Are Web Development Bootcamps Worth It?
Over the past couple of years, web development bootcamps have sprung up all over the place. It now seems to be the goto place for would-be developers to get started within the industry. There are some pro's and con's to going through a bootcamp, so is it worth it?
Well the answer to that (like most questions in our industry) - it depends.
Benefits of Web Development Bootcamps
The main reason in my opinion for the rise of bootcamps is undoubtedly the support they offer. Now not all bootcamps are equal and some are just plain terrible. But I'm just talking about the reputable ones here.
You have the support and guidance of not just the tutors, but the other students who are going through the same bootcamp. If you are someone who has difficulty self-teaching then this is a massive benefit.
Another key benefit of enrolling in a web development bootcamp is the top-quality learning resources. Whether these are videos, textbooks or codelabs you have the re-assurance that you are learning from high quality resource material that has already been vetted for accuracy and completeness. When you are self-teaching, you have to do this research yourself.
One thing I hear bootcamp students mention all of the time is just how much they learn within a short space of time. These courses can be intensive and you have to put a lot of work into them. But because of the high quality curated content you are consuming, you do learn lots within a short period of time. But it is worth bearing in mind that this can be seen as both a pro and a con. You still need to have enough experience working with something for it to fully stick in your head, you can't just quickly glaze over something and remember it all perfectly.
Cons of Web Development Bootcamps
The first con I'd like to mention about web development bootcamps is the price. These bootcamps can get very expensive very quickly. They often range from $5000 to $25000+ which unless you have a bunch of cash in the bank means borrowing or financing. Straight away you are putting yourself into debt before you get a job. Which leads me nicely onto my second point.
You do not have a guaranteed job afterwards.
A lot of bootcamps like to highlight how much earning potential there is as a web developer, but in reality you still have to go out and find the job. You don't get it handed to you on a silver platter and unless you continue to put hard work and teach yourself after you have finished you will find progression to be extremely difficult.
It is important to remember that web development bootcamps are not a "magic bullet".
So, are they worth it?
Well, as I said at the start of the post it depends. For some people it works as an excellent way to get into the industry, but it is important that you manage your expectations. While there are some people who do go through bootcamps and land the well-paying job straight away; a lot of people don't. So just be prepared to put work in, especially if you want to progress your career further. Technology is changing at such a rapid rate.
In my personal opinion if you feel like you are able to self-teach and you are able to take your time, there are plenty of free resources that teach you everything you need to know. But if you are comfortable with bootcamps, go right ahead.
Whichever route you chose to go down, just have fun!