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What Should Students Look for in a Coding School?

Written By Nick Mendez | Jan 12, 2015

Whether you’re launching a new career, or expanding your skill set, there are a wealth of organizations that can teach you to code. We asked Portland Code School Director Cris Kelly how prospective students should decide between the available options.

The takeaways?

Look for experienced instructors who know not only coding languages and the business, but have been in the industry long enough to understand the peripheral issues that go along with development. “Not just the language of Javascript or the language of Ruby, but do they understand where that fits into the bigger scheme [of things],” Cris said.

In terms of curriculum, he said to look for project-based coursework that will allow you to directly apply the principles you learn.

Cris also recommends that you investigate the pace of the class, making sure that you select coursework with an intensity level that your schedule can handle. Realize that if you enroll in an advanced course, you won’t have any spare time. “Your spare time is coding,” he said of students on PCS’ accelerated track.

Finally, give preference to schools that try to emulate the professional development environment. “Is this code school going to simulate the work place at all?” Chris asked. “Are you going to do stand-ups, are you going to do projects with multiple people, are you going to learn something about the development cycle, from development to release?”

Portland Code School offers intensive courses focused on the essential skills necessary to begin working as a junior developer upon graduation, or to add additional tools to your existing developer toolset.

Another popular option is Treehouse, an interactive education platform. We profiled them last month.

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