Thinking about creating my own free bootcamp. Is there a market?

Hi everyone!

I want to start by saying that I like freecodecamp. I think it is a great resource for learning, but I think that it would be great to also have a bootcamp that is free which resembles other paid bootcamps out there like Bloc and General Assembly.

My husband is a developer with 7 years of experience, including companies like IBM. I am a former teacher with 4 years of teaching experience and an aspiring web developer. We were thinking about combining his web development experience with my teaching experience and make a comprehensive free bootcamp.

Here are some ways that the bootcamp would stand out:

  1. Video tutorials. The bootcamp would have videos to explain each concept in detail and give context to each lesson.

  2. 800+ hours of learning Unlike most video-based courses online, (i.e. treehouse, lynda), the bootcamp would be fully-comprehensive and linear, going from basics to advanced, and building on each lesson.

  3. The name and the brand. The bootcamp would have a more official sounding name than freecodecamp. (Hope i’m not causing offense with that statement, it just seems like an employer wouldn’t give much value to a course with the word “free” in the name.) It would also work to be acknowledged as a legitimate bootcamp that can train people on the level of the best bootcamps such as Hack Reactor and App Academy.

  4. Admissions Process This is related to the point above. There would be an admissions process to determine if the student has already learned the basics of coding and if they are committed to getting a job. This is helpful to current students so they can be within a community of only motivated developers. It would also help the school to build a good reputation with employers.

  5. Paid tutoring and resume review The bootcamp would operate on a freemium model where all the course content would be accessible 100% for free, but if you wanted to also have a mentor who gives you project reviews, career services, and 1-on-1 tutoring, you could pay for that service monthly (e.g., $100/mo).

Does this sound like something you (or someone you know) would be interested in? Any ideas or suggestions are very much appreciated.

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I think if you just make it less expensive than current boot camps you’ll find a market. Some of these boot camps are very expensive.

But then again, I think what students are really paying for here is the easy access to companies waiting to hire the graduates. Think of the boot camp as just a sieve. Those who passed the boot camp become Marines, errr proven themselves as competent programmers and there’s a ready waiting job for them. That’s where the value is.

If you can deliver that, and also offer a cheaper price, I think you have a winning plan.

Re: freemium

I think you’re underestimating the expense and amount of work involved in running a business. $100 a month for each student is not enough to make a living for both of you.

Depending where you live eg Im from Ireland we get pushed towards courses recognized by official QQI recognized qualifications … this involves studying thorough QQI recognized courses and then sitting an exam to get a certificate. This is then meant to assure employers that we have the relevant training … and in one way is good … as you would have had people saying they did courses at such a place online and received a certificate and maybe did not. So with a QQI award employers could feel confident that the person stating they did x course and got x result was legit. On the down side noting else is acceptable as proof of having done a course well except degrees from college … so no matter what your bootcamp offered in the way of certification it would be irrelevant especially a fancy name with out the word free
Other down side is there are lots of places like freecodecamp, treehouse, coursera, udacity etc that i find great but i know are not going to be of much use on my cv … so why do i use them … with the hope that what i produce in terms of projects and portfolios etc will show that even though i dont have an official QQI cert i am capable of doing the job.
And why dont i do the official QQI courses … simple they do not teach as much as i can learn from all the online sources that i have access too …

But you should do it … if you feel yourself and your husband have something to offer and people benefit from it it has to worth taking a chance on it.