Mary Bergeron is the Director of Community at Switchup, an online platform that helps students find a technology or coding bootcamp for their transition into a technology career.
She wrote this post to help bootcamp students and graduates write more informative reviews to help out future students.
When you started your bootcamp research, chances are you began by comparing programs online. Maybe you read through reviews on a site like SwitchUp, browsed posts on Medium, or even reached out to alumni through social media.
Reviews and feedback are extremely important to bootcamps and future students alike. Bootcamps have grown quickly in recent years, largely driven by excellent student outcomes. According to SwitchUp’s research students now have more choice than ever, with hundreds of in-person and online coding programs.
With so many options to compare, a thorough review is important because it gives students a detailed, first-hand look at a bootcamp outside of marketing claims or outcomes statistics. Depending on when a review was written, it can also give students a glimpse into post-bootcamp life at a variety of stages: from the first job search right after graduation, to an alum’s outlook once they are well into a new tech career.
If you are a bootcamp grad (or soon-to-be grad), your perspective can help “pay it forward” to the next cohort of students and give your school helpful feedback at the same time. We suggest the following tips to write a review that is valuable to future students:
1. Weigh the Pros and Cons
Reviews are most helpful to students when they balance out both the pros and cons of the experience. Even if you have a very strong opinion about your bootcamp, try to balance out your feedback to make it more constructive. Keep in mind that everyone is looking for something a little different in a bootcamp, so something was a big “pro” or “con” for you might not be viewed the same to someone else.
In our experience, prospective students are most interested in the quality of the curriculum, teaching staff, and job support, so be sure to mention your thoughts on these areas. If your school has multiple campuses then you’ll want to list the campus you attended, as these variables change from campus to campus.
2. Talk About Your Complete Experience: Before, During, and After The Bootcamp
The entire bootcamp process – from pre-work to your first job offer – is part of your career transformation, so it’s important that you include how the program prepared you before and after the bootcamp itself. Did the pre-work adequately prepare you for the main program? Did career services help you ace an interview with your dream company? By talking about the whole process, you’ll give future bootcampers insight on how the program can help them both learn to code AND meet their career goals.
3. Tell Your Story
Maybe you embarked on a career change into coding from a completely different background. Or maybe you took a semester off from college to gain UI/UX skills at a bootcamp. Whatever the case may be, your path will inspire others and show them the possibilities. This perspective is especially helpful if you do not have a background in computer science, since many bootcamp students come from a completely different field. Your story will show future students that as long as they are committed, they too can switch to tech career.
Where To Find & Write Your Review
Many bootcamp alumni are choosing to leave reviews on sites like Quora and Medium, or on a review site like SwitchUp.
If you are interested in writing a review of Firehose, check out the Firehose SwitchUp reviews page here. As an added incentive, you’ll be automatically entered to win a $350 Amazon gift card once you submit a verified review.
By taking a few minutes to write a review, you’ll provide invaluable feedback and help “pay-it-forward” to future students.