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coding bootcamp review

What Makes Rithm School a Great Coding Bootcamp?

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Rithm School

May 8, 2024

coding bootcamp review

When it comes to choosing a coding bootcamp, everyone has different opinions and criteria. 

Using review sites like Course Report, Reddit, and the coding bootcamp websites themselves, you can usually get a good read of the explicit fundamentals like curriculum, scheduling, and job placement rates. 

But what about the implicit aspects that you don’t really know until you actually experience a program?

In today’s blog, we’re going to delve into the lesser-known aspects of Rithm School that set it apart from other bootcamps.

For us, it starts with the ethos of the company. 

Staying small

Before we dive into what makes Rithm School tick, it’s important to take a look at where (and why) it all started. 

Elie Schoppik, the Founder of Rithm School, started Rithm School more than 8 years ago after working at multiple leading coding bootcamps in the industry. 

What he found at each of the former bootcamps where he worked was that the coding bootcamp education does not scale. At least, not successfully. 

As Elie says, “I’ve worked at multiple coding bootcamps and I fundamentally believe that in-person or online education, specifically this coding bootcamp education does not scale. You can’t triple the class size, triple the instructional staff, and still deliver the same quality of product. So for the past eight years, we’ve focused on staying small.”

Which is why a large factor to Rithm School’s high job placement rates and overall success comes down to its class sizes. 

Every cohort at Rithm School has 16 to 20 students max, with 3 to 5 instructors per class. That’s almost a 1 to 5 ratio of instructors to students, which is unheard of in the bootcamp industry. 

By focusing on staying small, Rithm School allows students to have a personalized experience, a personalized education, and a personalized path. 

What we’ve learned is that everyone learns slightly differently. So, while the Rithm School program includes typical elements like lectures, exercises, and assessments, it also dedicates a lot of time to one-on-one conversations and code reviews. 

This 1:1 support helps students accelerate their own learning and become as successful as possible.

Code reviews

Which brings us to code reviews. 

Any engineer will tell you that the best way to grow technically as a programmer is by getting code reviews. 

What does that mean?

It means that you have someone read through the code that you’re writing, give you feedback, and have a conversation around why you’ve designed something a certain way. 

It’s great when your code works, but there’s always a way to write it in a slightly different pattern. Whether it’s a better pattern, or whether it’s just more testable, more maintainable, more well-structured, or better documented.

Which is why daily code reviews are such an integral part of Rithm School’s program. 

Every exercise that you do during Rithm School has a dedicated code review with an instructor. You’ll hop into a breakout room on Zoom to have a conversation about the code you’re writing, where instructors will ask questions about why you made certain design decisions and give feedback and suggestions for how to keep getting better and better. 

1:1 Advising & learning

If code reviews are the best way to enhance your skills as a programmer, then reading other engineers’ code comes in as a close second.

Studying other engineers’ code lets you see how they tackle similar problems. You discover different ways to organize your code, see new design approaches, and learn new programming principles.

Which is why every exercise you do at Rithm School includes solutions and tests completed by experienced engineers and educators. This allows you to explore alternative problem-solving methods and gain exposure to different coding patterns.

Becoming a software engineer isn’t just about learning JavaScript or a particular piece of framework. It’s about applying your knowledge in real-world scenarios. That’s why, in addition to code reviews and reading others’ code, Rithm School offers personalized advising sessions.

During these sessions, you’ll meet one-on-one with an instructor every other week. You’ll discuss your progress, explore ways to accelerate your learning, delve into specific technical topics, or just ask questions about things you might be interested in. 

The instructors are always there to share their knowledge and help you become a better software engineer.

Experience on a production code base

Like many coding bootcamps, Rithm School includes projects throughout the curriculum. 

However, Rithm is able to take a slightly different approach, thanks to the small class sizes.

At Rithm, every cohort gets hands-on experience with a real-world code base. This means working on a product used by real people, where the stakes are higher. You’ll need to consider the program’s structure, write tests, and ensure clear documentation for others to understand and use your code.

During this process, you’ll spend three weeks with instructors in small teams, typically six to eight students. You’ll dive into a large code base, collaborate with another engineering team, and solve real issues. This experience focuses on professional git workflow and prepares you for working in the industry.

This hands-on experience not only boosts your confidence, but also helps you show future employers during interviews that you can contribute effectively to their projects.

High caliber of instructors

Another draw to Rithm School, not always obvious from the website, is the extensive experience of its instructors. 

Unlike some other bootcamps where instructors may be recent graduates, Rithm’s lead instructors have decades of experience in both software engineering and teaching. 

The teaching assistants are also both phenomenal educators and extremely talented developers. 

But probably the most important aspect to the instructors at Rithm is that they genuinely care about helping aspiring engineers succeed in the field. This mix of experience and compassion makes Rithm a really supportive place for learning and growth.

High admissions bar

In 2024, the requirements for becoming a software engineer are tougher, so Rithm School has higher standards than most.

To get into Rithm’s program, students have to go through multiple behavioral and  technical interviews. The goal isn’t to exclude, but to select candidates carefully.

Rithm looks for applicants with some programming experience and a genuine passion for coding. Being a software engineer requires enjoying problem-solving, learning JavaScript, and persistently fixing errors. It’s important for students to be passionate enough to see the program through.

Due to current challenges in the industry, Rithm School really leans on its ethical admissions practices. This means the process might take longer than at other schools. But the focus is on the student experience and being open and honest throughout.

Advanced, evolving curriculum

Last but not least, Rithm School really stands out for its curriculum. Not only for how advanced it is, but how quickly it’s changing with the times.  

The curriculum is constantly updated with the latest advancements in technology, like new versions of Python and JavaScript, additional topics such as TypeScript and Next.js, and also integrating more AI content over time. 

It’s something that Rithm is known for (and proud of), because they can iterate on it so quickly. 

Every program has a similar structure in the curriculum, but with every cohort, they’re always making changes to make it even better. Not only with the content and curriculum, but also with the student experience. 

Take the next step

Before paying tens of thousands of dollars to a coding school, it’s really important that you know what you’re paying for and who’s going to be delivering it to you. 

We strongly recommend checking out reviews on Course Report, attending Eventbrite events, asking alumni for their feedback, and generally doing your due diligence before diving in. 

Many top-rated coding schools also offer a Prep School before the coding bootcamp itself, which may be worth doing to get a feel for the instructors and pace of the class. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Rithm, you can check out our list of resources below. If you have any questions for the team, the best next step is to just apply. The Rithm application is short and sweet (10 minutes max), and you’ll get a 1:1 call with the admissions team straight away. Head over to the Apply page to get started. 

In the meantime, we hope to see you around and happy coding! 

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