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All of the bootcamps love to tell you how many of their students got a job after completing their programs.   The good news is many people do get jobs.  Bootcamps can be a great tool for those who are trying to change careers or advance their current careers. However, don’t expect to see hiring managers hanging outside waiting to flood you with offers after you complete the course.

 You will have to put some effort into finding a job.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something you should know. The most successful job seekers are those who are diligent about creating projects that allow them to showcase their talents to prospective employers and take advantage of networking opportunities.

 Here is a very thoughtful piece written by a gentleman who has completed a bootcamp program.  It outlines his journey from student to junior level developer.

They are intense.

You'll need to do your homework.

Tuition can range from free to $20,000.  Some require you to pay upfront, while others take a percentage of your first year’s salary after you complete the program and get a coding job.

 But tuition is not the only expense.  While there are some part-time programs, many are full-time, so you probably won’t be able to work while you are studying.  You also need to consider you will not have an income immediately after completion of the program, while you are looking for a job.

Also, unless you are enrolled in an online program, you may have to travel to another city for your classes.  If that is the case, you will have to factor in travel costs and temporary living expenses.   

To get a realistic picture of what coding bootcamp may cost you, check out this bootcamp calculator.  

You'll have to work hard to get a job.

Depending on your goals, the right Coding Bootcamp can provide a tremendous boost to your career. The keys to success are:

  • Set specific goals. The bootcamp you choose will depend on what you wish to achieve.
  • Understand and accept the financial and time commitments involved.
  • Do your research. Find out as much as you can about the school, instructors, curriculum, reputation, etc. as possible.
  • Be prepared to work hard!

Here are some additional resources that will help you make the right decision.

Is Coding Bootcamp for you?

How to research Coding Bootcamps.

How to evaluate a Coding Bootcamp.

Tips on what you need to do to be successful.

If you decide to go.

Learning to code is all the rage.  Everyone is talking about the shortage of software developers and  the high salaries they demand.   The fact is software development can be a very lucrative and satisfying career. 

How does one become a software developer? Well, there are several paths you can take to gain the required expertise. 

You can:

  • Complete a degreed program (Associates, Bachelors or Masters).
  • Learn on your own. There is a vast array of free material available to anyone with an internet connection.
  • You can go to a coding bootcamp.

Coding Bootcamps are technical training programs that are designed to teach you what you need to know in a relatively short period of time (usually 8-12 weeks, but some can be as long as 36 weeks) to get an entry level job in software or web development.  Some require basic knowledge and proficiency in software development, while others do not.  Some of their students are developers who want to learn a new skill while others are looking to make a career change.

 Whatever your motivation, there are some things you need to know before taking the plunge.

By their very nature, coding bootcamps are intense.  Remember, they are designed to teach you enough about various development languages to make you productive in a very short period of time.  Expect to be immersed in learning/practicing 8-12 hours each day, minimum 5 days a week (it will probably eat up a lot of your weekends too).  With this in mind, be sure you can fully devote yourself to the program.   If you are the type of student who parties all night and gets in the next morning just in time to make it to class, a coding bootcamp may not be for you.

Family and friends need to understand that this is an important step in your life and in order to be successful, you will need to devote yourself to the program.  This is one of those many times in your life that you will get out of it exactly what you put into it.

Also, avoid the mistake one young lady I met made.  She had met a wonderful guy and they decided to get married. She felt this would be a perfect time  to create a whole new life, she decided to plan her wedding and attend bootcamp at the same time.  Needless to say, it did not work out very well for her.  The result was a lot of unnecessary stress, tears and a big waste of money.

Note:Do not choose a bootcamp on price alone. 

Make sure the one you choose:

  • Has the program that will suit your goals. If you want to be a full-stack developer don’t enroll in the program designed to get you a job as a web developer.
  • Works for your learning style. While online programs may be less expensive, not everyone is comfortable learning complex material online.  Some people learn better in a classroom situation.
  • Has a good reputation. The quality of instruction can vary greatly among bootcamps.  

What You Need to Know Before Signing Up for Coding Bootcamp

They are expensive.

Bootcamps are springing up all over the place and they are not all the same.  Take the time to define your goals and find the bootcamp that best fulfills your needs. You need to understand what type of student you are  - can you learn from online instruction alone or do you thrive in a classroom setting.

Finally, learn as much as you can about the school you are contemplating.  Read as many reviews as you can from as many sources as possible  - not just the reviews on their web sites. Here are some things to consider:

  • Teaching style(s)
  • Curriculum
  • Can you classes over?
  • Instructor’s background/qualifications

A great starting point for researching courses is  Course Report. Course Report is a site that lets you research technical bootcamps nationwide. You'll find information on courses offerings admissions requirements, locations, pricing, scholarships and student reviews.