Boot Camp decision

Hey guys,

I’m using Free Code Camp to bolster my knowledge as much as possible. However, I prefer a much more guided learning style while I gain confidence in developing my skills. I’m extremely lucky, and I have enough saved up for a bootcamp.

I’m deciding between Viking Code School, Hack Reactor, Dev Bootcamp, Bloc, and Thinkful. Bloc’s software engineering track is a year long commitment (which seems more realistic considering the difficulty of what I’m trying to learn).

If possible, I would prefer to stay home while I study, but ultimately I want to move to Seattle with my girlfriend. Any advice at all would help. Anyone have experience with any of these programs? Anyone recommend other programs?

Thanks in advance.


If you are looking for an online bootcamp, I really think you should try this one:

I am doing it right now, with 40% progress. So far, I have a good sense of HTML, CSS and JS. I have no previous experience with programming languages, but I am studying really hard these days :slight_smile:


+1 on that Web Developer Bootcamp Udemy course. I honestly don’t see how anyone would pay 10k+ when you can get a solid understanding of web dev by going through that course for not much money.

It is really long and you’d have to be committed to it (40ish hours), but the instructor is great. the content is top notch, and he goes deeply into each new topic.

In the end though, it will be up to you. Do you prefer the faster pace of a bootcamp or the slightly longer path of self studying by using something like the online course posted above?

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Can anyone speak to job placement in the free bootcamp world vs paid top Tier bootcamp world?

If you’re set on attending a bootcamp, just apply to all of them. Which one you attend may be a matter of which one(s) you get accepted to.

Just found this section…

I will check that out relative to job placement

So, I’d like to preface by saying that I’m currently in Fullstack Academy’s first Remote Immersive cohort, and I absolutely love it - there’s really no place I’d rather be. I’d also like to say that this is a giant wall of text, but I hope it’s a helpful one, at least.

@amkhokar - There’s a very large difference, from what I know, between your first three (Viking, Hack Reactor, and Dev Bootcamp) and your last two (Bloc and Thinkful). The first group is fairly intensive (you’re going to be working 60+ hours per week, and most likely more), and even though they’re all online, you’re going to be with your instructor(s) and classmates for most of that time. From what I know about the other two, they’re not quite as intense, and you’re only meeting with an instructor/mentor a couple of times a week for short periods of time, and you’re on your own for most of it.

You need to start by figuring out exactly what you want from a program. Do you want your instructors to always be available, and to be pair programming constantly? Or would you rather do most of the material on your own? Can you/do you want to devote 60+ hours per week to coding, not including personal projects, going to local meetups, etc.? Joining an intensive bootcamp is not something to be taken lightly; your days will literally be consumed by coding. (I can go into more detail about my daily schedule if you’d like, but trust me when I say that almost all of my days, including weekends, consist of ~12+ hours of coding with small breaks for meals and a run.)

@eBenzen & @amkhokar - a paid, top-tier bootcamp comes with a lot of perks that a free bootcamp or a not-as-great bootcamp wouldn’t in terms of getting a job, in my opinion, primarily:

  1. Your curriculum will cover both a large breadth and depth, making you more attractive to employers in general. Most, if not all, of the top-tier programs don’t necessarily teach you just how to code, but also how and why things work and how to think through a problem and learn on your own accord, which are the skills that most employers will be looking for. Two things I’d like to mention along with this:
    a. I have a friend currently in the Iron Yard, another bootcamp. She’s outright said that my program seems much more advanced than hers.
    b. One of my classmates actually went through Thinkful’s program, and then worked as a developer for a year. She’s now with us at Fullstack, and is currently a mentor for Thinkful, and also has said that there’s a world of difference between the curriculum alone. If you’re interested in talking to her about her experience, please let me know and I can definitely put you in touch with her.
  2. Almost all (that I know of) top-tier programs have a Career Services team, whose job is literally to help you find a job.
  3. Top-tier programs will have established a network of hiring partners and will have had successful alumni at companies, both of which you can leverage for your own career.

That being said, a top-tier program is far from the magic bullet for getting a great job as a developer. You’re going to have to work your butt off and do a significant amount of work on your own in order to succeed and position yourself well. I knew 110% that I could be a successful developer on my own - I knew I had the capability and the drive to do it. But I wanted the mentorship and the classmates and the structure and the network that a top-ranked program provided.

And, adding on to what @Bigghead has said - if I had to pay full tuition for the bootcamp experience that I wanted, that might have been enough of a deterrent for me to not do one - $10k+, not including time off, is not chump change for me. I managed to get a number of full and partial scholarships to various programs that brought the cost down significantly, and might be worth looking into if cost is a factor at all.

I’ll end by saying: I was choosing between a number of bootcamps not too long ago, one of which was Viking and I applied (and eventually withdrew my application) to Hack Reactor and one of its partner schools as well. I wrote pretty extensively about the process and my experiences: here (part 1), here (part 2), and here (part 3). I’ve also written extensively about the experience in my other posts, so those might give you a feel for what it’s like in an intensive online program.

Apologies for the essay, although I hope it helped! Feel free to reply and/or reach out directly to me with any other questions - I’d be happy to talk about any of my experiences or things I’ve heard in the bootcamp world or put you in touch with the aforementioned classmate.

TL;DR: Figure out what you want in a program. If cost is an issue, scholarships are definitely a thing. Find the ones you think would be a good fit, apply, prep for interviews, hope to get accepted.


Hi Bethqiang,

Where did you apply for full and partial scholarships? I’d like to attend a bootcamp, but can’t afford the prices of these programs.


Hey Varstrom,

I’m not sure as to your gender or location, but a lot of the scholarships I found out about were through my local chapter of Women Who Code. (One of our co-directors was really good about posting stuff she found on social media in our Slack channel.)

All of the scholarships I applied to were program-specific; that is, they were given out and managed by the programs themselves but sometimes were in conjunction with another organization. Some of the scholarships I received also weren’t necessarily very publicized (e.g. on the program’s website, they simply said “partial and full merit scholarships are available with no further detail”) and I didn’t need to apply separately for them; I was considered for them at the time of application and received notification that I had received them at the time I was notified I was accepted.

My best advice for finding scholarships would be following organizations like Women Who Code (sometimes they’ll post things for everyone but sometimes it’s also women-or-underrepresented-minority-specific) and specific programs you may be interested in on social media, as well as reaching out to the programs you’re interested in and seeing what kind of scholarship support is available. There do seem to be a bit more diversity scholarships available than general scholarships, so if you’re an underrepresented minority, definitely look into those as well!

Best of luck, and feel free to reach out with any further questions!

A good boot camp is going to have way more than 40 hours of content though, as well as forced pair programming and actual instructors you can talk to (if you go to an in-person one). I’m not saying all boot camps are good or worth the money (probably only a handful are) but just because Colt Steele put “Bootcamp” in his course name doesn’t mean the content is similar in depth/breadth as one of the better paid bootcamps.

I’m saying that after taking a $10 Udemy course, I got confident enough to where I went ahead and knocked out all the backend projects with the knowledge I learned from it.

Read what I said again. I said that you can get a very solid understanding of web dev by going through this course. All the other things that come with a physical bootcamp can be done by yourself also. Pair-programming? Go ahead and ask people in this forum or some Chingu to help out on a project. Stuck on something? Same answer, ask forums or Chingu if you want thorough answers.

Can you kind of see what I mean, when I say that with all the free or cheap resources out there now, on site bootcamps are becoming less and less relevant? If you know you don’t have the self discipline to stay committed to learning on your own, or you absolutely need that physical presence of the on-site, then go ahead and enroll in one, no one is stopping you.

@Bigghead Which Udemy course did you take?

@supervixen13, Web Developer Bootcamp (Colt Steele)