I was one of the oldest members of my cohort. I am a father of two, a husband, and I have bills to pay! I spent the last ten years at a job that I was growing increasingly burnt out on, and I decided it was time for a change. I didn't make a lot of money,... Read More
It was then that I started researching code schools in my area. I looked at several, one "affiliated" with a local university, a couple of online bootcamps, some part time, some full-time. And then I found Project Shift. It stood out.
So how was I going to pay for all of this? It's not just the tuition, but also living expenses as I would have to quit my full time job. It was a tough decision. It would be (in my mind) a big gamble.
So how did it turn out?
I'm two weeks out from graduation, and I have a wonderful job offer with a large tech company! Your mileage may vary, but for me, I nearly doubled my income. Not to mention the other great benefits. And I get to work on cool, cutting edge, technologies. It's literally everything I could have hoped for.
The curriculum is thorough, but not exhaustive. After all, part of learning to code is learning to learn new tech, and Project Shift encourages that.
There is a ton of mentorship. You will have an individual mentor, access to a team of mentors on a Slack group, as well as the staff; all of whom are incredibly helpful.
There were several opportunities built in for networking with local devs like an invitation luncheon, a few panels/discussions, field trips, etc.
The work environment and the local scene are very conducive to being productive. You have 24 hr access to the coworking space where they are located. I spent many nights and weekends coding away at the office.
There is plenty of help if you get stuck on a problem. The onus is really on you to seek help when you need it.
There will be boat load of career services training in addition to all the programming. This is invaluable and has played no small part in the traction I've been able to gain in the short time since I've completed the course. And it continues far beyond graduation.
There are wonderful moments of ephiphany where you accomplish more than you thought you could.
It is a lot of work. A LOT! I spent a good 70-80 hours a week most weeks.
It moves fast. Sometimes it felt like we were moving on to an entirely new topic before I could grasp what were were just talking about.
Some of the material starts out pretty esoteric, but becomes clearer as you progress. So it takes a bit of faith in the process, but can be a bit frustrating at times.
And of course, it isn't cheap. But what kind of value is it. Well, like I said, two weeks from graduating and I essentially doubled my salary.
Is it for you?
You'll need to be driven and proactive. Seriously, not just buzzwords. This isn't high school, the responsibility will be solely on you.
You'll need to be humble and willing to ask for help. Throw whatever shred of ego you have out the window. It will only impede your progress.
You'll need to be able to play well with others. Much of the learning is done in a pair programming environment, and it is a small, intimate group.
So, do I recommend it? Unabashedly YES! If you are considering investing in a code school to help you change careers, I could not recomment Project Shift any more highly.