The first coding bootcamps launched in 2012, just 6 years ago, but they already make up such a significant part of the technology industry. According to Course Report, in total, there will be 20,000 coding bootcamp graduates in 2018.
But what really are coding bootcamps? How do they even work? We’re here to give you the lowdown.
The Difference Between a Coding Bootcamp and a Computer Science Degree
The main purpose of a CS degree is to prepare you for advanced computer science theories and academia. Essentially, they give students an overview of computing as a scientific field. Required courses for a CS degree typically include “Data Structures” and “Algorithms”, centered around concepts.
On the other hand, coding bootcamps were created to prepare you for programming jobs. So while some basic scientific principles of computer science will be covered, the focus is on teamwork, projects, and technologies - what you need in your future tech career. Sample units would be “MERN stack for full-stack web development” or “Basic HTML/CSS”, centered around practical use.
How Can You Get Into a Coding Bootcamp?
Coding bootcamps typically have a couple sessions a year. The basic process is to apply online and then impress in an interview. But how else can you up your chances?
Many coding bootcamps have small sample courses online that teach you how to build something simple. There are also other coding courses available on Coursera or Codeacademy. Not only will completing those definitely impress those specific bootcamps (you can even become a fast-tracked applicant!), but they give you a product you can use to show admission officers your interest, determination, and skills. It would also help you make sure you really want to go into this field!
Coding bootcamps often host informational sessions or casual meet-ups where you can meet current students, alumni, and instructors. They’ll help you understand the curriculum more, and it’s a great opportunity to connect with admission officers or instructors who can assist you through the interview process.
Make sure you have passions in life or interesting experiences that demonstrate that you are determined and willing to persevere in something as challenging as a coding bootcamp. It also doesn’t hurt to have a solid reason or story behind why you want to learn to code and what you want to do with it.
Now That I’m In, What Can I Expect After Graduation?
Congratulations! You pushed through 1-6 months of intensive coding and learning and are now coding bootcamp graduate! What comes next?
You now have the skills and foundation to not only expertly use the specific technical skills you were trained in, but also to learn to new languages, frameworks, and technologies.
Most coding bootcamp graduates’ first job is a junior developer. But after that, the possibilities are endless! Graduates have become CTOs, gone into product management, rise to become a senior engineer, or even headed their own tech start-ups. In the tech world, skill comes first, so as long as you keep learning and growing and trying, no job is off limits.