MCOR Web Development Bootcamp Review

In late 2016 I found out about “Coding Bootcamps” and I after some research I found out Maricopa Corporate College. Their course was much cheaper than other “Bootcamps” and they seemed like a reputable company so I decided to attend their “Front-end Web Development Bootcamp”. There are quite a few “Bootcamps” out there, so I figured I would give you my review to help you decide which one is right for you.

A Little Bit About Me

My previous career path (automotive technician) required lots of manual labor and was already beginning to damage my body. I was already familiar with WordPress and running small “blog” websites so I figured a new career in the web development field would suit me well.

A few years before I decided to attend the MCOR Web Development Bootcamp I had learned a little bit of C, Ruby on Rails, and Objective-C. I understood the basics of programming which was a massive advantage going into the course.

Before You Attend the Course

There are a few things you should know before attending the MCOR Bootcamp which will make the learning process much easier.

1. You need to be very familiar with the operating system your computer runs. I have been using Apple computers for quite a while and would consider myself a “power” user. Understanding how to move files around and create a hierarchy of your files is very important. If you use Linux or Windows you need to understand how to manage files as well as installing and updating applications.

2. Know some programming basics before you attend the course. Spend a day or two just learning the basics of any given programming language. What is a variable? What is a function? What is a class? How do websites work on the client side and the server side? There are excellent free resources for learning this kind of stuff such as Codecademy. Understanding these basic concepts before hand will make the learning process much easier.

3. Understand that the course is fast paced. After all the MCOR Bootcamp is effectively everything you need to know about web development jammed into a very short period of time. Because of this having free time outside of class to learn more is a huge advantage. Get used to teaching yourself because the world of web development is always changing and there’s only so much that can be jammed into a 15-week course.

4. It’s much easier to learn a new skill if you’re genuinely interested in the skill you’re trying to learn. For example, I became interested in cars around the age 17 and every day I woke up wanted to learn more about them. Fast forwards a couple of years and I had the skills of a high-level automotive technician. In the case of web development, you need to be genuinely interested in it. Having a genuine passion for what you’re trying to learn will make you endlessly thirsty for more knowledge on the topic and will eventually transform you into an expert on the topic.

The HTML and CSS Part

The first part of the course covers HTML and CSS which are the basics of any website. Since HTML and CSS are pretty basic they’re pretty easy to learn. This part of course also covered the popular web framework known as “Bootstrap” which was created by Twitter.

Bootstrap is pretty easy to learn and the documentation for using Bootstrap is excellent. Using Bootstrap is the easiest way to make your website mobile friendly and making it look good as quickly as possible. Although this part of the course was a little long for me personally, I was really pleased with how thorough it was.

The Javascript Part

The second part of the course covers Javascript which is how you bring functionality to a website. Javascript is where the programming basics I talked about earlier come into play. Unlike HTML and CSS, Javascript is an actual programming language. I knew going in the Javascript learning curve was going to be very steep, but the instructors did a great job of showing us the basics.

The only thing I didn’t like about the Javascript part of the course is that we used a bunch of relatively unnecessary components such as Webpack and Babel. While these components are great to have experience with, it pushed the actual Javascript portion of the course further out.

Understanding the basics of programming really helped me understand what was going on when we’re writing code in the class. Our first project in class was building a simple Javascript calculator. Building a Javascript calculator is relatively easy and was a great way to get my feet wet.

Personally, I thought the Javascript part of the course was challenging, but it was pretty good. I know some of the other students were struggling with understanding the programming concepts used in our Javascript calculator. Again, learning some basic programming before the course will help you massively during the course.

The PHP Part

The third and final part of the course was PHP which is a server side programming language. This part of the course had never been taught before so we were the first students to get the PHP part.

Unfortunately, since we were the first students to be taught PHP is was pretty rough. We covered the material at an extremely fast pace which ultimately made nearly every student extremely overwhelmed. Although I did learn quite a bit of PHP I didn’t learn nearly as much as I could have if the pace was slower.

Although the PHP part of the course wasn’t that great, Maricopa Corporate College learned from that, so future PHP lessons will probably be much slower paced and easy to understand.

The Internship

Towards the end of the course, a few companies interviewed the students and each company hired one student as an intern. Not all students were hired as an intern, however, I was lucky enough to be one of the few who did. My internship lasted about 5 weeks and my job was to rebuilt the companies website which was powered by WordPress.

I am very thankful that Maricopa Corporate gathered those companies for interviews, and I now have professional web development experience which will help me get into the web development field professionally. I’ll have a more in depth article about my internship soon if you want to read more about that.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would say I am pretty happy with the MCOR Bootcamp. They were able to teach me the skills necessary to get into the web development field and they got me hired as an intern. As time goes on the MCOR curriculum will get better and better.

So if you’re reading this as someone who is interested in investing their hard earned money into the MCOR Bootcamp course, know that your experience will be even better than my already good experience. I strongly recommend learning the basics of programming before hand and make sure you’re truly passionate about becoming a web developer.