Coding Bootcamp, should I have attended one?

From its name alone, a coding bootcamp tells you its intense. After attending one here in New Zealand, I’ll list what I think were the major pros and cons for me.

PROS

More on self studying

I was exposed to a DIY environment – well even the New Zealand work environment is a lot like this. You only ask questions when you get completely stuck. There is little to no hand holding involved. For some this could be a con, but for me it is a pro. Perhaps because I actually like studying and poking around stuff 🙂

I started a big project from scratch

This is what I loved about the experience, I gained validation that I could start a biggish web project from nothing and build the prototype that everyone in the team started on. I became a team leader because of that. Though the tech stack used was somewhat old by JavaScript standards ( KnockoutJS, JQuery). All these things I did from back-end to front-end sure made me feel like I really am a developer. I just need more time and experience.

CONS

Too crowded

When I was there, there were just too many people that I think it wasn’t conducive to learning anymore – that’s Mr. Money rearing its ugly head in my opinion. Some of the participants are also complaining about this during water cooler talks.

Unclear structure when it comes to the learning path

I believe this goes hand in hand with the first pro I mentioned. It was like this as well on my Help Desk job here in NZ. Because you are doing stuff on your own, the learning path pretty much becomes find a path for yourself too. This is how it actually turned out when I was there, for some of the participants it meant – sitting there doing little:)

My Conclusion

This is a mixed bag for me. Although I gained experience working in a team, the major cons are still major. And to top it off, there are tons of resources online that can teach you anything you want these days. In my opinion, if you are driven to begin with, you can study and learn a lot on your own and work on open source projects with others and all that. This method is mostly free or will cost considerably less compared to a bootcamp.

However, if you get motivation from studying with others or if you like a clear step by step path – though the one I attended was kinda unclear on the path. A bootcamp could be for you, it won’t be cheap though.

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