Should you go to a coding bootcamp in 2020? Are they worth it? Check out the video and continue below to find out more.
I want to give a few disclaimers first. 1st disclaimer…I’ve been working as a professional software developer for well over a decade and have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, and I have never attended a coding bootcamp before, but I know people that have and have investigated them myself. 2nd disclaimer…I can only speak in general terms, because I don’t know which bootcamp you’re considering attending. Some of them are better than others. I also don’t know you personally. I don’t know what your strengths and weaknesses are and I don’t know how you learn and what motivates you. So again, I will only speak in general terms about coding bootcamps and what I would do if I were you.
With all that being said, whether I was a complete beginner or I was a seasoned developer looking to learn new skills, I would NOT pay money to go to a coding bootcamp. This especially includes borrowing money and the new trend, these income share agreements. Before you jump all over me, let me explain why I hold these beliefs.
First, they tend to cost a lot of money and you already have options that aren’t expensive. If you’re going to pay cash for these schools, then it’s not quite as bad because you won’t be in debt when you finish (especially if it takes awhile to find a job). Remember, when you borrow money, the only guarantee you have is that you’ll have to pay that money back AND WITH INTEREST! I know the income share agreements are starting to get a little more popular, but let’s take a look at a site that scrutinizes them a bit:
And here’s another link about Income Share Agreements:
The people that write these agreements are lawyers and other legal professionals that have been doing this stuff a lot longer than you. Unless you’re hiring a GOOD lawyer yourself that will explain this all to you and make sure that you’re in the clear if things go badly, I don’t see why you would need to put yourself into that legal risk when there are other options available.
You may be asking yourself “what are these other options this guy is talking about?”. We live in a time where access to information has never been easier or cheaper to obtain. If you want to learn how to do drywall repair or change a sink faucet, there is tons of free or cheap information available online. You just have to be patient and diligent finding good information and then applying that information. You can get top-rated Udemy courses for $11 and can post questions there or read through the comments of other people that have taken the lesson before you.
You might be saying right now that you need a personal tutor. What about joining a local meetup group, online bulletin boards, or Facebook groups around the type of coding you want to do? In all of my years, I have never seen a group turn away somebody that is obviously trying. When you ask a question and provide a code sample that shows considerable effort, most other developers respect that and will help you out a little. It’s only when you come in with a half-hearted attempt and ask for free help that other developers will get irritated and put you down or ignore you. Part of being a developer is being able to read the documentation, process the information, and be able to find the answer, so you might as well start figuring out how to find answers now. From the people that I’ve come across that went to bootcamps, I’ve noticed that some of them felt that they really needed to be cut off and forced to code. They also felt that this would be a quick way to success, like some quick weight loss plan. You’re really better off learning at a moderate pace where you take daily action. You’ll see positive results quicker than you think.
One of my other concerns is the potential teaching quality of the those running the courses. How long have they been coding professionally? Are they simply a graduate of the course themselves? Are they great coders, but maybe not great at teaching? In life, you need to be really really careful who you take advice from (that includes me). Don’t just trust some guy on YouTube telling you what he thinks you should do. Listen, but then go off and do your own research and come to your own conclusions. In the end, I’m only giving you my researched opinion. Your situation may be different. Let’s look at another site regarding bootcamps:
So depending on the bootcamp you attend and your commitment, you might not be ready for a job when you’re done with the class. Job placement numbers are also a little fuzzy, so there’s risk there.
I’ve talked about all the reasons that I would not go to a coding bootcamp, but I’m also not saying that college is the answer either. Besides the massive expense, college has a lot of opportunity cost since you have a few years where you’re not only NOT making money, but you’re paying to learn. It all depends on you and being honest with yourself on how hard you’re willing to work. Debt shouldn’t be taken lightly. When you’re starting off on your career path, you want to be able to travel as lightly as possible so you can move where the opportunity is without having these massive chains around your neck. It’s your life and we all have to live with the consequences of our choices. Good luck to you and I wish you the best.
We’re all coders or aspiring coders and it’s easy to sit at your desk all day and not move around. Make sure that you take some time to get up, walk around, or go outside and smell the fresh air. Life is short, so make sure that you’re enjoying it. This is Nick from Mobile Code Media, and if you’ve found this content useful, I’d appreciate you leaving a comment telling me what you think.