I am a complete beginner, and need training before applying to any bootcamps. Is best use of my time and money to enrole in the almost $3k Fullstack Academy Bootcamp Prep or look for a less expensive option? Any advice is welcome.
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I agree with Nichole. If I were a beginner I would definitely take a pre-class to make sure this was for me.
I run a small bootcamp near Atlanta called Code Career Academy, and what I do is offer a class called Introduction to Web Development that is 2 weeks long and geared towards beginners. A student can take that class as a stand-alone class or as part of the full bootcamp. If someone takes the class and then decides to continue on to the full bootcamp, I deduct the cost of the Intro class from the full price. In other words it's free if you go on to take the full program.
Signing up for a bootcamp is a big decision. I sincerely recommend trying it out before committing. If at all possible with the instructor for the full course. I believe it is vital that you have an instructor you feel good about working with.
Hope this helps!
Code Career Academy
Ultimately, it's about you getting to a place where you feel excited about and comfortably submitting your application. A prep course is also a great way to test drive a school you're interested and see if you like their curriculum, teaching style, etc.
Marketing Manager @Flatiron School
at Beach Coders Academy, We've found that most folks looking to switch careers into web development or UX design are satisfied with the skills they acquire from our immersive part time program that costs far less than full stack programs. While we encourage free online resources, like code academy and such, the live class format and the structure has far more comprehension and practical impact and well worth the time and money investment. Of those that want to go deeper into full stack, the knowledge and skills they gain from our program sets them ahead of the curve to excel in full stack programs and get the most value.
I am always a little bit wary when I hear of bootcamps that offer paid prep courses. I know that some programs want you to come in feeling prepared, and so they might give you some pre-course work to do, but getting students to pay for a prep course and a bootcamp seems a little excessive.
I'm sure there are extenuating circumstances that might make a paid pre-course program and a bootcamp the right combination for someone, so I guess my advice is just to proceed with caution.
I think a lot of bootcamps are realizing that in order to get someone up to speed as a junior software engineer, they either need to come into the program with some experience, or they need more than three months to be marketable as a software engineer... that's where the pre-course comes into play.
I attended a new breed of school trying to find the sweet spot between bootamps and four-year universities. Holberton is a two-year programming teaching full stack software engineering. There are more and more schools like Holberton popping up that are open to both beginners and more advanced students without the need for a prep course.
Where bootcamps are concerned, the more you go in with, the more you come out with.
There is absolutely no need to pay for a prep course when there are plenty of exceptional free resources available. If you really want the personal attention, it may be worth it, but generally the exercise of picking up the fundamentals on your own is good practice for developing the grit necessary to learn advanced concepts.
You'll want to check that 100% free prep out at https://www.vikingcodeschool.com/prep
The prep courses have been pulled from our core curriculum so students can be extremely well prepared before beginning our programs and they represent what is typically covered during the first several weeks in other bootcamps and more than a typical paid course.
There are several options worth checking out for less than $3k. This article provides info on a number of different programs (scroll to the bottom), as well as some important considerations:
Two options I like for well under $3k: