I graduated from Dev Bootcamp about 6 months ago. I honestly have to say DBC did teach me a lot of things I could not have taught myself. I also have subscriptions to treehouse and codeschool and such to continue after DBC but as I go through their courses, I do realize that DBC offers a lot more than teaching yourself could ever go. In these type of bootcamps, your teachers are often seasoned professionals in the developing world and they teach you a lot about best practices that companies look for. You are given more resources other than just stackoverflow and you are pretty much given a network of your peers from your bootcamp.
I think self teaching is really difficult if you want to become a professional at it. Bootcamps are good in that they are 9 weeks or 12 weeks but in that given amount of time, all you do is code. During my 9 weeks at DBC I woke up at 6am, started coding by 9am and didn't call it quits until 10-11pm. So at the end of those 9-12 weeks you are guaranteed to have written an application of some sort. If you are self teaching and want to become proficient, you would have to treat it like a full-time job.
Most of the people from DBC spend on average 1-3 months afterwards looking for jobs and the 90% success rate of finding jobs is pretty accurate. Most of the interviews I have gone through are very interested at my time during DBC. You do standout during an interview because these coding bootcamps are starting to become better known and most companies are impressed how individuals are able to learn in such a short amount of time and believing right off the bat you are a hard working and intelligent person. The networking part is also very valuable, more often than not, the company you are interviewing for, an alumni has either interviewed for them or are working for them, so often they come back and help prep you for the interviews and try to put in a good word.
I also want to stress here, coding bootcamps aren't as easy as you think. The pressure and stress there is intense. There are consequences if you can't keep up or if your heart isn't into it. So really think about this decision, while you're doing a coding bootcamp, you have to give up basically your personal life for that long. You really don't have time for anything else. All your time has to be dedicated to programming.
I recommend it because it pushed me into overdrive to learn web developing. I had no prior experience in programming what so ever before this. But I will also stress that self learning is also incredibly important. Ever since I graduated I still spend at least 2-3 hours a day just learning about new things I want. But because now I have a foundation it is a lot easier to self learn.
I found a job as a front-end developer after about 2.5 months of searching. I've been out of the program for about 6 months now, and I am still in great touch with my cohort and the staff there.
I went to Dev Bootcamp at the beginning of 2014. There isn't a "so so" or "meh" rating so I'll go with a positive one since I did end up getting a great job afterward. I felt like my cohort in particular got the raw end of the stick in terms of the instructors. I felt like the first phase of the program in particular was horrible. Instruction was disorganized and I felt like the instructors in general didn't fully understand the material.
Overall, Dev Bootcamp did what it promised, I have a job and I learned an incredible amount in 9 weeks, but a lot of these accomplishments came in spite of the program. Be very cautious about spending the 12k it's a big monetary and time investment and you really need to dig through a lot of nonsense to gain the necessary skills.
I went to Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco. I highly recommend it, especially for the meta programming skills. I think the Bootcamp prepares you to be a fast learner more than anything else. Engineering empathy is also big at DBC, how to deal with frustration and a lot about the inner critic. I feel those life skills were very important rather than just learning ruby.
Dev Bootcamp has a whole week after graduating to help students find jobs. It's perhaps one of the most valuable part of DBC. They have a strong alumni base. The career counselor also helps connect you to alumnis working at companies that you're targeting. From my cohort average time is 2 months before finding a job. At the end of the day it's up to the student. As for myself, I helped a startup complete their series A fundraising round out in se asia and the investment board hired me as the CTO. It's not the common case for students cause most want to stay in San Francisco.
I attended Dev Bootcamp in SF this summer. I came in with no formal training, and a year of learning online unguided. I didn't know how to do much of anything without a tutorial or something similar. 9 weeks prior they gave us decent intro materials. We had to produce code before we ever showed up. I think that was really important. They had very little emphasis on social media, which was good. Having to deal with that would drive me crazy.
Long story short, I finished about two months ago. I since have gotten a gig part time contracting at $50 an hour. Last week someone reached out to me out of the blue on linked in and I have a phone interview this week. I didn't get whisked away strait into a full time job with a 100k salary and a spa in the office, but I am making an hourly over double my all time high.
I've heard bad stories about a few bootcamps. The thing is, getting a computer science degree is out of reach time and money wise for a lot of people. Self teaching is really hard. For me it was a great experience and I'm glad I did it.
If I were to describe Dev Bootcamp in one word, that word would be “disappointing.”
I’ll start with the good. The instructors and people there are genuine. They really care about the students, they want you to do well and they go out of their way to help. There is good information from the program as well. I did learn something about web development and am more qualified to be a developer then I was before.
However, my actual experience does not match with what I expected from DBC. The program is difficult, and it is intense. That much I did expect. I put in approximately 80 hours a week for the duration, and was there every day except for 2 due to illness (those were weekend days.) For all of my effort, I didn’t learn anywhere near what I expected. I was under the impression that I would be a qualified Junior Developer by the end. Now for those who don’t know that it, Junior Devs are in high demand. It basically means you have real expertise in the subject, and are capable of joining a new company and contributing independently from pretty much day one. DBC graduates people who are more at the intern/apprentice level. This means that employers will have to continue your training, you won’t be qualified to work independently and are going to cost them time and effort before you start saving them time and effort. As you might expect, a person with that skill level is in much lower demand.
The program is also one size fits all, it doesn’t adjust and if you fall behind even a bit, you will have a difficult time making it up. As with any “cramming” style of study, the potential for poor retention is great. I expected to leave DBC an expert in Rails, Ruby, Git, TDD and other technologies, and I’m far from confident in any of these areas.
Some people thrive from their experience at DBC. Some people don’t. My advice is that it’s not worth the risk. There are an amazing number of resources online which will teach you how to be a web developer, and they don’t cost anything. In particular I recommend Michael Hartls book on Rails development, it’s free online. I quit my job, emptied my bank account and essentially abandoned my family for almost three months pursuing my education at Dev Bootcamp. All of this for training which was far less effective than the website made it out to be, and a promised career as a developer which has yet to materialize, and I don’t expect will ever materialize.
If I were to describe my decision to go to Dev Bootcamp in one word, that word would be “regret.”
I attended the San Francisco school in 2013-2014.
Was it good or bad for me? I still don't know. What I do know:
- it was the most stressful thing I've ever done. It's a really tough program on introverts: the required pairing means people are in your face all day, and it gets really loud and distracting. If you want to work on something solo, or go somewhere quieter, people let you know you're terrible and selfish.
- the program is very structured. This is good in how there's a definite plan for every day and you know what to expect. It's bad if you have something come up, like a doctor appointment, and you get a lot of flak for trying to leave during the day to take care of that.
- it's hard to get attention from the teachers. There were two who were very conscientious about trying to meet with every one of us students, and I'll always remember them for that. The others just chose their favorites to work with.
- I was really disappointed by the career program. I know they don't claim a 100% hiring rate, but I think even the 85% rate they cite is exaggerated. As with some of the other bootcamps, the so-called partner companies show up at Dev Bootcamp with no intention of hiring its graduates (because we have too little experience). I think one of the recruiters really was committed and hard-working, but she had too much to do with a new cohort graduating every three weeks.
Some people really thrive at Dev Bootcamp, and some don't. The worst thing is that you can't really tell in advance which type you are.
After graduating college with a BA in art history and vocal performance I came to San Francisco for my first job as an administrative assistant. In my free time I spent a lot of time doing workshops and online tutorials and eventually moved up to a Sales Engineer position. Eventually I was ready to truly be writing code myself.
So I applied to Dev Bootcamp, and was accepted into their Levo Scholarship for supporting women learning about technology. Its a nine week, super-intense, super-fun web development program. I coded from about 8:30am to 8:30pm Monday through Friday, and more on the weekends. I learned how to pair program, got way better at thinking out loud, and learned about giving and receiving feedback effectively. Along with eight different awesome technologies, of course.
I'm now a software engineer at a startup helping change the medical field as well as an active Rails community organizer and educator myself. Dev Bootcamp changed my life, I'd fully recommend it to anyone.