A career in tech and web development is now more possible than ever before thanks to the advent of coding bootcamps. In as little as six months, students can pick up the skills they need to get a job as a developer, which is a far cry from spending four years and $150,000 on a four-year college degree to get the same outcome.
As attractive as coding bootcamps appear at first, they still require making a major life decision. Over the course of six months, you’ll be expected to make a major time commitment and of course you’ll still have to pay to actually attend.
As you’re considering your options, there are four key questions that will help you determine whether a coding bootcamp is the right path for you.
1:- Am I ready to work really hard?
To be frank out of the gate, just because coding bootcamps are six-month versus four-year program doesn’t mean they’re an easy way out. After all, anything with “bootcamp” in the name should tell you right off the bat that it won’t be an easy ride. In the course of six months, bootcamps pack in a lot of information in a short period of time. When you’re not in lessons, you’ll be expected to dedicate any free time you have to studying and getting assignments done.
No matter which type of coding bootcamp model you consider—online, offline, or hybrid—you’ll have to figure out how to fit in all the work. An offline program will require you to attend classes five days a week for six months. A hybrid program will blend online and offline learning and will also require a six-month commitment, but will let you fit your training across nights and weekends. Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll have to figure out how to juggle your learning around major responsibilities like work and family. In sum, you’ll be asked to work diligently during the entire training period.
2:- Do I enjoy solving challenging problems?
One core mantra often spoken in web development: if you can think it, you can build it. On the one hand, it’s an incredibly powerful place to be with anything you want to do. It’s what makes web development so engaging. On the flip side, it’s also what makes it an incredibly challenging endeavor as well. You’ll be focused on building tools and programs that no one has yet created, which means you’re bound to come across major hurdles and roadblocks along the way. Debugging and troubleshooting will become part of your everyday work life. If you’re ready to be patient and tackle these challenges one by one, then coding bootcamps and web development as a whole could be a great fit.
3:- Do I like working as part of a team?
The stereotype of an individual working alone in a small dark room is what often comes to mind when people think of web development. However, this picture is far from reality. Coding actually takes a team to be successful. While individual coders are expected to work on certain portions of a code base, at the end of the day they bundle those unique batches of code together to make one larger product.
On top of this, there’s the process of addressing and fixing problems that arise in the code. During the building and bundling process, it’s natural for bugs and other issues to appear. You’ll have to debug together as a team with colleagues and leverage a community via online forums to sniff out the root cause of the issues. If this sounds like fun, then beginning the path to coding via a coding bootcamp might be right for you.
4:- Do I like building things from the ground up?
Do you have fun tinkering with things to see how they work? Is it fun for you to put individual pieces of a puzzle together in order to see how they come together and build a complete picture? This is what coding looks like day-to-day. You’ll be putting together the foundations, walls, and the decorative touches on projects as part of your job.
Of course, one of the upsides of being a coder is that you’re part of a broader community that frequently shares their work openly. This means that while you may have the skills to build every piece of the project, you often don’t have to start from the very beginning. You can leverage pre-existing code and modify it to your needs. If this sounds like fun, then getting a better taste for it by participating in a coding bootcamp could be a fantastic way to really get your feet wet. Giving an entry-level course like a web development fundamentals bootcamp can go a long way to trying coding on for size and seeing if it could make a great long term career for you.