March 3rd, 2020
Originally published this past June at the request of One Month, here's a short piece on the state of coding bootcamps in my hometown. I've decided to bring it here as the first of what I hope will be many blog posts on this newly-minted, and ever-changing personal site.
*Originally posted on June 18th, 2019
If you've ever considered enrolling in a coding bootcamp, you'll have immediately noticed two things: there are a lot of them to choose from, and, oh, by the way, they can be quite expensive. Making such a significant financial commitment can be daunting, and the sheer number of considerations to be made about finding the ideal class size, curriculum, teaching style, intensity, and time commitment can be equally frustrating.
But luckily for you, here at One Month we've done a little digging and put together a list of Chicago coding bootcamps that we feel are worth your time and money.
Using a teaching approach that its creators have dubbed live training, Actualize's 12-week course will see students given coding exercises immediately after learning a new concept, as a review of sorts to ensure that they've truly absorbed what they've just been taught. Class sizes are also kept small (between 7-15 students) to ensure that one-on-one help from your instructor is readily available. Even the newly-added online program keeps with this hands-on approach, opting for live video conference classroom sessions.
Offering separate day and night schedules for those who may need to balance coursework with the rigors of a full-time job, fitting Actualize's extensive Rails, JS (and VueJS), HTML, CSS, SQL, and Git curriculum into your schedule should be a breeze. And with a cost of $13,900, it's among the more affordable bootcamps on offer in the city.
The shorter, more focused part-time courses all sit around $3,950, while the full-time, immersive options come in at $13,950.
Boasting one of the highest job placement rates of any coding bootcamp in the country, Flatiron School is so confident that it can teach you precisely what you need to land your first developer role that it offers a money-back guarantee if you're unable to find a job within 6 months of graduation.
Though the tuition costs are on the higher end of the spectrum, scholarship options are available to certain underrepresented groups, and there's even an option to defer your tuition payments until after you've secured a job making at least $40,000 per year.
Perhaps the most interesting of the entries on this list, the Chicago Python User Group (ChiPy) offers a 13-week program focused solely on the Python programming language. During the course you'll meet for weekly one-on-one sessions with a mentor to learn Python basics, web development, and apply your knowledge to a personal project of your own creation.
In addition to attending the required five program-wide events (all located in and around the Loop) you're encouraged to attend monthly ChiPy meetings, and will write and publish blog posts tracking your progress through the course.
The program has both a Fall and Spring cycle that both begin with an orientation event, and end with you presenting what you've learned to an audience of ChiPy group members.
Now if you're wondering why I haven't mentioned the cost for this program yet, that's because there isn't one. ChiPy's mentorship program is 100% free, and while not as all-encompassing as many of the other bootcamps on this list, this no-cost, passionately-supported and community-driven program, run by one of the most active programming groups in the country, could be a great introduction to software development, and would certainly be a great way to network with other coders around the city.
It should be noted that while coding bootcamps are an incredibly popular avenue to take to learn to code these days, they certainly aren't the only one. Taking advantage of the myriad free coding options available to you could prove just as helpful, and can, at the very least, help you determine what stack, language, or direction you're most interested in before making such a large time and financial commitment.