What do you think about coding bootcamps?

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Rob
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What do you think about coding bootcamps?

Post by Rob » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:08 am

First things first... I am not considering joining a coding bootcamp. The question is simply out of curiosity.

A lot of people in Austin (and other places, I'm sure) are joining bootcamps in order to learn a new skill and to get a new and better-paying job. A couple years ago before I moved overseas I had a couple friends who did them, but since returning it's pretty ridiculous how often I hear about them. Those couple people I know seem to have had success, but I have no idea if that's common.

Many of you are in industries where you would hire programmers of various kinds, and of course some of you have true programming degrees. So I'm curious, what are your thoughts on bootcamps?

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Re: What do you think about coding bootcamps?

Post by evan » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:01 am

We occasionally do "bootcamps" here at the office, which is usually a couple of day training course for a new technology we're going to be working with, but for people who already code for a living.

I don't know about doing one without any prior coding experience, that sounds pretty ambitious. I think a better approach to getting trained without actually getting a degree is to go for a certification of some kind. A couple years ago I got the AWS Developer Associate certification, which took probably 40 hours of preparation, and costs $150 I think, but then you have something tangible to show for your effort. That one isn't focused on coding specifically, but I'm sure there are others that are.

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Re: What do you think about coding bootcamps?

Post by shep » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:51 pm

Honestly, it depends more on the individual participating in the bootcamp...

If that person is a critical thinker and problem solver, can't they do almost anything? After reaching this age that we're all around, you come to realize that everyone is pretty much winging it anyway. Some people winging it just simply have more experience in an area than others - usually by using those critical thinking and problem solving skills, which makes them good at that "thing". (Soft-skills are kind of a must-have as well, but I don't believe that knowledge is simply handed across the table.)

If the bootcamp is decent at providing some of this experience needed, then I suppose success can come of their attendance. The biggest success for these bootcamps are cases that employers are already on board with that bootcamp's curriculum and then they take the best and brightest from those to test the waters.

We've got one around here named Eleven Fifty Academy on the north side, and the other I've heard people have success with is Lambda School. Both are kind of a hybrid college / bootcamp situation. One you pay for up front, the other you can have them garnish your wages (ugh).

Latest story out of Lambda from one of my recruiter buds, there was a guy that went from $11.65/hr to just over $100k/year salary. Who knows if that person will have the experience 'chops' to persist though?

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Rob
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Re: What do you think about coding bootcamps?

Post by Rob » Sun May 26, 2019 9:48 pm

shep wrote: Honestly, it depends more on the individual participating in the bootcamp...

If that person is a critical thinker and problem solver, can't they do almost anything? After reaching this age that we're all around, you come to realize that everyone is pretty much winging it anyway. Some people winging it just simply have more experience in an area than others - usually by using those critical thinking and problem solving skills, which makes them good at that "thing". (Soft-skills are kind of a must-have as well, but I don't believe that knowledge is simply handed across the table.)

If the bootcamp is decent at providing some of this experience needed, then I suppose success can come of their attendance. The biggest success for these bootcamps are cases that employers are already on board with that bootcamp's curriculum and then they take the best and brightest from those to test the waters.
I would agree that a critical thinker and problem solver can do almost anything. I think that's what made me raise the question in the first place. A bootcamp to me sounds like a quick way to learn a hard skill, but if you lack the critical thinking and problem solving aspect, how far can you really get? One of the people I know who seems to have had success went into the bootcamp with very little technical background of any kind. Is it possible that the industry could at some point become saturated with workers whom only know some syntax and web design and eventually have to go look for something else? In that case I think you're right that it comes down to employers being on board with what to expect, taking the best and brightest, and providing training or opportunities for development.
shep wrote: the other you can have them garnish your wages (ugh).
That's horrible.
shep wrote: Latest story out of Lambda from one of my recruiter buds, there was a guy that went from $11.65/hr to just over $100k/year salary. Who knows if that person will have the experience 'chops' to persist though?
That's pretty amazing, and for that person's sake I hope they can persist. It goes back to my previous question, though... can the industry sustain this many more people every few months whom may or may not have qualifications beyond a recently learned skill?

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