Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Bitmaker Labs?
- What does it cost?
- What are the dates for your upcoming cohorts?
- What do I need to prepare?
- Why should I learn programming?
- What kind of students are you looking for?
- What are the credentials of your instructors?
- How difficult is the program?
- Why are you doing this?
- Can I really learn how to code in 9 weeks?
- What’s the time commitment?
- Do you have computers in the classroom? Do I need to bring a laptop?
- Where are your facilities located?
- Why do you focus on teaching Ruby on Rails?
- What’s the difference between a web app and a web site?
- Do I need a visa to learn in Canada?
- Are you an accredited academic institution?
What is Bitmaker Labs?
Bitmaker Labs is a 9-week intensive bootcamp that teaches web application development in a modern lab setting. We teach people the skills necessary to become creative computer programmers. We use innovative education techniques, which allow students to master tough concepts in less time. We are dedicated to changing the world and believe our students have the hidden power to do the same — they just need a little help.
What does it cost?
We charge $9,000 for nine weeks of immersive web development training. At the end of each cohort we host a Hiring Week which has companies from across North America in attendance.
What are the dates for your upcoming cohorts?
Our next available cohorts are in 2014 and scheduled for:
- January 13 - March 14
- March 24 - May 23
- June 2 - August 1
What do I need to prepare?
Once conditionally accepted into the program students are given a mandatory prep course that takes them through the basics of HTML, CSS, Git, Unix and Ruby. This course will lay a solid foundation and get you thinking about important concepts before you arrive at our doors. We have remote instructors that are available for help with the curriculum.
Why should I learn programming?
Humans are tool builders and we use technology to solve problems. Computers are just very powerful tools. Understanding how to talk to them and control them is a very valuable skill to have. Programming allows you to become a creator of technology, not just a consumer of it. We believe the 21st century will be defined by the technologies we create. Not being able to program will be like not being able to read or write.
What kind of students are you looking for?
You are committed and hardworking. You enjoy being challenged and are comfortable with failure. You work well with others and enjoy interacting with people. You are ambitious and are not satisfied with the status quo. You are creative and resourceful. You are a good, compassionate person who loves helping others. You want to make the world a better place. You love solving problems. You love building things.
What are the credentials of your instructors?
Our instructors make a living as web development professionals. They use the skills we teach in our classrooms on a daily basis in their own jobs and businesses. All of our instructors have computer science degrees or experience as web developers. They have launched applications, built successful businesses, given speeches around the world and they are all very involved in the web development community. They’re also very passionate about teaching and empowering others with the skills that have made them so successful in their respective careers.
How difficult is the program?
It’s definitely not easy. Unfortunately, computers, as powerful as they are, are actually kind of dumb so learning to communicate with them takes time and practice. Learning to code is no different than learning any language, except this one allows you to talk to computers. But there’s hope because anyone is capable of doing it with the right guidance. You’ll definitely struggle at first, but we’re here to help.
Why are you doing this?
There is so much latent human potential out there. Education is due for a facelift. We have this big crazy idea that if you give people the skills to change the world, they just might do it. Empowering people kinda feels good too.
Can I really learn how to code in 9 weeks?
Absolutely! We know because we’ve done it. In 9 weeks you’ll build a foundation of skills that will allow you to continue learning after you’ve left. We don’t just teach you web development, we also spend a lot of time on sharpening your learning skills. We believe there is no replacement for hard work so we try and instill that in all of our students.
What’s the time commitment?
We expect this to be your primary focus for the 9 weeks you’re in the program. Balancing a job or other commitments will be impossible if you plan on being successful. Between class work, lectures, group projects, pair programming, hackathons and all the other things we throw at you, you’ll barely have time to sleep. We promise you’ll have fun, but you will be very busy.
Do you have computers in the classroom? Do I need to bring a laptop?
Our classrooms are set up with Apple computers for those of you who don't have laptops. We still encourage students to bring their own laptops because there are other places in our space where they may want to work. In the past, we've found that students using laptops running OS X or a Linux distribution have experienced the least amount of headaches.
Where are your facilities located?
Our classrooms are located in the heart of downtown Toronto. The program is delivered in-person so we expect all of our students to be in Toronto to attend classes during the 9-week program.
Why do you focus on teaching Ruby on Rails?
Ruby on Rails is an agile web development framework that’s great for rapidly building web applications. Rails is one of the most fleshed-out web development frameworks; it’s user friendly and relatively easy to pick up as a beginner. It’s also the framework of choice for the majority of our hiring partners.
What’s the difference between a web app and a web site?
A web site is static, like a picture or an online brochure. A lawyer or dentist would use a website to promote their business. A web application is interactive. It has a two-way exchange allowing the user to interact with the application. Facebook and Twitter are applications. You can input, retrieve and manipulate data.
Do I need a visa to learn in Canada?
Citizens of certain countries and territories need a visa to visit Canada. A few of the countries where citizens are not required to have a visa are: the United States, Britain, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. If you do not require a passport to enter Canada, your temporary resident status will expire six months from the day you enter Canada unless you were given a visitor record, study or work permit. If you were given a document, the expiry date is marked on it.
Are you an accredited academic institution?
Bitmaker Labs is not an accredited academic institution. We don't believe in offering certificates or pieces of paper and prefer the flexibility of being independent. While this does prevent our students from obtaining government funding, we have the ability to iterate on our curriculum dynamically and can provide a learning experience unlike anything offered by traditional colleges or universities.