Why I Chose Dev Bootcamp

Programming bootcamps are the new hotness in Silicon Valley. From App Academy to HackReactor, there is an exhaustive list of immersive programs springing up in the tech mecca of San Francisco and beyond, offering eager students the opportunity to become junior web developers at a fraction of the cost of a CS degree. If you possess the time, money, and diligence to pursue a coding camp – the colloqiual term for 3 months of grueling work and self-sacrifice – and happen to live in a major city like SF or New York, you will find no shortage of offerings to accelerate your path to junior level hacker. In this short post, I will discuss why I chose Dev Bootcamp over the rest.

But first, a bit of context #

I have an undergraduate degree in Computer Science. I already know (more or less) how to program. Over the past four years, I have managed to secure jobs at two of the most prestigious technology companies in the Bay Area. But modern technology changes – fast – and my programming skills steadily became obsolete as I ventured further down the rabbit hole of software testing and away from programming. You know what they say about a (programming) language, use it or lose it. Well, I lost it. And I was left searching for an immersive program that would launch me back into life as a programmer.

So why did I choose Dev Bootcamp?

Curriculum #

Have you heard of something called engineering empathy? It is just one of the many components of the Dev Bootcamp curriculum that teaches us to be emotionally and psychologically aware of ourselves and our peers. It is intended to ease the sometimes uncomfortable dynamic of peer programming and has a broader reaching goal of molding us into less altruistic individuals. To my knowledge, no other coding immersive places such focus on this goal, which is a critical element of successfully working in an industry that thrives on collaboration. DBC also teaches everything one would expect from any full stack program – HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails. This seems to be the gamut for most current programming immersions, with emphasis on RoR for building robust web apps as a junior developer.

Staff #

Admittedly, the diversity of the staff made me take a closer look at Dev Bootcamp as a viable option of spring-boarding my journey back into programming. The DBC employee roll is publicly available on their website. Although some may not agree that this matters when choosing a coding camp, it absolutely matters to me. As a black woman in tech, I am no stranger to the lack of diversity in the corporate environment. Stated simply, diverse backgrounds = diverse ideas. This, to me, signals diverse approaches to teaching, communication, and development. In an industry dominated by white men, it is refreshing to discover a staff of women, men, blacks, whites, Latinos, and everything in between dedicated to helping anomalies like myself find our place in it.

Cost #

Most coding bootcamps are a full-time commitment, with the exception of a few online offerings like Bloc. Keeping this in mind when choosing which program was right for me, I had to be prepared to quit my job and sacrifice a steady income, shell out $10,000+ to cover tuition, and have enough cash in the bank to survive for 3-5 months. My decision was largely shaped by the estimation of the ROI expected from a program like Dev Bootcamp. The price tag on the 9-week program is mid-range when compared to others, namely App Academy’s 18%-of-your-salary cut and HackReactor’s whopping $18k tuition. DBC is also one of the few programs that offers scholarships to minorities and veterans, which scored some extra points.

Conclusion #

Extensive research and a number of factors not mentioned here contributed to my decision to apply to Dev Bootcamp. Thanks to the Internet, I was able to dig up blog posts and videos from the founders, projects from DBC graduates, Q&A about the program on Quora, and much more. My suggestion to any prospective applicants is to conduct your own research, and ultimately, choose the program that is the best fit for you. Maybe you prefer the teaching style at General Assembly or the extensive curriculum of Hack Reactor. Perhaps you wish to work in Chicago at the conclusion of the program (Dev Bootcamp is in Chicago, too!). Decide which factors are most important to you and choose accordingly.

For a complete list of development programs, check out Bootcamper.io.


Now read this

Thoughts on blogging

Writing is hard. Writing about technical topics is harder. Great writing demands clarity and conciseness when expressing ideas. This is especially important when discussing technical topics with a varied audience that might include... Continue →