So there is this gap. On one side, non-techies who really want to understand computers, learn to program and potentially land a wonderful, high paying job with benefits in tech; on the other side, employers desperately searching for passionate, curious, ready-to- hire, entry level developers. The two sides are often unaware of each other and the gap seems insurmountable.
Software boot camps act as a bridge over the gap. They are popping up all over the country like flowers in a desert after a rain. I am not exactly sure how or where it all got started, but someone took a look around and realized that there are a lot of jobs in tech, and not a lot of qualified people able to handle those jobs. The next bright observation was this: just because a person does not have the skills, it doesn’t mean that they do not want the skills. Finally someone realized that most adults willing to transition into the technology field do not have the time or the resources to go back to college and get a degree in computer science. The solution? Short programs for those willing to commit to learn the fundamentals of web development: software boot camps.
That is the good news. The not so good news? They are intense. Really intense. Most claim to be able to take a person with zero tech savvy and transform them into a junior level web developer in (on average) 4-6 months! It must be a scam you say? They are not. Graduates from these boot camps are getting hired and starting jobs as junior web developers. I do not have figures for the entire country, but for the camp that I will be attending 100% of their first graduating class have jobs or job offers.
Are these graduates perfect? I am sure they are not. I am sure the learning curve is still quite steep for them and I imagine they will do some struggling during their first couple years on the job, but they did get a job. They are developers like it or not.
So here I stand on one side of the gap. I really want to learn how to program computers. My dream is to build something useful that other people will use. To get to the other side I must take my first tentative steps onto the bridge. It is time for phase 1 of my boot camp journey. The Pre Work.