Frequently Asked Questions

We know that you must have lots of questions, it's all part of doing your due dilligence picking a code school. We understand that process. We've listed the most common questions our team receives. Get in touch if you have any other questions!

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About the School

What makes Origin Code Academy different from other coding boot camps?

At Origin Code Academy, we have restructured our course to operate on a new model of blended learning. Rather than the traditional classrooms with attendance checks, weekly tests, stressful deadlines, and long lectures, we are now running on a blended learning model that takes away the stress and allows you to learn to code at a pace that works for you. Our coursework is all online, so if you get sick and can’t come to class, you won’t be dropped from the course, though we strongly encourage students to physically attend class every single day. With the online format, our instructors know how much time you’re spending on the work and where you get stuck, so we can eliminate tests. If you need more time, you can stay another week or so to make sure you have properly learned all the content of the course. Finally, our lectures are available prerecorded so you can watch them whenever and wherever you want, and get more in-person contact with the instructors. Blended learning is more efficient and allows the student to control their learning more than the traditional route. Finally, our primary focus is to get you a job. Every part of what we’re teaching you is directly related to getting your first developer job, and making sure you succeed. We work harder than anyone to get you into the software industry.

Do you hire previous students to be teachers?

We require teachers to have a minimum of 3-5 years of professional experience before they can teach at Origin. We do encourage current and past students to solidify what they have learned in the classroom by teaching at our meet-ups.

Do you offer online classes?

We do not offer a 100% online option at the current time. Employers are looking for several soft skills with applicants. We want to ensure they feel comfortable that soft skills are being learned. We vouch for our hard working students with employers and they know they can trust us when we tell them the student has acquired soft skills as well as technical skills.

I read on (insert internet article here) that I can teach myself how to code for free, why should I go to a bootcamp?

You absolutely can teach yourself how to code.  You can go to meet ups, get a mentor and learn how to code for free. With any bootcamp, you are paying for the accelerated learning that comes from having an instructor teach you on a daily basis as well as holding you accountable as your mentor by ensuring that you are coding 10-12 hours a day. On average, it would take you between 12-18 months to learn how to code on your own, whereas our classes are only 12 or 24 weeks. We don’t want you to think that Origin is your only option, it’s becoming common knowledge that boot camps are one of the fastest ways to achieve your goal of entering into the software industry.

Do you guarantee jobs for all your graduates?

We offer amazing career services that help you to revise your resume, build a killer Linkedin profile, practice interviews with a professional HR hiring manager, and prepare you for coding tests and advice on contacting employers to land interviews. In some cases we can even schedule an interview for you. We strongly believe that if you follow our advice, you will get a job soon after finishing our course. But we cannot guarantee that you will do so. Ultimately, getting hired is dependent up you - so if you work hard and do well in the course and take our advice on the job hunt, you’ll be all set. But if you slack in class and aren’t proactive in your job search, your odds dwindle.

Can I get a job working from home after I finish the course?

Working from home is highly attractive prospect for many people, and there are many people in the industry who can work remotely. However, this is something that can be accomplished only after years of working and honing your coding skills full-time for company. It is possible for you to attract clients to work for, but without years’ of experience, you will likely not know how to do the work. Our advice is to take a full-time job as a software developer for a company and do that for at least a couple of years before thinking about venturing on your own.

Application Process

Do you accept everybody that applies to Origin Code Academy?

No. Currently, we accept on average only one out of every ten applications that we receive. Our criteria is largely based on your passion for software and your ability to prove that this is a career you’re passionate about pursuing.

What does the application process look like?

After applying through our website, we will schedule an in-person interview with you. Our advisory board will then review your resume along with other applicants and will inform you whether we have ‘accepted’, ‘not accepted at this time’, or ‘conditionally accepted’ your application. Occasionally, we see how serious you are about changing careers, but feel you did not do enough prior research or pre-work. In that case, we will ask you to complete a quantifiable amount of pre-work to be accepted into a class of your choice.

What is the typical background of an average student?

There isn’t one! We have had UFC fighters, insurance salesman, recent college graduates that can’t find work, veterans, designers, actuaries, and sales people go through our class. One thing our students have in common is that they are starting a second career. All that matters is that they show up ready to be "comfortable being uncomfortable”.

I want to take your class but I have a part time job, can I still take the class?

This has been the most popular request from our candidates over the past few years.  We have built out a blended learning model for everyone who can’t quit their job, but still wants to transition to the software industry.  It will obviously take you about twice as long, or 24 weeks, but we absolutely have a solution for all applicants that can only participate part time.  We just ask that you continue to dedicate your focus to the class and we will assist by holding you accountable in the process.

I heard that programmers make a lot of money, can you guarantee me a high salary straight out of bootcamp?

You shouldn’t take our class if your goal after the class is to make as much money as possible. While it is true that compensation for developers is very reasonable, it’s typically only true after several years of experience working in the software industry. Software development isn’t easy, and that’s why they are paid well. We prefer to accept graduates that are passionate about building software and understand that they are making a long term investment in themselves and their career despite the class lasting only 12 or 24 weeks.

My parents want to come check out the school with me, is that ok?

Absolutely! Feel free to ask your parents/spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend to sit in with you during the interview or when you come listen to one of our guest speakers. You are going to need their support emotionally to succeed in completing the class, so we encourage you to bring them in.

Can I talk to previous/current students?

Yes, you can find them on LinkedIn or at any of our meetup events. We all hang out quite often, check out Meetup.com and find the next Origin Code Academy’s meet ups or the San Diego Javascript meetup, show up to any of them to meet some Origin students.

Do I need a college degree to get accepted/find a job after class?

No and no. Employers have stopped focusing on college degrees and started focusing on the ability of the candidate to solve the problems that they are trying to solve. Come and listen to one of our guest speakers in the classroom as they answer questions that the students have about candidates  with college degrees. Click here to read an

I want to relocate to the Bay Area and get a job there after your course, is that possible?

If your goal is to work in the Bay area, you need to go to code school in the Bay Area. Our curriculum is specifically tailored toward the technologies that employers are hiring for in Southern California, and specifically San Diego. Our grads have gotten hired from LA down to San Diego. It’s possible to get a job anywhere after our course, but take your goal seriously, and if you want to work in a city as a developer, then that is the city you should be attending the best code school in when you start. Our advice is - if you are looking to work in a specific city, find a boot camp that tailors their curriculum to that specific city.

Financing

Do you offer scholarships?

We do not currently offer scholarships for Origin Code Academy.

Do you accept the GI Bill?

We do not currently accept the GI Bill. Military students are among the easiest to get placed due to their work ethic, plus there are a lot of military business owners in San Diego that only want to hire Vets.

I have bad credit, will I be able to get financed?

We partner with third party companies to ensure we have all our bases covered, so if you’d like recommendation based on your credit situation, we can give those. Contact us and we’ll assist you through the process on an individual basis.

What is your refund policy?

If at any point during the first two weeks of the class you decide that it's not for you, we will refund 100% of your money. After the first two weeks, we will only charge for the percentage of the class that has been completed.

Before the Class

How much do I need to know before the class starts if I have never coded before?

We care less about how much you know before the class and more about how much you care and how hard you work. Two-thirds of our classes are people with no tech background of any kind, however, all of them started doing online tutorials and going to meet-ups before they applied to check out what the software industry was all about. We encourage you to do the same, if we can see you are passionate about it and you can SHOW us, not tell us how passionate you are, that’s the best case scenario.

Do I have to be good at math to be good at coding?

For certain types of coding jobs, a lot of math can be required. To do well in the class, it isn’t a necessity to be a math whiz, but down the line in your career there are certain tasks where it would greatly help when you’re working on more complex projects.

During the Class

What is the format of the class?

We are huge proponents of blended learning. There are several studies that demonstrate how blended learning increases and improves student engagement; attendance; retention; and learning velocity, which leads to higher grades and improved test scores. We have seen all of these first hand in our Pod blended learning model.  The ideal classroom isn’t 100% in person or 100% online, and we have taken the benefits of both formats and incorporated the experience into Origin.  We have created an efficient program and environment to grow you toward your first job as a software developer.

Will I have access to the classroom 24/7 during the class?

Of course, but remember to get plenty of sleep and exercise so that your brain is operating at its peak. Every student has their own key and key card to get into the classroom whenever they would like to code.

Where can I park?

We communicate with local parking providers close to our class, for example in our Downtown San Diego class, our students park in a garage one block away, which costs $150/mo for 8:00am to 6:00pm, and $170 for 24hr access. As with any downtown area, parking is the worst. However, everything about downtown is ideal, including public transit. Many of our students in downtown San Diego take the Coaster or Trolley down to class.

What’s the average age of students in the class?

The average age of our students is 25-35 and range from 19-55. We choose to partner only with Equal Opportunity employers, so we haven’t had instances of companies hiring older or younger students faster or slower - the reality is that if you can get the job done, they will hire you.

After the Class

How much can I expect to make after the course?

According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a Junior JavaScript Developer in San Diego is $68,500/yr. We have had instances of students finding higher salaries, but we'd rather you not focus on salary for your first junior developer role and encourage you to focus on whether you’ll have a mentor to assist you the first 12-18 months in the real world. This is your career, so it’s best if you focus on learning your craft than going for what is definitely not easy money. Our students make anywhere from $12/hr to $110k/yr after graduation.

Can you guarantee that I will get a job after the course?

We cannot offer a firm guarantee that you will get a job after the course. With that said - the whole reason we started this school is to get people jobs. Our founder had a bad experience at another coding bootcamp where nobody got jobs after graduating and made it his mission to stay at 90%+ placement rate for students. We highly encourage you to talk to previous students to ask about their experience. There is not a code school in America that cares more about getting you hired than us. We will go door to door with your resume if we have to, the only thing that can go wrong is a lack of effort on the students part.. but you wouldn’t have read this far into the FAQ’s if that person was you, so really - you have nothing to worry about.

Do I have access to instruction after the course?

We are a big family here at Origin. While it’s not official training due to instructor resources, it’s very common for students to hang out at each others houses to study for jobs and run meet-ups for others interested in coding. Check out our meet-up schedule at Meetup.com, we’re probably having a meet-up this week or next run by our students. We love the community we are building - once you enter Origin, you'll have friends and mentors for life.
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