If those are the options you’re weighing up after deciding you’re going to take the plunge and do a coding bootcamp, then I feel like I’m well qualified to give some insight. After all, I doubt many people have studied on both types of course like I have.
So, code from your bedroom or at a coding bootcamp like Northcoders? I should say that I’m biased of course, as one of the founders of Northcoders, but here’s my two cents andrandom thoughts:
There’s a lot more to being a good software developer than technical skills. When you get a job, you’re going to have to work with all kinds of people – other coders who you get on well with, some that you don’t, designers and business people who see the world differently, but equally validly.
Software development requires social & communication skills which are quite unique, and altogether different than being able to crack jokes with your mates at the pub. There’s no doubt in my mind that these skills are better developed in a ‘bricks and mortar’ setting, where you’re dealing with people, in-person, every day.
Don’t think this is important? It’s right there at the top of the list of every hiring partner we speak to.
Every summer I invariably end up finding myself watching Glastonbury on TV after a bit of aimless channel hopping. I always curse the fact that I haven’t been (yet…). The thing I’m watching on TV is the same thing I’d be watching if I was there – but it’s just not the same really is it?
I remember (and this isn’t rewriting history) always feeling that I was missing out doing the remote course I attended. I was quite jealous of a fellow student, from Lebanon, who’d originally enrolled on the remote course like me but made a last minute decision to spend 3 months doing the on-site course in San Francisco instead.
One thing I’ve noticed at Northcoders is that because we get a good vibe going in the room, people feel comfortable talking about what they’re struggling with. That makes it easier for us to have conversations with them to help them figure stuff out. Overhearing those conversations is such a big part of your education. By the way, this won’t change when you get into work.
Because each of our cohorts is a little mini-community, there’s so much that goes on out of hours. We have official social nights where everyone gets to know each other better, we have unofficial social nights that are just as fun. People go to meetups together (not all meetups, sadly, are great and a bit of company at the bad ones always helps). 4 of the students on the last cohort have just been on a European city break together.
You make real friendships when you spend 3 months with a group of people. It’s hard not to.
I’m sure I had a utopian vision of the peace and quiet I’d get in my bedroom when I started my remote course, but I can’t remember it, probably because it was quickly shattered. No matter how well meaning and understanding family members are, there are always disturbances just when you don’t want them.
Writing this blog makes me think of the flip-side too – how many times must my partner have wanted to come into the bedroom, but not, because I was on a webcam with someone else on the course?
Would I hire someone who’d spent the last 3 months in a room with 20 other people, or someone who’d spent that time in a room by themselves (probably in their pants)?
Bedrooms are for relaxation, sleep and sex. Bringing computer hardware into the room does nothing good for any of those.
I thought I’d share these thoughts with you - I hope they've been helpful.
James, Co-Founder, Northcoders