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FAQs

You will be using a MacBook, mouse and keyboard with a large 24” monitor as a second screen. 

You can use your own laptop if you wish, providing it meets the necessary specifications, however you do not have to buy your own laptop as we have everything you need. We need a £150 deposit and you can then use the Academy MacBook for the duration of the course.  

If you decide to use your own laptop, this must be a MacBook Pro from 2015 or later, with at least 8GB RAM, a 2.7GHz processor, and 25GB of hard drive space.

We use Apple machinery as it is considered industry best standard. If you have not used Apple tech before don’t worry, it is easy to get used to and we will help you.

If you would like to do work at home in evenings or on weekends, you can take your MacBook home with you providing it is protected in a sleeve for travel and kept undamaged.

We can help  you to find accommodation in and around Bath by giving you the contact details of some reputable local estate agents. Spare room is always worth checking for flatshares, and we have an accommodation channel in the Academy Slack group. 

We do not have our own accommodation facilities but once you are accepted onto the course please let us know if you have any problems finding something and we’ll try to help as much as we can. 

Bath has good transport networks so you can also consider further afield. Bristol, Trowbridge, Swindon and Chippenham have train stations that connect with Bath, while Box, Corsham, Trowbridge, Chippenham and Melksham have bus routes. There are other surrounding towns as well which are all worth checking.

Those who live further afield and are planning to base themselves in Bath during the week then return home on weekends might like to look at other options, like the Holiday Inn which is located near the Academy.

Yes. We are a ten minute walk from Bath Spa train station and bus station.

Bath is well connected with towns and cities including Bristol, Trowbridge, Swindon and Chippenham. It is also relatively quick by train to get to London (85 minutes), Oxford (65 minutes), Exeter (80 minutes), Gloucester (80 minutes) Southampton (85 minutes) and Cardiff (90 minutes), among others.

There is no public parking on Widcombe Crescent. Approximately 300m up the Widcombe Hill past the Academy building there is free parking, however spaces are very limited.

Information on other parking options may be found on the Bath Park & Ride website, the Bath & NE Somerset Car Parks website, or at JustPark.

Yes. Please talk to us so that we understand how we can best support you. We have previously taught students with a range of mental health needs and will be as helpful as we can. We are a Mindful Employer, Disability Confident level 1, and committed to openness about mental health for both staff and students.

Yes. Please talk to us about what you need, and we will make sure you have options for quiet space when you need it.

Outside COVID restriction periods, yes. Taster sessions are held at the Academy, and you will also have your application chat with the trainers here (unless you decide to have your chat remotely). We can’t offer individual tours, but you can do your own virtual tour of the building here.

Yes. We usually have drinks (both alcoholic and non) on a Friday evening after the week of learning has ended, with current students often joined by staff and previous grads.

We also have a kitchen, games room and garden where students hang out together during lunch and coffee breaks, and we regularly go to tech meetups in Bristol and Bath.

Occasionally we run other events, like hackathons or lightning talks, and are always happy for students to put together their own social outings. There is also an unofficial Academy Dungeons & Dragons group, for those who dare.

We keep in touch with our alumni through our Slack group and they are always invited to events such as graduations or socials (as well as Friday night drinks!).

If our hiring partners are looking for mid to senior roles, or we come across any particularly good openings, we’ll share those with alumni in a dedicated Slack channel, and we also share opportunities for speaking, mentoring, volunteering, and industry meetups. We also love it when past students come back to give guest lectures at the Academy.

We work hard to make sure the Academy is inclusive for everyone. We are members of Tech Talent Charter and Tech She Can charter, and encourage our students to be involved with local groups such as Bath Girl Geeks, Bristol Girl Geeks, and Women’s Tech Hub. 

We have a private Slack group for female and non-binary students, alumni and staff where they can talk to and support each other during their time at the Academy and beyond.

We are always open to change and growth. If there is anything you come across that makes you feel uncomfortable, or something extra you think we should offer, please talk to us.

Yes. We enjoy being part of the Bristol and Bath tech community, and encourage you to join us. We regularly attend (and speak at) tech meetups such as PHPSW and Bristol JS, and we’ll share details of interesting upcoming events and conferences with you.

You’ll also get to meet people in the tech scene through our guest lectures and hiring partner events, as well as our own alumni. We always say, it’s not just about meeting people who’ll get you your first job – it’s about building connections that can help throughout your career.

We have a range of tech companies we work with to get our students into jobs. We call them our hiring partners. These companies, mainly based in Bristol and Bath but also from London and other areas of the UK, know that we train people with the skills the industry needs, and they like to meet (and hire) our new developers. 

Before you graduate, we will run a networking event with any of these companies who are currently hiring junior developers. This will allow you to meet each other in an informal setting and they’ll get to know you as a person rather than a CV. You can then apply for their jobs in the normal way, having already met one on one. 

Leading up to this, we hold a day of career advice, where we will talk you through writing a developer CV and interview tips, as well as what to look for in a tech role and company. We’ll check your CV, and take a professional photo for you to use on LinkedIn. 

We will also share other job opportunities we come across, and are on hand if you need to ask for any additional help.

The 16 week Full Stack Track course costs £11,000.

Yes, we offer all UK and EU students interest-free deferred payment on our course fees via EdAid. You can borrow up to the full cost of the course. Find out more here.

Yes. Our Diversitech Fund is for people who are underrepresented in tech, or facing some form of personal hardship. Find out more here.

Yes. Talk to your employer about your plans, and ask them to contact us. We can discuss with them whether they would like to sponsor you through the course as a direct payment or in the form of a level 4 apprenticeship.

It is possible, but we strongly recommend that you don’t take on additional work while you do the course. The nature of the Full Stack Track is intensive and you will get the most benefit from it by allowing plenty of time to rest and recover, and by using some portion of your own time for practice.

Yes, you can come to study with us from any country. However we cannot offer help with entry to the UK and are unable to offer advice or assistance with visas of any kind.

If you are from the UK or any country within the EU, you can apply for EdAid finance. It is not available for any other countries.

We accept students aged 18 and over. There is no upper age limit.

The only exception to the 18+ requirement is where a company is taking on an individual as an apprentice. In this case the student may be 16 or 17, however we will also need to interview them to ensure they have a mature enough mindset to take part in a demanding course where they will be working on projects in a team with people of many different ages.

You do not have to come to a taster workshop to apply to us. However if you haven’t yet done much coding and aren’t sure if you would enjoy it as a career, then it is a really good idea to come along and try it out. We will teach you enough for you to design and build something working in a few hours, and see how enjoyable it can be to create something from nothing.

It is also useful if you have decided to become a developer but aren’t sure yet where to study. The session will introduce you to at least one of our trainers, you will get to see our teaching style, and you will be able to ask questions about the course afterwards. You can also attend one of our Q&A sessions if you mainly want to ask questions.

For all applicants, we look for two things – aptitude and attitude. 

The first thing we will ask you to do is a 30 minute quiz with a range of interesting puzzles. You don’t need to know anything about coding, the puzzles can be done by anyone. This quiz helps us to understand if your brain is suited to the sorts of problem-solving you’ll come across in coding.

The second thing we’ll do is simply to have an informal chat. You’ll meet with two of our trainers who will want to understand why you’d like to become a developer. If you have any requirements that would make you feel more comfortable for this chat, please let us know in advance. 

After this, the trainers will look at all of our applicants and decide who will gain the most from coming to do the course. 

If you aren’t accepted the first time but still really want to study with us, don’t worry. We can give you feedback on what you may need to work on, and you are welcome to reapply at any time.

The best and easiest thing is to do some coding practice, which you can do using free online resources. This will help to get your brain working in a problem-solving way, and will mean we can also see you’ve done enough to find out if this is a career you would enjoy. 

It is also a good idea to come along to one of our taster workshops. Again, this will help you to understand if you would enjoy doing coding as a job, and will show us that you have done your research. 

Read this blog post to find out more about how you can become a stand-out candidate.

Sooner is always better. The Full Stack Track course is popular and places tend to be filled many months before their start date, so it is best to apply as soon as you decide you are interested in studying with us. 

If the class on your requested start date is filled but you are accepted, you will be offered the next available start date.

If you change your mind later or need to alter your start date that is fine, as long as we have enough notice from you. The sooner you tell us the sooner we can offer your space to another student.

Yes. If you want to push back your start date to another month or year, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you. Please be aware that this is only possible before you sign your contract, and the more notice you give the more likely we will be able to place you in a class for the date you want.

Our classes are made up of 8 students to 1 trainer. This is much smaller than most bootcamps, so why do we do it? 

Very simply, smaller classes means you’ll get more one on one time with your trainer, and they’ll make sure you are on track for every step of your learning journey. This is important for a course that sets a challenging pace.

We also chose this number as it reflects the size of an average developer team working in scrum. So as well as getting a more attentive learning experience, you also gain the experience of working on projects as part of a tech team as close to the real thing as we can make it.

Our contact hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday each week, for 16 weeks. This adds up to 600 hours of trainer contact – more than many university degrees. You will get an hour for lunch, and refreshment breaks during the day. There are no classes on bank holidays. 

You may also decide to do additional practice or coding challenges outside of core class hours. This is not compulsory, but may help your learning journey.

All sorts of people do our course, and they all enjoy different aspects of coding. Some love getting stuck into creative thinking and problem-solving, others enjoy the constant learning and discovery. Some like building new things, others are enthusiastic about making existing things work better. Some like getting things organised, others like trying to break stuff. There is no one type of developer.

Our students come from all ages and backgrounds. Most are changing careers, but we also have school leavers, university graduates, and people who are returning to work after a career break for childcare, health or travel.

One of the things that make our classes fun is that our students have had such different experiences. So don’t think that you aren’t the typical coder – for us, there’s no such thing.

The short answer is no. A basic level of math comprehension is all that is needed. 

Many people believe that you need to be a mathematical genius to be a software developer. This is very far from the truth. Many of our students have come to us as self-professed maths haters, and are surprised to find that this has no impact on how well they do on the course, or how much they enjoy the work. 

If it is something you are worried about, we recommend doing a taster session to find out what coding actually involves, and then asking the trainer questions after the session if there is anything you are still concerned about. 

No. We recommend that you play with some coding before applying, whether online or at one of our taster sessions, simply to ensure this is something you know you will enjoy. We will also provide you with some pre-course resources so that you can hit the ground running when you start with us.

Yes. This course has been specifically designed to give all of the skills that are most needed to become a junior developer. These skills go beyond just coding. Past students have included Computer Science university graduates who still found the course invaluable for getting to the level they needed.

One of the things that is important to us is not just teaching you the how but the why. We’ll give you a thorough understanding of programming fundamentals – invaluable in your future career as you continue learning new concepts and languages. The course will also include experience in agile working, pair programming, best practices, and real experience working on projects as part of a team.

Don’t worry. As part of the application process, we will expertly assess whether you have the ability to complete the course and become a developer. If you make it onto the course, that means we are sure that you can do it.

The course can be tough at times and there may be moments when you feel lost. But you have your trainer to guide you through, and most of the time, just a few weeks after learning a difficult concept you will look back and think ‘but that is so easy now’.

Yes. We will send you a list of free resources to work through before the course begins. You do not have to complete all of the resources we send, but we find that the students who have done preparatory work before the course find it much easier to keep up during, so we highly recommend taking the time for this.

The general structure is one week of learning, one week of doing. This means that you are regularly using the things you have learned, helping to solidify your knowledge as well as building a great portfolio. We believe that giving you time to absorb and use the concepts you learn will help them to really stick, rather than cramming you with pure theory. 

The first few weeks of the course are focussed on getting the basics cemented as well as your two days of Scrum Master Certification training, and after that it will be a balance of theory and practice. 

Yes. Having one trainer through the entire course means they are both your teacher, mentor, and cheerleader. They will get to understand your learning style and coach you through any parts of the course you find harder than others. You can go to them with any problems you are having, whether technical or personal, and towards the end of the course they will help you shape your CV for your job search. 

The only exception to this will be if your trainer needs to take time off for sickness or other unexpected circumstances.

You will receive your Scrum Master Certification as part of the course. We are the only coding bootcamp in the UK to offer this qualification, which will be invaluable when looking for your first role.

 

For the Full Stack Track course, there is no qualification. This is because what we teach is shaped around providing the most up-to-date skills that are used in tech by real employers, rather than modules signed off by a government department.

Development is a fast-moving field, so traditional qualifications are often outdated by the time they are completed – for that reason, our curriculum is focussed on industry-relevant, practical learning and is not accredited to an institution or governing body.

We’re not here to get you a piece of paper. We’re here to help you become a great developer.

Many people worry about which backend language to learn first when they begin coding. The truth is that it doesn’t matter that much. We teach PHP, but it could be Ruby, or Java, or Python, or C. Don’t worry too much about which one you start with – the more important thing is that you learn the fundamentals of coding, the way all of these languages actually work. We always say we don’t teach PHP, we teach programming. 

When you are first learning to code, it is best to learn one language thoroughly than many languages shallowly. After you understand the more abstract concepts involved in that first language, you will be much more able to effectively apply those to additional languages. Those who only have a light introduction to a range of languages will find all of this much harder. About half of our students go into roles where they will be using a language other than PHP, and this has been no problem for either them or their employers. We pride ourselves on teaching our students how to learn, so that they have the flexibility to go down many different paths in future.

But still, why did we choose PHP? Put simply, PHP is the most used server-side programming language for websites. By a large majority. This means that no matter which languages come and go in popularity, PHP will not be going out of use by tech companies any time soon. It is also a relatively simple language for beginners. 

Teaching the most used backend web language in the world and one that is well suited to newbie coders was a clear choice for us. 

Find out more about PHP

Yes. The course is less about learning a specific language, than understanding how all programming languages work (as well as having a robust working knowledge of both PHP and Node.js). Once you have learned one language, you will find it much easier to learn the next. Almost half of our graduates go into their first roles using a new language.

Agile is a best practice project methodology used by the tech industry worldwide. Not all tech companies or teams use this system, but we believe it is the most effective way to manage the majority of development work. 

Many tech companies manage their projects, workloads, tasks and clients using the Agile methodology. It helps to create a structured but flexible environment which focuses on fast delivery and open communication between developers, product managers, and clients. All of our students receive training in how to work on these projects as a Scrum Master (who is like a team coach), along with valuable certification.

We don’t just teach this way of working as theory, we live it. The projects you’ll do during the Full Stack Track are based on the Agile methodology called Scrum. This means that when you graduate and go into your first dev job, you’ll already understand the usual project processes and can hit the ground running.

Yes. You will have at least one project during the course where you will be working with the code of previous students. This will prepare you for working in the industry, where very often you will be working with other people’s old, and often confusing, code.

Yes. We encourage questions, and have a no blame culture. Your trainer will be someone who really knows their stuff, so we want you to make the most of their knowledge and experience by asking as much as you need to.

Some people do decide to teach themselves, and that is ok. It will usually take longer to learn without guidance, and there will be some things which you can’t gain experience with by teaching yourself. You also may run the risk of getting into bad habits which are hard to break later.

However everybody has different learning styles, so some people may find they can teach themselves the core technical aspects of coding using online resources and books. Others find they need a teacher who can be there to explain and support, classmates to learn with, a guarantee they are learning the right things in the right way, and practical projects to embed their new knowledge.

Every student who has come to us has finished the course, apart from a few who had to pause their coding journey due to unexpected health issues. We assess each student based on their ability before they join us, so have full confidence that anyone who comes to learn with us has the ability to finish the course.

Pre-COVID, 100% of our graduates found work in tech under 6 months after graduating.

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