Why the New York Times is talking about coding camps

By September 21, 2015News

The New York Times recently ran an article about the rise of coding camps, and they’re not alone: a quick search of google shows a plethora of articles about this new phenomenon. As tech booms, the interest in new ways to enter the industry grows.

Code camps in particular are getting attention because they represent opportunity for people past university age (although they are attended by people of all ages, including young students). In a world where education costs in the tens of thousands of dollars, and takes years to complete, coding camps offer a new way to reskill, without breaking the bank or taking nearly as long.

 Demand outstrips supply

The current demand for developers, programmers and architects far outstrips the supply, so the focus is on the skills the candidates possess, not how they came about them.

A typical university degree takes a minimum of 3 years to complete, whereas coding boot camps usually run for between 8 and 12 weeks. At the end of a degree, you will receive accreditation from a recognised educational institution. However, what employers are looking for is skills, and during the hiring process, candidates will be tested – accreditations mean nothing if you don’t have the skills to back them up.

In fact, Microsoft recently recognised Sydney-based FireBootCamp, which runs .NET boot camps locally and internationally, with a MAPA award for “Excellence in Learning”. FireBootCamp graduates don’t receive formal accreditation, but their skills speak for themselves. This nod from Micrososft is testament to the innovative way the boot camp transforms wannabe developers into experienced juniors who are an asset to their employer.

Continuous improvement

Universities can be slower to update their curriculums than boot camps, due to their entrenched hierarchy and need for approval from deans and higher ups. This means that students can graduate without knowledge of the latest cutting edge technologies. Boot camps, on the other hand, with their shorter run time, and mentors who are also seasoned developers with an understanding of current industry needs, have greater flexibility to change the course curriculum.

FireBootCamp, for example, have yet to run the same curriculum twice – each curriculum is adapted to include new necessities as they are released. Previous additions to the course include AngularJS (now just called Angular) and Git, and in their forthcoming course, there will also be Application Insights and DevOps, as well as the bread-and-butter topics like ASP.NET MVC 6, Enterprise Architecture, and Microsoft Visual Studio 2015.

Like the software they design, the tech industry is built on continuous improvement. This means that no matter how a developer acquired their initial skill set, in order to stay relevant they must continuously learn new technologies or face obsolescence. Boot camps aren’t just for career changers – they are also popular among developers wanting to upskill to ensure they’re on the cutting edge of development.

Intensity

Boot camps aren’t for everybody. Overall, they take less time to complete than a university degree, but the learning process is much more intense. While a full-time degree may involve studying 20 hours a week on campus and the same again at home, boot camps take more time each week than a full time job. FireBootCamp students spend a minimum of 60 hours a week for 9 weeks, undergoing on-site training, and it’s not just theoretical learning. Any new knowledge they acquire is immediately implemented through hands-on practice, working on a project they can showcase to prospective employers. When not in lectures or coding, they’re receiving career guidance and support from developers who have years of experience. It’s a fast paced, high stress environment, but the rewards are great: graduates of the course have said they learned more in the 9 weeks than they did in years of self-lead study.

Summary

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, more than one way to peel an apple, and more than one way to become a developer. Just as Uber and Netflix have shaken up the traditional taxi and television industries, boot camps are shaking up traditional training methods. Faster and cheaper than university, and more constructive than going it alone, code camps like FireBootCamp are jetpacking dedicated students into exciting and rewarding futures.

FireBootCamp is running 2 new courses starting later this year, in both the USA and Australia.

  • Redmond, WA, USA – 12th Oct – 5th Dec 2015
  • Sydney, Australia – 30th Nov 2015 – 5th Feb 2016

Whether you’re a new grad just starting out, a career changer, or an employer looking to hire an amazing developer, FireBootCamp can help. To find out more, visit firebootcamp.com.

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