How would I run a software bootcamp?

Everyone and their mom (yes their moms too) has signed up for a software bootcamp. We all know, traditional education is fucked. The bootcamp model has been a refreshing insight, where they've "adopted" the old trade school mentality of preparing people for a trade (go figure). Except, we're banging on keys instead of laying bricks. But, are we optimizing for education and longevity?

I honestly don't think so. Care to disagree with me? I don't really care.

As the product of of a bootcamp, I have confidence saying what I'm about to. And full disclosure I choose not to put that I went to a bootcamp on my resume 😃

So, currently, you show up, spend 100 hours a week, pay a bunch of money, and then they promise you you WILL get a job with a confidence rate to make you feel comfortable enough to hand them ten thousand dollars. You spend all this time learning everything from basic command line commands, git, some trendy javascript framework, and maybe a backend technology. They put you through the machine and spit you out going from nothing to a software engineer in 8-12 weeks. Okkkkkk?

Ya ya we get it Scott, what would you do?

Well, I wouldnt charge people to go to school. Easier said than done, I know. I think there should be options for the ability to pay for a mentor if you want. Having a good mentor, I think is exponentially more valuable than going through a program. That being said, the mentor should have some impressive shit on their resume. None of this, teachers in the bootcamp are students of the bootcamp who just couldnt get jobs. Ooooooo, too harsh? It's true!

Next, all this theory is great and partly necessary, but I think some basic Javascript course and CS course will do. Like the free one on edx from Harvard? Learning React is too complicated and shouldn't be the emphasis. Learning what React is built on, will get you much further long term. You should wield JSX like a sword, not use it because create-react-app came with it and you can't tell me what a package json is. Again, too harsh but someone needs to say it.


Its literally the closest thing to working on a team you can possibly get to. Thus, getting you closer to your goal. If you want to learn how to "speak" a language you wouldn't learn using Duolingo, would you? No you wouldn't. Well, maybe you're a masochist and love doing things that don't directly influence your success.

This isn't a 12 week stint, this is a lifestyle. It's always going to be challenging, your challenges are just going to change and get more complicated. Get used to it.

Here are some things to consider when contributing to open source:

  • Look for the "Good First Issue" label
  • Find a well supported and active open source project
  • Pick an open source project that people interviewing you have heard of. For example, Eslint, Gitlab, Nodejs, Babel etc.
  • Read my contributing to open source blog post 😃

Get to work! Get going!

Thanks for reading!