Below is our student handbook. Please read it thoroughly before your first day of class, and review regularly throughout the program, and as need arises.
Table of Contents
- The Big Picture
- Class Structure
- Internships and Jobs
- Other Policies
Welcome to Epicodus! We're so excited you're here. Before class begins, there are some things we'd like you to know to make the most of your time with us. We'll start with the big picture.
Any experienced developer will tell you that the more you learn about programming, the more you realize just how little you know. The specific languages, tools, and approaches you'll learn here are much less important than the general skills of solving problems.
Successful programmers embrace the limitations of what they can know, and get good at figuring out what they don't know. They develop a mindset in which not knowing the answer isn't a source of anxiety, but rather an opportunity to learn and explore.
As part of your pre-class work, you'll read about the growth mindset. Here's a quick explanation made of excerpts from that article:
Researchers have known for some time that the brain is like a muscle; that the more you use it, the more it grows.
Neural connections form and deepen most when we make mistakes doing difficult tasks rather than repeatedly having success with easy ones.
Our intelligence is not fixed, and the best way that we can grow our intelligence is to embrace tasks where we might struggle and fail.
People with growth mindsets correctly believe that capability and intelligence can be grown through effort, struggle and failure.
Mindsets can be taught; they're malleable.
If you have a growth mindset — if you enjoy challenging yourself and view your failures as opportunities to learn, not mistakes to be ashamed of — you'll be much more successful at Epicodus. Work on developing a growth mindset. Your teachers will help guide you in that direction.
An important part of this growth mindset is to measure your progress against yourself, and not against other students. It's unlikely you've previously used your brain as intensely as you will at Epicodus, and getting used to this kind of a mental workout is hard enough without adding the pressure of comparing yourself to others. Everybody has their own way and pace of learning and retaining information, and often that pace ebbs and flows throughout the class. Go at a pace that's right for you, and avoid comparing your progress to other students'.
At Epicodus, students spend all of their time working together, in pairs and often in groups of pairs. We have observed that, in both learning and practicing software development, people learn more and write better software when working together than when working alone.
Such close collaboration requires that students at Epicodus commit to supporting and respecting each other.
To participate in Epicodus, you must agree to:
- Be kind to others. Most of the time, this should be easy. (If this is something you have trouble with on a regular basis, you shouldn't enroll in Epicodus.) Occasionally, this will be difficult, especially with people you don't like, or with people who have not been kind to you. Nevertheless, under all circumstances, you agree to be kind to others.
- Assume others' good intentions. When someone does something that feels unkind to you, assume that person has good intentions. Perhaps they did not mean to be unkind. Perhaps they are in a bad mood. Perhaps you did something that hurt them without realizing it.
- Help other students be kind to you. Intention is different than impact. Even when you assume others' good intentions, others' behaviors and actions can impact you in negative ways. If someone does something that hurts or offends you, talk to them about what they did and how it hurt you. If you are not comfortable talking to them, ask a teacher or friend to help you talk to that person.
- Respect people's differences. Students at Epicodus are of diverse races, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, ages, religions, economic statuses, and many other differences. Don't assume anything about someone's ability or personality because of such differences, and don't say anything hurtful about who they are. If you aren't sure if something might be hurtful, don't say it. Do not make assumptions about a person's gender pronouns, and use the gender pronoun the person requests such as she, he, or they.
- Don't make others feel uncomfortable. Different people have different feelings and expectations about sex and romance. Sexual harassment can take many forms and it can be difficult to anticipate what conduct may be offensive or unwelcome to others. Be respectful to your classmates: if you aren't sure if something will make someone uncomfortable, don't do it.
- Work hard and stay focused. The highly collaborative nature of the class means that your classmates will be relying on you to come to class for the entire day, every day, for the entire course, unless you are sick or have a personal emergency. During class, stay focused on your work. Turn off your cell phone and don't check email, Facebook, or any other website that does not relate to the work at hand.
- Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep on school nights. Eat well. Exercise for at least 20 minutes every day, even if it's just walking. It will make you a better coder, and a better teammate to your classmates.
- Treat school the way you would a job. Epicodus is training for a career, so treat other students with the same professional courtesy you would co-workers, and your teacher and other staff with the same respect you would a work supervisor.
Hopefully, this Code of Conduct is how you strive to behave anyways. If it is not, you should probably not enroll in Epicodus. The Epicodus staff will have the final say in the interpretation of this Code, and if they decide you have violated it, they will ask you to leave the class.
Epicodus is an opportunity not just to learn web development, but to practice working closely with others. On the rare occasions that you find such close collaboration difficult, we hope this Code of Conduct will be your guide.
All students and staff must follow our Code of Conduct. If you violate the Code of Conduct, your teacher or another Epicodus staff will talk with you about what you did, why it violated the Code of Conduct, and document the meeting by sending you an email. If you violate the Code of Conduct a second time, you will be expelled and may not re-apply.
Epicodus's management may, in their sole discretion, deem your first violation malicious and expel you without previous warning. Examples of malicious violations include using racial slurs or making threats of violence.
If you've witnessed or been subject to behavior from another student that violates Epicodus's Code of Conduct, please inform a staff member.
We realize that you may experience a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, but that isn't a clear violation of the Code of Conduct, and that you may not feel comfortable sharing with a staff member. In this type of situation, you may fill out our anonymous complaint form. Form submissions are sent to the Director of Opertations. This form is anonymous and the information you share cannot be used to take concrete action against a student, such as determining a Code of Conduct violation. However, Epicodus staff may use this information to inform the student of the impact of their action and ask them to be mindful of that impact in their future behavior.
Most days, you'll spend your classroom time at Epicodus pair programming, in which you'll share a computer, keyboard, and mouse with another student. We've found pair programming to work really well in our classroom for several reasons:
- You catch each other's mistakes, typos, and bugs.
- You learn to communicate about your code.
- It forces you to look at your code from another's perspective.
- Knowledge, ideas, and approaches diffuse quickly around the classroom.
- Working with someone else keeps you focused and productive.
- It's fun and you get to know your classmates really well!
From past classes, we've seen that teamwork and communication skills are more important than coding skills when it comes to applying for jobs. So use pairing as a way to intentionally build your skills in these areas!
All that said, pairing has its drawbacks, the main one being that some of your pairs will learn at a different pace than you. In time, you will find other students who work at about the same pace as you. However, you'll also regularly "pair up" and "pair down". Some days you'll "pair up" with somebody who understands the concepts better than you: take these opportunities to learn from your pair. Some days you'll "pair down" with someone who understands the concepts less than you: take these opportunities to better cement your own understanding by explaining to your pair.
The terms "pairing up" and "pairing down" simply compare where each person is at in terms of knowledge and understanding of that class session's concepts. In no way should this be used to evaluate a person's intelligence or capacity to become a developer. We expect that Epicodus students have varying levels of previous experience. Some people struggle with one concept but quickly grasp another. Some people may have studied coding previously. Others may have had to deal with structural disadvantages in the past, such as not growing up with a computer in the house, being discouraged from pursuing technical careers, or dealing with other life issues. Still others may be dealing with personal issues in the moment — whether a lack of sleep the night before or other long-term stresses.
Please refrain from making value judgments about your peers (or yourself!) based on your perceived difference in skill sets. When you are pairing up or down, stay focused on learning and respectful collaboration. Both pairs should take initiative to switch who is driving regularly and engage each other with questions about problem solving.
It's important to work with a wide variety of people, including people at your same level of understanding. If you always pair down, you won't push your limits. If you always pair up, you'll find that even if you think you understand a concept, you won't be able to implement it yourself. If you have a couple days in a row where your pairs haven't been well-matched, talk with a teacher. Overall, you should expect that you will regularly pair up and pair down throughout the program.
Less frequently, pairing can be difficult because of different learning styles or personality conflicts. Take some time to talk to your pair about your learning style before you start: do you take a lot of notes, talk things through before starting, or explore lots of tangents? Finding out about your pair's style and discussing what to do if you have different approaches or priorities can help you avoid conflicts later. If you do end up in a situation where you're feeling frustrated or uncomfortable, your pair is probably feeling that way too. Take a deep breath, take a break if you need to, and then talk about it with them. It's tough, but it's better than suffering through the day: talking about it will relieve the tension. Ask a teacher if you need help having that conversation. Remember that everybody will have difficult pairs, especially at first. But the experience is worth it. It's an extremely valuable skill to be able to work effectively with a wide array of people. Having this skill will make you more prepared to contribute as a member of a team at your internship or your next job in tech.
Pairing is a requirement of attending Epicodus. If there's an odd number of students, form a group of three. If you aren't able to pair for some other reason, notify your teacher at the beginning of class. Working solo counts as being absent from class, and the attendance policy applies regardless of whether you miss class by not showing up or by not pairing and participating fully.
Until the end of the class, when we'll work on larger projects, you'll switch pairs every day. Finding pairs can be awkward, especially at first. It's fine to just jump in, introduce yourself, and then get started. To make finding pairs easier, every course section we assign you to a development team (dev team) of about eight students to work and check in with. Every class session, you'll find a new pair from your dev team to work with.
We want everybody to feel part of our community at Epicodus. We often see students forming cliques. You can help prevent this by switching pairs every day, and resisting the temptation to pair with the same people over and over.
The only way to become a programmer is to spend a lot of time programming, and Epicodus is designed to maximize the time you spend actually programming.
For classwork each day, you'll be assigned a new project, and each day, you'll work with a different pair (towards the end of the program, you may work on longer projects). For homework, you'll have approximately an hour of lessons introducing you to new concepts and tools. Some days will have lighter or heavier loads of lessons to read, depending on the week's material. You're expected to go through the lessons on your own but not to code along with them or understand them completely. If you have the time, it is recommended to code along with the homework. Likewise, there are no lectures in class — that's what the homework is for. Each weekend will also have a set of lessons that you'll need to read through before beginning work in class the following week.
For our full-stack programs, there will be a career services related curriculum that runs aside your coding assignments. For the full-time full-stack program, the calendar for that can be found here. For the part-time full-stack program, the calendar for that can be found here. There will be time set aside during class to complete these assignments.
It's crucial that you spend the time to read the lessons before class, so you and your partners can use your time together most effectively to implement those concepts. It is unfair to both your pair, and yourself, if you do not come to class prepared.
At the end of most weeks, you'll work alone on an independent project that will help you make sure you understand the topic for the week and identify any gaps in your knowledge. You shouldn't ask other students or your teachers for help.
For the full-time programs, you'll have all day Friday to complete your individual project from home. You are expected to work between 8am and 5pm PST, unless you get pre-approval from an instructor to work during different hours. Initial submissions for assignments are due on Fridays at 5 pm.
For the part-time programs, you will have all weekend to complete your individual project. You are expected to work a minimum of eight hours on this project. Initial submissions for assignments are due on Mondays at 8 am.
The following week, your teacher will give you feedback on your project either in person, on a video call, or in writing. Every outstanding project gets one review each week.
Career services assignments will all have dedicated time in class to work on them. Advisors will discuss the assignments with students ahead of the dedicated class time, and give feedback on assignments in the following week. The assignments for career services can be found in Epicenter in the Internship course.
All assignments, grades, and feedback are available in Epicenter.
Each assignment contains several objectives. Your teacher or advisor will assess whether your project meets each objective all of the time, most of the time, or none of the time. You must meet all of the objectives most of the time or all of the time in order to pass.
On Epicenter we assign each grade a color to help differentiate between passing and failing:
- All of the time is green and is a passing grade.
- Most of the time is yellow and is a passing grade.
- None of the time is red and is a failing grade.
You must submit your project by the specified deadline. There are three deadlines for any given project:
- Initial submission: this is the first due date.
- Due at 5 pm on Friday for full-time students.
- Due at 9 am on Sunday for part-time students.
- Resubmission: this is always 10 days after the project was assigned.
- Due at 8 am on Monday for full-time students.
- Due at 9 am on Sunday for part-time students.
- Final deadline: this is always 17 days after the project was assigned.
- Due at 8 am on Monday for full-time students.
- Due at 9 am on Sunday for part-time students.
Once you are passing a project, there's nothing more required of you. You can tell whether you've passed or failed a project by your feedback on Epicenter.
If you do not meet the objectives on your initial submission, you'll need to resubmit your project. It's commonplace for students to do a resubmission and the feedback will direct you on what's missing. Keep in mind that you do not have to wait until the resubmission deadline to turn in your project — we welcome you to turn in resubmissions early.
If your project is not passing all objectives by the resubmission deadline, 10 days after the project was assigned, you'll be given an Academic Warning and you will have one additional week to meet all objectives on your project by the final deadline.
After the final deadline on any project, we will no longer accept any submissions.
Epicodus staff will give an Academic Warning to a student when an assignment is not passing objectives after the resubmission deadline. The warning is intended to communicate that the project is near the final deadline.
The number of times you have been given an Academic Warning is tracked in Epicenter. If you have been given three Academic Warnings, your advisor(s) and teacher(s) will meet with you to discuss your academic standing, which includes the possibility of retaking all or part of the coursework or being asked to leave the program.
For students participating in the Income Share Agreement (ISA), you agreed to higher academic standards. If you do not meet those standards, you agreed to be removed from the ISA program. Please review the requirements around Academic Warnings in the student handbook's section on the ISA.
We will notify you by email if you are given an Academic Warning. Additionally, a red banner will appear in your Epicenter account to indicate you currently have a project nearing the final deadline. It is possible to have multiple projects with Academic Warnings at once. We list the number of times that you have been given an Academic Warning on the Courses tab on Epicenter.
Once your project is passing all objectives, we will remove the Academic Warning and Epicenter will no longer have the banner. However, the number of times you've been given an Academic Warning is a permanent count and will not be reset.
Students are required to pass all assignments and keep up with the pace of the program in order to graduate. You will fail to meet course requirements for assignments in two cases:
- If your project is not passing all objectives by the final deadline, 17 days after the project was initially assigned.
- If you've been given an Academic Warning a third time.
In both of the cases above, this means that you have fallen behind with your coursework. When either situation occurs, your teacher(s) and advisor(s) will meet with you to discuss your academic standing and consider your situation and any contributing factors. We will ask you to either leave the program or retake all or part of the program without being charged any additional tuition, however, if you're paying your tuition through a third party, you may be charged extra costs from them. We'll extend this offer to retake coursework no more than once. At Epicodus staff discretion, we may make an exception and allow you to continue with your current cohort.
These policies are in place because it is our responsibility to ensure that when they leave our program, graduates are ready to be successful in their job search and eventual first role as a developer. When students have repeated Academic Warnings or miss the 17 day deadline, this is an indicator that they're struggling with either technical or soft skills necessary to succeed.
We know Epicodus is an intensive and demanding program, and that there are many factors that can contribute to a student falling behind. Because of this, we do see students in every cohort retake all or part of the coursework. For whatever reason if you find yourself struggling, please reach out to an instructor or advisor so they can help you identify the best steps forward.
The code reviews we do for your individual projects is the main way your teachers can see where your skills are at, and the only chance for you to get feedback on your individual work to make sure that you're learning what you need to know to be successful after graduating. If you copy someone else's work, you lose out on that feedback about your work. And if you graduated by passing off others' work as your own, you'd not only be setting yourself up for failure at their job, but your failure on the job would also hurt the reputation of all other Epicodus students.
For these reasons, it's extremely important that you submit only your own work for individual projects. Students found to have copied others' work or received help from others will be expelled.
Most of programming is getting stuck and figuring out how to get un-stuck, so asking for help is a balance between struggling with a problem for long enough to build your own problem-solving skills, and not spending too much time and frustration on any one problem. As a guideline, you should spend 20 minutes trying to solve a problem yourself before asking for help. Another tip is if you're frustrated and nothing seems to be working, take a walk and get away from your computer screen for a little bit. You'll be amazed at what your subconscious can figure out when you let it rest.
An important skill to develop at Epicodus is understanding other people's code. So before you ask a teacher for help, you'll ask another pair of students, to give them a chance to try understanding your code and helping you figure out what to do.
When you do need help from a teacher, you'll find that they will ask more questions than provide answers — their goal is to help guide you to the the next step, rather than give you the solution outright. Sometimes, you may even find that if you ask two different teachers for help on the same problem, they give you two different suggestions. Although it can be frustrating at the time to not just get the answer to your problem, our alumni have always thanked us later for making them work through it. And when you come up with the answer yourself, it's much more rewarding!
Before you ask for help, make sure that you have gone through the lesson on debugging for the language you're working in and how to ask for help. (full-time / part-time) . Then, put in a help request at the help site for your class (your teacher will tell you on the first day). There are no limits on the number of questions you can ask, and there are certainly no "dumb questions", so long as you have taken the time to try to figure it out yourself.
Teachers are not available outside of class hours — your problem-solving struggles should happen during class, so there should be no need to contact your teachers outside of class. Please respect their personal time by not asking them to stay after class to help you.
Remember, the most important skill you'll learn at Epicodus is how to solve problems. Your teachers are merely your guides along this path.
In addition to your teachers, you will have an advisor dedicated to your cohort that will help set you up for success in your job search. Your advisor works with you from the time you begin at Epicodus until you find your first job in the industry.
You'll interact with your advisor on a regular basis throughout class. Each week, your advisor will give an informational talk on a topic related to the career services side of your education at Epicodus. They'll also be assessing all non-technical assignments. You can expect to meet individually with your advisor periodically throughout the class to check in about your progress, conduct mock interviews, and answer any questions you have about the job market. Your advisor will also coordinate your internship at the end of class.
Once you've graduated, your relationship with your advisor doesn't end! They'll check in with you regularly throughout your job search for any assistance and support you might need, whether that's goal setting, application material reviews, or having an accountability buddy to help stay motivated.
While there are regularly scheduled times to meet with your advisor, please don't hesitate to reach out to them as a resource throughout and after the program.
To be counted as present, you must be in class, pairing, not late or left early.
Your attendance record will appear on your transcript, which will be sent to internship companies as part of the match-making process. We want to encourage you to take days off when you need to, so if your attendance is above 90%, your transcript will say "Epicodus requires students to attend class at least 90% of the time. This student met that requirement."
Signing in to class 15 minutes late or more counts as being tardy. Signing out earlier than 15 minutes counts as leaving early, as does signing out more than 30 minutes after the end of class. Each counts as missing half of a day. If you sign in late and leave early on the same day it counts as being absent.
For full-time full-stack students, if you are absent more than 5 days of class, a teacher will talk to you about your attendance, remind you of this policy, and send you an email. You may be expelled if you are absent more than 10 days of class, or are absent 3 days in one week. Staff may make an exception to this policy at their discretion. No exceptions will be granted after 15 absent days.
For part-time full-stack students or students enrolled in the 6-Week Intro to Programming Course, Sunday classes count as two days. If you are absent more than 10 days of class, a teacher will talk to you about your attendance, remind you of this policy, and send you an email. You may be expelled if you are absent more than 20 days of class, or are absent 3 days in two weeks. Staff may make an exception to this policy at their discretion. No exceptions will be granted after 30 absent days.
For students enrolled in the Income Share Agreement (ISA), you agreed to higher academic standards. If you do not meet those standards, you agreed to be removed from the ISA program. Please review attendance requirements in the student handbook's section on the ISA.
Your allowed absences are available for you to use for any reason. You may need to use them if you're sick, need a mental health break, or have a personal emergency. You are also welcomed to use them to work solo (without pairing with another student). If you choose to work solo, you are still welcome to attend class and ask questions of your teachers and advisors.
If you are absent, you should notify your teacher by email as soon as safely possible. You do not need to disclose the reason for your absence to any staff member or fellow student, though you are welcome to do so. If you are absent from class (or arrive late or leave early), it is up to you to make up whatever work you miss.
If you forget to sign in or out, you may request to have your attendance corrected:
- Full-time students may request an attendance correction twice in the whole program.
- Part-time students may request an attendance correction four times in the whole program.
After those fixes, your teacher will not make any additional adjustments to your attendance.
If you need to take a leave of absence, Epicodus staff can arrange for you to re-join a later cohort.
It's a shame we have to say anything about this at all, but if you sign-in and then leave, have a friend sign in or out for you, falsely indicate you are pairing, or otherwise represent that you have attended class when you have not, you will be expelled from Epicodus and may not re-apply.
If you receive financial support from a government program that requires progress reports or a daily attendance report, please ask your advisor at Epicodus to help get you that information.
Each day starts with a short "Scrum", where everybody in the class meets and has a chance to share news, announcements, events, and anything else of general interest to your classmates. Scrum is also a great time to ask questions about the curriculum.
Depending on what program you are signed up for, you may have a Scrum with your development team and another Scrum with your cohort. Epicodus staff will guide you through this process in the first week of class.
If you'd like extra one-on-one help outside of class, we have a list of community members and Epicodus alumni who are available as tutors/mentors in the student forum.
It's not out of the ordinary for students to find their first job before they finish class, and we would never want someone to feel like they had to choose between accepting a job and getting to graduate. In the event that a student has successfully passed 10 assessments and the offer is for a job in-field, we may at our discretion waive the remaining graduation requirements.
All information about Epicodus tuition and refund policies are located on our website at epicodus.com/tuition.
Please reach out to your advisor with any questions about graduating early, tuition, or refunds.
We've partnered with the financial organization Mia Share to offer you the Income Share Agreement (ISA) program for deferred tuition payments. An ISA is a contractual agreement in which you receive funding for your education. In exchange, you agree to share a fixed percentage of your post–graduation pre-tax income over a defined period of time.
Students participating in the ISA also agree to be held to a higher standard than the minimum necessary to stay enrolled in Epicodus.
Full-time students agree to be removed from the ISA if they:
- Are given an Academic Warning more than once.
- Miss more than ten (10) days of class.
- Violate Epicodus Inc's Code of Conduct once.
Part-time students agree to be removed from the ISA if they:
- Are given an Academic Warning twice.
- Miss more than twenty (20) days of class.
- Violate Epicodus's Code of Conduct once.
If you have any questions about the ISA, please reach out to your advisor.
Epicodus is closed for these holidays:
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King Jr Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Veterans Day
- The week of Thanksgiving
- The last week of the year
Career coaching and internship preparation is integrated throughout the Epicodus full time program. From day one, you'll have a dedicated student advisor who will walk you through creating polished, professional, job-search ready resumes, cover letters, and your LinkedIn profile, and facilitate regular info sessions about a variety of career services topics. You'll meet with your advisor multiple times throughout the program to review these materials and have a chance to practice doing a mock interview. Towards the end of the program, you'll begin applying to jobs and preparing for the internship.
When it comes to finding employment after graduation, we find that students are most successful when they take career prep assignments just as seriously as they take coding. For that reason, career materials follow the same academic policies outlined in the Assessment section of the Student Handbook. If you've passed all of your career reviews on time, you'll move on to the internship class.
Full-Time Full-Stack Internships
Full-time students participate in a matchmaking-based internship process. In the first two weeks of your internship class, you'll have additional application prep help, go through several interviews with host companies, be matched with a host, and complete any prep work your host assigns. After the first two weeks, you'll begin your five-week internship. All internships are coordinated to take place immediately after your coursework ends. You will not be able to postpone the internship and take it at a later time.
The internship design is up to the host, but all have two common elements: at least 30 hours per week of programming or programming-related work as well as an experienced programmer available to you for at least 30 hours per week as a mentor.
As part of your internship application process, you'll send your attendance and transcript to the host companies you interview with. For complete information about the internship, see our student internship agreement.
Part-Time Full-Stack Internships
The part-time program was created to allow students to attend Epicodus while continuing to work a full-time job or accommodating other scheduling constraints. Given the wide variety of schedules part-time students have, we aren't able to run a matchmaking-based process for part-time internships. Instead, you have the choice to join the full-time matchmaking-based internship program or, with the support of your advisors, arrange your own internship that best suits your schedule, interests, and timeline.
This advisor support includes:
- Career services assignments and meetings with advisors throughout the program.
- Additional time in-class to apply for internships
- An extended timeline for finding an internship and additional one on one support from advisors until an internship or employment is found.
- Additional one on one meetings with advisors as requested.
- Extended job search support if needed.
- Behind the scenes, our advising team proactively reaches out to our company contacts, and will pass any opportunities along to our students to create connections with potential internship opportunities.
Part-time students have 10 weeks after the end of the coding curriculum to secure an internship or join a full-time internship. During this time, if you have not yet coordinated your internship, you'll check in with your advisor weekly, continue applying to jobs or internships, and work on coding projects or continued education independently to keep your skills sharp.
Once you've secured an internship, you'll want to make sure we're looped in so that we can credit it towards your graduation. Send an email to your advisor connecting them with your mentor or another appropriate representative at the company you'll be interning with. They will need to confirm the start date of your internship and that they are able to comply with the requirements of the program (at least 150 total hours of coding-related experience, and an experienced developer mentor available to support you throughout the internship and answer your questions). In the event that you are pursuing a career that is not development, let your advisor know so that we can work with you to adjust these requirements accordingly.
If you successfully complete your first four classes and have maintained a record of good attendance and pairing with other students, you will continue into your internship preparation.
Due to many employers' requirements, you must be authorized to work in the United States to participate in the internship program.
Please note that while we cannot guarantee internships to any students in our program, we will always do our best to help all of our students secure and complete the internship portion of the program.
In the five weeks after you finish your internship, if you haven't yet found a paying job, you'll return to the curriculum and work through our Computer Science and Job Search course to explore more advanced concepts that will help set you apart as a candidate, while continuing your job search with the support of your advisor.
After you finish your internship and graduate from Epicodus, our career coach will call and email you at least once a week to check in, until you find a job. If you want to delay your job search or aren't planning to look for development work after Epicodus, let us know so that we don't waste your and our time trying to contact you. If, after 3 emails and 2 phone calls, you do not respond to us, we will stop trying to provide job search assistance.
Please note that while Epicodus staff are dedicated to providing comprehensive career services, staff are unable to provide LinkedIn recommendations.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are core parts of Epicodus's mission statement to "focus on serving people who, by birth or circumstance, don't have easy access to learning the skills they need to get great jobs." When you enroll at Epicodus, you are choosing to be a part of that mission. DEI is included throughout the program in a number of ways.
DEI discussions can be emotionally charged and uncomfortable at times, so we have community agreements in place to guide a respectful and educational conversation, whether it's in our facilitated workshops or in casual discussions among students. You'll find this list along with some additional resources in the pre-work you received when you enrolled. You can also find the community agreements in the DEI track on LearnHowToProgram.com. (full-time / part-time)
During your time at Epicodus, there will be a series of workshops facilitated by Epicodus staff to discuss specific topics within diversity, equity, and inclusion, and more specifically how they relate to the classroom environment and the industry you're getting ready to enter. These workshops will start towards the beginning of class with a presentation that concludes with an opportunity for group discussion. The other four workshops each cover a topic with a short presentation and a series of breakout sessions in which students discuss prompts in small groups.
Occasionally, throughout the program, there will be an additional DEI lesson on a topic related to either the classroom or the tech industry. For each DEI lesson, there is a corresponding reflective assignment in which we give you a prompt and ask you to write a short, reflective response to it. There's no length requirement for these reflections. Rather, the goal is to give you an opportunity to reflect and engage with important DEI topics by yourself — so, write as little or as much as you feel inspired to.
The Director of Operations will be your primary support regarding the DEI component of our program. They will be involved in facilitating most of the workshops. They'll also occasionally join Scrum and have office hours if you have questions, want to discuss something about one of the lessons, or just want to talk!
There are security cameras that record our classroom at all times.
If you are attending classes in person you will need keycards. In order to be issued a suite keycard, email a picture to your advisor that:
- Is a JPEG file of at least 50 KB and no more than 2 MB
- Is a full face head shot
- Has a solid white or off-white background with even lighting
- Is similar to a driver's license or passport photo
- Does not include props or items that obscure the face or head like hats or sunglasses
There are no initial fees for the keycard, but if you lose or do not return it on your last day of class, there will be a $25 charge. If you return your keycard within 90 days of the last day of class, you will receive a $15 refund.
If you misplace your key card, for security reasons, please let an Epicodus staff member know immediately so we can deactivate the card.
If you bike to class, you can lock your bike in the parking garage beneath the building. (To help keep things clean, bikes are not allowed in our office.)There is a bike area in the parking garage under the building. Enter the garage on Alder between SW 5th and 6th Ave. You'll need a keycard to access the garage via the elevator. To have your keycard enabled, email your building keycard number (this will usually be a six digit number in the bottom right-hand corner) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you drive, parking can be difficult to find and expensive. Some students park on the east side around SE 12th and Ash, and then either bus over or walk (about 25 minutes walk). If you want to try parking downtown, there is a list of lots and prices at portland.bestparking.com . There is no parking available at our building.
Public transit is often much easier and cheaper than parking. A daily pass for the MAX is $5, which is about half of what most lots charge. TriMet has a list of Park & Ride areas for the MAX and bus lines. Parking is free at Park & Rides, but some fill up very early.
The Pacific Northwest is notorious for its hippie sensibilities, but please keep others' comfort in mind as you consider your bathing habits and deodorant use during class. Similarly, refrain from using perfume and scents, as others may be sensitive or simply not enjoy those smells. E-cigarettes, like regular cigarettes, must be smoked outside. Remember, pairing puts us all in close physical proximity.
During class, we require that you put away your cell phone, tablet, laptop, and any other devices. While there may be times when it seems like it would be helpful to have a second device, from our experience, we've found that it all too often becomes distracting and disrespectful to your pair, other students, and teachers.
The only exceptions are that if you have a laptop, you're encouraged to bring it on Fridays for your code reviews, during the last week of class for your capstone project, and on Thursdays when when you're working on job applications during React. Your teacher will notify you about these times when it's appropriate to use your laptop.
You also may not check email, social media, or any other website that does not relate to your coursework.
If you disregard these rules, a teacher will remind you once about them in person, and send you an email documenting the conversation. If you disregard these rules again, you will be expelled from the program.
All of our desks are set up for standing or sitting on the stool-height chairs we've provided. You can adjust the height of our desks by pulling out the handle and cranking it. While you may not have used a standing desk before and they do take a little getting used to, we've found that most of our students come to appreciate the option to alternate between sitting and standing and the improved circulation and energy that this little bit of movement provides. Having desks at standing height is also very helpful for our teachers, as leaning over to sitting-height desks all day is a big strain on the back. So in general, please do not replace the stool-height chairs with lower chairs without talking to a staff member first. That said, we recognize that the provided stools are not the ideal shape for some people, so if you need to use a different chair, please talk to a staff member and we'll be happy to accommodate you. If at any point you do move chairs or any other furniture, please put it back in its original place before you leave.
Our chairs sometimes come loose. Please let a teacher know immediately if this happens, so they can replace it for you and tighten it. Continuing to use the chair will damage it.
We use mice and keyboards with ergonomic designs. Like our standing desks, the equipment takes a little getting used to but yields huge health benefits in the long run, helping prevent wrist injuries that many programmers experience after a few years of work. Some of the keyboards and mice have batteries.
Shut down your computer at the end of every day. When you log out, restart, or shut down Epicodus computers, they will delete all of your changes, so remember to back up your code before you finish.
Lunch is from noon to 1pm. You are welcome to take snack breaks at any time.
There is a kitchen area with microwaves and fridges. Keep all food and drinks without lids (except water) in the kitchen area, as the rest of the office is carpeted and spills are inevitable. Do not leave dishes in the kitchen, as there is not enough space for everybody's items; you can store them in your cubby instead. Everything in the fridge is thrown out each Friday evening or over the weekend. Dishes left in the kitchen will be put in the lost and found under the kitchen counter.
Alcohol is not allowed at Epicodus.
Most Wednesdays we have guest speakers during lunch, from 12:00 – 1:00 pm PST. Most of the talks are about working as a developer and related topics. Attending these talks is optional but highly recommended.
Do not record guest lunch speakers. Epicodus Staff will record and share copies of guest lunch speaker talks if permission was given to do so. Companies and guest lunch speakers do not give consent for individual recordings, only for Epicodus to record and distribute video recordings that meet their standards.
Gender diversity is welcome at Epicodus. Everybody is welcome to use the restroom that best fits their identity. In addition to the restrooms available in the office, a gender neutral restroom is available on the fifth floor, which can be accessed with your keycard.
Epicodus is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities and other needs. For example, we have provided alternative assessment schedules for students with learning disabilities, and have made schedule adjustments for students with occasional transportation issues. On the other hand, we aren't able to accommodate requests that would result in a student being unable to meet graduation requirements, such as waiving assessment requirements, or would result in major disruption to other students, such as regularly arriving significantly late on days when students are pair programming.
Please request accommodation as soon as possible after being accepted by submitting this form. We will ask for documentation from a healthcare provider when applicable. The director of operations will review your request and staff will work with you individually based on your needs to come up with a plan that best supports your success.
Our classroom is located on the third floor, and in the case of an emergency, students may need to take the stairs to evacuate. If you are unable to evacuate via the stairs, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can arrange accommodations ahead of time.
If you need something from a staff member who isn't your teacher, send them an email. Please do not come into staff offices without an appointment, as staff members typically have very busy schedules.
In accordance with CDC and state guidance, if you'd like to attend in-person classes at Epicodus, you must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. If you are not vaccinated, you may still enroll in our remote classes. This policy may change based on circumstances, including changes in FDA approval for COVID-19 vaccines, emergence of new variants, or progress in reaching negligible levels of new infections.
Your health and safety are important to us. Since equipment is shared among all in-person students, we will provide disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer, and ask that students do not leave for the day before wiping down their work station.
Do not come into the office if you If you have cold symptoms, such as cough/sneezing/fever, test positive for COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has. While you are attending in-person classes, if you test positive for COVID-19, you will need to stay home from class for five days or until you test negative, whichever comes later. Email your teacher and they'll work with your specific situation to make sure you don't fall behind and are not penalized for missing class.
In compliance with state guidance, if there is a positive COVID-19 case reported by someone in our office and you may have been exposed, we will alert you to this. No personally identifying information will be shared.
While you're at Epicodus, we'll send you important information by email and on Discord. If you miss these messages, you could miss information and deadlines relating to internship rankings, interviews, etc. During our workweek, we aim to answer emails within 24 hours, and on days you have class, we expect you to do the same – your future employer in the tech industry probably will, too. If you aren't already in the habit, check your email at least once a day on class days.
Email is the best way to reach us. Not all of Epicodus staff roles use Discord in the same way, so please don't direct message us there.
Sometimes, you may not be able to provide information we've asked for right away. Even if you can't, make sure to send a quick reply that you received the email and when we can expect to hear back so that we know it wasn't missed.
Respect for students' and staff's diverse backgrounds is a cornerstone of Epicodus's Code of Conduct. Epicodus prohibits discrimination against or harassment with regards to any local, state, or federal protected classes towards its applicants, students, employees. Protected classes include race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, receipt of public assistance, and protected genetic information.
If you believe you have been discriminated against or harassed, please notify our Director of Operations, Rachel Bussert, in writing at email@example.com. Any person unlawfully discriminated against, as described in ORS 345.240, may file a complaint under ORS 659A.820 with the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries. Epicodus's policies governing employees will be enforced in situations where instructional staff or other school personnel have been found to have engaged in discriminatory behavior.
Although we are working online and using cameras and microphones to communicate, that is not explicit consent to record someone without their knowledge. Epicodus Staff do not give permission to be recorded. Do not record Scrums or any meetings involving Epicodus Staff. These meetings will not be recorded by Epicodus Staff.
We want to hear your thoughts! There are several ways for you to tell us if something is or isn't working well. We use your feedback to improve our curriculum, teaching, and our processes in general. Since we are a small team, we are not always able to act quickly on the feedback we receive. We take care to thoroughly discuss feedback and figure out the best next steps to take. This sometimes includes the decision to not act on the feedback we receive, because it is outside of what our current resources allow.
You will fill out a survey when you turn in your independent project. For full-time students, this will happen every week. For part-time students, this will happen every other week. The survey is an opportunity to give anonymous feedback on curriculum, teaching, and how the course section went overall. Your responses are not tied to your name or personal information.
The Director of Teaching and the Director of Curriculum review this feedback every week. Feedback is then disseminated to teachers and other staff members. We address feedback from the recurring survey with students on occasion when there's an issue happening that affects a significant number of students.
There is a feedback button in the lower right corner of the screen on LearnHowToProgram.com. If you don't see it and you're using an ad blocker, turn the blocker off. This is the best way to give feedback on a specific page of the curriculum. Make sure your feedback is specific so we can address it. If something doesn't work as well as it could (or if a lesson is particularly great!), use this button to let us know.
The Director of Curriculum periodically reviews and addresses the feedback you leave on LearnHowToProgram.com. Given that we are a small team at Epicodus, this feedback typically gets addressed for future cohorts.
We encourage you to communicate directly with our staff if you have any concerns at all. You're always welcome to email or have a conversation with your teacher, advisor, or any other staff member, and we will keep that communication confidential to our staff. If you are bringing up a negative experience you had with another student, we will ask you how you want us to address it and will ask permission before involving anybody else.
- If you have any concerns about your classwork, curriculum, or another student, please reach out to your instructor.
- If you have concerns about the teaching staff, the teaching department, or curriculum, please email the Director of Teaching and Curriculum, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have concerns about advisors or the advising department, please email the Director of Student Services, email@example.com.
- If you have any concerns about our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies, DEI curriculum, or concerns about any Director at Epicodus, please email the Director of Operations, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you've witnessed or personally experienced behavior from another student that has made you feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, and you don't feel comfortable telling a staff member yourself, you are welcome to use our anonymous complaint form. Form submissions are sent to the Director of Operations, Rachel.
The feedback and suggestions we receive from students continually drive our motivation to provide improved learning opportunities to our students. In some cases we are not able to act on the feedback we receive, because it conflicts with the structure of our program. Other times, we are not able to act on the feedback we receive because we don't have the resources to allocate for new projects. In most cases, we intend to make changes based on the feedback, but we cannot act quickly because we are a small team.
If you have any questions about what we do with your feedback, reach out to a staff member at Epicodus.
If for any reason you feel a student or staff member has violated the Code of Conduct, or if Epicodus is not meeting your needs in any way, please talk with your teacher, advisor, or any other staff member. If you aren't able to resolve your grievance in another way, email our Director of Operations directly at email@example.com with the subject "Student Grievance" and list your specific grievances with supporting documentation. Epicodus will review your grievance and respond in writing within 15 days.
If you have exhausted our internal grievance policy and 15 days after emailing our Director of Operations your grievance has not been resolved, you may contact the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission, per the state-required language below:
Students aggrieved by action of the school should attempt to resolve these problems with the appropriate school officials. Should this procedure fail students may contact:
Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission
Office of Post-Secondary Education
3225 25th Street SE
Salem, OR 97302
After consultation with appropriate Commission staff and if the complaint alleges a violation of Oregon Revised Statutes 345.010 to 345.470 or standards of the Oregon Administrative Rules 715-045-0001 through 715-045-0210, the Commission will begin the complaint investigation process as defined in OAR 715-045-0023 Appeals and Complaints.
If we are not able to help you, you may contact the Washington State Workforce Board, per the legally-required language below that you sign during your enrollment process:
Washington law requires private vocational schools to inform students how to file a complaint. By signing the grievance policy you acknowledge this process has been explained to you. Below are the next steps the school must take in discussing this policy with you, along with information about the complaint process.
First, a school representative must discuss the school's complaint policy with you. Following this discussion, you will be provided with this policy to sign. After you sign the form, the school will give you a copy for your personal records. The school will also keep a copy on file.
- The school has described the grievance and/or complaint policy to me.
- I understand that the policy can also be found in the school catalog.
- I know I should first try to resolve a complaint or concern with my instructor or school administrator.
- I understand nothing prevents me from contacting the Workforce Board at 360-709-4600 at any time with a concern or complaint, and complaint forms are: http://wtb.wa.gov/PCS_Complaints.asp.
- I understand that I have one year to file a complaint from my last date of attendance.
- I further understand that in the event of a school closure, I have 60 days to file a complaint.
- I also understand that complaints are public records.
- Finally, I acknowledge that details about the complaint process, my rights, and any restrictions on the time I have to file a complaint can be found at http://wtb.wa.gov/PCS_Complaints.asp
Epicodus keeps copies of student transcripts and other documents indefinitely. You can access your student files on your Epicenter account.
Epicodus staff will not release any information about you without your written permission provided by email, including whether or not you are (or have ever been) an Epicodus student, except:
- to your parents if you are under 18;
- if required to do so by a judicial order or subpoena;
- appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies;
- specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
- appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student; and
- organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school.
For any inquiry about you other than those above, including from employers, Epicodus will request your written permission before responding.
You may request that Epicodus correct records which you believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If Epicodus decides not to amend the record, you may request a formal hearing. If Epicodus still decides not to amend the record, you may place a statement in your record setting forth your view about the contested information.
Epicodus complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Sometimes Epicodus students can experience mental health challenges. This could be an ongoing challenge that you've experienced before or it could be a new difficulty resulting from managing the stresses of life while in an intensive program of study. Either way, we want you to know that mental health concerns are common and nothing to be ashamed of and that mental health support is available should you need it. The following list is by no means exhaustive and there are many more resources out there than it would be possible to list here. That said, we hope this gives you a place to start if you are looking for support and don't know where to begin. If you need academic support or accommodation around mental health concerns, please reach out to an Epicodus staff member so we can collaborate on how to best support you in this program. Your mental and emotional wellness matter, so please take good care of yourself!
Hotlines and General Resources
- Trans Lifeline
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Veterans Crisis Line
- National Sexual Assault Hotline
- Call to Safety Formerly Portland Women's Crisis Line, for domestic and sexual violence
- NAMI Oregon Resources and phone numbers for mental health crises, housing, legal aid, family services, and more.
- Crisis Connections(Seattle)
- Crisis Text Line
- DAWN (Domestic Abuse Women's Network) (Seattle)
- King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (Seattle)
- NAMI Washington