What Coding Bootcamps Are….And Are Not

When I signed up for my coding boot camp, I expected it to be like a very, very intense school.

In some ways, it is. We have a teacher, and there is lecture time, followed by homework.

However, in my opinion, the most important difference between school and coding bootcamps is not the workload.

The difference is this:

Schools teach you what you need to know. Coding bootcamps show you resources you might not have found on your own, and challenge you with problems that are at the far edge of your knowledge–or several steps beyond. Then they help you diagnose the problems with your solution, and point you to more resources to help you fix the problem.

If you are considering joining a coding bootcamp, DO NOT expect to be taught. No one is going to explain in detail what a class is, and when to use it, or show you new methods each day. In the short run, that makes things more difficult and can be horribly frustrating at times. In the long run, it teaches you the skills you will need to be a great programmer, and to keep up with the constantly changing tech world.

The process isn’t ideal. Feeding us too much information would not help us to learn “how to learn”. On the other hand, we need a certain amount of information just to know what to look for. Also, sometimes having to look for everything yourself is just too inefficient. There are only so many hours in a day, and sometimes spending 5 of them trying to find out why a variable is out of scope is not a good use of time.

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