About RefactorUPlease note: This school is closed and is no longer accepting students. The SwitchUp team no longer monitors this page for updates, but historical information is available for reference.
Please note: This school has closed and is no longer accepting students. SwitchUp does not maintain that the information provided is up to date or accurate.
RefactorU is a selective, 10-week, hands-on, immersive web application development bootcamp in... Read More
There are a limited number of spaces available for each bootcamp.
RefactorU will provide you with the training, tools, and environment you need to become a top-notch entry-level developer. They will also provide you with access to hiring managers at amazing companies, guest speakers, and all the caffeinated beverages you can consume.
Do you represent this school? Suggest edits.
Average Ratings (All Programs)
- Caitlin | Web Designer & Developer
- Web Development Bootcamp
- Graduated: 2016
"RefactorU Full-Stack Review"
- Graduated: 2016
I did extensive research on Bootcamps before deciding on RefactorU. I chose RefactorU over others in the area because:
1. I love their Boulder location
2. Their program length is short (if I can learn what I need in 10 weeks, why would I pay more to be... Read More
Now having graduated just over a month ago, here are my pros and cons:
1. I learned a ton of information in 10 weeks, which is exactly what I wanted.
2. I completed a single-page full-stack web application that I am proud of and is a huge resume booster.
3. I grew as a person. Was it easy? No. Did others in my class fail? Yes. Changing careers is difficult. You will have to do a lot of work and no matter how much you pay someone, that fact is not going to change.
4. I had a good work-life balance throughout. What they say is true - you get out what you put in. I worked hard, but I did not drown.
5. I was able to add on to the curriculum by teaching myself d3.js and fiddling with a hardware component to my project. The instructors and TA's were willing and able to help me where they could, but I took it on of my own accord.
6. Fun outings and events sponsored by RefactorU made for great group cohesion and fun! Pattie is awesome and genuinely listens and cares.
7. Tony (no longer with RefactorU) and Rob were really great instructors! They were really engaging and knew how to convey the topic so we could easily understand. The TA's were also really helpful. I was able to ask questions when I was stuck and have it very quickly resolved, which was awesome!
1. The facilities were not quite what I was hoping for or expected considering the cost of the program. Especially after touring the cool, hip tech spaces of their competitors, it was a bit of a let-down. (Examples: The projector and screen had an issue that should have been an easy fix and yet was never fixed the entire 10-weeks even though we all complained. There is a violin studio next door as well as an acupuncturist so we had to deal with violin noise and the smell of Moxa burning - an annoying and bad smell in my opinion.)
2. RefactorU seems to be in a state of flux as a company. They did lose one of their very best instructors towards the end of my program. They have hired on new instructors and TA's so they are growing, but like I said, in a state of flux. They also seem to be outgrowing their space, and, since the facility is really sub-par, hopefully they are planning to upgrade in the near future.
Overall, I genuinely learned a lot and had a ton of fun! I've had interviews and a job offer, so things are looking up! Finding a job in a new field is hard (especially because I am being very picky!). Ten weeks is not a lot of time to learn a new topic, so unless you have previous coding experience, you should expect to be a Junior Developer starting out and maybe even consider taking an internship, just to get your foot in the door. (I also think the starting salary RefactorU boasts is a little inflated, so keep that in mind.) After you get a little experience, your salary will soar (or so I'm told).
Best wishes in your decision.Comment
- Graduated: 2016
"A very supportive and well-structured course."
Prior to coming to the course, I had minimal experience with coding. On top of that, I rushed through all the pre-work due to other obligations. From the start, I was feeling behind the learning curve, to say the least. It was our third lecture and within... Read More
By the end of the ten-week course, I was feeling confident enough to troubleshoot my own issues and when I was faced with a concept that I wasn't familiar with I was able to communicate at a higher level with the instructors in order to understand the concept without explicit direction. I definitely feel confident enough to work for any company and keep up with the job demands. And to think, only ten weeks ago I could hardly figure out how to use a Mac computer.
I would definitely recommend this school to anyone. They teach the most pertinent material in the industry and have a dedicated staff to assist you in your career goals along with your ongoing education.Comment
- Web Development Bootcamp
"Not worth the money"
- Get your feet wet and a basis of what it takes to create websites
- Totally disorganized
- No job support after you graduate
- Poor TAs
- No accountability (you can ignore all the exercises and activities and no one will probably notice or care)... Read More
We’re sorry your RefactorU experience did not meet your expectations. While we may not agree on every point you make, certain issues you raise have concerned us as well. Below are some improvements we’ve made since then.
The job fair we hosted on June... Read More
It’s important to note that simply attending career fairs, like responding to online postings, has limited effectiveness. We stress during every cohort that attending Meetups, networking, and directly approaching potential employers tend to be much more productive.
To address an increasingly competitive job market we have made strategic investments to help our students and alumni be more successful. We recently hired Gary Boley and Scott Bowman, veteran Career Services professionals with over 17 years of collective experience with schools like Arizona State, University of Wisconsin, and Florida Institute of Technology. They’ve revamped our Career Services education program and now provide 1:1 coaching from classroom to hire. They also support (at no additional fee) all RefactorU alumni desiring a change to tune up their resumes or brush up on interviewing skills. In addition, Gary and Scott are reaching out and building relationships with employers, large and small, to develop and implement faster, more effective ways to tap RefactorU’s talent pool.
You can reach our Career Services team here:
Gary Boley, Director of Career Services
Scott Bowman, Career Services Coordinator
Regarding one of your other comments, we’d like to underscore another key point. RefactorU is not a traditional school. It’s self-directed, adult education in which students are accountable for their own learning. We provide quality instruction, challenging exercises, and comprehensive learning assistance. Unlike other coding bootcamps, we don’t “cut” students who fail to meet arbitrary criteria along the way. All students must meet our admissions criteria and final graduation requirements, but each gets gets out of the experience what they invest in it. The final project, which demonstrates the skills the student has acquired, matters most. When it’s a well-designed, technically innovative solution to a problem, employers take notice. When students meet only minimum criteria, employers are unimpressed. Once again, the choice is up to the student, as are the consequences that result from the decision.
- Web Development Bootcamp
"It's not a scam, it's poor marketing, and gross negligence. GI Bill applicants BEWARE"
These reviews are always a tricky thing and quite frankly I always take them with a grain of salt. If you go through the learning process and aren't faced with challenges, halted by obstacles, driven to frustration, but in the end coming away with more... Read More
"Writing software is a very intense, very personal thing. You have to have time to work your way through it, to understand it. Then debug it."- Vint Cerf
So why the rating levels?
To be clear this is not a "it didn’t work, woe is me review". By RefactorU standards I'm statistically a success story of their program. Most of it had to do with the expectations going into the camp. Most of those expectations are set by the marketing used by RefactorU. Marketing sets both tone and expectations of the customer segment you’re marketing to, in my case they failed on an egregious and costly level. VETERANS and GI BILL APPLICANTS LISTEN UP
EXPECTATIONS OF OVERALL EXPERIENCE:
- 1 star (Job Placement) This one I wasn't really to concerned about going in, I wasn't banking on RefactorU for the "%96 job placement in 12 weeks" but it certainly gave me a warm and fuzzy. Especially considering I was coming from the east coast. My expectation was that I had pretty good odds on getting a job in new area if I so desired to stay in Colorado. But there’s something I take issue with in their statistical reporting and it's in the fine print under the pie chart in the link above. For integrity sake it is displayed as of the date of this review:
The sample size of that %96 percent is based on
*Population size: N = 122
122 graduates as of the year 2015. Great, so we're talking roughly 117 people getting jobs within 3 months right? Wrong!
*Sample size: n = 49 (40% response rate)
40 percent!? Yeah, let that sink in for a minute. How does %40 of 122 graduates equate to %96 percent? At best what you can state accurately is
*of 122 graduates for year 2015 49 responded with employment inside 12 weeks
* %40 of graduates respond with job placement in 12 weeks
I'm not going to comb through all the stats but the numbers simply don't add up even when factoring percentage of the 82 graduates listed on LInkedin that include 2016 grads, or those that went on to start their own firms. I get that RefactorU is at the end of the day a for profit business so marketing has to err on the side of value proposition. But again the expectation from my experience was set months prior to me stepping in the classroom. Sure I saw the website, and maybe those numbers in fine print were there but it isn’t very clear even during the blatant sales funnel that is the pre student screening process either. For a point of comparison on transparency in graduate reporting of coding boot camps, here is a pretty good example from a not for profit code school in the Denver area. There is a lot more I can say about the red flags in this category during my time at RefactorU, including but not limited to the current ratio of employed grad from my cohort almost 12 weeks later (hint: not %96), the cohort prior to mine (18 weeks after graduation) or the number of graduates I met from cohorts as far back as 2015 at Job fairs, Boulder Startup week, meetups, tech conferences, or corporate open house. At the end of the day the issue I take with this is that this is a very risky game that RefactorU is playing with. If you market such an expectation and predicate your business on this standard, then by definition your business is offering a service that fails customers roughly %60 of the time. Even on this site where less than %15 percent of RefactorU graduates reporting, results are still markedly and numerically biased from a third party.
---------------------------------VETERANS MUST READ----------------------------------
-2 star (RefactorU accepts GIBill) This hurt the most. As I said earlier on the day of graduation I had no regret. Two weeks later however, I did and it had everything to do with RefactorU's handling of the GIBill. But let’s take a step back. I know how frustrating the GiBill and VA benefit process can be for so many, civilian, dependent, and veteran alike. For the GIBill there are some misconceptions that need to be cleared because they directly impact how you use them with institutions like RefactorU or codes schools in general.
Myth - The GI Bill is given to all veterans of the us Armed Forces.
This is false and if you are of this mindset you are part of the problem. Chapters 30 and 33 of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 are known as the Montgomery and Post 9/11 GI Bill respectively. They are a voluntary financial investment asset requiring a termed payment of approximately 1 year of military pay with an optional "kicker" bonus payment after said term for US service men and women to invest. This investment asset is backed by the US Government. Rate of return is guaranteed to equal a set number of disbursements over the course of 36 months of educational training after several years of investment maturity. Meaning even after a veteran must pay into the asset it can’t be touched for several years until service members are qualified to access the benefits on its rate of return. Very much like a college 509 savings plan, or loosely based you can think of it as 401k for education but with a higher ROI. Point is, I paid an investment over time, it sits, I received a matured return on my investment that is still owned by me but controlled by the VA. I mention this to make the point that when I say I paid the insane amount I did for RefactorU it was not the amount agreed to with RefactorU. As a veteran I was not the only one victimized.
How does this apply to RefactorU's 2-month training course that they so graciously offer a %20 military discount totaling an alleged cost of $10,800?
It gets tricky but stay with me. RefactorU is not an accredited degree granting institution. As a result, disbursements are disproportional to the typical cost of semester based training. This allows, for profit, vocational institutions to file as "non traditional" Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) with the VA. In the case of RefactorU I sent my COE paperwork in early March asking what their filing status with the VA was since they were not listed on the VA WEAMS List of Institutions as of 02/16. My goal, like most VA students who file ahead of class start date, was to have my Post/911 Chapter 33 paperwork cleared prior to April 2nd start date so that disbursement would coincide with the class/training schedule. Coming from out of state I needed to rent a place to stay and that monthly stipend for living expenses was the expected offset.
In gathering my paperwork I realized that RefactorU's %20 discount as an IHL qualifies them very clearly as a candidate for the GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program. Again RefactorU would not disclose if they were an IHL at the time and only responded by saying "we do guarantee acceptance of the GI Bill and we are listed and registered with the Colorado Department of Higher Education" this was a red flag from the start. I pressed forward in the assumption that they would be operating as an IHL considering the CDHE registration and the dubious "U" of RefactorU.
Furthermore, I noticed that RefactorU was not listed as a Colorado Yellow Ribbon Participant (a provision within the Post 9/11 Gi Bill) ironically hurting their bottom line by doing so. To participate schools need to fill out VA Form 22-0839 and submit to VA electronically. I sent this form with the instructions, corresponding information, and volunteered to file it with the VA myself on behalf of the school in my early March email. Unfortunately, it went without response.
Upon arrival of day 1 and meeting the other veterans in my cohort (%30 of our class were vets), we all realized the school had yet to file with the VA. Anybody who deals with the VA knows the wait times. So all of us expecting that $1,800 housing stipend scheduled on the 1st of each month during training realized it wasn’t coming and we would be lucky to receive it all during the course of the 10-week training. According to the schools VA cost calculator there is clear distinction in cost between Montgomery and Post 9/11 benefits. After several joint phone calls to the VA we realized the school had not submitted the documentation to the VA until week 2 of class! As a result, we didn’t receive our benefits until 7 weeks into our 10 week class. Leaving many of us to rely on out of pocket expenses and credit during unemployment to cover living expenses. Of course this only adds to the stress of the class but it was unnecessary and easily avoidable. When it was all said and done, I later learned that not only I but the other vets in the class were charged for 8 months ($14,056) of our annual $21,085 entitlement for a 2 month class that should, even with military discount, be $10,800. Clearly there is a problem here and quite frankly it's not entirely RefactorU's fault, this is also systemically erroneous on the part of the VA, however RefacorU chose to wing it in an area they clearly weren’t qualified or experienced to handle. Most schools have a trained POC for VA administration. The fact that RefacorU decided against that and filed, while misrepresenting their status as an institution of higher learning with the VA is negligence. When your marketing roughly 8 cohorts a year with an average class size of 20-30 students which should be 200 but let’s just stick with the 122 documented as graduates at a rate of roughly $13k per student, as business you have well over 1.5 million in annual revenue to invest in a certifying official with experience in the VA but RefactorU doesn’t and I would call that Gross Negligence!
So what is the cost of RefactorU to veterans under the Post 9/11 GiBill?
Over $14,056. dollars. Or roughly 8 months of your 12 month $21,085 annual allotment. This for a course that is 2 months at marketed cost of $10,500 to veterans.
How does a 2 month course marketed at a cost of $10,800 to veterans cost more than the actual $13,500.00 price of admission to regular students?
This comes down to the fact that after graduation in June it was later listed and disclosed that RefactorU was registered as a "non college degree" program vs. IHL or even Trade School on the Job Vocational. Which was expected and known there was a lack of college degree but not all IHL's offer college degrees under the GI Bill and RefactorU marketed themselves as such.
The take away here is that veterans using the GI Bill pay a "premium" above the $13,500 cost to attend RefactorU.
This is ultimately why schools like ITT Tech, University of Phoenix and the several other for profit "institutions of higher learning" get mired in scandal. A result of negligent financial practices that are predatory to government backed student financial assets. Schools like RefactorU do not take the due diligence to understand the VA system and only recognize it as "guaranteed money" to the school without disclosing impact and true cost to the students.
Your best bet as a vet is to take the %20 discount and finance that through a third party which RefactorU does offer. Do not use your GI Bill with RefactorU. Or better yet, as one of the vets in our class did after realizing RefactorU was not meeting his expectations, enroll at Flatiron Community College and get a certificate from them over the course of one semester at a cost less than %60 what RefactorU charges. Except where he went to apply his Gi Bill benefit in that program the VA informed he had no more money left because RefactorU cost depleted his money unexpectedly.
EXPERIENCE OF INSTRUCTORS
-1 star (world class instructors): To be honest, I liked everyone of their instructors as people. I respect their skills as developers and they are without question brilliant folks. However, when I interviewed with schools in most cases I spoke directly with the instructor designated for the class I would be in. In almost all case they had decades of experience, multiple advanced degrees and even in the case of Iron Yard my instructor to be was former VP of Google's product development. RefactorU is growing so more talent is added to the team every day but again this is a review of my experience that exposed me to 3 instructors. The two leads, who I absolutely appreciated and respected are not world class developer or instructors for that matter. They both have, on paper, less than 5 years of documented experience as devs and are both RefactorU alumni. A company that started in 2013. So assuming they had years of experience prior to attending RefactorU, which seems prohibitive, they are by definition in any other technical trade “journeyman” level developers. Not craftsmen level, let alone master level, certainly not world class compared to other code schools. I would have been fine with this except that again in the marketing when you say you have word class instructors (and it seems to be redacted now) you set an expectation. In comparison to other code schools and my own experience in the IT sector world class actually means something I was looking forward to at least a published SME, or even CIS major who 1 of the 3 actually was. But he was mostly leading another cohort in generally unavailable.
-2 stars (classroom management and availability) As a former instructor in the military and corporate trainer I know something about classroom management. Ask any college educator or public school teacher for that matter and they will explain to you what this entails. The facilities RefactorU is housed, in combination with the lack of instructor (I’m not saying developer in this case but their experience as "instructors") ability made classroom management difficult and presented distractions throughout the 10 weeks. They recognized, attempted to fix it, but failed, as advertised, as they were learning on the job.
Availability was an issue because not only were instructors limited to about 1.5-3 hours at most of lecture in an 8-hour day, the other 5 hours of the day were generally spent playing video games or going to off-site lunches and corporate stand-up meetings during designated student hours. Again swell folks all around but not up to my expectations as advertised "world class". Even by Gladwell logic of 10k hours to achieve mastery these folks have only been "instructors" (again referencing experience as developers) for a couple years at best in a non-accredited institution that adopts zero VARK style learning modalities or education standards. Coding Coaches I think would be great marketing term. The TA's on the other hand I would argue are world class developers with some having 20+ years of experience but again they aren't the instructors. Huge discredit is done by underutilizing the TA's who are some of the most brilliant minds in the building.
EXPERIENCE OF CURRICULUM
Most of curriculum was cut and paste from free open sourced learning platforms such as codecademy, udemy, audacity, codeschool, hackerank, and various other platforms I explored prior to arrival. At a cost of several thousand dollars I was expecting more proprietary and unique to RefactorU
Clear lack of continuity between cohorts. You do and are encouraged to learn and collaborate with the other cohorts while you are there. Something that was very clear was that all of the cohorts I spoke with had varying coverage of topics. Nothing was standardized even by RefactorU's staff. You have one instructor teaching from a set IDE in one class on day 1 and the another in our class starting with a different one. Differences in using Immediately Invoked Functions, or how to setup routing in an express server should be standardized in house. Sure you're all free to choose what tools you prefer but when following along with instructors in lecture it is much easier to use the tools and practices they demo on and thusly vary the learning experience.
Not covering all technologies advertised seems petty but look my class never covered templating or spoke about Gulp even when asked it was simply a "here’s the website with the documentation". I didn’t pay $14,500+ to be given a hyperlink. Its advertised on the front of the website and when you do learn Gulp it takes your development abilities to the next level.
Lack of standards or best practices was disappointing to me. Full disclosure, I tested for my CISSP in Feb and of the 8 domains I tested, I failed by 50 points in the area of application security. I knew this was because of my coding abilities and the primary driver behind choosing a code school. Secure Set was where I felt I should have been but they didn’t offer GI Bill, and I only needed to review application development, not the other 7 domains I tested fine in. In week 8 when we did start to cover authentication, even cryptography down to the use of MD5 hashing. The total subject was discussed in class for a total of 2 hours. These are not topics you blaze through lightly. I even pulled out very basic and commonly used industry best practices such as NIST SP 800 guides. As a former NIST Guest Researcher and consultant who helped fortune 500, federal, and private sector dev teams meet these standards I think RefactorU is doing a huge disservice to themselves by not raising the bar and saying that graduates are versed in these because I was very briefly exposed to them even in RefactorU. But their world class instructors are not familiar such best practices and even when shown to them couldn’t decipher them.
EXPERIENCE OF JOB ASSISTANCE
- 1 star My liaison for recruiting and career counseling was often late for scheduled meetings. Things happen I get that but it can be a hindrance to balance coding time and assignment deadlines like finals when switching gears. The other red flag was when reviewing my resume, the liaison explained that mine was "to technical" in verbiage despite applying for technical roles. Top it all off with the fact the liaison was switched half way through the course and again after graduation.
-1 star This partly ties back to the statistic of %96 but also includes the sheer volume of previous cohort members I even had to compete against for jobs I applied to. In many cases I felt bad for that they had gone so long without employment and simply looked elsewhere but often found Refactor grads from several months prior out there being proactive but struggling to find work. This directly impacted my level of competiveness in the local labor pool.
WHAT WENT WELL?
The community manager Pattie Kettle is by far the hardest working person in that building and will bend over backwards, at times to her own sacrifice, to make sure your experience is successful.
Shirrone went out of her way to assist with lodging prior to my arrival since the of the 4 bedrooms in housing they offer for a marketed class size of 20-30 people you have about a %15 chance to get in there. Regardless Shirrone provided several well researched and viable alternatives. I respected that from RefactorUComment
We’re sorry we didn’t meet your expectations, Tom. You point out several items that have concerned us as well and I’d like to comment on changes we’ve been making.
Job Placement. As you state, we’ve recently overhauled our Career Services. The job market... Read More
The vast majority of our alumni are satisfied with their experience and the career opportunities they enjoy as a result. That said, we aren’t perfect--no organization is--but we continually learn and improve. As you state so well, “... I will say RefactorU is constantly changing and working to address its shortcomings even as they were pointed out to them on-site... More than likely you will not have this type of experience in the future with RefactorU because they are ever changing.”
Let us know if there’s anything else we can do for you.
- Michael McBride | Owner/ Software Developer
- Web Development Bootcamp
- Graduated: 2016
"Biggest waste of money!"
There are no pros. This is a company set up to take advantage of veterans by cashing in on their GI Bill benefits. Instead of burning your money, take a course from Udemy or use Free Code Camp.
My class graduated in July and half the class asked for their... Read MoreComment
Michael, we’re sorry that your time at RefactorU did not meet your expectations. As you know, we reviewed your case in detail and offered you several options to complete your studies with us. You’ve rejected our attempts to achieve a satisfactory outcome.... Read More
- Web Development Bootcamp
- Graduated: 2015
"Learn to Learn"
Yes we learned the MEAN stack and yes I can create things using technologies that I never even knew existed before, but as you probably already know about web development, it changes constantly. You cannot stop learning or else you'll just fall behind, so the most valuable skill I will learned at RefactorU is how to learn. It's impossible to know everything, but knowing how to figure out something new or solving a problem is basically what coding is about from my perspective and RefactorU definitely gave me the confidence to do that.
As far as jobs go, people won't hand you one just because you attended a bootcamp - you have to add value and show interest in your work. There is a great, supportive coding community in Boulder, in which RefactorU is heavily involved. Keep in mind, it's in their best interest for you to get a job (more job placement = more future students), so I found that they really were willing to help in any way possible.
Overall my advice would be to attend RefactorU. If you put in the time and effort, it can totally change your career path and therefore probably your life. I met a ton of great people, learned a lot and despite working really hard for 10 weeks straight, I had a lot of fun.Comment
- Web Development Bootcamp
"One of the best learning experiences of my life"
TL;DR - I absolutely recommend RefactorU.
Why I Enrolled in a Bootcamp: I had a technical background but wanted to shift careers from I.T. to development because I was looking for something more challenging that would also serve as an outlet for creative... Read More
My Experience at RefactorU: It was one of the best learning experiences of my life. Every aspect of the program, from the administrative staff, to the instructors, to the students provided such enriching support that I looked forward to class every day. Even with that support, the program was difficult. My ability to learn new concepts was constantly pushed in a way that I rarely experienced in college. During my application process I was told that this program is the most difficult thing that a lot of students have ever done - that rings pretty true. It's hard but if you put in the time and the effort then you can see incredible results. Many of my classmates had little or no technical background and I was blown away by what they were able to achieve in such a short time. Like most things in life, what you get out of the program is relative to what you put in. As for me, I learned an insane amount in 10-weeks, made great friends and was able to realize my goal of switching careers.Comment
- Eliora Horst
- Web Development Bootcamp
- Graduated: 2015
This bootcamp brought me from a novice in the web development world to a confident developer. Without hesitation, I can now design, implement, and launch a website in no time at all.
If there were any cons to this course, it would have to be how long... Read More
All around, I found this course taught me well, and the ten weeks was the perfect amount of time to learn everything I needed to without taking up too much of my time.Comment
- Ria S
- Web Development Bootcamp
"A challenging, frustrating, and rewarding experience full of cycles of roadblocks & successes"
RefactorU provides 10 weeks of intense web development training. What you put in, is what you will get out of it. You are accountable for doing your own work. Having said that, the lead instructors, particularly Rob, are fantastic at helping you understand... Read More
Pros: Course content/coursework: The overall structure and content of the bootcamp were fantastic.
Instructors: The lead instructors are some of the most talented and knowledgable developers out there. Furthermore, the instructors were committed to seeing you learn, understand, and succeed. Not only were they highly supportive of their students, they were consistent & thorough in their teaching of concepts. The breakout group lectures (students raise their hands to select topics they need more clarification on, or have a desire to delve into a topic deeper) were really helpful in solidifying concepts.
Classmates: I have met some truly incredible people in this class, that I can confidently say will be life-long friends, and helpful peers as we dive into our professional tech careers. Since instructors were often busy assisting other students (which is great, as the instructors took all the time necessary to address individual questions/problems) I found my fellow students to be a goldmine of knowledge and it was very encouraging to see other students working together and helping each other. I am very grateful to my classmates for all their help and support during the bootcamp.
Model: The number of coding bootcamps has exploded over the last couple years, and this immersive model is here to stay. As a long-time fan of alternative education (after sloughing through too many degrees in the traditional education model) RefactorU has hit the nail on the head in terms of providing a specific high-demand skillset to anyone with the grit and determination to become a software developer.
Location: RefactorU's location in Boulder is great for those interested in working for the start-up scene in Boulder and Boulder in general is an emerging tech hub. This was also helpful for the many meetups, workshops, and conferences held on a variety of tech/coding topics.
Cons: Student to teacher ratio. We had three instructors for a class of 33 (we are the largest class yet). This is in contrast to 18 students in the prior cohort, and there were 11 graduates in the cohort prior to that. I felt we were the guinea pig class in terms of throwing as many students in the class as possible. The classroom was far too small for this many students. The situations in which this was most acute was pair-programming, where we teamed up with other students to work through coursework, and there weren't any extra chairs/little space to disperse our teams. Also, during our break-out lectures (students select most relevant topics they want to discuss with instructors) it would have been helpful to have a smaller class size in order for more students to be able to ask questions and have more individual attention.
Individualized attention: while the instructors were fantastic, and true champs in terms of being overloaded with students, many of us felt that we did not receive as much individual attention as we would have hoped, and this is largely attributed to the very large class size. There simply weren't enough instructors or hours in the day to get assistance with the 1:10 ratio in our class. A huge shoutout to the instructors that showed up and gave their best every day. They were as enthusiastic about seeing us succeed in week 1 as at the very end of our program.
Class distractions: with such a large class it was an exercise in zooming in on our work and blocking out distractions. The overall classroom atmosphere was far louder and more distracting than I had anticipated. While each of us is responsible for doing whatever we needed to do in order to concentrate on learning, I was hoping for a more professional (and quieter) work/study environment. Socializing and needing a quiet space to concentrate clashed in the overcrowded classroom.
Midterm/finals: during our midterm projects (a responsive front-end application) as well as our final presentations (a fully-functional MEAN stack web application) while it was great that the school brought in former students from previous cohorts (since our class was so large), however I found the students in my current cohort to be a better & more knowledgable resource.
Constructive criticism for the school: I am aware that the school plans to hold two concurrent cohorts for the next set of students, but a campus expansion/relocation would greatly serve to benefit the students, and with the high growth of RefactorU, the organization as a whole. Smaller class sizes are a must, or reducing the teacher:student ratio. I have high hopes for RefactorU moving forward, and I anticipate seeing great things from my fellow classmates.Comment
RefactorU's average rating is 4.48 out of 5.0 based on 26 review(s).