Hungry Web Developer Podcast

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Coding Bootcamps - are they worth it?




Or should you learn on your own?

Shelling $10-$15k on a bootcamp is a big decision. Do you get your money's worth? What is a coding curriculum path even like? What if you wanted to go the freebie path? Tune in to find out!

What is a coding bootcamp?


A fast-tracked course into learning how to code. It can focus on different areas of coding such as frontend, backend, design, and web security. Coding bootcamp examples are Ironyard, lamda school, collegiate, and local developer bootcamps

What is the curriculum path like?


It depends on what you want to do in the software field. If you want to be a fullstack developer, you'll generally learn the MERN (Mongo Express React NodeJS) stack. Some bootcamps will teach you languages popular for jobs in your area such as C#. But there's other types of bootcamps tailored towards designers, security analysts, and database developers.

Popular coding bootcamps include Ironyard, Lambda school, collegiate, and local developer bootcamps.

Bootcamps are generally 3 month full time, or 6 months part time. Here's what a general breakdown looks like, week by week:

  • Week 0 - Homework assignments such as type touching tests
  • Week 1 - Setting up IDE
  • Week 2 - Learning HTML/CSS layouts
  • Week 3 - Learning basic programming, DOM, Javascript, etc
  • Week 4 - Learning about Javascript utility libraries like jQuery
  • Week 5 - Pick your own app and work with other classmates
  • Week 6 - Learn about basic backend systems and APIs
  • Week 7 - Learn about databases, and deployment
  • Week 8 - Learn basic React

Week 9 - 12 is generally capstone project or any other specific skill you're learning on the way. Generally speaking, you learn alot outside of class with your cohort mates assuming you put in the work. At the end, you'll also present your capstone project to industry alumni and bootcamp cohorts alike for feedback

What support do you get after the bootcamp?


Bootcamp will generally offer some support in getting a job. Depending on how the bootcamp is structured, they may have a financial investment in getting you hired. Most will offer career services such as proofreading your resume, cover letters, and conduct mock interviews. Some will provide network opportunities, or even tutoring opportunitie if you perform well

Are bootcamps worth it?


Bootcamps can be expensive ($10k to $15k), but the cost will generally save you a lot of effort in learning the hard way. They streamline exactly what you need to know to get a job. And provide some level of accountability especially when you get stuck on a problem, or lose motivation, there is someone to help pair program to solve issues you run into.

What about the self-learning path?


It can be unpaved. Your basically on your own. You need to figure out what to learn and carve your own path! First by compiling what jobs are out there, and what kind of jobs interest you. That means doing a lot of research - you could also look up what a standard coding curriculum path looks like. Some popular pre outlined guidelines out there include FreeCodeCamp for frontend development.

What a self learning path might look like for a MERN stack role (Mongo Express React NodeJS):

  • Basics of computer science
  • Basics of HTML, CSS
  • Deep dive into Javascript
  • Building a fullstack MERN app at a shallow level
  • Deep dive into React
  • Hackathons for learning how to work with other developers short term
  • Chingu cohorts to learn how to work with other developers long term
  • Attending tech meetups!
  • Listening to coding podcasts
  • Learning how to use stackoverflow and ask questions online
  • Learning how to apply to jobs

Check out this guide we wrote for more information!

Self-learning path can be really difficult, so look for tech community support (slack channels!).

Dessert time! - Cats and Burnout


Vincent talks about his new cat, Monty! How he adopted him, and what it's like being a first time cat owner.

German talks about burnout and looking forward to vacation time!

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Download: coding_bootcamps.mp3