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Outcomes: Five Things to Ask When Selecting a Coding Bootcamp

by Launch Academy

February 28, 2019

Did you know that the software development industry used to measure performance completely wrong? In the days of mainframes and computers that filled large rooms, managers would sometimes evaluate developers by how many lines of code they could write in a day. Think about it: that would be like grading term papers on the basis of how long they were. In the early days of computing, managers were focused on the wrong metric. Like the written word, it’s often better to be quick and to the point with code. So, as an industry, we started looking at better ways to measure developer productivity.

Similarly, while you consider attending a software development bootcamp, it’s important to focus on the right measurements. From our standpoint, it’s all about the results. Here are the five questions we think you should ask when researching different programs.

How many of your students graduate?

It’s important to understand your likelihood of academic success in going through the program. Gaining clarity about what graduation means and how the school serves non-graduates is also important. Also, be sure to learn about how programs measure how well you’re learning the material. We believe that the best programs set a high academic bar, as that’s what employers want. 

What is your placement rate?

This is a loaded question, so be specific. Ask how placement rates are calculated, and whether the school counts part-time and contract work. Ideally, the school can provide you with a breakdown.

What qualifies as a placement?

Schools may qualify placements differently. For us, as well as fellow CIRR members, a placement is qualified as an accepted job offer. Be sure to ask how a school identifies a placement.

What’s the average starting salary of a placed graduate?

Your education is an investment, so you know the impact attending a coding bootcamp is going to have on your earnings. Ask about how starting salaries are determined and how many placed graduates contribute their initial compensation info as part of the school’s data collection.

What are the typical job titles of placed graduates?

Getting a feel for the type of work graduates find will provide you with a picture of what your day-to-day life will look like after you graduate, land the job, and begin your professional career. There are many different roles in software development, so getting a sense of the roles graduates are place in will help you understand how the school prepares their students.

Why should you even have to ask?

With Launch Academy, you don’t have to! As early members of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR), we answer all of these questions for you. What’s more, is we’re accountable to our fellow members and industry peers as well as independent auditors to ensure the data we provide you is accurate. 

View our latest report - It mentions a 91.7% placement rate with the most common job title being:  “Software Engineer”.

PS. It’s not too late to participate in Boston 25’s Preflight Challenge. Apply before March 18th and get a $1500 scholarship as well as 3 weeks of BONUS material. We like to reward those that come prepared!

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