E&W Bootcamp Blog

5 Reasons Code Platoon’s E&W Bootcamp Might Work For you

Do you want to switch careers into tech, but not sure if you can quit your job and learn to code at a full-time bootcamp? A part-time coding bootcamps might be a great option for you.

Code Platoon’s part-time, Evening and Weekend Bootcamp is 28 weeks in length with classes meeting remotely three nights per week and all day on Saturday. The Evening and Weekend program offers the option of flexible scheduling, which makes it an excellent choice for Veterans and military spouses that are disciplined learners with busy schedules.

Here are five reasons that the Code Platoon Evening and Weekend Program might be right for you.

1.  You don’t have to quit your job

One of the greatest prohibitors to attending a full-time, immersive bootcamp is having to give up your job to attend. For many people, this simply isn’t a viable option – whether they’re taking care of their families or can’t afford to give up a steady income for an extended period of time. Choosing a part-time program allows you to uphold your responsibilities while learning to code.

2. You can attend from anywhere in the world

Code Platoon’s Evening and Weekend program is offered 100% remotely, giving you the freedom to join the program from the comfort of your own home or military base. The program features the same curriculum as our immersive Full-time program — expert instruction, Beyond Tech career preparation, pair programming, and group projects.

3.  There’s a structured learning environment

Many people who attempt to teach themselves coding give up or taper off after just a few weeks. If you learn best in a structured learning environment, but there are no classes near you, an online coding Bootcamp is a great solution. You’ll be able to participate in a live, virtual classroom led by our instructors. The program also includes virtual pair programming and projects wth other course participants.

4.  A program designed for the military community

Code Platoon specializes in training Veterans and military spouses; we don’t train anyone else. You’ll be learning in an environment where you can be comfortable, surrounded by people with shared military experiences and personal objectives. Based on eligibility, Evening and Weekend students may qualify to use VET TEC, VRRAP or VR&E benefits to fund their attendance. Code Platoon also offers a wide range of scholarships to attend the program.

5. Provides new career opportunities

Coding skills are valuable in today’s business environment, and a programming bootcamp can help you get the training you need. The Evening and Weekend program can be an excellent choice for those interested in a new career in software engineering or to add coding experience to their current career.

Code Platoon is consistently ranked among the Best Bootcamps in the country by Switchup.org and Course Report. Take the first step to a new career in tech – apply for the Evening and Weekend Program. The next Evening & Weekend Platoon is scheduled for October 3, 2022 – April 14, 2023. The application deadline is June 26, 2022.

Jim Hennessey is Code Platoon’s Director of Marketing. Jim brings a strong background in non-profit marketing and start-up enterprises to the mission of Code Platoon. Jim is a graduate of Clemson University and currently lives in Chicago. Follow Jim on LinkedIn.

A Path to Skillbridge

A Path to SkillBridge Opportunities

Imagine there is a great opportunity for Servicemembers, but they have to know about it themselves because no one in the military tells them about it until they are ready to end their service. Such is the case with SkillBridge. Transitioning  service members in their last 180 days of service and approval from the first O-4 field grade commander in their chain of command are eligible to participate in a DoD SkillBridge-authorized program.

Skillbridge programs are designed to prepare Servicemembers to transition into the civilian world by providing employable training and the skills necessary for meaningful employment.

But SkillBridge is a tricky animal for a few reasons. Here are a few tips to prepare you for the Skillbridge process.

The first challenge of the Skillbridge process is timing. As many have discovered, the problem is that by the time most military personnel learn about the opportunity, it is too late to participate. Many Skillbridge opportunities, like Code Platoon, require several months in advance to prepare. If they only find out about SkillBridge in their last 180 days, they will not have the time they need to successfully find and apply to a program.

So, here are the three most important steps for approaching SkillBridge. 

Step one – Learn about SkillBridge 

There are many different types of Skillbridge programs in different industries. Contact your base’s education center and find out about opportunities that best match your skill set. Then, start conversations with your chain of command and find out everything you can about the approval process (and, ideally, tell everyone you know about it).

Step two – Find a Program

Once you’ve learned the process from your education center, you must find a program that matches where you want to take your career after your military service. Once you’ve decided to embark on this path, then it’s time to narrow down what you want to do with it.

For those who wish to enter into the tech field, learning to write code should be high on the list of considerations for direction. Code Platoon is the only school of its type that exclusively serves the military and Veteran community, so it’s a natural fit for those choosing that path. 

Step three – Apply and Approval

Applying to any program takes time and mental energy. The Code Platoon application process is no exception.

To be accepted to Code Platoon, students must complete a series of coding challenges that demonstrate their willingness to, at least to a small degree, teach themselves enough to get started. Self-starters are who succeed not just in our program, but also in the coding world in general.

We recommend that the average student with some coding experience allow for a few weeks of preparation in order to do well on the application challenges. If you are a total beginner to coding, we suggest completing our free, self-paced Intro to Coding course before starting the challenges. This could add a few weeks to the process, but will definitely help in completing the challenges. 

Don’t forget to allow for command approval as part of your application process. Code Platoon can accept you, but your chain of command must approve your participation. Code Platoon does provide an Introductory Letter from Code Platoon and a template for command approval to help in the process.

Code Platoon runs three full-time cohorts per year, which means start-dates are typically in the January, May, and October time-frames. With cohorts lasting 15 weeks, the need for one of those date-ranges needing to fit in with a Servicemember’s last 180 days in service, the length of the application process and the preparation needed, realistically one needs to plan at least 9 months in advance to attend Code Platoon.

The software development world is growing rapidly. For those who can write code — people who learn the fundamentals of relevant coding languages like Javascript, Python, C++, and others — the opportunities in that world are extensive. 

Using SkillBridge to take advantage of a program like Code Platoon is an amazing chance to launch your career in this field with hands-on, viable, and employable skills before you even leave the military. You are set up for success while still being an active duty Soldier, Sailor, Airmen, or Marine. 

Reach out to your base education center and also to us for more details, as SkillBridge is not something you want to miss out on.

Greg Drobny is a former Airborne Infantryman, PSYOP Team Chief, political consultant, professional mil blogger, and is Code Platoon’s Student Outreach and Recruitment Manager. He holds a BA and MA in history, as well as a Masters of Science in organizational psychology. He is married with four children who keep him more than slightly busy and is passionate about helping Veterans find their paths in life and develop the skills needed to pursue their goals.

Code Talkers

Code Platoon Salutes Navajo Code Talkers

November is Native American Heritage Month. This month presents an opportunity to educate the public about the proud history of Indigenous people in America and celebrate the rich and diverse tribal cultures that continue to thrive throughout Indian Country. Code Platoon recognizes the significant contribution that Native Americans have made to our military.

Many in the software development world will tell you that understanding code from a language perspective is more helpful than approaching it as a scientific problem. 

For this reason, to learn the history of computer coding ]we need to  learn about the history of cryptography—encoding messages for the purpose of secret transmission, usually in times of war.  In that realm, we are woefully uninformed if we do not dig into one of the greatest cryptographic stories in the history of warfare: the Navajo Code Talkers of WWII, and the impact they had in beating the Axis powers. 

 Anyone who has taken part in military operations knows the value of secure transmissions. The ability to reliably communicate something to your fellow warfighters without the enemy knowing about it is a key element in the trifecta of successful combat maneuvering (i.e., shoot, move, and communicate).

 With the advent of technologically sophisticated cryptographic machinery like Enigma and SIGABA, and the knowledge that the Germans and Japanese were probably working on something similar, the race was on to figure out the most reliable means for the passing of information in a theater of war. Both the US and Great Britain saw the advantages of breaking the enemy’s codes, so preventing that from happening was a priority.

The US Marines, operating in the Pacific theater, had a different idea: rather than relying on technological innovation, they found a solution in an ancient culture, deeply rooted in America. In recruiting 29 men from the Navajo Nation, Marines had access to what became an unbroken code, one that would help them win major battles like the one on Iwo Jima.

 The Code Talkers  took key military phrases and tactics and assigned Navajo terms to them, thus creating a simple code for those who were fluent in the language. This had two advantages: first, Navajo was an unwritten language, so there was no source which the Japanese could consult in order to decipher this code; second, while encrypted messages could often take 30 minutes or more on a cryptography machine, Navajo Code Talkers could speak volumes to one another in mere seconds. 

 To claim that this had a positive impact on military operations for the US Marines would of course be a vast understatement. The use of an indecipherable language was the  communications equivalent of tying one of the enemy’s arms behind their backs. 

But the importance of the code talkers goes well beyond just understanding military tactics and how vital is the role of communications in those operations. For starters, it offers us the opportunity to celebrate the contributions of diverse people groups coming together to solve complicated problems for the purpose of serving the greater good. The United States and the Navajo people have not always enjoyed the most positive relationship, but these men still served in a time of need.

Secondly, this is a lesson in problem solving that those in the tech world would do well to remember. We often operate under the assumption that some new piece of tech or cutting edge process will be the answer to a complex problem. Sometimes, however, as was the case with the Navajo Code Talkers, the solution already exists in something more ancient.

Coding is a form of language, and the history of programming is incomplete without understanding its reliance on code, code writing, and the deciphering of that code by both machines and humans. So, we at Code Platoon would like to salute those who contributed to this incredible history in the most heroic of ways—when they had every reason not to.

 Greg Drobny is a former Airborne Infantryman, PSYOP Team Chief, political consultant, professional mil blogger, and is Code Platoon’s Student Outreach and Recruitment Manager. He holds a BA and MA in history, as well as a Masters of Science in organizational psychology. He is married with four children who keep him more than slightly busy and is passionate about helping Veterans find their paths in life and develop the skills needed to pursue their goals.

Serving Again Blog

Serving Again: Veterans in the Workforce

The longest war in American History ended this year. Take that in for a second. Think about how the weight of that fact alone should make Veterans’ Day hit a little bit differently this year for all Americans, but even more so for those like myself who served our country during wartime.

Watching the turmoil unfold this year in a freshly independent and abandoned Afghanistan echoes what I saw and felt at the end of my own time in the Iraq war. It’s times like these where it’s hard to ignore similar thoughts to what I’ve had in the past. Thoughts like “did the 15 months I spent working there mean anything if this is how these conflicts seem to end every time.”  Or other questions like “is it worth the trillions of dollars and thousands of lives spent on these efforts if we’re not leaving it unarguably better than we found it.”

Obviously, the consequences of these wars affect Veterans quite deeply. Being called to serve in times of conflict is what we spend most of our time in the military training or preparing for, where the stakes will never be higher. Every decision carries so much weight when a person’s daily workplace is a literal war zone, and the nature of the work is truly a matter of life or death.

For many Veterans, answering the call to serve in these wars will carry the strongest ‘sense of meaning from work’ we’ll feel in the span of our career or life. It matters when your country needs you and calls you to serve a higher purpose. Military service isn’t all life and death. However, most military jobs still involve responsibility for millions of dollars worth of equipment or organizing a group towards completing some larger, more important goal.

This is why I’m happy to see companies commit to and hire Veterans, helping to ‘remobilize’ America’s best, enabling a new sense of purpose in many Veterans that they may not have felt since they served. I don’t believe opportunities like that can carry a price tag.

For me, what started as just a way to pay for college, joining the Army National Guard at 17 years old, ended up being the motivation, self-discipline, and accountability I knew I was missing in my life. It took me places professionally and around the world that I likely never would have been able to get to on my own.

Although all National Guardsmen and women signed up with an agreement to be deployed overseas if necessary, after 9-11, the U.S. government changed the way they started applying the use of Reservists, or part-time Army units (usually serving one weekend per month and two weeks every Summer). Suddenly, the mission wasn’t just limited to filling sandbags to fight floods at home; but instead, we were being sent to fight an unclear enemy, miles from home, and at times, without the exact training and equipment necessary. These jobs don’t have an instruction manual, so we had to figure out a lot on the fly while trying not to get shot. We were fired on often, with mortar shells, small arms fire, a lot of rocket-propelled grenades, and it was difficult for me to see the casualties on both sides.

The hardest days of my life were during my military service, but it was also the most formative. No regrets. However, after I was deployed overseas once, for 15 months straight active duty, and having multiple brushes with death, I was pretty intent on never being in a position to get sent back for a ‘round two’. So, when my duty time was up, I was more than ready to start the next chapter of my life.

For Veterans first starting out, by comparison to military service, there is an overwhelming lack of structure in the civilian world that we have to orient ourselves to. In many ways, moving to ‘civilian work’ as a newly-minted war Veteran felt somehow as foreign as first landing in Iraq had felt. After a trial-and-error chain of jobs, it would be a difficult road before I would find similar meaning from work again.

I often see my Veteran experience bubbling to the surface, informing so much of what I do, especially in three main areas: dealing with stressful situations, meeting the demands of new training requirements, and leading initiatives or people. Though we don’t always share details of our Veteran identity at work, it’s through our work that we’re sharing the value on which that identity is built. Leadership is the piece there that I think is the most significant.

It goes without saying that strong leadership is paramount for an organization to grow and thrive, critically necessary to its success. True leaders have a sense that they are working for the people they lead and demonstrate that daily. One of the main things I took for granted while in uniform was that authentic leadership, by design, was woven so deeply inside the military culture. By comparison, within the civilian workforce, it’s a difficult thing to find remarkable examples of.

The American military is basically a leadership incubator, where the processes that fuel it have been tested and improved for almost 250 years. Who else has been in business that long? After they experience the world’s gold standard for leaders, Veterans’ standards and expectations for professional development and quality leadership become very hard to meet. Imagine how intensely micromanaged could feel to a Veteran, especially after the level of responsibility most have been trusted with during their time in service. As Veterans integrate with your business or team, it’s essential to understand that previously, they have built this intense literacy for leadership. They will now seek it out. Most bring their innate sense of leadership to their work, well beyond their time in uniform.

As a thought exercise, consider the potential if your company tore a page out of the military’s playbook and how teams could benefit from ‘meeting Veterans where they’re coming from’ when it comes to leadership. For example, and I know some trades do this, but what if corporate leaders all developed their subordinates to be able to fill in at a moment’s notice for their superiors’ duties, as is standard in the military? Imagine the level of trust, continuity, retention, and readiness teams could have as a result. Instead of things slowing down or pausing for a while when someone moves on, imagine how we could innovate, the momentum we’d have, and the results we could produce by applying the approach to leadership that Veterans bring. When a Veteran leaves the military and joins the workforce, don’t undervalue that ‘leadership awareness’ mindset that comes with them.

Another defining constant of the military or Veteran experience that we bring to the workplace is a focus on the importance of training. From the day we join the military to the day we leave, we constantly prepare to be the best for when it matters the most. Classes, exercises, simulations, checklists, assessment tests, review boards, measuring and improving to meet or exceed the standards. Without that, we risk just waiting to fail, and with life and liberty on the line, hope is not a method, and failure is not an option.

The Army had such an amazing structure behind its training model, and I leverage it when imparting any new skill to someone on the job. Since boot camp, the simple recipe of ‘Tasks, Conditions, and Standards’ has been drilled into at least Army Veterans. It’s a framework that enforces accountability, which can be hard to do, the larger an organization gets. However, this 3 part structure was applied to and worked for, everything from learning to fire a rifle to dressing battlefield wounds.

To break this down, ‘tasks’ are the individual actions you demonstrate, as the learner, to show you have ‘learned the thing.’ Meanwhile, the ‘conditions’ are simply the environmental factors or rules at play when completing the tasks, and best of all, ‘standards’ define what success means or are the extent to which tasks should be completed. Maybe it’s overkill for some of the more simple civilian training needs we have, but it’s worth explaining because many Veterans’ military service is spent 95% on training, and not a week goes by where I don’t need to learn from or train up someone on something new. It’s a simple guard rail that can add value to something we do every day.

One last major area where I believe Veterans’ experiences add more value in the civilian workforce is overcoming adversity and staying resilient to change. In part, it comes from situations where significant responsibility was a factor or from being tested with intense situations. Basically, in situations where there’s a lot on the line, and one is pushed to perform under pressure, there’s a lot of growth to come out of that and can be applied to deadlines, operational responses, or in areas of a business where there’s little to no room for failure.

For example, living and working for a year inside a war zone, with no ‘front line’ and an enemy that can come out of nowhere at any time, there’s a certain sense of resilience or perseverance you develop. For me, part of that is accepting the conditions of a situation where you don’t have control, which helps enable you to still function, maintain your sanity, and deliver results.

Even as I write this now, I had to stop and consider how weird the words “enemy fire” would sound to my corporate colleagues, and to what extent would I have to explain that? Would they be able to put together that means being shot at or bombed while you’re ‘working,’ just from the context alone? In Iraq, not a week would go by without someone trying to, or- almost killing us. That constant threat really just illustrates the distance between the battlefield and the post-military career field. Simply put, all that could possibly go wrong in a military workday really prepares Veterans to not ‘sweat the small stuff’ afterwards in our civilian careers.

Overall, I think every work culture both desires and benefits from having model citizens as members, and I can’t think of any other experience where I’ve been among the best of the best when it comes to the values I’ve laid out here, which are instilled by a Veterans’ military service. I’d say without hesitation that Veterans make the workplace a better place, and just like their service sometimes, the contribution goes unnoticed, and we’re fine with that. Veteran culture is a humble one because we were truly ‘just doing our jobs’ in uniform.

So, thanks for your respect for Servicemembers and their service, and to companies and managers, the value should be obvious of hiring Veterans whenever possible. Seek to understand and leverage your current Veteran-colleagues’ strengths to enhance your teams and organizations. And please remember that whatever capacity Veterans serve in after they’ve served, their sense of duty and commitment will always add value on levels that a paycheck alone simply can’t inspire.

Justin Savage is an Army National Guard Veteran and a 2020 graduate of Code Platoon’s Kilo Platoon. Justin is a Full-stack Software Engineer at JP Morgan Chase.

The post SERVING AGAIN: VETERANS IN THE WORKPLACE originally appeared on Veterans Day, November 11, 2021, on LinkedIn. Code Platoon thanks Justin Savage for permission to repost this blog.

How to Apply

How to apply to Code Platoon

You’ve done your research. You’ve looked at the options. You’ve decided you want to attend Code Platoon’s Full-stack Software Engineering Bootcamp. Now what? It’s time to apply for the program.

While the Code Platoon application process is pretty straightforward, there are a few things to know before you start .

The most important thing is that the Code Platoon application includes two parts. Based on your level of coding experience, the application might take as little as a couple of hours or as much as 20 hours, plus time to prepare for the coding challenges (more below). Plan to complete the entire application before the application deadline for the program cohort you want to attend.

Part one of the application asks for your background, military service, and interest in attending Code Platoon. Plan 30 minutes for this part of the application. 

When completing part one, provide as much detail as possible, but pay particular attention to the following questions:

  • Write a short bio – Tell us about yourself and why you are interested in a career in software engineering. Feel free to share your military experience and how you will build on that during your time at Code Platoon and in your new career.
  • Which cohort do you want to attend? – This is very important. There are two types of cohorts for our Full-stack software engineering program – Full-time Immersive and Evening & Weekends. Full-time Immersive students attend Code Platoon for 15 weeks, Monday through Friday, from 8am to 5pm central time. Evening & Weekend students attend the program three nights a week and all day on Saturday for 28 weeks. The Evening & Weekend program is often referred to as “Part-time.”
  • How do you want to attend? – If you plan on joining our Full-time Immersive program, you have two attendance options – In-person or Remote.  Attending in-person is the best option for Veterans and military spouses who live in the Chicago area or would like to relocate to Chicago. In-person students attend the program in our Chicago classroom and typically compete for apprenticeships with top Chicago-area employers. Students may also access our program remotely. Remote students participate alongside our in-person students; they receive the same live lectures, classroom discussions, assignments, and team projects. 
  • Scholarships – Scholarships are available for Veterans, military spouses, and active duty Servicemembers. Make sure you check out the available scholarships and mark any that interest you. We have a wide array of scholarships including affinity scholarships for Women in Tech, Black and Hispanic, Transgender Veterans and military spouses – just to name a few..

When you’ve completed part one of the application, you will be directed to part two. Part two includes coding challenges, short essays, and videos. This part of the application will help us determine and measure your programming ability and interest.

If you are a total beginner to coding we suggest that you complete our free, self-paced, Intro to Coding course before starting part two. Intro to Coding will teach you two things – Javascript fundamentals, including Javascript syntax, and problem-solving. These two skills are paramount to becoming a software engineer and being accepted into Code Platoon.

You may be asking, “Why should I learn how to code so that I can go to Code Platoon to learn to code?” This advance work shows grit and a deep interest in coding. Successful students regularly spend time on coding basics before applying, solidifying their interest and commitment to this new career.

Beginners should allow 40-80 hours of preparation before starting part two. 

What happens when I complete my application?

Space in each of our cohorts is limited. This allows us to create the ideal student/instructor ratio to ensure the best learning environment for students. You are competing with many other applicants? An application that includes all the information requested and the highest scores from the coding challenges will be accepted into the cohort.

Our admissions team, including instructors, reviews complete applications. We use a rolling admissions process and usually respond to applicants within a couple of weeks (sometimes longer in the month before an application deadline). You can  reach out to our Student Outreach and Recruitment Manager if you have questions while completing your application or waiting for your results. Good luck! 

Jim Hennessey is Code Platoon’s Director of Marketing. Jim brings a strong background in non-profit marketing and start-up enterprises to the mission of Code Platoon. Jim is a graduate of Clemson University and currently lives in Chicago. Follow Jim on LinkedIn.

10 Dos and Donts

Ten Do’s and Don’ts for Living and Learning during Coding Bootcamp

 

Code Platoon began its 16th full-time Software Engineering Bootcamp for Veterans, military spouses, and transitioning Service members two weeks ago. The start of Papa Platoon made us think about some of the “Do’s and Don’ts” for students attending their first coding Bootcamp. The list of do’s and don’ts falls into two categories – living and learning. Check them out.

Living Do’s and Don’ts

  • Don’t spend all your school days and weekends studying. You’ll burn out too quickly. Yes, Code platoon is intense, but make sure to take time off from coding each week. This will help you be more productive and thoughtful while you learn.
  • Do take time for breaks and drink LOTS of water. It can be tough when you’re in the middle of a breakthrough or just want to squash one more bug, but take regular breaks and keep yourself hydrated. Sometimes, you can think more clearly after walking away from a problem for just 5 or 10 minutes.
  • Do exercise. It’s great to have an outlet and keep yourself healthy. It’s easy to end up going to school early and leaving late, but don’t forget to take care of your health as that’s most important.
  • Do find a mentor — someone with experience in your field who is willing to share knowledge or look at your projects and offer constructive feedback. (Code Platoon offers professional mentors who are also Veterans or military spouses to help prepare our students for careers and apprenticeships).
  • Do lean on your peers in your cohort. These people are here for the same reasons as you, and they share a desire to learn and become professional software engineers.

Learning Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do read the error messages you get and try to understand them. If you don’t know, then Google what the error message means. You’ll inevitably see the same error message in the future, and if you know what it means, you’ll be able to solve it faster the next time.
  • Do break down each problem into smaller problems.
  • Don’t copy and paste code without trying to understand what the code is actually doing.
  • Don’t feel like you have to memorize every method or every way to do something. Google is your friend.
  • Don’t compare yourself to your peers. Everyone comes in with a different level of knowledge, and everyone learns at different tempos. If you work hard and keep pushing forward, you will eventually get it.

As a Code Platoon student, you will be challenged and rigorously trained in our immersive full-stack software engineering Bootcamps. Professional software engineers teach each class. The curriculum features lectures, pair programming, and independent study. Students get hands-on experience working with today’s web development tools, from programming languages to industry best practices. Code Platoon provides a solid foundation to launch a software engineering career.

Jim Hennessey is Code Platoon’s Director of Marketing. Jim brings a strong background in non-profit marketing and start-up enterprises to the mission of Code Platoon. Jim is a graduate of Clemson University and lives in Chicago. Follow Jim on LinkedIn.

Bravo E&W Final Presentations

Bravo Evening & Weekend Platoon Final Projects

We’re showcasing the final group projects from the recently graduated Bravo Evening and Weekend Platoon. During each Code Platoon Full-stack Software Engineering Bootcamp, our students form teams to create capstone projects that showcase the coding, development, and teamwork skills learned in the program. 

Bravo Evening and Weekend Platoon had 12 students participating in the 28-week program. Evening and Weekend students participate in the program three evenings a week and all day on Saturday. Many of the Evening and Weekend Program students have full-time jobs or other regular commitments that don’t allow them to participate in the full-time program.

Three projects were presented as part of the October 16, 2021, virtual graduation.

Tetris Lite is an updated version of the classic game built by three Army Veterans and a Navy Veteran. The game includes an authentication system, point currency, and award system. The team also added game upgrades that can slow the game or allow you to see ahead, along with user profiles and scoreboards.

Trivia Platoon is a trivia challenge built by two Marine Veterans, an Air Force Veteran, and an Army National Guard Veteran. The game allows users to play solo or against multiple players and features a lobby chat room for “trivia trash talk” among users. The team used React, Javascript, HTML,  and Tailwinds CSS on the Front End. Django, Python, was used on the backend.

Appreciation Notes is an app that allows users to express appreciation for friends, family, coworkers. A team that included a Navy spouse, two Marine Veterans, and an Army Veteran built the app. The app features sentiment analysis, message prompts, and gamification. The team used GitHub Projects for Code Reviews and Automated Testing.

Check out all three videos below.

 

Outcomes 2021 Blog

Code Platoon Graduate Outcomes 2021

Since Code Platoon launched in 2016, our mission has been to prepare Veterans, military spouses, and active duty Servicemembers to become professional software engineers and developers. Over our first five years, we have graduated more than 200 students into new careers in software engineering.

A key component of our mission is to ensure the successful transition of our students from military life to the professional business world. To accomplish this, we must teach students how to develop software and prepare them for the corporate world. We train our students on more than just the necessary programming skills. We also emphasize the soft career skills and networking needed to get into the right jobs. Here are our results so far:

Code Platoon Outcomes 2021

  • Ninety-two (92) Veterans and military spouses graduated in the last two years (6 cohorts).
  • Seventy-four of those graduates (80%) found jobs in software development within six months.
  • The median starting salary of those graduates was $72,000. After 24 months, the median salary of our graduates is $96,000.
  • Of the remaining 18 graduates, two went to work outside of software development, four looked for work but did not find it within six months, five graduated but did not actively look for full-time jobs, and seven did not respond to our survey.
  • Our graduates are more than simply employed; they have demonstrated great earning potential as well.

Graduate Outcomes 2021We attribute the excellent success rates of our graduates to several factors. First of all, our students come hungry to learn and are working long hours every day. Second of all, we have some great tech community partners who help our students with job placement. And, of course, there is the program itself.

We provide excellent technical training in software development.

First and foremost, we teach programming skills. Our Full-Stack Software Engineering curriculum focuses on two of the most in-demand languages Python and Javascript, and robust frameworks like React and Django. 

A typical day in the classroom features two hours of lecture and instruction, workshops by industry professionals, and dedicated time for programming challenges. Students participate in regular pair programming exercises and complete both individual and group projects.

We also know that while technical skills are fundamental to getting a good job, they are not enough to succeed. That is why our curriculum also includes soft skills training, resume preparation, LinkedIn skills, and interview preparation, including technical, whiteboard, and behavioral interviews.

Because we work with the military community, we tailor our interview prep to help our students tell their stories to civilian interviewers. We even help prepare our students for the complexities of post-military life. We have seminars on personal finance, workplace sensitivity and inclusion, and growth mindset.

We provide apprenticeship and networking opportunities to help our graduates get their first software engineering job.

Getting your first job in a new field like programming and development is hard. Paid apprenticeships are available in Chicago. These apprenticeships are a bridge from our training program to a new career in software engineering for graduates of Code Platoon.

We’ve built a strong network that our students can tap into, providing opportunities to learn more about entering and working in the tech industry. Code Platoon students pair with industry mentors and professional software developers who volunteer as teaching assistants. By the end of our program, each of our students should have met at least ten experienced software developers.

Each part of the Code Platoon program and culture, combined with the grit and determination of our Veterans and spouses, leads to the success our students enjoy after graduation.

Rod Levy is the Founder and Executive Director of Code Platoon. He holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees in engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he graduated with honors. Rod has also completed Dev Bootcamp’s web developer program.

Intelligent Blog

Code Platoon’s Intro to Coding Ranked as Most Affordable Option for Beginners

Code Platoon provides an affordable education option for Veterans and military spouses interested in software engineering careers. There are many variables to consider when choosing a Software Engineering program, including time, cost, and type of study. That’s why we offer Full-time, Evening and Weekend, and Self-paced learning programs.

Our free online, self-paced Intro to Coding program was recognized recently by Intelligent, an independent education resource provider, as one of the Best Online Coding Bootcamps for 2021. The program was ranked as the most affordable option for beginner coders.

“We are honored to be recognized as one of the top choices for Intelligent’s Online Coding Bootcamps,” said Rod Levy, Code Platoon’s Founder and Executive Director. “While our target student base is those who have served in the military or are married into it, our Intro to Coding course is available to anyone, regardless of any affiliation with the military or not.”

Intro to Coding is an 11 session course that includes seven hours of on-demand videos and more than 120 coding challenges to kick-start someone’s coding learning. Participants of Intro to Coding will walk away with the fundamentals of JavaScript, an in-demand and well-paying coding language to learn. Many of the participants who complete Intro to Coding attend additional coding Bootcamp programs and pursue careers in software engineering.

In their ranking, Intelligent recommended Intro to Coding by saying,  “If you’re particularly busy, then it might be difficult to even keep up with the fixed schedule of a part-time coding Bootcamp. Code Platoon’s self-directed program allows you to complete your coursework whenever you find the time. With a cost of $0, it’s an excellent choice for aspiring coders who are concerned about their budget as well.

Amanda Michelle Gordon is Code Platoon’s Content Marketing Coordinator. She is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and a graduate of SUNY New Paltz for Journalism and Sociology. In her free time, Amanda enjoys reading, the outdoors, and turning coffee into copy. You can find Amanda on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Unqork and CP

Unqork Partners with Code Platoon To Hire Veterans

Code Platoon, the mission-driven, non-profit organization that turns Veterans and military spouses into professional software engineers is excited to share its recent partnership with Unqork. One of LinkedIn’s top startups of 2020, Unqork builds complex, mission-critical software. 

John Norton, a Veteran and a Sales Engineer at Unqork, shared more about the company’s goals of expanding and helping Veterans break into tech. John began working at Unqork in March 2020 and is a U.S. Army Veteran who served as a Radar Repairer for over four years. Upon separation from the Army, John was looking for a company that allowed him to apply the skills he learned during his time in service, while also providing room for career growth. He found Unqork.

As a part of his role at the company, John co-leads one of their Employee Resource Strategy Groups (ERSG): John co-leads Unqork Veterans, a group dedicated to Veterans. Through these groups, the company’s foundation holds a strong dedication towards promoting diversity in the tech industry. 

“I haven’t worked with a lot of other companies that have put this much effort and consistent strategy into improving DEI metrics and really ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard at the company,” John said. “Unqork is making sure that we are really celebrating the diversity of background and thought. The result is awesome! We end up with better products, better ideas. We move faster and we are more agile,” John said.

Unqork specifically sees the value of hiring talent from the Veteran and military spouse community. 

“What you generally find with Veterans is when you hand them the right tools and tell them to get the job done, they will do it. There is immense value in having somebody that you absolutely know you can depend on. Somebody who knows that no matter what the circumstances, they are going to accomplish the mission. Veterans are great problem solvers, dedicated, able to overcome obstacles fairly easily and keep a level head under pressure,” said John, giving a special note on Code Platoon graduates in particular. The company acknowledges the benefits of having Veterans at their company. “Across the board, the candidates that have come from Code Platoon have set a high standard in terms of their motivation, dedication and the education they have received. Unqork sees Code Platoon as a great resource for finding top Veteran talent for their technology facing roles.”

Code Platoon is proud to be one of Unqork’s community partners participating in a multitrack onboarding process. In an effort to hire more individuals related to their ERSGs. To improve onboarding, the innovative company Unqork has created a mini bootcamp to help candidates, including our Code Platoon graduates, transition to Unqork. 

“With the forecast of consistent needs for our company to grow, we want to bring in folks that represent all walks of life and that includes Veterans,” John said. 

Code Platoon graduates and the other candidates go through a three-week program that familiarizes the new hires with the basics of the Unqork platform. After two weeks of training, each associate builds an individual project and works on a group project.

“I found myself truly prepared for the Unqork onboarding bootcamp as a graduate of Code Platoon,” said Jarrett Hosey, a U.S. Army Veteran and Code Platoon graduate who joined Unqork in February 2021. “Over these last 7 months as a full time employee at Unqork, I’ve felt very supported as a Veteran. We have all sorts of connection points among fellow Veterans including a dedicated Slack channel and book club.”

The Unqork collaboration has been an innovative approach to hiring and onboarding. 

“This process allows Unqork to tap into a qualified pool of military Veterans and train them up on the unique skills needed to be successful in a career at their company,” Rich Luby said. He is Code Platoon’s Career Service Lead. We are excited about our initial outcomes and we are looking forward to the next round of onboarding!” 

If your company is interested in partnering with Code Platoon to source top military talent contact Rich Luby at rich@codeplatoon.org. You can learn more about partnership options here.