Feb. 21, 2022

General Assembly Coding Bootcamp Review (Should You Go There In 2022!?)


I invited on 3 graduates from the coding bootcamp, General Assembly, to share their experiences with the program. All 3 graduates ended up having pretty different experiences with different parts of the program. We definitely dove deep into the pros and cons of the curriculum, instructors, projects, and outcomes. Given that General Assembly has no previous data with Cirr.org, DEFINITELY challenge the self-claimed outcomes. If admissions can't handle you digging into the details of criteria that would exclude students from their self-claimed outcome data, that should be a red flag. For all prospective students, I hope this helps with your decision!

Guests:
Brittany Bui - https://www.linkedin.com/in/brittanymbui
Chace Zanaty - https://www.linkedin.com/in/monsoud-zanaty-93559b212
Kole Deighan - https://www.linkedin.com/in/kole-deighan

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Transcript
Don Hansen:

Welcome back to another podcast episode where we help aspiring developers get jobs and junior developers grow. In this episode, we're gonna revisit general assembly. As a lot of people have requested this, like usual, I brought three real people on to give three real transparent reviews. We're gonna dive into it with all of them, but like normal. Let's go ahead and start with our intros, Brittany. Um, a few questions for you. Uh, when did you graduate? Um, what program did you complete and are you, where are you at with your job search?

Brittany Bui:

I graduated the software engineering immersive program in March of 2021. And I am currently working as a full-time software engineer right now.

Don Hansen:

Okay, cool. Took

Brittany Bui:

me about eight months to get full-time employment. I did do a contract job in

Don Hansen:

between though. Okay, sounds good. Uh, where did you come from? What was your old industry?

Brittany Bui:

Um, I worked in the service industry for about 10 years, intermittently and also owned a small business. It was a hair salon. Um, and yeah, I kind of, I started delving into coding in 2015, 2016. I did, um, an apprenticeship, but a San Francisco tech startup, just building out their, the front end, like their, their webpage. Um, and then after that, I just worked as a bartender up until, uh, December, 2020. That's when I started general

Don Hansen:

assembly. Okay, cool. Thanks for sharing about you chase.

Chace Zanaty:

Um, I did the, I graduated in November of 21. Um, I did the full, uh, software immersive as well. Um, uh, before that I was a soccer coach. Um, so I had to coach soccer for 10, 11 years, something like that. I played in college, so naturally. Progressed into coaching. Um, from there, uh, my, my friend is a, uh, senior mobile developer. And so he had asked me, um, if I would like to be interested in helping him code a little bit. And so that's kind of how I got into, into coding. And then, um, my brother-in-law is the CEO of a mobile money app and they invited us to come live in DC with them. Uh, and then they were like, you know, if you want to get deeper into coding, like, you know, we'll pay for you to go to general assembly or whatever, whatever bootcamp you want to go to. Um, if you're interested in actually doing that full time and I was like, yeah, absolutely. Like, let's go down this path. Let's see what happens. Like I can always go back to coaching soccer. So that's how I ended up being a full time software

Don Hansen:

engineer. Okay. Cool. And so you found that full-time employment. Yep.

Chace Zanaty:

And so right now I work for a startup in Arizona. Okay. It took me two months to get a job. So I think I was like, like lucky in a way. Okay. Cause that, that process is really hard.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. Congrats. That is, uh, a short, uh, duration. How about you Cole?

Kole Deighan:

Uh, yeah, I, uh, was going to college during, uh, everything happening and stuff. And about halfway through college, about around 2020, uh, online classes just weren't working for me too much. So I ended up doing general assembly, January, 2021. Uh, just because I have had. I've been programming since I was like a younger kid. Uh, it's always been an interest of mine. Uh, so I kind of have a different route than a lot of people going into bootcamp have. Um, but I essentially took this bootcamp and then graduated in April, 2021. And I've been employed with my current company since I believe June was my start. Uh, I got really lucky. I had some connections that ended up looking for the exact type of developer that, uh, was needed with my, uh, software engineering. So did a couple interviews, uh, showed them kind of some of my work and stuff that, uh, I was doing and it all just lined up perfectly. But, uh, yeah, so I'm currently working there.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Really cool. All right. Let's jump into this. I appreciate all the context. So first question, um, and like I said, we'll talk over each other, usually 10 minutes into it, kind of smooths out a little bit, but. I, I guess, like, thinking back to when you finally signed up for the program, why did you choose general assembly over other coding boot camps?

Brittany Bui:

I can go, um, I have a good friend who did their U I U X program several years back. And she absolutely loved it, but this was back when it was in person. So I think that's obviously a bit of a different experience. Um, so I just kind of rolled with that. Um, just knowing some alumni from there. Um, they also have a really good financial program, their catalyst program, which is that, you know, they take a 10% of your, your starting salary once you're fully employed. Um, and they also have really pretty good outcomes program as well, which is kind of what sets them apart. I think for most other boot camps, that's kind of what they glorifies them, so to speak. But yeah, those are that's my reasoning.

Kole Deighan:

Okay.

Chace Zanaty:

Yeah, mine was similar. Um, my sister-in-law is a project manager and she knows some engineers that had done boot camps and she had mentioned app academy, general assembly. And so those are the first two I started looking into. Um, and then talking to the, the recruiters to get me in to them, uh, general assembly just had more of that like personal feel. And so that's kind of what drew me to general assembly.

Kole Deighan:

Yeah, I definitely agree there. Uh, I was just kind of talking to contacts at college and stuff. Um, and just a lot of Googling to be honest. Uh, just trying to find, uh, anything that seemed good, uh, either good or bad about these programs and, uh, like you said, general assembly just kind of felt a lot more of like a personal feel. Uh, and I'm really glad each other actually, so yeah.

Don Hansen:

Um, I guess a quick close ended question. How long did it take you to choose a coding bootcamp and do all your research?

Brittany Bui:

I was looking into coding boot camps like seven years ago. Um, and obviously the choices were a little bit different back then. And that's when I did kind of some more immersive research on the subject and general assembly obviously popped up back then as well. But that was just something that kind of like lingered in the back of my mind, because I had a friend who did it recently. Um, and it was kind of a no brainer for me. Like when I actually took the step to sign up, I didn't even really look at anything else. I was just like general assembly, the one, so, okay. It was a little, little spontaneous, but worked out

Chace Zanaty:

mine was probably three months talking and flipping back and forth, um, between. Uh, just talking to the recruiter is just trying to see how deep down Reddit I could go to see essentially like this podcast, how real are these gonna be? Or, you know, how fake is it gonna be and is it just trying to take my money or am I actually gonna learn in the process? Um, so that's, it took me, it took me a while to be honest, to make that decision. Okay. Three months.

Kole Deighan:

Uh, yeah, I'd say about the same timeframe for me. Three, four ish months. Um, just, yeah. Uh, kind of going down rabbit holes and stuff, figuring out, uh, where I would be a good fit. Uh, yeah.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Yeah. I can take a long time. Um, a lot of people struggle with even choosing sometimes they get paralysis. Um, okay. I was just curious about that. So let's dive into it. What, um, I guess let's keep this open ended initially. Um, what do you think of the program? The good and the bad.

Kole Deighan:

Uh, I can go first on this one. Um, I'd say one of the best things just to start out positive, uh, uh, really good thing about this program, I think is just kind of having the structure of development that is so important. Um, and kind of coming from that fresh perspective of being in college courses like months prior, um, it is really, really helpful to have had that environment to kind of allow me to regiment myself for now that I am in this, uh, full-time employment. I can actually. Learn how to pace my time, as well as balance my kind of like personal life with my job. Uh, it's something that, that program definitely taught me. And that's not necessarily a content thing, but having that group of people because you get, uh, you really do work with a lot of people in your cohort. Um, having that group of people to kind of just be like, oh, I have, uh, like a group project tomorrow, or I have to work with these people. Uh, and I wanna make sure that my skills are up to par. Uh, it just, it really helps you getting familiar with kind of regiment and, uh, a team environment as well, which is really helpful, I think.

Don Hansen:

Okay. What about something negative from you? Something concern. Oh

Kole Deighan:

yeah. , uh, something negative. I feel like there are definitely a few points in the curriculum that could dive quite a bit deeper. Uh, specifically I know when it came to react, we used a lot of just class components, uh, and in my daily career, uh, that I could react in daily. I don't think I've used a class component, uh, in months, uh, like ho react hooks and using that is super important. And I wish they would go a little more in depth to that. But, uh, at the same time they do very much so encourage, uh, outside study. And I did actually use react hooks in my final, uh, my final project. So that was it's good. It encourages it, but I do just wish that the curriculum were, I wish there was almost a more, eh, extended. Type of thing, uh, for people who do need a little further reading and they do do that every day with a little extra stuff, but I just wish it was a little bit more in depth. Uh, but yeah.

Don Hansen:

Okay. And they're, um, actually forgot, uh, general assembly. They teach, uh, pythons on Java script. Or am I off with that?

Brittany Bui:

There was a, for me personally, our cohort did about one week on Python and Jengo. Mm. Does that sound right for you guys?

Kole Deighan:

Same here. Yeah. It was more really short and sweet.

Brittany Bui:

Yeah. We didn't really go to in depth with it, but

Kole Deighan:

we did

Chace Zanaty:

Ruby. Hmm. Oh yeah. Yeah. So when I was talking to the person trying to bring me on, they're like, yeah, we'll do Python. And that's what I was learning before. And I was like, yeah, I love Python. Like, okay. And then as we got into they're like, we'll learn Ruby. And I'm like, Ooh, like, like, I don't know, Ruby and. uh, more like Python was more hireable, um, just with looking at it as a more popular language. Um, so I was like, yeah, I wanna go deeper into that. Um, so yeah, I went in Ruby on the back end and we spent probably two weeks on the Ruby in the fourth unit. We did Ruby Ruby on rails, um, that way,

Don Hansen:

um, why did they switch it?

Kole Deighan:

Um,

Chace Zanaty:

I don't know. I think supposedly our cohort did things a little differently, so where I was located, I think I got pushed to the New York branch. And, um, so we spent a lot of time on reactive course and we did Java script front end back end. So we spent a lot of time doing that. And then we went into Ruby and they, I, the. I think just, they liked Ruby. The, they wanted to teach Ruby. I don't know, to be honest with you, uh, they were hyping up Ruby and they're like, we're gonna teach you Ruby. And I was like, there was nothing I can do about it now, but like, it was fine. They cuz they told us that a lot of other cohorts and other places do Python. So that's why I thought it was a little odd that we were doing Ruby instead. Um, yeah, it depends on where you go

Don Hansen:

New York though. I'm really surprised. Yeah. So it's one. Yeah. So you knew Python. So you signed up because you thought you were gonna continue pushing forward with Python. Um, yeah, I'm not a, I'm not a, I've heard this once in a while, but I'm not a huge fan of major curriculum changes like that when you sign up for something entirely different.

Chace Zanaty:

They had. So that was kind of the thing in our cohort is we had our unit two instructor leave our, um, what is the person, the outcomes we had, our outcomes person leave. And so it was just like always, like we had to like adjust a lot throughout those 12 weeks into that. And so that threw a lot of people like under the table, like, well, you know, we would promise this and now we don't get this anymore. Or I think it was like maybe four weeks, three weeks left in the entire class and our outcomes, you know, teacher leaves. And so we have to meet this brand new person who knows none of us, who's just reading notes and they're supposed to help us get this job or do whatever. And it doesn't bring much confidence into that.

Don Hansen:

I. Yeah, I would, I can empathize with that. That's um, well, did they give you a discount or anything like a partial refund? No. Huh. Okay. Um, I'll probably have a couple more questions about that, but, um, I guess, um, chase. Yeah. If you kind of just wanna expand both, uh, pro and con of your experience,

Chace Zanaty:

um, I'll just say the same thing as cold. Like the, the structure of like being in a class all day, all the time, it really does help you get youth to being a full time developer. So like getting into the job, it was like, oh, I've done this before. Um, I think project week, which I wish there was more of, but project week is almost like the real job is like, you do have to learn how to manage your own time and manage your task. Um, so I think that's a, a great way and I'm sure all the other boot camps do the same thing. Uh, but for me that was really, I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the group projects we did as well, just working as a team pair programming. Um, that's something that I've got to experience in the real world as well. Um, and so where you hate that when you're first starting now, I'm like more used to and against, and have somebody watch me, you know, on my computer typing out things as they're driving and it's, I don't know. So those things were, were good. The negatives, um, like I explained Python instead of Ru or Ruby instead of Python, um, the people leaving during the course, um, I'd also agreed, uh, to dive deeper into some subjects, maybe take out. Homework you had every day and instead dive deeper into some of, some of those subjects. Um, because some of the homework is just repeating where you do wanna learn a little deeper, um, a couple of things like we didn't do testing in our cohort and that's a big thing is like just learning how to test, um, like that's a big thing. Um, yeah, I think also in the group project, they could have turned it into like a sprint and given each person points like how, how we do it, at least at my job is you have a task it's worth this many points and can you get this many points finished by the end of the sprint? And that's something that would've been cool to do. Like in the, in the course, instead of just like, all right, just go on and, you know, do a full stack application or you're in a group. And it's like, you just do the CSS that. Or you do the front or the, you just write the Java script for the menu,

Kole Deighan:

you know,

Don Hansen:

what's the point. Okay. So a couple things, your homework you mentioned. So it kinda, it sounds like it's not reinforcing in your knowledge in depth, but it's just repeating, like, you don't feel like it's really deeply reinforcing your knowledge or, um,

Chace Zanaty:

I, I think it depends on which homework assignment it was. There was definitely some, I think we, we built a dot goose game or, uh, duck hunt game, which was like, that really pushed us. And then there was other times where we repeated the same thing and react, trying to pull an API and try to get data from the API. And we did that a lot. Where it's just basic that, and you're like, no, I want to, I want to go a little, a little deeper. Like, can we go deeper into, into that? Like, we don't need to do for like a week, get this data off from API.

Kole Deighan:

Do you

Don Hansen:

feel like your other classmates found value in that repeating? Do you feel like you moved to the material pretty quickly?

Chace Zanaty:

No. Honestly, there was, I was probably middle of the pack, honestly. I mean, there were some people in my class that were, that were on it. Um, I think everybody had kind of the same thing where it was like, eh, like, yeah. Okay. We do an algorithm every day. We do ho and we do another homework. Can we maybe go a little deeper? Cuz all of us wanted to go a little deeper, but it wasn't in the time limit. So then it's we have to go back and do a homework. We we've done partial level. We did something very similar in class, and now we're doing the same thing for homework and it's, you know, you could just go copy the instructor's thing. If you wanted to, you just go copy their work. If, I mean, if you wanted to, to be straight honest, like if you're just trying to get it done so you can pass over the 80% of homework, go in, take it with them. And that's not really like learning because they you've worked on it together. And, you know, that's there, you're not really having to like Google or, and struggle or like go read something else to like push you to that next, that next level. Does that make sense?

Don Hansen:

Yeah, it does. Um, does that resonate with either of you.

Brittany Bui:

We had some pretty challenging deliverables in my cohort, actually. So it sounds like this was just kind of like your instructors who are at fault here kind of maybe possibly being a little bit lazy with the materials, like your deliverables, not getting creative with it. Um, cuz we had, we actually had, um, one of our deliverables when we were first learning react, I think maybe only like 50% of the cohort actually finished and turned in that deliverable because it was so challenging. I remember, um, staying up until like three in the morning with some of my cohort mates, um, trying to work through this problem. Um, it was, yeah, that was, it was a huge struggle, but it, you know, that's how we learn, you know, like sink or swim. So yeah. I mean that's pretty unfortunate that you had that experience. Chase is. Yeah. I mean it just sounds like your instructors weren't, you know, trying very hard to challenge you guys.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Fair enough. Um, what are, uh, Yeah. Well, I guess we'll go with you, Brittany, um, pro and con of the program.

Brittany Bui:

Yeah, well, you know, going off of what everybody else said, the structure was very beneficial. Um, that's definitely something that you lack when you're trying to go down the self-taught route. And another big thing is collaboration, just learning how, you know, learning, how to pair program, especially learning to get version control, which is huge. Um, yeah, I mean, it was, it was, it was good learning, you know, how to manage your time, you know, get up early in the morning, like work late into the evenings, that sort of thing. Um, which definitely prepared me for my current role now. Um, what else? Yeah, our, our instructors were able to keep like that whole eight hour day pretty engaging. Most of the time, I was a little worried at first with like these very long hours, we were putting in five days a week that it was gonna get, you know, like, you know, like tuning in and out that sort of thing. But they kept us engaged like almost the entire time and usually left like, you know, an hour or two at the end to work on deliverables, like as a group or with whomever we chose, um, And yeah, I guess cons the biggest thing was that we didn't touch unit testing at all and that's pretty much all I do in my current role right now. so that was, that was an interesting learning curve, but I, I was really surprised with, you know, testing is like an extremely important part of development, no matter where you are. Um, so that was probably my biggest gripe about the program. Um, I feel like there was something else and now it's slipping away. Oh yeah. Towards the end of our program, we, you know, we've set aside probably a good month for react cuz that's. A pretty gigantic, uh, curriculum to learn. And it kind of seemed towards the end that our instructors were kind of checked out. It got to the point where they would kind of just throw an assignment at us, not even go over it. Like we wouldn't even have a lecture or anything. They would kind of just be like, okay, teach yourself this. Like I remember they gave us this assignment one day to teach ourselves Axios. And then the next day, like, I, you know, I spent like a good six hours working through this project the next day. They didn't even mention it. It's like, it never even happened. I'm like, okay, so what are we doing with this? Um, and I just kind of came to the conclusion. I was like, it just seems like everybody's a little bit checked out at this point. Um, which felt really unfortunate. Cause I'm like, you know, we're paying a pretty large sum of money for this three months worth content. And I feel like, you know, everybody should be engaged up until the very last day, you know, so we can at least get our, our money's worth. And so it, you know, I felt like I was kind of being, you know, Cheated out of a better, more, uh, thorough experience because of that. Um, but yeah, those are my two complaints.

Don Hansen:

How, I guess for all three of you, um, how many instructors did you have and how big were your cohorts?

Brittany Bui:

Oh, I had, oh, you

Kole Deighan:

can go. Oh no, you can go. Sorry. I was like, I gotta think really

Brittany Bui:

quick thinking out loud, a few um, I had two instructors and then we had two instructors assistants and then our cohort started probably around 30 people. And I wanna say like maybe four or five dropped out throughout the course. So I think towards the end we had 25 or 26. I can't remember for sure. Okay. But most of the, yeah, most of the class ended up, uh, seeing it out to the very end, which was, which was good.

Chace Zanaty:

I think I had three instructors. We were supposed to have four unit two dropped out. So we had three, our unit one covered the unit two. Then we had a, uh, two teachers assistant and then somebody doing homework as well. Um, and then we had 28 people in the cohort, I believe. And I think 26 graduated if I'm right. 26, 27, something like that.

Kole Deighan:

Okay. Uh, I think we had at the top of my head, I think we had three instructor instructors, and then, uh, kind of a handful of TAs. I know we, I think another TA joined a little bit in, uh, there was a little, from what I remember. I believe, yeah, there were just a few TAs. Uh, and then I know that we had around like 28 to 30 to start and ended with around like 25 ish. Um, I know there were a few people that dropped out, uh, but mostly at the beginning of the course, uh, once it was like about two or three weeks in, I think most everyone finished. Um, yeah.

Don Hansen:

Okay. So Brittany, you, you kind of felt like your instructors were, um, a bit taxed out overworked. Um, I don't know why that is. I don't have a window into that, but the first thing that I suspected was your cohorts were just too large. Right. And instructors were overworked, but that's a, I mean, two instructors for 15 students each with two assistants. That's, um, that's not bad. It's not perfect or ideal, but that's not bad. So I don't. I would be curious to see what else those instructors are doing to feel burned out, because I don't think it's the ratio. The ratios actually sound pretty good.

Brittany Bui:

Yeah. I mean, as far as I know, it didn't seem like they were being overworked or anything. We kind of had like a cadence in my cohort, like when we would work in breakout rooms as groups there, you know, there were a few people who liked to work solo and then it kind of almost turned into like clicks. Like there were people like we had a couple different groups or like X amount of people always worked together and these people always worked together and so on, so on and so forth. So it was kind of broken up into like, you know, ma very manageable groups. So if anybody needed an instructor's assistant, there were more than enough people available to help these groups of people. So I, I highly doubt that it was like the size of the cohort that burnt them out. I honestly have no idea what happened there either because the first half of, um, the program was. You know, it was great. Like zero complaints. Like everything was very immersive, engaging. I was learning a lot, but like I said, once we kind of hit towards the end of that react course, which was the very last course in the entire program. That's when it just kind of seemed like we weren't being, we weren't being given like, um, adequate lectures anymore. We weren't being given, you know, enough assignments. They gave us like two weeks, like two full weeks to work on our final projects, which seemed kind of excessive. Did you guys also have like the full two weeks for your final

Kole Deighan:

projects? Yeah. And kind of add on what you're saying? Uh, my, I think my instructors were great. I loved all of them. Uh, but I will definitely say it kind of, I don't know. The program felt a little weird, cuz I agree with like the first bit of the program was like stellar a hundred percent, by the end it almost felt like we were building up to something and then never reached it. And then there were like, All right. Here's like a bunch of things. Like we were learning. I just remember like all the routing and stuff for everything and express, and then a bunch of react and just piling on all sorts of stuff. And then when we were supposed to learn a little more, this kind of extends to my point from earlier about going more in depth. But the point at which we were like going to go a little more in depth, there's just like, here's two weeks for your final project, have fun. And like, I understand kind of the point of that, but it's, it was weird to have this build up of information and then kind of have it end and feel a little abrupt almost. That's

Brittany Bui:

almost exactly how it was for me as well.

Kole Deighan:

Okay. Good to hear that other people went through that too. yeah, I would,

Chace Zanaty:

I would say mine's different. We had a week to do our final project. Um, I, I, I actually loved all my instructors. I think the homework thing I was talking about Brittany was more, it was like busy work at times. It just felt like busy work, um, where they didn't need to give us homework, but they did it because they had to, instead of, Hey, like this is something you need to go learn and have time maybe to go learn on our own. Um, but yeah, we actually learned react, react unit two and all the way through. So we did our react right after unit one, right after our vanilla Java script learning. Um, and then, yeah, I liked my instructors and we had a week to do the finals. It was interesting because I think the unit. The unit three, when we had to do teams, we had like a week and a half, almost two weeks, I think, to do our unit three because of we have like a holiday or something in between there. And for some reason that lend us to more time to do that project. So that was, that was kind of how we did ours.

Don Hansen:

It sounds like there's a big focus on no JS and JavaScript. Um, sounds like you guys would've wished you would've spent more time with the react. Um, not just class based, you know, function based components. Um, Brittany, it sounds like you had a huge preference and excitement for unit testing. Do you feel like the second backend language that you all learned could be replaced? So you guys could go more into depth with unit testing and react specifically?

Brittany Bui:

Yeah. If I could go back in time and make that request, I definitely would because I mean, it's, it's good to know Python and Jay go like, you know, Python is obviously like a super awesome versatile language, but in the role that I'm in now, like, you know, my company doesn't use Python for anything. Um, and we use unit, like I, like I said, my role right now is mostly working, you know, with Cypress, with unit testing. So I would've much rather spent a week on learning unit testing than Python at this point. Cause I think it probably would've been easier to kind of like branch off and learn Python on your own time than it is to kind of learn unit testing on your own time. If that makes sense.

Don Hansen:

Okay.

Kole Deighan:

Uh, I would definitely agree. I mean the only reason I situationally I'm very happy we went over it because the first project I got assigned that the job I was hired at was. Postgre, it was a Postgres flask server. Uh, and I was like, awesome. I've done this before. This is great. Uh, but I do feel like it, I don't know, it, the Python felt like an interjection into what was either well, outside of it was a very cohesive, uh, curriculum, cuz it just felt weird to learn like all of JS and all of this stuff. And then, then hop into a flask server and then switch back immediately to express. I understand why they did it because I honestly think that flask is a little easier to comprehend than express when you're going into like server building. But it was just, uh, I almost feel like teaching the concepts of server building with express might have been a little bit better. Uh, but yeah, I, I don't know. I think having the, it was good to kind of. I, I don't, it's a double edged sword in the sense of like, on one hand, it's very helpful to kind of throw in that random language because sometimes you do have to pick up a language pretty quick at a job, but on the other hand, it would've been more cohesive. So I don't necessarily hate the fact that we learned it, but it, it does feel a little weird.

Don Hansen:

Okay. okay.

Brittany Bui:

Yeah, probably would've been a smoother transition to go from wanting like express node, like directly into react rather than having that one week of Python right in between. Yeah.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. It, um, so it's interesting that you mentioned cold, that you had worked with Postgres and flask. Um, when you guys mentioned one week of Python and Janko, that feels like you probably could spend more time to get a more solid grasp of it. And I'm, I'm just questioning whether that exposure is. more valuable than diving. Like I'm telling you there are coding boot camps that will even go past three months that will dive into JavaScript and people still come out of it feeling like there's so much depth to this. Like, I don't feel like I truly understand all of it. Right. And so, um, to split that up and just add a week of some second backend language, um, it almost, I don't know, I, I would be curious what their mindset is. I'm sure they've measured this in success of their students. They had to have right. General assembly has been around for a while. I don't know. I, I guess I'm torn whether that's even a good idea or not, and I would actually challenge you, Brittany. I don't, I don't think unit testing for entry level positions. Um, you're gonna be doing that as much as you do it specifically. When I hear about a lot of other entry level positions, I know I didn't do it. I know a lot of, uh, developers, I mentor don't do it. And I think it's actually a pretty good thing to pick it up. It's

Brittany Bui:

a really good introduction to the code base. Yeah. Which is what I've learned. And that's kind of why my, the company I'm working for, which is a startup is a smaller company. Um, they just restructured, um, kind of their entry level roles to have like the newer, um, you know, non non-conventional background, like junior engineers come in work, QA write unit tests, um, work on, you know, like debugging and that sort of thing before they move into a Deb role, which I think is brilliant. Um, that way you're not just like thrown in Sinko and learn the co base. Like it's, they give you like a good, you know, like six month to a year window to really familiarize yourself with everything. So I think that's brilliant. I think, you know, more companies could probably take note of that. It's a very smooth transition so,

Don Hansen:

okay. What do you guys get to the project? Uh, part of the curriculum, do you feel like. You were pretty comfortable with building out your own projects after the first portion?

Chace Zanaty:

Definitely. Yeah.

Don Hansen:

Okay. What about you two?

Brittany Bui:

Yeah, I, I remember having very minimal issues when building out the projects. Um, I think, um, so in my experience, in my cohort, the, uh, we kind of were thrown a curve ball during the Python Jengo curriculum, where we were working on, um, like our lectures. We were all building a project together, like coding along. Um, and then our instructors kind of last minute were like, okay, by the way, this is gonna be your final project. So everybody was scrambling, you know, over the weekend to try to refactor their project into something original or just like completely rebuild it from the ground up and make something different. Cuz we had to present these, you know, nobody wants to have a beat like verbatim what we did in class, which I think was, you know, that was uh, Not the, I don't think that was like the best way to go about it from an instructor standpoint. But, um, cuz I definitely think that a lot of people probably, if we would've known this was gonna be our final project in the beginning of the curriculum, like we probably would've been able to spend a lot more time and put some more effort into it and it just kind of felt like really halfassed

Chace Zanaty:

yeah. I think project wise, I felt good. I think besides the last one, like where they had the Python, my like undo Ruby after just learning like a week and a half, two weeks of Ruby and then having to build out the back end. I wasn't as comfortable with it as the previous three projects that I had done. So I think that's probably the only,

Kole Deighan:

you know, so okay.

Don Hansen:

I noticed, um, yeah, even looking back to 2019, I'm always, always questioning outcomes. Always, um, I don't think they've ever submitted to, uh, sir.org. What, um, I guess my question is, um, cause I'm Al very skeptical. Uh, sir.org kind of used to be quote unquote, uh, gold standard for kind of holding coding, boot camps accountable for their outcomes. Um, and it sounds like general assembly. Um, I'm sure they advertise some sort of outcome. So it's probably, um, I mean it, it's a lot of, kind of self-assigned outcomes. Um, I'd be curious to see what criteria I actually should have looked this up before the program. Um, I'd be curious to see what criteria would exclude students from data. What would include students from data? There's always like the devil's in the execution with that kind of thing. Um, and how coding bootcamps present those outcomes. So I guess my question is. Um, in your cohorts on average, how long did your classmates take to find a job

Brittany Bui:

for me? I didn't really stay in touch with any of my cohort mates too long after the program we actually did. Um, we did a 30, 60, and 90 day outcomes meet up, but they dwindled after the first one. Um, As far as I do know, a couple of the cohort mates that I have, like on LinkedIn, I know of like maybe three that got jobs within the first three months. And after that, I'm, I'm not really sure.

Kole Deighan:

Okay.

Chace Zanaty:

Same. Yeah, go ahead. Oh,

Kole Deighan:

no, you can go. You can go. um,

Chace Zanaty:

I guess I'm a little like fresher, so I'm still like in touch with everybody. Like we still, we have like a LinkedIn group. We still like chat and whatnot. Um, I think there's three or four of us that have jobs outta the cohort right now. And the rest are still searching. I think one went back, um, to data. Like that's what he was doing before was like a data scientist. Um, so I think he went back into that and then like three or four out of that. But, uh, I know they're, they're having a tough time finding entry level positions. Everybody's looking for a senior, senior dev. So this is tough for. For them to find that position. Okay.

Don Hansen:

It kind of feels like your cohort dropped the ball chase. your instructors, not the students. Okay. Um, it feels like that your experience sounds pretty different than Britney's and Cole's why do you think that is?

Kole Deighan:

Um, I don't know.

Chace Zanaty:

I mean, I guess, cuz I've never did another boot camp. I, I did enjoy the instructors. Like I enjoyed the people I was with. I agree with Brittany at, uh, like it turned into like cliques at a certain point. When you went into, um, do your own individual things or you did group things, it was always like the same people together. Um, I don't know. I don't know. I mean, I have a job, so I can't, I don't, I mean, they didn't fail too bad in my mind. Um, Yeah, I don't know. I, I think it was just maybe the instructors, you know, have a different mindset of what they wanted to teach over. Maybe the general assembly curriculum. And they were like, this is why we're gonna do it this way that we think is going to prepare you the best way over the plain vanilla, uh, curriculum that everybody else teaches that they factory produce every 12 weeks is kind of my thought process on it now, to be

Kole Deighan:

honest.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Okay. I appreciate you kind of trying to dig through that. Um, how was career services? How was the mentorship after you graduated for me?

Chace Zanaty:

All of you,

Kole Deighan:

uh, mom was not, oh,

Chace Zanaty:

mom was pretty much nonexistent. Um, like I said, we got a different person and I felt like they were, you know, trying to keep pace real quickly because we were about to graduate in three weeks. So, um, I felt like if you weren't kind of bugging her all the time, then you were not in the forefront of their mind. Um, and so I was like, okay, what I'm going to do is instead of waiting in line of 25 people, I'm going to do this myself essentially. And I took the reigns into my own hands and, and didn't really do anything with general assembly. Like at first, you know, they required, uh, to be an outcome's gonna apply for five jobs a week and like submit those and, um, go. Uh, what is it to like meetups and things like that? And I was like, that's like a way, well, some of that's a waste of time to me. Like I can go apply to my own jobs. I don't like to connect with somebody. I, I don't need to go to a meetup to do that. I can do that in a different way. Um, that's not required of me to stay in this outcomes for you to tell me my resume's okay. Or something like that.

Don Hansen:

You know? So when you say being outcomes, you're talking about just having that consistent mentorship. Yeah. Okay. So you're not talking about being included in the outcome data.

Chace Zanaty:

Well, I guess I would still be included in the outcome data because I was still part and got a full time job. So they would include me in the success rate of coming out of outcomes if I did it to 'em or not, because that's the. because you can read it. I mean, they're a, if you get a full-time job part-time job contract, um, or I think paid internship, they include you in the success of, uh, coming out of outcome successfully. So that like, when they say they have a 90 percentile success rate to put people in jobs, that includes that they don't include, um, like anything below, uh, I think maybe 40 hours or they don't include like internship or

Brittany Bui:

$40,000 a year is a minimum that you have to bake to get, uh, included, I think.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Yeah. Do they, so is it just like any job over 40,000 or is it tech job or is it software engineering specifically?

Brittany Bui:

I think it's basically just any employment. That's over 40 K salary. I don't think it's specific to the tech industry. If I read the fine print correctly. . Don Hansen: And so if, and here's what you as kind of a success statistic mm-hmm and you never got a software engineering job mm-hmm right. Do like if they included you as a statistic, like part of that 90%, do you feel like that would be dishonest?

Chace Zanaty:

Yes, absolutely. Yeah. So, and that's why we went there for, right. Like we didn't try to go back to what we were doing or, you know, go back to another school. Like we wanted to be a full, like, we wanted to be software engineers or within that industry, you know, we wanted to do something within that industry. So

Don Hansen:

that's why people go to coding boot camps. And so here's kind of a red flag for me. I'm very curious why they didn't submit to sir.org. It was the gold standard. Most coding boot camps did it. They can report their self claimed outcomes, all they want. Right. But the important part is, you know, sir.org kind of four step breakdown of at least like tech and non tech and software engineering. And like they could report, um, they could just re they would make sure that it wouldn't be part of a statistic that it's a success rate. They always trade it. Like you said, chase it. You go to a coding bootcamp to get a software engineering role. Right. And if you aren't, you shouldn't be included in that statistic whatsoever. So 90% sounds like complete bullshit. Like they would literally have to be one of the best coding boot camps out there right now. And I, I, the whole reason I decided to review them again is because I got a lot of complaints about them. That's a, that's why I did it with hack rector as well. Um, so I'm calling bullshit on that. Um, so what I would challenge any new student to do, um, really challenge this data, um, really challenge like is that 90%, the actual statistic for people landing a job in software engineering, um, a new job, right? Not your, your program. Isn't paying you to go to a coding bootcamp, like a brand new job in software engineering, 40,000 or up which 40,000 is actually pretty low. Um, if you're paying that kind of money, but, um, challenge those statistics, dig deep into it. Uh, and I'm not gonna, like, I can go into so many details about that, of like what to specifically look for. We've talked about that in my other videos. Um, you could definitely check it out, but 90% feels. Feels completely unrealistic, especially given that we just went through a pandemic. Um, I don't buy it. So I'm calling bullshit. Maybe I'm wrong, correct me in the comments. Uh, but this is something that's incredibly important because I know a lot of people are signing up for these coding bootcamps that have been around for a long time. When you see a statistic like that, there's a 90% chance that you're gonna land a job in six months. And that isn't always the case. You have to read that data. You have to break it down. You have to make sure that they completely are transparent about the criteria of what excludes you. What includes you in that data? Don't just take that value at surface level. So this is my, I'm not, this is not on any of you. I'm just saying this is like my big advice for people that are seriously considering this program. That is one of the most crucial things you need to dig into heavily. Um, okay. So that's a tangent. What did, uh, you guys think about career services?

Kole Deighan:

really quick before, really quick before we move on from that. Sure. You brought up an interesting point that I, again, I'm not an expert on any of this. Uh so obviously I take everything I say with a grain of salt, but what interests me about what you just said brings up kind of interesting point to me of when we were doing outcomes at the end, uh, it was very much, you have to do like X amount of job applications a week, attend X amount of, uh, you know, meetups, all that stuff, add X amount of people on LinkedIn, or you're no longer eligible for outcomes. So the I, again, they don't go too much into depth of what that means. Uh, and I don't wanna, like, you know, say something that I don't necessarily have, like, you know, backup for. I'm not claiming this as a concrete fact, but I would be interested to see if. You becoming ineligible for outcomes excludes you from outcomes, data. Um, I don't know if that's the case and I, again, take everything I say with a grain of salt. Uh, but that's just an interesting wording. Looking back on that specifically after you brought that up. Uh, just something to think about, uh, again, maybe not, maybe everyone is included, uh, but it's just, that's a little interesting to me. Uh, but as for outcomes, uh, I honestly kind of felt it was a little bit of a chore. Uh, for most of the part. Uh, and I just, I feel like when you're coding for like several hours during the day, the last thing you want to do is then sit and do nothing on a PowerPoint presentation or like make minor tweaks to your LinkedIn because you're like, I have a whole homework assignment due and I don't know if I'm gonna finish it. And my brain is still in coding mode. I don't, you know, necessarily want to talk to people on LinkedIn right now that doesn't, like, it doesn't really mesh with me writing a hundred lines in my new JavaScript file. Uh, but yeah, I, I don't know. I think it was helpful in some ways that were definitely some things that definitely helped me out. Uh, having someone just look over your, uh, resume was great. I went through several renditions of it and I have a really a resume I'm really proud of now, actually. Uh, but most of the stuff like you have to attend. meetups. I'll be honest. I just Googled coding meetups online soon, uh, and would attend one and then just send a screenshot of it. I don't really know what I learned in a lot of 'em. Um, there were a couple that I visited that were really helpful. Actually, there was like a sequel meeting that I went to, but for the most part, when you're like trying to apply for a job and sharpen your skills, the last thing on your mind is like a quota of, you know, meetups to go to. That's not necessarily the most helpful thing. Uh, and I get what they're trying to go for there, but that was a little frustrating. And I, I don't know. I, uh, again, I got very, very lucky, uh, and got a, like, got a job very quickly out of, you know, finishing the program, but. I don't know. I just feel like outcomes could have been something different as opposed to something that almost felt like them tacking it on to say that we're career oriented. And we're really trying to get you a job. I, I, I feel like most of my complaints to the program come with outcomes and the after effects of the program, whereas most of the curriculum and like instruction stuff, I've really enjoyed, uh, the app.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Um, first of all, that observation about the, the wording that they even choose that, um, that's great. You honestly could probably host my podcast. That's the kind of stuff that you should look for. I'm serious. That was, that was amazing. And I think that's really helpful. Um, Okay. Before I, um, respond, Brittany, what about you? What do you think of career services or outcomes?

Brittany Bui:

Um, I definitely agree with Cole on that. It felt, um, very unnecessary when you had to do it, you know, in like the middle of the week, when you have a ton of coding, you're trying to do. And a lot of my cohort mates felt the same way. We were always just like, this is useless. I hate outcomes. Like we'd be in our breakout room, just complaining about it. But then I also, in the back of my mind, I was like, okay, understand why this is necessary. They're trying to get us ready now. Instead of trying to like, throw this all at us, after we graduate, um, But something kind of funny that I realized after I graduated, I ordered a cracking the coding interview and our entire outcomes program was a template of the first chapter of cracking the coding interview verbatim. So I thought that was kind of funny. I was like, well, I could bought this book three months again, we could skip the whole thing, you know, but, um, what another thing is that our career coach did not monitor our activity after graduation. She didn't check to see if we were submitting, uh, job applications or if we were attending meet up, she didn't like she was, she didn't really seem to care. Um, but one thing that I found very useful is that we had a slack channel that, um, the career coaches throughout, um, various different cohorts would post job job listings that were, uh, directly partnered with general assembly. So these are job postings who are specifically looking for alumni from general assembly. And that's actually how I was able to find my contract role originally, which was just a couple months after graduation, uh, was through that slack channel. So that was, that was probably the most useful part about outcomes. Like the whole resume building was slightly useful, but I ended up rebuilding my resume several other times, like through, um, third party, like people that I knew outside of general assembly, and they had a lot better insights on it. Like I said, my, uh, my career coach just wasn't like very, um, Immersed in our success, I guess. And I kind of noticed that too, with that, um, that slack channel with the job postings, I noticed that a lot of the other career coaches from other cohorts were posting a lot more frequently and she was pretty interactive. And then I noticed a couple months later, she actually left the company altogether and I was like, okay, well, that makes sense. Um, you know, so kind of like what happened to chase, but just a little bit later, , um, kind of when we needed her the most, I guess but I mean, it worked out fine. I ended up, you know, finding my current role, not even through general assembly whatsoever, so yeah, I think their, their outcomes program definitely. Isn't what they, what they say it is. I think it also really depends on who you get as a career coach.

Kole Deighan:

Yeah. I will also add, I, I really liked my career coach. Uh, I think she was the best part of outcomes. I just, uh, I feel like the. uh, to add on, it's definitely like the curriculum of outcomes for me. Uh, but having a, I, I think the safe and grace of outcomes for me was I did enjoy my career coach. Uh . She was really nice. So that was helpful. I cannot imagine how annoyed I would be with outcomes if I clashed with her, but yeah.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Um, okay. So everyone had actually fairly different experiences. Your cohorts were different. Um, I started seeing similarities between Kohl's and Britney's, um, early on, but that's interesting. I'm wondering what is the result of this inconsistency? I'm wondering, cuz it doesn't sound like the ratios were bad. Um, out first of all, career services, outcomes, whatever you wanna call it, that's usually an overworked position and I often feel bad that people that are in that position cuz I've, I've met a couple as well. Um, I've had my own frustrations with a couple as well for my coding bootcamp. Um, I guess I have one question. If you were getting stuck in the job process and uh, chase, I know you were just screwed with it. So I'm gonna ask the other two. Um, if you were stuck in the job search process, um, could you reach out to your career coach and just say, Hey, can we hop on for like 15 minutes? I wanna talk through this. I'm really lost.

Kole Deighan:

Um, for me, from what I remember, and my memory is a little bit fuzzy. Uh, there was a lot of stuff going on, uh, job wise at that time, just trying to figure it out. Uh, but from what I remember, if you wanted to schedule like a video meeting, uh, I think you could schedule one, uh, pro not same day, just because of how much career coach had to do at least initially I know later on it probably got to that point. Uh, but, uh, our career coach was always available on slack. If you had any questions, uh, you do usually get a response within a couple hours, which was nice, so,

Chace Zanaty:

okay. . Don Hansen: How about you, Brittany? Yeah,

Brittany Bui:

my career coach was pretty available like the first couple months after we graduated. Um, I had actually, I would have like a one-on-one call with her, like every other week or so just to kind of check in on things. But my, my, the, you know, the first, like several months of my job search was pretty bittersweet, um, aside from that contract role, but she, she did play a big part in helping me win that role as well. So I don't wanna, like, I'm definitely not trying to say that she was like useless or anything like that, cuz that's definitely not the case. Like, you know, she definitely paid her dues. She did a good job, but um, I just, I definitely think, you know, it just varied from cohort to cohort, like how immersed your career coach really was and like your successes and kind of like, you know what you said, Don, they're pretty overworked. I, you know, I think a lot of us kind of overlooked the fact, like we're not the only cohort, you know, that she's coaching, there's so many, you know, across like all of the different departments as well. So yeah, I mean, I totally sympathize with her on that level. Um, But yeah, I mean, it is what it is. Like, I think, um, a lot of, uh, a lot of the people from my cohort kind of just like removed themselves from that outcomes program altogether, even if they were required to be a part of it. Cause they just weren't getting anything out of it, but yeah.

Don Hansen:

Okay. All good feedback. Appreciate you sharing your experiences. Um, I don't think I have any other questions. Um, I feel like, I feel like this was pretty open ended and I feel like all of you had a lot of really good points that we got to dug into very specific points. And I appreciate everyone like sharing your personal experiences to give context around a lot of this. Um, let's go ahead and wrap it up with this. Who do you think this program is really good for? And who do you think it's not good for and feel free to kind of just add like any other, um, Feedback or experience you had with the program here? I think,

Brittany Bui:

well, he can go, oh, you can add on. Okay. I was gonna say, I think, I think it's great for people who are willing to put in extra work after the program is complete. Um, because you know, like, like we kind of touched on, like, you don't get to learn unit testing, you don't really cover a whole lot of react hook. These things are pretty imperative, like depending on the type of dev you're trying to get into, um, and you know, the whole outcomes program, like, like I said, it's not quite as good as they make it out to be. So you're gonna be doing a lot of your job searching, like on your own and learning how to network and, you know, um, revamping your resume X amount of times and, you know, being, um, efficient on LinkedIn and that sort of thing. These are all things that I personally had to kind of take into my own hands. Um, Yeah. I mean the, the best way that I can really describe general assembly as a whole is, is a really good foundation for learning how to learn. If that makes sense.

Don Hansen:

Okay.

Brittany Bui:

Like they're not gonna teach you everything, but they give you a really good place to start.

Don Hansen:

Makes sense. A lot of people, like if one thing was shared across almost every single coding bootcamp graduate at sta you learn essentially how to learn. And then you also learn that you really, usually, if you had to go back, you didn't need the coding bootcamp anymore. Cause you like, you, most people just needed it for the outline, right. Or then once you get the structure, you're like, uh, you know, if I had to like it almost, it almost sets you up to even learn kind of a new profession. That's also accessible, like software engineering is you're like, I, I can actually do this. I bet you I'd be more resourceful going into like, even a different profession. So, um, okay, cool.

Kole Deighan:

Yeah, kind of add on that. It definitely teaches you how to learn. Um, I would say this program's pro definitely for people who have the ability to kind of figure out what you're gonna do job wise, uh, and are a little bit more driven in that field, uh, as opposed to kind of walking into it. I don't think anyone really walks into a coding boot camp. Expecting to have a job five days after. Uh, and if you are, you probably haven't done enough research. Uh but you need to, I think with this specific bootcamp, it definitely puts you on the right track of how to get all the skills and how to acquire everything you need for the job, but you definitely still need to have that driven aspect to, you know, apply those skills and speak to people and find your connections to get a job again. I was very lucky. So take what I say with a grain of salt, but you definitely do need to be driven for that. Not to be

Chace Zanaty:

no, that's helpful. Yeah. I'm gonna have to agree with them too as well. I think. It's built for building a foundation, um, to learn, um, our instructor actually told us, he was like, you know what this course does is we give you a compass so you can understand like what direction you need to go. Um, and so that actually for me, painted a really good picture of the course is it is like I can get on. And I do this every day. I spend two or three hours learn trying to learn something new. And so now I can, I can go and read documentation that I probably couldn't go. I couldn't do before I went to the course, like I can go and read documentation and get something up and running and I can go test things out. Um, I just, it's a little, it gave me more confidence in learning and giving me that foundation. I mean, that's, that's what it did. Um, I do agree that you do have to put in extra time right after, and if you're doing the full immersive, like you couldn't do anything else. So if you had a job, you know, I mean, even people that who had kids like that was tough. Like you couldn't do anything else, but like that course for the 12 weeks, I think, I think app academy might do 16 weeks, which looking back 16 weeks might have given you that more in depth information that, you know, I was looking for, that might be what somebody might want. Um, but it is like, it does give you a good foundation or the compass to learn. But you do have to put in that time, like after you graduate, you still need to put in that eight hours a day, like you are full time programmer to continue to learn until you get that job. Because if you don't, by the time you get in you're so over your head that it won't even matter. Like you'll be swimming, like,

Kole Deighan:

so

Don Hansen:

it's good feedback. It's really good feedback. All right. I appreciate everyone for keeping it real. I think this is good. I think people are gonna like this episode. That's it. That's the end of the podcast. So, uh, let's go ahead and jump into our outros. Um, Brittany, if people wanted to reach out to you and anything else you wanna shout out, where could they reach you?

Brittany Bui:

Uh, LinkedIn, that's the only social media that I have. okay, cool. Besides Reddit, but you know, we're anonymous on there.

Don Hansen:

all right. Usually. Okay. Fair enough. Usually people,

Kole Deighan:

I need to read her Reddit. Now, if it's like, like, no, it's

Don Hansen:

anonymous. There's

Brittany Bui:

nothing too incriminating. I'm not, I'm not too worried about it. If you find me on there, you

Don Hansen:

find me it's whatever. Well, how bold are you? What's your Reddit username.

Brittany Bui:

why is it all sticky?

Kole Deighan:

this is a good Reddi user there. That's pretty good. Okay.

Don Hansen:

All right. All right. We'll check out our LinkedIn, check out our check out our Reddit, um, chase. What? Don't check out the Reddi. It's too late now. It's it's online now. . How about you

Kole Deighan:

chase?

Chace Zanaty:

Um, same LinkedIn. Um, but it's gonna be under MUN, Susan add. Um, and then Instagram. I don't really use, and I don't have Facebook, so that's, LinkedIn's pretty much it.

Don Hansen:

Good job. Cool. How about you Cole?

Kole Deighan:

Uh, I'm same. I just have LinkedIn, if you find another account of be like Facebook, it's just a debt account that I haven't used in years, so I won't respond. Uh, but yeah, if you wanna reach out on LinkedIn, uh, I might take a couple days to respond, uh, because I re I don't check it daily, but yeah, if you have any questions.

Don Hansen:

All right. Well, if you're watching this on YouTube, definitely leave a comment below. Let us know what you thought, but Brittany Chase Cole. Thanks so much for coming

Chace Zanaty:

on. Just see.