Choosing the Right Bootcamp June 23, 2022
The beginning of your bootcamp journey can be an exciting–but scary–position to be in. There’s so much to learn, so many paths to take, and so many bootcamps to consider. There are hundreds of bootcamps in the world right now, and we’re all making you the same promise: Do our program, and we’ll change your life. It’s a big promise on our part, and a big investment on yours. So how do you decide which is the best one for you?
With so many options to think about, it’s important that you’re asking the right questions. To do this, think about what you want out of your bootcamp experience and what you need in order to set yourself up for success.
What do you want out of your bootcamp experience?
Are you looking to switch careers? Do you want to level up in your current position? Is there a project idea you want to bring to life? Think about what your ultimate goal is and target bootcamps that can best prepare you for it.
What do you need to set yourself up for success?
Think about your goals and your learning style. What do you need to be successful in a learning environment? Do you need small class sizes and direct interaction with your instructors? Do you need detailed code reviews to show you what you’re doing right and what you need to improve on? Bootcamps are intense and cram a lot of information into a small period of time, so consider what you need in order to get the most out of it.
To help you on your bootcamp journey, we’ve prepared a checklist of important things to ask of each bootcamp you consider. Remember, bootcamps are asking a lot from you–not just in terms of money, but also in terms of time and effort–so you deserve to be discerning. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to make sure you have all the information you need to choose the right one for you.
Is the bootcamp part time or full time?
- If the program is part time, are you learning from recorded videos or modules? How recent are they? Are you receiving code reviews? If so, from whom?
- If the program is full time, what will your working hours be, and for how long? Are you expected to be in class for more than 40 hours a week? Are weekend classes required?
Is the bootcamp remote or in person?
- If the program is in person, can you do the program from where you live, or will you need to relocate? How long will you be gone for the day, taking your commute into account?
- If the program is remote, are the lectures live or recorded? Are the courses interactive? Do they offer pair programming?
What languages do they teach?
- Think about the jobs you hope to see yourself in after you graduate. Are these languages that those employers are looking for right now?
How many people are in each cohort?
- Do you have direct interaction with your instructors? Can you get one-on-one feedback and detailed code reviews? Do they offer tutoring sessions?
- What are they doing to make sure YOU get the support and attention you need?
What are the instructors like?
- Can you meet them before applying?
- How much coding experience do they have? How much teaching experience do they have?
- Do they offer free courses or webinars so you can see what it’s like to learn from them?
What projects do you leave the program with?
- Do any projects give you real world, professional experience?
What do their outcome numbers look like?
- Do they tell you explicitly how the data is measured?
What do they do to get you ready for the job search?
- How much time do they dedicate to preparing you for the job search? How long do they offer career support?
What do their alumni say about them?
- CourseReport and SwitchUp are fine for reviews, but they will always skew overwhelmingly positively or overwhelmingly negative. If you connect with random alumni on LinkedIn, what do they have to say about the program?
How much does the course cost?
- What are the financing options?
- Do they offer scholarships?
- Is the cost of the course in line with their offerings?
We encourage you to ask these questions not just when considering other bootcamps, but also while considering ours. We hope we’re the right choice for you–and we design our program in a way where we truly feel that we are the best choice for most students–but we also expect and welcome you to do your own research and comparisons. If you have questions or concerns, we’re here to talk through them with you! Reach out to us or schedule a call with our Admissions Coordinator to find out more.
Written by Brittany