And… Hacker School Is A Success!!!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the emergence of Hacker Schools, which are intense programs that teach people to code and possibly place them into full-time developer jobs. While Hacker School in New York has successfully placed candidates into jobs at popular startups, Hacker School’s goal is to make existing programmers better. Meanwhile, Code Academy in Chicago for new coders is not focused on job placement.

Today, however, the numbers are out for the San Francisco-based Dev Bootcamp, a 10-week program for complete beginners that teaches Ruby on Rails and focuses on job placement. 88% of Dev Bootcamp’s first class got jobs offers with an average salary of $79K!!!

Just think about this for a moment. 14 people who did not know how to code learned Ruby on Rails in 8 weeks and have now received jobs with a salary of $79K, with absolutely no prior Computer Science degree.

This is a really big deal. It means that employers are open to these types of programs, which disrupts a lot of the validation that Universities provide. After all, we go to Universities to get a degree so we can get jobs (which people are not even getting anymore after graduation). So why go to a 4 year college and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars when you can pay $12,000 for a Dev Bootcamp-like program and get a job in 10 weeks?!

Now, is a Dev Bootcamp graduate as smart as a 4-year CS major? Probably not as a junior developer. But imagine how much a Dev Bootcamp graduate would learn in 4 years on the job compared to spending those 4 years getting a CS major? Guess what, after 4-years, I would argue the Dev Bootcamp developer would be much more highly qualified in the workplace than the CS major who learned a lot of impractical theory and fluff along with the practical stuff and is entering the workforce in 4 years.

But I don’t even have to make these assumptions. The marketplace has spoken for itself, and employers are willing to hire Dev Bootcamp graduates, which is all that matters. Big change is coming.

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  • David

    Hi Natasha,
    I recently stumbled across your blog while looking for alternate solutions for Stanford’s free Programming Methodology class; I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts! After considering it for a while, one month ago I decided to really pursue programming in preparation for a career change. I really appreciate your tips and encouragement for new programmers. I’m looking forward to hearing how your time at Dev Bootcamp goes.

    • Hey David,

      Glad you find the information on here helpful! Have you tried Udacity? If it was around when I started learning, I would have tried it. There is also, which I haven’t written about yet, but have been following – it costs some money, but could be well worth it. Let me know how your learning is going!


      • David

        Thanks a lot for the suggestions! I don’t have extra money right now, so is out of the question. Udacity looks intriguing though. I’ll be checking that out.

  • Mark Polk

    Hi Natasha-so, I’m getting the impression this is not for novices. However-also noting it may be: “for complete beginners that teaches Ruby on Rails.” Could you nail it down for me please? I’d really appreciate it.

    • Hi Mark,

      The websites for some of the hacker schools claim that their course is “for complete beginners”, so I’m simply paraphrasing. In reality, I would not recommend any complete beginner to go to one of these. You just can’t learn to code in 8-12 weeks unless you’re some kind of extreme genius.

      However, once you’ve spent a few months on your own learning the material, I highly recommend hacker schools to take you over the hurdle – filling in all your big gaps in knowledge and finally getting an actual job as a Software Engineer. More on this here:

  • University and bootcamp have different intentions. One is for training workers