I’ve been tutoring here and there for the last two years.
Most of the time I tutor approximately 5 hours or so a week. This opportunity has provided with many rewards. Among them the opportunity to tinker with the fun stuff. College Instructors provide students with a lot of fun stuff. It may not be the most adequate work for the workforce, but indeed a lot of fun.
This opportunity has also allowed to peer inside the student’s minds and allowed me to understand their progression as they go through school. I have tutored students from all across the US and for many different purposes like college and prepration and getting through boot camp.
Keep in mind that the boot camps I’m talking about are NOT the 1 or 2 week certification courses that the likes of Microsoft or Java worlds offer. Instead, I am referring to the 3-6 month “become a full stack node developer” boot camps.
So.. that brings me to why I think coding schools are a waste of money and you should not waste your hard earned dollars there. “But, wait, Fernando, haven’t you heard the great results and job placements these schools have?”. Yes and not all have that.
First off one thing to note is that schools do a pretty good job of filtering out the weak candidates. But some candidates are real go-getters and they do anything to get in. Anything as in cramming a lot just to barely pass the minimum entrance standards.
In other cases, they will find a different school that will take them. One student put in an extremely large amount of effort to get into a school and in the end, he was pretty lost in the curriculum. He completed the school but then had a hard time getting the job and to this day I think he is not working as a developer.
Just from observation, I think the only way that those schools are worth the money is if you already have a headstart with programming and know a programming language pretty well. Or if you are extremely smart. You should already know the basics of HTML and CSS.
If you’ve been tinkering with coding for some time then coding schools would have a lot to offer you. On the other hand, if you are brand new to coding, it may be tougher. However, if you are really bright, good at math, good at puzzles, then you may still be a good candidate.
Coding schools can launch you into a prosperous career. However, I think you should prime yourself with coding and challenges before you go all in. If coding is naturally easy for you, then the coding school may be a good option.
If you have a hard time conquering a language, HTML and CSS then you might want to reconsider. You can wind up saving yourself a lot of time, money and stress.
The reason that I think boot camps don’t work unless you are primed is that they provide more information than a normal person can absorb and digest for that short period of time. If you are fresh off the block into coding, your mind will become saturated with new information very early and you will lose your ability to gain new knowledge from the course. You will begin to fall behind. To exacerbate things, the school’s schedule is already taking up your whole day so… there is no extra room for catching up.
On the other hand, if you already possess some knowledge then the boot camp will take you to the next level. It will allow you to create a better-than-decent project for your portfolio and you will be able to start your career in software development by getting an entry-level job.
So if Bootcamp is not the best way for regular people to get into a coding career… what is?
Stay tuned for that answer.