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Coding Bootcamps. Worth it? Your opinions welcomed...

csunivcsuniv Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
I went to a state University for computer science but never finished. The only way I can go back is if I were spend 2 years on more borrowed money (if I can borrow anymore). I just recently read about coding bootcamps.

So, this whole concept of coding bootcamps is new to me. Is pursuing a coding bootcamp worth it? Would it really secure a job quickly? How quickly? 3 to 4 months? Anyone with personal experience and testimonies? Awesome or bad? How much money do you make? Only $40k?

I was thinking of quiting work and devoting 2-4 months to one of these bootcamps (preferably the cheapest, like free or deferred payment).

Which bootcamps should I avoid if I want to find good work ASAP or to be taken seriously? My guess is that I should take one that has a very good or decent mentorship, but IDK.

Which bootcamps are the best option? How about for free or deferred payment? I have zero money now and will need to save money in order to fund 2-4 months of attendance.

How difficult is it to go through these? The university courses in programming were actually pretty easy.

BTW, I had quit college for awhile due to personal issues and financial aid deficiencies...not academic or intellectual incompetence. I am 100% confident I can succeed in any of these bootcamps.

Does anyone have any good tips or suggestions on pursuing this path? What is your experience and background in computer science or programming?

Any opinion's from computer science BS programmers who have personal/professional experience with coding bootcamp graduates?

Any idea what kind of work and its salary this training will give me? What types of advancements?


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Replies to: Coding Bootcamps. Worth it? Your opinions welcomed...

  • csunivcsuniv Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    ...and does anyone think it is worth learning on my own instead of attending a paid bootcamp? I would prefer the mentorship and other features of the paid ones, I would think...
  • WalknOnEggShellsWalknOnEggShells Registered User Posts: 568 Member
    I have no direct experience with boot camps, but I don't think they're worth it.

    Are there any colleges near you that offer Continuing Education courses in programming?
    How many programming courses did you take while you were in school?

    I think taking Continuing Ed courses slowly, one at a time, while you're working, would be
    a much better way to break into the Software field. There's only so much you can cram into
    your head in a short period of time. Software concepts take time to digest.

    I've seen lots of articles talking up the boot camps, but I think they're good for nobody except
    the owners of the boot camps.
  • csunivcsuniv Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    Why is that? Based on minimal knowledge of bootcamps? And what is your background?
  • simba9simba9 Registered User Posts: 3,156 Senior Member
    Coding bootcamps are the CS version of "Get rich quick" schemes.

    They are absolutely not a replacement for a CS degree. If they were, everyone would be dropping out of college and enrolling in bootcamps. There is simply no way to become an employable programmer in 2-4 months. The bootcamps may cover a lot of material, but you're not going to be given enough time to digest and practice what's taught.

    You can learn just as much as you would in a bootcamp by immersing yourself in a few books, trying out all the examples, and coming up with your own personal project. Or look into some of the CS specializations offered by Coursera. Without a degree, you're probably going to need a portfolio of demonstrable applications and code available for prospective employers to look at.
  • csunivcsuniv Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    Huh. What I was thinking was that if I could obtain good paying work after a coding bootcamp, I could use the money to fund an online degree in CS on the side.

    What is with all the testimonials claiming to have extremely high employment rates? Especially in jobs making over $100k a year?
  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science Posts: 3,667 Forum Champion
    Those claims can't even be made by the high level CS schools - even in the CS world, getting $100k salary is hard when first starting and does take time to work up to, though is certainly easier than other fields. I have absolutely no idea how they make those claims.

    Coding bootcamps are in no way credentials. An employer will care more about the half of a college degree you did, even if you never finished. If you were in good academic standing as you mentioned, you should be able to get your foot in the door at some places.

    Coding bootcamps can be useful - for an already well-trained developer who wants to pick up a new language or platform quick. The fact he went to the bootcamp won't matter though, it's the fact that he knows the new platform or language etc. Many developers usually give themselves the "bootcamp" experience by simply researching online and teaching themselves.

    If you go in without knowing what you're doing, you may get to know a language / platform but probably have no idea how to use it properly, and no one will be able to verify your abilities. You don't need a degree, but you need to be able to show that you know how to code, and well. Whether that's a big project, a github, or a degree, you need something. A coding bootcamp won't offer anything beyond a really compact lesson on a specific subject - unless you have the tools to digest it, as @simba9 mentioned, it will be of no use for your knowledge nor your employability.

    How much CS did you actually take at college? Can you list all the courses?
  • csunivcsuniv Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    I took Java 1 through 3 (basic, OOP, programming w/data structures), OS & Networks for Programmers, learned C, C++, JavaScript, PHP, HTML, Relational Databases and SQL, Engineering Physics 1 & 2, Discrete Math, Intro to Matrix Theory, and Calculus 1-3 and Fortran.

    All of these are the lower level requirements to get into CS. I was told that if I came back, it would take 2 years full time to complete.

    I wouldn't be surprised if I have covered everything it takes to get a job making decent money. The problem is that I can't easily remember everything important to pass interviews in order to score a job, even for classes I might have aced. I did maybe 1 interview on Skype and didn't pass (unless the interview was a scam)...

  • csunivcsuniv Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    If there is some way I can get in the door with my "half" degree, I would love to. If I spent 2 to 4 months through my own bootcamp, would that help? Or is a bootcamp on top of my unfinished degree worth it?
  • csunivcsuniv Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    I think the bootcamps help you create a portfolio, right?
  • fragbotfragbot Registered User Posts: 270 Junior Member
    We've hired one person from one of these camps. Overall, I'd say it's unlikely we'll do so again. Once bitten, twice shy and all that.
  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science Posts: 3,667 Forum Champion
    You seem to have a truly good base there - especially with Networks / OS on top of the coding basics.

    I don't think a formal bootcamp would serve you any good. I would see if you can do some a CC somewhere and take an Algorithms class. Then check out the book "Cracking the Coding Interview". Between that and brushing up on your basics, you would b competitive enough to land a job likely. Look for ones that don't explicitly require a CS degree (they will often say "or equivalent experience" or something) - if you can get one, jobs after will care more about your experience than your education. It won't be easy, but spending money on a bootcamp doesn't sound like a good idea.

    Bootcamps may or may not build a portfolio, but you can do that yourself at home. Build an app, a website, a project, anything. Listing it on the projects section of your resume will help - many companies will end up asking you about it, and if you can go into more detail and show them you know what you're doing, it will be more important than an official degree.
  • csunivcsuniv Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    Hmmm...so if I spent two months on my own bootcamp, I could possibly become employable? What type of salary or salary range would I be looking at? I remember the company that interviewed me before was claiming around $60k to $80k a year...I can't remember the exact amount, but it was supposed to be some sort of trained database programming with Java job...
  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science Posts: 3,667 Forum Champion
    edited April 2016
    I believe the national CS average starting salary is 60K - given your situation, I would expect 50-60K unlesss you're in a major city where the cost of living is higher. Check the average for your location.

    According to payscale, it's even higher: http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Computer_Scientist/Salary/4948046d/Entry-Level

    As you can see, claiming 100K starting salaries from a bootcamp is laughable when those with degrees only make that much at the top 80% or more. And again, the reputation of bootcamps in the industry is very bad.
  • csunivcsuniv Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    Really that bad? Lol I guess I wouldn't be surprised with someone who had no coding experience before attending a bootcamp...
  • csunivcsuniv Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    Would employers expect that I finish my degree?
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