As I mentioned in my previous post, in July when I decided I wanted to attend a coding bootcamp, I got into “Research Mode.” I found Course Report, which helped a lot, but their information is not as complete as I would have liked. For instance, I wanted to find fully immersive web developer bootcamps online, but you can’t search for fully immersive, so I had to weed through a lot of non-immersive courses. That’s about the only complaint I have with Course Report, otherwise they are an excellent resource and I suggest you use them in your search for a coding bootcamp.
Online vs In Person
Truth be told, I wanted an in-person, immersive experience. I’m an extrovert, so being around people is good for me. I also like the camaraderie of a classroom, especially a “bootcamp” classroom where everyone there has decided to give up a lot of time and money, just to learn something. That amazes me. I would also be away from the distractions at home, like sweeping the floors, doing dishes, cooking dinner, etc.
For all these reasons I wanted an in person bootcamp, but I live in Gainesville, FL, and while we have Gainesville Dev Academy, at least at the time of writing, they did not offer an immersive experience. I could have chosen a bootcamp in Jacksonville, Orlando, or Tampa Bay, but I did not want to commute 3-5 hours a day roundtrip, and I did not want to move away from my wife for 10-15 weeks, either, so the only option was an online bootcamp.
How to Choose Online or In Person
I recommend you consider the pros and cons of online vs in person for yourself. Take into consideration your energy levels in a physical classroom setting vs an online classroom “setting,” what technologies the bootcamp uses to create that setting, how you learn best, etc. I created a spreadsheet (that’s usually a part of me getting into “Research Mode”) with headings like Cost, Start Date, End Date, Subjective Score, Time Commitment, Info Session Scheduled?, Tuition Guarantee?, Notes, Agile Environment? These were some of the things that were important to me, and helped me make my decision.
Ultimately I chose General Assembly. They are more expensive than most online bootcamps, but their timeframe fit with my life (expecting our first baby in early December), they expose students to Agile and other new technologies and frameworks, and they tried to scare me away by telling me how hard it was, which means they don’t need my money to stay afloat. They had pre-work that they said would take 30-40 hours to finish, and to had be completed and processed with their personnel before I could be accepted. That’s another good sign that their courses are for people who are at least moderately familiar with computers and logic.
I’m not telling you to choose General Assembly, but what I am telling you is that I’m 7 weeks into their 13-week course, and the only regret I have is that I didn’t choose them 10 years ago. Well…they didn’t exist 10 years ago, but you know what I mean.
What about you, are you considering a coding bootcamp? What is your decision-making process like? Sound off in the comments below!