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The Metric That Matters: Starting the Course to Finding Work

 You want to find work as a Software Developer - fast. We believe the metric that matters isn't the time it takes to find work after you graduate - it's the time it takes to find work from the day you start the course.

Starting The Story: Fixed-Length Bootcamps

A lot of fixed-length coding bootcamps will measure their success in helping their students find work by measuring the amount of time it takes for their students to find work from the date they graduate.

This is how we started out, too.

And it makes intuitive sense. If a bootcamp is always 16 weeks long, you might think that a fair reflection of how good it really is would be to see how many graduates find work within X months.

But how do you compare the statistics of 12-week Bootcamp X with a 16-week Bootcamp Y? Let's say the average time-to-work from graduation for Bootcamp X is 14 weeks, but the average time-to-work from graduation for Bootcamp Y is 12 weeks.

You might be misled into thinking that Bootcamp Y would get you into work faster - but 16 + 12 = 28, but 12 + 14 = 26. If your goal is to find work, actually, Bootcamp X is the better option.

That's not, of course, to say that there aren't other factors to consider, such as an engaged community, up-to-date curriculum and student:teacher ratio! But all other things equal, measuring from the day you graduate isn't always the best way.

A Problem

Up until now, fixed-length bootcamps had been the only kind that existed. Yet we heard time and time again:

"Wouldn't it be great if I had more time to take in the concepts?"

"It would be wonderful if I could go back and repeat parts I found hard!"

"It's so intensive, inevitably I missed a few things."

With a fixed-length coding bootcamp, there will always be students who could genuinely benefit from consolidating parts of their knowledge, and build stronger foundations.

Without the chance to repeat parts of the course, inevitably they may become bogged down after graduating, unable to further their own knowledge efficiently without the basics being bedded down, costing weeks of time before finding employment.

That's no reflection on their ability. It's simply that everybody learns at different paces.

The Developer Pathway

What if there was another way of doing things? A way that allowed for repetition, consolidation and ultimately graduating with absolute confidence?

The Developer Pathway is a methodology that does just that. This teaching model allows for the course to vary in length depending on your natural pace. Our formerly 12-week bootcamp is broken down into 6 2-week blocks. At the end of each block, you'll show us what you've learned. If you're ready, you'll move on to the next block. If you could benefit from repeating it, you can do just that (at no additional charge). Find out more about The Developer Pathway here!

The Metric That Matters

Thinking "the faster I graduate, the faster I find work!" is a false economy.

If you graduate wishing you had gone back to go over a block again, it will take you yet longer to find work.

But after repeating a problematic block, the knowledge you build on top of that for the rest of the course will have much better foundations and you will get exponentially more out of it. And you will leave with the confidence to find work.

This is why we believe the metric that matters is the time it takes you to find work from the date you start the course.


The time you 'lose' by repeating a block, you will far more than make up for in your improved understanding of the technologies you go on to learn, solid foundations, which in turn allow you to ultimately find a job you love faster.

The Developer Pathway is designed to minimise that time, ensuring you are supported until you're ready to fly.

Go and change your life! 🚀

Ruth Ng
Ruth is Head of Growth at Northcoders. After graduating in early 2017, Ruth decided to stay to help show the world what it means to be a Northcoder, and ultimately to help change lives.

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