Picture this: It’s spring 2013. Fullstack Academy has just thrown our doors open for the first cohort of students. Founders David Yang and Nimit Maru are confident in the curriculum they’ve structured the program around. However, they’re a bit nervous about what outcomes for this first group of students are going to be like.
Questions are swirling through their minds regarding what top companies in the industry will think about bootcamp grads. Will these grads get jobs? Where will they work?
The Early Days of Coding Bootcamp
Five years ago, bootcamp models were the new kids on the block, and there was no point of reference for David and Nimit to use to ease their anxiety. They came up with the idea to start Fullstack after being inundated with requests to train friends or acquaintances on practical programming skills. They decided to roll the training they’d been offering into a formalized bootcamp model.
To flesh out the curriculum, David and Nimit brainstormed and came up with all the skills they would want a potential hire to have, and then worked backward from there to figure out how to teach those skills. Again, while they were happy with what they were teaching, they still had no way of knowing what the outcomes would be for students.
There was a very real fear around the fact that while Fullstack was imparting solid skillsets that David and Nimit found valuable, there might be a completely different (and unknown) set of requirements at bigger companies.
It Only Takes One Hire
David still remembers the day, a couple years after Fullstack’s inception, that a grad emailed to give us the big news: He’d been hired at a big three company! (That would be Facebook, Google, and Apple.) That was an incredibly validating moment. It meant Fullstack was arming our grads with the skills and tools they needed to get hired anywhere they wanted. That was huge.
It really only takes one bootcamp grad being hired at a company to change that company’s way of thinking. Once an employer sees that one alum has got what it takes to excel, they’ll be sold on hiring other grads. As our cohorts continue to produce skilled, well-rounded programmers, we’re truly revolutionizing the entire industry, one hire at a time.
We Maintain a Competitive Curriculum
At Fullstack, we update our curriculum often. It’s not the easiest way of doing business, but it’s the right thing to do—and it’s the only way to guarantee our grads are up to speed with the latest technologies. We garner input from companies in the industry, our instructors, and our alumni, and then use that to inform our direction.
For example, when there was a palpable shift in the industry from using Angular to React, we adjusted accordingly. It doesn’t make sense to spend time teaching you something that won’t be of utmost value to you when you start working. This is a big reason companies continue to trust us—because what we teach is relevant.
We also make sure you spend a lot of time on projects, which will serve as concrete examples of your knowledge and skills. You can list projects on your resume, LinkedIn, Git repos, and other places to highlight your contributions and capabilities. Projects ensure that you present on paper just like any other skilled applicant.
Employers Want to Meet—and Hire—Our Grads
As we continued to improve our curriculum in order to position our grads competitively within the industry, we started to see a trend of companies approaching us to meet our grads. Another pivotal moment for us! Companies now trusted our program so much they wanted to meet our students—sometimes even before graduation—to see if anyone would be a choice hire.
Each of our bootcamps now has a Launch Day, in which students present projects to potential employers and are able to network. Many of our grads have procured jobs this way; through other alums who hire them on; or via warm intros from instructors, staff, and peers.
Intentional Emphasis on Career Success
Through the years, we’ve also started throwing more weight behind our Career Success team. We knew students would need backing to make it through the hiring processes at big-name employers. That’s because getting the job requires skills that may not necessarily be required to do the job. The Career Success team spends time with students practicing mock behavioral interviews, daily REACTO drills, and more.
The Future of Coding Bootcamps (and Grads) is Bright
There couldn’t be a better time to be a bootcamp student or grad. The cohorts in the years since we’ve started have contributed to our credibility and strong reputation, and training under Fullstack grants you access to our robust network. We’ve essentially become a part of the hiring pipeline for many companies—this is especially true for our women-only Grace Hopper Track, which helps infuse women and non-binary programmers into a historically male-driven industry.
Whether you’re a grad, student, or prospective student, you should absolutely feel confident that companies will take your work at coding bootcamp seriously. When employers see bootcamp on your resume, they infer that you have what it takes to work well with others, learn new technologies, and persist even in the face of challenges. They trust you have what it takes to do the job right now. You didn’t just hear something in a classroom a few years ago; you’ve been doing this day in and day out, and it’s fresh in your mind.
Coding bootcamp continues to evolve, and the future feels boundless and thrilling. We’ve worked with the City of New York to host tuition-free cohorts of low-income New Yorkers, and we’ve got some other exciting projects in the works nationwide. The great thing about the model we’ve built is that it was made specifically to evolve. It’s agile. It’s flexible. The world will continue to demand tech talent, and we’re positioned perfectly to meet that need.
What are you waiting for? Taking one small step today is all it takes to set you on the path to working at the company you’ve always dreamed about. Get ready to apply to coding bootcamp with our free Admissions Prep Workshop. In this 3-hour class, you’ll drill on the same problems we include on our admissions assessment and meet Fullstack Academy graduates who can answer any questions you have.