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Kal Academy bootcamp review for software engineering, web dev, and data science

Hi, I’m Olga! I have years of experience in data science, most recently at eBay. Now I work as an industry mentor at Pathrise, helping data scientists land great jobs through technical workshops and 1-on-1s. Check out my review of Kal Academy.

What does Kal Academy do?

A nonprofit bootcamp, Kal Academy aims to empower women and underrepresented minorities by teaching them the necessary skills to land a job as a software engineer, web developer, or data scientist. Students take classes onsite in Redmond, WA, a Seattle suburb that is also home to Microsoft’s corporate headquarters.

Individual courses

Kal Academy offers 2 types of classes: individual courses and in-depth bootcamps. Individual courses are 4 weeks long and meet for 2 hours each week. On the other hand, bootcamp students meet for 2 hours each weekend for 16 weekends. All students participate in lectures (not recorded), hands-on projects, homework assignments, and more. 

For individual courses, students can choose from introductory classes such as programming with C#, programming with Python, and intro to Windows Powershell, as well as more advanced topics, including React, React Native, and algorithms & data structures. Likewise, those who are interested in data science can check out data science for beginners, SQL and Power BI for beginners, and Python for data science. 

Bootcamps

Besides their individual courses, Kal Academy offers in-depth bootcamps in a number of topics, including software engineering, web development, and artificial intelligence. Aspiring software engineers can take programming fundamentals (object-oriented programming and C#), mobile programming, and multithreading & microservices. For web development, students can enroll in Typescript & Angular, React & Node.JS, or technical interview training. Finally, those with a background in data science can check out artificial intelligence courses in a variety of topics. For example, they have Python & machine learning, NLP & deep learning foundations, and computer vision & robotics. 

To ensure that participants are learning in-demand tools and skills, Kal Academy has designed their curriculum in close collaboration with top tech companies across the US. In addition, they offer a technical interview training bootcamp, which is part of the web development track. Otherwise, instructors provide informal guidance on applying for jobs and preparing for interviews. 

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Who is Kal Academy for?

Women and underrepresented minorities with little to no experience in software engineering, web development, data science, and artificial intelligence can benefit from Kal Academy. Their courses are ideal for people who need to work full-time while enrolled in their bootcamp, as classes generally meet on the weekends. The program is a good option for people looking to launch their tech careers in the Seattle metropolitan area. 

What does Kal Academy cost? How much work is involved?

Bootcamps and individual courses cost $2,500 and $420 respectively. 

To apply, candidates need to fill out a brief online application at least 1 week prior to the start of class. Prerequisites vary by course, so prospective students should make sure that they have the right background for the specific subject before applying.

Ratings and reviews

While there are not too many, online reviews of Kal Academy are generally positive.

People on SwitchUp benefited from the instruction, curriculum, affordability, and job-seeking resources. According to one reviewer, “Kal [the bootcamp’s founder] is amazing and the most dedicated instructor I’ve ever seen. Very supportive and women-friendly environment. You will have the opportunity to build a solid GitHub portfolio full of different level projects, as well as get mock interviews in the largest IT companies.” As another grad pointed out, “The best part of doing a course from Kal Academy is the level of outside support they offer in terms of helping to find a job (via internship opportunities, mock interviews, etc. They send out information about upcoming opportunities, networking and hiring events regularly.”

Echoing this, Yelp reviewers felt that they learned a lot from the program and instructor, especially the data structures & algorithms course. One student noted that the curriculum features the “latest content” and demonstrates how data structures work “behind the scenes,” which “helped me in my actual interviews.”

Alternatives to Kal Academy

If Kal Academy does not match your learning goals or career objectives, there are a number of other bootcamps and online resources that can help you launch your tech career.

More alternatives
  • For people with an interest in data science, Metis has part-time introduction courses as well as onsite and online bootcamp options. Learn more about Metis in our review.
  • Current and aspiring data scientists can also consider DataCamp and Dataquest, which offer individual courses, as well as in-depth tracks.
  • If you are starting from scratch, you can consider the self-paced course at Data Science Dream Job. Or, check out the full-time and part-time data courses offered by Divergence Academy and K2 Data Science.
  • Udacity and Springboard are online learning platforms with courses in software engineering, data science, artificial intelligence, and other topics. Learn how Udacity and Springboard can help you by reading our program reviews. 
  • Likewise, Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. They provide free courses on many different programming languages. They also offer membership options ranging from $20 to $40 per month for more course options and greater support. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • You can also use SoloLearn to learn new programming languages from scratch.
  • Similarly, Coursera and Udemy are online learning platforms with hundreds of courses in software engineering, data science, and other subjects.
  • Finally, edX is one of the most popular online learning platforms. They have courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Learn more about edX in our review. 

How does Kal Academy compare to Pathrise?

Kal Academy is a tech bootcamp that helps women and underrepresented minorities develop the necessary skills to land a job as a software engineer, web developer, or data scientist from scratch. However, fellows in the Pathrise program should have some prior experience in their field of interest so that they can fully benefit from our pair programming sessions, 1-on-1s, and technical workshops, where we provide a more specific curriculum based on what they will see in their interviews. 

Pathrise is a full-service organization that helps people land the best job possible. Our mentors have years of experience on both sides of the hiring table and provide 1-on-1 assistance on every component of the job search, including resume & portfolio building, cold emailing & reverse recruiting strategies, behavioral & technical interview preparation, salary negotiation, and more. The skills that fellows learn can benefit them in future job searches as well. 

All of our workshops and sessions are live, as well as recorded, so job-seekers in our program can review past material and keep learning. Our program is flexible, with only 4 hours of group sessions per week and 1-on-1 sessions that can be scheduled as needed by fellows. We tailor our curriculum to meet each fellow’s specific needs. In addition, we have helped over 1,000 people land great jobs in tech so far.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps people land their dream job in tech through 1-on-1 mentorship. If you are interested in working with any of our mentors to get help with your technical and behavioral interviews or any other aspect of the job search, join Pathrise. 

Apply today.

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