Coding Bootcamps Closing

Hack Education has a good article on the recent closures of Dev Bootcamp and The Iron Yard, early high profile “coding bootcamps.”

“Why are Coding Bootcamps Going Out of Business?”

which has got some attention on Hacker News:

A couple comments on the article:

In my experience in the Silicon Valley, software developers/engineers/programmers almost always have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited non-profit university or college, mostly in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field with CS (Computer Science) and EE (Electrical Engineering) the largest sub-groups.

I have personally never encountered a graduate from controversial for-profit schools like DeVry, University of Phoenix, etc. or a bootcamp.  Even developers with a solid work history but no bachelor’s degree seem to encounter a significant prejudice against them.

Yes, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college and made it big in software, but they are rich kids who graduated from elite prep schools and then dropped out of Harvard.

The article has a brief line about a Haskell programmer making $250,000 in the Silicon Valley.  It is not clear if the author actually knows of a case like this.  If real, it is probably very unusual.

Top software engineers seem to be bringing in a base salary of around $150,000 in the Silicon Valley:

There is always the question of stock options and RSU’s (restricted stock units) and cash bonuses which can sometimes boost the base salary significantly.

Keep in mind the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area is very expensive with some of the highest home prices and apartment rental rates in the United States.  The salaries are still attractive but not nearly as large as they sound if you are from an inexpensive region like Texas.

The bottom line is to be very cautious about paying large sums of money for coding bootcamps or other non-traditional education.

(C) 2017 John F. McGowan, Ph.D.

About the Author

John F. McGowan, Ph.D. solves problems using mathematics and mathematical software, including developing gesture recognition for touch devices, video compression and speech recognition technologies. He has extensive experience developing software in C, C++, MATLAB, Python, Visual Basic and many other programming languages. He has been a Visiting Scholar at HP Labs developing computer vision algorithms and software for mobile devices. He has worked as a contractor at NASA Ames Research Center involved in the research and development of image and video processing algorithms and technology. He has published articles on the origin and evolution of life, the exploration of Mars (anticipating the discovery of methane on Mars), and cheap access to space. He has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).