Professional developers don’t need to pack every programming language in existence into their toolbox. Sure, it would be nice — but employers aren’t going to usher you out the door if you aren’t fluent in lesser-known languages like COBOL or Haskell.
What Is a Coding Bootcamp?
A coding bootcamp is an intensive academic course that imparts practical, job-ready skills to learners within a few short months. It’s a cost-effective alternative to a traditional four-year computer science degree that’s ideal for working professionals who don’t have time to commit to a full-time, multi-year academic program or simply want to pivot their careers quickly. It also requires no prior knowledge of programming whatsoever — even those new to the field can upskill into coding with a bootcamp.
As an example, Berkeley Coding Boot Camp provides comprehensive tutelage in several common programming languages and opportunities for hands-on learning. It offers a flexible schedule with a quick turnaround; depending on whether they choose a full-time or part-time learning experience, learners can complete their studies in just 12 to 24 weeks, respectively. Courses are offered online to maximize the program’s convenience and accessibility.
- Creating a web page “from scratch”
- Building and using databases
- Creating single-page applications with React.js
Learners can also extend their studies to learn additional in-demand languages such as Python, Java and C#.
Let’s get started!
1. You’ll Have Experienced Instructors
A class is only ever as good as the instructor who leads it. Bootcamps, like college courses, are taught by industry experts who know their subject matter inside and out. Bootcamp instructors have years of professional knowledge. They don’t just teach students syntax; they instruct them on how best to use programming languages in professional projects.
These instructors know their material — and perhaps more importantly, they’re accessible to students who need help understanding it. Anyone who’s ever attempted to learn something out of a book or online course knows how difficult it can be to puzzle through tricky material on your own. There’s nothing quite as reassuring as being able to set up a one-on-one chat with your teacher to clarify a confusing topic or assignment.
Bootcamp students have the luxury of being able to talk to knowledgeable instructors and remove confusion before it puts a speed bump in their learning journey.
2. You’ll Learn Quickly
This upskill timeline is substantially faster than the one offered by conventional four-year computer science programs. As such, they may be more feasible for learners who already have a degree, can’t commit to four years of full-time education or need to balance their education with a full-time job or familial responsibilities.
3. You’ll Take a Hands-On Approach
Our bootcamps operate on the assumption that the best way to learn is by doing. While participants will undoubtedly need to attend lectures, most of their assignments will revolve around project-based learning. This approach ensures that students gain experience and become proficient in both coding theory and practice.
This focus on projects has another purpose, too — career preparation.
Every aspiring coder needs to have a strong portfolio demonstrating their technical coding skills and competencies. Projects assigned during a coding bootcamp’s curriculum can all become portfolio pieces, provided that the learner does outstanding work.
- 5 Coding Projects You Should Include in Your Front End Portfolio — freeCodeCamp
- 63 Best Web Developer Portfolio Examples — Noupe
- How to Build a Design Portfolio as a Student — Desk
4. You’ll Enjoy Lots of Networking Opportunities
It doesn’t matter which industry you’re trying to break into; networking is a crucial part of cultivating future success. Bootcamp students can connect with their instructor and other aspiring developers in class. They may also have opportunities to connect with professionals in the industry while working on their projects.
If you’re a particularly proactive student, you might want to consider reaching out to your bootcamp’s career office and seeing if they have any pre-established connections with alums in the industry or companies in need of entry-level support.
- 7 Tips for Successful Online Networking — JotForms
- 9 Tips for Navigating Your First Networking Event — The Muse
- Five Networking Tips for People Who Hate Networking — CyberCoders
5. You’ll Impress Employers
Sure, attending a conventional four-year computer science degree program might be a common route into programming — but some employers like those who graduate from bootcamps even more.
According to a recent report from HackerRank (PDF, 2.8 MB), nearly one in three hiring managers have selected candidates who learned to code via a bootcamp. Of those, 72 percent felt that bootcamp-trained programmers were equally or better equipped for the job than other hires.
The same survey also found that 71 percent of these hiring managers felt that bootcamp-educated employees could quickly pick up new technologies and languages. Sixty-one percent noted that former bootcamp learners demonstrated strong practical experience, and 52 percent reported that they were often eager to take on new responsibilities.
The tech world has also become notably more friendly to bootcamp learners in recent years. Notable tech companies such as Google, IBM and Apple no longer require applicants to have four-year degrees.
That said, more opportunities abound for bootcamp grads at smaller companies. While 91 percent of developers at companies with more than 10,000 employees have college degrees, the HackerRank report (PDF, 2.8 MB) found that nearly one-third (32 percent) of those working at companies with fewer than 50 employees did not attend conventional four-year programs.
With these statistics in mind, it’s clear that having a bootcamp on your resume can be actively beneficial for your career.
6. You’ll Pay Less for Your Education
It’s a fact of life in America — college is expensive. According to recent data from the US News and World Report, tuition costs for in-state students attending four-year public colleges was $9,687 per year. For students attending private institutions, or those out of state, prices run even higher. Students attending a four-year, out-of-state public college invested an average of $21,184 per year. For those attending private, nonprofit colleges, rates topped $35,087 per year.
These are much higher costs. If we calculated the total cost posed by a four-year degree on these numbers alone, even without accounting for room and board, price increases or inflation, the final cost would total between $38,748 and $140,348.
Now, developers often make reasonably high salaries — but not all professionals have the means or time to pursue another formal degree. Thankfully, there’s a way to accrue job-ready programming skills.
Compared to four-year degrees, bootcamps are extremely affordable. According to Course Report’s 2020 market report, the average bootcamp learner paid just $13,293 in tuition costs. Plus, because bootcamps offer online and part-time flexibility, enrollees don’t need to worry about relocating for their education, paying for dorm living or giving up their current job to accommodate their academic schedules.
Front End Developer
Full Stack Developer
Not sure where to start? Check out Berkeley Coding Boot Camp! In just 12 to 24 weeks, our intensive program will impart all of the professional skills you need to help you find an entry-level job in the coding sector.
You have the interest; we have the curriculum. Now, all that remains is for you to commit to your future career and start learning!