Updated for 2021
Is a coding bootcamp worth it?
Learning to code is an incredibly challenging and rewarding journey. Just like most things these days, you can learn to code entirely for free online. But it’s not always the easiest or most efficient way.
Joining a coding bootcamp is the fastest way to learn to code, but it requires a financial investment. Is that investment worth it for you?
Follow our infographic to ask yourself the real honest questions to find out.
8 questions to ask: is a coding bootcamp worth it?
Here are the questions in written format. If you answer NO to any of these questions, we encourage you to start with some free resources on our Learning Platform and our YouTube channel to get started. You can also get in touch with us for some advice on the best path to take for you!
1. Have you already tried learning to code online for free?
We always recommend taking some free courses to see if you enjoy coding before investing in a course. For this reason we offer several free courses – like How to use Git & GitHub, and How to use SQL and Databases.
You can also preview all of our software engineering courses for free on our platform to get an idea of what you’re signing up for!
2. When coding, did you enjoy the challenge of problem solving and figuring it out?
Learning professional-level software engineering skills takes a significant amount of motivation and determination. And it’s certainly not for everyone. But if you’re the type of person who laughs in the face of a challenge, and will keep pushing until you figure it out, you could make an excellent coder, and would learn exponentially faster with support in a code course.
3. What is your GOAL for learning to code?
4. If your goal is to…
- Become a Junior dev – Are you prepared to take on a very competitive job search, and to commit >1 year in the trenches at an entry level salary?
- Become a Freelancer – Are you prepared to secure clients, negotiate rates, be your own boss, and learn new technologies that are required for each project?
- Augment your current career – continue to Question 5.
- If you don’t know – schedule a 10 minute mentor call with us and we’ll help you suss out your real reason for wanting change.
5. Are you prepared to dedicate serious time + the hard work necessary to gain professional-level qualifications? (3-6 months minimum)
You have a couple options when it comes to coding course time commitments:
- A 3-4 month full-time intensive bootcamp
- A 6-12 month part-time bootcamp
- Learn at your own pace with a self-guided course
Whichever level of intensity depends on you – whether you want to quit your job to focus solely on learning, or if you want to pace yourself while keeping your job and life in more balance.
If you are learning from scratch, we recommend planning at least 6 months to learn in a supported bootcamp format, and 3-6 months to find a job. All of this can be done faster if you have more time to dedicate and you learn quickly. But it’s important to know that software engineering isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It’s a journey in which you’ll be learning for the rest of your career. Your first task at hand is to get good enough to get your first job. After that, the opportunities and salary will open up for you.
6. Are you prepared to continuously learn new technologies on your own, after the course is over?
Software engineering is an ever-evolving field, with new technologies and frameworks introduced every year. As mentioned before, a coding course is the mechanism to learn the fundamentals, build your first projects, and get your foot in the door at a company. It’s really just the tip of the iceberg in becoming a seasoned programmer.
The better you get at software engineering, the more difficult tasks you will be assigned. As discussed in Question #2, a successful programmer is one who enjoys the challenge of learning new things.
7. Do you need more support to achieve your desired skill level?
While it’s important to first try coding on your own to see if you like it, it’s easy to get stuck in tutorial purgatory and not actually make meaningful progress. At a certain point, most people benefit from having a structured course to follow, and a mentor to learn from. That way you know you’re on the right track to learning professional-level skills needed in today’s jobs.
If you’ve tried learning on your own, but you’ve reached a plateau and want support and accountability to learn faster, a coding bootcamp could be worth it for you.
8. Are you financially prepared to pay tuition + living expenses during & after the bootcamp?
Especially if you are planning to quit your job to join a coding program, you want to make sure you have the funds to support yourself while you’re studying, and looking for work.
One way to keep your learning costs down is to start with a lower-cost, self-guided course, and get as far as you can on your own before investing in a mentored program. That’s why we offer our Content + Forum option for all of our code courses, because we want to make learning to code as accessible and affordable as possible.
If you answered YES to the above questions…
Investing in a code course could be worth it to propel you to the next level.
Next: which language to choose? If you want advice on the best language for you, schedule a 10 minute call to get free guidance from our team.