My business turns people into junior developers with ~700 hours of training. Of course, we have a logic and reasoning assessment that filters out more than half of the applicants.
Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
Given that I run a bootcamp, allow me to respond:
1. Programming can't be learned in a few weeks. You need the freedom to play with it. To experiment. Boot Camp doesn't exactly inspire that.
Programming can be learned quickly if you have the mindset for it. We test students for aptitude before admitting them to our program (about half fail the entry exam). Given that your average 16 week college class meets 3 hours per week that's 48 hours of classroom time. We spend 700 hours in my particular program, which is plenty of time to learn the foundations of programming.
2. This is about selling papers, certs. Just like colleges are most just about selling diplomas now.
Actually what we sell is a guided curriculum where you can learn alongside your peers. Some other camps give the appearance of this, but in our camp you don't get to teach here unless you are an industry professional with 10 years of experience. You are paying for a very small class size and having access to an industry professional to guide you in the methods of professional coding on demand.
3. What you learn there, you can learn online, for free.
Of course, you won't learn collaboration and all that (except on soureforge or someplace) but not really at a bootcamp either. That's what a job is for.
Considering we do projects in teams throughout our camp (and nearly every camp I know of operates similarly) you have no basis for this statement and it shows ignorance of the industry. You can certainly learn everything for free on line, not just about programming. The issue with self learning is that for the novice it is near impossible to put together an order for learning things and near impossible to filter out good advice from bad, or even know what terms to search for to solve your issue. A mentored curriculum solves that problem. Being surrounded by others learning like you and doing project work teaches collaboration.
4. Pumping these students out suggests there will be soon a glut in the market. There is only so much software needed in the world. Other than games, there isn't the same demand for big, constant changes (maintenance and adhering to law changes notwithstanding) in all markets. Not that a bootcamp gives one the experience to touch old/big/production systems anyway.
The BLS predicts a need for 1.4 million jobs in 2020. In the next 6 years computer degrees will put out 400k graduates. That's a shortfall of 1 million. Bootcamps are putting out 5k a year. Don't worry, your market will be just fine. Also, I would point out that my particular camp spends a lot of time on fundamentals, the same fundamentals you learn in CS. Our graduates have earned jobs in languages they didn't learn here, which shows their versatility and the strength of our program.
5. This will end badly.
Our typical student has a bachelors degree or better. The test on our aptitude test higher than comp sci students we have tested to get in. We have a 90+% placement rate. Are you suggesting that someone with a master's in bio-engineering is incapable of becoming a competent entry level programmer with 700 hours of focused learning? Let me clue you in, comp sci does not make you special. It also doesn't make you a good programmer. If you're logical, a good problem solver, and you have perseverance you can provide value just fine.
So reading the NYT article, the boys had the idea in Dec 2011 and released their app in Jan 2013. So a year with two people, learning to build an app, etc. They split $30,000...
Now let me preface this by saying that the skills they learned are worth money, knowledge is invaluable. But I meet people every week who are looking to make a quick buck off of apps. I would imagine these boys put in at least 1000 hours on this initiative, plus all the spend for the traveling and stuff they did. All said and done, they probably made minimum wage at best off this app.
The new tech bubble is mobile.
I agree! I run a 12 week program where we use apprenticeship principles in the classroom. It's a more than full time commitment, with very small class sizes (12 max) and we are seeing a 90% job placement rate.
I run Software Craftsmanship Guild in Ohio which does
1. We only let in students who pass a programming assessment/aptitude test
2. We encourage only strong communicators to join us
3. We remove all distractions, teach good habits from day 1 (unit testing, naming, refactoring, debugging, etc)
4. We only allow instructors with 10+ years of professional experience who are excellent mentors to enter the classroom
Our students end up with north of 700 hours when they are done, which focused as it is is more hours with qualified instruction than you get in a typical 4 year degree, it's just very compressed.
The typical student already has a degree and doesn't want to pay tens of thousands to go back to college for several more years just to learn skills that aren't relevant because it takes a college ~3 years to get coursework accredited and into the classroom.
Our employer partners love our graduates, they're experienced outside of IT, strong communicators, they know the tools and stacks the employers are actually using (many CS grads have to learn those on the job), so they ramp up quicker. It's really not all that difficult getting a high placement rate with smart, motivated people in the class.
On a side note, we are fully compliant with Ohio education regulation bodies. The reaction of the camps in the article I think is overblown, most the regulations make perfect sense (refund policies, auditing the classroom/teachers, putting up bonds so if you go out of business the students get their money back, rules for marketing, like not promising employment, etc)