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Alchemy Code Lab

Courses: Developer 101: Intro to Web Developer Tools and Technologies, Professional Software Development in Advanced Full Stack JavaScript

Locations

Portland

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.

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Courses

Developer 101: Intro to Web Developer Tools and Technologies

  • Cost: Free
  • Duration: 1 week
Locations: Portland
Course Description:

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
● Understand why HTML, CSS, and JavaScript matter and how they work together to make the web work
● Experience a collaborative environment and see how developers ask questions to learn

Subjects: CSS, HTML, JavaScript, Web Development

Professional Software Development in Advanced Full Stack JavaScript

  • Cost: $24,000
  • Duration: 23 weeks
Locations: Portland
Course Description:

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
● Intro to professional testing and refactoring techniques for JavaScript
● 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
● Use JavaScript to control the Document Object Model (DOM) of the browser to make interactive web projects that display content dynamically based on data and respond to user input and events
● 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.
● Write JavaScript code that is efficient, error-free, and able to pass a code linter
● 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.
● Work with string, array, and object data structures and algorithms to solve code challenges with pure JavaScript programming.
● 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.
● Be fully prepared for Code 401 in Full Stack JavaScript development

CODE 401: Advanced Software Development in Full Stack JavaScript
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.
● Apply Computer Science fundamentals in analyzing the trade-offs between competing solutions when choosing algorithms and JavaScript coding patterns and practices that do not degrade the performance or functionality of the application
● Establish a compelling online brand, network, and resume featuring the professional software development knowledge, experience, habits, and practices you have gained
● Demonstrate your skill and understanding in mock and personal and technical interviews, and drive a successful search for your job as a Full Stack JavaScript or Front End Web Development

Subjects: CSS, Git, Github, MongoDB, Product Mgmt, Test-Driven Development (TDD), Agile, Redux, React.js, SQL, Algorithms, Node.js, Database Design, Express.js, JavaScript, Data Structures, REST

Alchemy Code Lab Reviews

Average Ratings (All Programs)

Overall
Curriculum
Job Support

4.98/5

(54 reviews)
    1/2/2018
  • Haley
  • Graduated: 2017

Overall Score

Curriculum

Job Support

"Loved it!"

I am so glad that I chose to attend Alchemy Code Lab. I know that I got more of an in-depth education and real-world skills. They have a very supportive staff and instructor-led classes which really sold me. If anyone is looking to advance their career... Read More

Comment
    12/22/2017
  • Claire Follett | Web Developer
  • Career Track: Full-Stack Javascript
  • Graduated: 2017

Overall Score

Curriculum

Job Support

"Best Bootcamp in PDX"

I graduated from Alchemy Code Lab in March of 2017. I can say with great confidence that going through the program at Alchemy was one of the best life decisions I have ever made. Marty and Megan strive every day to make it the top bootcamp in Portland... Read More

I graduated when I was only 20 years old with no experience in the software industry and I am now a web developer full time at an awesome company. And I would not be here without Alchemy.

Comment
    12/9/2017
  • Stephanie F. | Software Developer
  • Career Track: Full-Stack Javascript
  • Graduated: 2017

Overall Score

Curriculum

Job Support

"Intense, life-changing, and worth it"

I went through the entire Full-Stack JavaScript certificate program at Alchemy Code Lab (formerly Code Fellows PDX)—meaning bootcamp prep, bootcamp parts 1 and 2, and the advanced career track (these had different names when I went through, but the curriculum... Read More

Students in my cohort came into this program from all walks of life. Some already had CS degrees or had worked in the past as software engineers but then had a resume gap and wanted to get up to speed on newer technologies. Others had absolutely no exposure to technology development or didn’t have any school after High School and were committed to a career change. I was always interested in math and loved science, but for some reason computer science always seemed mysterious and off-limits to me. I only took a couple of courses in programming basics when I got my bachelors degree, but I didn’t really consider learning to program until I had to for my last job. Then I fell in love with it and started considering changing my career.

I checked out all of the bootcamps and coding programs in Portland and settled on Alchemy Code Lab for several reasons:
* There was a higher ratio of women and other minority groups in tech representation. It meant a lot to me to be learning in a more diverse environment. I believe this is due to the diversity scholarship program and other initiatives they pursue toward bringing in those less represented in tech.
* I was looking for a full-time, intense experience that I could complete in 5-6 months.
* Related to the above: I wanted to go deep on one language so that I could understand the ins and outs of it before moving on to another language. Because of that, I went with the full-stack JavaScript certificate program.
* The environment was welcoming and professional. In class and during labs, I felt that my background, interests, and contributions were respected and appreciated. The owners of the school work hard to create an environment that works for the students as they go through the bootcamp process.
* Students complete four large group projects if they do the whole program. This was important to me since I had spoken with several industry professionals who told me that when they consider less experienced hires they pay attention to evidence that they can work well in teams. This program let me have ample experience coding individually, pair programming, and working in teams of 3-4 to build working apps from start to finish.
* Size of the classes. My cohort generally had 12 students (it varied somewhat between the courses), and it didn’t take long for us to become very close. In addition to the instructor, we had a TA that had been through the program.

That said, a coding bootcamp is an all-consuming experience. I met with several students, TAs, and alumni before I chose this program, and everyone told me that I would be working from 9am through 6pm every weekday, then doing more homework each night, and also working one or two days of most weekends. Somehow I still didn’t really believe them, but they were right. You will get out of this program whatever you put in. It is not cheap, even with scholarships, but it is worth that money if you go in committed to putting forth the effort.

Other thoughts:
* I took the full-time version of the bootcamps, but I know plenty of students who took the night classes and loved having that option. They are also quite grueling, since the course length doubles and you give up one full weekend day for class/study for the length of those courses. It is an important option for those who can’t afford to quit their day job right away and dive into a career change. The advanced career track is always full-time, as far as I know.
* The instructors collect feedback from students every week, with an anonymous section of the survey for comments you don’t want associated with you. Most of the time I didn’t have too much to say, but the couple of times I did, it was addressed right away. They are quite responsive to the feedback they get—the direction of the week can change on a dime (within reason) to include a general course interest or address a lack based on those comments.
* They have a floating advisor/experienced pair-programmer who is there at certain times to help you on labs and projects. This was immeasurably useful, not just for the advice from a senior engineer, but also so that I could learn different ways of doing things from what the instructor might show.
* The career services involved set times to work on resumes and cover letters, have presentations from industry leaders and recruiters on breaking into the Portland Tech job market, networking, and all things job hunt-related. There is no internship associated with this program, but on the other hand, most of the graduates I spoke with (who went all the way through the advanced career track) landed a job that was above internship or junior-developer level. Interviewing, white boarding, and algorithms practice is also part of the advanced career track curriculum, which I felt was pretty important practice. There is also a new consultancy practice that they are starting with some of the alumni, which is kind of like an in-house internship on lower price tag projects, as far as I know.
* Since I had some experience with HTML and CSS (and C#, but I didn’t think that would apply) beforehand, I considered skipping the first bootcamp level and testing into the second bootcamp. I didn’t end up doing that and instead took the full set of courses from start to finish. There were a couple students in my cohort who did that at either the second bootcamp or the career track level. Though there were some things we had learned by then that those students weren’t really familiar with, they caught on fairly quickly. In any case, I was glad I had gone through the whole program.
* The school is really involved in the Portland tech scene—they host regular events like DonutJS and the Women Who Code Algorithms study night, and then other sporadic events. It makes it easy to stay a little later at the school and then attend an event and practice networking.
* When I went through the program, Full-Stack JavaScript was the only advanced career track, but I know they are adding two more in 2018—Devsigner and Python. There are also professional development courses, which I think are two or three week night classes.

There was definitely stress. Don’t go into a program like this thinking that it will be a cakewalk, because you are setting yourself up for disaster. Even coming in with some prior knowledge of HTML, CSS, and C#, there were times I was struggling to get through and topics that were harder for me to understand. It seemed that everyone in my cohort struggled at different times throughout the courses, so it was really important that we could rely on each other for help in understanding.

So where am I after all of this? I didn’t find a job right off the bat, but I was lucky not to have the financial pressure that would require me to get one immediately. Still, it has been less than three months since I finished, and I have one offer on the table and other jobs for which I am in various stages of the application pipeline. It is a different kind of stress, but a good position to be in. They are all regular, full-time positions with the title Software Developer or Software Engineer.

Comment
    12/5/2017
  • Anonymous
  • Career Track: Full-Stack Javascript
  • Graduated: 2017

Overall Score

Curriculum

Job Support

"Fantastic experience!"

I can't recommend Alchemy Code Lab enough. I tested into the highest level JavaScript Immersion course and learned more in the first couple weeks than I'd ever learned before. From new technology (to me) like React/Redux, to tech I had been exposed to... Read More

Even after graduation you're still connected to other students and previous students through your Alchemy chat account. There's a jobs channel and an "all hands" channel so that everyone can stay in touch. There's a full-time career services person on staff who is a former recruiter and happy to work with you one on one for resume help and job hunting advice. As the school builds more contacts in the local tech industry, they have more connections in various companies that alumni can network with to find a role that's a good fit.

In class there's also a lot of career and interview support. Every Friday is "whiteboarding" where students pair up and whiteboard the kind of challenges that are common in tech interviews. It's good practice to help alleviate the nerves that come with whiteboarding in front of interviewers.

Alchemy is also very involved in the community and host several meetups a week. They've signed the TechTown: Diversity Pledge and are committed to diversity both in their classes and in the meetups they host.

In addition, Megan and Marty, the owners of the school, have made it a very welcoming environment. The school is open every day for current and former students and graduates can sit in on any class. There's a great social scene among students and alumni and more advanced students are always willing to help other students. There's good coffee, a huge selection of teas and various snacks. The location is right across from Powell's and there are many options nearby to get food. Once a month there's a Friday happy hour to which everyone's invited.

I'm a recent graduated of the 401 course and on the recommendation of Marty and all the career advice I received, I've been going to meetups several nights a week and in a relatively short time have had positive reactions from various employers which have led to interviews.

I'm so glad I chose to attend Alchemy Code Lab! It has been a fantastic experience and a fantastic community!

Comment

Alchemy Code Lab's average rating is 4.98 out of 5.0 based on 54 review(s).

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