For Students

Become A Student
Course Info and Application

Please read the FAQ for Students before applying. More information on each course is located in the Courses section of this website. Links to apply are in the upper right corner of each page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AlbanyCanCode?

We are a not-for-profit organization founded in June 2016, dedicated to the vision of a talent-fueled pipeline for our region’s software sector. To build this pipeline, we work with employers, educators, and community organizations to identify, train, and advocate employment of people with the skills to work in the tech sector: software, data, IT, and creative.  We seek overlooked, non-traditional talent and we deliver programs to skill them up to work in the tech sector.

Our goal is to remove the economic and cultural barriers to working in technology.  Part of that involves empowering people with aptitude and motivation. Part of that mission involves changing mindset in our region about who can be a technologist, and how to evaluate candidates for technology jobs.

What will I learn in an Albany Can Code class?

The hard skills that you will learn depends on which class you take. Look in our  courses section  to find out what the technologies, objectives and overall features of each.

Across all classes, the way we teach the class is built to develope the soft skills that employers in this region tell us they need and value: how to research and practcuec with developer tools, how to learn with and from peers, how to problem solve as part of a team, how to network with others in the field…overall, how to understand and be a useful part of the software development process.

What is the application process?

Each class has an application process that begins with an online questionnaire.  When we are in recruitment mode, application links are on the upper right corner of each page on this website, and various other places on this site and social media. Some courses have a two-step process, where the second step might be a qualifying exercise or an interview with the instructor.  Acceptances are determined by Albany Can Code.

We evaluate applicants to look for demonstrated interest, aptitude, and motivation. The Front End Web Dev class is for relative beginners who have a strong interest in learning to learn to make webpages and websites, and be part of a web app building team. The Automated Testing class is also suitable for relative beginners to coding who nevertheless know that they want to work in a software company.  The newest class, JavaScript for the New Back End, is an intermediate course.

Albany Can Code puts accepted applicants into contact with the community college partner (SCCC or HVCC) for enrollment.  The community college can direct students through the process of payment, including referring students to the Department of Labor at county level to apply for financial aid.

Will I get a job after completing a course?

A job is not guaranteed. However the market for technologists is solid and we do our best to prepare students, and to advocate for their hiring.

Some of our employer advisory council members are able to arrange internships and interviews for graduates who are on solid learning curve and ready to enter the tech workforce. Other graduates find that their enhanced resumes, technical and workplace skills are sufficient to land interviews and great tech jobs outside the Albany Can Code employer network.

In all cases, the course is not just a class to build relevant hard skills, it is a program to establish the habits of learning languages; to practice teamwork in a software development context;  to flesh out a resume; and to meet and work with local mentors, employers, and tech recruiters.

How much do the classes cost?

Tuition for the Automated Web Testing course at HVCC (Troy) is $400 per student. There are no additional costs. It is a 20 hour course meeting once per week over 10 weeks, offered in partnership with HVCC’s non-credit granting Workforce Development Institute.

Interested students must first apply to Albany Can Code to be accepted. Accepted students will be referred to the registrar at HVCC, who can provide information on how to apply at their county level One-Stop for tuition assistance.  

Tuition for Fall 2018 Front End Web Development course at SCCC (Albany) is $1,500 per student.  It is a 12-week (72 hours in  class plus lab) course offered in partnership with SCCC’s workforce (non-credit) side.  For Fall 2018, through SCCC, there are some tuition grant funds available for students who meet criteria of the grant donors.  Examples of grant criteria for federal or state tuition include: underemployed or unemployed persons, veterans, persons with disabilities, and other demographics.

Tuition for Fall 2018 JavaScript for teh New Back End at SCCC (Schenectady) is $1,500 per student.  It is a 12-week (72 hours in  class plus lab) course offered in partnership with SCCC’s workforce (non-credit) side.  For Fall 2018, through SCCC, there are some tuition grant funds available for students who meet criteria of the grant donors.  Examples of grant criteria for federal or state tuition include: underemployed or unemployed persons, veterans, persons with disabilities, and other demographics.

Interested students must first apply to Albany Can Code to be accepted. Accepted students will be referred to the registrar at SCCC, who assists students in connecting to and applying for grant funds.  

What if I'm not sure which course is right for me?

This can be a long soul searching conversation 🙂 But read the following before you write an email or call to ask for help figuring it out.

Front End: Are you interested in websites from the aspect of how they look to the end user? That’s the Front End.  If you come from a design, project management, creative, entrepreneurial background, or if you have a bit of some programming experience but no exposure to how websites are put together, this is probably your best fit.

Automated Web Testing:  Are you interested in a full-time job that involves a lot of process, done carefully with computer scripts? Security? QA? An entry-level foot-in-the-door job where you’re with programmers all day? Do you already have some familiarity with HTML and CSS? Automated Testing of probably your best fit.

JavaScript for the New Back End: Have you already learned client-side page making languages (ex. HTML, CSS, jQuery, bootstrap) and want to go further into building dynamic, functioning sites? Have you tired JavaScript and liked it?  Do you want to be a full-stack developer?  This is your path.

Do I get college credit for AlbanyCanCode classes?

Our classes are offered through the non-credit side of SCCC.

Community college classes in programming are less costly. Why would I apply to AlbanyCanCode?

Community colleges offer curricular instruction, normally on an open enrollment basis, as part of a multiple-course sequence of academic study. Their mission is simple and broad: education.

AlbanyCanCode has a more specific mission: empowering those who have potential to enter the tech field, or to break barriers to progress in their careers, within a short period after graduation. We exist to eliminate the disconnect between what employers & the economy need, and talent. Our courses are the key element of a mentoring ecosystem. Albany Can Code students gain:

  • practical, hands-on training in key, job-relevant languages, plus all the adjacent tools, frameworks and libraries;
  • experience with software workplace tools and practices;
  • career guidance with resume support, networking and job introduction;
  • opportunities to join app devt teams working on community projects, for seriously relevant portfolio development

In short, Albany Can Code has a alignment and connections with employers that community colleges do not.  We’re doing more than teaching a coding skill, we’re preparing our students to find the right fit in the workplace, and advocating for their employment after graduation. We’re a coder mentoring machine – and the student outcomes show it.

How do I find out if I will be eligible for tuition assistance?

It’s a bit of a process – first you need to be accepted, then SCCC or HVCC will direct you to the grant sources they work with,  and advise you on how to proceed.

Since most of the tuition assistance funds are from federal or state budgets, the funds available and the eligibility criteria vary from county to county and from season to season.  Generally speaking, personal income and employment status are the key criteria.

Do I need a laptop?

Yes. A working laptop with good internet and a fair amount of memory.  An aspiring developer needs a professional grade tool: tablets, smart phone, chromebooks don’t have the storage space or interface necessary.

Can I really be hired into a software job without a degree in computer science?

If you have the aptitude, the passion for code, the willingness to practice, and the communication and teamwork skills to be part of a team – absolutely. Yes.

Of the cohorts graduated so far, more than 30% graduates – none of whom have a computer science degree and some of whom have no degree at all – have leapt from hourly jobs in warehouses, bars, and temp agencies to full time, entry level software positions paying $45,000-$62,000.

Where employers hire entry level technologists, they look for:

  • hard technical skills in currently used technologies,
  • an understanding of software development and/or IT enterprise management processes,
  • teamwork and communication skills, and
  • aptitude and passion for computing, proven by a portfolio of projects.

On the topic of employment, some but not all of our students seek full time employment, or a total career change. Some want to work as freelance web developers. Others use their upgraded skills as technologists to advance their existing careers. Among our students are computer science majors who have not completed a degree, and who lack real world project experience; IT professionals who have hit a ceiling in their job advancement; entrepreneurs who want to be comfortable with web and mobile app development; artists, musicians, hackers, mid-career project managers.

I was accepted into the program in 2017 but did not get funding. Should I try again?

Yes! Send us an email and we’ll put you directly into the funding application process for 2018.

Do I get a certificate when I complete an AlbanyCanCode class?

Students who complete coursework and projects will receive a certificate of course completion. Note, however that hiring in the software industry is typically based on demonstrated competency rather than certification. Job postings, especially for civil service jobs, and especially for database and IT jobs, will list certifications needed. Coders, by comparison, are evaluated by prospective employers based on their ability to talk about, analyze, and solve problems.

The most important credentials you can acquire through our classes are: your Github account (with your projects and scripts in it) and your resume (which we will help you update.)

There are free online coding courses. Why would I take an AlbanyCanCode course?

FreeCodeCamp, Codecademy, Udemy, Lynda.com, the Odin Project, StackOverflow, YouTube, the New Boston….the list of online code instruction providers is extensive.  They are terrific. Whether your career direction is toward being a tester, a coder, a developer, an engineer, a database programmer, or another flavor of technologist, your ability to use these and other online resources to keep your skills up to date is key.

Albany Can Code gives students a structure to learn a well-rounded set of skills that are relevant to local employers.  The curriculum uses online materials, books, and labs to ensure hands-on practice, in person, with peers and instructors to keep you on track.  Albany Can Code offers more than hard skill instruction. It’s a full program: Software developers working in the Cap Region teach and give guest lectures, labs, and workshops.  There is a resume improvement program, and a direct flow of student resumes to employers in our employers advisory council.  In the web dev courses, students are put in project teams to create websites for amazing community initiatives – the kind of project that gets you an interview.

The life transformations have been incredible – within weeks of graduation, our students have gone from barback to $62,000 data analyst; pizza shop to $55,000 junior app developer; IT help desk to $60,000 full stack developer; hourly warehouse job to $40,000 entry-level data system internship.  None of these folks had Computer Science degrees. Some had no degrees at all.  Just aptitude, motivation, and the advocacy and mentorship of the Albany Can Code staff.

What does it mean if I am not accepted?

It doesn’t mean you should give up on our program, or on learning to code! If you get the email that directs you to try some more self-study or exploration, that’s exactly what we hope you do. Learning to code takes practice, curiosity, attention to detail, and persistence.

It’s important that on the first day of class, students are at the starting line that allows them to gain traction, start ascending the learning curve, and be ready for an entry level position around graduation time

I have another question that's not on this list.

Email info@albanycancode.org – and we’ll see if we can help.

Testimonials
Former Students