Our students are amazing. From their long hours of hard work and dedication to their life-changing success stories, we could not be more proud of everything they have achieved on their journey to becoming web developers. The curricula at UCF Boot Camps are rigorous and designed to help aspiring coders or data analysts reach their professional goals.
We know that choosing a boot camp is a big decision that can change the course of your life, so who better to get advice from than students who have been right where you are? Read the reviews and testimonials below to hear directly from a few UCF Boot Camps students and alumni.
Each class has 30 students with 1 teacher and 2 TAs. You meet two days a week (either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday) and you also have a Saturday morning class in which you join another 30 student class. Since you are spending 3 days a week with your classmates, you very quickly become family.
The Boot Camp encourages tight knit relationships – providing your class with a Slack channel, requiring two group projects, and giving you some of the coolest TAs to bounce ideas off of and receive feedback from.
As far as the teachers go, each teacher has their own teaching style, with everyone following the same lesson plan, class activities, and homework assignments. Whats awesome about the boot camp is they film the classes from both Mon/Wed and Tu/Th, so if you find you aren’t understanding something, you can easily watch the same lesson again, taught by a different person.
Overall, other than coding – the Boot Camp emphasizes the lifestyle of a coder. We got to take field trips to technology companies and see what their day to day was like. Most Saturdays we had guest speakers – most of them being influential people in the Orlando Tech Industry, who might potentially be future employers. We were encouraged to go to MeetUps, do Google Hangouts, and put ourselves into the job market.
As far as finding a job, the Boot Camp helps you with your resume, LinkedIn profile, GitHub Repo, and portfolio. As a part of your graduation, they host a Demo Day, where you show off a final project of your choice to potential employers.
Upon finishing, they help get you job interviews with their employer partners, in exchange for applying to at least 10 jobs a week. Before I graduated, I was already offered 2 freelance positions, and look forward to seeing where the future takes me!
If you are considering a Full Stack Web Development course, and want to be surrounded by serious, like-minded people who care about your goals and career path, definitely do this boot camp!
Now it being called a Boot Camp made me prepare for the worst. Even though we met 3 times a week, there is enough work to keep you busy day and night for the whole week, and made it fit the Boot Camp name.
There is an extensive amount of support for learning the challenging topics they cover in the short amount of 6 months. There were a total of 4 TAs, 2 professors, 2 administrative helpers (to answer any job/career, financial questions you had) all of them available just about 24/7. Always online to chat, and each Friday they would have an open Google Hangout for about 2 hours, even if no one showed up, just to be available to dive into your code and help you debug any issues you are having.
The languages that were taught are the languages that I now see day to day working in the industry, They even made changes in what languages to teach as they saw the interest of the class shift. No one wanted to learn Java in my class, so they switched it out with more PHP or Angular if we wanted to learn that. All tools we used to communicate and submit our work are the tools used in the industry today to communicate and share work.
When I left that class I not only got a great understanding of the main languages used today, but also coding basics that help me adapt and figure out other languages on my own. I have an extensive portfolio, and very detailed and connected LinkedIn profile. I also am still connected with the students, TAs, and professors of my class and have worked with them on projects. This class is exactly what I needed, when I needed it.
They ended the class with a Demo Day, where they invited people from the industry to come look at our projects we had to share. I ended up picking up a programming job on the side while going through the class, and the professors let me make that my Final Project, and gave me great advice of working on client work. they helped me bid out jobs, and come up with a good estimate of how long it would take to make it. At Demo Day, I was given about a dozen business cards and two job offers.
DISCLAIMER! If you want this to be a cheap college alternative, this is not the class for you! This class is an intensive coding BOOT CAMP, there were nights I would go home and be so mentally exhausted by the amount of learning and critical thinking that is involved. If you are expecting to be spoon fed, you will waste your money and everyone’s time.
This reflected in class well as fellow classmates came from all types of professional backgrounds and reasons to be attending. But all shared a drive to be there and seemed genuinely interested in becoming a full stack web developer, either it be for a total career change or just general interest and to expand their current skillset. The camp is organized to force collaboration through Slack chats and in the classroom. This was honestly tough for a shy person like myself, but goes with the culture they create and you fall into it willing or not, but most definitely for the better.
The pace of the course is relatively fast but will ebb and flow based on how the class is absorbing the content, allowing classmates that are confused on a topic to get help from classmates or TAs around them that are getting the concepts. This cycles throughout the course and a reason to be social and connect/help others and creates the group learning environment. I attended the Orlando West Valencia Campus and had what I thought to be an amazing Instructor and TAs. If you sign up for this course, I advise you to take it with Bob, Dwight, or John. Bob was my instructor for this I could not have been happier with him or the TAs, Dwight and John. Whom were not only great personalities to have in the class but were always willing to help out and knew their stuff.
The course encourages group work on the weekly assignments given to help grasp the content. The course has 2 main group projects, of which our group stayed together for each and was really enjoyable, but you are free to shuffle groups as you please, within a max group size constraint. For projects, you are given a list of technologies you must use and are free to decide on what to create as a team and then present them in a combined, two-class meeting on Saturdays. This makes the projects great and there were some amazing ideas/apps that came from both classes and allowed us to use what we just learned the 2-3 weeks prior to create something of our own and not just crank out “homework” assignments. The group project aspect was probably my favorite feature of the camp.
There is a big final project which leads to the end of the course and “Demo Day”. This project can be done in a group or alone. Most chose to take on this project alone as presenting on Demo Day is a great opportunity the camp creates in which you present your final project to prospective employers or other tech industry professionals and can lead to some great connections and job opportunities. Our demo day I think had about 94 attending employers.
Post-graduation support was great. You are assigned a career advisor to help you land a job. Zach, who was mine, literally handed me I think 2 interviews of which I did absolutely nothing for, all I did was set the time to go in. The continued support and feedback you get from their advisory team is invaluable in my eyes.
I was offered and accepted a job for a local company here in Orlando who is not in the camps network and have been happily titled a “Jr. PHP Developer” for a couple weeks now and using the full stack day to day. I am also doing contract work for a company here in Orlando the camp put me in direct connection with. I cannot thank the UCF Coding Boot Camp and staff enough for their help and support for making a dream of mine come true.
Tldr: Took the camp, was a blast, learned a lot, you get out what you put into it. This isn’t the matrix, you cannot just plug in and 5 minutes later you are Fully Stacked. Bob’s the man, TAs were awesome, landed a job, happy with my investment, 10/10 would do it again.
No Dumb Questions
The terminology was always so confusing and you will be surrounded by people who are going to be catching on to languages in different speeds. There were many times where I was confused and I did not even know how to ask the question! Even if you cannot word your question to make sense, ask it to the best of your abilities. Your teacher and fellow assistances are there to help you and acknowledge your confusion and they accept that you are a novice. Take advantage of their minds. Use them as your training wheels as you chip away at a new programming language.
Persevere and Patience
Just get through the classes. Do not get frustrated. The most overused phrase that echoes through my mind is “Get it to work first, then do it correctly.” Do not worry about perfecting every single project during your time in the bootcamp. Understand the purpose of a language, grasp the syntax, take note on concepts that you want to research later, and connect it to how it fits in with the other languages you have learned and will learn. Endure and resist the impatience and frustration. You can do it! Just get it done!
Some weeks will be easy and others will be difficult, but do not forget why you started to code! Whether it is for a career switch, adding to your skill set, or pure curiosity, never stop being curious. The tech industry is constantly changing and there are so many avenues you can take to solve a problem. You want to be part of the conversation that will decide between using MySQL or MongoDB, Bootstrap or Materialize, Angular JS or React JS. There are even less familiar frameworks that you may prefer! I swear there is an NPM package for just about almost every error I have faced. Just read through coding documentation with a calm mind and you will be alright!
Going through a coding boot camp was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever been through. It was definitely also the hardest, but I would do it again! I got to meet amazing people with different backgrounds and cultures with the same mission of being Fullstack Developers. I can confidently say that we will all be successful with our new skills. As for my own personal future with programming skills, I plan to explore Angular JS further or maybe React Native? I have a couple ideas in mind!