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Bootcamps: Some love ’em, some hate ’em, but most don’t even know what they are. The industry is still blossoming—if you ask five people what a coding bootcamp is, you’ll probably get five different answers because every bootcamp is a little bit different. In many ways, it’s kinda like the Wild West out there. Making sense of everything can be ridiculously difficult, so we’ve put together this guide to help you make sense of it all.
We’ve been in the bootcamp game since the beginning, and we’ve seen the industry grow and change quite a bit since then. Our goal with this guide is to help you start to make sense of the industry so you can figure out what bootcamp—if any—is the right choice for you. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get started.
Chapter 1: What the Heck is a Coding Bootcamp?
Reading Time: < 1 minute Here's your primer on the bootcamp landscape. There’s a lot to consider, so we’re going to help you make sense of the different types of bootcamps that have emerged over the last few years. We’ll break down the different program types and consider the merits of a handful of the most popular programming languages.
Chapter 2: For the Love of Code <3
Reading Time: < 1 minute Do you really want to code? Bootcamps are a huge commitment personally, professionally, and financially. Before you explore the bootcamp option further, we recommend that you are absolutely sure coding is what you want to do. In Chapter Two we’ll talk about the challenges and rewards you’ll face as a programmer as well as the necessary skills you should have before arriving.
Chapter 3: How to Choose the Right Bootcamp
Reading Time: < 1 minute By now you know a little bit more about how to spot key differentiators between bootcamps and a better understanding of whether or not coding is right for you. Next up: how to choose the right bootcamp for you. We’ll discuss the importance of location, post-graduation job support, and everything in between. Don’t skip this one.
Chapter 4: Application & Interview Process
Reading Time: < 1 minute You picked a bootcamp or two. Congrats. Now you’ve got to figure out how to actually get in. Chapter Four will give you the rundown on the process from application to acceptance. You’ll get the inside scoop on what bootcamps are looking for in an applicant, and the questions you should ask during the process (we think the interview/application runs both ways--this is your chance to interview the bootcamp too).
Chapter 5: Prepare Your Mind...and Your Bank Account
Reading Time: < 1 minute The adventure is just getting started. Chapter Five is all about how to prepare yourself for the huge step you’re about to take. You’ll need to get in the right learning mindset, complete the assigned pre-work, figure out the logistics of relocating (if you picked a program in a different city), and unless you’re rolling in cash, you’re probably going to have to figure out how to finance the program. This can be a big “oh sh*t what did I get myself into?” moment. Read this and feel better.
Chapter 6: How to Be a Happy Bootcamper
Reading Time: < 1 minute You’ve arrived. You figured out all of the complexities in chapter five, it’s time to learn by building (and breaking) cool stuff. But you can’t just show up and expect to learn passively. You’ve only got a few weeks. Make sure you hit the ground running from day one with the tips in Chapter Six.
Chapter 7: Life After Coding Bootcamp: Finding a Job and Coding Professionally
Reading Time: < 1 minute Cue up Pomp and Circumstance and throw your proverbial hat in the air. You’re a programmer now. Strap on your Job Helmet, squeeze into a Job Cannon and blast off to Jobland where jobs grow on Jobbies. We wish that worked, but the reality is that it isn’t that easy. The final chapter will tell you how to get the most out of the post-graduation support your bootcamp offers (your bootcamp does offer career support, right?). The statistics say you’re probably considering bootcamp as a Launch* Pad for a career move, so this might be the most important chapter in the guide.