Everything you need to know about coding bootcamps

by Aripriya Basu December 7, 2020
coding bootcamps

Becoming a developer is a dream job in times like this when software products are soaring so high. 

Everywhere you go, there are apps and websites dotting the way. In fact, even to visit somewhere or for the daily commute, you need to use one of the many available apps.

Unless you rather be interested in standing in a long queue. 

But these apps don’t form in nature like mushrooms. 

Even though apps and websites are mushrooming daily, they are created by developers. They are the new superheroes of our times.

No wonder the youngsters and Generation Z are attracted to programming. 

You might be one of them. Well, given you are reading this article, it’s a logical assumption. 

But are you ready to spend four years getting your CS degree? 

Or would you rather prefer a more direct path to become a developer

Yes, the second one is a viable option. 

How? 

By getting enrolled in coding bootcamps! 

What are these?

How much do they cost?

Do they work? 

What’s the enrollment process of these programs?

What are the pros and cons? 

A lot of these questions are clouding your mind now, right? 

So let’s find some answers.

What are coding bootcamps?

Coding bootcamps help aspiring developers learn skills so that they can make a quick entry into the world of web development. 

Instead of pursuing various degrees and taking a long route to your development goals,  coding bootcamps give you the opportunity to bypass all that and get a developer job in a quicker time frame. 

Now coming to the cost, though coding bootcamps require one to spend a lump sum, it’s not expensive if you take the long-term benefits into consideration. 

Once you complete the course, you are likely to get a job that pays handsomely. So, it’s a shot worth taking. 

But the cost is not the last thing on your mind regarding coding bootcamps, right? It shouldn’t be too as well. 

There are a few other things to consider, and in this article, we will try to highlight those for you. 

It’s ideal for you only if you like programming

Would you decide to become a chef if you hate cooking? No, right? 

So why get into one of the top coding bootcamps if you don’t like programming to begin with? 

In fact, for starters, you should start coding as much as possible on your own before trying your hands on coding bootcamps. 

Not coding for two hours and deciding that you are a perfect fit though. Try it for nearly 100 hours before you take that call. 

Define your purpose

Practicing coding at least for 100 hours may seem like a lot, but it has its benefits too. 

You acquire self-knowledge and that is required before you take that bus to the coding bootcamps. 

But first, identify your needs to attend one of these coding bootcamps. Is it for a better job prospect? A career shift? Or new opportunities? These questions are super important if you have never had a technical job before. 

Who says developers require ornamented degrees from fancy colleges? There are many developers who are self-taught. 

They are as good as the ones who have completed their specialized degrees in this field. 

But there is one thing both of these developers have in common – a passion for development.

It’s your passion that will sail your career boat no matter whichever industry you are into. So, identify if you have that. 

Don’t try to ride the high tide with basic surfing skills. Get a groove of it by taking one class perhaps before you jump into it full-time. 

Budget check

Of course, coding bootcamps are far less expensive than 3 to 4 years of college education, but they are still quite pricey and are likely to cost you about a thousand dollars. 

There are multiple coding bootcamps both offline and online. However, please weigh the pros against the cons of each program before you take your final call. 

Yes, you would be spending a chunk of your savings perhaps, but upon completion of the course you are sure to earn well and that is something to look ahead to. 

Career prospect of the program

You can’t order burgers and get buns here. After all, you will be paying off some hefty amount. 

So make sure the program delivers what it promises. Ideally, that should be a sure shot job after your course completion. 

But how do you make sure that you get what you paid for? 

Research. 

In addition to using your brain for coding, use it to do some background check of the course you have selected. 

How? 

Turn on your Sherlock mode:

  • Get in touch with the ex-students who were a part of the program
  • Check out the reviews
  • Search the faculty on Linkedin

If there is a will. There is a way. 

Pro tip: Check out the reimbursement policy of the program if you don’t secure a placement after the compilation of the course. 

Eliminate the fraud coding bootcamps

Unfortunately, finding the right coding bootcamps can be difficult since every second person is starting one these days. 

As there is no accreditation process, starting a bootcamp today is fairly simple. However, it could get difficult for you to eliminate the useless coding bootcamps that blow empty drums. 

Your target is to find the top-notch programs that cover a well structured and useful curriculum. 

But again – how do you do this. 

You have to resort to social media and online reviews yet again. Search for qualified teachers, reputable faculty members, ex-students of the program who are doing well. 

As a rule of thumb, take the reverse approach, which is to select the coding bootcamps through the faculty members they are associated with. If a particular program has one of your role model developers in the faculty, you can go ahead and take up the course. 

In this case, you can be sure that you will be learning something worthwhile. 

Not all top coding bootcamps run a scam

Yes, there are some mediocre ones, but not all bootcamps run a scam business. 

It is indeed possible to bag a job as a developer after attending a 12-week course at a bootcamp. 

But no genie or elf is going to do all the work for you. 

You need to put in a lot of effort, and yes, it is not a cakewalk. 

Check out the job portals

Well, you are not considering coding bootcamps just to show it off, are you?

You need a job after you graduate from the coding bootcamps. 

To that end, check out the various entry and mid-level positions that are open. It’s important to note that the number of jobs has reduced with the growth of self-teaching and bootcamps. So, check out the demand for the positions before signing in for the top coding bootcamps. 

Again activate your Sherlock mode and make a quick search on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, or other job sites for entry-level or junior programmers.

Pro Tip: Take special note of the years of experience mentioned for these jobs. Do the companies want 1-2 years of experience or are they looking for freshers?

We all know the job market is tough these days. So might as well test the waters before the swim right?

Your learning does not stop

In fact, it never does. Till the very last day of your life, you need to learn. There is simply too much to know!

Thus, do not be under the impression that a 12-week bootcamp course can teach you all there is to know about software development. 

You simply have skills enough to stay afloat on your first job. You cannot swim in the English Channel with that skill. 

All the front and backstrokes, butterfly moves you will have to learn while you are on your first job. 

Coding bootcamps can only teach so much. It’s up to you what you make of it.  

All coding bootcamps are not the same:

You are not buying a basket of apples for $10-20k. 

So, don’t just keep it at reading blogs. As mentioned earlier, step up and reach out to the alumni and instructors. 

Overall, all coding bootcamps vary in teaching techniques, curriculum, culture, and student-teacher coordination in general. Check all the parameters and choose one that you are comfortable with. 

It’s a long term career plan, not a quick fix:

Joining a coding bootcamp is not a summer internship. It’s a huge career step that involves a hefty amount of money.

So, do not treat coding bootcamps like a casual summer engagement. The things that you learn from the bootcamps are supposed to get you your first programming job. 

The road from there is quite rocky and full of struggles unless you want to stay a junior developer even when you retire. 

So, prepare yourself for that. Be sure that you are up for the challenge and then only look into the different options. 

You are the customer

For a change, you are on the buying end, and the customer is the king.

Thus ask as many questions as you want. After all, you are paying the cash, and that too quite a huge amount. 

So ask questions and get all your doubts cleared. The more you ask the more you get sure whether or not to opt for their service.

Additionally, it also raises the standards of the various bootcamps out there which is effective for the industry as a whole. 

Don’t chase the brand name

There is nothing in the name. 

You may graduate from a happening bootcamp learning absolutely nothing. 

The companies won’t hire you only because you attended that particular bootcamp. They will require you to work for them, and it’s impossible to “fake” software development. 

So instead of chasing the bubble of a brand name, focus on learning something worthwhile for the cash you are paying. 

Your primary target in coding bootcamps is to learn skills well enough to land your first job. The rest you can learn thereon. 

Take one step at a time

You will reap what you sow.

This is not something specific to coding bootcamps. You can’t sow carrots and expect potatoes to grow out of it. 

Likewise, you cannot expect great things from your bootcamp experience if you do not put in the required amount of hard work. 

Weekend house parties and sleepovers won’t earn you the first job after attending a bootcamp. You have to put in the hard work and that might mean kissing a few weekends goodbye before you can say hello to your first-ever developer job. 

So gear up for it! 

While these are a few things to consider before going to coding bootcamps, what about the pros and cons?

We have got that covered too. 

Pros:

  • Freedom and choice

Once you attend the coding bootcamps, you have the freedom to choose and build your career. 

Since you will get the basic idea about coding in multiple languages, you can travel to any city and even travel abroad for a job. 

In short, the sky is your limit!

Even if you are not the job-seeking kind, with your coding skills you can choose to operate as a freelancer or even start your own business!

  • Good pay package

For those thinking of getting a job after attending the coding bootcamps, there is good news for you.

You might be looking at a handsome paycheque soon!

As you progress in your career as a programmer after attending a coding bootcamp, your pay is going to increase. 

Of course, if you are a fresher out of a coding bootcamp, your salary is going to be less. However, if you have some experience, after graduating from a coding bootcamp, your starting salary could be substantially higher. 

  • Impact on the tech world

Technology is changing at the blink of an eye. 

What was useful and cutting edge yesterday does not stand a chance today. 

Thus it’s important to stay updated and well versed in the latest technology and coding languages in vogue. 

A coding bootcamp can help you with that. 

In a bootcamp, you will not only learn the coding languages but will also be prepared with relevant knowledge to keep you afloat in this ever-changing tech world. 

Cons:

  • Coding bootcamps are expensive

This is one of the greatest drawbacks of coding bootcamps. 

Even though they are not as expensive as attending a 3-4 year degree course, it might be a little higher up for some.

The cost of attending a coding bootcamp can be as high as $12,000. 

  • The course might be too fast to grasp

Well, the course itself gets over in 13-14 weeks and the curriculum covers 3-5 programming languages and more. 

So taking it easy is not on the cards. 

This can be a problem for slow learners who might require more time to grasp the concepts. 

  • It does not guarantee placements

Of course, you have visited the website and they promise great placement opportunities, but you may not bag a job.

Well sorry to burst your bubble, but that is also a possibility. 

The bootcamp will perhaps make your way smoother by providing placement assistance, but you will have to attend the various interviews and get the job.

Coding bootcamps can show you the way, but it’s important to have realistic expectations while attending one. 

If you aim to go to one then make sure you are ready to commit yourself to the course and put in the required amount of effort. 

FAQs

Are coding bootcamps worth it?

They are indeed. Most computer science courses at major universities extend up to four years. Coupled with other associated fees your expense can shoot up to about $163,140. On the other hand, coding bootcamps give you a quick insight into the skills required to bag you your first job at about $12000. Thus it’s a deal worth taking. 

Do employers like coding bootcamp graduates?

Yes, they do. In fact, they hold such developers in pretty high esteem. Many employers opine that graduates from coding bootcamps are just as prepared for a job as computer science graduates. This goes a great length to increase the job opportunities of coding bootcamp graduates.

Can you fail in a coding bootcamp?

It’s not unheard of and happens mostly because students don’t know what to expect out of it. Without the right amount of effort from the student’s end, failure is almost certain. Additionally, going into a coding bootcamp just for a glamorous salary with no interest in coding is yet another reason for failure.