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Should You do a Bootcamp in 2022?

Coding bootcamps were popping off in the early 2010s. Bootcamp graduates were landing jobs with fat $100K salaries. And many were doing this in 12 weeks or less. It seems like every bootcamp graduate you talked to was working at places with ping pong tables and free food.

It’s now the 2020’s and you want to be a big-time developer who makes a fat salary. You want to get paid to do something you love. So you think you’ll do a bootcamp. But, then you peep the $14K price tag. You start wondering - are bootcamps still good? Can you still make a big-time salary? Are all the things that were true a few years ago still true in 2022? And, if they are should you do a bootcamp in 2022.

The answer depends.

Lame, I know. But, it really does depend on a few factors. This post is going to tell you what those factors are, to help you decide if you should still do a bootcamp in 2022.

Treat the post like a choose your own adventure. Skim the headings and read the sections that are relevant to you. If you read the whole thing it will tell you what a bootcamp is, how to decide if a bootcamp is right for you, the bad parts of a bootcamp, the good parts, and the alternatives.

Alright, let’s get into it. If you are a person who thinks a bootcamp is doing exercise in a park with a bunch of strangers, read on to find out what a coding bootcamp is and why you might want to do one.

What is a Coding Bootcamp

A coding bootcamp is a short intensive course that aims to teach you the bare minimum you need to find your first developer job. This is an important point to take note of. Why? Because coding bootcamps won’t teach you everything you need to know. Some of it you are going to have to learn yourself and some of it you are going to have to learn on the job. This important factor to acknowledge and we’ll go into it more later. For now, just know bootcamps aim to teach you to code quickly.

These coding bootcamps can also be online only, in person, or a mix of the two. All of them should offer live teaching, instructors, and a structured program. They are not pre-recorded video courses you might buy off Udemy where you have no access to the instructor.

Types of Bootcamps

There are many types of coding bootcamps and they can focus on a range of different technologies. It could be a data science bootcamp or maybe a web development bootcamp. What interests you, will determine what type of bootcamp to do.

When looking at the types of bootcamps, I think the best way to look at them is cost and ownership structure. Here are the types to help you search:

  • Privately owned local bootcamps - think your little hometown bootcamp put together by local people.
  • University Bootcamps - often these aren’t run by the University but are actually run by private for-profit companies who want to leverage the Universities brand.
  • Non-for-profit - bootcamps run for free (very rare). But Leon Noel is running one now..
  • Privately owned bootcamp chains like Generally Assembly, Le Wagon, or Lambda School.

Now you know what coding bootcamps are and aren’t, let’s look at the factors you should consider before deciding if you should do a bootcamp.

Factors to Consider

Ideally, you want to give a bootcamp everything you have. You want to be able to dedicate your time and energy towards learning to code. Doing this will mean you can get the most out of the bootcamp. It will also give you a higher likelihood of being successful in finding a job.

Bootcamps are not easy. They will challenge you and ask a lot of you. Just having a teacher and structure won’t make things easy. A lot of people think they can just sign up, half-ass it and get a job in the end. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.

This next section looks at some factors you should consider if you’re not sure if you should do a bootcamp. You want to consider these. Because, if you acknowledge these factors then you are more likely to be able to immerse yourself and be successful during your time in the bootcamp.

Do You Know if You Enjoy Coding?

Have you tried to code? Do you even like it? If you answered no to either of these. Do not do a bootcamp. You can stop reading here. Why?

Because bootcamps are tough. You will be battling to keep up with the material covered. Most likely, you are going to have to work a lot of hours, on nights and weekends. I probably averaged 10-12 hours a day on weekdays and 4-8 hours on weekends. This is how they squeeze 1 year's worth of material into 12 weeks because they force you to do a lot of work outside of class. Ouch. So, if you don’t want your money to go to waste, you need to work your ass off.

Therefore, if start the bootcamp without having ever written one line of code you’re going to be in real trouble. There are two reasons for this.

First, if you haven’t ever coded how do you know you’ll enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it your probably not going to get through the bootcamp or you might not get through your first year in the industry. To use an analogy, let’s say you don’t enjoy exercise. Now say you sign up for a marathon, where you had to run it in 3 hours. How likely are you to train to do that marathon? And even if you run it, how likely are you to finish in under 3 hours? I’d say it is a low likelihood for most people. The same applies to bootcamps, trust me I’ve seen it.

Now, I’m not saying you have to like what you do. Plenty of people I’ve worked within the past hated what they did, they suffered through it because they had mouths to feed. But, unless you’re incredibly driven it’s going to be hard to do those 12+ hour days for 12 weeks. Hard, but not impossible. You need to decide.

The next reason you should try coding before you start a bootcamp is, a lot of bootcamps have pre-work for you to do. Anyone in my bootcamp who didn’t do the pre-work was toast. They either dropped out or struggled through the bootcamp and are now not working in tech. This is a dirty little secret of bootcamps where you need to know a bit about coding before you start otherwise you won’t survive. You’ll always be behind.

Now, if you’re always behind that means your peers who you are competing with for jobs will be ahead of you technically. Meaning finding that first job just got harder.

So I’d recommend you try some free resources I’ve linked below to find out if you actually enjoy coding.

Can You Commit Financially?

Damn, money was tight during my bootcamp and I’m saying this as someone who was a tight-arse during the bootcamp. I was rolling into class with packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, something I hadn’t done for years. Despite this, I still nearly ran out of money before I landed my first job. So you need to ask yourself can you commit financially.

When you sign up to do a bootcamp, unless it’s part-time you’re probably not going to be working. So that $14K you are investing is actually the cost of the bootcamp plus the opportunity cost of the money you could be earning. In my case, my bootcamp actually cost me $80K because I was giving up $66K in money I could have earned in my job. Now, I’m betting that I will make it back over my career. But, it is definitely something to consider. Especially if you think you can learn and find a job in your spare time.

**Real Cost of Bootcamp**

-Bootcamp: $14K
-Loss income: $66K
-Cost of living: $1500 per month

Total Cost = 14K + 66K + (1500 x 3 (per month)) = 84.5K

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You also need to consider how you will pay your bills? The bootcamp cost $14K. What about all your other expenses that still exist while you’re doing the bootcamp, I mean a man’s gotta eat. There were a few people in my bootcamp who didn’t really factor this in and it added further stress to an already stressful time.

Another thing to consider is that you might not get a job right away. I know it took me about 3 months until after my bootcamp to land a job (I moved cities at that time which complicated things). This was pretty common for about 2 thirds of my cohort who even got jobs. So your calculations should also factor in some post bootcamp buffer, you need a strategy for how you are going to survive a bit longer while you job hunt.

So make sure you have those dollars in the bank to handle your bills before you sign up to do a bootcamp, otherwise, you’re going to have a bad time.

south park badtime meme with text - if you do a bootcamp without enough savings you're gonna have a bad time

Do you Have Time?

This section might be better worded as do you have time and are you willing to put in the time.

Like I’ve mentioned bootcamps are massive time investments, they aren’t just the 8 hours of lessons you have. They are all the other hours at night and on weekends that you need to be spending on getting yourself job-ready.

So you need to consider this two ways.

The first is do you actually have time. Do you have a partner like me who was understanding and knew that I would be fully immersed in this thing 90% of my waking time for the next 12 weeks? Do you have other commitments that you can’t ignore? Then you need to ask yourself. Honestly ask yourself, if you can give the time needed to be successful at your bootcamp. It takes a lot of sacrifice.

The other way to consider this is are you willing to work 12+ hours a day and work on your weekends? I love my weekends, those mothers are sacred. But, during my bootcamp I knew I’d have to give them up. I was willing to get up bleary-eyed on a Saturday morning after a night crying over bugs in my code to do it all again. You have to ask yourself are you willing to do that also. Because during my bootcamp there was very little time for the things I liked. I didn’t play video games, I didn’t read non-coding-related things, I only managed 1-2 episodes of the Office a night. It was tough. Worth it, but tough.

Now, not everyone will have to do what I did. Some of you will be able to get by on 8 hours, some on 10. But, even if the lessons click quickly for you, I’d still argue you need to be ready to dedicate a lot more time than you think to the bootcamp, because I’d argue (and from experience I know) 12 weeks just isn’t enough to make you a good developer. Therefore, the more work you put in the easier it will be to transition.

Bootcamps are a sacrifice of your time, consider if your life will allow you to do that. If not, that is okay, there are other avenues for you to achieve your dream.

What Jobs are Available in Your Local Area?

This is probably less relevant in a remote post-covid world. But, it is still worth mentioning because I think some businesses are still hesitant to hire people outside of their local area. So the more businesses that could potentially hire you means more chance of getting hired.

Therefore, you need to do some research into what jobs in software development are being advertised in your local area.

Do some research by searching sites like Indeed and LinkedIn for jobs in your area. Use terms like ‘junior developer’, ‘entry-level developer’, and ‘associate developer’ to see how many results are in your area.

When you’re looking at jobs, have a look at the languages they are using. If the languages are mostly in something you won’t be learning then consider if that will prevent you from finding work. Because, if your bootcamp teaches Ruby and Vue and there are only React and Python jobs in your area you might struggle to find a job.

Think of it this way, if you were hiring someone who you know you’re going to have to train anyway, wouldn’t you want to make life easier by ensuring they have experience with the languages you use? It’s kind of like an electrician trying to get a job as a plumber. Yeah, they are in similar areas but they have a lot longer to go than another plumber.

You also need to remember you won’t just be competing with people in your bootcamp, you’ll be up against community learners (I always thought the term self-learner is dumb, you didn’t just start teaching yourself. You used resources someone else made to learn...rant over) people with some experience and university graduates. So not many jobs might mean you’re going to have a harder time finding one.

It’s not impossible to get a job in another tech stack, but your chances of finding a job will probably increase if you know at least some of the potential employers' programming languages. So research what is available locally.

Are Your Skills Already too Advanced for a Bootcamp?

If you’ve been coding for a while. Especially if you have been coding with the tech stack that you’re going to be learning in the bootcamp. You might already be too advanced for the bootcamp.

The quickest way to find this out is to apply for some developer jobs. You’ll need to know  how to get past the automated resume readers. But, once people start looking at your resume the market will give you some indication of if you’re employable or not.

If you find that you’re getting calls for interviews, and you’re passing the tech tests. Then you probably don’t need to spend the money for a bootcamp. You just need to work on interviewing and solving tech tests until someone gives you your first break.

Considering all the Factors

So those are the factors to consider when thinking if you should do a bootcamp. If I had to answer every single Reddit thread asking whether they should do I bootcamp with one answer I would say this.

“If you enjoy coding, have enough money squirreled away, enough time, and feasible opportunities to find work then I’d 100% recommend you do a bootcamp.” If this sounds like you then read on to see my methods for determining if a bootcamp is any good.

How to Tell if a Bootcamp is Actually Good

Alright, so you’ve decided a bootcamp is for you. Yay. That is great, you can stop asking Reddit if you should do one. Now, you need to figure out if the bootcamps you’re interested in are actually good.

But, how do you do that?

Well, below are some tips to help you do just that. Use these to get a feeling for if the bootcamp can actually deliver what they are promising on their landing page.

Don’t Read Reviews

You’ve probably already read some reviews for the bootcamps in your area. But, the thing to remember with reviews is that they tend to be biased either to really positive or really negative takes. I don’t know about you but I’ve never left a review for a product in my life, especially not a product I was just satisfied with.

In fact, I’d heard from other bootcamp alumni that some bootcamps make writing reviews a mandatory in-class exercise, which is very suss.

So my advice would be to ditch reading reviews. Instead, follow the steps below.

However, if reading reviews is your only option (it’s not) there is one trick I have up my sleeve and that is to search two other places.

  1. Type into Google - [bootcamp name], then read peoples threads.
  2. Go to Twitter's advance search - then enter the bootcamp name in the “Words” sections “exact phrase” box and down under the engagement section in the “minimum replies” box enter “1”.Then hit the “Latest” tab'

This will help you get a sense of what people are saying about the Bootcamp and it is less likely to be coerced.

However, scrape reviews and follow the steps below to find out if the bootcamp is actually worth the money.

1. Do Some LinkedIn Research

LinkedIn is such a great place to learn more about the bootcamps you are considering. You can see all kinds of things, things that the bootcamp might not tell you or that they want to hide with clever statistics (we’ll look at this in a little bit).

Here are some things you should be researching on LinkedIn before you get going.

  1. How many past alumni are actually working in the field the bootcamp was preparing them for.
    • You can do this by typing “ ” into the search bar → clicking the people filter → all filters → school → typing the school you are interested in → then filter for your area.
    • You can then click into people's profiles and see where they are actually working.
  2. How many past alumni are hired as mentors/students.
  3. Where alumni tend to get work after the bootcamp.
  4. How long it took them to get the job.
    • Check this against the time the bootcamp finished and the time they listed as when they started their job.

This will give you a good indication of what is actually happening with past students and not what the bootcamp is telling you happens. However, the next step is the most important one you can take to help you determine if the bootcamp is actually good.

2. Reach out to past alumni

This is the single best thing you can do to find out if a bootcamp is good. Now, that you’ve done some LinkedIn research it’s time to reach out to some of the alumni. Preferably you want to speak to recent graduates.

Why is this the best thing you can do? Because those alumni are the best way to find out what to expect from the bootcamp. You get to ask them questions that let you dig deeper than reviews and LinkedIn research.

Now, you might be saying why would they respond to you? They will respond because they’ve been in your shoes and most people want to help. Not everyone will reply but if you follow the steps below you’ll have a good chance of getting some replies.

To reach out to alumni, you can message them on LinkedIn and ask if they have time to chat about their experience at the bootcamp.

Go to their portfolio website since most bootcamps make you make one, once there just grab their email or use their contact form to reach out to them. You're more likely to get a reply this way.

Here is the template I used to reach out to them. Using this I got about an 80% reply rate to all the emails I sent out.

Hi X,

I found your details from your website after I saw
you were an alumni of [bootcamp_name]. I really
liked [say something nice about their portfolio
they worked hard on it].

I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions
about your experience with the bootcamp? As I am
considering it, but I wanted to speak to a few
alumni before I commit.

I can shoot the questions to you over email if
that is easiest.

Let me know if you have time and I can send 2-3
questions your way, or book a quick 15 minute chat.


[Your Name]
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If they agree to a face-to-face chat, make sure in your follow-up email you make it as easy as possible for them to chat with you. What I mean by this is offer them a few options for times to meet, like so:

That is amazing I really appreciate it.

Are you free on these days Wednesday between 5pm-8pm
and Thursday Between 10am-8pm.

If you are just let me know the time and send you a
calendar invite for a quick 15 minute Zoom call.
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Then all you need to do is actually ask them for their opinions of the bootcamp. Here are the questions I asked.

  1. What did you enjoy about the bootcamp?
  2. Were there any students you know that didn't enjoy it, why do you think they didn't enjoy it?
  3. Were the teachers what you expected?
  4. Knowing what you know now about the bootcamp, would you do it again?
  5. How hard was it to find a job after the bootcamp? How many people in your cohort didn’t find jobs?

Feel free to ask other questions, the point is you are trying to get real authentic answers where the person isn’t incentivized by sales to give you only positive answers.

Also, try to keep in touch with this person if you decide to do the bootcamp. Update them on your progress, who knows they might be able to help you get a job at the end if you show initiative.

If you’re still not sure after you’ve reached out to alumni, there are a few other things you can check to help you decide if you should do a bootcamp.

3. Check How Old the Bootcamp is

I don’t think the age of a bootcamp is necessarily an indicator as to whether a bootcamp is good or not. Bootcamps are essentially the people teaching it. If a teacher leaves, then you’re going to have a very different experience from the last cohort.

However, there are a few things that age can help you understand when trying to determine whether the bootcamp is good or bad.

Older bootcamps will have employment statistics, most advertise them but others will provide them if you ask for them. If they don’t provide them this is a red flag.

You can also check these statistics against some of the LinkedIn research you did, just a quick eye test will do the trick.

Older bootcamps will also have alumni, so make sure you take advantage of the step above.

For newer bootcamps, you are going to be taking a risk if this is their first run.

A few things you can do to reduce that risk are:

  1. Look up the teachers on LinkedIn and Twitter and have a look at their experience and what they tweet about.
  2. Ask the bootcamp a lot of questions, things like how they plan to support you post-study, the structure of the course, etc. If they struggle to give answers this could show they aren’t prepared.

Don’t write off newer bootcamps, they all had to start at cohort 1. Sometimes it’s an advantage as their best marketing tool is you, so they will want to make your experience as good as possible so they can attract future students.

Just recognize the risk and decide if you are willing to take that risk. It’s not for everyone.

4. Talk to the Bootcamp

The last step and one you should 100% do is to talk to the bootcamp.

If Coivd permits go talk to them on campus and meet them face to face. I find face to face I get a better gut feel for if something is right for me.

When you meet them, ask them all the questions you have following on from your meetings with alumni. It is okay to say things like “past alumni I spoke to said (don’t give them their name), they didn’t think you did x & y well. How are you planning on fixing it?”.

This step is about clarifying things and feeling out the place. You want to suss out if you like the vibe, are these people you want to spend the next 12 weeks with. Because you’ll be spending a lot of time with them and personally I like to spend my time with people I like.

I sort of used this step to get a feel for fluffy things like the vibe and culture. It was so I could get a gut feel if it felt right.

Do Your Research

At the end of the day, the best way to decide if a bootcamp is worth your money is to do the research. You have to go beyond the reviews and try and speak to real people.

There is no full-proof way to ensure that the bootcamp will deliver what it says on the box. As I mentioned so much depends on the teaching staff. However, if you do the research you’ll empower yourself to make the best decision from the options you have.

If you take one thing away from this section, please make it the part where you reach out to alumni. I spoke to multiple alumni at 3 different bootcamps and it made my decision so much easier.

What Bootcamps Won’t Tell You the Full Truth About

Student Employment Rates

Bootcamps manipulate these and boost them in sneaky ways. So, make sure you read the fine print. Here are some ways they do it, you should watch out for these.

Some bootcamps will have fine print that shows the employment rate of employees who found a job within 12 months. 12 months is a long time, can you be jobless for 12 months, or are you dedicated enough to learn for 12 months?

Another misleading way a bootcamp might manipulate these figures is they hire their former students. They hire them to be mentors or teachers assistants and pay them minimum wage. This way they can include them in the employed column.

Also watch out for bootcamps that classify students that got jobs in non-course related fields, or doing very low-level tech things like tech support, “have you tried turning it off and on again” type stuff.

So make sure you don’t just look at the big number. Dig into those numbers and check the fine print. Bootcamps can be really sneaky.

Employers Don’t Really Care if you Went to a Bootcamp

Yep, you read that right. The fact that you went to a bootcamp doesn’t really carry much weight.

What employers actually want are tangible skills. Skills like, can you really code in the languages your resumes say you can. They’ll determine this from your projects and things like coding tests.

The bootcamp helps you actually get better at those languages and pushes you to make projects. But, it won’t mean much at the end of the day.

So if you are going to a bootcamp because you think their cute little certificate will get you a job, you’re going to have a bad time.

condescending wonka meme with text - oh you have a bootcamp certificate no need to do the coding test then

The Time it Takes to get a Job and Salary Expectations

Most people don’t just go from the bootcamp straight into a job. Many will finish the bootcamp and then look for jobs.

So, don’t get swept up in the claims a bootcamp makes. We talked about bootcamp hiring stats, so recognize it can take time to find a job. It can take people anywhere from 0-12 months post the bootcamp to find their first developer job. Some may never find a job.

Also, temper your salary expectations. Lot’s has changed since bootcamps started and people were getting paid $100K straight out of a bootcamp. Bootcamps like to show off the big salaries people get, but they might have been from years ago. Check the data on that.

I’d argue the average salaries are even bogus. Be skeptical, are you going to share you got $50K after you finished your bootcamp if someone else got $100K. Would you share it at all? If the sample is 1, it’s not worth much.

Salary can be really dependent on the location of the bootcamp and therefore the cost of living. If the Bootcamp is in San Fransisco grads will earn more but their cost of living is higher than say someone living in Ohio.

I think in this situation it is better to be pessimistic, rather than optimistic. It is also why it is really important to speak to alumni of bootcamps, they can give you some hard truths.

Learning is Surface Level

A bootcamp is too short of a time frame for you to truly understand the concepts. It is going to take you a while to understand how things really work.

A bootcamp will pitch to you that you will know x, y, and z technologies by the end of the bootcamp. But, in reality, you’ll know just enough to be employed. You’re going to have to work on the rest when you start working. This can feel really uncomfortable, you’ll probably feel like an imposter.

However, coding is almost a never-ending pursuit of learning. Even the Seniors in my team are constantly remarking how they learned something new. So it’s okay that the learning is just surface level, you just have to be prepared to keep learning after the bootcamp is finished.

Are you okay with learning continually because if not the bootcamp is not like an accounting degree where you’ll have most of your learning done in the degree. You need to be ready to continue learning at a rapid pace when you first start your new job.

Payment Structure

It’s important to know that not all bootcamps have the same payment structure. The payment structure I want to point out is “Income Share Agreements” or ISAs, which let you attend a bootcamp for low upfront costs.

Now, I think ISAs get a pretty harsh wrap. At the end of the day, an ISA is an agreement between two adults. It’s up to the individual to read the fine print. And, for some, it is their only option.

That said, they can still be pretty confusing so let’s go through them.

ISA’s are in most cases agreements that don’t require you to pay much upfront. Instead, you pay it back once you have a job and that money is automatically taken from your paycheck. The amount taken is a percentage of your salary and it comes out every month for a set period.

This is an important point to note. The amount is over a set period, usually years. It doesn’t stop once you hit a certain amount.

So say your agreement is over 3 years at 14% and your first job is $60,000 per year. It would look like this:

($60,000 * 14% = $8400) * 3 years = $25,200 total paid
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That is a lot of money you are paying. Double. And some, compared to a $14K bootcamp. Also, if your pay goes up during that time, it will cost you more.

Now some ISA’s have a cap. A max amount you can pay.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to do your research on potential ISAs. You need to factor in if you can live on your salary, minus the percentage from the ISA.

Benefits of Doing a Bootcamp

There are a lot of benefits to doing a bootcamp aside from learning how to code with a teacher. I wanted to detail these because I think sometimes the “yOu can lEarN It fOr fReE” crowd can neglect these intangibles. After all, we’re not all superhuman discipline machines like them.

You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is

You spent $14K on the program, I don’t know about you but if I spend that sort of money I’m damn well going to show up every day.

When you do a bootcamp you have in-person hours, where you come in and learn and work. Even if you just do the 8 hours of class time, that is 40 hours per week that you are dedicating to learning to code.

I found it very difficult to find 10-15 hours a week when I was learning from home.

I think this happens for a few reasons.

  1. Friends & Family understand that you are all in and that this is a temporary change for you. Therefore, they are more likely to be less demanding of your time.
  2. You won’t have unexpected things at work come up that disrupt your time and force you to miss hours you could be coding.
  3. You have peer pressure to do that work and show out.
  4. You paid all that money, you’re less likely to say you’re too tired to code or that you’ll do double time on the weekends.

Money is a great motivator. It can really light a fire under you, I know it certainly did for me.

Accelerates Career Change

Bootcamps will speed up the process of changing careers. They have to by the very nature of you being all in.

When you’re in a bootcamp, you are coding every day and flying through topics. Even though the learning is surface level, it is very unlikely you would achieve the same results over the same period if you were learning part-time.

Bootcamps are also structured. This means you don’t waste time thinking about what project you should build and what technologies you should use you are told all of this. Not having to spend energy on this stuff, means you get to spend all your energy on learning.

You won’t get that feeling of okay I finished this thing, what should I do next. You finish one thing and then are pushed right into the next thing during your bootcamp.

This acceleration will also force you to learn how you learn best. This skill will be very valuable when you get into your first job. You’re going to need to use it time and time again, as you face new challenges.

Access To People Who Code Better Than You

You’ll get stuck all the time when you are learning to code. I still get stuck at work and need to ask my senior for help, even my seniors get stuck and need to ask for help. It’s all part of the game.

Previously when I was learning on my own. I would post in forums for help. When I did this I might get an answer, I might not. But, even when I got an answer, it sometimes would unstick that problem only for me to find another problem straight away. This, often led to frustration which would lead to me putting the keyboard away.

A bootcamp gives you near-instant access to someone more experienced than yourself who can help you get unstuck. The same is not often true for other forms of learning.

I can’t tell you how beneficial it is to actually see someone debug your code. Watching the process someone goes through and learning to imitate that skill is immensely valuable. I’d read about how to debug and solve problems, but it never really hit home until I saw someone do it. Maybe you can learn that async or by yourself but it’s nice to be able to do it super quickly, to save that time for learning.

Make Friends To Share the Journey

The best part of my bootcamp was the people I met and struggled with every day on our way to changing our lives. It is actually the biggest reason I would recommend you do a bootcamp if you want to learn to code.

You can learn to code for free, by yourself, or by being part of communities. But, I’d tried that and it is just not the same. You will be on different schedules and different stages of your journey. In a bootcamp you’re all essentially at the same point, learning the same stuff and solving the same challenges at the same time.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to turn to your classmate and ask them how they are going, only to hear that they are struggling with the exact same thing you’re struggling with. Not just so I can feel better about myself but, so you can team up and figure out how to solve it together.

During the bootcamp you’re like this little army, fighting against the tide of information coming your way. You build super-strong connections from showing up and fighting side by side every day.

Post bootcamp, the battle isn’t over, and while you all compete for jobs. There is a lot of camaraderie, helping each other through the process.

Once you’ve landed that first job, you already have a network of developers that are not just within your own company. This means down the track if you want to move jobs or lose your job, you have access to people who know that you fought beside them in the bootcamp and that you could do it again in their organization.

I tried the learn at home, community taught path and I just couldn’t do it. A big part looking back is that I didn’t have people I could lean on, who could understand what I was going through and I didn’t have any friends who were developers who could help me learn when I got stuck.

The friendships I made are for life, and I look back fondly on those amazing relationships I built. That is the best part of a bootcamp.

Should You do A Bootcamp in 2022

Now, with all of that information out of the way it is time for my recommendation as to whether you should do a bootcamp in 2022.

The answer depends.

I know you’re saying WTF! Just tell me. I need someone to make the decision for me. But, it really does just depend on you, the individual.

Are you the type of person who can dedicate 15 hours of your personal time to learning to code and you have the discipline to stick to it and no potential hurdles? Then you can probably get a job without attending a bootcamp.

However, if you’re like me and had a highly demanding job and can’t commit to learning with good repetition each week then you might want to consider a bootcamp. If, you can afford it and actually like coding.

Just make sure you do your research and if I can recommend one thing in particular it is that you speak to past alumni of your bootcamp. It made my decision a lot easier by speaking to real people and getting their private opinions.

Personally, if you can afford it, know you like coding, and can see yourself doing it for a long time then I’d go for it.

I constantly think back fondly on my time in my bootcamp. I’ve made amazing friends for life who I still keep in regular contact with even though I’ve moved cities. The bootcamp was such an intense experience and going through that struggle with others really helps you become quite connected. That human connection was enough to justify the expense to me as those experiences were priceless.

If you made it all the way to the end. Thank you so much, receive some hot takes by following me on Twitter.

Top comments (2)

makeshift_name profile image
Alex Longsdale

Really nice guide, I wonder if the people you did it with matter or if you do it with any group of people you will have the same experience?

Also I can't believe bootcamps get people to write reviews in class.

peterlunch profile image

I don't think it matters who does the bootcamp with you, I think most of the time the people are going to have the same attitude and that is what matters and helps.

And yeah pretty crazy, hence why you shouldn't trust reviews.