Frequently Asked Questions
What background (educational, professional etc...) do I need to have in order to apply to the Coding Fellowship?
There are no specific eligibility criteria in order to apply for the Coding Fellowship. We take applicants very much on a case by case basis. We don’t expect you to have a certain level of education or previous work experience in any specific field. That said it’s likely you will enjoy problem solving and figuring out how things work, be naturally curious and certainly have a real thirst to learn about how the web works and ambition to make coding a big part of your life and career.
Coding isn’t for everyone, it can be complicated, mind boggling and frustrating at times. Doing it in 12 weeks, to a level where you’ll be ready to enter the industry, adds a whole new level of difficulty. You’ll often feel out of your depth, so it will help you if that isn’t something that concerns you.
The many ‘eureka!’ moments make it all worthwhile!
Do I need any prior experience of coding to apply for the Fellowship - if so, to what level?
No previous experience of coding is required to apply for the Fellowship, we will set some pre-course prep work for you to complete before starting and also require you to attend a free intro workshop with us.
At the workshop you will get the chance to turn your hand to coding and make sure it’s for you. There is some recommended prep before that too – just to make sure you get the most from the session.
There’s a list of recommended reading and a number of external free resources we will link you to in preparation.
Of course, any previous experience you can bring will help you get to grips with the torrent of new concepts and terminology.
Is there any pre-course preparation I'm expected to do? If so, roughly how long would this take to complete?
There is a pre-course programme of work to complete beforehand, it’s a useful way to get all of the cohort to a similar level and make sure everyone is comfortable with at least some of the terminology and core concepts you’ll be using. Our pre-course work is a minimum of 40 hours worth of exercises and reading.
What is the time investment expected during course?
The core hours are 09:30 – 17:30, Monday to Friday. Outside of that it’s likely you will spend your evenings doing extra study, meeting with your mentor, attending a talk or hack night (of which there are many in Bristol & Bath) or working on projects. Typically you should expect to spend upwards of 50 hours per week learning to code during the 12 week programme.
Is there a high amount of collaboration with other students on pieces of work during the course, or do students work mostly on their own?
There’s lots of collaboration throughout the course, initially you will start by working individually and refining your workflows and working practices as a solo developer (although even in this period you’ll find yourselves working through problems together as a group and in pairs) – later in the programme you’ll begin working on projects in pairs and in the last few weeks as a larger team using Git to manage your work and workflows in a team environment (as you would in a real world development team).
Are there any plans to cover Ruby at present?
We teach PHP instead of Ruby for a number of reasons. PHP is a great base language to learn the fundamentals of programming, it’s widely used by digital businesses across the world, and probably more importantly for you, here in Bristol & Bath. The number of companies using Ruby is significantly less than those that use PHP both in the UK and internationally, so it’s a more in-demand skill set. That’s not to say that Ruby developers aren’t in demand too, just that proportionally PHP opens up more opportunities.
Is there a way to 'reserve' a place for a cohort now, or is it best to wait until after attending an introductory workshop first?
In order to ‘reserve’ a place we would require a non-refundable deposit from you. We would need to meet you first of course, and understand you would likely want to meet us too! If you would like to see where we are, meet some of the current cohort and have a coffee you’re more than welcome to pop down and visit us at our studio at the Paintworks in Bristol.
Just get in touch and we’ll arrange a convenient time to visit.
Is there a good tech community in Bristol?
The tech community in Bristol is incredible! We’re very lucky to be part of such a vibrant and welcoming digital hub. There is a wealth of regular meetups, talk nights, hack nights, conferences and digital festivals. We try to attend at least one event a week as the entire cohort, but many of our students will attend more in smaller groups or independently.
Attending these events is great for meeting the community and potential future employers, as well as for learning.
Is there currently a lot of demand for Junior Developers in/ around Bristol? How challenging would it be to land a full-time job after the course?
Bristol and Bath is the largest digital hub outside of London. We’re renowned for being a leader in the digital industries and have a huge number of tech, digital and creative businesses here – many of these need web and software developers regularly. It’s widely recognised that there’s a huge skills gap in tech and digital, this is only going to keep growing as the industry keeps expanding and education struggles to keep up with the requirements.