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Discussion on: 5 Things No One Tells You About Going to a Coding BootCamp

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chriscapaci profile image
Chris Capaci

Avoid "bootcamps" completely should be the advice. Waste of time and money. And if I have equal candidates and the only difference is "bootcamp" experience, I'm never choosing the one with it. They just don't offer enough to actually make any difference.

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vitalcog profile image
Chad Windham

Wow. Seems like a very negative outlook... But why?

"if I have equal candidates and the only difference is "bootcamp" experience, I'm never choosing the one with it."

I'm not sure if you actually meant for it to sound this way, but that statement is saying if you have two "equal" candidates, you will literally not choose the one with bootcamp experience. That is an insanely negative bias (at least that is what it seems like from my perspective.)

I graduated from a bootcamp and immediately landed an amazing job (I actually had to postpone my first interview so I could finish my final team project first). I now also help teach part time at a boot camp (a different one from mine).

I've met a lot of hiring managers from impressive big name companies who love hiring boot camp graduates as well. (So the opposite of your opinion.)

You're welcome to your opinion of course. But just realize you are applying a negative carpet bomb of a generalized statement that is incredibly discouraging to a lot of people working very hard to change there careers. With your statement, you've literally become another obstacle that people will list they had to overcome in there success stories.

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donita profile image
Donita Author

Thank you for this amazing reply!

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arstrel profile image
Artem

Thanks, Chad for writing this! I'm about to go to bootcamp and I've read plenty of positive reviews from every point of view. Basically, everything comes down to putting your best effort forward every day and keeping it up post-graduation.
Thanks for your word of encouragement.

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donita profile image
Donita Author

You're welcome!

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shanpages profile image
Shannan

Iā€™m sure every program is different, but it seems like they work for some people. Like most things, I only get out of it what I put into it

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tenshiemi profile image
Emily Chen

The majority of bootcamp grads get a job in the industry and many more than double their income in their first role. I'm not sure by what criteria that would be a waste of time and money, especially compared to the time and money cost of attending a university! I graduated from one in 2014 and was immediately able to contribute on the team that hired me.

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kyleljohnson profile image
Kyle Johnson

I'm on the fence. I hire developers myself and the negative I see is you now have to break them out of bad habits learned at the bootcamp or teach them basic things they should have learned.

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donita profile image
Donita Author

What are some of the bad habits that are taught at bootcamps?

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kyleljohnson profile image
Kyle Johnson

I used a bad choice of words. I should not have said bad habits. You usually learn the easiest way to do something which most of the time is not the professional way of doing it. You have very little time to learn a lot of stuff in a bootcamp so learning theory goes out the window.

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devslewis profile image
Seth

Aren't you also teaching someone with a CS degree the way to do it? I know some degrees teach specific languages, but my understanding is many CS degree students come with a better understanding of concepts, while bootcamp grads come with a better understanding of implementation.

Both have something they need to learn during that first job. It's just a different something.

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jamiekaren profile image
Jamie Ferrugiaro

I decided to join one, it starts in May. I don't think there is a this/that only result for any program (including degree programs). There are many people who have found success with them and many who have not.

My main choices for joining one:

1) It's offered in partnership with Rutger's University.
2) It's in-person, 15 minutes from my full-time job (currently in accounting).
3) It offers free tutoring, office hours, career coaching, networking events every 3 months, and career services after completion.
4) It's a structured learning curriculum.
5) I am too old to go back to college (35, another degree would mean I'd be close to 40!).

I think the main thing is having the right mindset. You can't assume that as someone new to this field you're going to enroll in these programs and magically leave with a job. That doesn't happen anywhere. I assume that during and after I'll have to keep learning, keep working on projects, keep networking.

I've had multiple extremely nice developers be kind enough to go through the curriculum for me, and most will tell me the same thing. It's a solid start, if not a little spread out too much on programming languages. Instead of having blinders on to that, I'll keep asking people for advice, keeping learning what jobs in my area are most looking for, keep working.

Is it perfect? No. But calculating the ROI for these sort of things is absolutely individual more than it is generalized. If you were to ask me if college is worth the investment, I'd tell you no. I'd go on about how much money and time is wasted in a lot of classes that have nothing to do with your degree. But many people would say they are very happy with where their degree got them, regardless of the loans.

I'll let you know in Nov how I faired--but in the end, the only answer is there is no right one.

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sally profile image
Sally

What is it that makes you feel that way?

In my city we have a strong bootcamp of 3 years with connections to the growing local tech centre, and successful graduates who've been hired within days. Early graduates are now being promoted into elevated developer roles. We graduated in MERN stack but some went on to roles in Java, C#, Python and Ruby. I myself am one happy graduate, and just over a year now as an employed developer. I wasted neither time nor money.

I do know I am lucky in that the bootcamp model, providing juniors to enthusiastic and prepared companies, is still strong here. In some cities and countries, yes: the bootcamps grew too fast and spread too thin, quality can be variable and the market saturated with graduates. However, this isn't automatically universal, and I wouldn't discourage everyone with a blanket statement due to the poor experiences in one location.

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harlinatwork profile image
Harlin Seritt šŸ

Glad to hear this worked for you!

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harlinatwork profile image
Harlin Seritt šŸ

Maybe never say "never"?

A LONG time ago, I went to a bootcamp of sorts to get a couple of certifications. True, this didn't work out for me probably because I had no experience in the industry. Luckily, I was able to use my GI bill to go to college and get a 2 year degree. Then, I was just willing to do a little more at the internships I was involved in and one of them offered me a low paying fulltime job which I accepted. It was only a matter of time before I was able to find something else based on that experience. Always be willing to do a little more. It pays off in the end.

For what it's worth though, the coding boot-camps from the last 3-4 years have been fairly worthwhile. At the moment if I was starting over, I would probably consider them over going to a 4 year school unless I just had the time and money to do that (for example if I was early 20's again). The only problem though I've found is that they're a little crowded in certain markets which means there are a lot of fledgling developers looking for work in the same area. If you can attend one of these and graduate and then be willing to move to a different area of the country, you'll find something eventually.

Best of luck to anyone looking.

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micahcodes profile image
Micah Stewart

Gross attitude man.

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donita profile image
Donita Author

Do you mind elaborating more?

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annejsize profile image
Jenna King

Whoa, that's very dismissive. I went to a bootcamp and met some brilliant students who needed the program to help jump start their dev careers. They had a strong programming background but wanted more experience in actually building things and get feedback on their code, which the bootcamp offered. Granted, there were also students who didn't fare as well, who shouldn't have been in the program in the first place - but all programs have these students.

Don't focus so much on where they got their certificate/education but rather, what they know and can build now, their aptitude for learning and understanding, their ability to work with others, and so on. It's not where you learn your trade but what you do with it.

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Jake Neels

I might post something like this too if I was still 30k in debt after 4 years in university taking courses in underwater basket-weaving to complete my CS major. Truth is a good bootcamp is an extraordinary value and is as good of a foundation as any given you take it seriously.

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thisguymartin profile image
Martin Patino

I would note hire a bootcamp unless they wowed me and that has not happened. Bootcamps have only flooded the market.

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jlcobos profile image
Jose Cobos

Well that's terrible advice. I'm a boot camp grad and work as a developer. I love my job and am getting better at it every day. The problem with people with this mindset is that they don't understand current knowledge is not a reflection of ability. More developers than you realize do not have CS degrees.I will take a boot camp grad with a high ceiling over a lazy CS grad. Good lord.