Code until you drop. What is a coding bootcamp?
Blood, sweat, exhausting exercises and an angry sergeant yelling above your head - just a picture of everyday life on a bootcamp... But relax - only on a military one. At a coding bootcamp, things go a bit smoother. At least nobody is yelling at you!
Bootcamp is a colloquial name for a military training program for recruits. The training methodology, improved over the centuries all over the world, always had one goal - to transform a social unit into a member of a group ready to carry out war tasks. And to do it within the shortest possible time. To achieve this goal, the development of physical fitness and the ability to use weapons and equipment is only one of the basic elements of training. What really takes place during military bootcamps is, in fact, a desocialization process aimed at subordinating the soldier to the will of the commander, eliminating individualistic tendencies in him. Constant insults, harassment, omnipresent rigor, and punishment for insubordination or underperformance, submission to physical and psychological pressure - all this is to prepare the soldier for existence in combat conditions. So that he can survive, but also inflict death on the opponent.
Sounds brutal? How come the programming schools took their nickname from such a fearful invention as military bootcamps?!
As a matter of fact, nobody is nowadays talking about programming academies, coding courses, or IT universities. 'Coding bootcamps' became the binding term. And it is because of one factor: the intensity.
To make things clear, a coding bootcamp does not have too much in common with the military one. There's no yelling, no insulting, no brainwash. The common ground, however, is the intensity of training. At Coders Lab IT School, the oldest one of this type in Poland, the analogy to bootcamp is due to the high speed of knowledge transfer and a high degree of condensation of educational material. These are closely connected with the overarching goal of training: to allow the client for a rapid professional transformation and to open the gates to the software developer's career before him. Is it possible to turn somebody into a junior coder within 2 months? Over 5,500 Coders Lab graduates prove it is.
The road to the IT
A standard course starts actually before the students enter the classroom. Three weeks before the start of the lessons, everyone receives a package of materials called prework. It contains a portion of the theory and practical tasks that students have to complete before the course begins. In this way, we ensure a uniform level of knowledge throughout the group at the start.
Depending on the technology chosen, the course lasts six or seven weeks (.NET and Java courses are longer). Each week is a closed thematic module, which ends with an exam. Passing it is a condition for joining the next module. However, if a student fails, he is allowed to take a single make-up exam related to the given module (the second failure means expulsion from the course). Every day, after the classes, students are assigned homework tasks to help them revise the material. In the evenings, the course mentor remains at students' disposal. He is a content-related course supervisor, whose task is also to check homework (on request) and exams.
After the third module, students are given a week off. They do not come to the classes, but there are some self-study tasks waiting for them. After that, they return to school for the next modules. During the last week, there are no more lectures. This is the time when the students have to work on their own project - an application, the creation of which is the basis for graduating. Working on your own code is valuable especially in the context of future job interviews. These days, IT recruiters don't really care about diplomas and certificates. More and more often they require "tangible" confirmation of candidates' skills in the form of applications or coding portfolios.
The curriculum at Coders Lab is highly focused on practice. Lecturers are active programmers who share not only their knowledge but also experience from situations encountered in their professional careers. However, even the best lecturer will not do the job for the students. For the time of the training, they must become their own sergeants and take care of their own learning progress. It's not always going to be a piece of cake and difficulties shall arise for sure, but their motivation should remain strong. And it's not just about the high price of the course, but also about the reward awaiting - the career in the IT industry. Attractive both in terms of challenges and financial perspectives.
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