I recently graduated from Fullstack as part of the Spring 2014 class.
During my coding bootcamp search, my main goals were to become extremely proficient in programming, learn from great mentors, and land a great job once I was done. I'll assess my experience... Read More
David and Nimit, the co-founders, have pretty impressive backgrounds, which include a Wharton degree, co-founding a company with a successful exit, and tons of early-stage start-up experience. I didn't just want to learn from someone who was good at teaching, I also wanted to learn from someone who has been in and understands the startup world. They did -- they made the coding real by peppering in stories about how things were done at Gilt, Bloomspot, Yahoo! etc. When I wanted advice about a potential job offer a few days after Fullstack, I wrote the details in an e-mail and David called me within 2 minutes. I wasn't even a student anymore.
In the two weeks after I graduated, I had conversations with 8 different companies (2 based on personal referrals). It's clear that the market is very hot for developers in NYC right now. I ended up accepting a role as a software engineer 1.5 weeks out of Fullstack. I wouldn't expect to receive an offer so quickly out of school. I think my previous startup experience helped during the interview process, but my other classmates found jobs shortly thereafter.
Learnings while at Fullstack Academy (highlights):
How to implement responsive design
Manually re-created Bootstrap using SASS
Building custom directives in AngularJS
AngularJS concepts - $scope, $watch, $digest
Defining models and writing SQL queries with BookshelfJS
Defining models and writing MongoDB queries with Mongoose
What middleware is & how to implement it
How to build Node apps with Express
much much more...
Advice to those who will be attending Fullstack Academy (or other bootcamps):
- Preparation matters. The people who took the pre-work seriously had a much easier and less frustrating time.
- Intensity. While Fullstack was intense, it was no more intense than my previous experiences working at startups. If you're used to an environment like this, you'll be fine. If you're not (probably most people), you'll also be fine. Just relax and realize everyone else feels the same way.
- Projects. Choose projects that feel "magical". Tip: The easiest way is to make things appear on the screen in real-time using webSockets.
- Take breaks. If you try to take your brain on a 5-hour non-stop coding binge, it won't come along with you. Take breaks every 30 minutes or you'll burn out. Use the pomodoro technique.
- Get your money's worth. Don't go out on a Thursday night and be too hung over to go to class on Friday. What a waste of your own money. Calculate the hourly cost of Fullstack to you (include opportunity cost for lost wages), and think about that whenever you are feeling lazy.