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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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)
- Graduated: 2017
"Best Code School In PDX!!!"
I attended Alchemy Code Lab and completed the 401 Advanced JS course. It was the best decision I could have made for my career. I was offered a job in tech within one month of graduation....and my salary is higher than it's ever been! I know that finding... Read More
By far, the greatest benefits of choosing ACL over other bootcamps in PDX are the top notch education and unwavering support that students receive. This is a code school that values community and goes to great lengths to support students. And the support does not stop at graduation. Just last week I received an email from a career specialist at ACL who wanted to share some new job opportunities with me. Alchemy Code Labs goes above and beyond to help students meet their career goals.
Additionally, the education that you will receive at Alchemy Code Lab is unparalleled in PDX. I recently attended a meet up where four of us in a group were all recent bootcamp grads (one from Epicodus, one from PDX Code Guild, and one from the Tech Academy). We all swapped bootcamp stories. The other boot campers were pretty envious when I started explaining what it was like to be a student at Alchemy Code Lab. They were envious because of the community support and the school's commitment to equity and diversity in tech. They were also struck by the deep knowledge and thorough skillset that ACL students possess. ACL provides a solid foundation of basic CS principles and plenty of white-boarding practice....I learned that these are lessons you will not receive at other bootcamps. These are skills that set ACL grads apart from other bootcamp grads. It may require a little more up front investment, but I can tell you, first hand, if you're serious about a career in tech, investing in training at ACL is well worth it.
In fact, one of the boot campers from the meet up remarked, "I discounted ACL because of the price tag. I wish I had understood that what ACL was offering was a higher level experience than my bootcamp. I'd probably have a job right now."
If you're on the fence about code schools in PDX, yes, ACL is more expensive....but if you're looking to be career ready and grab the higher paying jobs after graduation, ACL has every other school in town beat.
NOTE: Coding bootcamps are super intense no matter which one you choose. Buckle up. It's worth the ride!Comment
- Maryus Martsyalis
- Graduated: 2017
"Toughest, most advanced code school in Portland. If you want to get a job and willing to work for it, you will love this place."
They really push you. There was close supervision during entire program. we had 2 TAs and an experienced instructor for 11 students at the final 2 months of the program. TAs and instructors change from course to course. I had 2 instructors: Marty Nelson... Read More
Since Graduating i met a lot of graduates from other code schools like Epicodus and The Tech Academy. Both places are cheaper which is great, and they have much looser and less intense schedule. They also cover a lot of different Techs and languages. You'll do a a little of everything there. In contrast ACL is more specialized. Cant speak for Python course but JS track was very advanced compared to others. You will learn a lot of cutting edge tech in modern web: React, Redux, MongoDB, end to end testing and so on. You will be expected to be proficient at latest version of JS (ES6) and things like async-await. The result is that you will know these JS and especially React well enough to contribute to companies right after graduation.
Most importantly their job search support is awesome! they have two full time employees to help you search for work and introduce you to potential employers. Its also a nice community, Im still in touch from fellow students and staff from Alchemy code, and come in to the office to work with fellow graduates weekly.
P.S they have cavalier King Charles as a code school pet!!!!
- Graduated: 2017
"A Whole New World"
I came into the program hoping to develop some rudimentary programming skills to help me towards my previous career goals in biochemistry. I expected to come in for the summer, learn how to write code, then return to my field and maybe write some scripts... Read More
I care a lot about my work environment, so something I really appreciated was that Megan, Marty, SJ, and the other TA's and instructors work really hard to provide all the students with a comfortable, motivating space to learn in. This became more and more important as we progressed through the course and were stressing over increasingly complicated material (programming is hard!). To keep things fresh and moving, we were always encouraged to take a healthy amount of breaks, get up, move around, do some push-ups, etc. When it came to labs, sometimes we'd be working on something solo or in groups, and the nice thing is we were often given the option to choose. All the other students are friendly, motivated, and there to learn, so not once have I gotten the feeling in a group or pair lab that the others were slacking off or not trying. Seeing everyone around you working hard can do so much to keep you going! The instructors, councilors, as well as the folks in charge are super approachable and very open to feedback or often just to chat if you feel a bit overwhelmed. Finally, the physical classrooms are great: open and spacious with lots of natural light and little potted plants, and it's in the heart of DT Portland so whenever you need to pull your eyes away from the screen you can just stroll over to Powell's or Whole Foods or the food truck block. Next to the kitchen they keep a little table with free coffee, a hot water dispenser, and just about any kind of tea you could want. Even on project weeks, which were the most challenging, the ACL classrooms never failed to prop up my spirits and help me get down to business.
To wrap it all up, Alchemy Code Lab teaches some of the most sought-after technologies used in the industry today and gives students an amazing environment to learn it all in. When I was searching for a code school I researched and visited all of the most highly ranked ones in Portland before settling on this one. Not once have I regretted my decision. They have fully converted me from a career in science to one in web development, and I am truly grateful.Comment
- Graduated: 2017
"The Best School, A-Z"
- Christy La Guardia
- Graduated: 2017
"Hot Skills + Mentorship + Community"
I attended ACL part-time (nights & weekends) for 4 months, then full-time for 3 months. Their skilled and experienced instructors are incredibly effective in teaching the most in-demand coding skills, as well as what's current in Portland job market.... Read More
Also, ACL is committed to diversity and involvement in the tech community, and this is reflected in the school culture. It's a wonderful place to learn, be challenged and evolve into a professional developer.
Some more pros: awesome workspace in an informal and unintimidating environment, small class sizes with lots of 1:1 mentoring, relevant and specific career advice & assistance, final projects that kickstart your portfolio, rubbing shoulders & becoming friends with future/current members of the tech community.Comment
- Shane Moyo
- Graduated: 2017
Alchemy Code Lab has a great environment to cultivate your programming skills. The staff and instructors are absolutely incredible with tons of real on the job experience and knowledge to share. In addition to the superb staff the the general work space lobby is open to students and alumni alike who are all very friendly and open with sharing their knowledge and experiences.
In addition to being surrounded full time by excellent computer programmers Alchemy Code Lab also hosts a variety of tech meet ups so, it is a great place to start meeting software developers in the area!
- Graduated: 2017
- Claire Follett | Web Developer
- Graduated: 2017
"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
- Stephanie F. | Software Developer
- Graduated: 2017
"Intense, life-changing, and worth it"
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.
* 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.
* 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.
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
- Graduated: 2017
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 4.87 out of 5.0 based on 60 review(s).