Look around Silicon Valley these days and you’ll learn that the skillful art of coding is chic. Whether it’s as simple as HTML or as complicated as learning the MEAN or MERN stack, there are numerous classes that promise to help you become a part of the Silicon Valley elite. Even courses on sites like Udemy go for $20 at a time.

As expected, the interest in taking up coding courses has made its way to Albert’s List, with members asking if they should attend. One asks:

I’ve been thinking about signing up for a coding boot camp because I would like to learn how to code. But I have no previous experience in coding and don’t where to start. Could anyone offer any suggestions or advice?

We’ve got a lot of members in our community who learned how to code in their own ways. This particular question has received numerous answers.

One member encouraged the original poster to teach themselves before going:

Before I did a coding bootcamp, I actually taught myself a lot about coding, but then I wasn’t going anywhere after a year of studying, so I did some cheaper online courses like Coursera. I think yes save money first by learning as much as you can from free resources, then move on to a coding bootcamp if you need to solidify your skills, but then you will realize afterwards you still need to continue studying and that’s the point of programming.

Another focused on the personality of the individual

– If you’re self-motivated and self-driven: Coursera/EdX

– If you’re self-motivated and self-driven, and like a comprehensive course: Udacity (get their nanodegree)

– If you need mentors, and want to code to find a job, and want intensity: Any bootcamp in SF (focus on JavaScript/iOS/Android based bootcamps)

– If you have time to spare, want more classroom feel, and want to take it nice and slow: Community College C++/Java paths

One recent graduate of a boot camp offered his frank experience:

Just finished Hack Reactor and I can say I learned way more in 3 months than I could have taught myself in a year. Being surrounded by loads of people talking the same language helps immensely. I had very little code experience before, did some codecademy (read: not code academy) before starting and think it’s one of the best decisions I ever made. Many schools (including Hack Reactor) offer scholarships and many banks/financial institutions will give you a short term loan. One of my peers has 18 months to pay back his loan with 0% interest (after that though, it’s killer).

Another saw the arduous road ahead:

Some bootcamps (app academy, I believe) give you the option of paying a portion of your first year, post-grad salary as tuition. Something to look into.

But before you take the plunge, code everyday, make projects, and be sure that this is what you want to do. Bootcamps are intense, and job search can be a long and arduous road.

The Albert’s List Take

Coding is not everyone’s cup of tea and it’s a challenge to stand out in the Bay Area where so many others are coders too. At the end of the day, we believe that it’s equally (if not more) important to find out how you can deliver value in any role you take on.

If you’re apt to coding, do your research and do your due diligence. While a fruitful career is definitely possible, there are also numerous other considerations to keep in mind.

For more questions like this, join us on Albert’s List today.

Ask Albert’s List: Should I Attend a Coding Bootcamp?
Tagged on:         

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *