Can I really learn to code in six weeks?

Last updated April 17, 2020

All over North America, a growing number of people are eagerly registering in coding bootcamps that have been popping up in major cities and suburbs over the last few years.

The typical coding course in a bootcamp runs anywhere from six to 19 weeks. Graduates, many of whom had no computing background before enrolling, view bootcamps as the shortest route to learn programming and land well-paying positions.

Should you jump on the coding bootcamp bandwagon? Read on.

Tech pros wanted

In Canada, a recent report by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), forecasts that demand for skilled technology workers will reach 218,000 by 2021. Other statistics indicate that the need for software developers will increase by 22 per cent within three years.

There are lots of tech startups that are in a crunch to find developers and are willing to hire coders fresh out of bootcamp. The demand for programmers is so great, according to one operator of a coding bootcamp in Toronto, that 95 per cent of their graduates find employment within three months.

Short and reasonably priced

The classes offered by bootcamps are geared to people who solely want to learn to code. The paired down approach is ideal for students who don’t want to waste time on extraneous subjects offered by traditional colleges and universities where computing programs could take up to four years to finish.

The enrollment fees charged by coding bootcamps are substantially lower than what you’d spend on a college degree.

Keeping with the times

Bootcamps are nimbler than colleges and universities. They are quicker at tailoring their coding courses to suit changing market demands. Many graduates also say that bootcamps employ more advanced tools than established colleges and universities.

There are different bootcamps for different people. For instance, bootcamps listed as zero to 60 are for students with none or little experience. Bootcamps that are 20 to 120 are for people with some programming experience.

Bootcamps offer questionnaires and in-person interviews to help you determine which category you’re in.

Do your homework

It’s also a good idea to research the bootcamp you’re eyeing or interview graduates to find if their teaching style and classroom environment will suit you. Determine if the programming languages they are teaching matches the demands of the job market you are targeting.

Still not sure if a coding bootcamp is for you? Consider attending a free or low-cost continuing education course or one-day starter coding class. This is one good way of getting your feet wet before taking the plunge.

Nestor Arellano

Nestor Arellano is a Toronto-based journalist with more than 10 years of experience in reporting and editing for print, online and social media.

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