Our bootcamp is 8 weeks long. That's not a very long time to learn anything, let alone how to code. Our students are able to do it by immersing themselves in software and stepping out of their comfort zone every day. By graduation, they're coding at the level of a Junior Developer - a pretty incredible feat.
However, “Junior Developer” isn’t the ultimate career aspiration for our students. They are a group of hard-working and talented developers who are looking to build great things. So in order to help them reach their ambitious career goals, we support our students for success long after they graduate - but particularly in that crucial first year after graduation.
Thus, the idea of a one-year (and beyond) bootcamp. You're here coding for 8 weeks, but your journey as a developer is just beginning. So, how do we do it? Let’s get into it:
Most people know that our career services team is incredibly successful in placing our students: 100% so far. What most people don't know is our assistance extends well beyond that initial placement. Once alumni finish their first job or are ready for a new challenge, we'll still provide all the same employer help, including speed dating events and interview coordination.
Continued learning (and re-learning) opportunities
Students don't stop learning to code once they graduate either. We have a number of ways to keep the learning going:
- A dedicated Slack channel for alumni to ask each other and our teachers specific questions.
- Open office hours for alumni to come ask our instructors questions in person.
- Comped tickets to events like Polyglot and Creating Connections.
There are also certain occasions in which re-learning old course material is valuable as well. For example, imagine your first job out of LHL is in PHP, and you're interviewing at a new place which uses Ruby. We've got you covered! Since our entire curriculum is on our own student-built LMS, Compass, all you have to do is log in using your Github and you have our entire curriculum. At that point, if you want to come sit in on a class for review, that's cool too.
If our alumni are sick of coding in coffee shops (or their desks), they are always welcome in our student lounge. Newly furnished with standing desks, couches, a TV, and multiple dogs, it's a great place for finding your dev-flow and interacting with the TAs who helped you learn in the first place. Call it a dev hub or a meeting of the minds - regardless, it’s a unique location where coding is always the topic of the moment.
Every week, our alumni get an update from us on everything in the Lighthouse Labs and Vancouver tech community. This includes invites to guest speakers, cool community events, and valuable resources. Although it may seem like a small thing, this is a powerful way for our alumni to stay connected to both each other and the greater community.
A genuinely amazing community
In truth, the best support you get as an alumni isn't any of the structures we've set up for you. It's being part of a group of people that are as open and inclusive as they are smart. I'm regularly amazed at the incredible people that come through our space, and the depth of the friendships that develop. Whether teaming up at hackathons or playing basketball, many of our grads count their cohort-mates as lifelong friends. And that's much more than 8 weeks of code.