Alternative Programs to a CS Degree

These are all programs that are at least 2 years long and act as alternatives to a typical CS degree. ๐Ÿ’ป

Alternative Programs to a CS Degree

Originally planned for release on April 10th, 2017 but stuff happens.

After interviewing with a few of the new and upcoming alternative long-term programs for CS education, I wanted to provide others a brief overview of how they operate differently.

Most coding bootcamps are 2 to 4 months (8 to 12 weeks) long.

These programs instead act as alternative options to a CS degree which is usually 4 years long.

Common Patterns Found

  • gamification
  • thorough admissions process
  • all these programs will accept someone who is at least 18 years but some of them have upper age limits

Alternative Programs ๐Ÿ”—๏ธŽ

Make School ๐Ÿ”—๏ธŽ

Computer Science College for the 21st Century

Immerse yourself in a community of makers empowered to build software to shape the world. No upfront tuition, project based learning, built with industry partners.

  • 2 years
  • 18+
  • San Francisco, CA
  • coach/advisor - switch maybe
  • 2 core courses - twice a week for an hour
  • 2 classes - 3 times a week - 2 hours - advisor projects
    • 25 hours of work/week for courses
    • teach core courses
  • 5 6-week sessions per year
  • 2 sprints this fall vs 3 sprints this spring
  • two 15 weeks semester
  • fall shorter than spring
  • technical education
  • web/mobile development - 10 courses
  • fullstack web - 10 courses
  • devops/AWS
  • front-end web-dev
  • data science/ml/ai
  • gaming/VR - club
  • devices in IoT
  • gen. courses
    • design, economics, product dev

Holberton School ๐Ÿ”—๏ธŽ

Holberton School of Software Engineering

With peer learning, you don't just learn with each other, but from each other. Through teamwork and collaboration, students, tackle challenges, reach goals, and offer their support along the way. This isn't your traditional program. Our curriculum ranges from C to Python to DevOps and much more, diving deep to give you a thorough foundation.

  • Syllabus for the 1st year of their program
  • 2 years
  • 18+
  • San Francisco, CA
  • internet projects with deadlines - always released at midnight
  • no formal lectures/teachers
  • access to resources that have more experience and knowledge
  • overlapping batches
  • staff here on-site who write most of the projects anyways
  • mentors who are available in a number of different channels (emails, slack, meetups (fireside chats), in-person)
  • no formal teacher - just uses mentor to provide up to date knowledge on whatever theyโ€™re working on
  • i.e. mentor who is a man who works in cyber-security in SF (Dave) - look over my resume
  • networking really important component of those who come in
  • constant feedback on program and how it is relevant in industry
  • we cannot implement things that we think are important - so whatever weโ€™re teaching here - they have to be relevant for industry
  • mentors critique curriculum and provide feedback in different roles/companies
  • huge sense of comraderie and teamwork and collaboration โ€“> important for us too
  • current student interviewing me
  • help other students โ€“> status quo
  • focuses community, collaboration, and helping others, sharing knowledge
  • 1st 9 months โ€“> 60 hours a week โ€“> on-site intensive learning
    • first 3 months
      • theories, fundamentals
      • C programming languages
      • projects build up
        • last one is โ€œbuilding a shellโ€
    • next 3 months
      • front-end
      • back-end
      • APIs
      • databases
      • uses Python
      • not about learning Python but about understanding methods/routes and understanding OOP fundamental concepts so you could easily translate that syntax
      • C projects donโ€™t stop
    • next 3 months
      • systems administration
      • devops
    • next 6 months
      • full-time internship
        • this can turn into job
      • full-time job
  • next 9 months
    • full-time specialization
    • part-time
    • if a bunch of people in your cohort are interested in something specific - then that is a specialization that is created - has to be at least 4 people in a specialization
    • no set group of specializations because industry changes every year
    • specializations now: low-level algorithms, back-end engineering, system administration/devops/SRE (site reliability engineer)
    • specialization can be done part-time โ€“> meant with full-time job
    • others are back full-time with specialization b/c they didnโ€™t get full-time job after 6 months or they choose hiatus/quit
    • majority choose part-time
  • cohort demographics (January 2017)
    • 50% female, 30 or 40%
    • 50% POC
  • average age range
    • most of students are in mid-20s to 30s
    • right out of high school
    • at least 18
    • 40โ€™s, 50โ€™s, 58 is oldest weโ€™ve gotten
  • are any of projects given by a contract
    • all are created by staff here
    • staff members are not experts in front-end/UX/UI field
    • so some you can collaborate with mentors
  • can you give me examples of jobs folks from your cohort have gotten
    • systems administration/devops roles
    • 2 people with Apple doing SRE
    • 2 people with Dropbox doing SRE
    • 1 with Docker as SWE
    • 1 with LinkedIn as SWE
    • 2 people with medical tech company as SWE intern
    • full-time jobs right after Holberton but itโ€™s definitely not the expectation
    • 3 with scality as junior SWE

42 ๐Ÿ”—๏ธŽ

42 Silicon Valley: disrupting software engineering education

42 Silicon Valley is an innovating engineering college in the San Francisco Bay Area with programs for college-level and high school students.

  • I would recommend using the game Lightbot to prepare.
    • A bulk of their admissions process to getting into a piscine involves solving puzzles exactly like ones you would find playing Lightbot but a bit more complicated.
    • There are also videos onlineโ€ฆ
  • 3-5 years
  • San Francisco
  • Free
  • ages 18-30
  • certain time of life
  • very competitive
  • difficult
  • isolating
  • referral bonus - headhunting fee

Ada Developers Academy ๐Ÿ”—๏ธŽ

Ada Developers Academy

Ada Developers Academy is an intensive software development training program for women and gender diverse people in Seattle.

Turing School ๐Ÿ”—๏ธŽ

Welcome to Turing School

Turing is difficult, but worth it. 75% of our students graduate within 7 months, and 92% graduate within 10.5 months. 69% of graduates are employed full-time within 90 days of graduation. By 180 days, the percentage jumps to 80%. They're not project managers or off in a corner doing the stapling.

Galvanize ๐Ÿ”—๏ธŽ

Pick a Location | Galvanize

Galvanize has eight different campuses across the United States. Each campus has it's own unique technology community within our greater network. Select your location of interest and find out how you can learn, work, and grow here.

Horizons One ๐Ÿ”—๏ธŽ

Horizons School of Technology

The Horizons School of Technology bridges traditional education and the world of technology. We give high-potential students the skills of an engineer and perspective of an entrepreneur.

  • The worldโ€™s first tuition-free technology co-op program

Program Overview

More Detail

MissionU ๐Ÿ”—๏ธŽ


Data Analytics + Business Intelligence

  • If you are interested in something other than Computer Science, MissionU offers a one year program in Data Analytics + Business Intelligence.
  • It has a tuition deferral model which means you only pay once you get a salary of at least $50K.

Lambda School ๐Ÿ”—๏ธŽ

Lambda School - A Revolutionary New School That Invests In You

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