Coding boot camps promise to launch tech careers – but beyond launch?

April 17, 2013 at 1:29 am 3 comments

This strikes me as a good way to become stuck in the shallow end — learn enough to be employed on the first day, don’t know enough to transfer to tomorrow’s technology.  What we know about transfer is that knowing something well is more likely to transfer than knowing several things at a shallow level.  It seems contradictory, but it’s true: Knowing today’s technology  well serves you better for learning tomorrow’s technology.

Dev Bootcamp, which calls itself an “apprenticeship on steroids,” is one of a new breed of computer-programming school that’s proliferating in San Francisco and other U.S. tech hubs. These “hacker boot camps” promise to teach students how to write code in two or three months and help them get hired as web developers, with starting salaries between $80,000 and $100,000, often within days or weeks of graduation.

“We’re focused on extreme employability,” said Shereef Bishay, who co-founded Dev Bootcamp 15 months ago. “Every single skill you learn here you’ll apply on your first day on the job.”

via Coding boot camps promise to launch tech careers –

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Greg Wilson  |  April 17, 2013 at 5:26 am

    We worry about “broad and shallow vs. narrow and deep” and subsequent transfer a lot with Software Carpentry. Since we can’t travel five years into the future and survey participants, what _can_ we do to tell whether we’ve avoided the “shallow end” trap? How could Dev Bootcamp and similar organizations?

  • 2. Andrew Kelly  |  April 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    As I’ve become more experienced, I’ve noticed that knowledge of design patterns, good object oriented programming principles and software development methodologies (to name a few) have been far more useful than the knowledge learnt about new tools and languages.

    The latter seem to come and go, but the core set of software development principles change far less often.

    In my view it takes time for these principles to sink in, and these are skills that are the most sought-after. Not something that can be taught quickly in a boot camp!

    • 3. James Babcock  |  February 20, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Excellent comment! Yes, learning how to first ‘visualize’ your product is crucial…why does anyone need it? How might they use it? How is this new idea related to previous successes?
      The last 50 years have taught many of us…”Design it first, then proceed to code…and always in that order!” Jim B


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