Pros: Nice location, instructors are nice.
1. The only saving grace for this program is that you get to intern for a company and get real work experience. A lot of the people I met had great internships (myself included) where I learned more than in 3~... Read More
1. Instructors are all alumni from this program.
All 3 instructors graduated less than 2 years ago and now they are in charge of teaching the new cohorts how to code. When I asked Hillary (the person who "interviews" you before you officially start the program) who the instructors would be she responded, "The instructor is someone who has 15+ years of experience in this field and is very knowledgeable" only later to find out that he retired and taught us maybe 1 course out of the entire class. The "lead" instructor was this guy who looked high all the time and had no idea what he was talking about. And about 90% of all lectures were done by the Associate Instructors (again alumni who graduated with less than 2 years of actual developer experience. Some of then never actually got a job and just got hired back so LEARN could inflate their hired numbers)
When asking questions, instructors often times would say "Let me get back to you" and never really get back to you with a coherent answer. Often times during lectures, there were students who would correct the "instructors" because they were making errors or doing something incorrectly.
2. Job Hire.
In my initial interview with Hillary, I asked what the success rate was for students. She told me that the percentage of all alumni was around 84%~. I asked specifically about the previous cohorts and still got that same number. Fast-forward to "Professional Development Week", the career coach person throws out the same exact number despite maybe 2 months going by. Then fast-forward again, I have completed my internship, I reach out to ask about employment numbers and get the exact same number. There are no specifics, no real data, no concrete evidence ever presented. Just a random statistic that never changes. So in about a 4-5 month span, the success rate has stayed exactly the same? Yea I don't buy it and neither should you.
3. Cohort Group
4. Outdated Technology
LEARN would always try and flex and say things like "We are constantly evolving and teaching things that meet the demand of the marketplace" in regards to their curriculum. However, they have been teaching the same React/Ruby on Rails curriculum for the last 2 years at least. Newbies reading this should know that Ruby and Ruby on Rails is not big anymore and definitely not big in San Diego, Orange County, or LA (where I am assuming most people attending this program would be from). Rails is popular in San Francisco and New York and even then, you find other programming back-end languages like Java, Python, and Go WAY more in job postings than Ruby on Rails. Is Ruby/RoR a good skill to have? Sure. It's easy to learn but when you’re applying for that Junior position that requires Java or Python, they're not going to choose you. Also, half-way through the program, the instructors decided to stop checking in on student progress. Students had lots of questions and nothing every got answered and we just moved on, wasting about 2 weeks’ worth of projects that got no real answer. Overall, if you're paying this much money for a boot camp, you should be learning the latest and greatest not something that was popular 10 years ago.
5. Professional Development Week
You have a whole week break during the cohort where you update your professional appearance on LinkedIn and build a portfolio. You get lecture after lecture on topics ranging on elevator pitches, updating your resume, and updating your LinkedIn. If you want to save yourself the time and energy doing this, just find a portfolio on YouTube and spruce it up and make it your own. Go on LEARN Academy on linked in and just search any alumni (literally any of them that have it) and you can see the paragraph that every single alum has in relation to what they did at LEARN. Also, you get a professional headshot done for all your professional online presence. The Elevator Pitch is just a YouTube video, the portfolio template they give you, and again, you're going to have the exact same blurb as anyone who has ever attended LEARN on your LinkedIn. At the end of the week, you send your resume to Bryan who is the career coach person for feedback. The feedback is honestly not even remotely useful because after independently testing that resume against job postings and resume critics from real developers, my resume would have been instantly scrapped and ghosted.
Conclusion: Would I do LEARN Academy again? Absolutely not. There's mediocre student support wrapped in "we are a family" mentality which means their niceness covers up the fact that they are in fact, pretty useless. From teaching yourself, working against other cohort students to try and figure out issues when pair programming, and doing the bare minimum when it comes to updating your social presence, it’s obvious that LEARN is not in it to truly help students succeed and just want your money. Nobody, from the CEO down to the instructors, really has a solid tech/developer background and it shows. I would highly encourage you to consider doing another program that is actually student-focused, has actual instructors that have experience in the industry, and a large reliable network. You are paying 14-20k for this and it should be worth that. But in reality, you are paying 14-20k for an 1-month internship with a local tech company which really makes no sense.