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Coding bootcamps - what they don't tell you

Matt Upham
Web Developer (JavaScript, React, Python)
・2 min read

I went to a coding bootcamp and switched careers into tech. Now I'm a software developer in Silicon Valley (web development). Was my experience worth it?

Popular bootcamps in 2019 are Hack Reactor / Galvanize, General Assembly, Lambda School, Fullstack Academy, and Flatiron School, among many others.

Many focus on web development because it's undertaught in college currently, so there's a high demand in the market.

My coding bootcamp experience truly changed my life for the better, BUT was it completely worth the money? You can definitely go through the same process of learning and getting your first job without a coding bootcamp (online resources like FreeCodeCamp are great)

I break down some common misconceptions about coding bootcamps, and explain why you should / shouldn't go.

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Coding bootcamps — what are they, are they worth the cost?

What is a coding bootcamp?

  • Accelerated program to learn software skills
  • 3 months to a year long
  • Smaller cohorts

Why are bootcamps around?

  • Current skill gap in the industry
  • Not everyone can afford to go back to college (although a bootcamp isn’t a replacement)
  • Very High ROI

Location?

  • Major Cities
  • Remote
  • Occasionally partner with universities

What they don’t tell you:

  • Bootcamps really don’t teach you much, it’s very self-taught
  • There aren’t as many open jobs that you think
  • The statistics are manufactured (they employ bootcamp grads as instructors, they heavily filter in people they think can achieve it with success)
  • The job search is the hardest part of the bootcamp (seriously, people applied to ~300 jobs each)
  • Just the beginning, the learning never stops (but that’s the fun part!)
  • You can do this career transition on your own without a bootcamp

What are your thoughts on coding bootcamps? They definitely have stigmas, but the high-quality ones can also be great resources!

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