Or is an in-person course more likely to guarantee a job after completion? What kind of certificate can I expect to get from a school like Thinkful, and will employers recognize it?
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Overall I'd say picking the right bootcamp for you is more important than whether it is online or in person. Different people learn differently. I strongly recommend meeting the actual instructor who will be teaching you and hearing them give a talk, whether in person or online.
The honest answer about bootcamp certificates (including the ones I offer at my bootcamp) is that some employers will recognize them and some won't. In general if you want a piece of paper that will help you get a job, go for the 4 year CS degree from a respected univeristy. What you get from a bootcamp is a certificate that *some* employers will respect, some will ignore and some will look down upon PLUS a portfolio of work you can show. The portfolio and the personal connections you make (networking, networking, networking) are the real jewels you are after.
Whether you study online or in person make DAMN sure you are going to meetups and user groups to get to know people. The more people you GENUINELY connect with (not just hi, My name is Bob and I want to know what you can do for me...), the better your chances that one of them will know someone who is looking for someone like you. This isn't a one or two month commitment. Pick a group or two and go consistently for a long period of time.
Hope this helps.
It really depends on the bootcamp you're considering. Many don't focus on job-readiness specifically, and few have employees focused on Careers and placing their graduates.
At Makers Academy, our largest team is the careers team - we charge our partners a £5,000 fee to hire from us, which means that we're incentivised to grow that team and help incentivise us further to ensure our students get what they want - a job!
While you won't get any certificates, you'll have a portfolio of projects, all written using Test Driven Development, and we'll introduce you to our 00s of hiring partners after graduating.
Nothing in life is guaranteed, but a bit of research should show you that there is *huge* diversity in the quality of the European bootcamps :)
Attending a bootcamp, be it online or in person, is going to take dedication, and you will get as much out of the experience as you put in.
There are a lot of different styles of bootcamps out there because it seems that everybody is looking for something a little bit different. Some things to consider, cost, duration of program, hours per week, location, framework or languages taught, size of class… oh my goodness the list goes on. When it comes to online learning, some people are very well suited for that environment and enjoy the flexibility that comes with it.
There is a cost to that flexibility though. One great way to get your foot in the door in the tech industry is to network. To meet others who are interested in the same things as you, and to meet industry leaders. That’s something that does not comes very naturally if you are attending a school online.
I took a risk to attend a school in the heart of San Francisco, and eat the cost of living while attending the school, largely because of its proximity to top tech companies. Not everyone can make that kind of drastic change (I uprooted from Chicago and headed west).
To add to Kris' comments I'd say if you attend an online bootcamp you had better make friends with Meetup.com!
Networking is vital to your success in any career, but crucial for programmers these days.
If you are going the online route, you will have to find people to network with yourself and Meetup can be a great resource for that. If you are in a rural area, you will likely have to put in much more effort in this regard. Don't have any technical meetups near you? Then you need to do whatever you have to do to get yourself to more distant meetups. I'd plan at least two times a month.
One thing I tell my students is don't think of it as "I'll go for a couple of months while in the bootcamp and then I'll be fine." No, you won't. User Groups and meetups don't exist to find you a job! The way you get jobs through them is to be an ongoing member who attends regularly and gets to know people. Sneaking in, listening to the speaker and sneaking out won't get you anywhere either. You must engage people in conversation. It is when they get to know YOU that your odds of someone remembering you had a skill or interest in a specific area will lead to them recommending you.
The ideal trajectory you should go for is a) attend for several months and SHOW UP EARLY and LEAVE LATE so you have plenty of time to meet people, b) get to know the members and show an interest in their lives (basically just make some friends), c) search for chances to start presenting short talks, d) advance into longer presentations, and finally e) progress into speaking at conferences.
OK, so not everyone likes public speaking. In that case you need to pursue blogging or making videos.
Be sure you are contributing to open source projects as well! For a beginner with little or no experience, you want to show that you've written code that was reviewed and accepted by other, more experienced programmers.
The key is differentiate yourself! Give people a reason to choose you over your compettion!