I had been contemplating a transition into tech for a while when I decided to google for a tech bootcamp. I had two challenges – time and money. As a working mother of three there were demands on my time and monthly budget. I had initially dabbled in free online classes; at one point I had even paid for an online course. Juggling work and family and finding time to study, it was very easy to fall behind and not keep to my study schedule. I needed something I would be able to commit to for a period of time - 10 – 12 weeks was manageable and I needed an institution that could provide not only a scholarship but a fee payment plan as well that would not make me overstretch my finances.
Code Op checked the two boxes and in addition, the fact that it situated in Barcelona Spain the weather was perfect and the visa process painless: two key considerations if you come from Africa (or maybe it’s just me.)
The curriculum was intense and engaging. In the first 6 weeks, one gets to understand the fundamentals in morning lectures and as well as put into practice new knowledge in the afternoon working on assignments.
Monday through to Thursday typically would involve problem solving sessions from 9 – 10, then lectures for about 2 hours and review of the previous days coding assignment then the afternoons would be spend working on coding assignments. Fridays involved, guest sessions and weekly tests to gauge comprehension and application of things you learnt during the week. Week 7 – 10 was fun, the climax in my book of the bootcamp. It was all about putting all we had learned , in the previous weeks, into projects, creating your first minimum viable product (MVP) then adding a feature to a fellow student MVP and lastly the group collabo project, where you had to work with fellow student to create a product from scratch, separate responsibilities in delivering the final project and showcasing your finished work.
During the period of the course, you have one on one sessions with the career coach and networking opportunities. Week 11, the last week, is career week and you have chance to improve your white-boarding skills, work on your CV and LinkedIn profile and prepare for the real world.
Code Op uses Slack to keep us connected to the lecturers and mentors as well as ourselves as students. Two months after graduation, I am still part of the community and I am also able to be there for new and incoming bootcamp students and still get support in the job search and navigating life after bootcamp. We discuss coding, big up projects but also share cool resources and job links that we may come across… there is even a mouth-watering recipes channel.
Code Op have an open door policy, you are able to access support from the staff when you need it. To be honest , it didn't have to be code related...it is 360 degree wholesome support. The staff is approachable and non judgmental. The fact that a number have transitioned careers and understand the pressure of going through a bootcamp makes the engagement with them meaningful and fulfilling.
CodeOp is housed at Cloud-works co working space, this provides an atmosphere to mingle with a great start up and take part in tech and business networking opportunities.
Overall experience: 9/10 . I recommend CodeOp specially given that it is inclusive and non ageist! I was embraced as a 45 year old , renaissance woman , mother of three. I thrived and I am better for it. …you are never too old! If you are thinking about it - #JustDoIt