Student Reviews & Testimonials

At UCLA Extension Boot Camps, we take great pride in our students and admire the dedication they display throughout our programs and their many achievements after graduation.

Learning a new trade is an intensive journey, so we know that choosing the program or boot camp that will deliver your education is an important decision.

Explore how our programs can make a lasting impact in your life by reading the below student testimonials and reviews from The Coding and Cybersecurity Boot Camps.

Review: “Be ready to work. Don't quit and keep learning.”
David Schwartz
David Schwartz
  • Part-Time
  • 2019 Graduate
  • Course: Coding
  • Campus: Los Angeles
I debated whether to attend the UCLA Coding boot camp for two years before finally pulling the trigger and attending. As a UCLA alum with a B.A. in Psychology and a 14-year background as a web designer and WordPress Developer (non-coding), I figured that the boot camp would be a natural evolution of my skills and would give me a better understanding of development and the further ability to create more meaningful and useful applications.

Initially, I wanted to attend the 3-month full-time course, but when I decided to attend, there were no more spots open in the full-time program (class size is only 25 per class), and thus I was forced to take the 6 month part-time program. I was working full-time at a law firm and it was good fortune that I ended up in the part-time program instead. Between my work schedule of 40+ hours per week, class attendance of 10 hours per week, and a minimum study and homework time of 20-30 hours per week, I was exhausted and at my wits’ end (more about this later).

I had about 2 months before my cohort started and I decided to start trying to learn JavaScript on my own to get a head-start. Coincidentally, the book I read was “Headfirst With JavaScript” or something to that effect. I already had a background in HTML and CSS after having taken a Macromedia Dreamweaver class at Santa Monica College in 2004, completing the HTML/CSS course on Codecademy, and designing numerous websites in WordPress and HTML. I figured that I was ahead of the curve in that respect and since the MERN Stack (MongoDB, Mysql, Express, React, and Node.js), the fundamental of the bootcamp, was based on JavaScript, I figured getting a jump on it early would only help and would save some time down the road. It did!

I would highly recommend learning as much as you can beforehand rather than waiting on the class to start. You will also have pre-work to complete prior to commencing class. I would recommend paying your deposit as soon as possible to both secure your spot and to get the list of pre-work to complete so that you can get ahead early.

The course moves extremely fast and you must be highly motivated to stay close behind. I say this because you never quite feel caught up. Concepts are introduced quickly. You are then asked to do activities in those subjects in class, and then you are expected to master those concepts at home or on your own time, before the next class, while required to complete your homework and projects on time as well. In fact, I would recommend at least 4 hours of highly-focused studying every night/day, 7 days a week, with weekends dedicated to studying for most of the day. There is a reason why they call it a boot camp.

On the first day of the course, our instructor told us to expect a few things. he said, “Expect to fail and expect to fail often. This is how you will learn. This class is the hardest class offered through UCLA Extension. If you have an ego, it will be tested often but you will have to get used to failing often. To be a full-stack developer, your job is to solve problems and come up with solutions, and most times there will not be someone with you who will give you the answer. You will have to find it yourself. Part of the course is about teaching you how to learn, and thus you will become a master at ‘Google-Fu’, the art of Googling. As a developer, you will spend 90 percent of your time researching and 10 percent developing code. This can be frustrating for some and tedious for all but the better you are at mastering this skill, the better of a developer you will become.”

These words were so right. I did not matter how much of a background I had previously in web design. That perceived advantage lasted for about four weeks and then the playing ground evened out for everyone in the class. I went from confident to panic, about three times per week until about the twenty-third week of class. I expressed my feelings to the instructors and they explained that it was important to trust the process and do the best that I could, but keep pushing ahead.

Two things here. First, the instructors were world-class. They were extremely knowledgable, confident in their skills, able to convey difficult subjects easily, and after letting you struggle for a while, were able to provide solutions to complex problems (all of them had full-time jobs as developers during the day). One of my instructors was a former student of the same school a year prior and had recently landed a new job paying over 6 figures. That alone was motivation. Before the course, he had no prior experience as a coder. He was an English teacher!

Second, trusting the process was excellent advice. What seemed impossible or extremely confusing in the beginning became second-nature towards the end of the program. The structure of the course was optimized from past course experience and research, regarding current trends to make the learning process flow synergistically, with each subject building off skills learned in prior week’s subjects.

In addition, as I’m applying for jobs, the skills that we learned are the ones in the highest demand from both employers and recruiters. Along with the help from the career counselors who are tasked with helping you build your resume, offer critiques on your portfolio (that you build in class), assist with your LinkedIn profile, and provide additional critiques regarding your Github account, you quickly see that you attract job prospects even before you graduate the program.

I will say this: although you learn a ton of information, you are still only scratching the surface, and you must continue studying, practicing, and building projects after the course ends because you are still only a junior, junior developer at the completion of the program.

The class size of 25 is great because you have time to interact with both your T.A.s and instructor on a one-on-one basis, and after attempting to find solutions first, the chance for them to answer questions. I was in the Monday/Wednesday class. On Saturdays, we moved from a building in Westwood to a lecture hall on campus and combined our class with the Tuesday/Thursday class. This was cool because we had the opportunity to interact with 25 other people who were in the same predicament.

Over the course of the class, you end up networking and making some great connections and friendships with the people in both classes and especially the people in your chosen groups who work on class projects with you. You are required to complete three projects over the course of the class, and if you are creative or outgoing you can build something unique, interesting, or important using the technology you learn in the course. Some people solicited companies for ideas and received a subsequent letter of recommendation. They were fortunate in this regard and were able to build legitimate business applications for their portfolio. The hard part is doing your research, coordinating with your partners, and completing the projects within the two weeks you have available. In the end, you must present your project to both classes.

The projects give you a chance to understand development in a team/work setting using Agile standard development practices including using Git for version control. You also get a basic understanding of the pressure accompanied with completing a team project on a deadline and all of the stressors that go with it. I personally switched groups several times so that I had the experience and networking opportunity to meet and work with multiple people in my class. I was one of the only people who did this but it worked for me.

One thing that I really liked about the course that was different from my time at UCLA was the fact that we were not competing against each other. There was no grading curve and a portion of our grade was based on effort and proof of work, especially in a group setting. This created a feeling of motivation to work together and to help each other out, rather than working in solitude. We formed study groups outside of class. We were encouraged to find solutions to problems by asking other classmates questions on our Slack channels, and solving problems together without the instructor’s help. It helped foster a bond between everyone in the class and by the end, we all felt as though we knew each other and knew each other’s skillsets as well.

Throughout the second half of the course, we started practicing whiteboarding algorithms that were typically given during interviews at prominent tech companies. We had the chance to try and fail these at least once per week to emulate the environment of an interview. I personally tried to tackle three algorithms per week in class, and two on my own. I feel more confident as I was able to complete 85 percent of them in class (with some clues and hints from the instructors), and 15 percent were so hard I’m still researching the answer at the time of this review. What I realized is that in practicing algorithms, I had actually learned how to program code! I was slow at first but grew faster each week.

I’m no expert by any means but I can say that I have become a Full-Stack Developer. I know enough to build basic applications, and with time and a Chrome browser, I can build more complex full-stack applications. I know how to use HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, JQuery, Git, Restful APIs, Ajax. No SQL Databases like Firebase and MongoDB, Node.js, Express.js, React.js, Handlebars, Sequelize, and when looking at other programming languages, I am able to understand them at first glance, giving me the ability to learn new technologies faster and with confidence.

There is a lack of developers in the world today, I’m lucky to live in Los Angeles where there are a hiring surge and high demand for developers. There are so many options for employment in so many different fields. I find the field of software development extremely interesting, even more so after having completed the course. I feel like I have gained superpowers because I can now build applications to support any crazy idea I come up with. It takes a certain type of person to become a developer. You have to be motivated, detail-oriented, patient, stubborn with the attitude that you will perservere despite difficulty. Motivation will get you further than intelligence in this field.

Out of a class of 25, only 16 people graduated and completed the course. Of those, there were some extremely intelligent people who apparently lacked the motivation or ability to complete the course. I’m not sure, but the people who did finish all had the same motivation.

As a Bruin, I personally think I made a great decision to attend the UCLA Coding Boot Camp. There are literally hundreds of boot camps available to attend, but after doing research I found that UCLA offered the best curriculum in the least amount of time. The price was reasonable. The instructors and staff were top-notch and experts in the field, and the results speak for themself. Other boot camps were either expensive, explored too many stacks to be effective, were not convenient, did not carry the reputation of a school like UCLA, did not offer extensive career services, or wanted a piece of your salary for a specific amount of time once your were hired.

I highly recommend the UCLA Full-Stack Web Development Coding Boot Camp for aspiring developers. Be ready to work. Don’t quit and keep learning.

Review: “The Cybersecurity Boot Camp was so critical in my career transition.”
kyoung kang cybersecurity graduate headshot
Kyoung Kang
  • Part-Time
  • 2019 Graduate
  • Course: Cybersecurity
  • Campus: Los Angeles

Long story about my background in summary.  My former industry was shrinking and had an abundance of people and not enough jobs. Terrible spot to be in mid-career. I researched growing job industries and cybersecurity was at the top of the list.

Okay. Career transition time…ughh.  How did I do it?  I enrolled in the UCLA Extension Cybersecurity Boot Camp.  I knew the program had a successful implementation and I was ready to start.

I went into the program reviewing the suggested materials to look at prior to the course starting like basic networking and cybersecurity concepts. But the pre-requisite was simply this: are you motivated and ready? I was.

The Cybersecurity Boot Camp covered a broad range of technical skills in command line (Networking protocols), understanding of TCP/IP protocols, Linux, Metasploitable, vulnerability scanning, pen testing, SIEM (Splunk) and digital forensics (FTK, Autopsy).  I also learned critical concepts like the OSI model and CIA. These newly learned skills and concepts have given me a foundation for launching my career in cybersecurity.

The instructors get to know the students and suggest a path to take for certifications in the industry. Cybersecurity is so broad and there are many options when starting out. I decided to go for CompTIA Security+, a kind of gold standard certification for breaking in. Even before really studying and getting my nose in the books for this I was scoring fairly well just from what I learned in class. I was so surprised! The last hurdle of getting the passing score was up to me. Two months after the program ended I passed Security+ and also Splunk User.

The Cybersecurity Boot Camp was so critical in my career transition. I literally went into the boot camp not know what IP stood for! I’m not joking. The program hammered in critical cybersecurity concepts and taught me so many different tools that the industry uses. Not to say I was an expert level on any but my mind was trained for six months to learn how to use the tools.

It’s truly a boot camp where if you are ready and committed, you will be whipped into shape to pursue many different paths cybersecurity has to offer. And I could confidently and eloquently speak about cybersecurity in interviews. I’m proud to say I now work as a Cyber Security Analyst in the NASA Security Operations Center!

Review: “I had to work extremely hard, stay focused, and really push myself and stay very motivated, but it was worth it.”
Ben Grant
Ben Grant
  • Full-Time
  • 2018 Graduate
  • Course: Full Stack Flex
  • Campus: Los Angeles

I chose to attend the program because I wanted a new career immediately. I was dissatisfied with my old career and wanted a change in a new industry. I knew I needed a good education to be able to apply new skills directly to a new job, so I thought this program would work for me, and it did. I did exactly that, and it’s working out great so far.

Granted, it wasn’t easy, I had to work extremely hard, stay focused, and really push myself and stay very motivated, but it was worth it. I like my new job a lot. I like being in the tech industry, and I’m improving my skills every day. I know nothing is guaranteed, and there’s definitely a chance you won’t get the job you want after this program, but it worked for me, and I’m happy I did it.

Review: “This full stack web development boot camp is the best decision I had made for my career.”
Rutul Patel Coding Boot Camp Graduate
Rutul Patel
  • Part-Time
  • 2017 Graduate
  • Course: Full Stack Flex
  • Campus: Los Angeles

This full stack web development boot camp is the best decision I had made for my career. I was planning to attend grad school; but then choose this boot camp instead to learn a new technology. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in computer engineering, even though I didn’t know how to properly make a full stack application. This course taught me how to make a full stack web application using all the new technologies (MERN stack) and it enabled me to quickly grasp other relevant, important technologies like MEAN stack as they are one and the other. The instructor, tutors, and career support are phenomenal; they always respond to my pings/queries in less than an hour when I am not in class.

Instructor (Omar Patel) was extremely helpful and has a tendency to explain things in simple terms, terms that we can easily understand and are hard to forget. Tutors were also very helpful in teaching and solving queries. I mostly worked with Jonathan (tutor), he’s great and always tries to push me to learn other things. Career support is also helpful, they organized many career sessions where you can meet with potential employers.

I strongly recommend to take this course at UCLA Extension to anyone who wants to change their field to IT or who wants to improve their programming skills.

Review: “This course is not EASY! It requires time and dedication. But don't let this discourage you! ”
Juan Navarrete Coding Boot Camp Graduate
Juan Navarrete
  • Part-Time
  • 2017 Graduate
  • Course: Full Stack Flex
  • Campus: Los Angeles

This course is not EASY!!! It requires time and dedication. But don’t let this discourage you, the faculty team is supportive and knowledgeable. The instructor, Omar Patel, is amazing at presenting coding concepts and teacher’s assistants make themselves readily available for office hours.

This course is part-time, but you’ll have to study and work outside of class to grasp the concepts. It is recommended that you put in 20 hours/week, at times you’ll be frustrated and doubting your intelligence. It happens to most students. I had felt this way once or twice during this course, but I survived, and you too can do the same.

To do well in this course you’ll need the following:

1: Time Management: Allocate time to study the material, do not rely on being spoon fed the material.

2: Resilience: This is going to be difficult with a lot of material being thrown at you. Just remember your ultimate goal, and how this course is going to help you achieve this goal.

3. Open-mind: Learning to code is completely different and new, and requires a different mindset. When learning these skills, step in with an open mind and explore a new perspective of thinking.

Review: “This boot camp will definitely challenge you but reward you by introducing you to new things, people, and ideas.”
Tony Clayton Coding Boot Camp Graduate
Tony Clayton
  • Part-Time
  • 2017 Graduate
  • Course: Full Stack Flex
  • Campus: Los Angeles

TL;DR: Ignore boot camp stereotypes, focus on yourself and what you want.  The harder the struggle the better the payoff, if its too easy, step it up! This boot camp will definitely challenge you but reward you by introducing you to new things, people, and ideas.

If you’re here it means that you’re searching around for some way to better yourself and either improve on skills or learn new skills for a possible career. I was in the same boat about 9-10 months ago, searching for a place where I could learn something entirely new to help change my life around.

Fresh out of high school, I was accepted into Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s computer engineering program. I thought I would be able to keep up, but I soon had to drop out due to my grades and other difficulties. Shortly after, I spent four years getting a Bachelor’s Degree in IT and working customer service/help desk jobs, not being able to break into the industry doing what I wanted to do for the next few years. After changing direction and doing web design for six months, I appreciated the work I did with that and wanted to pursue that but only found out (at the time) in order to get into web design and development, you needed a Computer Science/Engineering degree.  I kept hearing this everywhere I went, so I did research and wanted to go back to school. But since I already had a Bachelor’s Degree, a lot of places were limited.

It was then I heard about coding boot camps, but of course there was a trail of negativity and stereotypes behind them.  I looked into SO many, but none of them really fit what I was trying to accomplish, or I couldn’t afford them, or I couldn’t attend full-time due to other obligations.  But there comes a time in your life when you need to drop all your excuses, forget everyone else’s opinions, and just go for it.

I spoke with Alex to address all of my concerns about boot camps, what I will be learning, possible career options, and much more.  Alex was very helpful and answered all of my questions patiently (I think we spoke for over an hour).  After talking with Alex, I was a little more at ease about the program but still somewhat skeptical. I needed to just jump in and do it.

What was great about this program was that it wasn’t a WYSIWYG: it was a dynamic, challenging, frustrating, tiring, fun, and emotional experience (for me at least).  I didn’t just learn “Full Stack Development” or just strictly JavaScript, I was taught how to learn, so that If I ever want to learn something outside of development, I have the ability to do so. Major props to the instructors, TA’s, staff, and peers who made that possible and who gave me the drive to succeed.

In conclusion, you’re going to find a lot of places and hear a lot of things.  The decision is yours, but I am highly recommending The Coding Boot Camp at UCLA Extension because of my experience and outcome.

Review: “I am so happy I chose to take this course!”
Nico Flicker Coding Boot Camp Graduate
Nico Flicker
  • Part-Time
  • 2017 Graduate
  • Course: Full Stack Flex
  • Campus: Los Angeles

I am so happy I took this course. I had always had an interest in coding and web design but was somewhat scared to take the leap into it. I remember starting the class nervous and worried — since my background was in marketing/writing. However, I was quickly met with challenges and a vast amount of support from the team at the coding boot camp.

One of the biggest challenges for me was breaking code and making mistakes. I was scared of mistakes but I quickly learned to be comfortable with making mistakes and ultimately learning so much in such a short amount of time because of my new comfort and the support of the TA’s and instructor. No matter how many mistakes I made, I was always met with encouragement and support.

This program is great for those who want to continue working full-time. I would say the six-month program is one of the few coding boot camps that you can do while continuing to work. The support of the both the instructor and the staff helped me transition from my marketing manager position at work into a junior web developer. I am so happy I chose to take this course, although it was challenging, I was able to have fun and actually looked forward to every class.

Review: “I highly recommend this course over many other boot camps as they have shown sincere caring for their students.”
Ceejay Varias Coding Boot Camp Graduate
Ceejay Varias
  • Part-Time
  • 2016 Graduate
  • Course: Full Stack Flex
  • Campus: Los Angeles

This course is extremely helpful in starting a career in software development by learning new material at a great pace and providing you with many resources.

The class curriculum is flexible and can change depending on student learning flow and the industry’s evolving job requirements. The initial class schedule is based off the needed logic/material to learn basic web programming. As the course moves forward, the teachers and career advisors become open to any suggestions or changes that will help you to better understand material at your pace and/or increase your likelihood of finding a job. I really liked how students were able to vote on learning certain topics in the class and were given many opportunities for reviewing the material.

The teachers were also always readily available to help. In class, they are open ears the majority of the time. They have a professional grasp of the material and are very open-minded to all the levels of student experience.  Although they have their own jobs outside of class, they do try their best to respond to their students’ messages/inquiries.

The homework and projects were engaging and ranged in difficulty. Students are typically given two different levels of homework, beginner or advanced. You have the freedom to choose one or both, which helped many students choose their own pace. As someone who has learned a different programming language before, the advanced homework was definitely doable for even the beginner programmer. It all depends on your learning pace and work ethic.

The career curriculum is just as helpful as the class material. The career advisors are constantly providing students with online resources, in-class sessions, and bringing in accomplished developers/businesses to provide insight. The career sessions taught the class how to write resumes, search for jobs, speak in interviews and everything in between. Gabrielle and Alex, the career advisors of our cohort, were always welcoming and never batted an eye to any of the students. They will take time out of their day to meet or speak on the phone about any comments, concerns or suggestions.

The best thing about the course was being able to balance it with a full-time job. There were times when my time was very limited, but the pace of the course really helped me keep up with the material. The course requires you to keep an open mind and to constantly keep working hard for what you want.

I highly recommend this course over many other boot camps as they have shown sincere caring for their students. Whether you never studied programming before or have been doing it your whole life, there is definitely something you can learn from this course. As long as you work for it, you are guaranteed to achieve your own success.

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