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Career and Interview Tips

Learning Code In Los Angeles? These Places Have You Covered

The Los Angeles tech scene is not to be underestimated. Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Snapchat, BuzzFeed, and dozens of other tech companies have offices in LA — often located in the Westside’s Silicon Beach region.


If you’re eager to break into that LA tech scene, look no further! The following groups will get you started on your journey to become a developer, or help you level up your skills if you’re a more advanced student. Check out the list below to see which courses are right for you.

Learn Teach Code

Course level: Beginner — Advanced

Example courses: Intro to HTML Workshop; Python Programming Study Group

Price range: $0

Founded in early 2015 by Liz Krane, Learn Teach Code is as much about building community as it is about learning computer science skills. Liz began hosting the meetups so that she herself would have fellow beginners to study with “first in my living room, then in coffee shops and any offices that would offer to host us.” In 2016, Liz gave a presentation about starting the group when she herself was a beginner. She explained, “You don’t have to be an expert to help other people learn something.”

Over the past year and a half, Learn Teach Code has evolved into a highly active programming meetup with multiple events per week, ranging from study groups to workshops. The group is beginner-focused but welcomes students of all levels. “At our study groups, the goal is to share knowledge and meet people,” says Liz. If you’re a motivated learner looking for some study buddies, this could be the group for you.

Girl Develop It — Los Angeles

Course level: Beginner & Intermediate

Example courses: WordPress 101; Intro to Mobile App Building

Price range: $0 — $90

Girl Develop It is a national nonprofit focused on teaching women to code in an affordable, judgment-free setting. Natalie MacLees, Co-Founder and Chapter Leader of GDI Los Angeles, explains that what sets Girl Develop It apart from other coding classes in the area is it offers a welcoming, supportive, beginner-friendly environment. As Natalie notes (and as any woman in tech knows), “It can be really helpful to have a supportive community of women … who can give advice, help you learn, push you to excel and listen when you vent.” That supportive community can definitely be found at Girl Develop It — Los Angeles.

Although Girl Develop It does focus on instructing women, classes are open to all students aged 18 and up. Most of the LA chapter’s courses are targeted to beginners, but as the chapter grows they do intend to offer more intermediate and advanced classes.

Thinkful L.A.

Course level: Beginner & IntermediateExample courses: Flexible Web Development Bootcamp, Full Time Web Development Bootcamp, Flexible Data Science Bootcamp

Price range: $0 — $14,000

Thinkful L.A. is a coding bootcamp focused on helping students learn to code and get jobs as developers and data scientists. Every week, they host free events for beginners and intermediate developers on topics like HTML/CSS, JavaScript, and important developer tools like git/GitHub. Bi-weekly tech talks focus on topics like getting started in tech, choosing your first programming language, and building an impressive portfolio.

Thinkful offers both full time and flexible options for their coding bootcamp, where they teach full stack web development through 1-on-1 mentorship and project-driven learning. Thinkful is the only L.A. coding bootcamp with a job-placement guarantee and an independently audited report on student outcomes.

Coding Dojo

Course level: Beginner & Intermediate

Example courses: Onsite Flex Bootcamp; Dev Accelerator

Price range: $50 — $11995

No matter what language you’re looking to learn, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find an applicable course at Coding Dojo’s LA campus, located in Burbank, CA. The school offers a 14-week “flex bootcamp” in which students choose three different technology stacks to learn — choices include PHP, Python, iOS, Ruby on Rails and MEAN. Alternatively, advanced students can choose to learn a single stack during a four-week Dev Accelerator course. Not ready for the commitment? Coding Dojo has evening classes and single-day workshops to choose from as well.

Katie Bouwkamp, Coding Dojo’s Director of Communications, explains that the main advantage to the school’s multi-stack style is that “employers in LA are looking for versatile, self-sufficient developers. We believe that the best way to prime students for the job market is to teach multiple programming languages.” Better yet, Coding Dojo offers scholarships of up to $2,000 for aspiring female programmers.

UCLA Extension Engineering & Technology

Course level: Beginner — Advanced

Example courses: Introduction to PHP with MySQL; Google Android Development

Price range: $925 — $8,950

The Engineering & Technology department at UCLA Extension offers a variety of individual courses, certificates, and sequential programs on topics ranging from python programming to machine learning. According to the school’s website, most programs offer open admission — that is, you simply enroll by paying the initial fee. In many cases, you can simply enroll in a single course that interests you (even if that course is offered as part of a certificate).

If this traditional higher ed setting sounds right for you, don’t miss UCLA Extension’s list of offerings. The school does not offer job placement services, but does note on its website that “your coursework will provide you with opportunities to network with instructors and other students, many of whom are working professionals.”

Los Angeles Women’s Ruby on Rails Group

Course level: Beginner

Example courses: Introduction to Git and Github; Open Source Pair & Mob Programming

Price range: $0+

The LA Women’s Ruby on Rails Group is a beginner-focused group that meets regularly on LA’s East Side. According to Organizer Jen Diamond, it’s “meant to encourage women to join into the technology space by offering a comfortable, inviting environment.” Anyone who’s curious about learning to code (but perhaps doesn’t know where to start) would be well-suited to attend these meetups.

Jen explains that the events are “a great place to learn by collaborating with other developers. [They provide] an opportunity to meet other developers to work with or to find a mentor, to ask questions and to learn.” The meetups are free of charge, but Jen notes that the group is planning to add some more formal classes to its agenda in the near future which will have a small fee.

General Assembly

Course level: Beginner & Intermediate

Example courses: iOS Development Immersive; Introduction to Lean UX Methods

Price range: $35 — $14,500

Generally Assembly has well over a dozen campuses around the world, including two in Los Angeles: one downtown, and one in Santa Monica. In addition to providing high quality instruction, the school has “an education-to-employment approach aimed to set students up for success outside of the classroom,” according to Marketing Manager Marina Rusinow.

General Assembly offers full-time and part-time immersives for beginners, as well as many shorter classes and workshops. The wide variety of of topics and class types makes this school a great pick for many students.

Join PowerToFly today to become part of our fast-growing network of all-star women in tech.

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