April 4, 2022

DigitalCrafts Web Development Coding Bootcamp Review


I invited on 3 graduates from the coding bootcamp DigitalCrafts to share their experience with the web development program. As usual, my goal is to get past the marketing BS and hear the REAL experiences of graduates. We dove into the pros AND the cons. Enjoy!

Guests:
Jermaine Bailey
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jermaine-bailey-software-engineer
Website - https://www.brandnetictechnologies.com

Jason Humphrey
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonhumphreytn
Website - https://www.jasonhumphrey.io

Abbey Perini
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/abigail-perini

---------------------------------------------------

🤝  Join our junior friendly developer community:
https://discord.gg/H69QqZ8MVJ

🔥  Want more personalized help from me? Here are the paid mentorship and review services I offer:
https://calendly.com/donthedeveloper

❤️  If you find my content helpful, please consider supporting me by becoming a channel member and get access to additional perks. Every little contribution helps and is actually used to pay my bills.
https://www.patreon.com/donthedeveloper

---------------------------------------------------

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

📚  Web development books and other products I recommend:
https://www.amazon.com/shop/donthedeveloper

Transcript
Don Hansen:

Welcome back to another podcast episode where we help aspiring developers get jobs and junior developers grow in this podcast. We are going to be reviewing digital crafts. So what I like to do with my podcast, I get past a lot of the marketing BS, and I want real reviews from real graduates because there's a lot of information out there. I know it's confusing trying to figure out what program is the right one for you. If even a coding bootcamp or program like this is for you. So we're going to dive into this like usual, we're going to go ahead and start off with our intros. So, um, Jermaine, we'll start with you. I have a few questions for you. When, when did you graduate? Um, where you at in your job search and what industry did you come from?

Jermaine Bailey:

I graduated 20, 21. Oh, is. Software engineering and I come from a field of landscape design.

Don Hansen:

Okay, cool. Um, where are you at with the job search?

Jermaine Bailey:

Um, I'm a current student at Columbia university. I mean, I saw my engineering program right now, so, oh, I continue to education and polo.

Don Hansen:

What made you decide to do a coding bootcamp to supplement that.

Jermaine Bailey:

Digital crowns. Wasn't my first code in bootcamp. I was just trying to get into it. And, uh, they was offering full scholarships at the time. So I applied and I won a scholarship. So, you know, I wanted to store it out in a career and technology, and I just felt that digital crabs for me.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Cool. All right. Thanks for sharing. How about.

Jason Humphrey:

All right. Uh, so, uh, I graduated in August of 2021. I'm currently pursuing, um, open opportunities. I, uh, was recruited about two weeks prior to graduation for a, uh, large corporation, uh, was kind of told that it would be a developer position. Was more of an analyst position, fray lucrative, but not what I really trained for. Uh, my background, uh, I actually was like tech support for a telecom, uh, before, before, uh, pursuing digital crafts. I did the self-taught route for, um, I don't know, about eight months before deciding to go to bootcamp and kind of get it in gear and fast.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Do you, do you feel like you wish you would have gone to coding bootcamp sooner? Or did you find that it was valuable to do that long of self-taught? Yeah, the,

Jason Humphrey:

the self-taught, uh, helped me and it kinda put me a step ahead. I'd already done my battles with, uh, GitHub and those kinds of things that, so I wasn't really stuck on that. I could spend more time on code as opposed to. Trying to push code? No. Well, you know, I mean, good have it had its own challenges and it just different things, but I, yeah, it, it kind of helped me and I w I was able to help other students too, you know, that I've been there. Okay. This is what I did.

Don Hansen:

Okay, cool. Thanks for sharing. How about you, Abby?

Abbey Perini:

I graduated in January, 2021. Um, let's see. Why did I decide to do it was the next question. It was because, oh, no, it was my background. So I was in high volume, MSP recruiting as, um, and I did not want to be as an admin, uh, administrative role. And I had been in customer service for about a decade at that point, and I was really tired. Being in customer service. Um, so I started researching a bunch of different careers and a bunch of different boot camps. I was actually looking at data science, boot camps, and my husband mentioned web development and was like, you like colors, you'll move boxes around pixel by pixel. You'd probably be good at web development. And that's when I started researching digital crafts.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Interesting. Um, wait, where are you at in the job search?

Abbey Perini:

Oh, I am currently employed. Um, I managed to get my old recruiting company to hire me back as a software developer. And now I am working at an accessibility company.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Very cool. All right. So why did you choose digital crafts over any other. Anyone's who's at a free for all. It's a free

Jason Humphrey:

fro. Okay. Uh, I, I researched and researched. Uh, I spent about four months researching, uh, boot camps and the thing about digital crafts that attracted me, uh, Well, the stack all, although similar wasn't promising too much, uh, because there were boot camps out there that promised we're going to teach you three stacks and so many months. And you're like, okay, well, Jack of all trades master of none was kind of my feeling about that. And so, uh, I liked the stack and, uh, I liked the people, uh, the interview process, everything. And, uh, the final deciding factor for me was regional because they, uh, because what I was dealing with, they were based in Atlanta. Uh, although my instructor ended up being out of Houston, but I thought regionally, you know, whether, uh, job placement or anything, you know, uh, that, that I wanted to stick to my region. Um, Just just, if they could provide assistance that, that, that would be beneficial to me, as opposed to them being an entirely different market, you know, west coast or something.

Don Hansen:

Yeah, it makes sense.

Jason Humphrey:

Okay.

Abbey Perini:

So at the same, did a lot of research do a lot of research on bootcamps in general. Um, and when I did my interview, they had all the right answers to my questions that I had gotten from like, you know, like do the instructors actually care about the students? Do they like. Uh, career services, department, stuff like that. Um, and when I was applying and committing, it was March 20, 20, so in-person was still a thing. So, um, Atlanta being out of a Atlanta tech village location meant that you could literally be in an elevator with someone who might hire you. So that was a big selling point at the time. Um, and then there were. Probably a few other things that were on the table when it was an in-person thing. And then I committed for a, I was going to start in September, 2020, and I ended up moving it up and starting in August.

Don Hansen:

Okay. When you were trying to figure out if instructors cared about their students, what, how did you word that question?

Abbey Perini:

I'm quite blunt. That is how I asked the question. Um, I asked, I asked a lot of stuff where I was like, well, people fail out. If they're not meeting requirements. I was told yes. Um, a bunch of questions like that, where it was just like, is this actually like a program where there's back and forth because, and Atlanta allows boot camps around. At Georgia tech, but through a company where it's just like a mill. Um, so I have that and the reviews that I had seen for that as like what I don't want and digital is probably promising to be the opposite.

Don Hansen:

That makes sense. Um, why tend to get along with candid people? I'm a very candid person myself, and I appreciate that. You did ask those questions. A lot of people are scared too, but my concern is, and maybe this is. Maybe I'm trying to figure out feedback for people asking this question. A lot of coding, boot camps are going to say, yeah, of course our instructors care about students. Like how do you distinguish that bullshit and like that, you know, an actual, real epidemic answer from them.

Abbey Perini:

I guess the answer is I didn't because, uh, people were not filled out when they did not meet requirements.

Don Hansen:

Okay. All right. Fair enough. Um, Jermaine.

Jermaine Bailey:

Uh, I did a lot of research as well. It was months I cook. Uh, I took a couple of courses on you to me, kind of fell in love with the front end of things. Digital crafts. They was, uh, that curriculum is based around Java script and Ray. So that was something that was, uh, that I was interested in. They also do a lot of work for the community, for us, giving underrepresented people a chance to ask. Uh, get some training or skill and become a software engineer. I kind of liked that they gave the community that opportunity. And, uh, that was one of the deciding factors on me going with the curriculum based on the job market and what they was teaching, uh, any of your videos. It was a lot of design factors ongoing and the main one was they have a big heart for the community. Okay.

Jason Humphrey:

All right.

Don Hansen:

Cool. Let's dive into things. So what'd you think of the program? The good and the bad.

No one:

Okay.

Jermaine Bailey:

I think it's good. I did the 26 week, uh, part-time program. It was really with me, it was time management working on full-time job, like 45, 50 hours a week. They ain't going to class. They instruct us, they kind of broke it down to sample his terms. So, uh, the class wasn't that large, I think it was like 12 or 14 people. Uh, my class at Columbia, it's like almost 40 people in that class, but, uh, the bad. I think some things can be improved for us. How technology evolve. I don't think anyone would, any bootcamp can write a curriculum and keep up with how was evolving as teas, that curriculum. It could be, some areas could be improved. I think they get into that point to where everything is coming together. Like they wanted to

Don Hansen:

what specific area of their curriculum could be improved. Like the main.

Jermaine Bailey:

Databases. I think they can concentrate on AWS a little bit more, uh, since they already teach that in the class, uh, go a little bit more deeper. And today for as our cloud technology for us databases. And that's really about it, that I could think of databases could be something that, uh, they could just take a little kid. Okay.

No one:

How about you two? Uh,

Abbey Perini:

no y'all did AWS. Jason, did you do AWS?

Jason Humphrey:

AWS was about four hours. Was not the exposure that I expected or ad hoped for. Uh, that would be, uh, the downside part. But, you know, my group was a really large group compared to most of their cohorts and, uh, the class kind of drove. Uh, where we, you know, how much time we were able to spend in a particular area. And so I would say that for me, there was there, you know, AWS being essential to, to, uh, the job market, uh, and then preparation for getting out there. I felt, I feel like there was a gap between what the employers expecting and what. But equipped with not a huge gap, but a gap. Nonetheless, I would say that those are the two areas that, that most, uh, Burt the downside, but the upside, uh, I felt like I felt like I had attention with the TAs. I felt like I had time with my instructor. I felt, I felt like those things were important to the school. And I felt like those things, they made sure that I had access to the people and it was about me putting in the time. But there were a few areas. Uh, just a few that I mentioned that that could have, we could have spent more time.

Abbey Perini:

Yeah to echo Jason. Um, as far as curriculum goes, We could have spent more time on algorithms or they could have been like, you can not, you can choose to not do algorithms. I think we were supposed to do them like every Friday and that didn't really happen. Um, but as far as the good goes, the teachers did genuinely care about the students. Like my teacher made sure all of our questions got answered, even if it was something where he had to after class go and try to troubleshoot it on his own and come back the next morning. It helped me out, um, the like flow of the class and maybe even the curriculum was like highly dependent on the teacher that you got. Um, and he did make a lot of efforts to like give us life advice. In addition to like the curriculum and stuff, but I was in probably the second or third round of cohorts. So like I lost that tech, Atlanta tech village thing, and everything was done through zoom everything's in like a breakout room. So there was a lot of like, not really getting a chance to talk to other students. And we're not really focusing on that. Um, and. The TAs are great, but they're also students of the program. So that's both a blessing and a curse. Um, the career advice department. Like spot on with all of their advice and their requirements. Like we had to have an online presence to graduate and stuff like that, but then it became a lot of, uh, like inconsistencies and small details being dropped. There was a scheduling mess up where we ended up doing our final project over Christmas with no like access to teachers or anything like that. Cause we were supposed to have a break. Um, there were. Uh, like my application process, like we talked about it with the students. I studied for six months on their pre-work before starting the bootcamp, which just like Jason, I highly recommend if you're doing any bootcamp to study beforehand. And then, um, Other talking to other people, they didn't have to go through the same, like application and test process. And then like a lot of people signed up like a day or two before we were supposed to get a t-shirt though. We never got names are wrong on certificates. Like, um, and then like our final presentation, they had been the whole time, like hyping, how this final presentation is going to be your chance. We're going to invite companies. You're going to get to like talk to people and like talk to them about your project and they forgot. To post our link anywhere they didn't invite anyone. It was just us and our parents. So as a person with ADHD who had already been self-studying, who was there for the deadlines and being forced to do the projects and like having someone else doing that kind of admin, that was really disappointing. Otherwise, I mean, like the stuff we learned was good. I still referenced stuff that my teacher taught me. I'm uh, he had a great system where he would design homework and then go over it the next morning. Um, which like other cohorts were jealous. And we did try to like interact with cohorts, other cohorts, some, I don't know. I don't know how much of that was me being like one of the first remote cohorts to

No one:

Hm.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Overall it sounds like. The curriculum was pretty good. Um, just be clear. Uh, you mentioned this was in Atlanta.

Abbey Perini:

Yeah. So I'm in Atlanta. I was supposed to go to the Atlanta. Uh, campus, and then it was fully remote the entire time my teacher was out of Houston and it was a bunch of students from both Atlanta and Houston. So like I still have some good friends still live in Atlanta that I met through that. And then we have our one friend in Houston or like come visit.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Wow. Led you, um, I don't know. You wanted to include them. That's that's kind of you. Yeah. So being remote like that, it's, it's really tough as a student. I think there's a huge difference in experience in person with other classmates and being remote and, you know, especially with a lot of, uh, coding boot camps on how they execute, like trying to create that immersive, uh, Amazing experience that you would usually get in person and trying to replicate that with remote and translate it properly is a lot of coding. Bootcamps failed with that. It's a very hard thing to do. And a lot of people that were remote feel kind of isolated. Right. Um, so you, you had mentioned something, Abby. The application process, it sounds like maybe they have been inconsistent when you tell me that. I guess my concern is when I see that with all other programs, a lot of people will, um, usually what will happen is a variety of skill levels will come into the coding bootcamp. And it's very hard to keep everyone moving along. And usually the coding bootcamp, I would say it's usually it needs to it'll prioritize the top students and just kick out the bottom students or it'll slow down the program to accommodate. The beginners and like really try to catch them up. And the top students don't really get what they're paying for essentially. Right. So have any of you experienced like a variety of skill levels even like in group projects where you things kind of just felt like out of sync in terms of skills.

Jason Humphrey:

Uh, my cohort, I can say a large portion did not do the pre-work or did not put, uh, as the, the time allotted into the pre-work and it was very noticeable and it did. Drag the pace of the class for some of the other people that had, I had done the pre-work plus having done eight months of prep on my own. Uh, it did, uh, it did slow the pace because I mean, they kept everybody together, but it wasn't. It wasn't always a good thing, but, uh, but yeah, you would get people on projects and you would have people amazing contributors. And I would say more often than not, I had, I worked, I had great teams, uh, but there were a couple of occasions that people were boat anchors and, uh, Not contributing and, and they hadn't embedded was always, you know, it was kind of predictable because again, they hadn't put in that pre-work even though it had been given to them, they had not done it.

Abbey Perini:

Yeah.

No one:

I was

Abbey Perini:

the only one to do the pre-work and microwave. Like people didn't even know what it was. Like people signed up like a day before. I'm not joking. And like, um, people were asking if I had prior coding experience and the pre-work took me like six months, it was a lot. And, um, it was learned Python learned basic JavaScript where like parts of the pre-work. And so then the class didn't slow down at all. Like I was the one keeping. And then like we were strategically put in breakout rooms where like the people that were keeping outward, but being put with the people who didn't know what was going on, uh, for like doing your group work. Um, and then luckily we only had one random group project and. My, uh, group of friends who had been doing the projects together, we're like, no. So we didn't have a super great time with the random people. And then our last one, uh, they just lumped someone in with us because no one, he hadn't joined a group and he wasn't really contributing at all. And like, by the time the project and the project came around, it was just like, oh yeah, well, I guess he didn't contribute.

No one:

Like, okay, cool.

Abbey Perini:

Uh, so yeah, it was still drinking from a fire hose. It didn't, it didn't, we didn't sink down or go up to any sorts of levels. It was exactly what was advertised. And I guess if you couldn't keep up, you couldn't keep up.

Jason Humphrey:

Okay. I felt fortunate at least for my last project, because I had really focused in, on who was here and who knew what they were doing and, and it really, uh, made the capstone project. Uh, it w it made it easier, but because you knew that everybody was going to hold up their part where the first project in a group, it was a guessing game because you weren't quite sure, but, but I was able to, you know, focus in on, okay, this is who I need. I need this person on my team. I kind of have them. So, so started working on that weeks ahead.

Don Hansen:

Sounds like advice for future students.

Jason Humphrey:

Yes.

Don Hansen:

How about you Jermaine?

Jermaine Bailey:

Oh, my experience, he was. It was a well paced class. We had some people that was more knowledgeable of what was going on and they was actually a pretty good help. Uh, they would go back, you know, get in little breakout roles with other students, kind of get them up to speed and what was going on with the TA. So I think my cohort, it was a well balanced cohort. Uh, the pace of it was good for us. The projects. I think is you have to actually feel and know what that person's strength is when you're dealing with a project, I will solve the first group project we had. I know this guy of Rudzinski he, he great dude. Um, he did more so over the back end of things, I did more so the front end of things, um, Dan was one of his strengths. So I think when you get in a group project, you have to know that person's strengths and weaknesses as well. Um, but other than that, do you know? I think it was a great cohort.

No one:

Okay.

Abbey Perini:

It sounds like we were super lucky to find each other in the first project.

Don Hansen:

I think. So

Abbey Perini:

I'm going to go tell my friends cause we were all, we were definitely like, we all do the word. So we don't need to worry about each other and then that carried on and then that, yeah, you could definitely tell. I'm not, I'm not there to follow up on other people. Okay. Fire hose to

No one:

drink.

Don Hansen:

So I just want to look something up real quick. Yeah. So that the program itself is 16 weeks.

Abbey Perini:

You do full time? It sounded like Jermaine did the 26 week part-time.

Don Hansen:

Sometimes part-time programs allow, allow students to catch up if they started at a disadvantaged spot, uh, skill wise, uh, That pre-work should be required. And I'm sure they were just trying to fill the class up. Right. And you have to pay instructors and I would need like a very detailed report of their finances and why they choose to like, you know, have the ratios of instructors and TAs and stuff. And I don't have that information. So it, you know, pushing people into it very quickly. I would say this a program like. Some people argue like, well, you want to make a program accessible to everyone. Um, and that's bullshit because accessibility isn't mean bringing people into programs that aren't prepared for. It, it just isn't, you're paying like $10,000. Right. And so that just means create some pre-work and make it required. And he, and I think sometimes we give an unrealistic, uh, situation to people. And like, we, I think a lot of people are just, sometimes they're tired of their careers and they, they are very emotional about it and they jump in. Right. And I think coding boot camps in general need to do a better job. Preparing them for that firehose. Sometimes I think coding, boot camps just they're like, oh yeah. Other coding, boot camps, just like a firehouse. So it's okay. You're going to struggle. You're going to panic. And it's like, it's okay. It's normal. It's like, well, there are coding boot camps that have better prepared students and have alleviated some of that concern and brought people's skill levels up to where they need to be. Um, I'm not saying digital crafts is just like tossing everyone in and you know, you make it, you make it, I don't think they necessarily have that mindset, but I think digital crush should take that seriously. And I think actually my question is the application process and the interview. Did you ever go through like a, a rigorous technical interview? At least

Jermaine Bailey:

I did. I had to do like two zoom meetings. I had to do a coding challenge. Uh, do all the pre. Uh, the typing command line. So even though I was with the part-time cohort, we still had to do those things to, uh, for us to get into digital crafts.

Jason Humphrey:

Okay. Yeah. I had to do a technical challenge. Uh, I w I was, I did other technical challenges for other boot camps, uh, while I was looking at it, I mean, I got that far in the process and I would say that theirs was, um, on par, on par. They were all fairly, some were harder than others, but, uh, but it was, I would say it was on par. And then of course, then there was like a screening interview. Uh, just like the behavioral kind of kinda like, you know, like you're looking for a job, you know, there was the behavioral portion and there was the technical portion. Okay. And then, and then I was given the pre-work so

No one:

gotcha.

Abbey Perini:

I had to do one browser IDE like. Entry-level algorithm question, or like you had to write a four loop basically. Um, and then they scheduled the interview, which was like a few questions, like typing speeds and stuff like that. And then I was handed the pre-work and told that I was cleared and I

Don Hansen:

started studying,

Abbey Perini:

I don't know if maybe I just give off overachiever, which is definitely possible.

Don Hansen:

You seem like you've put a lot of energy into something like. And I mean, that's also advice for prospect students. Um, I don't know, it's a $15,000 program around, at least that's what the course report is. Listing it as a.

Abbey Perini:

I know Janine had mentioned their community stuff. Um, I got a minor scholarship, like some off for being a woman. And then I know there are a lot of veterans in my cohort. Um, so like they're definitely putting that effort in to not just making it a funnel for like the type of people that you typically see in tech, which I did appreciate.

Jason Humphrey:

Okay. Yeah. About 80% of my cohort was a veteran as well.

Don Hansen:

Okay. I mean, that's, um, I think course reports still will show like financing options. So, um, in scholarships and stuff like that, um, I'm not even seeing, uh, scholarships for veterans, but I dunno, I'm not gonna look into detail with this, but definitely look those up. Um, I guess my question. Hmm. Let feel this out. I feel like that's a very basic test and I'm a little bit worried about that, Abby. Um, that seems like a really simplistic test. I I've heard a lot of different tests that, uh, Glenda coding camps give. And for that expensive of a program, I would quite frankly expect a little bit more of a higher bar to get in. Like I said, we can talk about accessibility all day, but it's incredibly important that you're prepared for the. They do extended out 16, I mean, uh, for the full time, 16 weeks. So even if they tossed a second back in language, that's. I get that, you know, more attention on AWS. I think more coding bootcamp should focus on that. I truly do. I think that's important if you're going to be pushing back on your front end. No, there's no reason for you to pick up AWS. Um, I think it's helpful to, like, I guess it's just random advice too. It's like, if you are considering front end, maybe consider you don't even have to go to a coding boot camp that like really dives deep into databases or just launches in, in. Web hosting in general, but you could connect to something like fire store. Right? A lot of front end developers can use some sort of external cloud database to be able to like really make a full fledged application, just knowing some of their front end skills, which is interesting. Um,

Abbey Perini:

yeah, we did touch on fire store. We nodded. Yeah. Um, and people were using it in their projects cause we spent a day or two on it. Um, and then. You think that was a minor test, uh, talking to people in my cohort, they didn't, they didn't even go through that. Like there wasn't even that, but, um, and I think one of the good things that I forgot, forgot to mention was, um, one of the things that I took out of it was the online presence and that's been, what's getting me jobs because my teacher really stressed. Uh, he had gotten. His jobs because he does a bunch of recorded, uh, courses. And the owner, founder of the bootcamp came into our first day and challenged everyone to write four blog posts by the end of the four months. And, uh, that's what got me started. So that was good. They did push us to use templates for portfolios though. And it wasn't really, until I actually built my portfolio myself, that I started getting bites.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Um, I'm actually worried that they're pushing fire stories. This is a full sec program.

No one:

Pushing.

Abbey Perini:

Yeah, they, uh, he touched on using it for storage, use it like as a, as an example of a different type of database. And then also their. Login, which people tried to use in one of their projects and basically spent the entire time getting Firebase login, set up the authentication, everything

Don Hansen:

well, and that's, that's essentially just a library where you are going to invest a little time picking it up, but you're not really learning how to even use an ORM or anything that you would normally use to connect to a database. Something that's going to be more marketable. So, um, there is a learning curve to it, but you're not really growing as a backend developer use. Um, and I, I think like exposure to that could be important. I think that's kind of cool. But you're already saying, like, they're not spending a lot of time with AWS. I think they should invest more time into that. I think that's important for a full stack program. And my big concern is that they're letting people use firestorm in the group projects. These are projects that are supposed to reinforce everything that you're learning. Right. Is that the technology that you really think your students should reinforce? Is that going to be hireable? Is that going to be marketable among employers? Um, not from what. Across the United States, at least I could be different in different kinds.

Abbey Perini:

And each of our projects had like a requirement as to what we were showing and they chose to do that on top of the requirement, but we were actually focused on because we had touched on it for two days. Um, and it was definitely like we used an ORM. We used equalize in Postgres, um, which has been helpful, picking up other worms. Uh, going forward, but, um, I, yeah, honestly, more than any technology, I think a lot of the ways that he taught, picking up tools were what I still use, like how to approach it, uh, you know, looking at documentation, community support, that kind of stuff.

Don Hansen:

Okay. That is a benefit of more exposure to that kind of stuff that definitely. That blood thing is a really interesting thing. And I think when I hear all of you describe like career services, that sounds like it went pretty well overall. Um, it sounds like they know what they're doing and I'm telling you Chris services they're always burned out and sometimes you, it it's like a hit or miss. It's almost like a coding bootcamp has really good career services or really bad career services. And the fact that, like, it sounds like they know what they're doing in kind of just getting exposure, getting eyes from recruiters, from hiring managers on like the blog post thing is brilliant. It really is. I think that's smart. I mean, showing your process, exposing that, like just being vulnerable in that way, most people aren't even willing to do that. The fact that they're pushing that, um, it's a pretty good sign that they know how suffer engineers can really stand up. Um,

Abbey Perini:

if y'all had as much of an emphasis as we did on making sure that you're getting projects where, um, like, uh, a interviewer could go and look at them and immediately be able to get into the project and the reading, it was really descriptive. And you had walkthroughs and stuff, or if that was just my teacher, But yeah, career services was honestly great. They give about a bunch of resources. They have a whole database of job boards that you can apply to. They did career fairs in between cohorts that if you didn't have a job, you were invited to, um, they have a bunch of recorded talks from all of their partners around in different companies where they, uh, you might even be able to get. If you don't go to digital crafts on their YouTube or something, but, uh, they've recorded sessions where like one that happened during our cohort was just on salary negotiation and calculating benefits and stuff like that. And they're always there with questions and they review your resume and your portfolio and stuff, and you have to meet requirements and all of those. They give you a bunch of resources on like templates for your resume and stuff like that. And, uh, me being from a recruiting background, they let me rant it, my color to boot, which I

Don Hansen:

appreciate it. That's pretty cool. I like that.

Jason Humphrey:

Okay.

Don Hansen:

I have one question. How big we'll go one at a time. How big was your cohort? Um, how many teachers did you have and how many, uh, teaching assistants did you have? Uh, Jermaine will start.

Jermaine Bailey:

Uh, I think at the end of the cohort, we had like 14, maybe 14, 15 people. When you started with, we start with, we started with like 20, maybe 20, 21. And what was the other question? I forgot the other

Don Hansen:

quiz. Um, so how many teachers in teaching assistance did you have

Jermaine Bailey:

to instruct those Sam one TA.

Jason Humphrey:

Okay.

Don Hansen:

How about you, Jason?

Jason Humphrey:

Uh, we had, uh, we started with 24 and, uh, we had one instructor and two TA's and it was two TAs pretty much at all times. Uh, You know, uh, one of them was there for the entire program. And then, uh, then we had a rotating kind of slot for another TA, but we always had two TAs, uh, available. Okay.

Abbey Perini:

Started with 15 one dropped out on like the first day. Uh, One person got a job probably in the three months, he had applied to 400 jobs during bootcamp and got one. Uh, and then one person was still in class, but didn't meet the requirements. So I guess 13 people graduated, including the guy who got a job and then we had one teacher and one TA and

No one:

that was it.

Don Hansen:

Okay. The ratios aren't bad. They're not ideal, but they're not, I've heard much worse. And like, I usually when I hear this stuff, I'm comparing it to all the other programs that I've reviewed. They're not bad. Um, I expected more people to drop out and given that the requirements seem a little bit low with the application process, as well as like really making the pre-work a requirement. I think they should focus on that a little bit more. Um, Okay. That's interesting. Who do you think this program is for? And who do you think this program is? Not for thinking like even technical skill level, thinking personality wise habits, like really think about this question, who's it for, and who's it not for.

Jermaine Bailey:

I think is for anyone who's motivated, dedicated, willing to put the time and effort and to study and learning. Taking the time out for a bootcamp for a person is someone that's not a lazy person. I think it could be a lazy person, a person who don't retain knowledge a little bit with. Type of method because you have so much information being pushed in front of your face. So I think a person that feels overwhelmed all the time, shouldn't do nothing like a bootcamp. And I think that's about it.

Jason Humphrey:

I would say, uh, the program's definitely for people that want to challenge themselves one, a new career, one, an opportunity at a new career. Uh, but yeah, the, the, the challenging part, pushing yourself, seeing what you're capable of, uh, pushing through those things. Maybe, maybe something's not going to come easy to you right away, but pushing through that and figuring it out and the satisfaction of figuring it out. Uh, I've not for, and I would say this for any boot camp, not just digital crafts, the not for anybody that wants to make a career change into software development, just because I hear. That's, it's not a reason to do it. And that's not a reason that you're going to be successful at bootcamp because there's going to it's trial by fire. And it there's a whole lot more, you've got to have more invested in it than, than just, well, I've got to, I know a guy that. Did it and just making great money now. Well, that's great, but you've got to survive to survive this, and you've got to like putting your time every day, whether somebody is, you know, it's like college, you know, and nobody's making you put in the time it's about whether or not you're going to put in the time. So yeah, I would the same for digital crafts for any bootcamp. Don't, don't make a change. Don't jump into it. Just you, you gotta like it. Stick it out.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Um, so for anyone hearing that he's essentially saying don't just do it for the money. So I've, I've touched on this topic multiple times, very controversial. I will die on this hill. I a hundred percent agree with you. There is no there's so little success for people that just think they're going to get rich by becoming a software engineer. I see so many fail. I hosted a meetup mentored over a thousand software engineers in Chicago. A lot that didn't have a lot of income and they just kept coming in and you know, I really get to know their reasons, what motivated them, what kept them going forward and most people's that just did it to up their salary. They failed. Right. But you have to realize there are a lot of sometimes. Giving realistic expectations. You're not going to get a software engineer job within three months. Right? Extending that out a bit, like giving yourself more financial space to be able to do that. And sometimes it means not switching your career right away, as horrible as your current job might be. I mean, you have to consider that, right? So you disagree the comments. I know some of you will disagree, disagree in the comments. I want to hear them. We'll do another live stream and I will die on this hill, but I think that's good advice.

Abbey Perini:

I'm just going to echo what both of you said. Yeah. I mean, I tell, uh, people who are trying to break into tech all the time, you know, One of the reasons that I was willing to commit to this type of boot camp was because I had that six months to figure out, do I actually like this? Like, am I interested in this at all? And I was already the type of person who was presented with a problem, I would say, oh, let me just Google it and figure out how to do it. And if you're the type of person who does that, who will take it upon yourself to figure it out and really understand a lot of what you're being taught. Like it's not enough just to complete. These assignments, you have to really dig deep into what they're trying to teach you using the assignments and do the drills and do it over and over and over again, make 20 to do list apps by the end of bootcamp. And to do that, you have to actually somewhat enjoy or you're going to be doing. And then I did get a job three months out of bootcamp, but that's because I applied to like 200 jobs. I networked my butt off I job search almost 24 7, and then. Even before that I was studying, living and breathing code for almost a year. And it wasn't just being in class and completing the assignment. I was working extra hours every single day. I was working on the weekends. I was, uh, and that was after RD. More than like everyone in my cohort before entering it. So, you know, you saw the people who had just gotten into it on a whim and didn't like it struggle day after day, and then not know why. And it really takes someone who is either just absolutely in love with it or already knows how they learn, how they're going to schedule out their days, how they're going to make time for something like this. Because even if you're doing it part time, You're still doing stuff outside of class, on top of the glasses. So yeah, I, I was, uh, I was in it for community and deadlines, uh, by the end of it. And that, that is what it did. Yeah.

Don Hansen:

Okay. I have a question specifically for you, Abby, but, um, just to clarify my point, when I say three months, I'm talking about videos that will like, they'll encourage self-taught developers. They'll get a job within three months, but that's a good point. Like you can be that statistic that gets a job within three months after coding bootcamp. Cause I, I. The average person, I think self claimed outcomes, misrepresents what the average person is going to be capable of and the timeframe of it. And I dove into a lot of detail about that. So I'm not going to dive into it again, but yeah, I mean, you can, networking is key, like Abby you've over and over. You've emphasized that and just kind of putting yourself out there in those blog posts. Um, that's the kind of stuff that will make you that good statistic to get that job sooner. That's good advice. Um, specifically with you, you mentioned you had ADHD, right? Um, I don't think I've ever asked this question. So I'm just curious what, like, what was like one major pro and one major negative thing was having that in the.

Abbey Perini:

Uh, I was actually, I was undiagnosed in the program and it was part of what helped me figure out that I have ADHD because I would get so sucked into a problem and look up and eight hours would be gone and I was getting ergonomic issues. I was unable to like get up from my skin to eat and stuff like that. So, uh, it was. A interesting, like how coding just absolutely wires into my brain. Just like video games. Cause you like, you struggle, you travel, you struggle and then you get it and it prints out and it works. So that was, that was a boon, I guess it continues to be a boon. Um, the downside was like, I was really looking for someone to take all of that administrative stuff off my plate to take the scheduling to me, not have to think about it and just think I've got this done on this deadline and it turned into. Like, um, me having to wrestle with the inconsistencies of the schedule and things like them saying that I would have the time over Christmas. And then now I've got my in-laws coming over and I'm having to do the project and like, all this stuff is going. And, um, I was lucky that I could take the time to do it full time. Um, And I think that was really good for me, but, uh, with like the project management and, uh, that I got tossed into and like stuff like that, it did get very overwhelming at times. And, uh, especially during job searching, like people like people in my life had to be like, you have to go outside, you cannot, you cannot keep applying to jobs constantly every day. And I was like, but I'm unemployed. The bootcamp is over. So.

No one:

You can see how this

Abbey Perini:

is a

Don Hansen:

is a constant life thing. Yeah. Yeah, of course. What I think is honestly, I just want you to, um, I was curious, but I think that's going to be valuable. I think, um, one thing I don't really talk about is like a lot of, um, just mental things that people deal with that might be a little abnormal different than the average that they don't really talk about. You don't hear those stories. Right. So, um, I think your story will resonate with more people than you expected. All right. I feel like I asked a lot of the questions that I wanted to ask. Uh, do you have anything else to add that we didn't cover?

Jason Humphrey:

I would stay here research, do the research put in the time, make sure that this is really what you want to go after. This is something you really want to do, whether that's the self-taught route or whatever. You got to put in the time and the effort and, uh, it pays off and you can get a good job and, and, you know, change your circumstances. And I've seen it, you know, uh, you know, do it for myself, do it for other people, see to change their circumstances. But, uh, but you've gotta be willing to just, just put that effort in. I like

Don Hansen:

him. It's a good thing. All right. Thank you, Jason. Thank you. All of you. Um, let's jump in outros. So if people want to reach out to you, we'll start with you Jermaine, where could they reach you? And anything else you want to share? We cannot hear you.

Jermaine Bailey:

They can reach me on LinkedIn and, uh, Jermaine Bailey. Uh, I do have a freelance, uh, brand that I. Uh, founded back in 2016, it's called BrandIndex technology. What I do is I help people build brands through technology for social media optimization and optimization analytics reporting, and now web development. So I say brand Niti technology.com. I also built that website myself.

Don Hansen:

Awesome, but no one ever shares that kind of stuff. So I'm, I'm actually really happy that you shared that. That's cool. Okay. We'll check out, uh, check out that website. Um, Jason, how about you?

Jason Humphrey:

Uh, you can find me Jason Humphrey, H U M P H R E y.io. Uh, you can email me that way. I did build the website after doing like a potential. Because we had to get through the program, but yeah. So, uh, yeah, check it out and, uh, hit me up if you have any questions or anything else.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Sounds good. How about you, Abby?

Abbey Perini:

Everywhere. But LinkedIn is, uh, Abby Perrine, ABB EOI, like an old church. Perrine starts with P like a potato. And, uh, you can find me on Twitter. I write a bunch of blogs, especially for beginners, helping them through stuff. Uh, fun stuff. I really enjoy building really dumb things that I find fun and then telling people how I did it. Um, and then. Yeah. That's where Abby per new dot devil also where you can find me. And then, uh, yeah, the advice that I had for people was just career changers are awesome. Think of your experience as a T-shaped instead of, you know, you're just starting from fresh because you've already proven that you can do a job you've already proven that you can get along with your coworkers and you have that outside experience that people from a more traditional. Do not, um, and find you a community because it gets long and dark that road, and you need people in your corner telling you how awesome you are for taking that huge leap. Um, yeah, and it does it for

Don Hansen:

me. Okay. I love it. Good advice. Well, Jermaine, Jason, Abby, thanks so much for coming on. I really appreciate it. So grab a couple of minutes.