10 Do’s And 5 Don’ts When Choosing A Coding Bootcamp

Many CS graduates struggle to get a job due to the lack of required technical skills & real-world experience. For this reason, there has been a sudden increase in the number of coding bootcamps. It is a non-tradition training program that helps people to gain proficiency in technology and get jobs.

The bootcamps provide different courses, trainers, fees structure, and duration. If you are passionate about coding and strives to expand your coding knowledge in a short period, then you should enroll in a coding bootcamp. The fast-paced curriculum of bootcamps helps students to build a strong technical foundation in a few months. Perhaps, the most challenging task for the students is to find the best bootcamp. We, in this blog, are listing some do’s and don’ts while choosing a coding bootcamp that will guide you in making the right choice.

Do’s while choosing a Coding Bootcamp

Although there is no rule of thumb for identifying the best coding bootcamp, yet there are certain aspects you must look out for in a camp, which are as follows:

  1. Check the Curriculum- Check the course curriculum and topics covered by a bootcamp to make sure that the technologies are relevant. Ask them about coding exercises, interview preparation, hands-on practices, and theoretical studies. The central purpose of pursuing a tech upskill course from a Bootcamp is to get high-level training in advanced technologies that are in demand. So, first, you need to review the curriculum of the camps and verify if they are covering the in-demand technologies and latest market trends or if they are sticking to an outdated curriculum with the fundamental coding concepts. Choose technologies that have more job openings and high salary packages.

2. Duration of the Coding Bootcamp- Bootcamps on an average range from 8-12 weeks to as much as 6 months. Check if there is a fixed course duration, or you get the option to extend the time if you want to repeat some topics. Also, confirm if there is any additional cost for a repeat session.

  • Longer training session provides better course coverage and topics trained, unlike the fast-tracked immersive program.
  • As the immersive programs could leave candidates out of breath, and by the time they figure out what they are being taught, the program is over.

3. Type of Training- Some coding camps provide half instructor-led and half self-taught training. It is better to choose that training program, which is 100% instructor-led, as you get a chance to learn the industry best practices from trained instructors by working on the workshops, lectures, real-world challenges, and coding projects.

  • Check how many hours per day is training and how many days per week.
  • Many bootcamps say it is 12 weeks or 36 weeks, but turn out to be as much as 4-12 weeks in self-study, while the instructor-led training is only for a couple of hours.

You need to ensure that the bootcamp you choose has more instructor-led training hours that will help you in better understanding and clarification of doubts.

4. The Cost of the bootcamp both Upfront and Hidden– Bootcamps range from no cost upfront to as high as 20k upfront. Check out the hidden terms and agreement of no upfront bootcamps as they offer installment Service Agreements, which have some obscure terms and conditions that end up being more expensive than upfront payment Bootcamps. You should confirm the following things before choosing a bootcamp:

  • Is there a minimum salary guaranteed? If the minimum wage is as low as 45k, then that leaves very little amount leftover for the trainee after paying the installments.
  • What is the percentage of salary which the trainee has to pay and for how long? Sometimes a trainee ends up paying as much as 40k over 2 years, which is substantially higher than upfront programs.
  • Also, ask is there a performance aspect of their bootcamp or a particular duration within which the trainee has to get a job and the minimum salary offered.

5. Contract– Many supposedly free bootcamps pay a stipend for the training with massive hidden costs.

  • Some Bootcamps offer free shared housing and provide a 4-8 weeks program while paying the trainee a stipend of something like 7-800$ per month for 6-8 weeks of training.
  • The catch here is low pay and a contractual obligation to stick with the bootcamp and to work on their payroll for 2 years at a low salary from 40k to 55k per annum.
  • In such a situation, the hidden cost is that after completion for two years, the Bootcamps would have kept margins as high as 50K-100k from the salary of the trainee while making him work at their clients.

6. Eligibility Criteria- Many coding bootcamps in the United States have stringent selection policy to choose a candidate for training like they prefer to work with the green card citizens or the citizens of the U.S. only. However, you still have a ray of hope as various reputed online bootcamps provide training to students of all statues, including OPT, L2 (EAD), H4 (EAD), green card applicants & U.S. citizens.

7. Experience and Technical competency of the Trainers – Ascertain for how long a bootcamp has been in the business. More number of years indicates that the bootcamp has made a mark in the industry and has well qualified trainers. You can verify the professional and educational background of the trainers. Go through their LinkedIn profiles to know about their experience level & check whether they are from the tech industry or they are just faculty? By associating with an experienced training camp, you can amplify your chances of guaranteed success.

8. Job Placement Rate and Assistance- Months of training at a coding bootcamp can go in vain if you don’t land a job after completing your course. Verify the success rate of the job placement of different bootcamps. Most bootcamps only provide placement assistance and glorify their limited number of alumni on their websites, whereas a majority of them struggle to find jobs. Therefore, you should not rely on the website testimonials and reach out to alumni through LinkedIn and other social networking platforms to find out the success rates and real feedback.

  • Ask what they do to help their trainees get jobs?
  • Do they network with clients or active marketing to line up client interviews?
  • Do they offer post-placement support?
  • If yes, what kind of assistance do they provide, and for how long?

9. Certification- It is prudent to join a Bootcamp that can assist you with in-demand certifications. So, check if a bootcamp offers certification assistance in the field of training or its just coding and technology training as many employers look for accreditations from Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Cloudera for Java, AWS, Azure, Data Science, and Hadoop.

10. Trainer to Trainees Ratio- Check the number of trainees in a batch. The smaller the batch size, the better. For instance, if a class is for 20 candidates and training is for 4 hours a day, then the trainee would mostly never get a chance to ask questions, and out of 4 hours, he would probably get only 12 minutes. Whereas, if the batch is smaller in size, let say five trainees, then the amount of time each trainee gets is like 48 minutes each, which can make a substantial difference for understanding certain technology concepts that would be new or lost in a crowd.

Don’ts while choosing a Coding Bootcamp

  1. Don’t go for free coding Bootcamps:  Many students look for free courses, but later it could restrain them with some contractual burdens, and pay poorly for the duration of the contract. Also, free coding bootcamps attract a large number of students and you don’t get the proper student to teacher ratio. Be vigilant and don’t fall for the trap. Also, search for a bootcamp with a legit fee structure and not a vague fee structure based on compensation.
  2. Don’t take shortcuts: Shortcuts may have long term consequences. Avoid enrolling in a short-term bootcamp if you want to build a career in technology. The ideal duration of a coding bootcamp ranges from 12 weeks to 36 weeks, during which you can get an-depth knowledge of the technologies, so find a bootcamp that follows the same course duration. 
  3. Don’t go for unestablished Bootcamps:  Sometimes there might be a huge gap between the course curriculum shown on the paper and the training in actual. Hence, it is indispensable for you to inspect the technologies covered by the bootcamps for training. It’s best to look at established bootcamps who have been in business for a longer duration of time.
  1. Don’t Be Naive: Be wary of Bootcamps, which claim to get you trained and placed with great clients in a short amount of time, have rosy testimonials and reviews which only speak highly of them. All bootcamps will have successes and failures both. If a bootcamp is only glorifying successes means lots of failures are being hidden
  2. Don’t be Frugal when investing in yourself: Success is not free and does not come easy. We buy laptops, electronics, bikes, and cars worth Tens of thousands of dollars, but when it comes to investing in our personal growth most of us become stingy. Always aim to train yourself from the best to become the best so that you have the highest return on your investment of time and money. Remember, you don’t want to keep taking coding bootcamps again and again because the first one was not good, and now you need to redo it again. The time value of money is particularly important. Time spent sitting idle without being employed, as you chose the wrong bootcamp is money down the drain.

Conclusion

The above points can help you choose the right bootcamp and in making an informed decision. Conduct extensive market research to compare various camps based on the above factors and then select the best coding bootcamp.

If you are looking to get into a good coding bootcamp, reach out to SynergisticIT. We can provide you good advice as to which career path is best suited for your individual needs and background. We provide career-oriented training to make you competent in the latest technologies. Let’s help you achieve your career goals, Synergisticit-The best programmers in the bay area…Period!

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