prepared me to enter a job as a software engineer. The topics covered in the short 6 months turned out to be quite spot on in terms of what would be useful or relevant once joining the workforce. Also, the instructors are incredible. Ryan, who teaches the 3 month Career Track portion, is a GENIUS, but also happens to be the best teacher I’ve ever had in life, in any context. He has this incredible ability to explain any programming topic, no matter how complex or difficult it is, in a manageable way that actually leads you to a solid understanding. Of course you can’t learn everything in that short amount of time, but Alchemy gave me a SOLID foundation that I’ve been able to build off of as I continue to learn in my job.
Side note, I got a legit job as a fullstack JS dev in an awesome Portland company within two weeks of graduating. Cheers ya’ll. I definitely would recommend Alchemy Code Lab above all the other Portland options.Comment
- Ryan Bowers | Student
- Graduated: 2019
"A Enriching Experience"
The web design course was very enriching and informative and the content of the classes was entirely accurate.Comment
- Mike Lambert | Software Engineer
- Graduated: 2018
"I wish I had more thumbs up to give"
- Robyn Navarro | Associate Software Engineer
- Graduated: 2018
"So Hard, So Worth it"
The curriculum is created and updated to reflect the demands of the job market. The instructional staff is carefully selected by Marty, the CEO, who himself is a seasoned developer and an exceptional teacher. The facilities are world class, with plenty... Read More
I enrolled in ACL straight from Puerto Rico without visiting the place first, which I now know was a really risky thing to do, but I feel extremely lucky to have chosen them. Having worked as a TA on another boot camp after graduating, visiting other boot camps and meeting graduates from various coding schools, I've learned that not all schools are created equal and I can confidently say that ACL is simply the best choiceComment
- Marcy Silverman | Software Engineer
- Graduated: 2018
"Best Decision of My Life"
- Karen P. | Product Development Engineer II
- Graduated: 2018
"A rigorous, rewarding program"
I worked as a software developer for many years in an old, proprietary IBM system. My job allowed me to work from home, and my kids were a primary focus during those years, so I was content to stay with the job even though my tech skills were growing... Read More
I researched several programs to update my skills, including on-line code schools, PSU's New Beginnings program, and in-person schools. Eventually, I decided I wanted an in-person, all-day program (to help me brush up on those interpersonal skills that might have gotten a little rusty after all those years working from home) with a fast-paced, in-depth, rigorous curriculum (I wasn't a beginner) that would give me immediately marketable and current skills. Alchemy seemed to meet all those criteria, and had (bonus!) a friendly, inclusive, and welcoming atmosphere. Alchemy lived up to my expectations in all areas. Despite my background in software, I was never bored or under-challenged. The frequent paired and group projects were an excellent way to re-learn how to code with other people, and I found my skills to be reasonably in demand once I graduated. After about two months of job hunting, I got two offers, both for jobs I was excited to take at a salary higher than I had anticipated.
Alchemy instructors are experienced software developers, not recent code-school grads. My instructors were Marty (a co-owner) and Ryan (lead instructor), and both of them are extremely smart and knowledgeable developers. I never got the feeling that they were teaching out of their depth. Their fluency with and mastery of what they were teaching was always apparent.
The TAs (recent grads) are an excellent addition to the program. They provide lots of help, feedback, and encouragement. And being a TA can be a very rewarding experience. It's a great way to build your competence and confidence with the material as you look for a job.
Alchemy is a pleasant place to spend a lot of time. It's clean, bright, organized, has lots of plants and even a couple of resident dogs. Megan (co-owner) works hard to make sure the physical space supports and accommodates all the action that takes place there.
Alchemy solicits student feedback every week (and sometimes every day!), and they take suggestions and criticism very seriously. They are very flexible and never afraid to experiment with new ways of doing things.
Shannon, the career counselor, is the perfect person for the role. She works hard to connect with Portland employers and be an evangelist for what Alchemy grads can provide. She brings in knowledgeable speakers to share their expertise about the job-hunting and on-boarding processes. And she provides great support to individual students before and after they graduate, not only helping with writing resumes and cover letters, but also encouraging the under-confident, prodding the procrastinator, and soothing the anxious.
It's a lot of work. Don't come here until you have the freedom to devote yourself entirely to learning. Especially toward the end, there were weekends where I had extra time only to get a little exercise and have meals with my family. All other time was devoted to software projects!
The open-source software world moves fast, and to keep up, the curriculum at Alchemy is constantly being updated and modified. Every cohort will feel that they are guinea pigs in at least one area. The alternative would be a canned, stagnant curriculum -- easier, yes, but less valuable.
Alchemy is the full package. I have no doubt I made the right choice.Comment
- Kevin G. | Software Engineer
- Graduated: 2018
"Challenging, welcoming, diverse, and proven to get you employed in tech (with a lot of dedication and hard work, of course)"
(TL;DR at bottom)
Backstory: I have a degree in business, approximately a decade of work experience in an unrelated industry, and I made a personal choice to switch to something I've always been very interested in: software development.
Prior development... Read More
How I found it: Like you, I ended up here (e.g. CourseReport, SwitchUp) among other sites reviewing different bootcamp programs. I came across Code Fellows in the Seattle market while I was actually searching for online bootcamps. That led me to Alchemy as they were once affiliated with Code Fellows (ACL is fully separate now and running it's own thing here in PDX).
The reviews were encouraging and I quickly realized that for my preferred learning style and desired timeframe, I would need to commit full-time to an in-person program. I did not tour any of the other code schools in Portland (I only reviewed their online materials and/or reviews) but I've heard plenty of great things and met awesome people that attended other schools. In the end though, Alchemy was clearly the choice for me once I was introduced to the owners and the space.
The experience: Marty and Megan (ACL owners) put their heart and soul in to this school. The right attitudes, levels of support needed, staffing, and relevance of the material is constantly evaluated when making changes to the school or curriculum. On the career and networking side of things, Shannon has been an amazing addition to ACL--she started when my cohort began last year--and she has also been instrumental in the success of grads getting hired at awesome companies around PDX, time and time again.
Like the industry in general, the program is not necessarily meant for everyone. Marty and Megan do their best in advance to ask the right questions of interested candidates and ensure the rigorous nature of 'bootcamp-style learning' is clear to all prospects. They are fair-minded in all that they do and as someone who has spent almost a year with them, I can say they value people, diversity, and student outcomes above all else; if you think about it, their success quite literally depends on your success.
The other side of things: Programming is hard. Technology moves fast. Bootcamps are not a slower-paced program like University. While candidates with 'non-traditional backgrounds' will at times struggle with the material, it is incredibly rewarding watching your ideas and code come to life. Even after the program, what you learn today will likely be going 'out of style' or become obselete tomorrow (or a few months, a few years, whatever) and you will likely need to continue learning while managing a career, a personal life, and all the other things that require your attention. That's true of most developers, regardless of how they got their start.
In terms of what you learn, how you learn it, etc. I'll just encourage you to set up a call or visit to the school. The material and methods of delivery are constantly evolving (in a positive way!) so your cohort will learn differently than mine did. Marty is an incredibly talented developer with years of experience as a software architect so he's always aiming to improve the program. Ryan, Lead Instructor has been amazing to work with and he's an amazing developer as well so you're in good hands.
TL;DR: Alchemy was exactly the program I was looking for. I went through the program and five months later had two offers, one of which was my top choice for entering the market here in PDX (title of Software Engineer).
Full disclosure: As I write this I am currently a TA at Alchemy Code Lab for the remainder of the week. I completed the program around October 2018 and spent the following months TAing the next cohort to help reinforce concepts, mentor, and keep 'close to the code' during the slow holiday season while applying for jobs. I have no doubt that you could be employed in less than 5 months with the right dedication to the job application process (Shannon can share other student success stories with you so feel free to ask her!).
If you're ready for a change and willing to give it all that you have, make the call. Good luck!Comment
- Ryan Luras | Software Developer
- Graduated: 2018
"Easily the best Bootcamp in PDX"
I left this review on course-report, but I feel I may as well add my two cents here as well:
After extensive research and meeting other bootcamp grads from Epicodus and the like, I really wanted to go somewhere a little more robust ( I wanted to feel truly... Read More
I can't stress enough how glad I am that I chose to go with Alchemy Code Lab. There are graduates of other bootcamps who found that they were un-prepared to head into the job market, and they are coming here afterwards to get better equipped and understand the concepts on a more fundamental level. The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable, and every month or so we would be thrown into a Project Week which would result in a Full Stack App of our own creation that would be useable after the program in our personal portfolios and resumes.
They have a great Career Services department that truly helps you in securing that job after graduation as well as opportunities to TA or work in their App Lab making real-world production Apps for clients who come to Alchemy to bring their ideas to market. I really do feel like this is the most advanced and competent bootcamp you will find in Portland, let alone anywhere.
Also to note, sure this is a "Bootcamp", but they are accredited and should really be viewed more as a Trade School, its legit.Comment
- Anonymous | Full Stack Engineer
- Graduated: 2018
"Demanding but very rewarding experience!"
Alchemy Code Lab's average rating is 4.98 out of 5.0 based on 54 review(s).