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Where does the training course take place?

The training phase will take place at our dedicated training facility in Hertfordshire.

The mentoring phase will be held on client site, and you will be expected to relocate if necessary to a UK based location. Most of our positions are currently situated in London.

What are the entry requirements for the program?

Each phase has its own entrance requirements:

  • The first training phase requires that a candidate completes a two-round interview process, a code-test and can demonstrate some requisite knowledge in computing. We expect candidates to demonstrate self-motivated study that they have undertaken, such as completing significant tranches of codeschool.org or codeacademy.org, or building a webpage or basic application and providing us the source code on GitHub.
  • During the application process, we will evaluate your understanding of some basic underlying principles, by asking you to complete a programming challenge. We will discuss your completed assessment during the interview and also ask you to complete a short code test in either Ruby or JavaScript.
  • For more information, please see our How to Apply page.
Do you guarantee a work experience position if I take up this course?
The second work experience phase requires good performance in the first phase, and admission is entirely at the discretion of our instructional team. We require 100% attendance during the training (unless previously agreed with the instructional team), 80% of coursework assignments completed and a final project submission. Your suitability for the work experience program is therefore judged during the training phase and aims to ensure that only the most exceptional candidates are forwarded to our hiring partners. Our first list of key performance criteria can be found on our pricing page.
Do I need a Computer Science degree or similar qualification?

Not if you are applying for the 12-week Web Developer Fast Track position. We are open-minded about where we source our candidates from. Provided that you complete the groundwork and submit a programming challenge, you will be considered along with every other candidate.

If you are applying for the graduate scholarship, then a good degree in a STEM subject is required. Please see our Graduate Scholarship page.

What are you looking for in a candidate?

We are looking for someone with:

  • A high aptitude for learning. We will teach you concepts during the morning that we expect you to work with by the afternoon.
  • A strong interest in coding! We want people who are looking to become engineers; not people who are casually interested in coding, or looking to augment their existing career with a coding skill set.
  • A proven self-starter. We want to see your track record of self-motivated study, examples of leadership or initiative and an impressive career-to-date.
  • Rounded skills. What else can you do other than code? Do you have skills in design, management, business, creativity? Have you done any voluntary work?
  • Tenacity. Making software is hard and this course will humble you. We want people who can take adversity in their stride and find challenging situations inspiring and can inspire others when the going gets tough.
  • Communication. Why are you taking the approach that you have? What are the alternatives before you dive in? Could you explain your rationale to a colleague? Can you ask a targeted question?
  • Fun! Most of our clients really want someone who will be a good fit in their team. If we're going to be in a room together for six months, we had better get along, so persuade us that you're ready to muck in.
What is your approach to teaching and training?

The course is split approximately between lectures and practical application, with approximately a 1:2 ratio. The syllabus covers a range of topics required of full-stack web developers. The mentoring phase places you on a real-world, commercial development project, so that you will be learning on the job and gaining real-world experience.

In general, our teaching approach is very hands-on, working with real world practitioners and working on real world projects to hone your skills to the needs of the development market.

How long does it take to become a web developer?

Learning to code is a craft that can take many years to master. Most web development positions in Ruby require at least 1 year's commercial experience, although relevant experience in other areas is advantageous. We have designed this course to fast-track web developers to a level we feel is suitable to place in our client organisations, where we can be assured of a trainee's knowledge and provide the necessary support in order for our trainees to succeed. With our guidance, we believe that our web developers will be well prepared for an entry level position within six months.

We also wrote a blog post about this topic here.

Will I get a permanent job at the end of this course?
Although we cannot guarantee that we will find you a permanent job, we are unique in finding apprentice positions for our trainees from the outset, hiring the best of our intake and providing on-site mentorship and support. With three months to learn and three months to demonstrate your skills, our aim is to secure a permanent job offer for 100% of our candidates. While there is no obligation on our clients to extend an offer, with six months experience and good references we are very confident of finding our trainees suitable positions working in agile web development.
What happens at the end of the training phase?
The course culminates in a 2-week project of your own choosing, where you will be expected to create an application that draws on the knowledge that you garnered during the course. On the strength of this project, and of your performance during the training program, we will decide who we will admit to the mentoring program.
What time commitment is needed for this programme?
During the training phase, you will be expected to put in at least 50 hours of study per week. Realistically you will get out of the course what you put in, which is one of the reasons why we decided to offer residential accommodation, so that trainees can work effectively outside of normal office hours during the training phase.

Once working on client projects, you will be contracted to a 40 hour week, although you will also be expected to work overtime when required.

What sort of help can I expect from my mentor?
Your mentor will be on hand to:
  • Help manage, analyse and estimate the project work that you have been assigned
  • Provide line-by-line feedback on your commits
  • Provide technical support and answer questions
  • Contribute improvements to code to help you learn
  • Provide quality assurance to ensure that the work is of a sufficient standard
  • Provide extra training where required
  • Pair-program on tasks whether remotely or on-site
Do you provide any support for the tuition fee?

We are registered as a PCDL provider, which means that you may be eligible to secure a loan to cover your course costs, which can include equipment, course materials (such as books) and accommodation.

For recent graduates with a computing or science background, we offer free tuition on our scholarship plan for trainees who work with us for a period of 24 months.

For more information, please see our price plans.

Dan cares more about making his students web developers, than reproducing the factory format of similar development boot camps. He cares about his students and invests time and effort in them, even outside of office hours. He is supportive, personable, and very knowledgable in Ruby. I was able to go from having no real understanding of Ruby to being able to understand and create complicated server side applications.

Damilola Odelola – Founder Blackgirl.tech
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