Are Coding Bootcamps worth it?
If you are involved in Tech or plan to get into Tech or software development, I believe you must have heard the phrase “coding Bootcamp” and you may be wondering if it is worth the hype!
Well, I am going to help you clarify your doubts in this article!
What the Heck is a Coding Bootcamp?
Well for the uninitiated:
A coding Bootcamp is a technical training program that teaches the programming skills that employers look for. Coding bootcamps enable students with little coding proficiency to focus on the most important aspects of coding and immediately apply their new coding skills to solve real-world problems.
In other words, Coding bootcamps are intensive programs of software development. It is like a marathon for learning coding, a non-stop learning approach to mastering coding within a short period of time.
In this article, I am going to share with you my experience in a 5-weeks coding bootcamp that I just completed, this 5-week long bootcamp was focused on making us a front-end developer and I will be sharing the pros and cons of attending such bootcamp based on my own experience.
Well, I have always loved Tech, digital marketing and all sorts that comes with it but I have never really been able to perfect my coding skills; I build websites using CMS like WordPress but I believed I could be more, so I decided to try a coding bootcamp.
I needed to be in a learning environment, among people who will motivate and encourage me to learn as quickly as possible and so, I decided to attend a coding bootcamp.
I had learned of a particular coding school in Nairobi, Kenya two years before (2017), so I checked them out again and decided to pack my bags and leave Nigeria for Nairobi to partake in this coding bootcamp.
Yea, that’s right! I travelled to another country to learn!
That said, I would like to start by sharing with you the pros/benefits of attending a coding bootcamp based on my experience.
Pro 1: Fast Learning
I discovered that due to the fact that I had 5 weeks to master front-end development with daily contents to finish up, I had to learn pretty fast; for each day in the Bootcamp, there are topics and concepts to master as well as practice exercises which must be done!
Before the start of the Bootcamp, I had next to zero knowledge about what Git does and how to effectively use Github version control but after 2 days in the Bootcamp, I was already creating Git Repos, forking Repos, creating branches, merging branches and having fun with Git.
Also, by the second day, I was comfortable with using the Terminal (command-line interface) to make directories, create files, open and install programs and so much more!
I was doing a bunch of things I couldn’t dream of a week earlier, I was like a f**king Ninja and I was able to figure all these out within 2–3 days.
So, when it comes to speed and fast learning, I believe coding bootcamps will surely help you.
Pro 2: Fewer Distractions
Coding bootcamps do not give room for distractions. When you get into a coding bootcamp, you can feel the seriousness and “no-messing around” attitude in the atmosphere, people paid a lot of money to be there, so no one is there to joke around (except for some few); you are there for serious work and so are other people present there.
In a coding Bootcamp, you are among people with similar goals, people who are actually serious about coding and learning new technologies with zero tolerance for distraction; so focus will be the order of the day!
And less distraction will definitely result in faster learning for you.
Pro 3: Support System
Coding bootcamps gives you access to physical and guaranteed support.
Usually, in a Bootcamp, you will have mentors who are more experienced developers ready to help you out whenever you are stuck, this keeps your mind at rest and makes you feel you are not alone; it also allows you to experiment and try things out because you know there is someone who can help out!
So, whenever you are not getting a concept or some of your codes are not working, you can easily access help and resolve it ASAP without slowing down your learning.
Pro 4: Atmosphere and Motivation
The atmosphere at a coding boot camp is usually very different, it is like you are in the midst of like minds working together to build the next big thing.
The atmosphere creates unmatched motivation for everyone, the atmosphere keeps you going even when you feel tired.
When you feel like quitting, just look around the room to see fellow boot campers; younger and older people from all walks of life grinding hard to achieve their dream of becoming a software developer and you will immediately find the strength to keep going!
Pro 5: Team Work
While at the Bootcamp, we were encouraged to learn and code in pairs and I believe this is actually a good thing. So, you pick a partner, you sit together and start learning the day’s content; asking questions and helping each other out.
I discovered that coding is much more fun in pairs or in groups, you get to share ideas and get different opinions and explanations from your peers regarding unclear concepts or topics.
You also get to meet and network with people from various walks of life, you learn how to associate with other people from different tribes, religion and ethnicity and this is one important skill in today’s workplace.
Pro 6: Practice Projects
During coding bootcamps, you will get to do a lot of practice projects. We had weekly projects which have to be done over the weekend and submitted by midnight on Sunday.
This ensures that everyone usually gets to practice whatever they have learnt during the week and code their own individual projects to improve their learning and mastering any new concepts that have been learnt.
Believe me, the major secret to becoming a good software developer or programmer is “Practice”, if you don’t practice, you cannot improve and coding bootcamps will make sure you practice.
Your skills development as a software developer depends a lot on practice, building stuff and you will definitely get to do a lot of this at a coding bootcamp.
So, these are some of the pros/benefits that you can derive from a coding bootcamp.
For the cons, I will talk briefly about two of them which I believe are the most important downside of coding bootcamps.
Con 1: Financial Commitment / Cost
I believe the major con or challenge with going for coding bootcamps is the training cost, coding bootcamps are expensive!
A cheap coding bootcamp cost between $1000 — $2000 depending on the duration and the quality of the training you are getting; some coding bootcamps cost as high as $10,000.
when you compare this cost (excluding other personal/miscellaneous cost) to the cost of an eBook or online video course, you will discover that there is a very wide margin in the cost.
But believe me, the value you will usually derive from a coding bootcamp should be worth your investment.
Con 2: Intensive/Immersive Training
Coding bootcamps are meant to be an intensive and immersive training; the truth is you will not have the time to do anything else when you are in a coding bootcamp.
You will spend most of your time at the coding Bootcamp. Usually, you will spend at least 12 hours daily at the bootcamp and this means you will not be able to combine it with anything else.
If you are working, you might have to take a break for the duration of the Bootcamp; you might also have to be absent at the pubs and bars for a while!
Are coding bootcamps worth it?
If you can afford it and if you have the time, I will highly recommend you go for it.
Coding bootcamps will supercharge your learning and push you closer to your dream of becoming a software developer!
what do you think of coding bootcamps?
Have you attended one? What was your experience like?
We will love to hear your views in the comment section.
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