With demand for technical talent growing faster than traditional universities can produce new graduates, a new form of developer education emerged—the coding bootcamp. Providing intensive courses designed to take someone from a tech newbie to a competitive, qualified developer in as little as three to four months, coding bootcamps have popped up all over the country over the past decade.
Galvanize, however, is not your run-of-the-mill bootcamp. While educating new tech talent is an integral part of their mission, Galvanize is also a co-working space, a startup incubator, and more. With a vision of serving as a hub for the brightest, freshest minds in tech, Galvanize’s campuses provide students and members with education, networking, and mentoring opportunities to help raise up the next generation of innovators.
Founded in 2012 by Jim Deters and Lawrence Mandes, Galvanize has grown to become one of the largest and most respected coding bootcamps in the country. With thousands of graduates from eight campuses around the country, recognition as one of the best coding and data science bootcamps from at least one dozen different organizations, and a recent $165 million acquisition by education company Stride, Galvanize is growing rapidly with no signs of slowing down.
With rapid growth, however, come challenges. With thousands of students being taught by various instructors all across the country, providing every student with accurate, reliable, and relevant assessment proved difficult. Fred Zirdung, head of curriculum at Galvanize, notes that “we had written a lot of our own diagnostic tests, which produced inconsistent results.” Without proper diagnostics at the start of the program, instructors can’t provide the targeted instruction needed to move students through the bootcamp quickly and effectively.
Galvanize partnered with CodeSignal Test for its diagnostic and cumulative student evaluations in 2018. As Fred states, Galvanize uses CodeSignal test to “help us diagnose students on the way in and on the way out of the program. We want to know–what are they strong in and what are they not strong in before they get here. Then we want to know how well we taught them while they’re here so we […] can help bolster those weaknesses when they’re leaving the program.” With full customizability, a library of over 4,000 tasks, and support for over 40 programming languages, Test provides Galvanize with both the power and flexibility they need.
As an educational tool, Fred highlights two key benefits of CodeSignal Test: its recording and playback features, and its hidden test case capability. Recording and playback are particularly useful for instructors when giving feedback—being able to see exactly how a student approached a problem can give instructors insight into the student’s thought process, helping them provide better, more targeted feedback. Hidden test cases—which can be used to test and validate a student’s solutions without showing them what the expected output for the solution is—”forces [students] to think outside the box,” according to Fred, “which is what I really want.”
Additionally, Fred notes that CodeSignal’s intuitive, user-friendly interface has helped Galvanize save administrative time. “The biggest benefit we’ve gotten from CodeSignal thus far is just the increase in productivity,” he says. “It’s saving us tremendous amounts of time, both from an evaluation perspective, but also from an administrative perspective. Our non-technical staff finds it very easy to use and navigate.”
The biggest benefit we’ve gotten from CodeSignal thus far is just the increase in productivity. It’s saving us tremendous amounts of time, both from an evaluation perspective, but also from an administrative perspective. Our non-technical staff finds it very easy to use and navigate and it’s just been a tremendous benefit for everyone all around.
By standardizing evaluations, improving administrative efficiency, and boosting student experience, Galvanize has used CodeSignal to provide its students with a superior technical education. Happier, more productive administrative staff can better serve students and instructors; reliable, effective diagnostic testing allows instructors to provide their students with a better education; intuitive UI and real-world IDE create a better testing experience for students, with Fred noting that “they don’t feel like they’re being evaluated and tested.”
With Galvanize hybridizing their curriculum in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—bringing their bootcamp courses online for remote learning—they stand ready to continue their rapid growth. The announcement of a new Dallas campus, a scholarship program, a stretched, part-time bootcamp, and expanded program offerings are only a few of the moves Galvanize has made in the past few months of 2020; no matter what direction their growth takes them in next, CodeSignal can help them provide their students, instructors, and administrators with the best possible assessment experience.
CodeSignal’s goal is to help the world #GoBeyondResumes, but Galvanize shows that that’s not all we can do. Galvanize uses CodeSignal Test to standardize assessments for their bootcamp students, helping them provide their students with an unparalleled technical education. CodeSignal also offers Certify—a fully-automated assessment solution that utilizes the first-of-its-kind Coding Score metric—as well as Interview—a powerful, all-in-one remote interviewing solution that includes HD audio and video calling, a live, collaborative coding environment, a virtual whiteboard, and more. From hiring to educating, CodeSignal has a solution for your company’s technical assessment needs.