Bootcamps Are Lying To You
I love Venezuelan chocolate.
Every time I go to Caracas, I go to the store, I ask for chocolate, and they give me chocolate.
It is quite simple, except for programming bootcamps.
When students apply to a programming bootcamp, most of them want a full-time job as a software developer.
They don’t want to become Customer Representatives, Product Managers or Marketing Engineers (whatever that means), but software developers.
After all, that’s what bootcamps are selling.
Go to any major bootcamp website and you’ll see it. ‘Become a web developer,’ ‘Use our full-time course as a springboard to a career in web development,’ ‘Become a world-class, entry-level web application developer,’ etc.
But if you ask them what percentage of their graduates are employed as full-time software developers, they won’t give you their numbers.
That is just wrong.
Earlier this week, a group of bootcamps gathered in Austin, Texas to come up with a set of reporting standards to prevent this.
We proposed the following:
- All programs must report their graduation rate and what constitutes a graduate (not only their completion rate).
- All programs must report how many graduates are employed as full-time software developers, and separate other tech-related jobs, and non-full-time forms of employment from this metric.
- All programs must make available the raw data that they used to base their metrics.
- Bootcamps decided that a ‘graduate’ is someone who completes the program within the advertised length, regardless of her/his competencies.
- Bootcamps decided to report software developer and tech-adjacent jobs in a single metric.
- Bootcamps decided to only report the final numbers without making the data available to the public.
We cannot — I cannot — in good conscience adhere to such a low standard.
People are investing their savings, moving away from their families, putting their lives on hold to become software developers.
They deserve better.
That’s why we published our 2015 Student Outcomes Report in full transparency and with our students’ best interest in mind.
You can read it in full and download the raw data here .
Check our numbers, run your own formulas, scrutinize our work.
If you find something that’s not accurate or that we can do better, please call us out.
But most importantly, hold us accountable to our own value proposition: becoming a full-time software developer when you graduate from our program.
That’s the only metric that matters.