Sceptical Optimism Sceptical Optimism

Getting Hired After Coding Bootcamps

Someone tweeted to me..

Is it really possible to get a job out of a code camp?
My answer however is nuanced...

YES but Like Many Things... It Depends!

Things it depends on...
  • your technical level when you leave a camp
  • your salary expectations
  • your willingness to learn how to build bricks
  • the city you do a code camp in
  • the city you want to work in after you finish a code camp

So, my path to employment at Cloud City Development as a Junior Engineer. September of 2012, Tim hired me as the first Cloud City apprentice. That basically meant I worked on stuff independently for a few months while Tim figured out what my strengths and weaknesses were and how or if he could put me on a project full time, how would that work. let's look at the above list in greater depth

Technical level when you leave a camp

Devbootcamp has some pretty prolific coders who came through the program. Some of the students could do all kinds of advanced problem solving and puzzle sort of things. I'm not very good at those and I don't tend to care. I'm a product hacker so I focus on making useful things for regular people. A lot of companies will be looking for raw technical power and as long as you understand coding, what you get from a high quality code camp should be good. Read, "high quality code camp", I can't guarantee the quality of anything except for Dev Bootcamp so it is up to the reader to assess that, if you want to talk more in depth about the relative merits of one or the other, hit my up on twitter, @jcdavison. Some people I've noticed don't progress fast enough and it hurts them at interview time. If you go to a camp, make sure to put 100% into and I'm a honey badger crossed with a hammer head so I have big expectations of what 100% means. Don't think that 100% means only coding all day, you have to find that productive zone where you are learning super fast and have a great code output.

your salary expectations

apprenticeships don't pay super well. I did one and I really liked it. Some people got jobs $65-95k right out of Dev Bootcamp. it is possible for certain but you have to look hard for it. I had unique expectations about who/where I would work and salary wasn't my #1 concern, needless to say I'm doing ok now and am happy with the direction everything is going.

your willingness to learn how to build bricks

apprentices need to learn how to build and the building blocks of something are a great place to start. I always tell people I want to get paid to sweep the floor, cause sweeping the floor in a good shop is a great way to learn what is going on. think of this as a journey and bricks are the beginning of that journey

the city you do a code camp in

SF is a great place to do a camp. You want to try and do a camp in a place that has lots of companies looking to hire people in whatever coding flavor your camp is planning on teaching in. Ruby on Rails happens to ridiculously sought after in San Francisco, and yeah, the ice cream here is amazing...


code camps are all the rage right now, my feeling is that a lot of the markets are going to be saturated with beginners and good shops can only handle so many beginners, so that means you will have to work special hard to get noticed (and this is a very subjective statement, who knows how many juniors can get hired at once?) regardless, every time I turn around a new camp is popping up and that means that churn and volume are about to hit this experience. Another caveat is that personally, I have an mba and have already released products as a non technical person, I had a solid amount of html, design and javascript experience when I got to devbootcamp. That has really helped me get up and running in a cross functional fashion at the consultancy I work for, aka, I perform bizdev, marketing, promotions, technical and product work, Tim didn't hire me based solely on raw technical horse power, there were other people at Dev Bootcamp who would have been a better choice for him if that was his need

The Bottom Line =>

Dev Bootcamp's hiring rates are definitely accurate and possible! I did it, lots of my friends did it and as far as I can tell, any motivated person can do it.


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