Grand Circus is a higher educational institution that offer coding bootcamps in both Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan. The total cost of bootcamp tuition at Grand Circus is $11,750. The full time bootcamps at Grand Circus last for a total of 14 weeks. The after hours bootcamp takes place 3 days a week and lasts for a total of 26 weeks. Grand Circus offers a variety of different coding bootcamp programs including full time bootcamps for Java, Front End Development, and C# .NET coding. As alumni, graduates receive access to a variety of alumni only seminars and receive 50% off any additional bootcamps.
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All in all, you’re able to learn a lot of basics if you have no prior coding experience but as well as you will be struggling a lot. The truth is without previous coding experience, there is no way you will be as close to a professional in Java in just a few months of training in any boot camp.
1. They provide a great learning environment in terms of learning how to work in a group(kinda), provide resources to help you understand, and a great place to make friends.
2. TA and Instructor have always had enough patience to repeatedly explain anything you don’t understand which is pretty amazing.
3. Super fast-paced learning process(Of course, it is a boot camp!), especially if you have no coding experience. But you will learn a lot of basics.
4. Provides Soft skill training and how to be more professional on a job(any job).
5. Free coffee, tea, and sometimes free food and desert!!!!
1. GC is a business based company, like most schools, its set up is to let students pass as long as you have a right attitude and pass their assessments with minimum requirements(the tests are not hard as long as you review what they taught in class). However, I am very disappointed with their graduate bar is setting up way too low. It may sounds they are just been nice, but it presents low-quality developers trained by them (it is a bad sign from the employers’ perspective).
2. Group-work really sucks! They put different technical level students in one group to work on one project. It is good for the ones don’t know what they are doing, but limited the ones who know what they are doing. Instead of putting all good ones together to potentially make an amazing project, somehow they prefer all at an average level.
3. Demo day!!! It sounded it is a day to be a pro, to be proud of yourself, and might the only day to get a job. I hate to break you that Demo day is more like a day for GC to advertising themselves to new students or potential future students. What you will notice in Demo day is that you spend most time explain your project to non-employers, and very rare that people get hired on that day. There were unusual cases though, but it is UNUSUAL.
4. Lastly, they don’t really provide a lot of resources to help you find a job. Be ready to be disappointed for that.
July 8, 2019
Grand Circus is a great choice for anyone looking to completely change careers like I did, or even to upskill in your current career. After plenty of research and attending some of their workshops and the Info Session, I decided to join the program. The instructors, TA’s and other staff are all very knowledgeable, friendly, and really interested in helping the students. Having no previous experience in coding or technology, this program was definitely not easy! There is a ton of information being covered in a short time in order to prepare you for a career in development, but if you put in the extra effort to understand the topics on your own time, you’ll be able to confidently build web applications by the end of the 12 weeks! The soft skills covered in the bootcamp are also extremely useful in preparing you for your future job, but again, you get out of it what you put in!
There are opportunities for scholarships and discounts that help with the cost of the bootcamp, along with mentorship opportunies, 1 on 1’s, and affinity groups to help you work through any bootcamp related or personal concerns.
Overall, this was a very rigorous course, but I woke up every morning excited to go to class – something that hadn’t happened for me in my previous career in a long time! I also became great friends with many of my classmates, built up a network of alumni and other techies, and about 6 weeks post bootcamp, landed a great job with an amazing company!
August 20, 2019
I will admit freely that I was skeptical of coding boot camps before attending Grand Circus. I did not believe their claims, that not only could you get a software development job after completing a boot camp but that job would be a good paying, career position. But after the small business I helped run shuttered its doors and I struggled to re-enter the professional world as an older worker, I was willing to consider all options, including boot camps. To that end I reached out to Grand Circus in order to get more information about their programs, and was invited to come down for a one-on-one chat with Ian, one of the school administrators. I expected an aggressive hard-sell of the school, but instead had a really enjoyable and frank discussion about if this was the right choice for me, what I could expect from the program, and truths about prospects after school. Ian did not sugar-coat the difficult road that lay ahead if I elected to apply for a boot camp, and did not promise me the moon. He did promise that if I put in the work, both with learning the course material and following through on the job search tasks, the school would work just as hard by my side to help me realize my goals. To this end he and Grand Circus did not disappoint.
As I stated the work was hard, and there was a lot of it. I took the after-hours C#.NET boot camp, and was working full-time during this process. Life was pretty difficult during this time, with long days and weekends dedicate to homework (and sometimes even longer nights). This made things challenging, but class was always super enjoyable — I had a great group of classmates and a highly-skilled and experienced instructor that together always made things super enjoyable and very informative. And thanks to Grand Circus I received a job offer right before graduation and am now employed as a back-end C# developer for a metro-Detroit base company, making a good salary and have a very promising road ahead of me.
All in all, in my case the cost of the boot camp pales in comparison to my current and future earnings potential. If you are thinking about attending a boot camp at Grand Circus, I definitely recommend reaching out to them to arrange a tour and to speak with a representative in person. And if you do decide to enroll, practice as much as you can. Fingers to keyboard is the best way to learn the material, and there are many free resources out there with which you can supplement your lessons, such as Hackerrank. You instructors and the school will have many more recommendations. Also, do not blow off the soft skill portions of the course! I at first thought this classes a distraction from learning the technology, but when it comes to actually finding a job after graduation the information they present there is invaluable.
In short, if you have some facility with computers, are genuinely interested in technology, and willing do some hard work for a few months, Grand Circus will change your life for the better.
September 11, 2019
If you’re thinking about joining a coding bootcamp, it’s important to be realistic about what this investment looks like for your time, wallet and career opportunities. No coding bootcamp is going to give you an easy path into tech. What Grand Circus will do, though, is provide significant support, education, insight and networking to make that career a real possibility. Some of the technical education shared in this program could be found online, but I knew that wasn’t going to be a path that effectively supported my transition into the industry. I had always coded as a hobby and fiddled with friends’ computers, but I had a real lack of understanding on how to go from where I was to where I wanted to be. I could take all the online lessons I wanted, explore every local meetup and try to do employer outreach and I still don’t think I would have found the same level of success that I did with the support of GC. I considered going with their after-hours bootcamp, and think it’s great that they have that option for people that can’t quit their job, but I wanted to get into tech as quickly as possible and I knew to do that I was really going to have to dedicate myself to the entire process.
Grand Circus puts their students first. Even staff members that aren’t in the classroom work to help students. They are always asking for feedback on how they can improve (maybe too much. We had a ton of required surveys to provide this feedback but I get it.) Everything builds up to a demo day. This is where students get to share what they’ve learned and built. There’s a decent amount of coaching going into demo day to understand how to present yourself to visiting employers, which was really helpful. I like that Grand Circus does both the technical education piece and also the job hunt recommendations. The package deal is really what sold me on the program.
Students have to take this seriously, though. Some of my classmates started to fall behind early on their labs, assessments quickly followed. Once you’re behind on the technical stuff, it becomes really hard to catch up or focus on the job hunt piece. I wouldn’t recommend anyone come in without any experience with coding. You should spend time experimenting with resources to get familiar. Talk to alumni about expectations. Attend workshops. I hadn’t been in school for nearly a decade, so it was a bit of a shock how fast everything flies at you.
Overall, I highly recommend Grand Circus. I went from a retail background to a career in tech within two months of graduating. It was some of the craziest months of my life, but I’m excited to be working in this industry now and consider my classmates friends to this day.
September 11, 2019
I had such a positive experience at Grand Circus last winter that I just had to write this review. First of all, great location in the heart of downtown Detroit. I loved the welcoming and modern setting. My Java Instructor, Antonella, was the best of the best!!! I can’t reiterate that enough. She truly cares about her students and strives to give everyone the tools they need to begin a career in tech. This is coming from a guy who was coming from the service industry. If you’re prepared to put in the work, there’s no doubt that you can change your path – and that starts with Grand Circus. A+
September 17, 2019
Taking part in the Front-End After Hours bootcamp was one of the best decisions I have made for my personal growth. I had wanted to do a bootcamp like this to develop my programming skillset for quite some time and Grand Circus offered exactly what I was looking for. The support and teaching staff are fantastic – your teachers are industry professionals sourced from various Detroit companies and your mentors are well trained in helping you grow. The in-class curriculum emphasizes learning how to think like a developer so that when you begin an entry level position (where you will regularly have to learn new languages and skills) you will have the confidence and wherewithal to do so! Outside of the classroom, the support staff (mentors and program managers) emphasize learning how to overcome limiting beliefs and how to develop a strong sense of self: a belief that you CAN enter a new industry in the middle of your career and do it well. The weekly meetings with mentors and the bi-weekly “soft skills” training were some of the most influential parts of the bootcamp. I left the bootcamp as a confident developer because of the incredible technical training I received and because of the soft skills I learned from the Grand Circus staff.
If you are looking at Grand Circus because you are interested in making a career change, GC will help you make that happen! But if you are like me and have an interest in the field (maybe you’re already at a technology company but don’t know how to code or you want to learn front-end after having learned back-end development) then Grand Circus is also the place for you! I knew that I would become a better developer by the end of this program but was unaware of how significantly I would improve my entire candidacy. I am truly thankful for how much I learned in Grand Circus’ holistic approach to education. Even if you have no interest in switching jobs, you will leave GC with an arsenal of useful and practical ways to improve your chances of success in navigating the job search process that will help you whenever you are ready to begin looking for a new job.
In summary, the educational environment is top-notch: the course is rigorous, the workload is demanding, the staff is capable, everyone is supportive, and the results are always tangible. It’s a great place to learn a lot in a short amount of time. As always, you get out of it what you put in, but this is a great place to be.
September 20, 2019
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