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Discussion on: Are Coding Bootcamps A Rip Off?

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sheriffderek profile image
sheriffderek

Agreed!

When we started building our curriculum at PE, we could see where things were going and so - we've stayed away from the term "boot camp." When every course calling itself a boot camp - and everything being so drastically "streamlined" once there are no in-person options... it's almost a meaningless term. (There's even a covid vacine bootcamp!) oh my.

I made a video a while back about how to vet boot camps / or just classes or teachers in general:

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tonycimaglia profile image
Tony Cimaglia Author • Edited on

Just seeing "meet the instructor" on your site already tells me that you're thinking about the whole concept differently. I always try and tell people to try and meet whoever will be teaching you. The whole experience can vary so widely based on the quality of the instructor. I've seen all of the students in a class at one bootcamp get a job in large part because they had a phenomenal teacher. Then I've seen half the students in a different cohort at the same institution never find work because they had terrible instruction.

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sheriffderek profile image
sheriffderek

I've been tutoring and keeping tabs on people in almost all of the mainstream boot camps - and it's pretty clear what they're teaching and how. It's probably is a necessary jump-start for some people: but they are missing a LOT of the foundations. That's hard to correct. I started school because it's too hard to teach people at any scale if they are all at totally different levels and have wildly different mental models for things. So, I can't really help people once they get too far along. I created a 'boot-camp-rehab' discord to at least help them fill in the gap: you know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

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tonycimaglia profile image
Tony Cimaglia Author

Having a better grasp on the foundational stuff beforehand would have been really helpful to me. We spent maybe 2 days on HTML and CSS (in a web development boot camp!). Certain companies eagerness to throw people into their courses with little screening really irks me. They'd have higher graduation rates if they required people to really take the time to build up some of those foundations first.

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sheriffderek profile image
sheriffderek • Edited on

And for me - I mean (I've been writing HTML and CSS every day for 10 years... and I learn new stuff every day!) - I think it's just about the order things are introduced and getting the right exercises to help them set in.

Most people (even senior devs) don't know the difference between display properties like inline and block, or how to position things - or basically - the main things you absolutely need to know. That's inexcusable and it's not just boot camps. It's youtube and everywhere.

I think that "knowing how to code something" and being able to "teach" it - are very different. I've answered thousands of "It isn't working" type questions. Oh, it's working. It's doing exactly what you told it to do. That's how computers work. The schools aren't teaching people the actual concepts - just what to type. And they aren't teaching them to ask good questions.

They aren't spending money to figure out the best way to teach - they're spending like 20k on a technical writer and the rest on advertising and scaling.

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Boot camps are still useful. But at the moment in this covid world that we live in. Self learning at home is going to be the best choice. Already heard about many developer focused events turning to online only or cancelled altogether. Self learning at home is great however we miss out on that face to face in person meeting where you can really bond and get to know people. It is not quite the same over some chat on a video conference.

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tonycimaglia profile image
Tony Cimaglia Author

Not only do you get that bonding experience, but there's so many studies that show that physically being in a classroom with other people helps you learn better. I think one of my issues with the online model for boot camps is that they haven't really updated their prices. In my view, the classroom environment is probably the most valuable thing you pay for, and there's no way they should be charging the same amount for online settings that they did when they held classes in-person.

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sheriffderek profile image
sheriffderek

I try and get people to take the class with a friend or family member. Technically... there's nothing stopping you from paying for 1 boot camp - and then teaching your 4 friends as you go. You'll probably learn 5x more.

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sheriffderek profile image
sheriffderek

I feel that the actual curriculum and teaching styles are a much bigger problem than the fact that it's through video-conferencing. I teach people on video all the time and it works great. In person-schools have a lot of great benefits though! I'd love to have one of those one day.

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tonycimaglia profile image
Tony Cimaglia Author

Completely agree on the teaching, not as much on the curriculum. I've found them all to be fairly similar to each other, and pretty comprehensive (that's not to say there isn't room for improvement, and you probably did just that!).