Barcelona: The location is beautiful and affordable. I enjoyed living there immensely, was able to meet a lot of locals, and lots of great people in general. It's also relatively inexpensive and very walkable.
Staff: People are really friendly, and... Read More
Staff: Despite their friendliness, communication was a huge issue. Even before class started, I missed most of the Hangouts because I didn't realize the times were being posted to Slack. Emails were not returned in a timely manner before, during, and after my session. People were defensive when offered feedback. I was often told "So and so will contact you about your concern." and then silence.
Instructors: Two of our instructors were awful and it felt like they just wasted a week of our time which is a big deal when you are only studying for 6 weeks. We basically had to relearn everything we learned from our first JS teacher. They made up for the bad CSS class by bringing in a great instructor later on, but it meant we lost a day of working on our final project.
Curriculum: It was frequently commented by my colleagues that it felt like we were being experimented on too much and I agree with them. We alternated between JS and Ruby instruction and the context switching was very confusing. They started us off the bat with Ruby and OO which was completely overwhelming for most people our first week.
Visa sponsorship for non-EU: You will probably not be able to find someone to sponsor you for a visa. I wanted to stay and it seemed like it should be doable (I was one of the strongest students in the cohort), but even though there was some interest ultimately what I heard was it's way too hard to sponsor and very few companies are willing to do it. You are limited to large foreign companies and even then it can take 3 months.
Job Assistance: Good or bad depending on your needs. I'm going to move this out of the bullet, so read on below.
We lost internet for a few days and last a ton of class time as a result. They didn't have a contingency plan so we had already lost almost two days before they found us a temp new space. Internet was pretty consistently bad the whole time we were there.
They were great while I was still in Barcelona, but as soon as I returned back to the states they went silent. I had previously decided with the cofounder that we would work on Barcelona until I left and then switch to SF. After two weeks of silence (I pinged a couple people during that time), I sent another email and this time they apologized and said it was a new guy's responsibility.
I scheduled a Skype call with the new guy and I thought maybe things would improve. Well, he sent me a list of sites with job postings. And then the next week he sent me another email with one more site with a job posting. In the meantime I was adding the jobs I applied to on to a spreadsheet so they could see my progress.
I did know that they would have less of a network in the states, but the cofounders are well connected. So I knew that it would take more effort on my part. However, job placement is absolutely crucial for any startup bootcamp, and Ironhack is expanding in to Miami. To succeed in the more competitive bootcamp market in the US, you need to cultivate relationships with companies that are specifically interested and willing to hire bootcamp students.
My expectation was that they would reach out to companies and pitch Ironhack and their students– in other words be proactive. What actually happened was they checked my spreadsheet and if they knew someone there they put me in contact. Which is helpful and I don't want to discount that, except 2/3 of those contacts were for companies were I had already gotten myself an employee referral and since their contact wasn't in a position to hire me they couldn't really provide me any assistance. In my opinion this just isn't aggressive enough because if they can't hit a high placement % then they are doing good enough.
Ironhack's response is that they are working hard and this is what they told me I'd get, so if this meets your expectations you wil be fine. If not job placement is really important to you, you may want to look elsewhere.
Tl;dr: Can be good depending on your needs. They can help you get jobs in Barcelona if you are eligible to work there, but if you want a lot of help for a non-EU job search they are limited to providing contacts to companies you've applied to. So far from my cohort the only person placed through Ironhack was hired by Ironhack.
It was a fun experience overall, and I don't regret it. I did learn a lot despite the hiccups. However, I can't help but feel like they could have done much better and the communication was consistently a huge issue. I felt frustrated by the time wasted because of bad or unprepared instructors and bad internet. I felt like they missed a lot of important topics such as code reviewing and interview prep. And job assistance didn't meet my expectations at all. So yeah, YMMV. Living in Barcelona though, that I can recommend with no hesitation.