Developer Bootcamps

One fairly new phenomenon in the startup community over the last few years is the rise of the developer bootcamp. While there are a variety of training programs, the general idea is that someone with a college degree wants to change careers, and instead of going back to college for two years, they go to a three month full-time program and come out with the skills to be a junior web developer. 

Here are a few thoughts on developer bootcamps:

  • People that were already writing code on the side and building websites, yet want a more formal education and credentials, typically do the best
  • People that don’t have some minor programming exposure and prior coding initiative are often more challenged to be truly proficient after three months (this is feedback from entrepreneurs that have hired engineers from these programs)
  • Costs, ranging from $10,000 – $12,000, can be a challenge but are viewed as reasonable when the salaries of software engineers are compared to most fields (e.g. making $50,000/year then going to $75,000/year as an engineer is a much better financial decesion than doing a two year college degree and the corresponding loss of income)
  • As a business model, these developer bootcamps can be very profitable (imagine 15 students in a class paying $150,000 in tuition and the main expense being an instructor that costs $10,000/month for three months plus other staff and infrastructure overhead)
  • No major standards or credentials have emerged yet, but look for one or two to set the tone
  • Community colleges and technical schools are going to enter the market providing more competition that is government-sponsored 

Developer bootcamps are a great addition to the startup community and much needed. Look for software engineering demand to continue to outpace supply even with additional training programs. 

What else? What are some more thoughts on developer bootcamps?

2 thoughts on “Developer Bootcamps

  1. Any thoughts on the hiring side? I’ve had experiences bringing in boot camp grads who need several months to a year to get to the level that a CS grad from a solid program is at.

  2. I believe these code schools are a great thing. I wonder if a bigger opportunity exists with a program that is somewhere in between these schools (too short) and a full CS degree (lots of theory, math, and electives).

    Imagine if a known brand created a two-year degree program designed to get folks ready for building software in the workplace. Something similar to the IBM sponsored Pathways (http://www.ptechnyc.org/ptech ) high school in NYC. Students graduate in 6 years with an associates degree and walk directly into software engineering jobs with IBM.

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