Suppose you’re looking for a coding bootcamp to further your career in the tech industry that values comprehensive, deep training and the diversity of the tech world, and the skills of various people from differing backgrounds. In that case, Alchemy Code Lab may just be the place for you.
Alchemy Code Lab opened its doors in 2015 in the heart of Portland, Oregon, and has expanded to offer online training. Since its opening, the school has helped foster networking connections and the beginnings of tech careers for many students.
In addition to its coursework and mentorship programs, Alchemy is dedicated to recognizing diversity in the tech world and market. Whether you’re a coder of color, a developer in the military, or part of the LGBTQ community, there’s a place at Alchemy Code Lab for you to hone your craft and move into a software development career.
Alchemy Code Lab values professionalism in its environment. It supports students in multiple ways through a unique course set up to achieve solid and meaningful employment beyond graduation.
The school looks for goal-oriented students ready to put in the work—those who wish to be challenged make excellent candidates for an Alchemy education. In fact, it’s designed to educate and instruct as if the students are already working a job in their field. In this deep dive, we’ll take a look at what Alchemy Code Lab has to offer, along with potential career outcomes, support team, and more.
Professional Software Developer Program at Alchemy Code Lab Educational Approach
Alchemy Code Lab’s full-time curriculum promises to take students from beginner to highly competent developers, ready for hire, in just 25 weeks. All four sections of the program are taught in cohorts, consisting of around 25 to 30 students.
Live learning at Alchemy Code Lab means access to instructional staff at all hours of the program. What’s more is that Alchemy Code Lab has a 7:1 student-to-instructor ratio, which means that students have the necessary support required for the duration of their program with access to in-depth insight and expert advice.
According to Alchemy, “Mentorship means daily, strategic assistance for each individual student through empathetic interaction with industry-experienced instructors and staff utilizing professional competencies in a work-simulated environment.”
Further, the school says of its instructors: “Instruction is led by our highly experienced senior developers who know firsthand what employers are looking for in a well-equipped hire. This includes the ability to handle all phases of the product development life cycle, from conception to delivery, while demonstrating effective time management. It also means being versed in an in-demand tech stack, while still being comfortable learning and adapting new technologies as needed.”
This is an immersive program where students are expected to commit 40 hours in the formal program class and lab time, plus homework of 20 hours or more weekly. Alchemy Code Lab is a place for ambitious students who have significant work or life experience and want to turn that into a great career in software development. Alchemy Code Lab focuses on the harder aspects of personal development and specific technical skills that will transform students with solid backgrounds into effective software engineers.
A typical day at Alchemy Code Lab starts at 9 am and ends at 6 pm, consisting of interactive lectures and discussions, research, and lots and lots of coding practice. Alchemy Code Lab works to simulate the job environments that their students will be transitioning toward upon graduation, students receive daily code review on lab assignments that emulate on-the-job feature development. Students are required to pass each course and the program with 90 percent or greater in their graded course work and participation with an emphasis on proficiency.
As students go on their workday, they also have real-time access to instructional and career development staff, which is one of the ways that Alchemy students are truly, fully, and individually supported. Because no two students are alike, Alchemy prioritizes recognizing their students’ backgrounds and valuable experiences. Alchemy helps students authentically rebrand themselves with the assistance of the dedicated career team and a wide range of industry guest speakers.
The Career Development curriculum includes the development and refinement of personal assets like a custom resume, cover letters, and online profiles. Students participate in mock interviews with real tech industry partners and mentors. Services continue beyond graduation with ongoing job-seeking support and access to community events and resources. Alchemy also hosts monthly meetups, social hours, and industry mentor Q&A evenings for all students and graduates. Fridays are dedicated to a variety of student options including exploring new technologies shared by guest speakers and Alchemy alumni.
To gain a clearer understanding of what students can expect from this program per course, let’s break down the modules below:
Code 102: Intro to Developer Tools and Learning
Code 201: Fundamentals of Software Development
This is a five-week module that deals with the fundamentals of software development. By the end of this course, students are expected to be able to write error-free and that can withstand the test of a linter. This course also features TDD and CI testing, as well as DOM control. Students will be able to create fully responsive and engaging content within a web browser.
Code 301: Intermediate Software Development
Next, students will move on to Code 301, a five-week module that will cover topics related to intermediate software development. At this junction, students will become increasingly familiar with the ins and outs of the various functions of the web and prove themselves able to construct and function a web server. Students learn how to use tools like React, Node.js, Express.js, and SQL database. This portion of the Alchemy experience includes the study of front end and backend applications. At this point, students should be confidently prepared to move forward for the final and longest portion of the course.
This portion of the course also allows students to prepare for interviews that highlight their new skills and enter the tech job market.
Developer 101 Course
Alchemy Code Lab Tuition and Financing
The tuition for Alchemy Code Lab’s program is $24,000 and there are multiple financing options in place to help students pay for their tuition to reap the benefits of their tech education. Aside from self-funding, other options include:
- GI Bill benefits: Alchemy Code Lab accepts various Veteran Benefits, which allows veterans to fund career opportunities in software development.
- Income Share Agreement (ISA): Through the Alchemy Impact ISA loan, students get to learn first at zero cost and start making payments once they land a job making a minimum of $50,000. As the school puts it, “The goal of our Impact ISA is to enable those who may not have the cash to pay tuition or the credit history for a [traditional] loan to still access Alchemy’s program.” This ISA is made possible by a Career Impact Bond through the non-profit, Social Finance.
- Scholarships: Over the past year, Alchemy Code Lab has awarded over $270,000 in financial assistance to women and underrepresented groups. The school currently runs three scholarships: Alchemy Diversity in Tech Scholarship, PDX WIT & Alchemy, $5,000 Scholarship for Black and Indigenous Women, and WWCode Portland & Alchemy, $2,500 Scholarship for Women. More information on eligibility and requirements are available on the website.
- Private loans: Alchemy Code Lab works with two partner lenders: Ascent Funding and Climb Credit both of which offer a tuition loan and an optional cost of living stipend up to $10,500 with multiple payment terms available. Students should apply to the program prior to applying for loans.
Job Prospects and Outcomes
Alchemy Code Lab focuses largely on portfolio construction. This means app-based work that is not only ready to display but is also fully functional. Its curriculum is designed with the future of students in mind. Career Services at Alchemy Code Lab are available as needed and woven into the coursework and educational experience.
Alchemy Code Lab seeks to prepare its students fully for the job market for the most optimal job available to them—it seeks to push students beyond just the standard internship and more towards long-lasting, fulfilling career opportunities. Because Alchemy Code Lab focuses on simulating the job that students will ideally search for, their level of confident preparedness will be high.
With their newfound proficiency and fluency in crucial development tools, students are well-prepared for their new careers. For example, many graduates at Alchemy have since moved forward to software development careers beyond the scope of their initial careers and imaginations.
Alumnus Charly Welch went from studying evolutionary biology and the outdoors to working with Alchemy Code Lab. For her, the experience felt personal and well-guided. “My love of learning paired with the skills I gained at Alchemy in finding answers, trying things out, debugging, and asking thoughtful questions set me apart from the competition during the interview process,” Welch said.
Welch is not the only one who has found success through the school’s top-tier program.
According to Alchemy Code Lab’s outcomes report:
- 86 percent of Alchemy graduates find work in tech with an average of a 12-week job search before accepting their first position
- 93 percent of Alchemy Code Lab graduates land software engineering roles with median salaries of $80,000.
- In 2020, Alchemy added 34 new hiring companies, bringing the total to over 140 companies.
Alchemy is transparent about its graduation statistics and overall stellar outcomes, which are regularly updated. “Our graduates succeed because of the rigorous programming designed for immediate application, real-world instructional scenarios, and our dedicated instructor team made up of experienced senior developers,” the school said.
For its outcomes reporting, Alchemy engages in third-party reporting with advisory non-profit Social Finance, which helps to retrain students, with a particular focus on those from marginalized backgrounds. Alchemy doesn’t only report a fraction of students who, for example, work closely with career services. It reports all data from all of its students, thus providing a clearer picture of its outcomes.
“So, Is Alchemy Code Lab Right For Me?”
You’re probably asking yourself the above question—and if you aren’t, maybe now’s the time to go ahead and do it. Alchemy Code Lab is looking for driven individuals to join its cohorts and ranks of successful graduates who have transformed their careers in just 25 weeks.
From an in-depth education to career services that last long after graduation, Alchemy Code Lab is worth looking into, whether you’re shopping around for a new job track or are even on the fence about reaching out. If you already have an answer to the question above, start your application process and join fellow Alchemists in the pursuit of career success.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.