7 C's Review #3: How to Find the Right Coding Bootcamp for You.

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: January 13th 2023

What to Know When Choosing the Right Coding Bootcamp for You

The third in our series on coding bootcamp reviews

Nucamp’s review of General Assembly

Software engineers are in high demand.

The work is exciting, and the salaries are competitive.

Many people are learning to code and transferring to a career in tech.

Making this career shift doesn’t require a computer science degree.

And it doesn’t require accumulating tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.

Coding bootcamps are a very efficient and effective way to gain the technical skills needed to get a job as a programmer.

In our Reviewing Online Coding Bootcamps blog series, we described the 7 criteria to use to help with your decision: cost, commitment, curriculum, class format, community & collaboration, career services, compliments & critiques.

The next school we're assessing is General Assembly.

General Assembly offers courses in various technical disciplines.

We’ll focus on their coding bootcamps: Software Engineering, Front-end Development, JavaScript, Python, and React.

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The 7 factors you need to research when choosing the coding bootcamp that’s right for you.

1) Cost:

For their full-time Software Engineering Immersive (On-campus or Remote) 12-week program:

The cost is $15,950 for students who pay in full.

They offer the option to pay the tuition in 2, 3, or 4 monthly payments.

 

For their part-time Software Engineering Immersive (On-campus or Remote) 24-week program:

The cost is $15,950 for students who pay in full.

They also offer the option to pay the tuition 2, 3, or 4 monthly payments.

 

For their part-time 10-week coding bootcamps-On-campus or Remote:

The cost is $3,950.

The part-time 10-week coding topics offered are:

• Front-End Development with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

• JavaScript Development – creating single-page applications (SPA)

• Python Programming (Also offered as a 1-week accelerated course.)

• React.js Development (Also offered as a 1-week accelerated course.)

 

Partners loans, which range from $1,000 up to the full tuition, can be paid over 3-10 years, with interest rates of 5%-15%.

In the United States, loans for all General Assembly Immersive programs are available via their partners at Ascent, Climb, and Meritize.

Students can apply for as low as $1,000 up to the full cost of tuition.

These loans can include $7,000 for living expenses.

Climb Credit offers an 18-month 0% interest loan to split the monthly payments of a part-time evening course or 1-week accelerated course.

If paid within 18 months, then it's 0% interest.

General Assembly also offers their Catalyst Income Share Agreement (ISA) for full-time immersive programs.

Income Sharing Agreements (ISA) allow students to delay paying tuition while they’re attending the school.

The student agrees to reimburse the school after graduation, by paying a percentage of their gross salary once they secure a job above a specified amount.

These payments continue over an agreed upon number or years, or when the reimbursement reaches a cap.

Be Careful With Income Sharing Agreements (ISAs) To Pay For College (forbes.com).

For some students this is the only opportunity for them to attend the bootcamp, so they agree, knowing that they’ll pay well over what the tuition would have cost had they paid in full in the beginning.

The Catalyst ISA agreement terms are that once you’re making $40,000/year, you’ll start paying back 10% percent of your monthly earned income over 48 months.

The monthly payments go up if the salary goes up.

Catalyst ISA caps total payment at 1.5x original tuition.

So, if tuition was $16,000, students would eventually pay back $24,000 (16k+8k).

The start of the payback term applies to full-time and part-time jobs, regardless of the industry.

(Note: Financing options are based on the time of the writing of this review in July 2022.)

 

2) Commitment:

The Full-time Software Engineer Immersive (12-weeks) meets with a dedicated instructor Monday through Friday 9:00am-5:00pm-On-campus or Remote.

The weekly time commitment between class time, homework, and projects can be 50-60 hours.

 

The Part-time Software Engineer Immersive (24 weeks) meets 3 nights a week (times vary) adding up to 10 hours of evening class time a week, plus an additional 8 hours on Saturday-On-campus or Remote.

The weekly time commitment between class time, homework, and projects can be 30 hours.

 

General Assembly’s Immersive students also spend additional time building portfolio projects, attending networking events, and working with career services support.

 

They also offer part-time 10-week courses:

Front-End Web Development: 10-weeks part-time, Two 3-hour weeknight classes.

JavaScript Development: 10-week part-time, Two 2-hour weeknight classes.

Python Programming: 10-week part-time programs, Two 2-hour weeknight classes, OR 1-week accelerated course instructor-led Monday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm.

React Development: 10-week part-time programs, Two 2-hour weeknight classes, OR 1-week accelerated course instructor-led Monday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm.

The weekly time commitment for part-time 10-week courses:

According to General Assembly, “It varies by course and by person, but, as a part-time student, be prepared to work hard and dedicate several hours outside of the classroom each week to review course material and complete homework assignments.”

 

3) Curriculum:

They offer a variety of technical bootcamps.

• Software Engineering Immersive

• Front-end Web Development

• JavaScript Development

• Python Programming

• React Programming

• Some courses require a pre-req phase and a technical evaluation before students are accepted into a program.

The part-time flex schedule programs offer the same curriculum as the full-time immersive, just over a 24-week period.

Class curriculum is the same regardless of whether the course is taken on-campus or remotely.

 

4) Class Format:

General Assembly offers on-campus and remote classes.

Both are led by dedicated instructors.

They have US campuses in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC.

Remote courses use Zoom and Slack to meet and collaborate.

The class format is the same for full-time or part-time programs.

Part-time Immersive is not self-paced. Students must keep up with the rest of the class.

Each course presents new topics as mini-lectures so that the new material is delivered in small manageable amounts at a time.

Students can choose to work independently or collaborate with other students on coursework and projects.

Class sizes are limited to 22 students.

 

5) Community & Collaboration:

Outside of class, instructors are available during regular office hours, as well as by the course’s Slack channel.

Slack channels are also used for students to collaborate with each other.

General Assembly has a large alumni network, and organizes periodic opportunities like talent showcases, networking events, and community meetups for students and alumni.

 

6) Career Services:

General Assembly offers their Outcomes Program to students of immersive courses.

Each graduate is paired with a dedicated Outcomes career coach who assists and prepares students for the job search process.

Since career coaches know the graduates’ skillsets, and career goals, they can recommend specific jobs within their network.

Preparation includes resume writing, technical interview training, networking opportunities.

Graduates are expected to do weekly work, including networking, applying to jobs, and developing technical skills.

 

7) Compliments & Critiques:

Course Report Reviews:

Fernando – course: Python Programming (part-time)

"It was a lot of material to cover and it only brushes on some topics but I understood it was never meant to be in-depth, which was great for me because it gave me enough grit to get it started and seek out more knowledge on my own. There's definitely a large component of discipline I had to have, being a non-programmer entering this course meant I had to put a lot of my own time learning the basics of Python and it's many nuisances."

Riana – Course: Software Engineering Immersive

"the one place where I felt we could have had more support was in the job search. Throughout the course of the program there was a lot of time spent each week on what felt like general job search advice (network, have your "elevator pitch" ready, etc.). Most of this was presented in a pretty passive way and I felt like I would have preferred to spend some of that time in the classroom. Towards the end, things got more serious with resume reviews and more personalized help. Our outcomes coach would also share jobs for us to apply to in a Slack channel."

Jess – Course: Software Engineering Immersive

"You should go into this knowing that you're going to pull all-nighters, cry, and become frustrated—but you have tons of support and resources available to you, so take advantage of it! I enjoyed GA's course. I feel like we learned all of the things that we'd want to learn from an instructor and not on our own. This is an incredibly fast-paced class. I was in the remote program due to COVID, and my course was M-F, 9-5. The work doesn't stop at 5. Expect your 40-hour week to actually be 80+"

Greg D - Course – Software Engineering Immersive Remote

"First and foremost, the pre-work should be focused towards fundamentals and foundation building. I would add an additional week to the first four units, extending the course by an entire month. This would slow the pace of the course down enough to where retaining information learned becomes much easier and the student will be more comfortable with what they're learning. I had two great instructors, but they were vastly different in how they approached teaching and some days I feel like they didn't know what the other instructor taught the previous day. Communication could have been better between the instructors."

Brian B – Software Engineering Immersive Remote

"Many of the instructors are recent grads themselves. In one way, this is smart because it ensures that information is new and relevant, and you aren't being taught deprecated or soon-to-be deprecated material (out-of-date, no longer supported). The bad side to it is you aren't going to get help with things outside of their experience, compared to an institution that hires instructors that are seasoned in their fields."

 

Course Report's rating: General Assembly vs Nucamp:

General Assembly - 4.31 average rating from 587 reviews.

Nucamp - 4.75 average rating from 1520 reviews.

 

Key Takeaways:

Although we only focused on the coding courses, General Assembly offers a wide range of courses for various career paths.

The cost for the General Assembly immersive programs is on the higher end for these types of technical bootcamps.

Their job search services are thorough. And they seem to have good partnerships with potential employers.

The immersive courses are intense and are a large time commitment, but many reviewers gave the classes high marks.

General Assembly is very honest and transparent about the conditions of their ISA.

Before committing to an ISA, read and understand the following:

• the percentage of your gross salary that you’ll be paying per paycheck

• over how many years you’ll be paying it

• the repayment cap amount

 

Learning to code is becoming a must-have skill for many jobs and industries.

The right education is crucial to achieve your career goals and get a job after a coding bootcamp.

Coding bootcamps are a great way to learn to code quickly, but they’re a big commitment.

It’s important to choose the right technical education partner for you.

You’ll increase your chances of success if you enroll in one that aligns with your budget, schedule, learning style, and career goals.

At Nucamp, we're committed to ensuring you have all the information to choose the best coding bootcamp for you.

Nucamp’s primary mission is to educate and help people successfully upskill or make a career change into the exciting and ever-changing tech industry.

Plus, we make it accessible and inexpensive.

Our coding bootcamps are high quality, flexible, and one of the most affordable in the industry.

Nucamp offers a variety of online coding language courses including:

1) Web Fundamentals bootcamp (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) that spans 4 weeks for $449

2) Back-End, SQL, and DevOps with Python bootcamp that spans 16 weeks for $1,540

3) Front-End Web Development bootcamp with React.js that spans 17 weeks for $1,540

4) Full-Stack Web Development bootcamp that spans 22 weeks for $1,940

5) Complete Software Engineer bootcamp that spans 11 months for $5,169

Classes are part-time, online, and structured with one week of self-paced, hands-on, guided study.

Our instructors all teach part-time for Nucamp because they all work full-time in the IT industry.

They use the technology that they teach every day in their jobs.

This ensures our instructors have real-life industry experience and stay current on the latest trends.

 

We’re confident we can help you make that career shift and encourage you to compare what Nucamp's online coding bootcamps have to offer.

To learn more, please schedule a call with a Nucamp advisor.

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Chevas Balloun

Director of Marketing & Brand

Chevas has spent over 15 years inventing brands, designing interfaces, and driving engagement for companies like Microsoft. He is a practiced writer, a productivity app inventor, board game designer, and has a builder-mentality drives entrepreneurship.