Nucamp has been in the bootcamp scene since 2016, born out of founder Ludovic Fourrage’s aspiration to fill in the talent gap in the technology industry. Mr. Fourrage himself is no stranger to the tech sphere, having spent 18 years leading the development of digital learning at Microsoft.
Years in the industry led him to the realization that there was still a significant lack of diversity in software development careers, and while existing coding bootcamps sought to answer this problem, he said technical education was still inaccessible to certain quarters—particularly those without previous knowledge, on a budget constraint or living in smaller cities.
After leaving Microsoft, he established Nucamp in Tacoma, Washington where he met many aspiring developers with the potentials to be top-tier professionals. That sent Mr. Fourrage on a path to make his coding bootcamp as affordable as possible without compromising the quality of education.
Nucamp offers one beginner Web Development course and two advanced courses; Front End Web and Mobile Development and Full Stack Web and Mobile Development. True to its intent, all courses are priced at less than $2,000.
In a review on Career Karma, recent graduate Scott Dinsmore said that while the low price point was the initial reason he chose to attend Nucamp, it was the structured environment that helped him complete the lessons with ease.
In the past year alone, Nucamp has witnessed significant growth and it is showing no sign of stopping. Let’s take a deeper dive into this coding bootcamp and recap some of its milestones in 2020 and early 2021.
Nucamp Is Growing Bigger and Better
The pandemic has taken a huge toll across all industries in the past year and along with it comes the expedited shift toward digital transformation. Almost everything takes place remotely now, and the silver lining behind this for Nucamp is that it’s been able to expand its offerings to more tech aspirants.
From just 10 cities in Washington, Nucamp now covers 35 in-person and 180 cities online after Covid hit. According to the school, this achievement is unique as it illustrates that there is an increasing and widespread demand for coding bootcamps across the country.
“Students are registering locally in their cities and they are grouped together even though the experience is online. To accommodate this and ease the process for our students, we have assigned them local instructors who are based in their very own city or state,” Mr. Fourrage said.
December 2020 was especially memorable for Nucamp as the school hit 1,000 simultaneous students with 100 instructors teaching. This growth, it added, is mostly owed to referrals from graduates.
“Given our low-cost tuition, we are not able to spend as much on advertising as other coding bootcamps. We rely on students sharing their experience with others in their community,” the school said.
Mr. Fourrage said students’ feedback is highly valued at Nucamp as they are the true marker of excellence. As such, the school conducts weekly reviews where students can discuss their experience and rate both their instructors and curriculums. The results of the internal ratings are impressive; Nucamp instructors receive a 4.71 out of 5, while the curriculum content gets 4.28.
Nucamp also pushes for new ways to improve. This principle is what motivates Mr. Fourrage himself to sit down and have an honest talk with content creator Don the Developer, even if it means answering tough questions like: “How do you bring in new students when you don’t have a sales department?” and “What have you sacrificed in your bootcamp to keep costs low?”
“A couple of months ago I came across Don The Developer (aka Don Hansen) on Career Karma via a post of his interview with 3 graduates from Nucamp. It was a genuine effort to find out what was good and bad about Nucamp and offer recommendations on what to improve. As I listened, I was drawn in and I wanted to join the discussion.
“And let me tell you: 75 minutes is a very long time to be under Don’s microscope. He had 7 questions for me about Nucamp based on the graduates’ feedback. Sometimes it was uncomfortable, but it was worth it.
“By the end of 75 minutes, anyone watching is going to know exactly what Nucamp stands for, what we’re trying to accomplish for students, and how different we are from other coding bootcamps,” Mr. Fourrage said.
Nucamp continues to work to hit its goals, having helped hundreds of tech enthusiasts secure a tech job even amidst the ongoing pandemic.
Take Isaiah Thomas, for instance. He was a project manager for a company that sold lighting fixtures and he had zero coding background. All it took to change his life was winning a scholarship at Nucamp and taking the Full Stack + Mobile Development Bootcamp. With perseverance, he managed to land a job as a Full Stack Software Engineer for Scout Financial even before his bootcamp ended.
Jason Weyland is another example of Nucamp’s students that have gone on a total life transformation. From being a high-rise window washer, Mr. Weyland is now a Junior Front End React Developer for Stellar Software. Nucamp’s affordability and flexibility have helped open a new door for him and many others.
How Nucamp Adapts to Changes during the Pandemic
The looming threats of the pandemic have nudged Nucamp toward making several changes in its operations to ensure the well-being of all students and staff, while still keeping the show running.
To help students still get the most out of their bootcamps, the learning model was adjusted into a full online experience with Saturday workshops via Zoom. The workshops are four hours-long, from 9 am to 1 pm every week.
“We still group 12 students together with one dedicated instructor. The first hour is a review of the weekly learnings and the remaining three hours is a hands-on session with two to three students doing peer coding in smaller breakout rooms,” the school said.
A lot of Nucamp students found this format to be appealing and helpful. Recent alumni Beverly Guerin said: “I really liked the format of learning on my own, then having the recap on Saturdays that cleared up any questions. The pairing up and working with another student to do the assignment was also a great learning experience, I learned a lot from other students that way.”
Another student Prince Segbafia wrote: “I liked the course structure and the fact that workshops were held on weekends (Saturday). The flexibility of the course was of most importance to me. The tutors are very patient in explaining issues step by step. Using domestic examples and relating them to codes made my journey in coding exciting.”
What Awaits Nucamp Students in 2021
While Nucamp has seen a remarkable year in 2020, there is more to come for its students this year:
On top of its various financing options to help more tech aspirants access quality education, Nucamp is also offering five different scholarships at the time of writing.
The first scholarship is the Nucamp Veterans and Active Duty Members Scholarship, which sees a partnership between Nucamp and Warrior Rising, a non-profit that assists U.S. military veterans and active duty service members in reaching their entrepreneurial dreams. The school has allocated $50,000 in scholarship funds as a small form of gratitude toward veterans who have served the country. Applications can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org along with proof of Military Service via DFAS.
The next one is a $50,000 ReSkill America Scholarship Fund meant to help those economically impacted by the pandemic and looking to start a new career in tech. Through a collaboration with Career Karma and the Kapor Center, scholarship recipients will receive a laptop and a scholarship to study at Nucamp.
To help encourage more youth to explore an alternative career track leading to the tech industry, Nucamp also has a $50,000 scholarship fund for High School Graduates. This scholarship is open to high-school levers who graduated in 2020 or 2019 and are 18 years old or older.
The school recently announced a new scholarship dubbed Nu You, with the hopes to help address the social injustice of a system based on credit scores. This scholarship can benefit those who are ineligible to receive a loan due to low or no credit, bankruptcy, or delinquencies. Those who have been refused a student loan in the past 12 months are also welcomed to apply.
In response to the pandemic, Nucamp is also offering a $50,000 scholarship fund for those affected by the recent layoffs at Best Buy and the shutdown of Fry’s Electronics. The Best Buy Bounce Back Scholarship is open to those who are currently or were employed by either company within the last 12 months.
Prospective students who are looking into Nucamp can also expect more scholarships to be announced in the future, so consider checking the Scholarships page from time-to-time.
The school currently boasts an impressive employment rate of 78% and to help more students launch a successful tech career, Nucamp also offers one-on-one career assistance. Upon course completion, students are assigned a Career Coach that can assist them with the know-how in job-finding.
The career support also includes a six-week career development program, one-month LinkedIn Premium membership, exclusive access to a nationwide Job Board, and the opportunity to connect with other Nucamp alumni.
Nucamp believes in lifelong learning, which is why all students receive lifetime access to its entire course content at no extra cost. This will allow those seeking to keep their skills updated to go back and re-learn the relevant materials. Graduates are also encouraged to enter the monthly online Nucamp-Mintbean Hackathon that can help demonstrate their abilities to solve real-world coding problems.
Fair Student Agreement
In its ongoing efforts to make coding education accessible to all, Nucamp has announced a new financing program called the Fair Student Agreement (FSA) in the final quarter of 2020. FSA comes in three payment models; Best Deal, Faster Repayment, and Most Flexible.
With Best Deal, students will enjoy a zero-interest loan directly from the school while Faster Repayment and Most Flexible will be offered through Climb Credit. Depending on your choice and course, repayments could start from as low as $8 per month until graduation. Check out the detailed repayment breakdowns here.
“We think this is really going to make coding education really affordable and accessible to everyone. With our Fair Student Agreement you don’t have to give away a large portion of your salary,” Mr. Fourrage said.
Collaboration with Career Karma
Nucamp has the most reviews from graduates on Career karma with 422 reviews as of date. It holds a 4.5 rating out of 5 and scored 94% on the overall experience. On the same page, you’ll be able to view some Nucamp Student Projects that can tell you more about what the school is capable of teaching.
Prospective students can also visit the Nucamp Feed on Career Karma, a platform where over 1,100 members discuss all things related to Nucamp. From firsthand experiences to tech discourse, and more, this is another avenue for Nucamp students and graduates to share news, exchange ideas, and help each other out when needed.
Kickstart the Year With New Skills
If getting into tech is an idea that you have been mulling, consider checking out Nucamp’s offerings. With courses that start at only $349, flexible financing options, and a comprehensive curriculum, this coding bootcamp may just be what you need to start off your 2021 the right way. Visit Nucamp’s website, click on a program that interests you, and fill in the forms to get started.
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.