Code school is long since over, at least in the context of the fast paced months since this all started in May. I attended Portland Code School for the 2013 summer session which spanned June, July, and August. 12 weeks of intense study and collaboration guided by Chuck Vose, our instructor, and of course a great deal of self directed study too.
This was a personal gamble for me… To say it was anything less would be playing down how this has affected my life. When I discovered Portland Code School I was gainfully employed and had been for the better part of a year, but not in the place I wanted to be professionally and not facing the kind of opportunities I felt I could seize upon. I’d been restless for a while, looking for opportunities that ‘clicked’ when I read them: teaching English outside the US, moving back to Iceland, starting my own business, pursuing voice acting (still thinking about that one…), going back to college. Nothing felt immediately satisfying until I started reading about code schools. I first had read about Dev Bootcamp last year and up to that point programming seemed like something I couldn’t begin to approach without a CS degree, but this seemed manageable. An entry point.
I stowed that thought in my head and pushed on with work, a bootcamp didn’t seem like it was enough and programming was such a big field. Could I afford the price tag? But, the articles kept coming and code schools kept popping up in my periphery during late night web surfing sessions. Finally, I started to do more research in earnest. First, I searched in San Francisco for more bootcamps and stories of their effectiveness, but San Francisco was far away and the bootcamps there were expensive. Next, I searched closer to home and found Code Fellows in Seattle. After much consideration I applied to Code Fellows, it offered the right combination of price, time invested, and sales pitch. I did not make the final cut, however, but was encouraged to apply for the next session.
Enter Portland Code School.
I’d come across PCS in my searches before, but the website didn’t quite grab my attention and it slipped my mind rather quickly at first. I was surfing reddit, the portland subreddit specifically, and saw a post about a weekend bootcamp at PCS (This one!). I inquired and went ahead with scheduling a bootcamp, a much easier lower commitment way of checking these guys out. By then the website had changed (and its changed again, go figure) and things were starting to look more appealing.
I began to research chuck, checked out the testimonials, researched some of the prior students. So far, so good.