This blog is meant to serve two purposes, first and foremost this is a way for me to digest everything I have learned and experienced in the previous week. The second purpose is to shed some light on a learning process that is relatively new. Before I get into the meat of the post, a little disclaimer that this is initially going to be a bare-bones blog site, and I will be slowly improving upon as I go.
Code bootcamps aren’t necessarily new, people have been landing successful careers out of boot camps for years. Online bootcamps are also not a new concept, but an online curriculum with a dedicated mentor to accompany you from beginning to end is a relatively new business model, and let’s be honest, bootcamps are businesses. To be completely honest, I didn’t think a mentor-based online program would work for me, primarily because of the costs. I was convinced that I would be taking the hard road and teaching myself. It wasn’t until my girlfriend emailed me a page of links and syllabi from multiple programs after a morning of digging around the internet that I realized it may be a feasible option.
I had a lot of options, but after researching more extensively, three really stood out: CareerFoundry, Thinkful, and Bloc. CareerFoundry has a price that can’t be beat, but after looking at their program it seemed unrealistic that I would be a full-fledged Web Developer after 6 months of 15 hours a week. Thinkful looked to have a solid curriculum, but the pricing structure didn’t seem optimal for my situation. They have a monthly payment plan, basically pay until you finish, which at their rate and my timing structure, would end up being a pricey venture. So, as I’m sure you can surmise, that left me with Bloc. I liked Bloc’s curriculum, they had an appropriate pacing schedule for me (I’m still working a 40+ hours/week job while taking the course), and they give you access to the curriculum for life. It seemed -and still seems- like a good fit.
Coursereport is by far the best one stop resource for everything bootcamp research related. The one caveat with the reviews, particularly with programs that have an ‘accept everyone’ policy like most online programs do, is that the reviews can be all over the board. You really have to look beyond the star ratings and read the comments to see what the reviewer is commenting about. That brings me back to the second reason I’m writing about my experiences weekly. I had a hard time finding any detailed, relatable experience regarding any of the online mentor-based programs. Even after all the research I did, I still feel like I’m ‘winging it’ pretty hard.
And, finally, in case anyone is wondering, I am not being compensated in any way -by any company or institution- for writing these posts. These are my thoughts and my thoughts alone. This could ultimately be a series of posts describing my successful push into the programming realm, or a documented downward spiral into the abyss of an unsuccessful online learning experience. Only time will tell.