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Why would one choose a programmer boot camp over Computer Science with so many online colleges?

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Bootcamps are a symptom of people having the wrong mental models about how work is


They think that work is a factory, that the business has say, 100 or 1000 or 1 million websites they need to build, all cookie cutter, all sold at price A for time B for product C. Like a vending machine.


In reality very few business operate that way those that do are at the top of their game (say boutique web development shops) and won’t hire novices


It’s not a factory. Most jobs are not a factory.


The entry level jobs are in business applications (B2C or product company is 3x as difficult) and to get in those you need fundamentals usually learned in school… jobs for technology X are for experts


Whatever technology is at one company, won’t transfer to another


So, what would bootcamps be good for?


A mercenary


The military analogy is apt… if you like moving around a lot, living and dying by your skill (mostly skill in specific technologies that die off every few months or years) and want to live by the seat of your pants, it sounds like a good deal… especially if you get into a well respected bootcamp


But then you should compare with other offerings


A one year certificate accredited by a local technical school, just six months more than a bootcamp, could teach you a lot more than an unaccredited bootcamp and probably give you access to the same or better job resources


The technical school would probably give you tax credits too, and/or access to public student loans


Or you can do it all for free



I think the prime time for bootcamps was 2012 to 2015, when it was relatively new and had a “shine” to it… people kicking ass and going out dropping everything to do what they love. Now it’s become a mass market thing not only is there too many, but the market has changed everyone is looking for either advanced skills like AI, machine learning, data science etc.


There are many Silicon Valley alumni who in response to the bootcamp movement, are teaching for free. I suggest you find one of these… they usually do not take everyone, unlike the ones doing it for money.


Ten thousand dollars USD is enough to start several business. There is a reason all those credit card commercials focus on ten thousand dollars. It’s a psychological point where people who don’t pay attention to money, finally start paying attention to money. But by the time you owe ten thousand dollars with no job you are deep in the hole, because assuming each person lives near their means (the more money you make the more money you spend) ten thousand dollars could be two years to pay it off (assuming you are a big spender and can’t save more than $500 a month). You would be hard pressed to find people who save $2000 a month. So ten thousand dollars is between six months and two years of savings. Remember there is cost of living, taxes, etc.


So yeah I think people pick bootcamps either because they have very specific circumstances, or they don’t do their research. Sadly, many fall into the latter category.


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