Code Platoon is a non-profit that is dedicated to the education of our United States Military forces and their families. Based in downtown Chicago, Code Platoon is a coding bootcamp that is exclusive to the military, veterans, military spouses, and their families. Code Platoon’s goal is to reduce tuition to almost nothing to avoid placing a financial burden on anyone that wishes to join the bootcamp’s ranks. This bootcamp offers a course in Web Development which covers the skills of Full Stack development. Upon graduation from the program, all students are eligible for a 3 to 6 month programming internship with Code Platoon’s corporate sponsors.
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I decided to go to Code Platoon after graduating with a Biomedical Engineering degree. The director, Rod Levy, was welcoming from the beginning. He was understanding and adaptable to my needs as a wheelchair-user, specifically taking in account my travel difficulties and health concerns. Sometimes I would need to take the class as a remote student. Additionally, both instructors, Jon and Josh, explained concepts clearly, encouraged questions, and would support frustrated students during individual coding exercises when the students were stuck. Every Monday through Thursday, a couple of helpful TAs would assist us with coding after hours. The general atmosphere was great because all the of the gladly students jump in to help each other. Just like the military, we don’t leave our battle-buddies behind.
Even with all the support, the course is very challenging. Students are expected to do research, experiment with code, and figure out how to solve our problems. This is an absolute necessity in the world of programming. Google is our best friend. And there are many tricky concepts where Stack Overflow has suggestions to help us. The school has plenty of outsiders come in and give us workshops on key concepts such as Git, Data Science, SQL, React, and job searches. Code Platoon also gives lots of help to finding a job by developing Linked-In profiles, resumes, white-boarding challenges, and giving interview practice. Most of the students here will get a paid internship. And for the several who do miss out, Code Platoon has lots of connections to other software companies in the Chicago area, many who seem to be scouting for talent. I have full confidence that I will get an internship or a job very soon. I feel like I’ve learned more in a few months here than in a few years attending college.
Anyway, I love the program and recommend it to anybody who is will to put forth 100% effort. I suggest that newcomers not only do the pre-work, but also take online courses (YouTube, Udemy, etc.) on Git, Django, and REACT. REACT was especially difficult with the asynchronous programming, and I think it will benefit students to try to understand it in advance. Good luck everyone, and I hope to stop in and see my fellow Code Platoon cohorts in the future!
March 17, 2019
I am a Marine Veteran. I’ve spent 5 years in Supply and Logistics and as I began my transition out of the marines I was trying to figure out a way to move into a career in software engineering. Code Platoon was my solution. In the 14 weeks of study, I acquired a greater depth of knowledge in Software Development than I could have attained in over a year of studying on my own. Now just over 2 and a half years later after graduating, I am a Senior Software Engineer for Raise Marketplace and I absolutely love what I do. I highly recommend Code Platoon, if it were not for the core knowledge I gained there and doors that were opened up to me I would would not be in the place I am today.
This course was tough and very demanding of my time, however, I have no regrets. The quality of instruction and depth of understanding gained in each area covered is unparalleled. I hope this review has been helpful to you in your decision-making process. Please reach out to me on LinkedIn if you have any questions. linkedin.com/in/conlin-mcmanus-78a39128
September 14, 2019
Very well run non-profit program for vets. The technical curriculum is fast paced and well structured. The opportunities for follow-on internships and career mentorship are outstanding.
November 4, 2019
If you’re a veteran looking to get into Tech, this is the best place to go. Hands-down – from exceptional Instructors, to guided help throughout the program; TA’s, that are actual developers! Mentors who are seasoned veterans of the Tech industry. You have the tools to be successful and the help to make it to the end. I learned a whole lot going through the program and refined a lot of my skillset as well. You learn industry best practices, pair programming, they even take you to your first meetup. It’s all great, the curriculum is challenging and rewarding, the support is heavy and there at all times. It’s also in a prime spot in Chicago, just an overall great experience.
November 7, 2019
I went in with some prior knowledge of coding before Code Platoon, however One of the great things about this school is that even if that’s the case you still end up learning a ton. The instructors do a great job of talking about best practices, as well as giving you plenty of opportunity to practice what you’re learning, culminating in two week-long projects in the end that give you a great sense of accomplishment! Onto the Pros and Cons:
– The class size is reasonable. It doesn’t feel like the instructors are stretched thin trying to answer questions.
– Your questions pretty much always get answered, and if they don’t know they will usually find out.
– LOTS of awesome experiences visiting other companies, as well as various meetups.
– They do take the G.I Bill, and now allow you to use it for spouses.
– Being around other prior military, at least for me, was really inviting.
– Rod and both the instructors are incredibly receptive of feedback! They hold weekly retros on course improvement.
– Job / Internship support is amazing!
– At times towards the end of the course, there are a lot of meetups and trips to places, it was sometimes difficult managing all of that and still have time for the workload
– I wish the course could have been 1 to 2 weeks longer to spread things out a bit more, and have more time to spend learning the challenging topics toward the end.
I had a great time with my class, I think that Code Platoon offers a unique service to veterans in that everyone has a similar background with the military, and that’s something that you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. The work is challenging, the class is engaging, and there are a myriad of resources at your disposal; it’s just up to you to take advantage of them, and if you’re prepared to work hard you’ll do well!
November 17, 2019
What a great program! I came in with very little understanding of what software engineering and development was and fully entailed, and over the course of the program, I’m now equipped with the knowledge of not only what software engineering/development is, but also how to build and create projects in a variety of languages and frameworks. This program pushed my mental capacity to learn new things into a level I didn’t know I was capable of.
The instructors were awesome, the coaches were great, the mentors, TA’s and supporting staff made this process a complete package. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the course, and look forward to beginning the next step in my journey!
March 15, 2020
March 17, 2020
I am so grateful that I as a military spouse was able to attend code platoon. My husband who is a veteran attended code platoon last year, and he had an amazing experience. He completed the 14-week program and was able to get an apprentice position through this bootcamp. Now he is working full time as a software engineer. After his experience, I too decided to attend code platoon because I was looking for a career change, and they accept military spouses! I had a great experience throughout this course. At the end of the course, I was able to build fully functional full-stack web application. I definitely recommend this bootcamp for veterans and spouses who are looking to get into web development and software engineering.
July 15, 2020
July 15, 2020
When I decided to pursue my education in web development, research led me to Code Platoon, the only full time bootcamp for veterans accepting the GI Bill. I have to admit that I was somewhat nervous about attending a program that had only been in existence for two years. I ultimately decided to take the risk because I could not have attended boot camp without the financial assistance provided by the GI Bill. It ended up being the best educational experience I’ve had.
From day one, it became clear that the instructors Jon and Josh actually cared greatly about the success of the individual students while also fostering an in depth understanding of the unique issues faced by the veteran population in particular. As a person new to software engineering and technology in general, I never felt judged or uncomfortable asking for assistance from either of them. This level of care and attention continued throughout the entire duration of the course.
Additionally, both the curriculum and instruction never assumed prior knowledge of even the most basic concepts behind web development. This made the program truly suitable for the beginner. It maintained a pace that successfully brought me up to a level beyond what I thought I could reach during a 14 week course, while at the same time consistently providing material challenging to even the most experienced in the group.
I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend one of the few educational/vocational/career programs for veterans that actually fulfills its promise of helping veterans transition from the military into a career worth feeling proud of.
November 6, 2020
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