Coding boot camps

e.g. Tech Elevator

Putting aside for the moment that these are very much not free. Are these legit ways to learn coding on the side (including in terms of actual prospects at the end of the program)? Or are they all basically just my computer career .edu level grifters?

I can’t speak to all of them, but my nephew did go through one of these coding schools and has turned it into a very good career.

This was after getting a music degree and trying to make it as a musician for 5-10 years following graduation.


IMO, the real value to look for in “learning to code” is having good problems to code out that go beyond “here’s the syntax, now apply it to these simple problems”.

Furthermore, you also need to have someone experienced enough to evaluate your code as well.

But the best skill to develop is code testing . . . how to try and break code.

I second this^

In my undergrad CS courses, next to nothing was actually learned in the intro course which just covered syntax and basic canned assignments. I really didn’t feel like I knew how to write code until I took an algorithms and data structures course where I was forced to build those up from scratch and create my own unit tests. (I wouldn’t say algos and data structures are the only way to learn to code well, but they’re good problems to work on for building the mindset/thought process needed for tackling software problems)

Your post isnt really specific. What is your objective? generally speaking, coding bootcamps are designed to place students into firms that have a relationship with the bootcamp organizers.

Don’t really have an objective at the moment. Just a “that would be cool if” about being able to write my own math-related apps.

It came up in conversation with a colleague the other day. Her brother did one of those boot camps, and now basically has more money than he knows what to do with.

If you just want to learn how to build apps as a side gig then there is no point in doing a bootcamp. Contrary to what many people think, the best way of learning how to code isn’t necessarily doing your own projects right away.

is there a good book or site for learning coding on your own?

There are different languages for different purposes. You need to figure that out before. It is easy to learn how to code, but not easy to learn how to write good code. If you want to learn properly, it’s better to study good open source code and understand the techniques and styles.

I don’t know whether or not it’s actually “good”, but recently I added “finally learn Python” to my project list, and attached a URL to a promising-seeming Youtube series that appears to be a series of Python lessons.

However, in the past, when I’ve really learned a programming/scripting language, I did so by being introduced to the basics, and then building proficiency by plagiarizing code I found already written.

Assuming you have a good understanding of basic programming concepts (e.g. by having become proficient in one language), I think the real trick is to learn is to get a decent idea of what a language is capable of, and roughly how you go about doing certain things. Once you have those basics down, getting the details of how you do specific things is easy. And if you get those details from well-written examples, then hopefully you pick up the practice of assembling good/clean code by contagion.

Not worth it if you already know how to educate yourself, like most actuaries do.