TLDR – No brainer for veterans using the GI Bill or Vocational Rehab.
Personal Outcome – Hired with major tech organization.
Cohort Outcome – 23/28 Graduated, 21/23 placed within 8 weeks of graduation.
I told myself that I wouldn’t write a review until... Read More
If you are reading this to decide if it’s worth your time or money, that depends on your personal financial situation. For a military veteran using the GI Bill or Vocational Rehab, it is absolutely worth every cent. Mostly because you’ll get paid to attend class and learn a skill worth having. If you’re paying out of pocket or through loans, that can be a much trickier proposition.
Do not be fooled by the ridiculous starting salaries advertised by other boot camps. Those amounts easily equate to the average of ~$55k San Antonio offers. The primary reason for this is cost of living adjustment. So, if you think you’re going to make $80-$100k fresh out of Codeup with no prior experience or college degree, think again. In fact, due to the enormous talent pool of qualified candidates and limited number of positions, not having a college degree (regardless of field) can really hurt you in the San Antonio market. You have much less in the way of bargaining and have to consider the idea of taking a much lower than desired salary just to get the coveted experience companies crave.
Engagement beyond graduation is more than you could ask for and also worth the investment. Follow-on cohorts may have a different experience, but my review is based off working with Stephen who was in charge of employer relations. On top of the volunteer opportunities, job fairs, workshops, and meetups, additional interviews were also coordinated by Stephen. He did everything in his power to find opportunities with employers. In total, I had 8 phone interviews and 5 in-person interviews. Out of the 5, I received offers from 2. I might’ve been able to secure an additional 2 offers, but my interviewing/negotiating skills were rusty and poorly researched (see above about salary expectations).
The instructors at Codeup are the main reason to choose a structured approach versus self-taught. Having access to someone intimately familiar with the curriculum whenever you need pays dividends when trying to grasp tricky concepts. The instructors almost make you believe they are wizards with special membership rings that give them coding powers. But with that being said, it is important to curb your expectations. The instructors are experts on the curriculum they teach and their individual expertise outside of the curriculum. This means that trying to test them with obscure coding challenges that have zero relevance to the real world is utterly pointless. This leads into the curriculum.
The curriculum is relatively up to date given the breakneck speed development moves. You will learn HTML, CSS, JS (ES5 and ES6), Java 8, Spring, MySQL, and a little bit of Bash. You will learn just enough of each of these to be dangerous, but not even close to mastery. You will find yourself asking why you’re using x framework, or y library, but the truth is, just do it. Development is complex enough as is, you don’t need to try to reinvent the wheel just to say that your project uses no libraries. As the projects get more difficult, no one gives a shit if you use jquery or lodash or bootstrap or whatever to make your project. As long as the final product is functional, feature complete, and relatively bug free, use whatever you can to save yourself time!
With all of that being said, manage your expectations. Special wizard rings are not issued upon graduation. You will spend 4 months learning many dialects of many languages. Equate that to learning French, German, Arabic, Spanish, and Japanese in 4 months. Your level of mastery will be reflected in much the same way. You will gravitate towards one more than the other, and become more proficient the more you use it. At the end of the day, Codeup was well worth it for me and several of my cohort mates would agree.