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Everything you need to know about Northcoders

About Northcoders

What is it like being on a coding bootcamp with Northcoders?

A lot of fun! As you’d imagine of anything that is described as a ‘bootcamp’, it requires hard work, grit, determination and passion.

You will be taken out of your comfort zone on a daily basis, but by the end of it, you will be ready for a career as a software developer.

What type of students do you teach?

People like you. We have taught people who are mid-career and looking for a change, school leavers, recent graduates and also those looking to embark on a new career after having children.

Learning with such a diverse group of people is great for everyone. We all bring something unique to the mix.

Why choose the North?

Because it’s great here!

The affordability in comparison to London makes it the ideal place to study, live and work. It is a vibrant hive of creative, social and sporting activity not to mention the booming tech scene.

As reported by the FT, the Office of National Statistics and Tech City UK the region has recently seen the creation of nearly 300,000 digital jobs. Tech companies in the area are worth nearly £10bn to the value of UK economy.

Greater Manchester is the biggest single tech hub outside London. Many major digital businesses and organisations like the BBC, Sainsburys and Missguided are located in Manchester making it the perfect place to start your new tech career.

Can I come and visit?

Yes! If you want to meet the team or meet some current students, see the campus and get your questions answered, you can book a Meet & Greet here.

How do I get to Northcoders?

We’re based at Federation House in Manchester with easy access by train, tram, bus or car. Find out how you can find us here!

Coding

What is coding?

Coding is the process of creating software, VR, AI, websites, games and much more. The programs on your computer, apps on your phone, Facebook, and this website – they’re all made with code.

Computers don’t understand words, and in order to communicate with them, programming languages like JavaScript were created. These languages are made up of words and numbers and when arranged in order they form a set of instructions. Coding in these languages tells your computer what to do.

How do I know coding is for me?

In just a couple of weeks you can get through a lot of freeCodeCamp and gain a good sense of whether coding is right for you. You’re also welcome to come to a free Taster Session which will give you a great insight into what life as a developer will be like.

Do as much coding as possible. If you enjoy it for the sake of it, it’s probably for you!

Do I need to be able to code before applying to study on a bootcamp at Northcoders?

No!

We will help you get started once you've applied, so that you can make sure coding is for you.

Don’t forget – the main thing we’re looking for is a passion for getting into the tech industry, not pre-existing coding skills. If you feel you have that, you’re ready to apply to Northcoders.

Do I need to be good at maths?

No! To build websites and apps, thinking logically is far more important, and the maths you learn in school will see you through our course nicely.

Introduction to Programming

Who is Introduction to Programming for?

Introduction to Programming is for anyone who wants to get started with coding

This course is also perfect for you if you are interested in applying for The Developer Pathway, but want to make sure Northcoders is right for you first. If you decide to enrol on The Developer Pathway afterwards, you'll receive a £100 discount.

What happens during the course?

The course is delivered as a mixture of short tutor-led sessions and project-based workshops, which you'll complete both by yourself and in pairs. Our tutors will introduce new concepts, and then you'll have the chance to put it into practice and explore the ideas you've just covered.

Do I have to complete this course to enrol on The Developer Pathway?

No, absolutely not! We will guide applicants to the Developer Pathway through the basics, and help you get started. However, if you want to try out Northcoders before you apply, this is a great way to do so.

Why do you teach JavaScript?

Because it's fun, accessible for beginners, runs everywhere and is very in-demand with Northern employers! Find out more here.

Will I learn how to build a website?

No - this is a course about programming, rather than websites. The languages which build the structure of websites (HTML and CSS) aren't programming languages, and are easy to learn. Of course, if you are serious about building complex websites or becoming a web developer, you'll need to learn programming in-depth anyway, so this will lay the foundations.

Where is the course run?

It's run from our campus at Federation House in the heart of Manchester. Find out about how to reach us by train, tram, car or on foot here.

Is food provided?

Yes! We provide pizza and soft drinks, and always provide vegetarian and vegan options. Remember to tell us about your dietary requirements when you buy your ticket!

Do I need my own laptop?

Yes, you need to bring your own laptop along.

The Developer Pathway

What is The Developer Pathway?

The Developer Pathway is our Coding Bootcamp. Its unique training model ensures you graduate with the skills you need to find rewarding work as a software developer.

How is the course structured?

The Developer Pathway is divided into six 2-week blocks. Within each block you'll learn a fundamental aspect of development.

How long is the course?

You'll graduate when you are ready. For the vast majority of students, the course will last between 12 and 16 weeks. At the end of every stage, if you're ready and feel confident with your new skills, you'll move straight onto the next block. If you need more time to consolidate your skills, you can repeat the block.

To give you an idea, around 55-65% graduate in 12 weeks, around 20-30% graduate in 14 weeks, with 5-15% graduating in 16-18 weeks.

What time does the course run each day?

Our students start at 8:30am and finish at 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.

How can repeating a block help me?

You want to be sure that you progress at your natural pace. If you haven't fully grasped the contents of any block, you have the opportunity to iron out those wrinkles by having the luxury of extra time and tailored support - at no additional charge.

We will help you fill the gaps in your knowledge so that you don't have to worry about this on your own after you graduate.

Are your projects client-sponsored?

No - we trialled this, but we found that client-sponsored projects are simply not challenging enough. Our students achieved more when pushed to make creative, original apps with cutting edge technologies such as VR, AR, voice technology or Machine Learning. One of the things our Hiring Partners love about us is how good our graduates are at bringing in fresh technologies and new ideas! Check out some of our graduates' projects here.

What are the next available dates for The Developer Pathway?

The next available start date is November 12th 2018.

The following start date is November 26th 2018.

When do applications close for each start date?

Applications typically close 2 weeks prior, however if you are an absolute beginner, we recommend allowing at least 4 weeks.

What time does The Developer Pathway run each day?

It runs from Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 6.00pm each day.

Do I need my own laptop?

Yes. You’ll need to bring your own laptop for all of our courses. For The Developer Pathway, we recommend using either OSX running on an Apple Mac or the Ubuntu operating system running on a PC Laptop.

Will I get a certification?

No. We offer an alternative to certifications - we offer to teach you the skills employers want. We don't deny that courses such as Computer Science degrees teach important skills. If you want to gain highly detailed theoretical knowledge, our course isn't for you. If you want to become an effective Software Developer with a great understanding of workplace best practice, you're in the right place.

Is there an age limit?

We’ve taught students as old as 18 and as young as 47!

You need to be at least 18 years old on your chosen start date to enrol on The Developer Pathway.

Getting your first Software Developer role after The Developer Pathway

How will you help get me a job after I finish the course?

At the end of your bootcamp journey, Northcoders provide all of the support you need to land your first tech job. From helping you perfect your CV, interview training and tech test practices right through to introducing you to the all-important company that hires you. We tailor all our post-course support to each individual, because it’s extremely important to us that we match students with the employers who are most likely to value them and where they are most likely to feel fulfilled in their jobs.

Can you actually set up job interviews for me?

Yes. We have a large and growing network of Northern tech employers across Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and beyond. We have placed graduates as far south as London, and as far north as York. We work closely with their hiring teams to make sure they understand the value that you’ll bring to their companies. Then it’s up to you to shine (but we’ll help you prepare for that too).

How much can I expect to be paid?

On average, our graduates earn between £25,000-£30,000.

Our latest statistics are here!

What if I want to code in another programming language?

Great! Our course is designed to give you transferable skills. Around half of our graduates go on to code in other languages like C#, Java, Python, C++ and Ruby in their first Software Development role.

Applying to The Developer Pathway

How do I apply?

We ask each prospective student to fill out our online application form which gives us an idea of your present skill level. In this application we are looking for you to provide us with as much information as possible about your experience and your motivation to enrol on our course.

You can apply for The Developer Pathway here.

What happens after I apply?

We’ll send you learning material which will help you prepare for our Entry Challenge.

Once we're sure you have the aptitude to succeed and been offered a place on The Developer Pathway, you’ll be supported every step of the way to complete the 30-50 hours of precourse study materials in good time before the course begins. All offers of a place are subject to successful completion of this precourse material.

You have our full support from the moment you apply and we’ll give you a number of ways to ask for help if you get stuck.

Why is there a precourse?

Because you want to get the most out of the bootcamp! We ask you to teach yourself the basics - the easy bits - so that you start with an advantage. After all - you'd feel cheated if you turned up on Day 1 and we were teaching you things you could have (or actually have!) already learned yourself!

How long does it take to prepare for the Entry Challenge?

A complete beginner could be ready for the Entry Challenge with 10-15 hours of diligent study. If you have already made a start with an online introductory course like Codecademy's JavaScript Basics or freeCodeCamp's JavaScript Basics, you could be ready for the Entry Challenge within a few hours.

Find out why entry standards for Coding Bootcamps matter here

How long does it take to do the precourse once I’ve passed the Entry Challenge?

We recommend that you allocate 50 hours of your time to complete the precourse. This is the reason why our application deadline is some weeks before the course starts.

Paying for The Developer Pathway

What are the fees?

Fees for The Developer Pathway and career support services after graduation are £6,000.

When are bootcamp fees payable?

Upon being offered a place, a £600 non-refundable deposit is payable to secure your place. The balance of £5,400 is payable within 2 weeks of paying the deposit (unless there are fewer than 4 weeks until the bootcamp starts, in which case the fees are payable in full).

Do you offer finance?

Yes! You can find out more here.

When can I apply for finance?

Once you are offered a place on the course, we'll help you apply for finance. You don't need to apply for finance before you're offered a place.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes. We offer two types of scholarship: our #WomenInTech Scholarship and our Community Scholarship. Northcoders have offered fully-funded scholarships since day one, and always will.

You can find out more about our scholarships here.

The Northcoders Apprenticeship

How does it work?

The Northcoders Apprenticeship offers you an opportunity to get paid to become a Software Developer.

The apprenticeship is 14 months long. After a 3-week induction with your employer, you'll spend 3 months on Northcoders' Developer Pathway. You'll be paid from Day 1 throughout your apprenticeship, even when you're on The Developer Pathway.

On successful completion, you will receive a City and Guilds level 4 Software Developer qualification.

After graduating from Northcoders, you will continue to receive important training. This training will help you build a portfolio, gain further skills for your working life and get ready for your End Point Assessment for your qualification.

After 14 months, you'll take our End Point Assessment, and you should be ready to begin your life as a fully-fledged Software Developer!

How is this different to the paid course, The Developer Pathway?

The Northcoders Apprenticeship is different to The Developer Pathway in a number of ways.

1. You'll be paid a salary from Day 1 if you become an Apprentice - you'll essentially be paid to train with us.

2. The average starting salaries for those graduating from The Developer Pathway are significantly higher than for those joining us as a Northcoders Apprentice.

3. Spaces for Apprenticeships are far more limited and competitive than spaces for The Developer Pathway.

4. The application process is longer and more stringent for The Northcoders Apprenticeship.

5. If you become a Northcoders Apprentice, you won't have total control over where you work. Apprentices commit to stay with their employer for at least 14 months, whilst our Developer Pathway graduates are free to choose any opportunity that interests them.

6. You will continue to receive industry-led training from Northcoders for the duration of your apprenticeship, even after The Developer Pathway ends, to ensure you can really hit the ground running and be promoted quickly once your apprenticeship ends.

You can find out more about The Developer Pathway here.

Am I eligible?

If you are seeking employment in the North West of England, have achieved the required GCSEs (see below) and do not have a Degree, Foundation Degree or an HND in a related subject, you will be eligible to apply.

Is there an age limit?

No! This is a common misconception, but there's no age limit.

What are the minimum entry requirements?

You'll need to have achieved A*-C or 4-9 in your GCSE Maths and English, or equivalent. This is part of the governments' rules for apprenticeships.

What qualification will I receive?

You will receive a City and Guilds level 4 Software Developer qualification.

Will I be paid?

Yes! The amount will vary from employer to employer.

Do I need my own laptop?

Yes, you will need access to your own laptop. You will also need access to the internet in order to complete our challenges prior to your Coding Challenge.

What will my working hours be?

Whilst you're training on The Developer Pathway, you'll need to attend training from 8.30am - 6.00pm Monday-Friday. You may need to set aside extra time in the evenings and weekends.

When working with your employer, your hours will be set at their discretion but will usually be around 40 hours per week.

Can I choose which company I work for?

We will send your profile to relevant hiring partners, but it is up to you to accept or decline interviews or offers.

Applying to become an apprentice

What is the application process?

First, you will need to apply to Northcoders. We will usually assess your application within 48 hours.

If we progress your application, we will help you get started and send you all the materials you'll need to succeed at our Coding Challenge. Don't worry! It's not there to catch you out. We just want to see what you can learn in a short space of time, and to prove your commitment.

If we are satisfied that you are passionate about entering the industry, and if you have made sufficient progress, your profile will be shared with several potential employers and they will decide whom they want to interview.

What if I'm not chosen by an employer?

If you perform well during the application process and we feel that you would cope on the course, but are not made an offer, you can still enter The Developer Pathway through the traditional paid route, and we will help you find work after you graduate. 94% of our graduates find work as Software Developers.

What will Northcoders be looking for?

We will be looking for a strong learning trajectory and problem solving ability. We will also be looking at your communication skills and your passion for entering the industry. We will be asking ourselves: "Is this person somebody our Hiring Partners will be excited to meet?"

How do I apply?

Due to popularity, we have closed applications for our first intake. However, you can still apply for The Developer Pathway!

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