Anything that feels like a life-altering or career-changing decision is going to make you consider a lot of factors.
How could it not?
When it comes to a career change or a new investment in education, you have to make sure it’s the right move and that you will benefit from it.
For example, many of our students enroll in coding bootcamps to make a career change. Sometimes that’s a linear move (within the tech industry), and other times, it’s a more dramatic change (old industry to tech industry).
We always want students to ask questions, not only to help them make a decision, but also put them at ease.
While there are reasonable questions about coding bootcamps, there are also potential concerns that shouldn’t get in your way. Specifically, these fears might be rooted in common myths or false anxieties.
The truth is, we’ve seen students come into a bootcamp with these thoughts and leave realizing they didn’t need to worry about them.
So, with that in mind, here are some concerns that shouldn’t prevent you from attending a coding bootcamp.
What if I pick the wrong coding language to learn in bootcamp?
On paper, this seems like a perfectly logical concern for a coding bootcamp student:
What if you spend that time, effort and money on a bootcamp and realize you picked the “wrong” language to learn?
Liz Eggleston is the co-founder of Course Report, a research platform that helps students choose the best bootcamps, and she says not to worry about this at all.
“Fundamentals are far more important than the programming language itself, so don't get caught up in choosing the ‘right’ language to learn.
Liz and her team have interviewed thousands of bootcamp alumni who back up this claim.
“As a developer, you’ll end up learning many programming languages throughout your career. That’s the nature of tech. So no matter which programming language you learn first, be prepared to adapt!”
What if employers don’t understand the value of my bootcamp knowledge?
It’s important to remember that companies have different approaches to job responsibilities, including how to utilize your newly acquired bootcamp skills.
Scott Reed enrolled in our Data Science Flex Program to help advance his data science career. After completing the program, he was promoted to Product Analyst IV at Fannie Mae.
He encourages coding bootcamp students to not be intimidated by options.
Instead, he says have expectations for what you want from an organization.
“Remember that the definition of a data scientist is different for each company. When you're interviewing, some companies will think a data scientist is like a full stack engineer and others will think the role should focus more on the foundations of data science. Some data scientists will work on analytics, some will work with inference, and others machine learning. In my case, we’re doing everything,” he said.
“When you start your interview process, know that a lot of times it's not even your fault, companies aren’t always clear about what they want in a data scientist. I encourage you to keep going. The moment you finish Thinkful, be confident in what you've learned. You will find the right company for you.”
What if I don’t have any previous coding experience?
This is a common fear that should never stop you from considering a coding bootcamp. In fact, Charlotte Cornbrooks with BestColleges.com calls it a common myth that doesn’t even align with the mission of most coding bootcamps.
“Although this is a prominent myth, many bootcamps were created with the exact opposite idea in mind. Bootcamps like Thinkful are designed to make high-paying jobs accessible to a wider demographic, especially coding beginners,” she said.
“The majority of coding bootcamps do not require previous tech experience. However, some bootcamps may require "pre-work" before you begin your bootcamp to help prepare you for the course. Similarly, some providers offer prep programs — short, sometimes free courses that give students an introduction to the bootcamp experience.”
What if my math skills are not good enough for a coding bootcamp?
It is a common misconception that you need mad math skills to succeed in a coding bootcamp. However, Business Leaader’s Serena Haththotuwa says this should not be considered a universal truth.
“Some branches of software development are more math heavy than others, but it’s not the only or most important skill to hone when it comes to writing code, albeit helpful. And to be honest, I failed my final math exam in high school, but it became one of my best subjects in college 8 years later. Don’t be too quick in thinking you can’t do something!”
Serena’s answer addresses a misconception and helps evaluate how much you’ve changed since your old math class days. When working adults make decisions to enhance or expand their education, they typically have better “student habits” than when they were younger.
How do I know that I am properly prepared for a coding bootcamp?
This is a great question and an understandable concern. We’ve been working with students since 2012, and there are plenty of searchable resources to help you prepare for attending a bootcamp.
For example, Laura Ruiz-Roehrs is a Thinkful Bootcamp graduate who not only shares her knowledge, but shares mistakes to avoid in order to get the most out of your coding bootcamp.
The point of this list is not to suggest bootcamps are for everyone, but to make sure that you don’t miss any opportunities to enhance your skills or boost your career. We just want to make sure the important questions about bootcamps are answered so you can make an informed decision. Here are some more common bootcamp questions. If you have additional questions, reach out to our helpful team. They’ll have answers.