It all depends on the person. Plenty of really awesome coders are self-taught. Some other coders have computer science background. Others have gone through coding bootcamps. There’s really no one-size-fits-all approach to becoming a professional coder. So rather than talking about if a coding bootcamp is worth the money let’s think about what value coding bootcamps provide. What value do coding bootcamps provide?

A path to learning – there are tons of resources out there to learn how to code – there’s almost too much. There are an overwhelming amount of tutorials, most of which are geared towards one of two audiences: absolute beginners or people who are already proficient.

Coding bootcamps can provide a clear path that can take you from absolute beginner to intermediate coder all the way up to a proficient junior developer.

A support system – sometimes you just need a little help. When starting out coding, sometimes you’ll see error messages you don’t understand. Maybe you’ll have problems setting up your computer. Bootcamps provide a support system so you don’t get stuck.

By having a support system you’re able to keep going and learning.

Motivation – by setting aside time and meeting in-person you’re accountable to make progress every single day.

Where you can find these things

So the big question is can you get these things elsewhere. I know for a fact you can.

You can get the path to learning, a support system and motivation to keep going without going through a full-time coding bootcamp. It’s good news: you don’t need to quit your job. You don’t need to move across the country and sublet your apartment.

Right now I’m a code mentor for theFirehoseProject and you’d be amazed how much people can learn when you give them a path, a support system and motivation to keep coding.

We provide our students a path. When they come up with problems or get confused, we give them immediate help through our forum which senior web developers moderate and give answers within the hour. We also provide 1-on-1 mentorship and office hours.

We have our students come up with an idea they want to build out first, that way they’re motivated to keep going so they get the skills they need to build out their own idea. Then we give them the 1-on-1 help they need to make their dreams a reality.

You can learn more about our approach to teaching through our virtual web development apprenticeship here:

http://thefirehoseproject.com

AuthorKen Mazaika

Ken Mazaika is the CTO and co-founder at Firehose. Previously, he was a tech lead at WHERE.com (acquired by PayPal) and a member of the PayPal/eBay development team in Boston.

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