Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this better than free online tutorials?

Free tutorials are great places to start. Some of our students have started with these but eventually joined FSC for two main reasons:

  • Greater accountability. It's very easy to quit a free online course or not take it seriously enough. Dedicating a specific period of time for learning with a group of likeminded peers makes a big difference.

  • It's easy to get stuck as a beginner. You can Google around and ask for help on forums when you're learning on free platforms, but by the time you get a good answer it's likely you've already switched gears. Having a dedicated person who is paid to help you through challenges will dramatically accelerate your learning.

What's the difference between the Introduction to Coding and Bootcamp Prep courses?

Introduction to Coding is a highly optimized 4-week course that is designed to benefit a few different types of people:

  • Prospective bootcamp applicants who are considering a career change into coding
  • Managers, product managers,project managers, analysts, founders, scientists, and others who want to become "code literate" so they can communicate better with coders they work with
  • Anyone who wants to learn just enough coding to start automating some of their work

Bootcamp Prep is an extended 8-week course that covers everything from the Introduction to Coding course plus:

  • 2 weeks of additional intermediate lessons
  • An instructor-supported final web project that brings together everything you've learned
  • A final mock bootcamp interview with a Bootcamp Readiness score & recommended next steps

Bootcamp Prep also costs an additional $500. All alumni from both courses are eligible for tuition credits at partner bootcamps.

Should I take the course online or in-person?

Ultimately, this depends on your circumstances and your learning style.

Our founders have a long history with operating remote environments, and we've done our best to make the online program "virtually identical" to the in-person program. We do live meetings with small groups over video for the same periods of time as our in-person class, we cover the same curriculum, and we use all the same tools. We've figured out a number of ways to keep the experience engaging and to create the same level of individual accountability as our in-person course.

We're also able to offer the online course at a significantly lower price. This is simply because it doesn't cost as much to operate a virtual classroom – we don't have to pay for physical space, and our instructors have easier commutes.

With all that said, some people have told us they simply know themselves, and they know they need the ceremony of learning in a physical classroom to be successful.

What makes you different than other options?

The biggest difference is our small class sizes. You're going to be in a group of just 5-10 people, and the help ratio will always be 5:1 or better. This allows the teachers to immediately identify and react to any learning roadblocks. In many ways, this will feel like personalized tutoring in a group setting.

Who are the teachers?

Each location has different teachers, but all of our instructors have technical training through either a university or bootcamp, and they have all worked professionally as software engineers. You can read more about our instructors here.

Why do you say you are 'universal' and 'unbiased'?

There are other bootcamp prep courses out there, but most are attached to schools that also provide an immersive bootcamp course. These prep courses are often simply treated as funnels, and there's always going to be an inherent bias for a business to direct you toward their own continuation programs.

First Step Coding focuses exclusively on introductory coding, so we are optimized for it, and we have no interest in selling you on our own immersive program (we don't have one). Part of our offering is that we connect you with alumni (not admissions staff) from a variety of programs to give you a truly unfiltered and unbiased view of the landscape.

Why should I take a bootcamp prep course instead of going straight to a bootcamp?

All bootcamps are not created equally, and the best ones have high admissions bars. You are expected to already be "code literate" and able to solve simple problems on the fly in order to be admitted.

The Bootcamp Prep course is designed to introduce programming fundamentals and prepare you for acing these interviews. The experience will also give you a glimpse of what programming is really like on a part-time basis before you fully commit to a full-time program. Last, but certainly not least, coming into a bootcamp with the fundamentals out of the way will leave you with more time to focus on the advanced skills that companies are actually hiring for.

What is the class size?

We feel very strongly about the value of small classes with high instructor coverage. We'll never put you in a room with more than 12 students. For groups larger than five, we'll have both an instructor and teaching assistant present, maintaining a 1:5 or better ratio of teachers to learners.

When and where do we meet?

We meet two evenings per week (either in-person or online) from 6:30pm - 9:30pm. During Bootcamp Prep, some modules are self-paced or meet less frequently. Details for each cohort can be found on the respective course page and syllabus. Our courses are offered both online and in-person. In-person locations include Boston and San Francisco.

What happens if I have to miss a class?

If you have to miss just one class, we will work with you to get you caught up. We'll share notes and a video capture of the lesson with you, and our instructors will make themselves available to answer questions for you during office hours.

Depending on scheduling, you might also have an opportunity to make up the class you missed at a different location or online.

If you know you'll have to miss multiple classes, we recommend you register for a later course.

What does it cost?

  • Introduction to Coding Online (4 weeks): $1,499
  • Introduction to Coding In-Person (4 weeks): $1,999
  • Bootcamp Prep Online (8 weeks): $1,999
  • Bootcamp Prep In-Person (8 weeks): $2,499

It's also important to factor in the up to $2,000 in tuition credits you'll get back to use at one of our partner bootcamps. In some cases, this makes First Step Coding effectively free! You can check out our list of partners and promotion specifics here.

This sounds great, but can I get to know you better first?

Sure! We'd love to chat. Our staff reserves a portion of their time for simply advising new coders. You can book a free 15-minute call with an advisor right here.