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Discussion on: What Bootcamp did you attend and would you recommend it?

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heybrettbell profile image
Brett B

I graduated from the BitmakerGA full stack web dev program in Sept 2017. I'm a bit different: I'm 44 and I already had/have my own dev firm as well a job as at a public affairs firm. But I grew tired of having to pay others to build my ideas.

I was completely self taught up to that point, with a lot of HTML and CSS background and some JS.

We learned Ruby, Rails, Git, Postgres, JS and testing. We all built apps and demoed them for "potential" employers, as others have mentioned.

I definitely learned faster than I would have on my own, and I was lucky to have a great cohort of awesome people. That being said, my feelings are mixed.

It's important to know that coming out of a bootcamp, you are a junior web developer - with the emphasis on junior. It's to be expected, but I find bootcamps downplay that fact. BitmakerGA certainly did.

So less than halfway through the course, the "job coach" told me that unless I was prepared to take a $30-40K a year job, there wasn't much they could do. Ok, cool. I went back to my old life.

But my cohort colleagues didn't do much better. Of the 12 odd, only a few got jobs. The employers who came to demo day told us flat out they weren't looking. Those who did get jobs largely did it without any help from BitmakerGA and had to learn new languages like Java and React - on their own.

Since graduating, I moved quickly from Rails to JS. The bootcamp was helpful, as I understood the fundamentals of MVC and object oriented programming. I pick stuff up a lot faster.

But we didn't learn about frameworks, React, Node or many of the languages that are in demand in 2019. Instead, they did a class on designing for gender non-binary users - which is fine, but won't come up in a technical interview.

So I won't say it was a waste of time. I loved my time there and learned a lot. But one has to manage their expectations and know that a bootcamp in no way guarantees you a job. You're going to largely have to get one on your own.