devCode Grad Chris

devCodeCamp Graduate

Chris Balleto

Chris started at devCodeCamp with no previous coding experience. Today he is a Software Developer for MGIC.

 Review

Built For Beginners & Up

**First, I would like to clarify that my review of devCodeCamp is on my own free will. While reviewing any program that someone has just attended is always encouraged, there is no incentive or reward for me to write this, which is what some other reviews have indicated and is simply not true.**

devCodeCamp is not for everyone, period. It is not anyone who is unmotivated or ambitionless. It is a program for those who are driven to learn a valuable skill and establish a foundation which can be built upon in one of the fastest growing industries right now.

My relationship with devCodeCamp started about a year before I decided to enroll. I met with Mike and Paul, an Instructor and The Director of Operations respectively, and they didn’t pull any punches telling me what to expect at all. They explained how tough it can be at times, how life may have to put on hold during the course and how the program is designed to produce problem solvers as well as developers. After mulling over the idea of attending for about 10 months, I decided to go all-in, quit my job, change my career, and my life… for the better. I had as much coding experience as a nun has experience fighting fires…NONE. I started the program in November 2016 and was lucky enough to have a very supportive wife and I connected very well with some of my classmates who have become great friends of mine. The instructors were fantastic, I was told before I agreed to enroll that they would not be handing out answers and solving our problems for us and that’s exactly how it went. I enrolled in the program to learn how to code and get a job as a developer; a company is not going to want someone who is not willing to put in the work and that is what were driven to do. (This is important if you are reading this considering joining the program, some students in my class had different expectations which was an issue for them.) I always appreciated how the instructors spoke and taught us like we were individuals and on our same level, as opposed to talking down to us, while still maintaining a sense of authority and control throughout the program. By the end of the program our conversations felt more like talking to friends than instructors, in my opinion. Because of this relationship with them, it removed a lot of the stress that comes with learning new things at a very fast pace.

The content of the program we were taught was done very rapidly. We started with HTML/CSS and learning to use GitHub in the first week, then C#, SQL, JavaScript, then finished off with ASP.NET which tied everything that we had learned together. We would typically have one weekly graded project with a few smaller ungraded ones mixed in as well. The environment we would learn in could not be better. The school is in an old cream brick building which was fantastic. We are all adults and were treated as so, which meant managing our time was on us, we were free to take breaks anytime we weren’t in a lecture as long as we made our project deadlines. Since it is a lot of knowledge very fast with not much previous understanding, there were times when you felt a little lost. When that happened I personally would speak up and try to get further direction which was successful but if you do not speak up it would be hard for the instructors to know if you are struggling, so that part is all on the student to be proactive. The whole course leads you to gain the knowledge of the tools that you will use not only for your final Capstone project but also professionally. The two weeks spent on the Capstone were easily the most difficult, yet the most satisfying. A lot of us would stay late to work, work weekends, and some days, work through lunch. In order to be sure the final Capstone project was our own, the Instructors were very hands-off, only giving subtle guidance if we were very stuck on something.

Upon completion of the course there was the deployment phase. In this phase we were taught how to write a great resume and how to interview well. After our resumes were complete they were sent to the hiring partners of devCodeCamp. Myself along with a few other graduates were asked to work on a two-week project for a local start-up which involved learning AngularJs to further pad our resumes and continue the learning process. While this is not a guarantee for all students and is not part of the tuition it is great to get semi-real world experience through devCodeCamp’s partnerships. During this period, I would still attend devCodeCamp and use their facilities to work on the project, and had great communication back and forth with Paul and the instructors about potential jobs. I also had the opportunity during this period to interview with 3 potential employers who came to devCodeCamp personally to meet myself and other graduates. For one of the employers I did not expect to interview with but since I was in the building and someone wasn’t able to meet with them, I was allowed the opportunity and they eventually ended up hiring me!

In under 150 days I went from a retail manager to a Business Intelligence Developer at a very respected company, excellent pay, and fantastic benefits all because of devCodeCamp. At a traditional school this would be impossible and much more expensive. If you are motivated and ready for a serious challenge that will change your life than this course is for you. Like I said at the start, devCodeCamp is not for everyone…but it was the best decision for me. Thanks for reading.

 Capstone Project

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