WEB & TECH / OCT. 07, 2015
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8 Online Coding Boot Camps

In today’s technologically advanced world, it should come as no surprise that being able to code and work with programming languages is an incredibly lucrative skill to have. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. While there are many free resources online that can get you started in the right direction, if you really want to become a programming wizard, you’re going to have to enter into one of the many intensive programs colloquially known as “programming boot camps.” And that phrase definitely should not be taken lightly; some of these programs require dedicating 10 or 11 hours every day toward coding. But when you consider the returns you’ll be making on your initial investment, the time you’ll be spending learning such a sought-after skill will seem way worth it.

See Also: Learning to Code: Choosing Your Coding Language [infographic]

1. CareerFoundry

CareerFoundry is an online educational program aimed toward the beginning-to-intermediately skilled coder. Users can choose between a three or six-month program, both of which are self-paced. At CareerFoundry, you’ll learn web development and UX design skills through a variety of daily tasks and review exercises. Although the courses are self-paced, you will also be privy to weekly Skype conversations with tutors who will help clarify any issues you may have run into. Entering in the program will cost you around $1,700, but when you consider the potential growth it can bring to your career, it’s well worth the price of admission.

2. App Academy

Available in San Francisco and New York, App Academy is an incredibly intensive 12-week program that allows beginning coders to hone their skills in programming languages such as Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL, JavaScript, and more. Throughout the 12 weeks that the program runs, students should be prepared to dedicate an astounding 90 hours each week toward coding.

App Academy has a rather interesting payment plan: students pay an initial $5,000-deposit which will be returned if you don’t miss any classes and completely dedicate yourself to the course. Upon completion, App Academy will almost certainly be able to hook you up with a salaried position, with the understanding that 18% of your first year’s salary will go toward your tuition. Of course, if you don’t find a job immediately, you won’t owe a thing. Obviously, the Academy will go the extra mile to ensure you find gainful employment, as it will ultimately be a win-win situation for both parties involved.

3. RoleModel Craftsmanship Academy

The RoleModel Craftsmanship Academy is housed in Holly Springs, North Carolina, and is specifically tailored to beginning coders. Lasting a full year (with holidays off), the RoleModel Craftsmanship Academy requires students to dedicate anywhere from 50 to 80 hours a week to the program, during which time you’ll learn the basics of software development. Students who complete the course will be eligible to work as junior developers for RoleModel; think of it as a year-long training program. While you do have to pay $15,000 to enter the program, there’s a possibility of being accepted on scholarship. Furthermore, if you are hired by RoleModel, you’ll use part of your wages to pay back the $15,000 tuition.

4. BrainStation

BrainStation is a coding academy that is available in a variety of areas including Chicago, Costa Rica, New York, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver. By the end of the 10-week program, beginning coders will have spent 11 hours a day honing their skills and becoming more advanced at a variety of languages. BrainStation students will learn programming languages such as HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, and more.

Interestingly, Brainstation offers a “flipped classroom” approach to learning: students listen to lectures through videos on their own time, then complete hands-on activities during actual class-time, at which point tutors are available for any questions that may arise. Like the RoleModel Craftsmanship Academy, BrainStation offers scholarships but its tuition cost is a little easier on the wallet at $6,000 for the year.

5. Treehouse

If the previous bootcamps seem a little too intense for your needs, you might want to check out Treehouse. This online program is self-paced, and only requires you to dedicate around eight hours a week over a six-month period of time. Focusing on the beginning coder, Treehouse specializes in teaching students how to program using Ruby on Rails, Python, iOS development, and more. Students can choose either the basic plan for $25 per month, or the Pro plan, which includes a variety of bonus content and accessibility to members-only forums, for $49 per month. Treehouse’s programs consist mainly of video lectures, but the Pro plan promises much more interactivity with the learning community.

6. Udacity

Udacity is similar to Treehouse in that it’s a less-intensive online program that doesn’t require students to completely overhaul their entire life in order to work through the curriculum. Depending on the program chosen, students will need to dedicate around 10 hours each week for 6-12 months to Udacity. Students can choose from curricula focusing on web development, programming, software engineering, and data analytics, among other specialties. Udacity caters to a wide variety of skill levels, from the budding programmer to the experienced coder. Upon completion of a course, students earn “Nanodegrees,” which essentially add to a coder’s professional résumé. Even with a degree in computer science, there’s definitely always more to learn.

7. Tealeaf Academy

Tealeaf Academy offers three paid courses in addition to a complimentary prep course for true beginners who wish to learn the ins-and-outs of Ruby on Rails programming. The self-paced courses will roughly take four months to complete, with students dedicating anywhere from 15 to 30 hours each week to their studies, depending on their level of expertise. Experienced programmers may choose to skip the first or second courses, but those with little-to-no experience would do well to start from the very beginning.

Although each course varies in price, those who decide to enroll in all three will end up spending roughly $2,600 in total. However, Tealeaf Academy offers a money-back guarantee if you are dissatisfied in any way with the curriculum, or if you decide it’s not for you. If only universities did the same!

8. General Assembly

General Assembly offers an online course for those who want to get started in HTML, CSS and web design. The 12-week course focuses on HTML and CSS coding, as well as web design basics and email design. Throughout the 12 weeks, students can anticipate spending anywhere between eight and 10 hours on the coursework each week. At the end of each week, students will meet with a class mentor for individual tutoring and coaching, during which time they can discuss any confusion or hang-ups they’ve faced throughout the course. Though the $1,500 price tag may seem a little steep, General Assembly does offer payment plans to those who are unable to shell out the money upfront.

See Also: How to Learn (Entry-Level) Coding

Whether you’re looking to advance your career, change your profession, or simply pick up a new hobby, taking a coding course is a great way to learn new skills that can have a huge effect on your marketability. Depending on your needs, price range, and level of expertise, there is an abundance of programs to choose from outside of traditional college coursework. In fact, I would venture to say that, since they are run by programmers for programmers, the boot camps mentioned above offer just as much, if not more than, what you would get in a regular college classroom.

Can you think of any other awesome coding boot camps? Let us know in the comments section below!

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