Then Bradfield may be for you.
Instead of teaching you frameworks or technologies you could easily teach yourself, we focus on deep topics in computer science and software engineering rarely taught outside of top universities.
Our courses are structured as short modules that can be taken individually to accelerate an area of study, or combined for a more comprehensive computer science curriculum. Small in-person tutorials are combined with programming exercises, textbook study and paper reading to maximize effectiveness, and all instructors are highly experienced teachers and engineers.
For updates on new courses, as well as the best computer science resources and tech news that matters, subscribe to our weekly newsletter Bradfield Beeps.
Next session: 13 November to 11 December 2017
Understand how a microprocessor works from logic gates up, and the interaction between hardware, user code and the operating system kernel.
Next sessions: 29 Nov to 23 Dec 2017 and 5-30 Jan 2018
Learn about common algorithms, data structures, and techniques for algorithmic problem solving. This course is an accelerated view of what is commonly covered in an undergraduate algorithms course.
Full time instruction is provided by Myles Byrne, Ozan Onay and Tyler Bettilyon, all of whom have extensive experience both as software engineers and as teachers.
Myles was CTO of Dev Bootcamp, prior to which he was a special projects engineer reporting directly to the CEO of Groupon, and an engineering lead at Centro. His areas of expertise include operating systems, networking, databases, functional programming and managing complexity.
Oz was CTO and Co-founder of Vida.com and Topguest (acquired by Switchfly). He also worked as an engineer and engineering manager at companies including Practice Fusion and Counsyl. His areas of expertise include algorithms and problem solving, mathematics, functional programming and modeling.
Tyler was most recently Managing Lead Instructor at Galvanize, where he oversaw all of the web development instructors in San Francisco and played a key role in program development and execution. Prior to Galvanize, he held a variety of software engineering roles and received a BS in Computer Science from the University of Utah. In a previous life Tyler was a high school debate coach, where he first fell in love with education.
How to avoid the hype and make good technology choices.
Why you should understand languages and compilers generally, rather the details of any one.
What we lose as we spend more time with high-level languages, and why we shouldn’t neglect C.
What is worth learning and spending time on, in our opinion.
Practical suggestions for learning about computer architecture.
Practical suggestions for how to really understand and make good use of database systems.
Our microsite listing the best resources and focus areas for those wishing to teach themselves computer science.
Both Myles and Oz are incredible engineers and teachers, and were the two people who have had the greatest impact on my career as an engineer. Working with them, I experienced the highest growth period of my career.
Myles and Oz taught me to be tenacious about figuring out what’s going on under the hood, rather than blindly trusting the abstractions I’m working with. I will look back upon my training with Bradfield as a significant inflection point in my development as an engineer and as a thinker.
If you care about software craftsmanship then you need to master computer science, full stop. I'm embarrassed to say that I once scoffed at the idea of studying the fundamentals before learning the latest trends—I blame my bootcamp roots—because now that I've started, I've become a vastly better engineer.
Take a Bradfield course if you want to accelerate your software engineering career. The classes are small, the material is relevant, and the pace is fast but manageable. I was promoted to Lead iOS Engineer after taking one course!
Myles helped me not just with the things I didn’t know, but more importantly with the things I didn’t know I didn’t know. He was instrumental to me building up my programming interview skillsets. Through working with Myles, I have already landed one offer that was $42k higher than my previous salary.
Myles and Oz are extraordinary teachers. They have a rare combination of deep theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and a knack for distilling complex topics into simple ideas. Under their tutelage I’ve become a higher-leverage engineer, a more capable problem-solver, and most importantly, a more confident, dedicated learner.
Myles an Oz are two of the best educators I know. Their program is one I wish I’d had the opportunity to take: the mix of widely varied hands-on projects combined with actual industry work really is the best way to learn this craft.
The Bradfield program’s closely-mentored instruction is exactly the sort of prep we think sets candidates up for success.
If you are a strong programmer but strive to do more challenging and rewarding work, then Bradfield is here to serve you. We feel that it’s relatively easy to teach yourself a new language or technology, so we focus on the challenging computer science concepts that will make you a significantly better engineer, but that are hard to learn without some instruction and a supportive environment. As far as we know, we are the only institution that does this outside of a university environment.
We conduct highly interactive tutorial style classes of 6-10 students, combining question-and-answer style teaching with hands on problem solving. Before the class, your instructor will ask you to watch a video lecture or read a textbook section or paper. Instead of repeating the lecture in class, we will probe your understanding and consolidate your knowledge.
Many of our courses will involve a major project (like writing an interpreter or database system) or a series of minor projects (like adding features to an operating system, writing a load balancer or re-deriving TCP) and your instructor will help you extend your understanding to these and other applications.
For any given course, classes run twice per week for 4 weeks, for a total of 20-24 contact hours. We also suggest an hour of preparation per hour of class, and are able to provide more prework and homework for those who have the capacity.
576 Natoma St, which is between 6th and 7th streets in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco. This is close to a number of transportation options.
The top computer science departments in the US have done an excellent job of identifying the lasting ideas in computer science that every practitioner should learn. Unfortunately, the conventional university format—lectures and exams, spread over four years—does not suit everybody. Relative to a university, our own offering covers many of the same big ideas and foundational topics, but in a radically different format.
By using online courseware to provide the equivalent of lectures, the in-person portion can be dedicated to deepening understanding. By limiting courses to strong programmers, keeping classes small, and eliminating excessively theoretical content as well as exams and graded assignments, we are able to cover a comparable amount of content in an expedited manner.
Bradfield exists to give you deep, valuable capabilities rather than your first programming job. We assume that you already are or could be a professional software engineer, but that you are striving to a higher standard. Many of our students did attend a bootcamp at some point, and valued the intensity and direct path to employability, but recognized that they would need to invest more time in their education in order to achieve their ultimate goals.
Yes, at this stage all of our classes are in-person in San Francisco. Our highest priority is quality, and experience tells us that this is best done with everybody in the same room.
It is common for interstate or international students to travel to San Francisco to attend our courses. Often they will continue working remotely while they take a single class, or dedicate the time to studying with us full time. If you would like to explore this option, we will do our best to help you with accomodation and planning.
Before we started teaching, we were senior software engineers and engineering managers, not researchers. All of our courses are practical, although they will push you toward a deeper understanding of the practice of software engineering. For instance, all of our courses involve either a major course project, or a series of smaller projects or exercises. These are all practical problems, but problems that would be impossible to solve without the depth of computer science understanding for which we strive.
As an example, students in our Databases course implement a simple relational database management system from scratch. This is practical insofar as it requires a significant amount of software engineering, and provides invaluable insight that any practicing software engineer ought to have about the database technologies with which they likely work. However, it requires a firm understanding of the theoretical concepts covered in the course.
Yes! We love when students do this, and have had some great success with recent high school graduates, dropouts from conventional college programs as well as more experienced engineers who would have otherwise pursued a masters degree. For these students, we provide some additional support and mentorship, and a discount on tuition. Please contact us as soon as possible so that we can help you think through your options.
If you plan to study full time, you may be able to take three courses in parallel. Our courses are always scheduled such that this is possible. If you will continue to work or have other commitments, we generally suggesting taking only one.
We schedule courses based on demand. Our most popular courses such as Algorithms and Data Structures or Computer Architecture tend to run every couple of months, whereas our more advanced courses such as Operating Systems or Distributed Systems run every 4-5 months.
At this stage, we are unable to provide a degree or credit that would be recognized by a regionally accredited university. Doing so would require us to structure our courses much more similarly to theirs, and to administer exams, which we would prefer to avoid. We can however provide a certificate of completion or letter of accomplishment as desired.
Still have questions? Contact us.
Average code is letting us down, and the stakes have never been higher: bits are replacing atoms, algorithms are attaining agency, and “infrastructure” is coming to mean cloud services, not roads and railways. Within the next few years, algorithms will be driving our cars and defining our virtual worlds.
Yet while the impact of technology is increasing, we are suffering a crisis of quality. Over 50,000 new software developers enter the industry every year, but only a fraction are on a path toward excellence. Few will produce lasting, high quality software.
At Bradfield we strive to close this gap by helping software developers become high impact software engineers. By focusing on foundational computer science disciplines like operating systems, computer architecture and databases, we prepare our graduates to produce high quality software in the short term and breakthrough technologies in the long term.
We hope you will join us.