Consider the word “bootcamp.” It may conjure visions of hard physical training or working long hours to obtain skills more quickly than in a traditional classroom setting.
Coding bootcamps are just like that — they are intensive, specialized sessions designed to tech coding quickly.
So, to answer the title question, “How hard are coding bootcamps?” — they are hard. But, you can do it, and you won’t be alone while you learn. If you put in the work and dedication, the pay-off is substantial.
Bootcamps are not quick fixes. Even though the program is quicker, you should expect to put as much hard work into a coding bootcamp as you would a traditional degree. Truthfully, you might consider it to be harder than a traditional university since the course load is more fast-paced and condensed.
Learning to code doesn’t need to be intimidating. Bootcamps are designed with the beginner coder in mind and include added support to succeed.
Why learn to code?
According to the U.S. News & World Report, the #1 best technology job in 2021 is a software developer with a data scientist close behind. These careers boast high salaries and multiple openings.
4 Things to know about getting into coding bootcamp
Coding bootcamp is definitely a challenge, but some of the obstacles may not be what you expect. It takes patience, persistence, and a willingness to learn new coding languages and new ways of thinking.
1. Admission requirements
Each coding bootcamp will have their own admissions requirements. Flatiron School, for example, requires you to be at least 18 years of age and have graduated high school. You will need to complete an admissions interview, pass an admissions assessment, and complete any required pre-work.
2. Previous experience is not required.
Your educational background matters less than your willingness to work hard, but if you are brand new to coding that will impact the difficulty of a coding bootcamp. Coding is like learning a new language. Once you get a few concepts under your belt, it becomes easier as you go along.
However, you don’t need relevant experience to obtain just as much value as anyone else. If you have a passion for coding, you can be successful.
Many coding bootcamps are designed with beginners in mind. At Flatiron School, we recommend all students – especially those without previous experience — take one of our free lessons before the bootcamp begins.
Our free lessons lay the foundation for the coding bootcamp by starting with the most important basic concepts. Plus, it allows you to see if coding is right for you before committing to a career-changing coding course.
3. Consider your time availability and existing commitments
Review your typical daily and weekly schedule to find time to dedicate to a coding bootcamp. Do you have a job or family commitments? Take a flexible pace bootcamp where you can realistically study and complete homework.
4. Try a free lessons before you start bootcamp.
To dive into coding now, check out our free lessons in HTML/CSS, Ruby, and APIs. A free lesson is a great way to see if you like the style of learning and the material. Plus, it’s a great way to get a foundation before you start bootcamp.
Try these free lessons from Flatiron School:
- Introduction to HTML and CSS is perfect for beginners with little coding experience.
- Introduction to Ruby is helpful for beginners interested in applications and how they work.
- Introduction to APIs serve beginners interested in how systems work together.
What will you learn in a coding bootcamp?
Coding bootcamps are intensive courses that teach you the skills you need to become a web developer or software engineer. The coding bootcamp at Flatiron School prepares you to become a full-stack developer, meaning you will be training both front-end and back-end development.
Front-end development means designing anything the user sees and interacts with. Back-end development is what brings the work of the front-end to life. The machinery behind the curtain provides the logical pathways for the user’s actions to work.
Coding bootcamps teach the most in-demand and relevant back-end, front-end, and full-stack development skills and training in core languages, like:
Plus, every employer seeks soft skills, such as:
- Hands-on experience
- Critical thinking
- Project management
- Time management
What will the day-to-day look like when studying at a coding bootcamp?
Your daily routine depends on whether you are attending bootcamp full-time or on a flexible schedule.
Think of full-time as the fast-track schedule. You attend live lectures and work on individual and group projects. Flatiron School bootcamps run for 15 weeks, and you spend nine hours a day Monday through Friday in class, including lunch and breaks.
Full-time coding bootcamps are best for students who prefer live lectures, a structured schedule, and a learning community of like-minded students.
Flexible pace coding bootcamps fit better into an already packed schedule. You receive the same curriculum as a full-time student, but you set the pace of learning.
You have 20, 40, or 60 weeks to complete the coursework, and you can set your daily schedule while working independently. You can sign up for optional study groups or one-on-one sessions with the instructor, so you still have a taste of working with others.
Flexible coding bootcamps are best for the working professional who needs to fit the class in with an existing schedule. You can choose the pace that works best for your lifestyle.
How to choose a coding bootcamp
What should you look for in a coding bootcamp? Look for a curriculum that aligns with your career goals, a schedule that fits your own, your preferred learning environment, career coaching and employment statistics, and financing options.
- Select a coding bootcamp that aligns with your career goals
There are many career options for coders, so you need to ask yourself why you want to learn to code. Think about your interests and do some research to determine the programming languages that will be required.
- Find the schedule that works for you
Do you have the availability to attend bootcamp full-time, or do you need something flexible to fit into a busy routine?
Full-time bootcamps provide more accountability because you learn as part of a cohort, collaborating with others on a fixed schedule. You complete the course more quickly than those in a flexible program, and you can immerse yourself in the educational environment.
Flexible bootcamps fit schedules better when you have a job or a family. The lengths can vary, but the Flatiron School gives you up to 60 weeks to complete the bootcamp in many cases. Plus, you can work at your own pace.
- Research job placements and student outcomes
Most coding bootcamps publish a report on success rates of graduates. To find this information, search for “coding bootcamp + jobs.”
If the bootcamp does publish a report, pay attention to how it’s compiled and the statistics they use. Flatiron School publishes an independently-verified jobs report, which means an independent third-party organization examines the data to provide trust in the validity of the data.
Review the jobs report to see how many students get jobs, how long it takes to obtain a job, the average starting salary, and if the students find jobs in their target fields.
At Flatiron School, 86% of students who graduated or were scheduled to graduate in calendar year 2019* landed roles in their field, including those who took the course on campus and online. The average starting pay for U.S. campus graduates was $74,962**. This is for job-seeking graduates who accepted a full-time salaried job during the reported period and disclosed their compensation.
*for job-seeking on-campus and online graduates included in the 2020 Jobs Report including full-time salaried roles, full-time contract, internship, apprenticeship, and freelance roles, and part-time roles during the reporting period (see full Jobs Report here)
*** For job-seeking on-campus US students who accepted full-time salaried jobs during the reporting period and disclosed their compensation. The average starting salary for US on-campus graduates who accepted full-time contract, internship, apprenticeship, or freelance roles and disclosed compensation was $33/hr. Average pay for a part-time role was $24/hr (see full Jobs Report report here).
- Check on financing options
While coding bootcamps are much more affordable than a traditional college degree, there are still costs associated with admission. If you are not paying upfront for your program, you can look at loan and scholarship options.
We have several scholarship options that are merit-based and geared towards closing the gender gap in tech. Additionally, Flatiron School offers loans through Ascent and Climb. But, you can also consider taking out a private loan through your bank.
Get started in tech today
High-quality coding bootcamps challenge both advanced and beginning coders. Yes, they are hard as you are learning a new skill. But, the effort is worth it, and you won’t be doing it alone.
With Flatiron School you’ll:
- Learn valuable skills needed in today’s jobs.
- Choose a flexible or a full-time class schedule.
- Improve your financial and employment opportunities.
- Advance your career or change it.