Five Fallacies About Coding Bootcamps
Making sure you have the skills to get a great job in this job market is crucial. For this reason, you may be looking at a coding bootcamp, even if it’s just to refresh your programming knowledge. Whatever your reason is, the more education you have, the better off you’ll be.
Just as important as education itself, is where you get it. Some places sound too good to be true. And with places that boast 90 percent job placement, they just might be. It can be difficult to know who you can trust in this age of the internet. When it comes to choosing a coding bootcamp, here are five myths you may have gotten wrong.
1. To Be A Coder You Must Look A Certain Way
When you think of a coder, does Revenge of the Nerds or Silicon Valley come to mind? Do you look in the mirror and think, I am nothing like that? The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you are nothing like that. Diversity is a wonderful and necessary thing, and more and more efforts are being made to expand diversity in the tech community. Regardless of age, sex, race, current occupation, etc., if you dedicate the necessary time and hard work, you can learn to code and find a fulfilling career!
Diversity efforts are yielding real progress as well. In order to grow the number of women in tech specifically, organizations like Girls Who Code, Accenture, and many others are dedicating resources to making sure that little girls grow up motivated and empowered to enter the programming field.
Seasoned professionals often have doubts about transitioning to coding late in their careers. The amount of years of experience you have can be your asset, and keeping up-to-date with the latest technologies and programming languages can make you invaluable to employers — no matter where you are in life.
2. Bootcamps Can’t Springboard You Into A Career
One of the most common coding bootcamps critiques is that they can’t guarantee you job placement once you complete the course. While this is true, the reality, as proven by the data, is that this is also true of any educational program or skills-based course you pursue. Graduating from college doesn’t guarantee you the career you want. Instead, you must put in the hard work to land the role you want using what you’ve learned.
Certain bootcamps have more to offer than just knowledge. Some have networking events that can help recent graduates find work, while others offer career coaching, technical interview training, and more. In the end, no one can force you to use the tools you have at your disposal—it’s up to you!
3. Bootcamps Are Just In It For The Money
You may have seen advertisements for coding bootcamps that sound too good to be true. Just as it is your responsibility to be aware of how you spend your time studying and mastering the course material, before you can get there, you have to make sure you pick the program that is right for you. Some bootcamps may promote better success rates than they are actually responsible for, so it is best to do your research.
Regulators such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau exist for situations where programs make certain false claims. Along with state attorney generals, these organizations work to put a stop to these illegal practices.
Before making a decision, you can also ask a professional or a trusted friend who may have attended a coding bootcamp. Organizations may be on the lookout for outrageous claims, but you should too. Approaching someone who you know has enrolled in one of these programs can provide you with a more trusted opinion.
4. You Can’t Work While Attending a Bootcamp
You may have a full-time job, and think that your current work schedule will prevent you from ever attending a coding course or coding bootcamp. The good news is, there are bootcamps that were created with professionals in mind! These part-time bootcamps feature a flexible class schedule, with convenient evening and weekend classes.
Though it certainly requires hours of serious effort and studying to manage a boot camp curriculum and a job, don’t sell yourself short. If you practice strong time management and are truly passionate about and dedicated to learning to code, working while you attend a bootcamp is possible! While there will be many long hours and sleepless nights, part-time bootcamps allow students to benefit from an in-person, classroom environment where you can interact with your peers and ask questions as they happen, without sacrificing your daytime work schedule.
5. There Is No Way To Try Coding Before Enrolling
Deciding on where to go for a coding bootcamp is a major commitment. How would you know if programming is even for you? There are basic educational websites that you can try for free in order to find out. Codecademy or Free Code Camp are great resources to test your love for coding before committing to a full stack course.
However, once you dive into the basics, a bootcamp is often the best route for structured learning and an overall in-depth experience. Not only will you learn many different programming languages, but you will also have the guidance of a knowledgeable instructor at any time. It always helps to have someone with more experience by your side when you need it the most.
In a world of conflicting information on the internet, myths can dilute what is truly real. The truth is that coding bootcamps offer wonderful insight and education. But you must make sure that you do your own research and choose the right one for you.
If you wish to change careers or if you just need a boost in your existing knowledge, you want to ensure your time and money are being well spent. Ask any friends or trusted experts in the field regarding what they know about certain local coding bootcamps. Once you do some investigating, the right school will find you. Not only that, but a new world of information will open up to you — all because you want to take that first step.