Code Platoon Review: Coding For Veterans And Their Spouses

June 6, 2021
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Code Platoon is a coding school based in Chicago that offers a software engineering program that teaches its students full-stack web development. The school also offers full-time in-person and online, and part-time in-person and online courses. Those who are still unsure if this is the career path they want to take can also go through their free, self-paced programs.

The school's program is listed as a VET TEC and GI BILL program. With this option, students can receive both a refund of their money and a home allowance. They also offer seven scholarships for veterans and their families, making this one of the best schools for vets to transition to a career as civilians in tech.

If you want to know more about Code Platoon, click on the button below:

Code Platoon is a non-profit coding school located in Chicago with the mission of helping veterans and military spouses find meaningful and fulfilling work when transitioning into the civilian workforce.

The school lowers economic studying barriers. Usually, coding bootcamps like App Academy, LEARN Academy or Coder Foundry cost $10,000 or more. However, Code Platoon’s group of partners and sponsors help make this an affordable learning option for them through scholarships and funding.

Veterans and military spouses have the discipline needed to become developers. But, even if they don’t identify as techies, they can still apply and succeed in this journey. It doesn’t require either a math background or a four-year degree.

Who Is It For?

Code Platoon helps veterans and military spouses located in Chicago transition into the civilian workforce. Even though it helps, students don’t need any prior coding experience, even if they need basic knowledge. Students don't need a math or science background either. To enroll in Code Platoon's program, however, you must have a DD-214 or a statement of service if you don’t have one and a Mac.

Students can enroll in the program in a full or part-time format, depending on their convenience, and they also have access to an online version of the program.

Features & Benefits

Here are a few of the most important features and benefits of Code Platoon:

Well-Aligned Incentives

Code Platoon offers 7 amazing scholarships for both veterans and their spouses. Some of these scholarships can cover up to $16,000, which is the school's full tuition fee. Their program is also listed as a VET TEC program, and you can also apply to GI Bill to receive a refund of your tuition fee.

High Earning Potential

On average, Code Platoon graduates earn around $65,000 six months after finishing the course and then $93,000 within two years. Additionally, 82% of their graduates can land a job within 180 days of graduating and report a $25,000 increase in salary after graduation.

In-Person Instruction

Code Platoon's n-person instruction creates an environment where students can concentrate better because there will be fewer distractions. This will grant them a better understanding and a higher chance of completing the course since they will also interact with instructors and peers.

Their classrooms also grant the opportunity to access more information since the student will be in the same place as their instructor and peers, making it easier to make themselves heard. This also makes it easier to make friends, problem-solve and build a network with people of different backgrounds.

Online Instruction

Code platoon's Live Remote instruction allows students to learn from the comfort of their homes or anywhere they would like to study. It also provides students who live far away, the chance to enroll without having to relocate, making the course available for a wider base of students. This type of learning also suits students with different learning methods, letting them learn more flexibly.

You can attend Live Remote classes in a full-time format, but some of the online courses that Code Platoon offers can fit around students' lives and activities, allowing them to be more relaxed than in a classroom environment. This type of option will allow working people to pursue a new career path without taking the risk of leaving their old jobs until they're ready to land a new role in software development.

This is a convenient and accessible option wherever you are, it’s ideal for parents, and it can be done at hours that fit your schedule.

Flexible Schedule

Code Platoon gives you control over your schedule, letting you choose between full and part-time formats and even offering a free self-paced option. This is especially advantageous if you have a busy day-to-day life because you can also decide how many hours per week you dedicate to the course.

Free Material

Providing training to inexperienced students or jumping right into the meat of a course is something any course provider has to juggle. On one hand, starting from scratch will make those with prior experience feel bored from day one and they'll feel as if they're wasting their time. On the other hand, offering a course only for those who have a background in the covered topics will drive away anyone who is thinking of taking a course like Code Platoon to pursue a career change or something similar.

In order to solve this issue, Code Platoon offers not only introductory material but also The full software engineering program, absolutely free.

Networking Opportunities

Code Platoon knows how difficult creating your own network can be when you are just starting. So the school helps solve that issue by providing industry mentors for classes and inviting professional software developers who volunteer as teaching assistants.

While studying at Code Platoon, you will have direct contact with eight to ten experienced developers every week, who will be helping you directly with your learning process.

Job Search Assistance

Code Platoon prepares you to get a job. Teaching you stuff like how to build a resume and LinkedIn profile, how to prepare for interviews, and white-boarding, how to conduct a job search, etc. The school covers all of it in class, with industry professionals who have been through the process before. 

The school's career services team will work with you to find job opportunities as you start your career as a software engineer.

Part-time Courses

Code Platoon offers the possibility of learning a new skill or starting on a new career path without having to stop everything else in your life. That means that you can keep your current job, or be a full-time parent, while at the same time building a better future for you and your loved ones.

An In-depth Look At Every Course

Students who enroll in Code Platoon's program get around 560 hours worth of training in software engineering. The school offers instruction from industry professionals who have many years of experience. 

Code Platoon offers 3 different programs:

  • Intro to Coding.
  • Bootcamp Prep.
  • Full-Stack Software Engineer Immersive.

In the following table, you'll find an overview of the basic features and cost of these 3 courses.

CourseCourse TypeCourse LengthTuition
Intro to CodingPart-time
Online
Self Paced
(Whatever you put into it)
Free
Bootcamp PrepPart-time
Online
3 Weeks or Self Paced
(~9 hours/week)
$50
Full Stack Software Engineer ImmersiveFull-time and Part-time
In-person and Online
14 Weeks, 28 Weeks and Self Paced
(50+ hours/week)
$16,000

Here’s a breakdown of all of these programs:

Intro to Coding

For those who are wondering if coding or a career in software engineering is for them? This free, self-paced Intro to Coding course is a good place to learn JavaScript fundamentals and see if this is the right path for them. This program is designed for beginners, self-paced and created by Code Platoon instructors to help those people.

ContentRequirements
* 12 Sessions
* 2.25 hours of on-demand videos
* Over 140 coding challenges
* No prior coding experience or knowledge necessary
* Have an email
* Understand the English language
* Have an internet connection
* Able to watch and learn from videos

Bootcamp Prep

LocationLive Online
Class SizeLimited
Time CommitmentPart-time – ~9 hours per week.
Course Length3 Weeks / Self-paced
Cost or Tuition$50

Most coding Bootcamps, Code Platoon included, require basic coding notions before being admitted into some or all of their programs. That’s where Bootcamp Prep comes in handy. This preparation course is designed to take students from being absolute beginners to succeeding in school's admissions and coding challenges and being accepted into Code Platoon or any other school of your choice.

The Bootcamp Prep course focuses on teaching its students how to problem-solve. Most people start learning to code and learn the syntax of a language, but they get stuck and tend to give up when solving coding challenges. Bootcamp Prep will help students develop their problem-solving skills by giving them coding challenges that put them through the test.

Coding Language You Will Learn

The core coding language you will learn the basics of in the Bootcamp Prep course is:

  • JavaScript, also known as JS, the programming language for the Web. It is used to make web pages dynamic and interactive since it can update and change both HTML and CSS.

Live Online vs. Self Paced

This course is online and can be taken with instruction or self-paced. Taking the program self-paced will also make it free. Here's how it works:

Live OnlineSelf Paced
Three nights a week over three weeksAvailable anytime. Start today.
Limited class size7 Sessions
The next class starts August 23, 20215.5 hours of on-demand instructional video
$50 registration fee45 coding challenges
3 hours of on-demand challenge solution videos

Full Stack Software Engineer

FormatIn-person: ChicagoRemoteRemote: evenings and weekendsSelf-paced
Start DatesRolling start datesRolling start datesRolling start dates
Time CommitmentFull-time – 50+ hours per week.Full-time – 50+ hours per week.Part Time
Course Length14 Weeks14 Weeks28 WeeksSelf Paced
Cost or Tuition$16,000$16,000$16,000Free

Through this program, Code Platoon teaches students full-stack software engineering over either 14 or 28 weeks, depending on the type of course you choose:

In-person students learn alongside their instructors and classmates. Often students have the opportunity to attend Chicago-based workshops and networking events. Attending the course in person is a very good option for those who live in the Chicago area or who would like to relocate to Chicago.

Only in-person students are eligible to participate in the school's paid apprenticeship program.

Remote students participate alongside Code Platoon's in-person students for 14 weeks. These students receive the same classroom discussions, live lectures, assignments, and team projects. Often, remote students will be paired with in-person ones for pair programming and other group activities. 

Remote students don't have the opportunity to participate in Chicago apprenticeships but they will work with the school's career services team after graduation. The team will help them find a job where they live, using the skills learned at Code Platoon.

Code Platoon's evening and weekend schedule is an excellent option for those who have a full-time jobs or other commitments during the day but want to learn software engineering anyway. The Evening and Weekend program is 28 weeks long and covers the same curriculum.

Students attend three nights per week and all day on Saturday, remotely. As a result, class sizes are small, allowing instructors to maximize students’ learning and networking opportunities while balancing their daytime schedules.

Self-paced students work through the same curriculum as in-person and remote students, but at their own pace and on their own schedule. This format includes coding challenges and pre-recorded lectures. Students are encouraged to join the school's self-paced Slack channel to network with other students and help each other through the curriculum.

The Self-paced program is offered free of charge, but students don't receive a certificate of completion from Code Platoon, nor do they have access to direct feedback from our faculty.

Skills you will learn

The Full Stack Software Engineer Immersive course focuses on the following skills:

  • React.js, a JavaScript library used in web development to build interactive elements on websites.
  • Git, a free and open-source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
  • GitHub, a cloud-based hosting service that lets you manage Git repositories.
  • Test-Driven Development, also known as TDD, a development technique where the programmer must write a test that fails before they write new functional code.

Coding Languages You Will Learn

The core coding languages you will learn in the Full Stack Software Engineer Immersive course are:

  • Hypertext Markup Language, also known as HTML, is the standard markup language used in building applications and web pages.
  • Cascading Style Sheets, also known as CSS, also known as CSS, is a style sheet language used for describing how a document written in a markup language will look.
  • JS, the programming language for the Web.
  • Python, free software environment and programming language for statistical computing and graphics supported by the R Foundation for Statistical Computing.
  • SQL, a domain-specific programming language designed for managing data held in a relational database management system or for stream processing in a relational data stream management system.

Prerequisite Homework

Before the program starts, students will receive a pre-work package that they will have to turn in before classes begin. The pre-work should take around 60 to 100 hours to complete and go through some computing basics and tools they will need.

Weekly Schedule

This course has a specific set of skills that students will be required to learn. Here’s a schedule of what topics will be covered and when:

Week 1 – JS / Python FundamentalsTopics Covered
MondayMachine Setup, IDE Introduction, Command Line Practice
TuesdayGit/Github & Pair Programming
WednesdayPython fundamentals
ThursdayTest driven development & Debugging
FridayReview of entire week
Beyond TechGiving and Receiving Feedback
Week 2 – JS / Python FundamentalsTopics Covered
MondayObject Orientation
TuesdayRecursion
WednesdayRegex in JS/Python
Functional Programming vs. Object-Oriented Programming
ThursdayPython Packages & Javascript Libraries
Debugging in Python/JS
FridayReview
Beyond TechCombating Imposter Syndrome
Week 3 – Object Orientation In Python (Deep Dive)Topics Covered
MondayTypes of Python Variables / Object Oriented Programming
TuesdayWriting Data to CSV / Instantiating objects with hashes
WednesdayPython Inheritance
ThursdayBenchmarking, Big O notation
Python Modules
FridayOOP Review
Assessment #2
Beyond TechDiversity & Inclusion Part 2
Week 4 – Frontend TechnologiesTopics Covered
MondayHTML / CSS / JS
TuesdayHTML / CSS / JS & Bootstrap
WednesdayHTML / CSS / JS
ThursdayHTML / CSS / JS
FridayHTML / CSS / JS
Beyond TechBasics of Personal Finance Part 1
Week 5 – DatabasesTopics Covered
MondayIntroduction to SQL
TuesdaySQL Workshop
WednesdayPython and SQL
ThursdayPython and SQL
FridayAssessment #3
HTML/CSS
Beyond TechDiversity & Inclusion Part 2
Week 6 – Django ORMTopics Covered
MondayDjango ORM
TuesdayDjango ORM
WednesdayDjango ORM
ThursdayIntro to Django
FridayDjango CRUD
Beyond TechBasics of Personal Finance Part 2
Week 7 – DjangoTopics Covered
MondayCRUD in Django
TuesdayCRUD in Django
WednesdayNested CRUD in Django
Thursday3rd Party APIs in Django
Friday3rd Party APIs in Django
Week 8 – ReactTopics Covered
MondayCreate React App
TuesdayEvent Listeners
WednesdayReact Props
ThursdayComponent Architecture
FridayHandling of State
API calls using Fetch & Promises
Week 9 – React and DjangoAM Topic
MondayComponent Lifecycles using Hooks
TuesdayContext API
WednesdayDjango as an API
ThursdayDeploying Django API
FridayConnecting React to Django
Beyond TechJob Offers and Salary Negotiations
Week 10 – Fullstack Web ApplicationsAM Topic
MondayDjango API / React Frontend web apps
TuesdayDjango API / React Frontend web apps
WednesdayAmazon Web Services Academy: Certified Cloud Practioner
Individual Projects
ThursdayAmazon Web Services Academy: Certified Cloud Practioner
Individual Projects
FridayAmazon Web Services Academy: Certified Cloud Practioner
Individual Projects
Assessment #4
Week 11 – Individual Projects / AWSAM Topic
MondayAmazon Web Services Academy: Certified Cloud Practioner
TuesdayAmazon Web Services Academy: Certified Cloud Practioner
WednesdayAmazon Web Services Academy: Certified Cloud Practioner
ThursdayAmazon Web Services Academy: Certified Cloud Practioner
FridayAmazon Web Services Academy: Certified Cloud Practioner
Week 12 – Individual Projects / AWSAM Topic
MondayAmazon Web Services Academy: Certified Cloud Practioner
Individual Projects
TuesdayAmazon Web Services Academy: Certified Cloud Practioner
Individual Projects
WednesdayAmazon Web Services Academy: Certified Cloud Practioner
Individual Projects
ThursdayFinal Group Capstone Projects
FridayFinal Group Capstone Projects
Week 13 – Final ProjectsAM Topic
MondayFinal Group Capstone Projects
TuesdayFinal Group Capstone Projects
WednesdayFinal Group Capstone Projects
ThursdayFinal Group Capstone Projects
FridayFinal Group Capstone Projects
Week 14 – Final ProjectsAM Topic
MondayFinal Group Capstone Projects
TuesdayInterview Bootcamp
WednesdayMock Interview Day
ThursdayFinal Group Capstone Projects
Practice Demonstrations for Demo Day
FridayGraduation
Beyond TechJob Searching After Bootcamp

Job Placement & Career Support

Code Platoon makes sure to surround students with people who will support them every step of the way and whose main focus is their success. Students will also be working hand to hand with cohort classmates to solve problems throughout the course, making meaningful connections.

Preparing to find a job is a skill in itself, so Code Platoon teache's its students:

  • The best ways to build resumes and LinkedIn profiles.
  • How to prepare for technical interviews, behavioural interviews, and white-boarding.
  • How to conduct a job search.

Code Platoon covers this all in the classroom, with industry professionals who have done this and know how this all works. The school's career services team will also work with you to find job opportunities, empowering you to start your career as a software engineer.

Every student in the Immersive Program gets an industry mentor, and professional software developers volunteer every night as teaching assistants. So while studying at Code Platoon, you will be in contact with around eight to ten experienced developers every week.

Apprenticeships

Many Code Platoon students will have the opportunity to do an apprenticeship with some of the school's partners. They not only develop new skills and perfect others but they also familiarize themselves with the patterns and workflow of their peers.

Toward the end of the apprenticeship, students will have tasted the ingredients of success and developed a cadence by which to chart their path toward the summit of their career goals. Some of them will even have the opportunity to keep working for the company where they had the apprenticeship.

The following companies have partnerships with Code Platoon:

Underwriters LaboratoriesChicago Trading companyRaisePower Reviews
DRWECHONarrative ScienceCoyote
EnovaReverbSprout Social8th Light
GraingerShipBobGuaranteed RateCastleview
Trading TechnologiesChange HealthcareMotorola SolutionsChase
10 SpokesKin+CartaShoprunnerWilliamHill
WayfairCognizantBloombergAccenture

Student Outcomes & Earnings

Code Platoon's success rate looks like this:

Graduation Rate100%
180 Day Employment Rate82%
Salary Increase$25,000

Here’s what their 180-day breakdown of employment looks like:

Full-time, in-field33.3%
Full-time internship, apprenticeship, contract position66.7%
Part-time, short-term contract, freelance0.0%
Employed out of the industry0.0%

Here are the median salaries for Code Platoon graduates before and after taking the course:

Before Bootcamp$40,000 median salary
6 Months After$65,000 median salary
24 Months After$93,000 median salary

Costs, Payment Plans & Scholarships

#1 Costs

Code Platoon’s costs vary depending on the course and schedule you choose. Here’s how much each of them costs:

CourseCost & Tuition
Bootcamp Prep$50
Full-stack Software Engineer$16,000
Intro to Coding and other self-paced coursesFree

#2 Payment Plans

Code Platoon’s Live Remote and In-Person programs are listed as VET TEC training providers, and the school also accepts the GI Bill®.

#1 VET TEC

The school has been approved to receive reimbursement through the VET TEC for their Full-Stack Software Engineer bootcamps. This is an initiative from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to place veterans into meaningful careers in high demand for the Information Technology industry. Through this program, veterans can access vocational job training in specific fields without sacrificing their GI Bill® eligibility. 

Those who want to gain computer experience to start or step up their careers in the tech industry should meet the following requirements:

  • The student must not be on active duty or within 180 days from separating.
  • They must qualify for VA education under the GI Bill.
  • Have at least one day of unexpired GI Bill entitlement.
  • Be accepted into a VA-approved program.

A student’s VET TEC will grant them tuition for a full-time high-tech program and money for housing during said program, without counting against their GI Bill entitlement.

#2 GI BILL®

Code Platoon has been approved to receive reimbursement of their full-time programs using a GI BILL® through the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Most students who enroll in this plan are also eligible to receive a monthly housing allowance while they study.

#3 Scholarships

Code Platoon offers 7 scholarships:

#1 Veteran and Spouse Scholarship

These scholarships are available for both veterans and military spouses accepted into Code Platoon. Those who receive this scholarship can be granted up to $13,000.

#2 Black and Hispanic Scholarship

To make a career in software engineering accessible to all underrepresented groups and contribute to diversifying the technology workforce, Black and Hispanic Scholarships are available for every cohort. This scholarship is awarded to veterans and military spouses who belong to these groups. Each scholarship is valued at $16,000.

#3 Women in Technology Scholarship

This scholarship is valued at $16,000 is awarded to a female veteran in honour of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper. Women are around 25% of the IT roles, so the school wants to raise the number of women in the industry.

#4 Transgender Veteran Scholarship

This scholarship is valued at $16,000 and is awarded to transgender veterans or military spouses. This scholarship provides access to Code Platoon's training program for this underrepresented group.

#5 Milspouse Coders Scholarship

MilSpouse Coders is a scholarship that empowers military spouses around the globe to find challenging and fulfilling careers in technology. MilSpouse Coders provides Code Platoon with scholarship awards of up to $13,000.

#6 Skillbridge Scholarship

This scholarship, valued in $16,000, provides transitioning service members with an opportunity to learn in-demand skills while still serving. Active duty members in the SkillBridge program are able to use their last six months of active duty to participate in the school’s full-time program.

#7 NMFA Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to a student registered with the National Military Family Association (NMFA), who attends Code Platoon. All veterans and military spouses are eligible—those who receive this scholarship are granted up to $13,000 thanks to NMFA.

How To Apply to Code Platoon

Step 1: Go To Their Sign Up Page

You can start your enrollment process by visiting Code Platoon's website. You can do so by clicking the button below:

Step 2: Background

Fill in the application form with all the background information required and submit it. After that, you will receive an e-mail linking you to the next step.

Step 3: Coding Challenges

Code Platoon uses CoderByte to assess an applicant's programming and problem-solving skills. The assessment has 12 different coding challenges that can be solved with either Python, Ruby or JavaScript. Each challenge is worth 10 points, and applicants must turn in a minimum of 10 challenges to be eligible.

Step 4: Essays & Videos

This final part of the application is about answering essay questions and submitting a video.

How to Get Accepted

Code Platoon is looking for veterans and military spouses genuinely interested in software, with a high learning capacity, smart, intellectually curious, and tenacious. Learning to program and programming, in general, requires constant learning and getting over roadblocks.

The next application deadline is on June 27th, 2021.

Code Platoon User Reviews

Here are just a handful of verified Code Platoon reviews from a few of their members:

“Even when I wanted to quit others around me encouraged me to struggle and grow. Forever grateful for the experience and happy I struggled through it.”Greg Wegrzynowicz

“Sometimes all it takes for something to click is to see how someone else would approach the problem. Just remember that there is a reason you are there, you deserve to be there, and trust the process!”Caitlin Wilson

“This is an incredibly valuable option for students, and helps keep everyone motivated to work their hardest and learn the material as thoroughly as they can. Overall, I can’t recommend this program enough to any Veteran, active duty service member, or military spouse!”Gregory Machat

“Try to study, definitely work on your problem-solving skills and algorithms throughout the course. Participate in the mentorship program. Also, remember to breathe, and take care of your mental health. This course is going to challenge you, but you can do it!”Julie Stone

“Though the task seems daunting at the start, the weeks will fly by and you will not believe how far you can go!”Joshua F.

“As a military member I feel that this has been the greatest choice I have ever made. I can't believe how much we accomplished during my cohort and how much support we received throughout the program. I cant thank enough Code Platoon for helping reach my goals.”Geovanny Molina Ordonez

Alumni Stories

In case those reviews haven’t convinced you, here are a few quick stories about Code Platoon members—the sort of people you’ll be rubbing shoulders with once you enter the program.

Before Code PlatoonAfter Code PlatoonDo They Recommend Code Platoon?
Michael was the owner of Sergeant Whalon Sales LLC.Michael is now working as a Software Engineer at DRW“My class was fully remote due to Covid, and although I would have enjoyed being in person, being remote had no effect on the high quality of the course. The pictures I've seen of the building and classroom look really nice.”
Val Ryan was working as a peer lead.Val Ryan is now working as a Software Engineer at JPMorgan Chase & Co.“If you are a military veteran or spouse willing to put in the long hours of work for the next 4 months to become a software engineer this bootcamp is for you.”
Jorge was working as an automation technician.Jorge is now working as a Data Engineering Associate at Accenture.“Overall, the hours are long, the course work can seem overwhelming at times, but that makes it that just more rewarding at the end. If you're a military veteran or a veteran spouse, i would suggest code platoon.”

How To Contact Code Platoon

In the following table, you'll find the most important contact info so you can get in touch with Code Platoon in order to learn more, ask any questions you may have or sign up.

Phone+1.312.767.7673
Email[email protected]
Apply Now button
Mailing Address1 North Old State Capitol Plaza,
Suite 333
Springfield, Illinois 62701-1377

In Summary

Code Platoon is a coding school based in Chicago that offers a software engineering program that teaches its students full-stack web development. The school also offers full-time in-person and online, and part-time in-person and online. For those who are still unsure if this is the career path they want to take, the school also offers free, self-paced programs.

The school's program is listed as a VET TEC and GI BILL program, with this option, students can receive both a refund of their money and home allowance. They also offer seven scholarships for veterans and their families.

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