While learning to code is no walk in the park, bootcamps like those run by Craft Academy require no previous experience. You can now do 12 weeks of intense training 100 per cent remotely and online with the launch of Craft Academy NOMADS.
The Local spoke to two graduates of Craft Academy’s Full Stack Web Developer Bootcamp – which starts every eight weeks – about what it takes to become a professional coder. The bootcamp simulates working on a professional development team, with challenges gradually increasing in complexity.
‘I got a job within a week. It’s life-changing.’
Pedro Brás completed the bootcamp last year after reaching a “crossroads” in his career. “I have a background in graphic design and had no experience in coding – nor did anybody in my cohort,” says Pedro, originally from Portugal but now living in Stockholm.
“That’s the beauty of these courses; allowing you to get into an exciting and vibrant market without any prerequisites.”
Pedro, 30, began to consider coding after seeing an advert for another bootcamp on the Stockholm subway. He researched his options and was impressed with the “super-receptive” Craft Academy team and their fast onboarding process.
Photo: Pedro Brás (left) at his Craft Academy graduation
He started the bootcamp last June and says the experience has been “life-changing in all senses”.
He adds: “I first had to think about the financial investment with the course fee. But I knew if I did well, I’d have the money back in three months with a junior developer’s salary – and that’s exactly what happened. If you commit, work hard and want the change enough, the door is open.”
He now works for sustainability platform Worldfavor after hearing about the opportunity from a fellow bootcamp student. “I got the job very organically within a week,” Pedro says. “My entry test even looked like one of our bootcamp exercises – I have to take my hat off to Craft Academy.
“Not just the coding, but everything about the processes and the work in teams was top-notch. It’s like working in a professional environment, so when I started work I never felt like a fish out of water.”
‘You get the skill set to keep moving forward.’
When Kayla Woodbury moved from Berlin to Stockholm due to her husband’s work, she wanted a fresh challenge. Attracted to Craft Academy by the “focus on practicality rather than theory”, she began the Full Stack Web Developer Bootcamp in February this year.
Despite coronavirus forcing a mid-course switch to remote learning, 27-year-old Kayla recently graduated and is delighted with what she learned.
“My husband did a data science bootcamp in the US, so I knew bootcamps could be a time-efficient way of pivoting your career,” says Kayla, an American former environmental consultant. “In the beginning, there’s a bit of hand-holding and then it comes down to figuring things out yourself with the tools you’ve been given.”
Photos: Kayla Woodbury/Craft Academy
In one project, her team designed a web application combining a cocktail database with information from Systembolaget, Sweden’s state-run alcohol retailer.
“You could look up cocktail recipes and see ingredients at Systembolaget that match up,” she explains. “Lots of things are cool to do as a developer but we were told to always ask ‘will this add value for the user?’ You get into flow states, solving things with your team, and it’s really fun.”
Kayla, who is now applying for jobs in Stockholm, says the sudden switch to remote learning “went smoothly” with recordings of lectures already available even before the change.
“They handled it very well and still offered evening coaching hours,” she adds. The bootcamp is challenging but rewarding. “It feels like you’re drowning in information at a certain point,” she says. “But knowing you now have the skill set to keep moving forward is fantastic.”
A bootcamp in your own home
You no longer need to attend Craft Academy’s offices in Stockholm or Gothenburg, thanks to its remote learning offering. As the company has said on social media: “When others close down, we adapt and grow.”
It is now looking for students for a 12-week course starting in August. You should be within two hours of Stockholm’s time zone and will first need to do a part-time 4-week preparatory course from mid-July.
Sign up for the NOMADS course and you’ll get a remote work package including a laptop, monitor, headphones and a web camera. The bootcamp course hours remain the same, which means 60 hours or more per week including evening and weekend work.
Photo: Craft Academy
Basic computer skills are all you need to get in with entrants aged from their 20s or younger to their mid-50s.
“This is intensive training,” says Thomas Ochman, founder of Craft Academy. “We want people who are as enthusiastic about social skills and team collaboration as they are about the technical side.
“Even when you are working remotely, we will simulate a real working environment to take you from a complete beginner to a professional developer.”
This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Craft Academy.