A review of Parsity as a web development bootcamp

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now software engineering mentor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of software engineers and web developers to help them land their dream job. Check out my review of Parsity.

What does Parsity do?

Parsity (formerly project shift) is a flexible online bootcamp that helps people launch a new career as a web developer. Their program focuses on 1-on-1 mentoring, pairing students with an experienced software engineer to walk them through the technical curriculum. After graduation, students work closely with a career services mentor who helps them land a job. Class sizes are small, usually capped at just 10 students so their cohorts get lots of personalized support and close-knit peer collaboration.

Before beginning their flagship web development course, students must complete self-paced pre-work. Students learn the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and debugging while beginning to work with their mentor. The pre-work curriculum also helps students set up their development environment. They prepare their Git, Github, and command lines for the program’s hands-on projects.

The full-time web development course only lasts about 3 months, while the part-time course meets for 6 months. Both courses are remote and cover the same material. All students participate in self-paced project learning while collaborating with their mentor and fellow students over both Zoom and Slack. The curriculum covers JavaScript, HTML, CSS, APIs, SQL, and MVC design patterns so students can build front-end web apps. The program also teaches React, Redux, NodeJS, TDD (Test Driven Development), database modeling, express, and even MongoDB for more complex web apps and database work. Once students have learned the basics of front end and back development as well as SQL, they build full-stack applications that they can add to their portfolios. Students also work in groups to build an app from scratch and work solo on a capstone project to show off everything they’ve learned.

Their flagship course includes an extensive career services curriculum, which runs in tandem with the technical curriculum. Students work on goal setting, productivity strategies, and networking skills in small professional circles and online with LinkedIn. The career development curriculum also covers resume optimization, cover letter writing, resume SEO, navigating applicant tracking systems (ATS), recruiter relationships, and even salary negotiation. Students also build a personal job search plan while working 1-on-1 with career coaches. Career coaches continue to meet with the students for 6 months or until they land a job. So far, the program claims a 92% job placement rate with an average starting salary of $68,750+.

Who are Parsity for?

People with little to no experience in web development could benefit from Parsity. The program is especially helpful for people looking for more help than traditionally offered by a bootcamp.

What do Parsity cost? How much work is involved?

Since they’ve recently gone fully remote, tuition has been cut by almost 70%. Both the part-time and full-time courses now cost $7,900. Students can pay upfront or through Skill Fund loans. Rates and repayment plans may depend on the student’s credit history.

While no prior coding experience is technically required, after filling out a brief application form, all candidates take a JavaScript coding challenge. If students pass, they’re automatically admitted. Candidates who don’t pass are required to take a 5-week, part-time JavaScript prep course that ends with a retake of the initial coding challenge. While this prep course costs $500, it goes toward tuition if students are accepted into the program. Candidates may want to brush up on JavaScript fundamentals to avoid taking the prep course, especially since the required pre-work covers HTML, CSS, and JavaScript fundamentals anyway.

Ratings and reviews

Parsity has mostly positive reviews. They hold a 4.96/5 star rating on Course Report, where grads rave about the extensive career services and abundant 1-on-1 support. A top review described the curriculum as “straightforward yet challenging” and felt that “learning was enhanced by pair programming”. Although another student loved her experience and felt well supported by mentors, she still felt that the program can be “hard work” and warned students to “expect to spend plenty of weekend and evening hours working.”

The program also holds a 4.9/5 star rating on Switchup. One grad praised the small class sizes and supportive environment, but still described it as “a fast-paced program” and warned “you WILL fall behind if you don’t constantly push yourself.” The student was also disappointed by “communication pitfalls” and “typos”, but still felt the curriculum was well designed. While another grad landed a job without needing to use the career services, they were overwhelmed and felt career coaching came with too much red tape. They were disappointed that “the requirements to get the [career] services felt like they would be pretty burdensome.” On the whole though, reviewers were satisfied by the extensive career skills, 1-on-1 support, and web dev skills they gained, although some felt the full-time program could be too intense at times.  

Alternatives to Parsity

If you decide not to enroll in Parsity, there are a number of other bootcamps and resources that can help aspiring web developers and software engineers learn the skills they need to land their dream job.

  • One of the most popular bootcamps is General Assembly, which offers full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like software engineering, data science, UX design, digital marketing, product management, and more. They have over 19,000 hiring partners and a New York City campus. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Another well-known software bootcamp with online options is Flatiron School. They offer full-time and part-time courses in software engineering, UX design, data science, and cybersecurity analytics.
  • Fullstack Academy has part-time and full-time tracks in software engineering, plus they offer a web development fellowship. Their curriculum is hands-on with lots of projects students can add to their professional software portfolios.
  • Aspiring web developers and designers can check out Bloc, which offers flexible, hands-on courses with projects students can add to their portfolios. Students in their program also meet with mentors every week.
  • The full-time bootcamp Kenzie Academy offers in-person and remote courses in 2 tracks: front-end engineering and software engineering & UX design. Like Parsity, their program can be very intense with lots of projects. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • For students looking to learn the ropes of code, Coding Dojo has tracks in software engineering and data science designed to teach students the fundamental skills they need to land an entry level tech job. They have both on-campus and online options with 6,000+ alumni.
  • The 9-month tech bootcamp Lambda School teaches students the fundamentals of web dev and data science. Students can also choose to defer payment through an ISA.
  • Similarly, Rithm School allows students to pay with an income share agreement (ISA). Like Parsity’s 20 student classes, Rithm School has a reputation for low student-to-teacher ratios and lots of personalized support for students.
  • The bootcamp BrainStation offers programs in web development, web design, data science, marketing, and product management. Like Parsity, BrainStation emphasizes project-based learning and collaboration, offering immediate feedback for students.
  • Thinkful is another online tech bootcamp that offers courses in web development, UX/UI design, and data science. Like Parsity, their program emphasizes 1-on-1 support, with students working closely with technical mentors, career coaches, and instructors who are available almost 24/7. If students don’t land a job in 6 months, they get a full refund.
  • One of the most popular online learning platforms today, Codecademy teaches courses in web development and other computer science subjects for free. They have membership for around $20-$40 per month for expanded course options and support. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • The online learning platform Udemy hosts 100k+ courses on both tech and humanities subjects. Their program is extremely flexible, with self-paced courses students can access for life.
  • Another remote and flexible tech bootcamp with 1-on-1 mentoring is Springboard. Students in their career tracks build 14 portfolio projects and participate in weekly meetings with experienced mentors. If students don’t land a great job within 6 months after graduating, they get a refund. Learn more about Springboard in our review.
  • The online learning platform edX hosts thousands of courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Their courses cover a wide variety of tech and even humanities topics, including web dev, software engineering, and much more. Read more about edX in our program review.
  • Similarly, Coursera hosts thousands of tech courses taught by professors from accredited universities. Their curriculum features hands-on assignments, video lectures, and community discussions similar to Parsity’s collaborative Slack channels.
  • Students seeking a hands-on curriculum with mentoring can look into Udacity. They offer free and paid courses on a wide variety of tech topics, including web development, software engineering, and more. Many of their courses come from top tech companies like IBM and Google. Students in their nanodegree programs work 1-on-1 with both a technical mentor and a career coach as they build portfolio projects. Learn more about Udacity in our review.

 

How does Parsity compare to Pathrise?

Parsity is a bootcamp for people who want to launch a new career in web development. While an interest in tech is suggested, their extensive prep course and pre-work cater the program toward people with little to no tech experience. Pathrise job-seekers should already have some background in their chosen field to prepare for the technical curriculum.

Although Parsity’s mentors help students find a job after graduation, this extra support only lasts 6 months and consists of career coaching calls. As a full service organization, Pathrise helps fellows in our program with all phases of the job search including portfolio and resume optimization, cold emailing and reverse recruiting, technical and behavioral interviewing, and salary negotiation. Our experienced mentors have already helped 700+ students and professionals land great tech jobs.

Pathrise offers a 9% income share agreement (ISA) so students pay with their first-year salary after they land a great tech job. We never require any upfront payments or deposits.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentoring. Fellows in our program have seen their interview scores double and their application responses triple, landing a job in just 3-5 months on average. If you want to land your dream job faster by working with any of our mentors, become a Pathrise fellow.    

Apply today.

Brian Wong

Brian Wong is an experienced senior software engineer and has worked at top bay area startups and organizations. In his free time, Brian works with Pathrise SWE fellows to help them land their dream job and learn insider tips on how to ace technical interviews.

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