This Lambda School review and guide will help you decide if this online coding bootcamp is right for you. Read our full review to get familiar with this training institution’s courses, tuition, and payment options before you apply.
If you want a career in web development or data science, Lambda School might have just the intensive program that will help you reach your goals. Lambda School is located in Silicon Valley, but also offers its courses online. With full-time and part-time options available, it’s possible to start your career within a year of signing up for a course.
Lambda School has a world-class curriculum, expert instructors, and industry mentors. These factors combined with its extensive list of hiring partners have led to a high student success rate. Some who graduated from one of Lambda’s programs have gone on to work for Microsoft, Cisco, and HP.
Lambda School offers students an excellent opportunity to realize their tech dreams. Whether you choose to learn about data science or web development, you can expect to complete your course in either six months or one year.
If you’re interested in growing fields of technology such as applied statistics and machine learning, you’ll be a good fit for Lambda School’s immersive data science course.
In it, you’ll start off by learning SQL, Python, and computer science basics. Then, you’ll move on to topics such as machine learning, data structures, data visualization, and natural language processing. This course is taught via live online lectures, and also involves instructor-led and individual projects.
Once you’re nearing the end of this program, you will start a series of one-on-one sessions with a career mentor who will help you find a job soon after graduating. You will also get access to Lambda School’s alumni network.
To enroll at Lambda School, you must first create an account on the school’s website. Then, fill out the application form with your personal details. You must also complete an entrance test and pre-course work to determine whether you will get into Lambda School. If you are successful, you will be asked to sign enrollment documents and select your preferred start date.
Lambda School features a variety of tuition payment options. Students can choose to take an income share agreement, pay upfront, or even pay in installments throughout the course.
The ISA stipulates that you don’t have to pay tuition until after you graduate from Lambda and have landed a job that pays more than $50,000 annually. Under this agreement, you will pay back 17 percent of your salary each month.
If you want to pay in installments, you will make three separate payments. The total amount will vary depending on the course you have signed up for and your location. If you are not located in California, Washington, DC, Georgia, or Texas, your upfront tuition fee will be $15,000.
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Like many others, I’ve researched a lot of code schools for cost and remote options. I’ve looked over hundreds of reviews, youtube videos, articles and it was really difficult to choose. I actually was accepted into General Assembly and two others before I even thought about Lambda. I had a friend who graduated from there tell me that it was the best option to get me where I wanted to be so I declined the other schools and applied for Lambda. I’m going to split this in this sections in case there are parts of it that people are interested in hearing about specifically.
The Instructors and team leads.
I can’t say enough great things about the instructors. These are not just professionals in their fields, they’re also caring people that love seeing their students succeed and enjoy talking about tech outside of just the lectures. They had some of the best instructors I’ve ever had and were able to break down extremely difficult concepts to an understandable, easy to follow format. The TL’s are half and half I think in this category. I’ve had some that inspired me and really went out of their way to help every student without giving away too much and I’ve had some that would just disappear and only wanted to collect a paycheck. I’d love it if Lambda could tighten down on their selections of TL’s or replace the ones that don’t want to do the work. (I’m a TL myself in the evenings).
Lambda has put together what they call the “training kit” for students to review before a lecture. A lot of it is a walk through with some small project that you can follow to get yourself ahead of the material that is about to be covered for the day. This includes articles that are linked for people that want to learn more in order to understand how something truly works and videos that you can watch in case you can’t read long written material. This also serves as a reference to go back to throughout the day as you’re going over your project for the day or during the end of the week sprint challenges.
The lectures start as you would expect with a “Zoom” link dropped in the cohort channel and the instructor kicking it off. Depending on the subject I’ve seen anything from an instructor breaking out a white board to help visualize difficult concepts in an interactive manner to opening up code pen and even getting history lessons. A lot of the times you’ll have a questions thread that the instructor will keep an eye on as they go through the lectures and they’ll let you know if they want you to follow along, wait until they finish coding to write things down, or just wait until the end of the lecture to see what they’ve done. The lectures are recorded and posted later on after they’ve been processed so that you can come back to them in case you missed something or needed to revisit something the instructor said.
When I first started Lambda, they only had “Project week” which was a generic project that everyone all did that was only for the sake of making sure you could do the things you were taught for that module. This has since been changed for “build week” which is a team based full stack project where you’ll be responsible for doing work based on the sections that you just studied. The projects are unique from each other and extremely interesting. This teaches you about git in a team environment, communication and how to establish a proper team agile work flow. You’ll generally do about 5 of these build week projects in your time at Lambda so you’ll be leaving with 5 projects plus a labs project. Labs is much bigger scaled version of build week where you’ll be taught about staging and test environments as well as project management skills and dive deeper into AGILE. So that is 6 full stack applications by the time you leave Lambda.
The Job assistance.
This has evolved many times through my time at Lambda and all for the better. Lambda provides students that complete labs a career coach that will look over your linkedin, github, resume and portfolio. Once a career coach has cleared you as ready, you gain access to their list of hiring partners. They’ll also try to put you in front of those hiring partners based on your preferences as well and are always looking for new programs to put grads into that will better their chances to get hired. I got my job through a pilot program that they put me in that got me in contact directly with companies that showed an interest in me so I didn’t have to hunt them down and beat out other candidates just to get an interview.
Knowledgable experts teaching the courses, evolving and improving curric, lots of unique fullstack projects done in a team to buff up your experience and portfolio, huge community of people that love to help each other, really caring staff.
Through the nature of changing needs of hiring partners and technologies, a lot of things will change from the time you start to the time you finish the curric. This isn’t really a con to say but being a part of the “first” to go through these changes can be a bit bumpy most times. CS portion feels extremely rushed and is a lot of information to fly through on a weekly basis, I gained more of a general exposure and overview of topics than an actual hard understanding through repetition of important algorithmic strategies.
August 22, 2019
Lambda School changed my life.
Before Lambda, I was a disgruntled college student that was really struggling with finding something that I loved doing that could also be a viable career option. I decided to learn to code, did some research on code schools, and finally made the decision to go ahead with Lambda.
I can’t tell you how glad I am that I made that choice.
I’ve landed my dream job a month before I even completed the program. I literally couldn’t draw it up better. Lambda School is a world-class organization filled with amazing people who will do everything they can to help you hit your goals and your dreams.
The staff is wonderful. Great admin, leadership is on-point, teachers are amazing, and the career/outcomes teams are incredible. I can’t speak highly enough of the people of Lambda. They’ve done so much for me including referring me to companies, giving me feedback, helping me negotiate offers, helping curate a pathway to success, and helping me solve problems.
If you want a full-stack code school that will take you from zero to your dream job, this is the spot and these are the people. I’ll look back on my life and see Lambda as a major inflection point and as one of the best decisions of my entire life. I literally can’t think of anything bad to say about the school. Everything from curriculum to career support to culture is an A+.
If you’re thinking about doing Lambda, you should do it. I couldn’t give it a higher recommendation.
October 9, 2019
I want to start off by saying the staff at lambda are top notch, and the course is outstanding value wise.
However this course is not for everyone, and I will explain how I see it.
I believe the students I met during the course made all the difference for me, yes you can do this course and put in the minimum effort to build relationships, this would be a great disservice to you and your growth as a developer, Lambda revolves around pairs work and being able to discuss and learn things with other students, reinforcing a teamwork and communication skills, I really believe if you are not willing to put in the effort to work on team skills and want to do this all on your own, this may not be the place for you.
For curriculum, I really gave it full marks because I believe that the current curriculum is good, however when I was a student there were some hiccups with some lectures being not super polished, however over all 99% of it was golden, and I deeply believe the instructors that taught me are some of the best teachers I have ever had, If you find me a single person who has taken his class who does not love Josh Knell I would be very surprised, and I could say good things about every person on the teaching staff.
Job support was really good, I don’t my career coach Kelsey, was really important in helping me stay motivated and being very understanding and supportive, even when I was having a hard time dealing with rejection, never letting me doubt my skills, it really made all of the difference and I would say that she was very key in getting me to where I needed to go.
For a closing I will say this, I went from working construction in Arizona to having a very high paying job at a company that really cares about my growth my whole life has been changed, Lambda helped guiding me in the right direction and I put in the work to get there, I did not start from scratch I had passed five CS classes at a community college. the course is not easy, however if you really love coding and you are willing to put in the work you will make it. Finding a job really depends on you and how hard to are willing to study to get good enough to be able to impress, nothing good has ever come easy, and if you are looking to put in minimal effort you will get minimal results.
May 10, 2020
I had been working in hotel management for about 6 years when I decided to pursue my passion for technology and problem solving and become a software engineer. I looked at many options from University, State College, Online University, and bootcamps. There are so many options to choose from but after research I knew the bootcamp route was the one for me. I researched and found the best bootcamps for me, put together pros and cons and ended up choosing the Full time Full Stack Software Engineering course at Lambda School. Let me start off by saying I have absolutely no regrets about my decision. Now that I am graduate and working in the industry, I will share a list of some of the pros and cons of my experience with Lambda. Notice some items are on the pro and con lists.
Class/group structure – Its very similar to a lot of real world work environments. Students are split into smaller groups/teams that are led by a Product Manager(which is typically a senior student at Lambda). These small groups were vital to my success at Lambda. They become your support system, friends, family, etc. We learn together, fix bugs together, tell stories, laugh, vent, etc. Having a great group makes all the difference at Lambda.
Agile environment – Lambda is very agile and adapts quickly. From operations flow/procedure to last minute curriculum changes to based off whats needed/used in the industry and what hiring partners are looking for. This is incredibly nice cause you are not stuck learning tech thats not used anymore and your skills are more relevant during the job search. Lambda believes in finding the need for a change and making it quick, not waisting time or making excuses why not to change.
Instructors and staff – When I attended Lamba(5/18 – 12/18) the instructors and staff were amazing! They were all very involved and personally invested in each students struggles, concerns, and ultimately their success. Lambda will not hold your hand the whole way but for someone that is dedicated they will find the level of support very helpful and way above what other bootcamps and universities offer. I even unofficial was mentored by one of my instructors who helped me grow, network, and prepare for where I am today. The school has grown so much and many of the instructors are now directors over different programs and have hired more instructors. Hopefully they maintain the culture that was there when I attended.
Income Shared Agreement – The way Lambda uses ISA to pay is beneficial in so many ways. To name a few, it gives those without the opportunity to down pay for the program or cant get a loan or whatever the case may be an equal opportunity. Talent can come from anywhere and Lambda is giving everyone the chance. Its also beneficial because it aligns the goals of the student and the school. If the student isn’t successful, nobody will benefit. Lambda is just as interested in your success and job hunt as anyone else.
Job Search Support – I received so much support when I graduated and began my job search. Besides the instructor that became a mentor to me, I was assigned an amazing career coach named Gigi, I received many follow ups from instructors, staff, and even the founder of the school Austen. Through their help and networking like crazy in my area I was able to land my dream job at an amazing company. Lambda Mission Accomplished!!
Class/group structure – This is also included as a pro from above. The reason I included this on my cons list is the very reason it was on the pros list. If you dont have a great PM group with great vibes this can make your experience really challenging. Since this becomes your little family and support group you learn to really lean on each other and without that I dont know what my outcome would have been like.
Agile environment – This is also included as a pro from above. The reason I included this on my cons list is because as great as agile methodology, if not done correctly it can cause its own set of problems. On some of the changes while I was a student it was so sudden and without any preparation that nobody including staff were completely ready for it and it created issues, confusion, and frustration. I think remaining agile is definitely best but Lambda should understand the issues it can cause and try to be more prepared for the change with the appropriate tools and resources in place.
Saturated Market – The market in a lot of places is incredibly saturated. Yes the growth of the industry is huge and more and more jobs are becoming available, however, there are also a ton of juniors looking for their first job as well which really saturates it. This is not Lambda’s problem directly, however, I feel that staff, instructors, and career coaches need to do a better job at making this issue clear and expectations are set correctly. From talking too many other students, it is a common feeling that Lambda painted the industry as growing and that there is a deficit of engineers and finding a job should be easy. Upon graduation you learn that about the saturation and confusion starts to kick in. It is what it is, but would be nice to have been aware the whole time so expectations are realistic.
Overall I love Lambda. No bootcamp or university is perfect but of the options I truly feel this is the route to take. If you are thinking about the bootcamp route, do your research, make a decision, and jump in full speed. Lambda will help support you along the way and will be there even after you graduate and find your first job. Above everything else, Lambda values feedback and takes it very serious. Every single piece of feedback is listened too and will be followed up on. This feedback is what fuels the rapid growth/success of the program and the agile practice. Once you are a part of Lambda School you will always have that network and support system that you belong to and again, I could not be more excited and without regrets about my decision.
June 14, 2020
I’m extremely proud to be a Lambda School Alumni. I’ve tried learning how to code on my own through curriculums on freecodecamp and teamtreehouse but lacked the structure and discipline. That’s when I decided that I was going to go to a bootcamp. I lived in San Jose at the time so I was looking for bootcamps in my area. There was only one in San Jose and they had average reviews. So I did some research and decided to attend a 2 week prep course at App Academy. They had good decent reviews and I liked them because they marketed to us that there was no risk up front. But that wasn’t entirely true because to start the bootcamp they require students to put a deposit close to 1/3rd of the tuition. So I decided not to go there and though I wouldn’t pursue any bootcamps at all. I didn’t know whether I’d like coding or if I’d even be capable.
And then some how I stumbled upon Austen’s Twitter account and discovered Lambda School. I did some research and they seemed legit. And after going through their program I can confirm that they are legit and their goal is to get their students jobs. Their careers team is hands down the reason why anyone who has a passion to learn and can work well in teams should choose Lambda School. If you put in that work to learn, they will provide you with opportunities to land a job. Most of my interviews were connected through Lambda School.
Their curriculum is well designed but I did have some complaints about their CS portion and gave them my opinion. What’s cool about Lambda School is that they listen to the students and use our feedback to improve. I’ve gotten my Bachelors from a University and I can tell you that is not the case.
I’m giving their curriculum 4 stars based on my experience but that does not mean I was dissatisfied with it. They’re still fairly new and are working every day to improve the curriculum. I’m sure by the time you all apply and start the curriculum will be much better than when I did it.
Overall I’m super proud to have graduated from Lambda School and thankful that they helped me get a job at Amazon Web Services. Everything in life happens for a reason and I’m so fortunate to have stumbled upon Austen’s Twitter that one day.
July 20, 2020
– Learning community (accountability, peer interaction)
– Fast iteration and feedback incorporation for curriculum, job support, etc
– Personalized job search support
– Staff is dedicated and caring
– One-size-fits all is difficult, it was too slow for me
– Lambda School’s expertise is still in Web Development
Practical Advice on Deciding to Attend
When deciding on any course, you should keep in mind the job prospects (assuming that’s your end target). Data science is tough. Every job description I read indicated a Master’s Degree as a minimum, PhD preferred (and a lot PhD required). If you don’t have a traditional credential signal on your resume (strong past exp, an advanced degree in another field, etc), finding a job can be very difficult. This will continue to be the case until Lambda establishes credibility in Data Science.
Lambda does a good job supporting you in your job search and should continue to improve this support, specifically for data science.
I was in the first iteration of the Data Science course. Lambda’s model of “application, then theory” is the fastest way to learn core data science concepts. Look over their curriculum, and compare it with your background. For me, it was too slow because I already had exposure to some concepts. For others, it was too fast.
There were rough patches, but Lambda quickly incorporates feedback and has improved the curriculum. Curriculum portions outside of Data Science (Labs, Build Weeks) were poorly designed for Data Science students. This non-core portion of the curriculum is still a work in progress.
The instructors genuinely care about students. Everyone on Lambda’s staff genuinely cares and wants you to succeed.
October 16, 2020
I accepted an offer! I have officially increased my salary over 3x! It still doesn’t feel real. I used to make 30k a year and now I’ll be making over 100k! I have to say THANK YOU LAMBDA SCHOOL. THANK YOU from the deepest part of my heart. Without your vision, this wouldn’t have been possible. You’ve made a dream of mine a possibility. I was a first generation university graduate with a communications degree, and guess what? Never used it. Could be partly my fault, I wanted to make sure to “go to college,” right?
But it wasn’t until a few years later that I discovered programming and fell in love and wanted to pursue it. But after my experience with loans and not being guaranteed a job afterwords put fear in my mind. What if I couldn’t do this thing I loved? What if I invested all this money on something that wasn’t going to pay back?
Lambda School allowed me to pursue this dream without fear of losing my investment. It’s like they decided to take the bullet in me potentially failing. But that’s it, they did not give up on me. There was definitely a point where I was going to give up, but Lambda School’s Student Success was there. They consulted and calmed me down as if I were speaking to dear old friends.
Be aware though, when they say it’s a full time commitment from 8-5, it’s no joke. But there is a reason for it all! Literally everything they taught us, from the programming language to what happens in the work environment, Lambda puts you through. It’s funny have Sprints, retros, stand ups, code reviews, and an agile work environement that lambda just intergrates to the program. It was honestly the best decision of my life.
P.S. If you feel like you’re going to give up, do not. You can do. Literally not giving up is all you have to do. Trust!
November 26, 2020
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