Holberton School is a San Francisco-based coding bootcamp offering a full stack software engineering program that’s designed to train you for a variety of tech careers. This makes Holberton School an ideal training ground for aspiring software engineers, web developers, machine learning engineers, data engineers, and UX designers.
To help you learn more about what the school has to offer, we give you an in-depth Holberton School review. Here, we’ll dive deep into the school’s software engineering curriculum, along with the tuition, payment options, and career services you can expect. By the end of it, you’ll know whether Holberton School is the right coding bootcamp for you.
|Cost of Tuition||$85,000|
|Financing Options||Upfront Payment, Income Share Agreement|
|Courses Offered||Full-Stack Software Engineering|
|Career Services and Job Assistance||Career Sprint Learning Module|
Holberton School only offers one program: a comprehensive 18-month full stack software engineering program. This program can be divided into two stages, both of which last nine months. These are the foundation stage and the specialization stage.
As the name implies, the foundation stage is where you build your foundational knowledge of programming. This is especially crucial to students who have no prior knowledge or experience in software engineering.
The specialization stage, meanwhile, is dedicated to furthering your knowledge in a particular area of software engineering. Holberton School’s software engineering program offers six specializations that you can choose from.
Below is a breakdown of the Holberton School curriculum.
To strengthen your foundations, you will be expected to work on a variety of hands-on projects. Among the most interesting ones are the projects where you get to build a video game and clone a marketplace.
After completing this sprint, you can then move on to one of the six specialization courses.
First up is the machine learning career track. This course helps software engineering students build on their knowledge of programming languages, data structures, and algorithms. This track focuses on studying computer vision, autonomous driving, and more.
In this career track, you will also spend time learning how to use various technologies, including Pandas, Numpy, and Tensorflow. By the end of the program, you will be prepared to take on jobs in AI engineering, data engineering, and machine learning engineering.
If you are interested in augmented reality and virtual reality, consider specializing in the AR/VR career track. In this track, you will learn how to code in C#, as well as how to use the Unity3D engineer, which is the most commonly used engine for AR/VR.
Once you have an understanding of both C# and Unity3D, you will begin building your portfolio with AR/VR projects. These include creating, designing, and programming your own interactive experiences using various technologies such as ARKit and Google VR.
The Full-Stack Web Development career track is ideal for those who aspire to become a full-stack web developer, front end web developer, or backend web developer.
As is the case for all the specialization courses, the full stack web development track combines theory and practice. Throughout the program, students try their hand at building static web pages, dynamic web applications, and a CRM dashboard from scratch.
In the low level and algorithms specialization, you will learn about advanced C programming, data structures and algorithms, and the Linux operating system. The curriculum also dives deep into Blockchain technology, a technological development that’s been garnering significant interest in the industry.
To learn more about Blockchain, this course builds your knowledge of cryptography, block mining, transactions, and CLI. To best understand blockchain, this curriculum includes a project in which you will build your own cryptocurrency.
You will also learn how various web frameworks function and how you can use them to their full potential. This path takes less time to complete than the others, adding only one additional trimester rather than three.
Holberton School prides itself on offering small, personal class sizes, although it comes with a price. The acceptance rate at Holberton School is roughly three percent, making it difficult for many students to secure a seat in the bootcamp. But, armed with the knowledge of the application and interview process, you may have a much better shot at getting accepted.
The Holberton School application process begins with filling out the online application found on the school’s website. This includes telling the school a bit about yourself, your goals, and which specialization you are interested in pursuing.
After the online application has been reviewed, you will be asked to complete a few small online projects and tests. This process takes roughly two hours to complete and is designed to test your skills and experience with programming and coding.
If you pass the initial tests, you will be assigned another test. This time, you are given two weeks to build a basic website. Assuming you pass this test, you will be contacted again to schedule an interview and a technical challenge, which can be conducted either remotely or onsite. Once you complete this stage, you will be informed if you are accepted or not.
You have to jump through hoops to make it to the interview phase of the application process, but once you make it, the interview is very straightforward. You will be asked several questions about yourself, why you want to attend Holberton School’s program, and how you discovered your passion for coding.
You will also be asked questions about the previous challenges completed during the admissions process. The interviewer will ask you technical questions to ensure there was no cheating involved during the challenges and to ensure that you can explain your process.
Holberton School offers a great program, but the tuition doesn’t come cheap. There are a couple of payment options available to help with financing your tuition.
If you can afford an upfront payment, this method allows you to avoid recurring monthly payments. If this is a viable option, expect to pay $85,000 out of pocket upon registering for the program.
Holberton School also offers an ISA, which works on a “learn now, pay later” policy. Here’s how an ISA works: first, you will sign an agreement with the school to pay back a percentage of your future salary. Then, you get to complete your education without worrying about your tuition. Once you graduate and land a job that pays the minimum income threshold, your ISA payments begin and will continue until the tuition has been paid in full, with interest.
The ISA available at Holberton School begins post-graduation, once you have been hired and are being paid $40,000 per year or more. You will then begin paying 17 percent of your annual income to Holberton School for three and a half years.
Holberton School is unique because it offers an innovative and effective course curriculum. The course curriculum is completely project-based. This means that the program fosters a hands-on learning environment that encourages you to apply your knowledge and engage in collaborative work.
This bootcamp offers a fantastic software engineering program with many different specializations. The only catch is that it costs higher and lasts longer than the typical coding bootcamp program.
If what it offers appeals to you and you have the time and resources to avail of it, then enrolling in Holberton School can be an excellent choice for you.
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I will make this really simple. I attended the first-year curriculum with Holberton School which is 9 months long. Our 1st programming language is C for 1st semester then Python for 2nd semester. Surprisingly these two primary languages will be required for my job. Even though the curriculum prepares students for Full-stack software engineering, I am living proof that you can be hired as a System Software Engineer which requires much more hardware-level programming. I am grateful for the first semester which focused on Lower Level engineering, Data Structures, and Algorithms. One thing I did not mention to anyone until is that I had two days to prep for the interview onsite. I truly believe this curriculum is very good but to anyone interested, please have a base knowledge of operating systems and computers. With that said, I am super grateful to this program for changing my life. I specifically waited to write this review after getting the job offer and start working next Monday. Total almost 4 months of job searching.
September 20, 2019
Great work, definitively you learn to learn, all from scratch.
It’s no necessary that you knows about tech, here you will learn independent of your previous core.
January 11, 2020
Intense study, on projects where you can become a programr super advanced in little time,
where you can learn all by itself is the motto
February 9, 2020
April 5, 2020
Holberton has been an amazing, intense, and difficult experience. I’m learning a ton, though often times I feel like I’m not absorbing as much information as possible. The curriculum moves at a break-neck speed. If you’re not prepared to dedicate most of your time and energy then you’ll fall behind. Additional outside study and research is absolutely necessary to this program.
This can be both a good and bad thing. The intensity of the program creates strong bonds within and across the cohorts. Students genuinely want to help and support each other. It’s also great that within less than a year, I will have completely enhanced my skillset. Really pleased with my decision.
April 13, 2020
Holberton School has been the most challenging and rewarding curriculums I’ve taken. The peer to peer learning style and the challenges we face together has helped make learning a fun and flourishing experience. The best learning experience is when we have mandataroy days called peer learning days. If you ever fall behind on a topic or material, you can definitely look forward to peer learning day because, it helps everyone review the material we just learned and it also helps reinforce a better understanding of how things work. Holberton will sometimes have special events, these events have also helped me build more connections and get more insight of what is expected from a software engineer. I have 3 months left until I finish my first year, It is scary but also exciting to see what we have in just one year! Some people tend to apply for jobs right after their fist year, I plan to take the second year and specialize in either machine learning or low level programming, which hopes to build a strong foundation
May 10, 2020
I have learned a lot in such a short time.
June 9, 2020
Holberton School is not the easy way to learn to code but nowadays I think it is actually the best option. The most valuable there is that they are teaching you not just how to code but how to learn whatever you want. The hardest is not the curriculum or the projects you are working in, the hardest is actually yourself because you will have to face the failure every single day and the voice in your head telling you to give up is getting louder while you keep learning.
So, take the risk and the chance to challenge yourself with Holberton by your side!
July 11, 2020
Hi, I am currently a student who is about 7 months into the first year here.
I would highly recommend Holberton to anyone who wants a deeper dive into computer science. If you want to learn how to code, there are many options but where I think Holberton really shines is in the depth of the curriculum. Because you spend the first three months in C, you will be working very closely with the kernel and learning lower-level tasks such as memory management/assembly. You will be working in Linux machines from the very first day and be very proficient in Bash and Git. The final project for the first trimester involves using data structures such as linked lists to build a Unix shell from scratch.
In the second trimester, you learn Python and the Object-Oriented Programming. There is a heavier emphasis on algorithms and interview prep. We deep-dived into Big O/sorting algorithms and binary trees. I personally enjoyed this semester as we got to learn SQL and built an Airbnb clone from scratch.
Now I’m in the third trimester which is heavily focused on Dev Ops. The topics we are focusing on are server management with NGINX and Apache. We spend most of our time in SSH and learning about networking. We are also using Docker containers to debug and deploy applications.
Year two offers 4 specializations at the moment: Web Dev, Machine Learning, AR/VR and Blockchain.
If you are considering schools, I would recommend this program if you are looking for an education more akin to a Computer Science degree. If you are interested in the DevOps field, this is also a great option as it is one of the only schools that teaches this topic. If you are an independent person who is comfortable with asking questions and socializing, this is a good fit because you will be working with peers all day long. There is no instructor to keep you on your toes; that is up to you.
I would NOT recommend this program if you want to just learn web development or if you are on a time restraint. Because of the length of the program and the way it is structured, that topic is covered in Year 2 as the priority is on full-stack development in Foundations (Year 1).
At the end of the day, there is no lack of resources to learn how to code these days. It’s about how resourceful you can be. Yes, you can learn to code on your own, but personally speaking, I think you will learn much faster if you are surrounded by intelligent, motivated people every day. What I am happy to pay for is the community, mentors, and people with industry experience who can guide you on your journey. Holberton has given me that so far.
July 20, 2020
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