Oct. 3, 2022

Code Platoon Coding Bootcamp Review (FullStack)


I invited on 3 coding bootcamp graduates to give their honest experience with Code Platoon's full-stack web development program. They focus on helping veterans and their spouses. While I love this mission, that doesn't necessarily mean they are a quality coding bootcamp. As with other reviews of mine, I made sure to dig into the REAL pros and cons of the program. If you're considering this program, but you're not quite sure about it, this is the episode for you.

John Winko (guest):
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-winko
Website - http://johnwinko.com

Michael Orland (guest):
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/morlan4

Jorge Prias (guest):
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jorge-prias-406b201b5

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Transcript

Don Hansen:

Welcome back to another web development podcast episode where we help aspiring developers get jobs. And junior developers grow like usual. We cut right through the BS. So I invite three real graduates on and they're gonna give their real experiences. We're gonna be reviewing code platoon for this one. I've had this recommended or people have requested that I review it for a while. So finally get to do it. And I invited on, um, yeah, three graduates. And I guess we'll go ahead and just jump into the intros, cause I'm kind of excited to get to know this program, but we'll probably do. Um, when did you graduate? Where are you at? Like you still, did you get a job? Are you still in the job search and what I mean all three of you are veterans though, right? Mm-hmm okay. Yeah. So you can mention specifics, but like what industry did you come from? Uh, but we'll go ahead and start with you.

John Winko:

Well, uh, so I'm John ween. I just, uh, not too long ago, retired out of the Navy for 20 years. Uh, I was a mechanic for while I was in, uh, I was always a computer geek though. So I always had my PA time to doing one, either computer games or programming script or something. Um, as far as, uh, uh, co platoon and everything, it was kind of the, the go-to for me, since I was already in the Chicago area, I was a, uh, an instructor up in the great lake area before I, uh, I started the program.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Very cool. Um, alright, Michael, how about

Michael Orland:

you? Yeah, my name's Michael Orland. I graduated Coto in February of 2021. Uh, before that I was in the army reserve for, uh, between like 2012 and 2018. Um, and then I went to school for mechanical engineering and then did that for a very short period of time before, uh, transitioning into software, um, through co PLA. And then I ended up getting a job at D RW after, after that. And I've been there for about a year and a half now.

Don Hansen:

Cool. How about you,

Jorge Prias:

George? Um, yeah, I I've been, um, I, I was in the air force, uh, as an early linguist back in 2011. So it's been a while. Uh, since then I've been a teacher and then after my time as a teacher ended, cuz I was, I was in Ecuador. I moved back to the states. I decided to go to software. Um, and that's where I found co platoon. And then since then, you know, I've been now a software developer for like a couple months now.

Don Hansen:

Okay, well, congrats on any new positions. Um, that's definitely, always exciting. A little nerve wracking too, but, uh, Hey, let's dive into things. So, uh, first question I like love to ask is when you're going through coding boot camps, right. To see of information, and it's really hard to figure out which coding boot camp to finally go through. And even with veterans, like you guys have a lot of choices that are gonna take the GI bill. You know, we, we were even talking earlier, George, you mentioned like, um, some coding, boot camps can even give like a scholarship before they even take the GI bill, which is really cool. So with code platoon, thinking back to your mindset back then why did you choose that one and take a chance on it over all the others?

Michael Orland:

Hmm. Uh, I think we probably all can, well, we're all probably gonna say the same thing would be my guess, but, um, so code platoon has a couple things going for it. Like Jorge was saying it has, uh, scholarships. that will either completely take care of or heavily subsidize any costs related with the program. Um, and that's whether you're a military spouse or a vet, like I was a veteran, but I have, I didn't have any like GI bill benefits left or anything like that. So, and I still paid very little to do the program, uh, because it's a nonprofit, they have a bunch of strategic partnerships with, uh, other, um, small, to very large corporations. And then on top of that, a lot of those partnerships also, they, they, uh, they have internship spots afterwards for graduates that are able to like, you know, move to a certain location or whatever, if you do well in the course. And you do well during the interviews at the end, you have a chance of like immediately getting to work. So, um, when I found it just by chance, it, honestly, I was like, it seems a little too good to be true. So I was a little skeptical at first, but it's completely legit. Like all of those benefits they're they're offered to. So, I mean, it was like hands down. I don't know if any other boot camps do that, but yeah, that was the biggest draw for me. I'd say.

Don Hansen:

Okay. The decision on

John Winko:

my own, uh, was also cuz I was, I started it before I actually officially retired. So I had about a month and a half worth where I was actually skill bridged through the program. Um, and it's one of the things I think is just the travesty is not advertised more for those that are active in the military that you kind of find out too, too, a little too late is that, you know, skill bridge, you can go up to six months, um, to, to get some OJT before you, you separate or retire and you know, it's on your, on the, the government's dime basically. Um, but with that, they also had vet tech, uh, which paid for everything after I retired. So I actually paid nothing out of pocket for mine and I still have full use of my GI bill, bill GI, bill benefits. Uh today's which I can use towards my masters if I want to.

Jorge Prias:

Yeah. I mean, and it is the same thing for me. I, I actually the gift special scholarships, uh, for, uh, women and minorities. So in my case, I was able to get in. Um, for free, I didn't pay anything. And that was a big, because I was looking at, you know, I was looking at many videos to see which bootcamp to go to. I even saw some of your videos saying, okay, this bootcamp did this one. And then ultimately once I saw like, Hey, it's free. I was like, okay. Uh, then the other thing I to lose here, , Don Hansen: it's hard. Yeah. So a lot of times when I'm even in my one on ones, when I'm trying to, uh, talk someone through like some of their choices, uh, price is a big one. And is this program worth the money? It's kind of hard to get that, um, that value from a coding bootcamp when you have no skin in the game where government's basically paying it or you're getting a scholarship. And so you don't have to, which is an advantage, which is cool. So you can look at some of the other details, but that's the main question. Um, cuz you know, a lot of, a lot of these curriculums you can teach yourself. There are a lot of cheaper courses, cetera, but like a coding bootcamp kind of structurize it or structures it and it, um, it allows you access to instructors, et cetera. And like some coding, boot camps will partner with different companies. Some say they will and they don't, but there are programs that, um, that's not even like a huge highlight of why you go to a coding boot camp. So maybe we can dig into that a little bit later, but um, yeah, let's start with the basics for now. What do you think of the curriculum?

Michael Orland:

Um, So when I was going through, I think it's still the same, but it was, it was a, you learn Python and then you learn a little JavaScript and then you learn a little Jango and you kind of put it all together and then you use react and then you, like, as you're going through the course, you're eventually, um, you're building like a, a couple small full stack applications. And so the, the, um, and then you'd do like a group project and, and all of this kind of wrap it up. But I thought the flow was pretty good when I was going through, it seemed like they were kind of, it was almost like they were going through a transitionary phase where, um, they, you know, a lot of the stuff had to be done remote. So they were kind of like adapting the curriculum to be able to do that. And they, it, it also, it seemed like they kind of took advantage of doing that and kind of opening it up to having just more students in general, because not as many people had to be in location and, you know, it's like, it was, it was good and bad for them. It seemed. Um, so, but yeah, it was like, it, it seemed like pretty well put together. There was never any major, uh, hiccups. I did notice that there was like, there were some students that were more skilled that I heard a couple complaints where they were like, wow, this is a little bit too slow. And then we had a couple students that, you know, there's a, a handful of them that are like, literally have no background at all. And they're it's way too fast, but it seemed like for the most part, it was like right in the middle where it's just, it's keeping most people like on their toes the whole time, but you're not completely lost.

John Winko:

Yeah for me. Um, they had the nuts and bolts were all there. Uh, some of them, they were a little Asray just because of, you know, transitioning from, um, where everything lied in the curriculum. Like they, they chose to do the JavaScript and, uh, some of the reactive beginning and then the Python and then kind of full stack it more towards the end. Um, so there was like key pieces that might've been missing from one that they had to go and, and revise for like the day's lessons or, I mean, there was hiccups as far as that, but as far as the actual content of the curriculum, I think it was all there. Um, I don't think you're ever gonna get perfection as far as delivery on that. Just cuz there's so much content they could do in such small amount of time. I don't think it would be feasible for anyone to do it.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. That's and real quick. That's also, I mean a good point though. It it's within 14 weeks. It's fortunate. Yeah. Okay. When you try to shove JavaScript, AMPI done within 14 weeks. I mean that, that can be a result of it. Right. And so it's on the ownership of the program to choose that amount of weeks as well. And there are programs that'll extend to like 20 weeks, etcetera. So, you know, that's a good point. It's like, um, you might, you're probably gonna need to maybe supplement a little bit if like you have weak parts, you get outta the program, you just build a project you reinforce. And that's usually what I recommend for programs, but, um, yeah, I mean, it's, it's also on that coding bootcamp to choose that 14 or 15 week mark. And is that enough for students? And if it's not that's good feedback for. Yeah,

John Winko:

my personal opinion on that is the code. Bootcamp's not gonna give you everything you're gonna need for your first job. The, the is gonna give you the outline of everything that you should know and then know what questions to ask. So you can better research for yourself, like, well, I don't know how to do that yet. So that's something I have to go dig deeper into. So like, you know, you'll make a hell out world, but eventually you'll be able to make it sing and dance. You know, they're not gonna teach you the sing and dance, but they'll tell you, you know, which resources you have to do it. So,

Jorge Prias:

yeah, I think that's very, I complet agree with that. Cause I took the part-time program. They took the fulltime program. Um, and the difference is that it was, uh, we only had class like, uh, four times, three times a week. And actually the way we began is that we had to teach JavaScript ourselves. It didn't really teach us JavaScript. We had like pre-homework and the pre-homework was to basically go to like a free code camp and do all the JavaScript lessons there. Uh, so when we began, we started with Python right off the bat, but definitely, um, you know, the students who did better were the students who saw a bunch of YouTube videos in between who were trying to, you know, teach themselves more. Cuz if you do just exactly what they tell you to do, um, you're still gonna there a lot. Like I had to get multiple information, you know, supplementally I had to look up a lot of stuff. Um, but they do teach you the, the foundation.

Don Hansen:

Okay. So that's really good feedback. You're gonna need to supplement and it's gonna be very helpful for your success as a student. My argument is there are coding boot camps that will teach you everything you need to know to become a developer where you can get hired that next day. Now doesn't happen necessarily. No, a lot of people screw up with the job search, but I've reviewed a lot of programs. There are a lot of different curriculums, more that are much more thorough that are spread out within several weeks. And in my experience, every coding bootcamp makes, um, they make choices, um, what they want to take outta the curriculum and what they wanna put in for the right price point as well. Um, so with this coding bootcamp specifically, it sounds like you're gonna need a supplement. And as long as you go into that program with that information, then you could still have a solid success story. Um, cuz there are other programs where the curriculum is solid. It's lengthy, you're gonna know everything, right? But like the career services are complete shit. They're horrible. You're not getting the mentorship you need, et cetera. So it's like a lot of these coding boot camps, they just kind of make sacrifices in different areas. Um, I think generally I've heard pretty good feedback and just feeling we'll dive into it, but feeling supported at this program specifically, but I don't know, maybe you'll correct me. Um, just one of the many

John Winko:

facets of the bootcamp is not just the knowledge, but it's also the, the networking, the people you find the, the opportunities afterwards because of the, the program, all that plays

Don Hansen:

into it as well. Absolutely. Um, oh, let's talk about the assessment. So, uh, Michael, I think it was, you initially brought it up. There were a variety of skill levels. Mm-hmm and so to me, flag goes off in my head. How well did they assess everyone or did they just let everyone in? Um, yeah. So yeah. You wanna expand on that?

Michael Orland:

Yeah, I think, I think they did it. I mean, so basically like you, you have, it's like a two part application. One of the first part is like, you just give them basic information. And then the second part is like a, is like, I think it was like 11 or 14 parts. Um, like basically like lead code style questions, um, and they're pretty middle of the road. Um, and I think as far as pre-work is concerned, like you have to know enough to be able to complete that assessment. I'm, I'm sure like some perspective students will slip through the cracks and get a little bit too much help and they come in and they're like a little bit behind, I guess, on Python and JavaScript or whatever your, your, your, uh, language of choice is for those questions. But I mean, the way that I see it is like my time. It it's only what is it? Three, a little over three months. Like my time is I saw it as pretty valuable. I didn't have like a, I didn't have like a lot of, uh, I had, I basically had to save money to live off of for that time, because I didn't have like supplemental income from anything, which is a lot of the veterans that go through. They do. So adding another couple of weeks to teach me. How to do like create a Python function that like, does something leap code esque at the end? Like I wouldn't have wanted that. And so where they were at with the assessment where it was just like maybe easy to like easy, medium, I thought it was a pretty good, a pretty good start to like weed out the very, very lowest, I guess. I, I feel like most people can get, can get by it with very little training prior, but yeah, that's, that's how I kind of saw it.

John Winko:

Yeah, I would say that they're target demographic, cuz I mean, there's not too many programmers that they're gonna be active duty. There's not many role, many roles in inside the services that are gonna be with it. So their expectations are not gonna have too many that are coming in that have any like formalized experience prior to. So they're gonna start in my opinion, a little bit lower than some of the other, like, you know, hack, rector, coder Foundry, or one of the other ones like that. Mm-hmm um, and they're also going to realize that there's a little bit more, uh, of a curve that they may have to get some of the students through. So while the bar might be a little bit lower, I mean, at the end, you're still gonna have the, the same, um, level of what they're expecting and they're not training you to B like, you know, fully qualified to do, uh, one particular thing, whether it bere react, obviously Python, so on so forth, they want you to be knowledgeable enough to do some very simple things and know where to go for, you know, for stretching it out and get more later on without them.

Don Hansen:

It sounds like they really focus on the foundations. Mm-hmm , Jorge Prias: mm-hmm yeah. The, the languages they teach. I mean, they've been very useful. Um, of course JavaScript, um, then they teach SQL, SQL is something that almost every company uses and then there's, um, react, react was, is a pretty popular framework. So they, they teach that, um, the, they teach the jungle. Like, I haven't seen too much of that out there, but I I've seen jobs that say that you need Jango skills, but, um, but yeah, they do teach the foundations. And for me, it's like, once you fully learn one language or two languages, it's pretty easy to translate to other languages

Michael Orland:

as well. Yeah.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. That's definitely true. What do you think about the instructors and the support you got from them?

Jorge Prias:

Um, for me it was like, uh, it, it depended, uh, cuz we were, since we were in the part-time program. Uh, sometimes you would, they would take a while to respond back to you. Um, and then there was other times once a while. So a while I remember I had a, uh, we had a, like in a group project, we had, we needed access. So to the, to the get hub and basically it took them like three, four days. Um, it was one instance. And the other instances, uh, it's been right away, uh, I think he said he missed, missed it. So it happens. That's what happens when you're remote. But, um, so sometimes, uh, for the, for me, I, I'm not person who like ask that question, so I'd like to look it up myself. So I didn't have too much of a problem with that, but yeah, it's not, it's not gonna be always instantaneous.

Michael Orland:

Okay. Yeah. I would say, I mean, for the full time, sorry, for the full time, uh, core, they were pretty responsive. I think, like I said, when I was going through it, they were like, It was kind of a weird time for 'em. So, um, I think that they were trying, trying to figure out how to manage. I think they had like close to 40 students, but, um, I think, you know, like I, along with Jorge, like I don't, I usually try to figure it out on my own for quite a while. At least in the beginning, I was kind of like a weak point that I had where I would like take too much time. But, uh, I also think there's probably a handful of people in the course that stuck up a lot of the instructor's time that needed a little more help than some of the other people. So there's always that it was like, and most of the questions that I would have personally, wouldn't be like crazy urgent or anything, and everything got answered, like relatively quickly. Okay. For me,

John Winko:

there was a dichotomy between cuz the, the cohort had two instructors and they kind of just ping ponged between who was teaching for the day. Uh, and so one of 'em was really good, very, uh, well spoken, not as knowledgeable in depth cuz they had experienced in other stuff. Um, but they, they were able to get the simpler points across a little bit easier. Uh, and the other one was a super knowledgeable, very smart guy, but took a little bit more time that was necessary. Trying to go too deep into the weeds for some of the subjects and was in the process of getting people lost. Um, wasn't like that every single day we, we still got valuable information from all of it. So this is just the, you know, the, the low hanging fruit for a critique. Um, but uh, yeah, overall, I mean the, they were able to

Don Hansen:

present it fairly well. Okay. That's coming from someone that

John Winko:

was very critical of it because I spent seven years in the, in the Navy as in an instructor role. So

Don Hansen:

good to know. Context is helpful. Yeah. So would you say you had one instructor to like 40 people. uh, it's 50 for us.

Michael Orland:

Yeah. But they have a, they have a gang of TAs too, that help out. So there's, there's more than just like the, the main instructors, but yeah, the, the people that are actually like lecturing is usually the, like two to three people, depending on the cohort. So we had, we

John Winko:

had two.

Don Hansen:

How many, how big was your cohort, George?

Jorge Prias:

Um, we were also around 40 to 50 people. Okay. Um, so yeah, it was, it was a lot of us. Um, but we did have four TAs, so we had two instructors and four TAs. Okay.

Don Hansen:

That's four. Hmm. Okay. That's um, so I'm gonna be blunt. That ratio is horrible. Typically, typically you'll have like, um, one instructor to 10 students, really clean ratio. It works well with the price points, with a lot of different coding, boot camps, not a lot of coding, boot camps achieve that. It's a hard ratio to achieve. And a lot of people did expand. I it's a lot more money they ex, but the thing is like, this is a non or a yeah. Nonprofit program. Right. So we can look at it in a different light, but that's still hard to maintain when you have one to 50, cuz you know, John, you even mentioned you had two different instructors, one that's really good with beginner concepts. One that's not, they just had different teaching styles. Like one would get lost in the weeds and then you have to kind of expect the quality of the TAs or the knowledge. To be less than the instructors and the experience to be less the instructors. Now, if the TA experience is more than the instructors, that's also another problem of who, which instructors they actually hire. Um, cuz I reviewing a lot of different programs. If those instructors don't have professional experience and they don't have a lot of training to be a good instructor because that's also another skill that's where you start getting holes in being able to really solidify a lot of these tougher concepts, like programming is hard and a good instructor can really, really make or break a program. Um, so my argument is that's great that they have the four TAs. Like if you have one instructor for TAs for like 50 people, um, it's not good. It's definitely not good, but I've heard worse. I've had like, I've heard like one to 80 people. Like the ratios will get much worse than that. But um, so that's kind of my experience with it. That's my opinions. Um, do you feel like. Do you feel like it's even worth maybe bringing in, so Michael you mention, or, uh, John, did you mention one instructor and they would rotate? Well, there was two instructors, there'd be

John Winko:

one per day and they would rotate between which one is teaching for the day. Okay. They would work on like grading or, you know, curriculum development or whatever the case may be.

Don Hansen:

Gotcha. So we're gonna consider that one per day. So if you go through a lesson, you learn some content. That's gonna be one for that day. Right. You're not able to pull the other instructor in. No, they they're

John Winko:

all the line. So, I mean, they're listening in, so if there's like a point where one gets kind of caught up on something, the other one can jump in. So it's not like they're not there. It's just that they're not, you know, in the, in

Don Hansen:

the lecture. Okay. That makes sense. That's a little bit different. Um, okay. So you have two instructors that you can reach out to for help. Just one teaching. Okay. Right? Yeah. Ratio's not as bad then, but,

Michael Orland:

um, could be better my

Jorge Prias:

case in my case, in the parttime, um, They did, like sometimes there was a case where it was just one instructor. Um, like we had one, like on a Saturday class, it was just one instructor. Um, luckily our TA were really good, actually. One of, one of the TAs just became an instructor right after our platoon. So, um, in that case that, you know, so yeah, we, the, the TAs, they were the ones more readily available. Um, mostly because, so as mentioned, sometimes there's like one or two students who had a lot of questions, so the instructor would mostly focus on them for the rest of us. We would have to depend on the TAs. Okay.

Don Hansen:

That's good to know. So you probably interacted with the TAs quite a bit. So I kind of wanna get a feel for when they hop in to help. Um, so some people feel like instructors hop in too quickly give 'em an answer too quickly. They just kind of wanted. So they can get unblocked some go hours and they get no help from TAs. He's TAs are just like, look it up. That's what you're gonna be doing as a developer. Right. Just look it up. Right. So there's kind of extreme sides of it. So if you had to like lean towards one side, would you say that TAs are more, they jump in, try to give you all the answers or do they give you some time to try to work out or, or do they just completely ditch you and you're off on your

Michael Orland:

own? We're talking about the TAs specifically. Yeah. TAs

Don Hansen:

specifically.

Michael Orland:

I didn't, I don't, I didn't have a lot of experience with the TAs or

Don Hansen:

instructors we'll include those

Michael Orland:

as well. The, in instruc, I mean, the instructors that I had were one in particular, um, would always like, he would like give you breadcrumbs to the answer. Never like, unless it was like very, unless I was like, I need to know what this is. Cause I've been trying this for four hours and I know it's something like very minor. It was something like that, then they'd be like, oh, this is the, but if it was like a whole like conceptual thing, it would be like red crumb sort of like start here and then see where you get. That was, that was my

Jorge Prias:

experience with it. Yeah. With the TAs was also, I mean, my experience with the TAs was also the same. Um, it was basically you had this problem, they'll be like, okay, so what do you think is going wrong? And then you said then, and they'll guide you through there. So it wasn't like, you know, here's the answer or look it up. I think only once I heard to look it up, but that was because it was like a very specific bug. Like we, we went through like different scenarios and the bug was still happening. So it's like, okay, this, they say we can lock this up.

Don Hansen:

okay.

Michael Orland:

That's also very warranted answer sometimes as well. I just wanna throw that out there. some people don't realize like you should look it. Yeah.

Don Hansen:

well, yeah, and that's very true. And some people, I mean, some people maybe it's like entitlement, uh, but they feel like, you know, if I'm paying you this amount of money, like you give me the answer. Right. And some people have that personality, like, and the thing is a lot of coding, boot camps. There are some that are just over or understaffed and they don't have the time to address everything. But like a lot of coding, boot camps are just like, this is what you're gonna be doing as a professional developer. We're trying to teach you how to be resourceful. Right. We give you the tools to be able to learn and be resourceful and mm-hmm But yeah, I, I think some people that concept just doesn't click quite yet. And hopefully it does by the end of the program. Cuz if it doesn't, they're probably gonna struggle as a professional develop. and

Jorge Prias:

that is true. Cause doesn't my job. Just like, uh, like two days ago I had some issues like, Hey, you just look it up and Google Google's your friend say, okay,

John Winko:

the beginning of our cohort. There was kinda a pseudo agreement that, you know, before you asked for instructor a TA help is like, you're gonna spend a little bit of time trying to figure it out yourself. And, um, you know, for one of the instructors, whenever they did pop into your room and see if you're kind of blocked on something, the first thing they're gonna ask is like, well, what have you done to try to solve it yourself so far? And if you haven't, you know, done anything, they're like, well, figure out what you need to do next. And if that doesn't work, then let me know before they would give you help. So, I mean, I do appreciate that aspect of it.

Don Hansen:

Okay. That that's good to know. That sounds really good. It does. Um, would you say the curriculum is stronger on for the, like to produce front end developers or backend developers?

Michael Orland:

Um, that's a good question. I mean, I think I, it seems like people just kind of gravitate towards one or the other. It was like relatively balanced myself. Like things didn't really click for me until, um, the very, like you did your, your own personal project. And then after that, after you completed that you did a group project. Once I struggled for however, like a week or whatever on my own project and put together this like, just piece of junk, like app when I went to the group project, I was like, I just like subconsciously. I was like, I like the back end much more than the front end. And, but I don't think there was like a, it didn't lean towards one or the other. It didn't seem like it to me anyways. I think react in particular learning that in like two weeks, you're just not gonna like it. Most people are gonna be like, what is this. You might be like, you know, might steer you away

Jorge Prias:

from it a little bit. But yeah, that's true because like, we spend a lot of time in jungle. We spent a lot of time in jungle. So with jungle that as the back end, and then once we went to react, it was like the last two weeks, it was like, okay, let's go react. And then compared to the, uh, to react, reacting a lot harder than Jango. So during that time, during that time, I was like, yeah, uh, I preferred the back end rather than the front end. But while, while when we did start working in groups though, um, that's when I really learned more about react and I was able to like connect both the back end and front end. So in that, in a sense, and at the end, I was very comfortable with both the front and the back end.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Do you, you had mentioned that JavaScript was kind of taught in the beginning. You learned some front end stuff then moved to back end, then react. Do you feel like JavaScript would've been better paired with react if you hadn't had that gap

Jorge Prias:

it in a way? Yeah. I, I remember when we started react, I had to like, remember the syntax for JavaScripts cuz I was so used to Python. Um, and then, so I had to like relearn, but luckily it wasn't, you know, again, the hard thing for me is like the logic. So once you had the logic down, um, it was just remembering syntax, like, okay, how, how do you do the function here? How you do you have to use the, the lock bars and things like that. So it wasn't like too crazy. Um, but, but yeah, there was a gap between react and JavaScript, especially since we actually didn't, they didn't teach us JavaScript. They, uh, we learned that by ourselves.

John Winko:

Okay.

Don Hansen:

I think I have a good feel of the curriculum. Just thinking back. So it sounds like they really focus on the foundations and giving you that outline. Um, they could probably extend it past 14 weeks. If they're trying to teach you like learning Python, which go and JavaScript and react and piling that in, in 14 weeks, 14 weeks, it's not enough. It just isn't. Even if it's 15, like you're still kind of stretching it. Um, but like, if they're really focusing on giving you that foundation, that outline to continue moving forward and telling you, Hey, okay, now you're going heavy. You're gonna reinforce everything that we just learned. Like build some projects, like right after the bootcamp, build some projects, go heavy with that. That's good advice for a program like that. Do you feel like they've really emphasized that once you graduat. now before,

John Winko:

like at least through my cohort, the entire time is reinforced that you're not gonna learn everything. We're gonna give you the basics. We're gonna give you the tools, it's up to you to build with it. And when you're, you know, starting to build out your projects, you're, you're, uh, whether it be solo or group, uh, you're gonna start using outside resources. And that that's where a lot of your learning's gonna come from. Not necessarily what's shown on the screen on a day to day.

Don Hansen:

Okay. So they're upfront with that. That's

John Winko:

awesome. Well, from my cohort, it was, yeah,

Jorge Prias:

they were even like, from when we did a group project, they're like, Hey, if you want to use a different framework that we didn't teach you, go ahead. You know, it was like, you know, because you're gonna have to, um, you know, the more you learn the better.

Don Hansen:

Okay. I would agree with that. I think your knowledge has spread way too thin at that point, I think it makes sense to double down in the curriculum that you learned. Um, it can benefit you, but like, is it worth the time? I guess it depends like, you know, if you have a year before you really need to get a job after the program. Sure. Pick up another framework. Maybe you wanted to learn view. You're like screw react. I, I wanted dive into view. This is really cool. Right. And then it would make sense, but I think for majority of students, um, they probably want to double down on the curriculum that they just learned and reinforce a lot of that. Um, disagree with me if you disagree, but that that's

Michael Orland:

kinda, yeah, I think it it's totally situational. I think you have people that are with this program in particular, you have people that are, you know, they're, they're separating from the military where they're gonna leave and go home and they're not gonna have any source of income. They're not gonna have any, anything to fall on. So. You know, like we could make it, you know, let's make it five months or six months or however long it might take at the pace they're at to get all of that knowledge. And you have, uh, a problem because a lot of people doing skill bridge, they don't have that amount of time. Mm-hmm . And then for me, in particular, um, my, my, like I was a, like I said, I was a, I graduated mechanical engineering school and I did that for like, I don't know, like nine months I worked at a major airline and, uh, it was right around the time where lockdowns happened. So like I ended up losing my job and I had to figure out what I was gonna do. And so, you know, luckily just like by a stroke of luck, I found codeable tune and it looked like the right thing to do. And it was like a reasonable amount of time where I felt like this makes sense for me. Like I can do what I need to do up front. Um, to get like into the program. And then after that, like everything after that is up to you, like you, you have to invest in your own, you know, learning at some point and you have to invest in, you know, it like, I don't, it just depends, like some people are gonna look for something where it's gonna hold their hand. And I do think there is some of that in co platoon, for sure. Especially for somebody that needs it, but the time is not there. And I think that for people in certain situations, that's like a positive thing, especially paired with like the career services afterwards that are, I mean, I think they're unmatched. I don't. And I went to like a university. They didn't have anything like this, not even close. And, uh, so it was like exactly what I was looking for. I wouldn't have want to been be there for another week. Not because I didn't love being in a coding bootcamp, but, you know, because I had, I had a life to get back to. and for me, I

John Winko:

mean, our, I have a bachelor's in it. So, I mean, I got that back in 2014. Um, so I mean, I technically had some skills before going into it. Um, and when we, you talking about curriculum and everything else, but there there's a fair amount of the quote unquote curriculum. That's not technical base. It's well, when you're doing a job interview, this is how you gotta present yourself. This is how you stop being in that military mindset. You know, here's your top five questions to expect to always answer during

Don Hansen:

an interview, how are you gonna give your, your,

John Winko:

your 32nd elevator speech and all that's with the curriculum as well? So you're not doing just coding. You're also practicing like the real world skills. So some of that's covered in tap whenever you're getting ready to get out, but this is a supplement to that. Cause for veterans, there's extra steps for getting ready for the civilian, uh, career market.

Don Hansen:

You guys make really good points. You do, um, and so it probably is there's gonna be a variety of situations. Um, and I think for people that are a little bit more limited on time, that direction is gonna be different than someone in a D heading in a different direction or coming from a different place. Uh, but you had mentioned something interesting, Joan, um, getting outta the military mindset. What does that mean?

John Winko:

Uh, there there's so many facets to it. So like me, you know, I did a tour at boot camp. I've done seven years as an instructor. I know how to raise my voice and act like a complete full when needed be. And I can't cuss up a storm just because, you know, I'm angry anymore. I have to actually be more professional and be professional means not doing that. Um, so there's simple quirks to, to that, you know, not using so many acronyms kind of spelling out things, um, just your, your demeanor and everything else, not always having an RBF and that kind of, you know, those types of situations, it varies depending on you know, which service and which jobs you had. And, but some of it's it's. Just, you know, how to be a civilian, uh, you know, post life.

Michael Orland:

Jo John also mentioned that they do, uh, you do, you do like, um, interview prep stuff. Mm-hmm and there's also along with that, there's a lot of like people that joined the military when they were 18, they didn't have a, you know, they didn't have a work history and they've never like actually had an interview before. So they I'm sure they do this at every bootcamp, but that's like another thing, like there's a lot of people that are getting out there. Like they, they don't have a resume. They've never like answered behavioral questions, let alone technical questions, stuff like that. So there's a little bit interest on that as well.

Jorge Prias:

Yeah. We will do some technical questions near the end. Um, and then they'll put one of us in the spot. It's like, okay. It's like, it's like solve this question. And then they would also like, try to help us. Like, even if you don't know, like, as you're doing your technical interviews, always tell them what you're thinking. Like, okay, this case, I'm thinking, doing this, doing that. So even if you, even if you, uh, don't know those same texts or anything like that, the interviewer can see that, Hey, at least you have, you know, you, you have the right logic here. So, um, so that was very helpful and that was it. And that was towards the end. That was that they were teaching them.

Don Hansen:

Okay. That's a really tough thing to do to expose your thinking like that. Um, I could even say, I, I don't know if that's a military thing. Um, do, well, I guess in the military, do you feel like you had any experience with exposing just the way you think through things and you plant things in the same way that you would do with coding? it's case

John Winko:

by case, but for me, I know I had that, but, you know, my situation might be completely different than, than other veterans. So

Jorge Prias:

yeah, I was a teacher beforehand, so I'm pretty good at also explaining what I'm, what I'm doing at the moment. Um, so I didn't have a problem with that.

John Winko:

Okay.

Don Hansen:

Um, cool. Let's jump into career services. Michael, you had mentioned it's unmatched. Um, let's hear about it.

Michael Orland:

Um, so from what I understand, the founder had a background in finance, I think before he actually came, like started co platoon. So they, in particular they have, uh, a couple partnerships with, um, like finance related companies. Like I work at DW, which is a trading firm in Chicago, which trading firms are like pretty difficult to get into. But they somehow have, that was like their first, the first like pipeline that they created where like DRW needed extra help and code tune was producing people. So they, I I'm assuming they just had like a trial period and they've been doing it for five years. So I think it kind of speaks to like the quality of candidates that come out of code platoon. Um, but on top of that, it's, they, you know, it's like they, every cohort they're kind of working behind the scenes with other companies, I don't know what they're doing. And they're, they're finding ways to get people straight from the bootcamp to, um, internships. There was a point where like, people were going straight, full time to like, at like JP Morgan, like different companies where they had like positions like that. So it's like, I think it's like the biggest selling point is that, you know, since the success of the whole program, Is kind of like, it relies on the quality of the students, because without that, like these companies wouldn't really be as invested as they are in, you know, throwing money at co platoon to produce talent. So, um, so yeah, and then after that, there's like a co is not, it's only been around for like five or six years, so there's not like thousands and thousands of people, but there's hundreds of alumni and they're all in like, different, like there's like a slack channel that people constantly post jobs in. So if you're like looking for an opening, you have an automatic reference typically. I mean, some people probably want, you know, to make sure that you, you can code a little bit, but, um, yeah. I mean, there's just, there's like, I don't know. I think it's, it's pretty and you know, people wanna see better and succeed too. So like everybody's trying to, it seems like it anyways, everybody's trying to help each other out. So mm-hmm, , it's pretty cool.

Jorge Prias:

Yeah, they, they offer a JP Morgan internship to my cohort at the end, uh, which was pretty cool. Um, like one in my case, I cannot

Don Hansen:

for your whole cohort. Hmm. One internship for your whole cohort where you had to compete.

Jorge Prias:

Um, well, the thing is, is that actually, I didn't really, I was gonna just, just say, I, I, for me the career services, I can't speak too much about it because, because of my teaching experience, I got a job teaching coding as I was there. And then I got another, and then that little bit of experience, plus my coding, my, uh, my coding background. Now with the bootcamp, I was able to get the job at FDM, which is also like a training. Like they also train you as well for more coding languages. So. I can't speak too much about their career matches. They did reach out to me, but by that point I already had a job.

Don Hansen:

Well, you, you had mentioned that they offered the chase internship or JP Morgan internship. Yeah. I'm just asking, like, was it several, or do you just not have those details? It

Jorge Prias:

depends on, they had some spots. Okay. Cause it was in like six different cities. So if you were, if you were willing to go to these six different cities, then, then by all means like, I, I believe there was a lot of openings. Um, they had another meaning about it specifically to the internship, but like I said, I didn't need it, so I didn't go. So that's

Michael Orland:

that's as much as I. Yeah, for

John Winko:

hours, there was, I think, two for CDW, there was one for CT, uh, for Chicago trading company. There was, uh, one for Motorola, which is the one that I got. Um, and then there was also ones that were specific to online with, uh, yellow. And I can't remember the other one. Um, so they actually had a split, like they had, um, whoever wanted online only would apply for the online, only internships. And those that wanted to do, uh, in person would do or apply for the in person, uh, internships. Um, so I mean, there was a total of like six, I think, uh, total spots. So I mean, it wasn't one for everybody, but you know, there was definitely more opportunity more than I would expect from some, some other places

Michael Orland:

to be. Yeah, they're kind of like, as the cohort's going, they're, they're actively mm-hmm, like getting these positions. So like, as you're going through, they'll be like, Hey, just so everybody knows there's gonna be, most of 'em are in Chicago. Sometimes that they had one in like, from like Caesars digital when I was going through in like Jersey and then one in Vegas. And then, so if you're, if you're able to go to those or if they're remote, then you're, you can, uh, you can like put your name in pretty much, but it's on our, on like the student end, it's relatively informal. And there is like one, one of the things that is like, kind of hard to deal with is that since there's not like a one to one, which would be insane if they were able to get that many spots, since there's not a one-to-one, you start to kind of see a lot of your, your, uh, your classmates as competition. At least I did. So that's a weird dynamic, but, um, yeah. I don't know if you're, if you're smart and you work hard, you know, you should be okay. Eventually. Are these,

Don Hansen:

go ahead. Go ahead. Oh, are these positions exclusive to you or are there probably a lot of other applicants outside of code platoon applying to

Michael Orland:

they're exclusive to code platoon. Okay. They're typically like a special reserved position. I know that they had, um, like when I was going through, there was like a bunch of 'em in JP Morgan that opened up. But those, I think those were specifically, we also had like three, there was probably like eight total positions when I was going through. But there was, there was like, towards the end, there was a bunch of like Jorge was saying, there was a bunch of like spots with JP Morgan that were all over the country, but those weren't like specific to DRW. They were like, if you're interested, then go ahead and apply. But the ones that they like, they, they set up interviews with are like reserved just for people in the program.

John Winko:

So a little bit more backstory on, on mine. Um, cuz like I said, I had the, the bachelor's beforehand. I've always been a computer geek. Um, I went and spent, uh, I think it was like 200 bucks on coder foundries, like self-paced course for the bootcamp, which, uh, According to them is the same as they're in person, as far as the, the content of the curriculum. So I did that for about a month and a half, and I was able to complete their curriculum within that, that month and a half. Um, so I also used that as a basis, a comparison for whatever curriculum we're doing here, the difference being as that, they covered, you know, the Java script, the CSS HTML, but they used, um, dot net and C sharp as their backend. Whereas this was with Python and Jengo. Um, so you know, a bit of compare and contrast, but between them. And I would say that if I went to theirs, um, at least with the quality of the instructors, um, I don't think it would've been as well. And they're fairly reputable from what I've seen from networking on LinkedIn, from other people I've talked to that went through that particular one. Cause that was kinda like the backup plan. If I didn't work out with co plats, I would apply to that one.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Interesting. If you, could you meet with career services once a week? Like if you're just stuck need a lot of help, could you just talk to someone and just say, Hey, I've been doing this. I've really been struggling. What do you suggest?

Michael Orland:

Yeah, I mean, it seems like, uh, I don't think John or myself really had too much experience with this cuz we were able to go onto internships right afterwards. But it seems like if you don't get placed, there's uh, there's one guy in particular, rich who I think he is like in constant contact with you and um, or with like a group in slack or wherever. Um, and he seems to be like throwing leads out to people cuz people that I spoke with after the program, like that's who they were working with, um, was him in particular, but I'm I, as far as I know that they, they have like a, an ongoing. Thing for people who are interested in it to, to see like, if they can get hooked up with, uh, another position.

Jorge Prias:

Yeah. I mean, they did offer like, um, they have special meetings with a career coach. They have their own career coach where, uh, they'll help you write your resume, your cover letter, um, try to translate your military skills into what you know other companies are looking for. But again, I, I don't have too much experience in that because yeah, I already had, I got my job pretty fast. So, I mean, we have pretty three successful stories here

John Winko:

and I stay pretty, uh, invested with it still. So, I mean, I still attend some of the alumni chats when I, when the schedule allows for it. And I've had previous, you know, peers that have reached out to me and like, you know, can you, can you like grill me in an interview, you know, session, you know, be the real mean guy or, and all this other kind of stuff. And like for them, yeah. I'll take the time out to spend an hour or two to kind of rough out some of the, the, the, the hard edges, uh, whereas someone that has reached out for me on LinkedIn. No, that's, that's okay. I have to charge for

Michael Orland:

that, so,

John Winko:

okay. So there, there is that aspect as well. There's ability to people that you can reach out to, and they will be there to help.

Don Hansen:

That's good to know. Um, did you actually, no, that's irrelevant. So one thing that worries me, mm-hmm the last time they submitted to, sir. Was the second half of 2020. I wanna verify that

John Winko:

I have like 50,000 tab open.

Don Hansen:

Um, lost it. Okay. Yeah. Um, H two of 2020, then they stopped submitting at, in 2020. They basically, uh, alright, just have this open. I was trying to prepare it. Yeah, they had within 180 days, six months, 60% were employed in field. Um, and it talked about the split between like fulltime full-time apprenticeship internship. So it even looks like full-time employee 30 plus hours per week, only 26.7% within six months. Mm-hmm, , that's low. That's definitely low. Um, and that's usually in my experience. Programs that hopped out of submitting to sir.org during the pandemic, the results just got worse. Right? And so I would expect that to definitely be lower than 60% right now within six months. And that percentage was only 26.7 for fulltime, cuz there other choices are like full-time apprenticeship, internship contract, short term, um, or just like entrepreneur, which I think was like 13.3%, which is interesting. Um, that that's a pretty low percentage of placement. So I love that they're offering these, uh, internships. It's actually kind of unique that they do have some of those partnerships cuz some cutting boot camps will advertise that and they follow through, but placement is low on this program and they pulled out. I think people should be really skeptical on any self claimed outcomes or anything like that since they pulled out of sir.org. Um, I would say like a lot of what you guys are talking about. It sounds good. It does. But to me that's a red flag. Um, so have they talked about like when you guys were in the program, cuz you guys are pretty recent, um, have they, did they share any stats with you of like certain placement numbers that didn't resemble what they reported to sir?

Michael Orland:

Uh, not really. I mean, I anecdotally I, everybody that, that I can think of that is in the tech. I mean, there's a couple people that were in my cohort that like went back to the medical field, I think. But everybody that I have like done a little LinkedIn recon has a job. So I, I don't know. I don't know how long it takes or like what the tracking is, but I, it seems like there's a pretty high success rate. That's anecdotally though. I, I don't like, I'm not, I'm not tracking like their statistics in an Excel spreadsheet. I just seems like it's, it's pretty successful.

John Winko:

Yeah, from the perspective is, oh, go ahead. Yeah,

Jorge Prias:

that's alright. In my core, we were, we all already had some type of job wasn't in it, because that was a whole part-time thing that people were had working jobs to get their class. Um, now we were told like on average, uh, co platoon person mix 70 K a year afterwards. Um, now through my, in my cohort, it's see, I know like one of, one of the guys in my group, he got a job, um, sometime right after. Uh, but I also do see, like, in some people still like in LinkedIn saying, Hey, is like anyone have new leads or anything like that. So I, I, I think it's a, you know, it, it depends sometimes on the person. Um, one, one guy, he went to another skill bridge program right afterwards. So it, it does, like I said, it depends also how much more you put into it as well. Mm-hmm . Michael Orland: Yeah. We had one guy that finished and then he went and like became a pilot or he was a pilot before, and then he like, just did the course for fun and then went back to being a pilot, which I thought was interesting. That's that's what it, that's what happens when it's pretty?

John Winko:

Yeah. like, for me, I'd love to do the DevOps, um, portion of it. It's just, I wouldn't have the time for it right now. Yeah.

Jorge Prias:

They're all putting DevOps now. They also have a class it's pretty

John Winko:

cool.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Watch my, uh, DevOps video. I brought on a really cool guy, if you wanna get a feel for it. Um, okay. He's um, he's been in DevOps for about seven years. It's a recent episode, but DevOps, I mean, I probably would enjoy DevOps to be honest, I would, I like setting up the pipeline. I like trying to make things more efficient for the team. Um, I didn't really have like, cuz I, I job hopped a bit. I had three different developer positions within three years and um, you don't really get a lot of, uh, depth of knowledge with the code basics, et cetera, to be able to build a lot of those automations, but. If I stayed around longer, I definitely would've loved that. So yeah. I, I know you guys actually kind of have a bit of a glowing review. Um, I'm not, you know, some people like will, some people are fans of their coding bootcamp. That's not me. Like I call out bullshit. I'm super critical of all these programs. Um, a lot of what you shared with me, it sounds pretty good. We talked about a lot of it, but that, to me, this is a huge red flag, like I've, and this is just reviewing other programs that have done the same that have pulled out. They've had a lot of 'em have had higher than a 60%, um, from what I remember, but yeah, within 180 days, you pull out, that's usually a sign. They don't wanna share those results anymore. That's usually a sign of that. And why is that? So. Um, and that's, to me, I, I do have to compare the 26.7% full time, but like I've seen coding boot camps pair up with like contract type positions and then lose that contract position or get an internship and they don't hire that person on. Right. Um, I would be curious because they, the thing is they probably, they, I don't think there's a way to like report if someone got an internship, uh, position and then became full-time. Right. So you're talking about like, they're forming connections with companies, pushing people into internships that is, that really reflected whether that person stays on full-time or not. I don't see that in the report. Maybe I'm misreading it. So, you know, I don't, I don't think it needs to be as harsh as just saying, oh, only 26% or yeah. 26% of people are going to get a full-time job after this. Cause that's a super low percentage, like a really low

Michael Orland:

percentage. What's what is, what is it that you're, I don't even know what you're looking at. Like what is the. Is this like some sort of database where they track this? Cause all I see was on their website in a long time,

Don Hansen:

but it's a good question. So I always say self claimed outcomes are usually bullshit. You never right. Ever should take it face value with a lot of the self claimed outcomes. So go to sir.org. It's like the best gold standard we have of actual outcome data. Um, and you'll see, I can even, and I can share this with you afterwards, but it's code platoon, Chicago, full stack web development. H two, if you go under the data tab and anyone else can do this, you click it, you go into it. This is pretty much the gold standard of outcome data for making sure that these results are reported fairly. Now, there are actually ways to weasel out. I have a feeling, you know, there are some programs that'll kind of, I know how they bump up the numbers a little. And maybe co platoon doesn't deal with that bullshit. They don't try to play into that. And they're just like, this is what it is. Right. Maybe they, they, they probably have that integrity. So it's, it's hard cuz sometimes you're competing with other C boot camps that don't have that integrity. But um, yeah, that's where you're gonna find all that data. And so like 60% within 180 days full time is 26.7% full time. Apprenticeship internship is 13.3%. Um, and then you can see like the salaries and the right, like 72,800 within the last 180 days. But they probably shared that usually coding boot camps will share the average salary with you, even though it's like a year old data. Right. And they'll go off of that old data, cuz a lot of coding, boot camps I noticed they didn't specifically provide yet. This is the average salary for 2022 first half of it or second half of 2021. So this is this like, if people are like, it's, you know, I'm really gonna be screwed over if I don't get a job, you know, within six months, et cetera, like this is the data you have to look at. Yeah. But that's

Michael Orland:

CRA I mean, in my opinion, that's crazy. Like I graduated, I had a four year degree in engineering. I had three internships while I was in school. I was a veteran. I had a lot of stuff going for me and it took me six months to find a job. It took me, I had, you know, I had must have applied to like. 200 places and I'm not talking like just clicking buttons. Like I tailored resumes. I did the whole thing and it took six months granted, I got a good job re like respectively in the field I was in. I, I did. But, um, and you, like, like we said before, like you're talking to three success stories. Like we're not, we're not gonna be able to tell you like the dark side of code platoon as well. Uh, but like, you know, like any endeavor that you do, especially something like this, you know, you're gonna have to vet, you're gonna have to find your own way to vet whether it's good for you, the way that I did it, I literally just like, I was like, this sounds too good to be true. So I went on LinkedIn and I just, I just typed in like code platoon for like alumni or something like that. And just like went through everybody, saw where they worked messaged a few people and I was like, this sounds right. And then, you know, if I hadn't gotten a job after, like right after. Then it just comes down to like, well, now I need to advocate for myself. And I have to put in the same work that I did when I got a college degree. And I'm not saying like, there are for sure, for sure. Boot camps that are predatory. I think the nature of code platoon being a nonprofit, it just wouldn't make sense that there's probably some, there's probably some gaps in like, like you said, like, uh, like the ratio of student to teacher, uh, I, it could be better, uh, without a doubt. Um, there's things like, you know, like there's some people that they're just, they're gonna get out there and they're not gonna be able to, they're not gonna be able to get a job for whatever reason. Maybe they're not applying to enough places. Maybe they're just having really bad luck. Maybe the, I mean, yeah. I don't know. Maybe there are companies that are just like, we don't really like boot camp graduates, but you know, like I it's like whatever the percentages that you're looking at, like from my perspective, it is a, it is a, I mean, from my perspective, it's like an incredibly successful story for me. But like, from what I've seen from the people that have graduated from my cohort, like they get taken care of like no people aren't, they're not like graduating people. And then they're just like shipping 'em off. And like, we got your money. It's like, no, they there's like hundreds of people in these slack channels that they want to help you. Career services wants to help you. Um, I don't think it's perfect, but it it's far from like a money grab in my opinion. And I, I don't, like, I don't know where those percentages are coming from. I don't know like why they stop doing it, but like it, from my perspective, it just doesn't, it doesn't seem like they're, uh, it's like a F.

John Winko:

And I'm gonna answer, I'm gonna say that they're definitely doing it because I had to go and make sure that my paperwork for my offer letter made it to them for reporting. So there was like four or five emails going back and forth for that. So, I mean, there may be some other issue at play that we were just not privy to, but I mean, that data is being collected somewhere somehow. Cuz I know it's getting shipped off.

Jorge Prias:

Yeah. Cuz they, they also ask me for my, for my awful letter. Oh, is that why they asked

John Winko:

for that? Okay. Yeah. That's how they report, you know, the salary and the percentages and all that kind stuff now

Jorge Prias:

what? Yeah, but what I will say, like seeing all our stories here is that yeah, for sure. Like if you have zero and no degree, cause I have, I have a degree in political science. I was a teacher. Um, you have zero. I could see what, how after co platoon it would probably be a bit hard getting a job like in my interviews. Uh, they like that the, the, the coding bootcamp, but they also really like my teaching skills. They also like that I could communicate and all that stuff. So that really helped out. So I, I, um, I think it's just a matter that, you know, you do co platoon, you're gonna get all the foundations, you're gonna get what you need, but you're still gonna have to put up some extra work to show up some other skills other than just technical, um, to be able, you know, but it will work with you. And if anything, they would tell you, Hey, this is what this, you might need to work on this, doing that, and you're gonna get a job.

John Winko:

Yeah, and this can be people that graduate that don't apply themselves afterwards. And they're never going to break into, you know, the, the software dev field because of that. Uh, even though they, they technically graduated the program. So, I mean, you are gonna have those that get through, but for those that are wanting to apply themselves that are wanting to learn, it is gonna be a valuable experience. Now, if you've already had a bunch of background already, it probably wouldn't be worth your time. If you're going for the technical aspect, cuz they're, they're only gonna cover the basics and reinforce the basics. So if you want to get super deep with like, you know, Ang doing advanced stuff with Python, then you're probably better off doing, you know, self-study but for, you know, the grunt that's coming off the streets that might have gotten touch of a non-DOD computer in a couple years, it, you know, it could be valuable if they're wanting to break into that. So.

Don Hansen:

And maybe that's what's happening a lot of these, um, cuz it, it cuts it off at 180 days. A lot of people are probably just supplementing a lot afterwards. Right. Mm-hmm and so that that's fine, but I, and so, you know, it, it's two different perspectives I've done. Like, I don't know, dozens of reviews at this point. And you came out, you all had good experiences, your success stories, which is awesome. Um, unfortunately, um, my, I, I only pick three people. It's not like a huge data representation of the program too. Yeah. And like sometimes I'll pick like people, none of 'em got a job it's like, that's not necessarily an accurate representation of the program either. So for me, it's kind of hard to, to plan that out. But, um, this is, I think people like if they are like outcomes is everything to them and they're getting a promise of you're gonna get a job within six months. I don't think it's as money grab. But I do think that sometimes like military, especially a caters to military, probably gonna develop a lot of, um, For lack, a better word, super fans of it, like supportive of the program. And I, I know just I've reviewed, interviewed like hundreds of coding, bootcamp graduates. A lot of people don't like want to be critical when they had a really good experience and they don't wanna like say they kind of just look past that hold and they're like, it's not a big deal. You know what, um, it's really about the student that kind of just like perseveres past that. Like, so it's, it's hard to, I have a different perspective cuz I'm just trying to challenge it from like reviewing all these different programs, but I'm not trying to take away from like the good experiences that you guys had. And I, I definitely do appreciate you sharing everything I'm being candid.

Michael Orland:

I don't think we're trying to like,

Jorge Prias:

and I will, and I will say that, you know, some people in my cohort, um, you know, I don't, I don't wanna say nothing but negative about, but there was some people I felt that they passed. that maybe, you know, they pass because they pass, but not necessarily because they have all the knowledge and of that co platoon offered. And, and also when it comes to like the career stuff, you have to be looking out for them. You have to be asking them as well. It's not like they're gonna reach out to you constantly making sure you have a job. No, you had to reach out to them constantly and saying, Hey, I need help with that. Because the thing is is that there are a lot of people. So the, I think it's mostly, um, a number thing, because this is free. A lot of people do go into it and because they have a huge value that could maybe explain the low percentage, uh, because there's a lot like, because if afterwards you finish the, the coding bootcamp and you don't, and you, you know, cut off communication with them, you don't wanna then yeah. You're not gonna get any help, but mostly it's on, in that case, it'll be on you.

John Winko:

And just as another forced perspective on this is like the self phase through co Foundry back from last October, um, they spent about two or almost three weeks worth of curriculum on just polishing the really simple count to 100 apps with HTML and CSS where, you know, yeah, I did it, but there's no real value. And the amount of time spent for that. Um, and we didn't do anything of a, like for, you know, co so when we're comparing apples to apples, as far as, you know, the value from it, that's also an aspect from it. Um, and also keep in mind that, uh, vet tech is a vast majority of where they're getting their income from for students, because like me, I'm not paying out of pocket vet tax paying for all of that. Over half of my cohort was using vet tech as well. But with that program, they only get paid. I think 20% up front, they don't get the rest of their money until they're actually gained from the employed with an offer letter. So, I mean, that comes into the, the equation as well. I maybe that skews some of the metrics as well, as far as how it's reported. I don't know. But, um, you know, just from that perspective, I know that you have red flags as far as, but it, this isn't a job mill. This is, do you wanna learn something new? So they don't advertise it as well. We're gonna guarantee you a job.

Don Hansen:

It's it's advertise. Go

Michael Orland:

ahead. I was gonna say is probably, uh, because there's less of a, you know, like monetary investment from a lot of the students, because it's covered by scholarships and stuff like that. Um, or vet tech or whatever, there might be some, like I said, there was a guy that just like went through it, just to go through it and then went and did his job anyways. There's probably some of that that might be a thing. Yeah. I don't know.

Don Hansen:

Quite frankly, you, you guys have a lot more funding than a lot of coding bootcamp students. So like you said, there are going to be people that just went up their skills. They're not necessarily trying to career transition or like get into a hardcore full-time software engineering position. Um, like, and I, I get this feeling too. Um, they probably wanna help out a lot of military that seems to kind of be an underlying mission. So I can see like a lot of coding, boot camps. They're gonna weed people out that aren't serious about getting a job. And they're like really focused on those outcome numbers and people are gonna take it seriously. They're gonna go hardcore with it. I can see them being a little bit more accepting and willing to take in more people, which it's just a different mission and it's not necessarily a worse mission. Um, so yeah, I, I can see some of those other sides of it. I don't think. working with vet tech should affect any of those numbers or the reported outcomes. But I do think people deserve to get a real representation of those outcomes if that's what's important to them. And that's kind of like my main driving point with this. Um, yeah, that, I

John Winko:

would say that that is an important outcome for you than co platoon is probably not the best option cuz there's more to it. That's gonna either determine whether you're successful

Don Hansen:

or not. No, that's a good point. I mean, John you've really honed in on like it's, it's foundational. It's really good. Uh, like it seems like it's teaching you a lot of good concepts at beginners or four beginners and it gives you that full outline. So when you come out, you can learn all this stuff. Right. You just supplement. And so that makes a lot of sense, but yeah, that, I think that statement right there sells it, John, for that the type of person that would benefit from this. Yeah. Um, cool. Well, That's pretty much it, I don't think I have any other questions. I finally get to review this, which is really cool. Cuz um, this had a one on one with, um, a vet actually right before this and this was one of the programs he's considering. So I think he already chose this program, but um, yeah, we, um, okay. We didn't go over. Is there like, are there any final things that you guys wanted to add or did we

Michael Orland:

cover everything? I think we got everything. Yeah. I wonder how many people are watching this that are agonizing, whether they should do a bootcamp or not. I remember, um, Like searching on Reddit to see what people would say. And it was just like some people raved and some people like were like, no, it's the devil. So

Don Hansen:

well, I even bring in an audience, like most people, my audience, they like, I've done nothing, but coding bootcamp reviews. And I still attract us huge audience of self-taught developers. I don't know how, but I'm sure, like they're probably watching this like, oh yeah. Don like point called them out, called out those percentages with a scam. Right. Like, and I'm not gonna change those people's minds. Right. But like my core audience, like knows, knows what I'm about, but yeah, I it's, it's tough to know whether coding bootcamp is the right choice for you. Like people spend months trying to figure that out. And quite frankly, self-taught like most people failed it. They just do. That's why like most coding, boot camps. . Yeah, but yeah, it's the

Michael Orland:

cur it's just like having structure. I tried actually, that's how I started. I probably would've still been doing it if it wasn't for finding something that fit me, but like some people can stay on task. I there's too many things to put together for me to be able to stay on task and like self teach my way into a job. I think, I mean, I, I dunno, maybe I could done,

Jorge Prias:

but for me, I, I, I self doubt myself, HTML, CSS, and Java script. I, I could have gone forward there and I, I mean, in co platoon, it helped me out a lot, but I do have a lot of like my, my degree. I also did online completely. And it was also like self-paced and I got more political degree. Um, so for me, the co platoon is kind of like an official stance because even though I was self taught, um, I, I was applying for jobs before and I wouldn't, I wouldn't get anything, but the moment I had a bootcamp there on my resume, I, I finished this. They, I will get more interviews. And the thing is about interviews. They'll still grill with you. They'll still make sure you have knowledge. Um, and that's, but for me, if you yourself saw the hard part is to even get to that interview part. So, you know, for Meto gave me the chance to get the interview, to show off that. Yeah. I do know stuff.

John Winko:

So, and for me, I think that cause I was going self-taught all beforehand. Um, if I had kept through that eventually, yeah. I would've been able to get a job myself, but I saw the opportunity for, like I said, the networking and, and getting some of the small gaps filled in that I might not have, uh, had before. You know, I saw value in that. It's just about of setting your expectations of what you're expect to get out of it just don't don't accept. 'em too high. Otherwise you're just setting yourself up for

Don Hansen:

failure. Yeah, that's really good advice. It is. All right, that's it. Cool. Let's go ahead and, uh, jump into our outros. Um, John, if people wanted to reach out to you, anything else you wanna shout out work as they reach you?

John Winko:

If you wanna reach me, you gonna find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, John WinCo, or the website, John winco.com. You know, plenty of ways to find me just Google.

Don Hansen:

Cool. How about you, Michael? Uh,

Michael Orland:

LinkedIn, just Michael Orland. Uh, I would say Google me, but I think I share a name with like an American idol pianist, so probably won't find the right person. So yeah,

Don Hansen:

I can include the LinkedIn links below. Yeah. How about you, George?

Jorge Prias:

Likewise, um, LinkedIn, and then I'll, you know, I one video in YouTube. That was my cool tune interview. I wanna, if you wanna see how the, a video interview just look me up is my first and last name. Jorge Prius. It's I by George, but it's spelled Jorge. So, um, but yeah, YouTube and LinkedIn, just search my name. You'll find me.

Don Hansen:

Have I've been using the wrong name this whole time? No, no, no.

Jorge Prias:

I, I go by George. Okay. I actually answer to both George and Jorge, but it's

Michael Orland:

spelled, we're

John Winko:

both right.

Don Hansen:

okay. Nice. I like when we're both. Right. All right. That's it. Um, yeah, let me know. Um, I'm sure a lot of vets are considering this program. Uh, but yeah. And if any staff, like, I mean, I appreciate non, uh, yeah. Non-profits I, I do. I appreciate the mission. It's actually why I, I have like, I have like 180 coding bootcamp request at this point. It's, it's ridiculous, but there's, there's a reason why I want to review this and it essentially is the mission of the program. So, um, any staff wanna reach out to me? I'm happy to dig into the data with you guys. I, I kind of been doing this for a while. I, I kind of have a feel for it, but you know, it correct me if I'm wrong and anyone else, like, if you are considering this program or if you've done it, feel free to comment below, share your experiences if you're on YouTube, but, um, yeah, that's it, um, sit around for a couple minutes, but John Michael, George, thanks so much for coming on. We just see

John Winko:

everything. We just.