Does it feel like there’s a new coding bootcamp springing up every day? If so, there’s good reason! Web development is one of the fastest-growing career sectors, with open job opportunities expected to increase by 15% through 2016. That’s faster than nearly any other sector out there today. When you couple that with the expected salary growth in this sector, which is rare in today’s economy, you’ll understand why more and more people are interested in making career transitions.
Coding bootcamps emerged as a way to address this market need, giving students the fundamental coding and web development skills they need to get their foot in the door of a tech-oriented job. One advantage of this surge in popularity is the introduction of a new type of coding bootcamp model: the community coding bootcamp. Designed to be flexible, accessible and affordable, this type of bootcamp blends the best of online and offline education, giving students a way to learn coding in a dynamic, engaging atmosphere that encourages them to keep improving.
1. Learn Coding Languages Employers Want
Community coding bootcamps are designed to give you the coding skills you need to develop websites, apps and back-end systems so that you can transition to a career in tech once you graduate. This means that they select the languages and tools that are most in-demand by employers today so that you’re only focusing on skills that make you more marketable.
2. Troubleshoot With Students & Instructors
A big difference between community coding bootcamps versus their online counterparts is that they don’t leave you alone when the going gets tough. In a community coding bootcamp, you’re assigned to a small, dedicated cohort of students meaning you always have a team of people that can help you troubleshoot or help answer questions as they come up.
Relatedly, each cohort of students is assigned a dedicated instructor. What makes these instructors unique is that they are usually full-time developers during the week who enjoy teaching web development and giving back to their communities during their “off” hours. It gives students access to a knowledgeable individual who can support them during their entire bootcamp experience. Further, because they are coding every single day for their day jobs, these instructors get to see exactly what employers want and expect from coders, and can share those experiences with bootcamp students.
3. Work On Your Schedule
One major reason community coding bootcamps sprung up was as a response to a major challenge posed by offline bootcamps: the requirement that students attend classes full time, five days a week. For individuals with full-time jobs, families or other daily commitments, this type of education model just won’t work.
Community bootcamps developed a process to work with students’ host of commitments by offering a hybrid online-offline approach that creates a more flexible learning model. Students work through lessons online during the week, giving them a chance to fit their learning around their weekly obligations. Meanwhile, once a week on the weekends, students meet offline in their local city or town with their dedicated cohort and instructor for workshop sessions. It’s during their workshops that they work collaboratively to complete assignments, meeting major skills milestones along the way.
4. Get Accountability To Keep Improving
The major upside of online bootcamps—that you can work alone and build skills at your own pace—is also the major downside. While it may sound attractive at first, this approach means there is nothing pushing you to hit major milestones. This option often offers too much flexibility and doesn’t keep students accountable to learning and improving.
In contrast, community coding bootcamps ensure regular motivation by developing unique learning modules during the bootcamp experience. Each module includes discrete assignments with fixed deadlines so students continue working towards unique goals. Additionally, by being assigned a dedicated instructor and student cohort, students have a peer network to stay motivated and keep on learning.
5. Learn What You Need For Your First Job In Tech
Community coding bootcamps are designed with practicality at heart. Their flexible, affordable model allows students to test the coding waters and learn first-hand if they can see themselves in this sector for years to come. Essentially, they are a low-risk way of gaining tech skills while evaluating a completely new career sector.
Students who decide to make the career switch often enter quality assurance and software testing roles, ideal opportunities for students still learning skills, hoping to gain on-the-job training, and wanting to make an impact from day one. These are also great jobs to help build your resume and show that you have the know-how to climb up the coding and web development ladder.