Episode 23 To Bootcamp? Or Not to Bootcamp?

Episode 23 – To Bootcamp? Or Not to Bootcamp?

This is Episode Number 23 “To Bootcamp? Or Not to Bootcamp?”. Today we’ll be talking about advantages and disadvantages of software bootcamp programs and different considerations in your decision on whether a bootcamp program is right for you.

This week on “Sharpening the Tools”

Erin:

Started to go back through the ASP.NET courses on Treehouse and finishing those up. I have Entity Framework and MVC, services, and Authentication topics left.

Dave:

I’ve also been working on an ASP.NET Core tutorial. Windows env setup, etc etc.

 

“Opening the Toolbox” (20 – 30 mins)

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Today we’re talking about software bootcamp programs. Weighing their advantages and disadvantages, and discussing considerations you should account for when deciding whether a software bootcamp is the right learning route for you. And if it is, how to decide on one?

Bootcamps:

Pros:

  • Structured learning (curriculum)
  • In-person help and support from experienced professionals
  • Usually less expensive than a 4 year degree and takes less time
  • More hands-on app building experience
  • Some offer job search support

Cons:

  • Can be fast paced and overwhelming for someone just starting out “drinking from a firehose”
  • Time off work, or work full time in addition to part-time learning
  • Depending on your interests, there may not be a software development program suited for you; many focus on web development, backend, and mobile, but not many offer curriculums for data science, network engineering, security, and the like
  • Some companies are still skeptical of the time frame and the juniors devs not having enough experience (only 3 months to 1 year)

Considerations:

  • Bootcamps
    • generally more hands on application building
    • curriculums are updated more frequently to keep up with constantly changing technologies
  • CS degree
    • more theory, which can potentially help with understanding software architecture, patterns and such
  • Cost
    • $10,000-$15,000 on average for a 3 month – 1 year program, vs. $25,000+ (conservative estimate) on 4 year CS degree
  • Time investment, 3 months, 6 months to 1+ year
    • Can you afford to take time off work to devote to learning full time for 3-12 months?
    • Are you willing to commit to learning outside of work if you can’t do a full-time program?
  • Personal drive and abilities
  • Personal learning style
    • Online vs. in person
      • If you prefer in person support and learning, is there a bootcamp at a location reasonably near you? Are you willing to travel to attend one?
    • Learn on your own vs. mentorship and guidance

Bottom line: Ask yourself the hard questions for options in your best interests and do your research.

 

References
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Local to Nashville:

Nashville Software School

Covalence

Savvy Coders

 

Online:

Treehouse’s Tech Degree

Flatiron School

Udacity NanoDegree

Thinkful

 

Extra Links
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Best Coding Bootcamps of 2018:

https://www.switchup.org/research/best-coding-bootcamps

 

Best Coding Bootcamps of 2017:

https://www.coursereport.com/best-coding-bootcamps

 

https://techbeacon.com/bootcamps-wont-make-you-coder-heres-what-will

Posted by Junior Developer

1 comment

I’m an IT graduate. I decided to change to CS and went back to school for a double major in CS and math. I’m in my last year now. I took then longest and toughest road of doing college again, but it was the right decision. Everyone has different needs and everyone’s situation is different. However, I realized that theory is extremely important. Knowledge about algorithms and data structures (in detail, how they really work) is what makes you an engineer. It is not the same solving a problem because you daw the solution somewhere and memorized it than being able to think about the problem. I do value formal training. And the difference between a degree and a nkn degree program is in most cases the same difference between an engineer and a mason. Of course, there are bad engineers and good masons. But that’s not generally the case.

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