How difficult are Big Nerd Ranch courses?
We pack a lot of information into our trainings—some students say that a week with Big Nerd Ranch is like a semester in college. Our courses are not for novice programmers, but we have great instructors who know how to guide their students every step of the way. Each course we teach has prerequisites outlined to help determine if the course is the right fit.
Who teaches the courses?
Courses are taught by instructors who spend the rest of their time creating solutions for our app development clients. This means that they have real-world experience and understand the problems that you are facing. In addition, they are best-selling authors of our programming books, and spend their free time reviewing one another’s work and contributing to open source code.
Do you have plans to teach bootcamps in other countries?
We do not plan to open Ranch locations outside of the United States at this time. However, we offer Team Training all over the world and have many international students who attend bootcamps at our Georgia location.
How We Do It
Are the bootcamps and corporate classes the same, only at different locations?
There are a few differences between bootcamps and Team Training. Coding bootcamps are taught during the day and have the option of evening labs to extend the learning time for students. They also include lodging, meals and afternoon hikes around the grounds. On the other hand, corporate classes tend to run during regular business hours. The content of the classes is identical.
Why are your bootcamps not in major cities?
We strongly believe that the ideal learning environment is one that is free from distractions. Our bootcamps allow our students to fully immerse themselves in code and not worry about anything other than the material. And whether to go for a hike before or after class.
Is Big Nerd Ranch accredited?
Big Nerd Ranch is not a college or university, and our classes are not for college credit. Accreditation is a process of review and validation in which colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning are evaluated, primarily to be eligible for federal assistance programs like grants and loans. Because our classes aren’t designed to qualify for college credit, the accreditation review process would only slow down our ability to continually update our curriculum.
Scheduling a Course
What is covered in the cost of a bootcamp?
The registration fee covers the cost of training, lodging, meals and educational materials, as well as a shuttle to and from major airports. Students cover the cost of additional transportation such as airfare, rental cars, public transportation or taxis, guest fees, meals other than those provided for our students, and any additional activity feeds such as bike rentals or greens fees.
Should I start with a book or attend a bootcamp first?
If you feel as though you’ll struggle with the material, it may be a good idea to read the Big Nerd Ranch Guide first. However, if you’re already familiar with the subject, attending a bootcamp is the way to go. You’ll learn better when you’re in an immersive environment, surrounded by other like-minded professionals.
Can foreign students attend a bootcamp?
Of course! We teach students from all over the world, and we love training students from other countries. Letters of invitation for visa purposes can be requested by emailing us. Please note that all bootcamp classes are taught in English with English materials.
What is the minimum age requirement?
Students under 18 require consent from parents and from Big Nerd Ranch. They must also be joined by an adult on site at all times. The accompanying adult does not have to attend the class but must be a guest at the facility at the expense of the student’s family. Keep in mind, our classes are meant for experienced programmers and are not only challenging, but filled with adults. Please email us to request permission for a minor to attend a bootcamp.
Can I bring a guest to a bootcamp?
Of course you can. We always welcome friends and family members, as our ranch is a destination in its own right. Because different rooms have different configurations, we ask that you contact the facility directly after registration if you have a specific request in terms of room type (a king-sized bed or two queen-sized beds, etc.) or if you need an additional room (at your cost). They will be able to inform you more clearly what is available and notify you of any additional costs. When you check in before class, you will provide the front desk with a credit card for incidental costs not covered by us; your guest’s meals and other expenses will be billed to this card when you check out of the facility.
What happens if my class is cancelled?
If your class does not meet the minimum number of registered students, we will notify you within 30 days of the first day of class and refund 100% of your registration fee. It is important not to make travel plans until we have notified you that your class is confirmed.
If I’ve already registered for a class, what happens if I need to change my registration?
Email us and let us know which class you are currently registered for and which class you’d like to take instead. Please note that you will be subject to our cancellation policy and may incur fees depending on how closely you make the change to your original class date. If you know you can’t make the original class but aren’t sure when you can take it, we can refund your portion of the registration fee or offer you a gift certificate. However, we cannot hold your fee.
Are discounts available?
We offer a 10% discount with a valid military, school or educator ID. Email us from your valid military/school email to request a code for the discount.
Alumni automatically qualify for a 10% discount—just sign up for a new class using your previous email address, and the discount will be applied. If you have a new email address, please email us and we’ll send you an alumni discount code.
What to Expect
When should I arrive to and depart from the Ranch?
Students should arrive the evening before class starts in time for dinner, then plan to depart after lunch on the final day. Lodging outside these days is the responsibility of the student. Detailed information on making travel arrangements can be found on our site for Stone Mountain.
What does a typical day at a bootcamp look like?
Students arrive the day before class begins in time for dinner with their instructor. This allows everyone a chance to meet and get acclimated with their surroundings.
The next morning, the class will meet for breakfast and class begins early. Class continues until you break for an hour of lunch together, after which you return to class. At some point in the afternoon, the instructor will lead the students on a brain break through the grounds. This is usually a short hike through the scenic grounds at Stone Mountain. We have found this time to be instrumental in allowing the information to sink in, and students return refreshed.
Class then continues until dinnertime. Students have the option to return to the classroom after dinner for open lab time with the instructor until about 10:00 each evening. This is a good time to review what was taught that day or to apply your new knowledge to a personal project.
How many people will be in my class?
Class sizes vary for many reasons. Typically, we won’t run a class with fewer than five students and will limit the class to 25. This allows for a robust learning environment but still allows the instructor to address individual student needs. Some classes may also have a Teaching Assistant who is available to help students with in-class questions and evening labs.
Will you connect me with employers who are looking for my new skills?
We do not currently connect employers and alumni. Many alumni have chosen to include their Big Nerd Ranch training on their resumes and social media profiles, which has led to interviews and employment opportunities. Get to know your classmates, keep building your skills and keep in touch!
Do you offer any support after class?
Once students finish a bootcamp, they join our alumni program. We’ll continue to provide support in various ways, and students can always get in touch through our alumni program.