First a little about my background. I had grown stagnant in my career as a scientist and didn't find fulfillment or challenge in the day-to-day work. I had been a scientist for over ten years with a masters degree in the field. I had a mortgage and a... Read More
The Burlington Code Academy's (BCA) full-time course seemed to offer both. I did my research on the former graduates outcomes and spoke with Alex Horner at length about my expectations for the course - namely I wanted to commit fully to course and have a full-time job within a few months of completing the course. BCA had a career-focused curriculum. Local businesses had influenced the technologies being taught and work with a career counselor was integrated into the course. Feeling much more secure in the idea, I applied and was accepted three months before the program started.
I don't think a single student made it through the course without struggling with at least one project. After a long time coasting through my job this was jarring. I was invigorated by the learning but also stressed from feeling out of my element. Fortunately, my family gave me amazing support during the course so I had the time to focus on learning. I was fortunate that I didn't need to work a part-time job during the course and could spend more time on the class. Our final weeks of the course were working on projects proposed by local businesses. These capstone projects gave us exposure to local businesses and to what real projects look like. We handled client meetings, timelines, and the project scope. The course ended with a demo night where we showed off our work to the community and hiring partners. I had an informational interview lined up before the night was through.
The weeks after the course I spent time finishing my portfolio and tweaking my resume. The BCA let us know about jobs as they were being posted (or even before) and gave us contacts for businesses that we were interested in. I ended up interviewing two weeks after the course ended and had a full-time position two weeks after that!
My suggestions if you're interested in taking the course:
1. Plan ahead. Save money, recruit family and friends to help you during the course, do whatever you can to not have to split your focus.
2. You will get out what you put in. If you're motivated and want to work harder, you'll be able to and it will pay off.
3. Be ready to be stressed but remember that it's part of learning something new.
4. Avoid missing any class. I missed one day and struggled for a week and half to catch up. I can't imagine what missing multiple days would have felt like.
5. Treat this course like it's your job. Take it seriously and it will pay off.
In the end I got exactly what I wanted out of this course. I was constantly challenged, pushed, and my effort was rewarded with a new full-time career. I left a career with masters degree making $55k and in three months (of very hard work) found a remote job making $72k for an entry level position. The course paid for itself and I've never been happier. If you reach out to BCA feel free to ask them to put you into contact with me and we can chat more.