The Definitive Guide to Selecting a Legitimate Coding Bootcamp

Everything you need to know about researching the code bootcamp that's right for you.

Más Wired | March 19, 2016 | 1:59 pm
coding bootcamp

Our friends at have put together a comprehensive list of questions and issues to consider before joining any web developer program, code school or code bootcamp. Check it out here.

The Definitive Guide to Selecting a Legitimate Coding Bootcamp

Here are a few tidbits:

  • Does The Coding Bootcamp Care About Outcomes?
  • What are your job placement rates? Are those full-time jobs?
  • All Theory & Code for the Sake of Code
  • Soft Skills
  • Cost/Staff

All Theory & Code for the Sake of Code

Where are Computer Scientists made? For the most part, they are made in universities and if universities were doing an exemplary job at producing well-trained developers, there would be no coding bootcamp industry for us to discuss. Finding a computer science graduate frustrated with their job prospects is not that hard. If you argue that there are not enough jobs, then where are all the bootcamp graduates getting hired? They are getting hired at companies that hire people that can write code and build software.

After 15 years in the field, I can tell you that CS students coming right out of college are not functional software developers. They are employees that you need to train for a several months before you can expect them to really contribute any value. The exceptions are few and far between.

OK, so what does this tell us? It tells us that the instruction at most colleges and universities is most likely poor. The curriculum is dated and how they teach it is inadequate. Bootcamps that seek to emulate the “theory” and “science” of a CS degree are missing the point. If they are looking to cram into 12 weeks what a full blown Computer Science curriculum major does in four years, that is just not possible. Just do the simple math. Working on logical and siloed “coding” exercises, “toy problems” for 12 weeks is not going to get you very far in terms of building software. Four years of that stuff does not get you very far, how are three months of that going to be of any help?

Bootcamps should do what universities are not doing, and that is to build software in teams. What we need is people that can build big, scalable, flexible and responsive applications quickly and effectively with a team of developers. Build and deliver. If you can do that, any sensible hiring manager on the planet will give you a job. If you can’t do that, good luck.

What’s the difference? Don’t you have to know the theory and science behind the practice? It’s the difference in knowing how to swing a hammer and knowing how to build a house. Building a house requires you to learn how to swing a hammer and a hundred other things that are really critical.

Yes, if you were hiring a carpenter you would want to know if they have good tools, but what you really need to know is how good she is at building houses. A carpenter not good at building houses is just a nail thumper.

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