A review of PDX Code Guild as a coding bootcamp

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now industry mentor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of web developers and software engineers to help them land their dream jobs in tech. Check out my review of PDX Code Guild.

What does PDX Code Guild do?

PDX Code Guild is a coding bootcamp that teaches people the skills they need to launch a career as a web developer. Students participate in live lectures, coding labs, group work, discussions, and hands-on projects. Class sizes are small and feature lots of 1-on-1 instruction. While classes usually meet in-person at their Portland campus, the bootcamp is currently operating remotely due to Covid-19.

The full-stack “day” bootcamp is full-time and runs for about 14 weeks. Classes meet Monday-Friday from 9:30am to 4:30pm PST. The “night” version of the course runs for about 18 weeks with classes Monday-Friday from 6pm to 9:36pm. Students in both bootcamps learn to code web apps with Python, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Django. While the course focuses on Python for web coding, students still learn database design and how to work with APIs to connect their code to data. In addition to learning to deploy apps and use networks with HTTP requests, students develop professional skills such as problem solving, how to use version control, and best on-the-job practices like writing clear comments. The program culminates in a full-stack web app project that students can add to their portfolios.

Students in the Node & React course meet Monday-Friday from 6pm to 9:36pm for about 11 weeks. The curriculum dives deep into Javascript with React and Node. Students learn intermediate functional programming in ES5/ES6, React coding for applications, and some fundamental server-side concepts with Node.js. The curriculum even covers using Node Express with MongoDB to construct APIs, connect new clients to servers, and other database fundamentals. In the final phase of the course, students design and implement their own full-stack projects using Node, React, databases, web app architecture, as well as newfound project management skills to succeed in an Agile environment.

The introductory “Programming 101” course only meets 3 days per week for 2 weeks. Students learn the fundamentals of Python as well as how to navigate common on-the-job tools, utilize best practices, and improve their problem-solving skills. The course is designed to give students a taste of the full program to decide if they should move forward.

 

Who is PDX Code Guild for?

People with little to no coding experience who are looking to launch a career as a web developer could benefit from PDX Code Guild. Their full-stack bootcamps are especially helpful for beginners seeking a hands-on Python learning experience with lots of 1-on-1 instruction. People located in Portland as well as those who want to work there would be a good fit for the program.

What does PDX Code Guild cost? How much work is involved?

Tuition for the “day” full-stack bootcamp is $21,400 while the “evening” version costs $19,600. Students in the advanced Node & React course pay $15,700. The programming 101 course is completely free.

Up to $9,900 in financial aid is available to students with low incomes and students from communities underrepresented in tech. Financial aid runs on a fairly liberal sliding scale, meaning at least some aid is available to any student who makes 300% or less of the 2019 federal poverty level. Students can also pay with Skills Fund loans, though rates depend on the student’s credit history. The GI Bill is accepted as well.

A hybrid income share agreement is available for students who don’t qualify for aid. Students pay half tuition before class starts and then make monthly $125 payments until landing a job. Once grads get a job, they can pay either 8% of their income or $350 monthly. Students who pay more than $1,000 upfront also get a $500 discount.

The admissions process begins with requesting an application and an interview with an advisor. Most candidates then move on to the free programming 101 course to get a sense of the bootcamp and prepare for the extremely fast-paced course. No technical experience is required to join the full-stack courses. Students who enroll in the advanced Node & React course should also have some prior experience, at least coding at an intermediate level.

Ratings and reviews

PDX Code Guild has mixed to positive reviews. They hold a 4.6/5 star rating on Course Report where grads praised the practical curriculum and small supportive classes. One grad described the staff as “warm and inviting” with engaging teaching styles. Although the grad warned “there was a lot of material to cover in 12 weeks, and it was very intense”, he still felt “the smaller class size gave us many opportunities” for 1-on-1 learning that saved students from falling behind.

Another grad appreciated that the accessible Python curriculum “will teach you all the basics” if you’re a beginner. However, they still felt “Being job-ready largely depends on your prior background.” The student was disappointed that there were no formal career services, meaning students often had to “take more time off following graduation to really hone your skills” just to “compete against graduates of other code schools” with more robust job support. However, the grad still felt the course was well worth it for beginners seeking small class sizes and “interactive instruction” in a close-knit learning environment.

The program only holds a 3.75/5 star rating on Switchup. One grad liked that the course not only covered a wide range of web dev topics, but also taught students “how to THINK like a programmer” through a hands-on curriculum. While the grad warned “it was VERY hard” he felt the staff were so “knowledgeable and supportive” that students never fell behind. However, another student was critical of the “very shallow” curriculum that catered to beginners. This grad warned that “if you have *any* programming experience, you’ll be knocking these assignments completely out of the park.”

The bootcamp holds a 4.5/5 star rating on Career Karma, though their job assistance is only rated 82/100. Grads were frustrated that the “workload was overwhelming” at times and that “dome topics weren’t covered as deeply” as they could have been. While “small class size” was a big hit, some grads were disappointed that there weren’t formal career services and that “some students did not get a job by the end.” Overall though, grads seemed very satisfied with PDX Code Guild’s comprehensive Python curriculum and supportive staff, though some students may have preferred a slower pace that covered certain topics in more depth as well as career services included.

Alternatives to PDX Code Guild

If you decide not to enroll in PDX Code Guild, there are a number of alternative bootcamps and resources to help aspiring web developers launch their careers.

  • The popular bootcamp General Assembly runs full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics including software engineering and Python. Their program includes a hands-on curriculum, 19,000+ hiring partners, and a 91.4% job placement. Learn more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Similarly, BrainStation offers courses in full-stack web development and many other tech topics. Like PDX Code Guild, BrainStation focuses on project-based learning and lots of personalized support. Their hiring partners include Facebook, Google, and more.
  • Another well-known bootcamp is Fullstack Academy. They teach both full-time and part-time software programs for aspiring software engineers. Like PDX Code Guild, Fullstack Academy courses are usually intensive and hands-on.
  • The full-time tech bootcamp Kenzie Academy teaches in-person and online courses in 2 tracks full-stack software engineering & UX design and front-end engineering. They offer an income share agreement (ISA) so students pay nothing until they land a tech job that pays at least $40,000 per year. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • Aspiring web developers can also look into CodeX Academy, a self-paced coding bootcamp with 1-on-1 mentorship opportunities. Learn more about CodeX Academy in our program review.
  • Students looking for self-paced courses with mentoring can check out Springboard. This online educational resource helps people launch a career in a wide variety of tech fields, including software development. Students in their career tracks build 14+ portfolio projects with weekly mentorship meetings and a 6-month job guarantee. Learn more about Springboard in our review.
  • People seeking affordable self-paced courses with 1-on-1 mentoring can look into Udacity. They offer full intro courses for free, as well as paid “nanodegree” programs for a more intense experience with greater support. Nanodegree students meet 1-on-1 with both a technical mentor and a career coach as they build projects they add to their portfolios. Read more about Udacity in our review.
  • Bloc is a flexible online platform that hosts courses in web development and web design, with lots of instructor feedback, a project-based curriculum, and 1-on-1 mentorship.
  • The wildly popular Codecademy program offers full hands-on coding courses completely free. Students can learn web development, dozens of programming languages, and even data science. Optional $20-40 monthly memberships are available for expanded course options and support. Find out if Codecademy is right for your career goals in our review.
  • Another low-cost platform with self-paced courses is Udemy. They host thousands of video courses on web development, Python, and many other tech topics. Classes only cost about $10 each and come with lifetime access.
  • Students seeking affordable university courses can check out edX. Their online platform hosts thousands of self-paced university courses from top schools like Harvard and MIT, and even top tech companies like Microsoft. Students can choose to learn the fundamentals or take a deep dive into specific topics, like Python. Read more about edX in our review.

How does PDX Code Guild compare to Pathrise?

PDX Code Guild is a bootcamp for people interested in starting a new career as a web developer. While some courses require coding experience, most of the bootcamps are designed for complete beginners. Pathrise job-seekers should already have a background in their chosen field so they can get the most out of our technical curriculum.

Most PDX Code Guild bootcamps do not offer formal career services. Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps people find their dream in tech. Our mentors have already helped 900+ fellows land great jobs by helping all phases of the job search including resume and portfolio optimization, reverse recruiting, cold emailing, technical and behavioral interviewing, and salary negotiation. The Pathrise income share agreement (ISA) is just 9%, meaning fellows pay nothing until they land a great tech job. We never require deposits or upfront payments.

Even PDX Code Guild’s part-time courses are extremely intense and fast-paced. In addition to meeting live Monday-Friday, their programs often require self-study and work outside of class. The Pathrise program is flexible. Fellows in our program have just 2-4 hours of group sessions per week and 1-on-1 sessions that can be scheduled as needed.

Pathrise optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentorship and personalized training. Fellows in our program see their interview scores double and their application responses triple, landing a job in only 3-5 months on average. If you are interested in working with our mentors to land your dream job faster, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *