Home Reports Complaints ISA Investors My Story Hiring Rates

Software Engineer and Former Lambda Student on "Is Lambda Worth It?"

This will be a bit long-winded, so I apologize beforehand. I have strong opinions and feel they should be fully explained.I attended Lambda for four months as a student and four months as a TL before completely dropping out of lambda. I started with virtually no experience and was a full-time Lambda student with no job. I am now a salary Software-Engineer employee.
        The first 4 months of Lambda was "okay" at best. I found the lectures to be decent, but the materials were basically all free projects that could be found anywhere on the Internet. The curriculum itself was weak and also contained nothing you could not find with a simple google search. Lambda's program is really aimed to attempt to give you a high-level web development skill in React while providing no foundation in the actual language it uses (JavaScript). By month three, all students could make some simple React UI App, but virtually no one could write a for loop from scratch. I found this to be one of Lambda's greatest shortcomings. They focus more on teaching you one specific library which will always change instead of teaching you the language everything is built off of. At month four, I felt like I had somehow skated by. I mean I passed everything but really did not understand anything at a low level. At this point, I decided to apply for a TL position, because I was wanting a second pass on all the materials Lambda did not teach me the first time. Most of TLs were in this same position. Lambda claims you can flex whenever you desire, but I did not find this to be the case at all. There was immense pressure to not flex and Lambda loves to blame their bad teaching on "imposter syndrome". Whenever students would express they felt left behind, Lambda staff would always simply say it is just imposter syndrome.
        My second four months as a TL is what really gave me my career. I say this for two reasons.         First after becoming a TL, I had more time, and I started taking Udemy courses on JavaScript and React and Front-End Masters courses. I learned far more from these courses than the Lambda Curriculum. It was not even close and by the end, and I was really upset thinking about where I could be if I utilized these resources the whole time instead of Lambda's materials. 
        Second, helping other students solve problems and fix code all day when their approaches were all very different helped me to be a much better problem solver. My pattern recognition skills really improved as well. This was where I felt myself grow the most, and I gained the confidence to be more hands-on.
        Why I dropped out?
        After seeing how much their curriculum had failed me and how much more I learned through other resources, I could not constitute staying. Even if I had to pay my ISA, the real goal was a programming job. I knew I could do that better with other resources rather than Lambda's materials. I did want a big showcase project for my portfolio though. I considered staying for Labs but seeing how much of a catastrophe my original cohort went through while I was a TL really made me decide against it. After two months full time, most groups had nothing better than any regular build week project. Most groups complained about constant requirement changes, Lambda's constant changing of the acceptable technologies, and forcing groups to restart their projects entirely if they were not compliant. Lambda shows these labs videos with great projects and stories, but anyone who went through it has a very different story. I find this to be a theme of Lambda. They advertise things one way and then act surprised when the students are so upset with changes.
        Three weeks after dropping out I was hired as a contractor, and since then the company has hired me on full time. So, if it worked for me, where do I stand on if a new student should apply to Lambda?
        I would say absolutely not. This school's interests are not aligned with you. It is like any cooperation built completely on venture capital. They will keep growing as fast as they can. They will keep making insane policy changes that hurt the student but help their bottom line. For example, the only positive thing I really said here about Lambda is the TL Program which really helped me. However, this TL Program no longer exists. Projects are not even graded anymore. Why in the world would they do this? Is it because it will help more people get hired? Of course not! It is because they are a business, and their interests, for the most part, are self-aligned. Now that they do not have to pay the TL $13 an hour, who cares if that immensely helped facilitate learning. A lot of people believe Lambda does not get paid unless a student gets hired. This is completely untrue. Almost all their money at this point has come from VC funding, and they sell the ISA's in bulk before each student even finds a job. I will say regardless of anything, I do not believe in finding problems without offering solutions. So what should you do instead of Lambda? Front End Masters and Udemy. For a fraction of the cost, you can learn React JS and Node JS in a more in-depth way than Lambda will attempt to provide. Front End Masters and Udemy also have loads more hours of resources. and their programs can actually help you master these technologies. Lambda simply scratches the surfaces of what they attempt to teach you. I do not believe Lambda is worth the time, let alone the money.