SheCodes Review 2024: Everything You Need to Know
What started with 10 women would later grow into a community of more than 180,000 who have graduated from a SheCodes workshop. What is SheCodes? Is it the best online coding school to help women continue breaking the glass ceiling and breaking into tech? Let’s review the pros and cons of SheCodes to find out.
Table of Contents
- What is SheCodes?
- Ease of Use
- Course Quality
- Instructor Support
- Career Counseling/Job Placement
- Refund Policy
- Making the Most of SheCodes
- The Takeaway
- Our Verdict
What is SheCodes?
SheCodes is an online coding school that actually began in a physical classroom in Lisbon, Portugal. Founder Matthieu Delac started SheCodes in 2017 with a small goal — to teach 10 women how to code. The idea caught like wildfire and soon the company began expanding in students, workshops, and locations.
After more locations in Portugal began popping up, SheCodes turned digital to bring its curriculum to more women in tech. It now boasts thousands of students from over 100 countries.
Every course in the SheCodes platform is paid — except for a free 60-minute introduction video — so it easily aligns with other paid programs like Udemy and General Assembly. SheCodes follows a tiered framework of four workshops where users can pay for a certain level of mastery. (Note — I was only willing to fork over the $99 for the first tier to help me get the lay of the land.)
Despite being a for-profit business — unlike FreeCodeCamp — SheCodes is dedicated to helping all women learn to code. And this is most apparent through the SheCodes Foundation. Ten percent of SheCodes workshop purchases goes to funding the foundation where women in developing countries and female refugees can learn to code for free after filling out an application.
SheCodes is on a mission to teach and develop thousands of women coders, but is it the right online coding school for you? Using Skillcrush’s standard 7-point rating system, where does SheCodes line up?
Ease of Use
The TL;DR: SheCodes makes learning to code as easy as ABC, 123.
When you learn to code, you sometimes feel like you’re learning a new language. And technically, you are. Coding is made up of multiple languages and they can be hard, especially when you dive into its nuances. Fortunately, programs like SheCodes make learning how to code less intimidating and easier to manage.
The beginning of the workshop starts with a video from founder Matt Delac. He walks you through expectations, homework and deadlines, what software you need to download, and gaining access to the SheCodes Slack workspace.
Each workshop is broken down into weeks and even further into lessons that feature three steps: watching a video, completing a coding challenge, and submitting your answer. To complete the coding challenges, you need to sign up for CodePen and create your code there before copy-and-pasting it into the SheCodes website. And sure, this process isn’t difficult, but it can feel like a hassle when other online coding schools let you create and check your code directly in their platforms.
SheCodes lessons come equipped with notes, but their cheat sheets — in HTML, CSS, JS, Chrome, and more — are must-have resources to have on hand during your lessons. The lessons end with a weekly homework assignment that — like the challenges — you’ll need an outside program (Visual Studio Code) for. And while I did find the platform easy to use, it didn’t always give me peace of mind.
The course isn’t completely self-paced. While you work through the course at your own convenience, there is a weekly assignment due each Monday. And while you can easily request an extension or push back your start date — I did, twice — there was added stress about not being able to meet deadlines.
A timed course can feel like a lot of pressure, especially when you consider other responsibilities, but when combined with the easy interface, it’ll be smooth sailing towards completing the course.
The TLDR: With multiple workshops to choose from, SheCodes courses may cost you from $100 to nearly $2000.
You don’t have to break the bank if you decide to begin your coding career with SheCodes. Their curriculum and coursework aren’t as free as FreeCodeCamp — which you’d know from our review is completely free. Alternatively, you won’t be pocketing a hefty bill like you might with the nearly $15K you’d have to spend for full-time, on-campus courses with General Assembly.
SheCodes gives you options that range from a free course sampler to a full-course “meal,” if you will. Their online program includes a free 60-minute coding class followed by tiered workshops: SheCodes Basics ($99), SheCodes Plus ($790), SheCodes Pro ($1590), and SheCodes Max ($1990).
Regardless of whether you’re spending $790 or nearly $2000 on a coding class, it might be out of your budget to spend it all at once. SheCodes does allow you to split the cost into more affordable, monthly payments. For example, signing up for SheCodes Max might seem more reasonable with the option of paying $279 for eight months.
And if you ask me — which you technically are by reading this review — SheCodes gets extra points in my book for offering special discounts if you’re a student or unemployed. All you need to do is apply for it.
The TLDR: Depending on the workshop, SheCodes covers most of what you need to transition from a newbie to a professional developer.
Each workshop builds on top of the other and culminates with the SheCodes Max program. To take you from a beginner to a professional, the company uses nine coding workshops and eight real-life projects to teach you a whopping 16 technologies — API, GitHub, Bootstrap, and more — and earn you 10 certificates. Designed to guide you along the way, SheCodes starts with coding basics and uses that foundation to build user knowledge and create professional developers.
The TLDR: While few people think coding is easy, instructor Matt Delac makes learning it easier.
Re-introducing the SheCodes founder and course instructor, Matt Delac. He hails from Southern France. And while he may be a DJ by night, he’s a full-stack engineer by day. He coded the entire SheCodes website and as the instructor, talks users through their lessons.
The curriculum comes with pre-recorded videos where he explains everything. Matt talks about high-level information like HTML and CSS being markup languages and not processing languages. He dives into smaller details like his explanation that while you can have infinite h2s, h3s, and so on, you really should only have one h1 on your page.
Remember, these lessons are pre-recorded so there won’t be any back-and-forth with your instructor to iron out your questions. There may not be any additional support to answer your questions throughout the lessons, but the “get help on Slack” button at the top of each page will come in handy. At any moment, it will connect you with the SheCodes community where technical assistants are waiting and ready to answer your questions.
The TLDR: The SheCodes community acts as your study buddy, tutor, and biggest cheerleader.
At the beginning of your SheCodes workshop, they immediately integrate you into their community. The SheCodes community lives on Slack where everyone is encouraged to introduce themselves — name and location are fine — to its community of learners and technical assistants. With over 55,000 people in the workspace, it may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t feel that way.
Slack allows its users to create different “channels.” SheCodes segments these channels into different threads based on where you are in your learning. For example, if you just signed up for the SheCodes Basics workshop, you’d start by using the “shecodes-basics-week-1” channel. This is where you’d interact with your current classmates or dive into the information posted by past students who were once in your shoes.
Your designated Slack channel is where you’d ask questions — or answer them if you’re inclined. No one wants to wait around for 5-7 business days when they need help on an assignment. On the SheCodes Slack channels, saying you’d have to wait even 5-7 hours is a stretch. They promise that their technical assistants will reply in 12 hours, but I’ve seen a 1 AM question answered within half that time. Not to mention the community that’s itching to help. Chances are you’ll have classmates jumping in with answers before the technical assistants even report for duty.
Coding isn’t easy, but knowing you have supporters in your corner can help you go the extra mile. Not only does SheCodes provide technical help, but they make sure they celebrate your wins. While your introduction shoutout may be nothing to write home about, they acknowledge your completed assignments and graduation from the program.
Career Counseling/Job Placement
The TLDR: SheCodes doesn’t look like they’ll counsel you through finding a job, but a deeper look shows they will for an extra $99.
If you’re working towards a career in web development, learning how to code isn’t always enough. It helps to know how to break into the field. Many coding courses focus on the skills and leave the career counseling up to you. That could be the case with SheCodes if you don’t look hard enough.
Like FreeCodeCamp, SheCodes has a large and exclusive alumni network. With the completion of any SheCodes workshop, you gain access to SheCodes Connect — their community of 180,000+ women. You can connect with other members on platforms like LinkedIn, Slack, and Instagram. They even host local and online SheCodes Connect events.
Access to current and budding developers is the best way to network, but connections don’t guarantee a job. They don’t automatically come with a mentor to give you tips and tricks on making it through the hiring process. If users sign up for any of the first three SheCodes workshops, they may think they’re left to the wolves for career counseling.
The program does offer career counseling, but if you’re not a SheCodes Max user, you have to know to look for it. Career counseling is included in the package for the highest tier but is a $99 add-on for all other students. That seemingly makes sense except that you don’t have to be a full-fledged professional developer to land a job in tech. The career workshop covers building a resume, optimizing a LinkedIn profile, job interview tips, and finding leads. If you ask me, this is information that most people can learn at any stage of their web development journey.
But even with their career counseling and job placement, SheCodes might still pale in comparison to the Break Into Tech + Get Hired program. Note — we may be slightly biased but rightfully so!
Our BIT program is built in two parts. The first part gives you the technical skills you’ll need for a career in tech whether that’s as a front-end developer, UX/UI designer, or full-stack developer. Beyond that, it provides the tools and knowledge to land a job as one. You get three one-on-one live meetings with a career coach who’ll help you through resume review, interview practice, job applications, and building your network.
Learning how to code is an investment of both time and money. The goal is to make your investment worth it with a well-paying job in the future.
The TLDR: There’s a 100% no-money-back guarantee.
Maneuvering around digital content is hard. Once you give someone access to online information, it’s almost impossible to cut off their access to it, especially with tools like screenshots and screen recording. Likely knowing that, SheCodes doesn’t offer refunds. This includes one-time and monthly payments. Once you agree to sign up for their service, you gain lifetime access to their educational content and forfeit your right to a refund.
They’re exceptionally specific on the occasions where a refund won’t be given, even if you think you might warrant one. If you realize that maybe coding isn’t for you, you’re not getting a refund. If you haven’t started the course yet, you’re still not getting a refund. Fortunately, if you’re not ready to start the course after you’ve already paid, there are ways to push back your start date.
Ultimately, if you decide to sign up for SheCodes, say goodbye to your money, consider it an investment, and make the most of their resources.
Making the Most of SheCodes
How do you leverage the resources that SheCodes has to offer? Here’s what I’d suggest. Start with the free coding workshop. It’s only 60 minutes, but it can give you some insight into whether coding or SheCodes is the direction you want to go in.
If you do decide to go with SheCodes, sign up for the final tier, SheCodes Max. While it’s the most expensive of the workshops, it takes you on the most direct journey from beginner to a job in tech. With added workshops that include learning advanced technologies and career development, you’ll have lifetime access to the tools and resources every developer needs in their arsenal.
Final Score: 7/10
Ease of Use: 8/10
Course Quality: 8/10
Instructor Support: 8/10
Career Counseling/Job Placement: 7/10
Refund Policy: 0/10
How does SheCodes stack up against other online schools? It’s probably more appropriate to compare it to other paid options like General Assembly or courses that offer paid upgrades like Codecademy and Udemy, which we’ve reviewed in the past. Check out our reviews to see why we’ve rated these schools as:
General Assembly: 7/10
SheCodes is a program that offers self-paced coding workshops that help users transition from beginner to professional developers. Its tiered framework emphasizes affordability; however, that’s slightly contradicted by the added cost for something as crucial as career counseling that some — namely me — might argue is important to know at any stage in one’s career. Whether it takes three weeks to finish the first workshop or eight months to finish the last, SheCodes gives you lifetime access to countless learning opportunities and a reliable community to shape your career as a future developer. And no, you’re not getting your money back, but that’s okay!