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Programming Education

Coding Bootcamps Already 1/8th the Size of CS Undergraduates 92

Posted by samzenpus
from the everybody-code dept.
First time accepted submitter Valejo (689967) writes "According to a study released today by Course Report, programming bootcamps are expected to grow by 2.8x in 2014, meaning that bootcamps will graduate a student for every 8 CS undergraduates. The survey (PDF) also found that 57% of the schools teach in Ruby and that the average tuition is $9,900. The authors collected responses from 95% of US schools, including General Assembly, Dev Bootcamp, and Flatiron School."
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Coding Bootcamps Already 1/8th the Size of CS Undergraduates

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    sick of dumbass kids who don't understand pointers and other basic freshmen year level shit. even a community college grad is better than some ruby bro from a bootcamp.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      Indeed. Many of these people will have negative productivity over the life-cycle of what they produce, i.e. not having them would have been better. Programming is not easy and most people cannot learn to do it well. Teaching those without the talent, passion and dedication makes the problem worse.

    • sick of dumbass kids who don't understand pointers and other basic freshmen year level shit. even a community college grad is better than some ruby bro from a bootcamp.

      Stereotype much?

      The program at a local Community College for my particular (technical) field is better than those at most 4-year colleges across the country. I know, because I had to research it for some work I was doing.

      Second: they teach Ruby because that's what's in demand today.

      Having said that: I have not yet seen a "Boot Camp" I would send anybody to. I grant that they will likely not come out with sufficient background to do real professional work.

      • by Xest (935314) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @06:47AM (#46887711)

        "Second: they teach Ruby because that's what's in demand today."

        In demand by whom and where?

        • I like it. And I think it is a good starting langauge.

          You can actually acomplish things quickly with it. And a full OO paradigm for teaching more complex business coding style and organization. I saw "perl and bash scripting" on a job posting today, clearly that could be replaced with ruby.

          And python is maintained by nazis

          • I like it. And I think it is a good starting langauge.

            I like it too, and I use it a lot, but I think it is a terrible "starting" language. For a number of reasons.

            First, Ruby doesn't teach you theory worth a damn. Its syntax, typing, and certain other features are far too loose.

            I strongly suggest that someone's "starting" language should be one that enforces rules: strict static typing, etc.

            A schoolmate of mine once said (after a Ruby class): "This is cool! Why didn't we just jump straight to this? Why did we have to waste our time going through all t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)

      kids who don't understand pointers

      There are two things that this can mean: Do they understand the concepts of indirection and aliasing, or do they understand the concept that memory is addressed by numbers? The former is important to pretty much any programming problem, but can be taught in any language that has references (including Ruby, Java, and so on). The latter is only really important to people doing kernel or embedded programming.

    • by scumdamn (82357)

      I don't understand pointers. I mean, I read about them about 15 years ago when I was playing with C and C++ For Dummies but I don't feel like I understand them enough. I also pretty much deal with Javascript when I code and I use JQuery instead of vanilla javascript as well. Does that mean I'm just a shitty scripter?

      I mean, I never even went to a bootcamp so I probably know less about scripting than the graduates of said camps even though I've been doing web shit for a few years now. Am I worthless? What if

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I'm afraid indeed, yes. Really I can't understand how anyone can program in most languages and not understand pointers.

        Even in garbage collected languages, it comes up with relative frequency. Not just from interfacing with something outside XYZ language either. There are fundamental issues you'll run into even in JavaScript if you don't "get" pointers. I'd go as far as to argue there are few things that apply to more types of programming jobs than understanding how memory works, memory layouts, and so on.

      • Excellent comment. So basically you learn what you need to get the job done. When you will need to understand pointers, you will learn pointers.
  • The makes all the certs, non degree classes, boot camps and more add to something. Also can help so people can take classes and have some thing other then a theory loaded 2-4-6+ year piece of paper with big sides of fluff and filler.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      All of what you call "fluff and filler" is what makes someone well-rounded and more than just a clueless brogrammer. We need more people writing software that actually have a good grasp of algorithms, data structures, etc. Not just more clueless fuckwit scripters.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        How far have you advanced from the material taught by Donald Knuth in "The Art of Computer Programming?"

        If we use Donald Knuth's material as a baseline, then most of us are clueless code monkeys.

        • If we use Donald Knuth's material as a baseline, then most of us are clueless code monkeys.

          Appeal to consequences much? ;-) Of course we are!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The makes all the certs, non degree classes, boot camps and more add to something. Also can help so people can take classes and have some thing other then a theory loaded 2-4-6+ year piece of paper with big sides of fluff and filler.

      Get a better job, lad. I'm paid immensely well for making use of the CS theory I learned, not to mention the "fluff and filler".

    • Good luck with that. (Not really... I hope you have no luck with that at all.)

      The moment you start "certifying" programmers is the moment you start watering down the quality of the workers.

      Industries will start building around the "certification" process, just like they did with MCSE for example. They'll start charging ridiculous rate for shitty schools that promise to get you your "certificate". Then companies will hire the "certified" at inflated rates that don't reflect the "certified" person's act
    • by greg1104 (461138)

      We don't need no stinkin' badges.

    • Does understanding the difference between "then" and "than" constitute fluff and filler?

    • by jasonla (211640)
      I can barely make sense of what this person is saying. Did you attend a bootcamp for sentence structure, punctuation and grammar?
  • This needs to die (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @11:21PM (#46886409)

    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.

    I do believe you can be marketable within a year though.

    2. This is about selling papers, certs. Just like colleges are most just about selling diplomas now.

    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.

    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.

    5. This will end badly.

    • 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.

      I agree with that statement, but how do bootcamps not inspire that?

      I would think they would have that effect, they would get you over the hump of starting in any new language to the point where experimenting was fun and not a painful fight with the language/tooling.

      Programming can't be learned in a few weeks. You need the freedom to play with it. To experiment. Boot Camp d

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        I agree with that statement, but how do bootcamps not inspire that?

        Mostly because the time involve (8-12 weeks) means that they will push a ton of hours and a lot of milestones. They'll have a lot of assignments to grade the student on. It's going to be very structured.

        It's like cramming for the SATs or something. Someone can do it and score highly, but do they truly learn much from the exercise?

        Play/Experimentation for the beginner has to be unstructured in a fashion. Without pressing time constraints

        • All I'm saying is they are taking a Ruby in 21 days course or what not and paying way too much for it.

          How many people never finish those 21 days things though? They may seem to be paying too much for what you could do for free, but part of the reason to pay at all is to have someone forcing you to proceed until you can get into it.

          That's also a cheap price to find out if you like programming for real before you go all in.

        • by geekmux (1040042)

          I agree with that statement, but how do bootcamps not inspire that?

          Mostly because the time involve (8-12 weeks) means that they will push a ton of hours and a lot of milestones. They'll have a lot of assignments to grade the student on. It's going to be very structured.

          It's like cramming for the SATs or something. Someone can do it and score highly, but do they truly learn much from the exercise?

          Play/Experimentation for the beginner has to be unstructured in a fashion. Without pressing time constraints or milestones. Like kids on a playground.

          I remember learning C from C in 21 Days. I did all the assignments but I truly never played with the language until that was well behind me. At that point, I was making timid tests with my foot in the waters of the language to see how the ripples react, not diving in.

          All I'm saying is they are taking a Ruby in 21 days course or what not and paying way too much for it.

          This is structured because the program should be focused on those who can engage a very analytical mindset (to program) within a structured environment (i.e. your next office job and schedule), using that to weed non-programmers out.

          What a 12-week program should not be is advertising that you will "graduate" with any sort of "degree" certifying you as a programmer, in which you can then flash like some kind of badge purporting you're now a "professional" in the field.

          Let's put it this way. If you took a 1

    • 1. Programming can't be learned in a few weeks.

      First you have to define programming. FTFA it appears most of the bootcamp is aimed at web development. While you can't learn to do "serious" development in a few weeks, you CAN learn how to create basic functionality to implement dynamic websites.

      Additionally, the fact that the average is 10 weeks makes me wonder what's in the pool. Presumably some courses may be much longer (like 6 months) and in that time you CAN cram most of the comp sci related courses in an associate degree if you work hard enough.

      • by narcc (412956)

        We're talking about programming. There are just a few basic concepts. Surely, that can be taught in a few weeks. The rest is just details.

    • Tl;Dr You are claiming this will be ineffective, but effective enough to create an employment glut. That shows you really do not have a solid grasp on why you object, and just cobbled some reasons together. You should decide what is really bothering you, and hit with that, because your arguments will be much more solid.

      1. I learned quick basic and Pascal by seeing what my brother typed to start it, and experimented from there. If they do slightly more in these camps, it is truly a boot camp and it serves th

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        Of course I'm saying it will make a glut in low level script writers.

        Just like a thousand real bootcamps would create a glut of grunts during peacetime but not impact the market for generals.

    • 1. Programming can't be learned in a few weeks. You need the freedom to play with it.

      Exactly, you need to play with with it. But what a bootcamp could potentially do is give the beginner the skills and confidence to start playing with it. A well-run intro course would teach the students how to teach themselves.

    • Most programmers get hired to write boring business logic stuff. Not to design games, drivers, or kernels. You can weed out anyone who doesn't know real programming quite easily when hiring for those roles. It won't create a glut in the market, rather it will expand the market.

    • 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.

      Hmm... We'll see. Imagine what would happen if you hired secretaries who could code. I'm not saying CS graduates as secretaries.
      But people who can write some horribly ugly and unmaintainable php/mysql applications.
      There are so many work processes that could be automated. And the current manual implementation of these processes is so buggy, that a poor software implementation would likely be better..
      Maybe it's okay to write software that solves the job here and now... And that you don't try to maintain :)

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      2. This is about selling papers, certs. Just like colleges are most just about selling diplomas now.

      3. What you learn there, you can learn online, for free.

      Kinda answered your own question there. Yes, you can learn programming online for free. But being self-taught is generally worth shit on the job market. Unless you have the piece of paper saying you spent thousands of dollars to learn something, people don't believe you know it.

    • by geekmux (1040042)

      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.

      Agreed. I also believe it takes a certain kind of mindset and natural analytical thinking ability to do the job naturally.

      I do believe you can be marketable within a year though.

      Marketable to who? Other people with the same degree hanging on their wall, using it as merely a stepping stone? Does the market really need more pseudo-programmers?

      2. This is about selling papers, certs. Just like colleges are most just about selling diplomas now.

      In the 90s, it was about "paper MCSEs" then, which the acronym quickly morphed into Must Consult Someone Experienced.

      3. What you learn there, you can learn online, for free.

      And this fact is somehow different for every single other computer class taught by Microsoft or Cisco? P

    • Rolfwind, I'm curious how many programming bootcamps you have visited and how many student code reviews you've done? We'd invite you to come to any of our Dev Bootcamp locations to see our students final projects. Not only do they know how to code, but they know how to TDD, pair, present and work on a team like no other. Nobody is done learning how to code after our 18 week program, but they have a strong enough foundation and enough heart to be valuable and contribute to develop teams on day 1. Hope you t
    • 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

  • by Frobnicator (565869) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @11:23PM (#46886421) Journal

    There is the ability to write scripts. And there is understanding of the field of computer science. The first is a miniscule subset of the second.

    There are jobs where people only need the subset of skills needed to write scripts. There are jobs where scripting is the main task but a knowledge of theory is useful. And there are jobs where the 'science' aspect of computer science is critical.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You can learn "computer science" with ruby without a problem. It's not the language but what you do with it. Ruby can be used for everything from scripting to teaching advanced data structures, parsing, algorithm design and more.

  • bootcamps (Score:4, Informative)

    by the_Bionic_lemming (446569) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @12:13AM (#46886631)

    The last contract I had I walked into the "star" programmer using hidden text files to store data on client machines.

    It took over two weeks to prove to him that SQL could store the data without errors.

    People who are tossed into a learning environment for a month or two can't program their way out of a wet paper sack, let alone analyze and create tested solutions for a business.

    But businesses will get what they pay for. If they want someone who can do a web page without a real back end (that's secure and actually usable) will end up paying the price.

    It's good business for me. I can charge 4 years salary (of the bootcamp idiot) for six months worth of work to fix boot camp idiots work.

    • Re:bootcamps (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gweihir (88907) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @12:39AM (#46886733)

      Indeed. Some companies are wisening up and start to pay real money for really good coders. Most do not get it and still think that the cheaper idiot is actually more productive per monetary unit paid. Quite often these people have _negative_ productivity.

      • In my mind it starts with hiring managers using correct terminology. Do a search for "software engineer" or "computer scientist" on LinkedIn or any other job site, and see how many web developer and database admin jobs show up. This isn't to belittle all web development, since some can get pretty creative in their optimizations (the "science" part of CS), but many simply have HTML and Javascript as requirements.

        Once managers begin to understand the skill set they actually need and start asking the right que

    • It took over two weeks to prove to him that SQL could store the data without errors.

      How can a query language store data? A database that you talk to via SQL might be able to, but the language itself? Not so much.

  • Why not a med camp.
    Where you can really get to know what you need in a few weeks.
    Plus you the costs compared to medical school would be a lot cheaper.

    Ok so maybe they cant teach you all about anatomy and neurons and everything, but
    few doctors need that.

    If we can teach them for instance heart surgery, or general medical things like a GP would see
    that would be more than good enough.

  • by Animats (122034)

    This isn't teaching computer science. This is teaching web site business logic implementation. That's a useful skill, but somewhat specialized.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I would say that Ruby is being used because it's seen as hip and cool. If they really wanted people to be able to get jobs, they would be teaching ASP.net, Java, or even old school ASP. There's tons of jobs maintaining old code in these languages. Ruby doesn't even come close to having a big market share.
  • by moderators_are_w*nke (571920) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @02:54AM (#46887155) Journal

    Why are there no civil engineering boot camps? I'm looking forward to driving over a bridge designed by someone who learned engineering on a boot camp. How could that possibly go wrong?

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Why are there no civil engineering boot camps? I'm looking forward to driving over a bridge designed by someone who learned engineering on a boot camp. How could that possibly go wrong?

      Because a programming boot camp does not teach a profession, it teaches a trade.

      And there are plenty of "boot camps" for teaching trades - welding, plumbing, carpentry, etc. They won't make you accredited, but it means you can do light work at home, for example. Hell, Home Depot and many other companies offer them, often for

    • by XPhiNermal (91739)

      My local community college offers a welding certificate that requires 14 credit hours of coursework: http://www.waketech.edu/progra... [waketech.edu] . That bridge you're driving over required both PEs and community college welding certificate holders to bring into existence.

      I earned a BS in CS, and it has served me well. But there is also a need in IT for tradespeople: individuals who can just bang out a simple data-driven website, or glue a couple systems together with a script. These coding bootcamps can help with that

  • by flopsquad (3518045) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @04:52AM (#46887383)
    What is this? A bootcamp for ants? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to code if they can't even fit inside the bootcamp? I don't wanna hear your excuses! The bootcamp has to be at least... eight times bigger than this!
    • by greg1104 (461138)

      The ruby hipsters have to stay very small to fit in their skinny jeans. It should surprise no one they are only 1/8 the size of someone in the neckbeard community.

  • Do coding Bootcamps teach calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, logic, etc? I don't think so! It's like comparing an auto mechanic school to mechanical engineering.

  • thats really what this is. 10 weeks for 10K? And that gets you exactly what? Some rudimentary Ruby? A typical (and reasonably good) CS program requires classes like these (with credit hours):
    Fundamentals of Programming 2
    Programming and Data Structures 3
    Systems Software 4
    Technical Presentation 1
    Computer Organization and Architecture 3

  • Back in 1970s thereabouts computer programming was mainly considered trade school training. MIT resisted offering it as a major or even practical courses.
  • Why are we comparing coding bootcamps and CS undergraduate enrollment? There is very little overlap here. Apples and Oranges.

    Seriously people, if you didn't get a CS or CompE degree take it from someone who has: you don't really learn to program in college. You don't. Most engineering disciplines take a CS101 intro to programming where you may learn the basics of Java, you might make some really basic programs where no one will teach you style, design, code reusability, architecture, anything. If you cli
  • Been self learning for years and could save an aspiring newbie tons of time suggesting appropriate books and subject sequence. At the end of the day, nobody will come out ready for the job market from a boot camp, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if a good boot camp could shave a significant multiple of its time off the process.

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