The DevMountain BLOG

7 Signs You’re Ready For A New Career

posted by DevMtn Team on September 7th, 2017

Sometimes in your career, there are these giant, flashing, neon signs that seem to yell, “Hey, you! Yeah, you with the miserable look on your face! It’s time for you to blow this popsicle stand and find yourself a new gig.”

Here are a few warning signs you might need to pursue a new career.

1. You literally can not wake up in the mornings and you snooze the alarm infinite times each morning.

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2. Even when there is no traffic you still have road rage.

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3. You eat lunch at 10:15 am every day.

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4. You regularly reward yourself with lattes because YOU EARNED THIS.

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5. Your second screen is only used for secret Netflix.

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6. You find it difficult to conceal your contempt for most of your co-workers.

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7. You stay up as late as possible each night, because going to bed means accepting you’re going to work again.

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Sound familiar? Start working toward a career you're proud of with DevMountain.

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Dev Bootcamp and The Iron Yard Shut Their Doors, Now What?

posted by Cahlan Sharp on July 21st, 2017

Cahlan Sharp, DevMountain CEO

The following post was written by DevMountain's CEO, Cahlan Sharp.


This past week, two prominent coding bootcamps, The Iron Yard and Dev Bootcamp, announced that they would be closing their doors. This news has many asking questions about the current health of the bootcamp industry, as well as what this means for the future of the bootcamp model. We’re extremely optimistic about the future of bootcamp tech education for a few reasons.

Let's separate the business model and the bootcamp model

Both of the previously mentioned companies cited an inability to find a profitable business model as the main reason for their shutdown. Recent changes in ownership may have shifted business focus. Their closing was a business decision and not a result of the education they provided. While they may have struggled to find a working business model, they still positively affected the lives of many students. Across industries, many companies have difficulty finding profitable business models. Within growing markets this is especially true as companies position themselves differently. This naturally gives rise to an ebb and flow that can lay claim to even the pioneers of that industry.

Education is a difficult thing to scale. It's not just a product, and it's not just a service. It's complex. It requires great students, great teachers, and great curriculum. Many coding schools have come and gone in the last six years, proving that it's not easy.

Finding people that are just as passionate about your mission as you are is also one of the most difficult parts of building a successful business. Nowhere is this more important than in a business like a coding school. The process of finding the right people and growing responsibly is not easy. It's slow. It takes time to build a presence in a new city. It takes time to build the alumni base with the kind of outcomes that help tell your story.

And even though it's early for the bootcamp industry, there are still a lot of great things happening. Course Report recently released its annual report that found the coding school market has grown 10.5x since 2013. In the report, they also estimate that almost 23,000 students will go through bootcamps in 2017.The industry is healthy and the outlook is bright but it is only in its adolescence. The growth will continue as more and more consumers and employers see the value of the bootcamp education model.

More Employers are catching on

We continue to have more and more employers approach us to learn about our students than ever before. Technology is moving faster than ever, and bootcamps are uniquely positioned to provide candidates who have been trained in the most recent technologies because the bootcamp didn’t have to deal with long curriculum approvals. This quick-to-adapt and accelerated approach is the very difference maker between a bootcamp and any other professional tech education.

The modern-day employer is starting to see the value in diversity in both experience and background that many bootcamp grads bring. Bootcamp students are very diverse, they've got a wide variety of life experiences, and they're hungry. The industry is craving for that honed talent and diversity of thought, and the talent gap still exists. Many corporations are actively seeking out bootcamps and their grads for these reasons.

Demand outside Silicon Valley continues to grow

It used to be that if you wanted to work in technology, Silicon Valley was the only place to go. While there’s still a high centralization of tech jobs in "high tech areas," more and more companies that have not traditionally been considered to be high tech are hiring developers and other technical positions, not to mention the growing trend of remote workforces.

Arguably, this increase in demand outside of Silicon Valley will only accelerate, and traditional educational institutions can’t keep up with the demand. Bootcamps provide another convenient and accessible alternative.

The Industry is Growing Up

The recent announcements are representative of a transition phase for the bootcamp industry. This entire industry is only a handful of years old. We're still in the emerging market phase. Everyone is experimenting with growth strategies, business models, and instructional models. Some will be successful through different phases, some will not.

The bottomline is that demand for technical skills remains high. There is no doubt that bootcamps continue to improve and make a huge impact. We expect growth to continue, and outcomes to improve, and are extremely optimistic about the future of the industry.


Learn Code & Design Bootcamp

DevMountain offers full-time and part-time classes in coding and design in Provo, Salt Lake City, Dallas and Phoenix. Free housing provided for all immersive students.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!

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Guest Post: How Your Bootcamp Review Can Help Future Students

posted by DevMtn Team on July 11th, 2017

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This post was written by Mary Bergeron, Director of Marketing at SwitchUp.

Before you committed to a bootcamp, chances are you researched different options 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 for future students, thanks to an ever-growing number of options for tech education. According to SwitchUp’s research, there are now over 120 in-person bootcamps and hundreds of part-time and online programs available worldwide. While the growth means that there is more choice than ever, it is sometimes difficult for prospective students to find the perfect bootcamp for them.

A thorough review is important because it gives students a first-hand look at a bootcamp outside of marketing claims or statistics. Reviews can also shed light on post-bootcamp life at a variety of stages: from the first job search right after graduation, to an alum’s outlook once they are settled in 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 as well. 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 equally balance 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, so something that was a big “pro” or “con” for you might not be viewed the same to someone else.

At SwitchUp, we’ve found that 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. As you write your review, include how the program prepared you before and after the bootcamp itself. Did the pre-work give you a useful introduction to coding? Did career services help you ace an interview with your dream company? The complete picture will show future bootcampers 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 show other students what’s possible. This perspective is especially helpful if you do not have a computer science background, since many bootcamp students come from different fields. 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 Dev Mountain, check out their 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 to Dev Mountain and help “pay-it-forward” to future students.

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Announcing Software QA Testing Course

posted by DevMtn Team on June 15th, 2017

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We’re excited to announce the newest addition to our course lineup: Software Quality Assurance Testing! This new program supports DevMountain students as they seek to open more doors to a successful career in tech.

Ever wonder why some products succeed and others fail? It doesn’t matter how innovative or creative the concept is, if the actual software is full of bugs or simply doesn’t work the way users expect it to, it’s going to fail. This is why tech companies are investing in Software Quality Assurance Testing positions. Wondering what a day in the life of a Software QA is like? Check out this blog post to read all about it.

Since our inception, DevMountain has remained relentless in our pursuit of tackling 21st century education, and job creation by providing our students with an affordable alternative to time consuming traditional degrees. We believe Software QA Testing is the next step in that pursuit.

Our first immersive cohort kicks off in Salt Lake City, UT on August 21st, 2017. As always, free housing is available for students. You can learn more about the new course by clicking here.

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A Day in the Life of a QA Engineer

posted by DevMtn Team on June 15th, 2017

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By AJ Larson

A day in the life of a Quality Assurance Engineer isn’t really all too different from that of the software developers. Every company you might work for has its own style. Some might have an independent quality assurance team, almost acting as external consultants to the development teams. Some might have only one or two people doing quality assurance in the whole company. The best have quality assurance personnel embedded with each and every development team.

Scrum Meetings

In my company, we are getting more agile. Like most iterative firms, we get together every morning for scrum meeting, aka stand-up, aka anything you want to call the morning meeting. This is the forum for everyone to report on what they have been doing, what the plan is for the day, and if we have run into any problems. Likewise, if anyone else has questions about any of the work, this is a great place to bring them up! If any discussions looks to take more than a minute or two, we’ll save them for later so everyone can finish their status report and move on to get back to building stuff.

Teamwork

The rest of the day could can depending on where we are in the sprint. Working with the Business Analyst, I can clarify the requirements and acceptance criteria for each story or task the developers have to work on. Developers are excellent resources to make sure that I understand how we’re hitting the mark. These discussions can clear up any missed requirements or misunderstandings early on, saving lots of effort.

Testing Stuff

With my new understanding I’ll create or update test cases. We’re building out an automation framework, so odds are good the test will be manual first, and join the backlog waiting for transition into automation. Then, as you might guess, I spend my time running manual tests, or best of all, continuing to flesh out our automation and transition our manual tests (in priority order) into automated tests. Sometimes the tests will fail, and I’ll need to talk to the task’s developer about where the problem is, or if the failure is around something different, I’ll open a new issue to bring into our workload.

I’ll see where I am in regards to the goals I’ve set for quality improvement, whether they be increasing the percentage of tests I’ve automated, or reducing the number of bugs that escape my hands and reach the customer.

Other Stuff

Sprinkled throughout, I might have one-on-one meetings with my director, or with the other engineers who report to me. Sometimes, I’ll be more directly involved with a software pilot, and will have status calls with our customers to make sure that we’re on the same page and making them the best product we can.

Rewarding Work

I went to school to be a software developer before I found QA. I love QA and it’s nice to scratch the coding itch by writing test scripts.

I work with a bunch of like minded geeks, from a number of departments across the company. Come lunch time, we usually get together and relax our brains over food and a board game. There’s a surprising number of games you can get in under an hour, especially when you’re all at least somewhat technically minded.

Conclusion

There is nothing more fulfilling in my work than releasing a product into the wild and seeing it flourish. It’s a great field to be in. No matter what product you’re working on, you are making people’s lives better by reducing the problems they have to deal with in their day. Depending on the product, you could very well be saving lives by finding problems and preventing them from ever reaching production. It’s a great industry to be working in, and a challenging and enjoyable role to fill.

If this sounds like a career you’d enjoy, I would encourage you to check out DevMountain’s Software QA Testing course. It’s a great way to launch a career in this field!

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