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Reviewer Name Review Body
Josie Chen

Fullstack Academy (FSA) transformed me from a beginner of almost zero coding experience to a full-time employed full-stack developer within 10 months. To clarify, the 10 months cover pre-bootcamp preparation, self-paced foundation phase, immersive junior and senior phases (the main body of FAS), and 3 months of job hunting after graduation. My program focused on web development; the curriculum covered a up-to-date set of full-stack languages and technologies, including Javascript, React, Node.js, Postgresql, and Express. On top of that, the program also strongly encouraged students to explore languages and technologies outside the curriculum through solo and team projects. In my case, my team and I also learned AWS, React Native, Xcode, among many other tools. Although there are always more new technologies to learn, the stack on FSA's curriculum turned out very useful and practical in the current market. In my case, the core technologies and tools I will use for my job are those I learned from FSA. Besides the tech stack, I was able to build three projects, which will constitute an important part of my resumes in the job market. Moreover, FSA operated the program using the method of Agile software development, which is widely used in the tech industry. My classmates and I practiced pair-programming throughout the immersive phases and the pairing changed every single time to make sure most students got to work together. We also built projects starting from writing a user story, to diagraming workflow and using Github Kanban, to attending daily stand-ups and weekly code reviews, and to a final presentation. All these practices prepared me well for the real working environment. The instructors at FSA are AWESOME! My cohort (2009 => 20 means 2020 and 09 means September, I know, it took me a while to figure this out) started during the pandemic. As a previous teacher myself, I totally understand the difficulties to teach online. However, FSA instructors did a wonderful job. They structured their lectures in a clear way. They were knowledgable, attentive and patient. They constantly checked in on everyone and were very willing to pause and answer any questions. Additionally, they all have different personalities, and made the lectures engaging, interesting, and funny in their own ways. (Jessica Bracht, Natalie Lane, Bienvenido Rodriguez, Travis Stratton, and Finn Terdal, thank you so much for being patient and caring!) I also benefited from the fellow system at FSA. Every 6-7 students at FSA were assigned with a teaching fellow who usually graduated a cohort ahead. Our fellow organized group lunch every week to get together, to discuss everyone's process and struggles, to share strategies and resources, and also simply to chat and to get to know each other. My fellow Bobby Ton was super encouraging and supportive throughout the entire process. He was there to support me when my laptop broke down in the middle of the bootcamp, and he also wrote a wonderful recommendation letter for me after my graduation. (Thank you, Bobby! You are the best!) FAS career assistance started during our senior phase and fully kicked in after our graduation. Career advisors gave talks on every crucial steps in job hunting. They also provided one-on-one meetings to help me prepare resume, linkedIn profile, and also a pitch speech (Thank you for helping me and supporting me, Dezzi Rae Marshall). Although I found it hard to do all this while working on my senior projects, it is good to just start. After graduation, they selected and regularly send out job opportunities, job fairs, and various events related to job hunting. I found this very helpful and the two job offers I got were both from the events my career advisor recommended. Moreover, it was very convenient to book a one-on-one meeting with my career advisor to discuss literally anything about job hunting. I discussed with my career advisor to speed up my application, report my progress and figure out what's working and what's not, prepare interviews, and negotiate salary. In addition, the career advisors also reached out to FSA alumni to organized panels, pair newly graduated students with experiences alumni to provide mentorship, and they also offer meditation sessions! (Thank you so much for always being there for me throughout the job hunting process, Trent Rhodes!) I highly recommend FSA. As I said in my title, FSA is an awesome program that is worth your time and money. If I have to say anything for improvement, I wish the class size were smaller and there were more guidances on the Async week. Perhaps these would not have been issues if it were not for the pandemic. Oh oh, one last request, please consider adding digital accessibility into the curriculum!