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I can’t recommend attending the Starter League aka Code Academy

Stashed in: Learn to program.

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Honest and pragmatic blog post from a relatively successful alum of the 11 week program.

The heart of the problem:

While 11 weeks may be enough to go from beginner to junior developer, the likelihood that it can be done in a mere 10 hours a week of classroom style lectures is slim to none. Meanwhile, the emphasis on Rails skims over many fundamental computer science and even plain Ruby concepts in favor of getting an app up and running.

And if you’re left behind because you’re a beginner, well, that sucks. You might say that it depends on the student to put in the time and effort, and while that is true to an extent, and it is inspiring to see students put in over 40 hours of their own time into learning, I wonder what the point of paying all that tuition money is if you’re just going to learn on your own, anyway.

And, at $8,000, a student could pay a personal tutor over $70/hr for the same amount of instruction time (110 hours), which I have no doubt would result in a much greater understanding of the material, improved skillset and marketability, and therefore higher financial return on investment.

Beginners should not learn Ruby on Rails.

Recommended alternatives:

Udacity’s Intro to CS and Web Development courses lay a great foundation for getting to the point where you can teach yourself. If you prefer instruction, there’s App Academy, which is an intensive (read: 40 hours a week) beginner’s Ruby on Rails program in San Francisco that is free to attendees. They only make money through recruitment fees, which, if you want to be a developer, aligns their interests with yours. Meanwhile, DevBootcamp, while expensive at $12,000 for the course, has a 95%+ placement rate for its grads right out of the program. Again, interests in alignment.

There's also our friends at

Joyce, what do you mean by "relatively" successful? I do believe I'm offended. :p

Hahaha!  I meant relative to your fellow students, you seem to be one of the few who is working at a job you like:

"But aren’t I a web developer working in the industry now? Didn’t the program succeed?"

Yes, that is true.

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