Now that you’ve read, “Should you learn to code on your own?” and decided it’s best that you join an in person coding bootcamp, your next question is probably, HOW do I choose the best coding bootcamp? Here are 3 factors to consider when choosing the best cohort for your personal, career, and coding goals.

1. Coding Bootcamp Checklist

The first step is to ask yourself a few questions in order to figure out what you want. Here are some major questions that previous bootcampers have asked themselves before beginning their journey

  • Why do you want to join a coding bootcamp?
  • What kind of career do you want this bootcamp to help you achieve? 
  • Are there specific coding/programming languages you want to learn? 
  • Does the cost of tuition fit your budget?
  • Is the course offered online or in-person?
  • Is the course after-hours or will you need to quit your current job?
  • Are you willing to relocate if you find the perfect bootcamp?

The answers to these questions will affect what bootcamps you should apply to. Even if you don’t have clear answers to all of them, the answers that you do have will guide you in the right direction.

2. Student Reviews

Student reviews are a key indicator for what your experience will be like at that specific bootcamp. With every few positive reviews, there will most likely be a negative review. This doesn’t mean that the bootcamp itself is bad, rather that individuals most likely did not mesh with the culture and/or curriculum.

To get the most real and candid reviews, it would be best to try and reach out to former bootcamp students. They will almost always be willing to give their feedback because they have been in your shoes before and know what the process is like. Don’t know how to get a hold of them? Try tweeting or emailing recent graduates to get their unfiltered opinions as well as where they are at in their career following the bootcamp. Some questions that would open the door for discussion are “Did you like the bootcamp?”, “Did you land a job as a developer?” or just the basic “What was it like?”

3. Does the curriculum fit your career goals?

The question “Are there specific coding/programming languages you want to learn?” should play a major role in deciding on which coding Bootcamp to attend. The languages you’ll learn during the cohort will have a direct impact on what kind of job you will get after graduation. This is where your research will come in handy. If you haven’t already, read through what the coding school will focus on, and ask yourself if those skills fit your career goals. Meaning, you won’t want to spend 95% of your time learning JavaScript, when you really want to work in information security. Find a coding Bootcamp with the best of both worlds, one that meets the technical skills, as well as soft skills, will get you a long way. Ask questions to advisors and past students and make sure the curriculum meets the technical skills you are interested in and how that will affect your software development career.

These steps play a crucial role in how to choose a coding bootcamp perfect for you, because it allows you to think ahead and prepare for life after bootcamp more accordingly. Ask yourself if coding bootcamp gives you the opportunity to build connections within your industry. Best of luck on your search for the perfect coding bootcamp as well as your coding journey!