Coding bootcamps have been gaining popularity lately, with an increasing number of people opting to sign up for bootcamps as opposed to going through the more traditional route of matriculating into a University programme. For the benefit of the few readers who are unfamiliar of what bootcamps are, allow me to explain. Coding bootcamps are short, intensive coding programs which usually span from 4 to 16 weeks. Within the short period of time, these bootcamps are designed to equip non-technical students with intermediate coding skills. By equipping students with the relevant skills, the bootcamps aim to (hopefully) enable students to transition into a technical career of their choice. Till date, topics taught in bootcamps covers a wide array of disciplines such as Web and Mobile Development, Digital Marketing, User Interface and Experience, Data Analytics, and Data Science.
”The day after I graduated I interviewed with a great company and I got the job.MyRealMainAccountReddit User
As great as it sounds, and just like everything, coding bootcamp aren’t all rainbows and sunshine. According to techbeacon.com, for every 50-70 employed graduates there will be 30-50 unemployed. As you can see there are two sides of the story, and which side you are on depends very much on whether you come out of the bootcamp with a job. In this article, I will discuss about 5 hard truths that many bootcamp advocators may fail to mention.
As mentioned above, the employment rate currently stands at about 50% to 70%, depending on the bootcamp and within SIX months of graduation. So even if you were to clinch a job eventually, don’t expect to clinch one straight out of the bootcamp. Stay patient and hopeful, and apply to multiple companies! After your bootcamp, make sure to spend your time wisely such as taking on hobby projects, building up your portfolio on Github and practice leet-coding which may be really handy in coding interviews.
Bootcamps may differ in a myriad of ways, things to look out for would be – Syllabus, Price, Duration, Accreditation, Instructors. To weed out the bad bootcamps, you should ensure that the syllabus is extensive, duration of the bootcamp is not less than 4 weeks, the program is accredited, and instructors are qualified with years of experience. However, to identify the really good bootcamps will not be as simple and there are two factors I recommend people to look at. Firstly, look for the bootcamp’s employment survey, a 75 – 90% of employment rate can be considered exceptional. Be cautious when a bootcamp does not publicly release its employment survey, a major red flag for me! Secondly, browse through reviews by its past students and you could get a rough sensing of how satisfied these students are with the program. Coincidentally, Big Data Theory checks all the boxes here 🙂
Most high quality bootcamps are priced at a premium, expect to shell out a large amount of money (think $20k and above). However, many advocates argue that this amount is justifiable even though there are many cheaper options online. Being in a bootcamp allow you to network with like-minded peers and more importantly a dedicated team of teaching staff to guide you to success (or not). Another interesting point being brought up – the sheer amount paid will spur anyone to put in their best effort.
If you think that being in a Bootcamp is a walk in a park, you are in for a treat. Bootcamps are designed to be intensive and rigorous, it compresses 2 years of learning into 4 – 12 weeks which sounds intense already. Take a look at this typical schedule a student will go through in a Bootcamp; 9 – 12 Lecture, 12 – 1 Lunch, 1 – 3 Tutorial, 3 – 6 Pair Programming. Not forgetting that you will have assignments to bring back home which some people claim that it is impossible to complete due to the lack of time.
More often that not, whether a student walks away with a mountain of knowledge and a tech job is very much on themselves. Many students who are attending bootcamps aren’t in it because they love the technology. Rather, they are driven by the high starting salary of a tech job and think that this is a get-rich-quick scheme. Students who take the bootcamp seriously, puts in the extra effort in completing all the assignments, and take on hobby projects, will definitely do better after graduating.