When it comes to camping, I love it (I try to go at least twice a year). You can go close to nature and soak yourself. But when camping is for coding (boot camp), it is a different story.
Summer is here, and so are the boot camps promising you to teach skills to switch careers or start a new one. Last year, I was approached by a school teacher who wanted to change her career and move into IT. Interestingly and surprisingly, she was already enrolled in GA Tech boot camp. I helped her with few weekend sessions to match the speed of her boot camp lessons, including submission of assignments. Indeed, these several mentoring sessions and teaching her taught me few things about how intense these boot camps could be. At the same time, it also popped up the question — if you are part of a boot camp, should not you learn everything there? If you still need additional help, are boot camps justified? Are they serving the purpose?
For those who have no knowledge or experience about a boot camp — coding boot camp is a short-term, highly intensive, online (or a hybrid of both) training program. Besides favoring faster learning, a Coding boot camp focuses on utilizing the newly earned skills to good practical use for further refinement as soon as possible.
While boot camps promise a ton and appear lucrative, is it for you? Based on my research (out of curiosity) and experiences shared by several learners, I can think of few points worth considering before jumping on to a boot camp.
Curriculum Analysis of Coding Boot Camp
From the survey report of course report, 94% of coding Bootcamp students learn Full-Stack Web Development. In the case of my student, too, she was enrolled in one of these.
To make you ready for the IT workforce, you are expected to cover many grounds by these boot camps. They not only cover the width by good depth too. For example, GA Tech boot camp covers Web development basics, API development using NodeJS, Databases (SQL, Relational, NoSQL, etc.), AWS, etc. For a school teacher, the curriculum would undoubtedly be overwhelming.
Boot camps have different durations based on the course provider. Full-time coding boot camps usually last anywhere from 6 to 40 weeks, with the average being over 12 weeks. (Source: Techbeacon). The timing will be either full-time, part-time, or self-paced course. I honestly don’t see much value in self-paced courses, especially when spending a good amount of money.
Duration is very subjective. If you are learning the basics of Coding, three months may be good, assuming you do full-time. A part-timer may take up to 6 months to get a good hold of the subject (considering you spend sufficient time practicing). Most importantly, you should review the curriculum because duration is entirely dependent on it.
Personalized Learning in a Coding Boot Camp
The majority of coding Bootcamps follow a cookie-cutter approach of teaching everything on their curriculum to all students irrespective of their backgrounds and how they learn. Since students come from different professional backgrounds, some pick up fast while others start struggling after few classes — this is a typical pattern I have observed. No wonder my student sought my help after few classes at GA Tech.
While boot camps encourage students to collaborate, struggling students hesitate to ask basic questions due to peer pressure. The majority of them don’t know the proper online forum (e.g., Quora, Google, StackOverflow, etc.) or keywords to find the solution to a problem.
In the Covid phase, many online coding boot camps run with recorded videos in which students have no ways to get timely help. Coding is one area where real-time support makes a lot of difference in holding you onto the journey.
The most important aspect lies here — “how much is it?”. According to Course Report, the average full-time coding Bootcamp in the US costs $13,584; Boot camp tuition can range from $7,800 to $21,000. Several coding Bootcamp charges you thousands of dollars and gives you a recorded video of an old session that they use for several years.
Live coding Boot camp charges you heavily and focuses more on the advanced classes. In contrast, they tend to showcase the results by displaying their top course rather than covering the fundamentals.
In my opinion, everyone wants quick results in less time and more output, but we should remember that things take their course. To identify an excellent Coding boot camp, you need to find the right balance that provides you the best curriculum with a personalized approach and provides you enough time to acquire skills. Before you enroll in a boot camp, you should take time to understand the prerequisites — don’t fall into the false promise of “no coding experience required” or “it is for all who want to start a career in IT”. While it is not hard, it is not as simple as it is portrayed. It requires patience, time, and rigor.
I always advise investing in learning one programming language and one database well. I get numerous calls lately asking for Python-based Data Science courses, but sadly people underestimate the need to learn Python well. They underestimate this need and want to jump to Pandas, Machine Learning, and in cases, Deep Learning.
We, at CodeMode, provides you a Coding Boot camp on Python with a well-structured 12-week program. The online class will be 2 hours per week, and you will have 2 hours per day for your online practice, where you can apply what you learned and ask your queries to your instructor in real-time. To know more about the program, visit: Coding Summer Camp 2021
Being an avid learner, technology leader, entrepreneur, mentor and educator, I enjoy teaching young brains. As a non-programmer by education, I consider myself an accidental programmer who just can’t be more thankful for it. I enjoy technology and am wow-ed by the potential of technology use for the betterment of human lives.