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Coding Bootcamps Already 1/8th the Size of CS Undergraduates

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the everybody-code dept.

Programming 92

First time accepted submitter Valejo (689967) writes "According to a study released today by Course Report, programming bootcamps are expected to grow by 2.8x in 2014, meaning that bootcamps will graduate a student for every 8 CS undergraduates. The survey (PDF) also found that 57% of the schools teach in Ruby and that the average tuition is $9,900. The authors collected responses from 95% of US schools, including General Assembly, Dev Bootcamp, and Flatiron School."

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do we need more shitty scripters? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886379)

sick of dumbass kids who don't understand pointers and other basic freshmen year level shit. even a community college grad is better than some ruby bro from a bootcamp.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886403)

yo bro, yo sis a ho, yo.

it's so cold in the D...
----
^ the future culture of coding, so the education system's gotta adapt somehow, hence the bootcamps.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (1)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about 3 months ago | (#46888147)

I'm envisioning a Michael Bay remake of Hackers where everyone has a popped collar and chugs Natty Light. Oh, and Megan Fox will be in it too.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (1)

wyattstorch516 (2624273) | about 3 months ago | (#46891877)

Oh, and Megan Fox will be in it too.

But not the sequel.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886475)

If you're so sick of know-nothing fools, then you don't want most college grads; they have no clue what they're doing either. They are very, very far from being good, intelligent programmers.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886663)

Ah, but they've taken various courses ending in -studies, and are great little foot soldiers for the Community Organizer in Chief.
Also, they know everything there is to know about sex, other than its actual purpose.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 3 months ago | (#46886719)

Indeed. Many of these people will have negative productivity over the life-cycle of what they produce, i.e. not having them would have been better. Programming is not easy and most people cannot learn to do it well. Teaching those without the talent, passion and dedication makes the problem worse.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#46886913)

sick of dumbass kids who don't understand pointers and other basic freshmen year level shit. even a community college grad is better than some ruby bro from a bootcamp.

Stereotype much?

The program at a local Community College for my particular (technical) field is better than those at most 4-year colleges across the country. I know, because I had to research it for some work I was doing.

Second: they teach Ruby because that's what's in demand today.

Having said that: I have not yet seen a "Boot Camp" I would send anybody to. I grant that they will likely not come out with sufficient background to do real professional work.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 3 months ago | (#46887711)

"Second: they teach Ruby because that's what's in demand today."

In demand by whom and where?

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 3 months ago | (#46890035)

I like it. And I think it is a good starting langauge.

You can actually acomplish things quickly with it. And a full OO paradigm for teaching more complex business coding style and organization. I saw "perl and bash scripting" on a job posting today, clearly that could be replaced with ruby.

And python is maintained by nazis

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46890837)

So, you're hiring Ruby programmers then?

Because otherwise the question still stands.

The reason you saw "perl and bash" on a job listing is because that's what's wanted - and not Ruby. For every fifty guys who want to program professionally in ruby there exists less than one job... whereas for perl, it's probably the other way around.

This has nothing to do with the beauty of these languages - perl's dead ugly. It's about utility - perl runs on everything. And perl's already in use on every site, so writing more perl incurs no extra dependencies, while adding additional new languages (especially ones with limited OS support) sure does.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#46891829)

For every fifty guys who want to program professionally in ruby there exists less than one job... whereas for perl, it's probably the other way around.

That's quite an exaggeration. There is currently a shortage of Ruby programmers right now. I know, because I am one, and I have been having to fight off job offers with a stick. (Many of them would give me a significant raise, too, but I don't particularly feel like living in San Francisco, or Palo Alto, or Dallas, or Chicago.)

There ARE lots of Perl jobs. Why? For the simple reason that Perl has been around for a long time. Guess what? When everybody who wanted to move forward was learning to program in C++ or one of the Microsoft languages, there were still a lot of COBOL jobs around, too. So what?

I'm not slamming Perl. You may be aware that a lot of Ruby is based on Perl. BUT, in my opinion, significantly improved.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 3 months ago | (#46897431)

"That's quite an exaggeration. There is currently a shortage of Ruby programmers right now. I know, because I am one, and I have been having to fight off job offers with a stick. (Many of them would give me a significant raise, too, but I don't particularly feel like living in San Francisco, or Palo Alto, or Dallas, or Chicago.) "

I actually agree with you, the problem is that that's true of every language, there's just a programming shortage in general right now (contrary to the old farts who didn't keep with the times and cry and moan that there's no jobs - there are, just not for shit lazy people) and that's why I'm skeptical that people are really looking for Ruby more than anything else right now - certainly I see far less Ruby job adverts than I do .NET and Java. This doesn't mean Ruby developers don't have their pick of jobs, but I believe it simply means that .NET, Java, and C++ developers have an even greater pool to pick from again.

But what this means is that an influx of hundreds of Ruby developers would probably leave Ruby with more developers than jobs, but an influx of .NET, C++, or Java developers would still leave more of those jobs than there are developers.

This is of course just personal opinion, but it's based on having a lot of good recruitment contacts and keeping an eye on the jobs market in many major cities by regularly checking jobs listings, hence why I'm fairly confident that this hunch is correct based on that data.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 3 months ago | (#46894219)

We never hire someone because of an explicit language they know. We hire them for their ability to problem solve, know at least one major language L = { c++ / java / .net / ruby / python }, and their willingness to learn another one as the job needs. We use a lot of advanced frameworks, where 1/2 the work is figuring out the right way to configure everything.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#46891767)

I like it. And I think it is a good starting langauge.

I like it too, and I use it a lot, but I think it is a terrible "starting" language. For a number of reasons.

First, Ruby doesn't teach you theory worth a damn. Its syntax, typing, and certain other features are far too loose.

I strongly suggest that someone's "starting" language should be one that enforces rules: strict static typing, etc.

A schoolmate of mine once said (after a Ruby class): "This is cool! Why didn't we just jump straight to this? Why did we have to waste our time going through all that other crap like Java, and so on?"

My answer was: because those other languages teach you what the rules are. Ruby doesn't. It's easy to break the rules and do something wrong using Ruby. But if you already KNOW what not to do, it's a lot safer to use a language that lets you do things you're not supposed to. And you'll be a lot better at using it.

I started out on BASIC, Fortran, PASCAL, and assembler many years ago. I have experience with most of the more popular languages: C, C++, Delphi, Visual BASIC, .NET, Java, etc. etc. etc. And even PHP. Yuck.

I like Ruby. I intend to keep using it. But I didn't just pick it up and start using it from zero. I know the rules.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46889495)

The program at a local Community College for my particular (technical) field is better than those at most 4-year colleges across the country. I know, because I had to research it for some work I was doing.

I work at podunk state university (formerly a software engineer, now a cluster and supercomputer herder), and we have a computer science program that has a heavy duty software engineering emphasis. Our students walk it backward and forward from computer architecture and compiler design to software proof, verification, and validation, and large scale software engineering projects multiple languages using multiple current technologies under the guidance of a working software engineer. We make a point of showing the relevance of each seemingly disparate course in the big picture (e.g. what they've learned in comp arch and algorithm design mandatorily comes into play in later classes).

Short version: my kids would eviscerate anything you've got.

Second: they teach Ruby because that's what's in demand today.

I should ask 'where' because I have connections both in the Silly Valley and the 128 tech loop in New England and I'm not seeing it. Short version: your tech school is turning out webby script kiddies for business. Understood. We're in different markets.

My point: don't make unsubstantiated claims. I've had tech school and community college kids come in and think they're ahead of the game because they can use Rails (or somebody else's predigested load of horse shit instead of something useful like STL), or even worse yet they're drag and drop code monkeys in Visual Studio who think they're ahead of real comp sci grads because they can tie together somebody else's widgets on day one. The comp sci (and our comp eng and ee) grads take their time over a week or two, figure out the tools, and then do real work.

If you can't handle stats, AT LEAST single variable calculus, a bit of linear and a lot of discrete, I don't want to talk with you in a software engineering context because basically you're just wasting my time. Techie school kids are like a fucking fart in a lantern; boom their utility is gone with the next evolution of computer aided software engineering tools.

If they don't know what Big-0 notation is or have at least heard of IEEE-754 or Gene Amdahl THEN THEY NEED TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY OFFICE.

For the record, Dr Dobbs predicted the rise of the CASE technician (we'd call 'em monkeys now) in the late 70s to early 80s. I started reading Dr Dobbs when I was twelve.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 months ago | (#46887665)

kids who don't understand pointers

There are two things that this can mean: Do they understand the concepts of indirection and aliasing, or do they understand the concept that memory is addressed by numbers? The former is important to pretty much any programming problem, but can be taught in any language that has references (including Ruby, Java, and so on). The latter is only really important to people doing kernel or embedded programming.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (2)

scumdamn (82357) | about 3 months ago | (#46887819)

I don't understand pointers. I mean, I read about them about 15 years ago when I was playing with C and C++ For Dummies but I don't feel like I understand them enough. I also pretty much deal with Javascript when I code and I use JQuery instead of vanilla javascript as well. Does that mean I'm just a shitty scripter?

I mean, I never even went to a bootcamp so I probably know less about scripting than the graduates of said camps even though I've been doing web shit for a few years now. Am I worthless? What if I told you I troubleshoot other people's code and optimize it for them? What if I said I can get shit to work in Internet Explorer when other people can't? Or that I'm building a shopping website now for a decently large company and that I'm stuck using SharePoint 2013 to do it due to management's decisions? Am I still shitty?

Maybe people in bootcamps aren't all Ruby bros. I have a self-development goal that I have to meet and I might consider some BS like a bootcamp if I can't just claim all the on the job learning I do. Maybe people who know something about the web or coding take these bootcamps because they want to learn the language better. It seems elitist to call anybody who takes those classes a shitty scripter or a dumbass kid. I'm definitely not a kid and I don't think I'm terribly shitty. I think I come up with novel solutions that work.

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888247)

Yes, I'm afraid it does.

Signs point to yes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46889389)

I'm afraid indeed, yes. Really I can't understand how anyone can program in most languages and not understand pointers.

Even in garbage collected languages, it comes up with relative frequency. Not just from interfacing with something outside XYZ language either. There are fundamental issues you'll run into even in JavaScript if you don't "get" pointers. I'd go as far as to argue there are few things that apply to more types of programming jobs than understanding how memory works, memory layouts, and so on. On some architectures you pretty much can't program effectively without knowing that regardless of language (Console/Game Dev comes to mind, even with something like C#).

Re:do we need more shitty scripters? (1)

Hevel-Varik (2700923) | about 3 months ago | (#46892151)

Excellent comment. So basically you learn what you need to get the job done. When you will need to understand pointers, you will learn pointers.

There needs to be some kind of badges system (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 months ago | (#46886387)

The makes all the certs, non degree classes, boot camps and more add to something. Also can help so people can take classes and have some thing other then a theory loaded 2-4-6+ year piece of paper with big sides of fluff and filler.

Re:There needs to be some kind of badges system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886417)

If you are taking "a theory loaded 2-4-6+ year piece of paper with big sides of fluff and filler" degree to learn a programming language you are doing it wrong.

Re:There needs to be some kind of badges system (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886487)

All of what you call "fluff and filler" is what makes someone well-rounded and more than just a clueless brogrammer. We need more people writing software that actually have a good grasp of algorithms, data structures, etc. Not just more clueless fuckwit scripters.

Clueless fuckwit scripters. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886655)

How far have you advanced from the material taught by Donald Knuth in "The Art of Computer Programming?"

If we use Donald Knuth's material as a baseline, then most of us are clueless code monkeys.

Re:Clueless fuckwit scripters. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#46887239)

If we use Donald Knuth's material as a baseline, then most of us are clueless code monkeys.

Appeal to consequences much? ;-) Of course we are!

Re:Clueless fuckwit scripters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46952289)

K. S. Kyosuke: You've been called out (for tossing names) & you ran "forrest" from a fair challenge http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Re:Clueless fuckwit scripters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888119)

Yes, most of us can't touch Knuth's greatness with a 50 ft pole. That doesn't mean we should accept gross incompetence in the people writing our software systems.

Re:There needs to be some kind of badges system (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886689)

The makes all the certs, non degree classes, boot camps and more add to something. Also can help so people can take classes and have some thing other then a theory loaded 2-4-6+ year piece of paper with big sides of fluff and filler.

Get a better job, lad. I'm paid immensely well for making use of the CS theory I learned, not to mention the "fluff and filler".

Re:There needs to be some kind of badges system (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#46886949)

Good luck with that. (Not really... I hope you have no luck with that at all.)

The moment you start "certifying" programmers is the moment you start watering down the quality of the workers.

Industries will start building around the "certification" process, just like they did with MCSE for example. They'll start charging ridiculous rate for shitty schools that promise to get you your "certificate". Then companies will hire the "certified" at inflated rates that don't reflect the "certified" person's actual lack of skill and background.

Certification programs for things, especially in fast-moving industries, have seldom done any good and have often done LOTS of harm. (While, admittedly, a few people and companies who exploit the process may get rich.)

Fuck you Joe Dragon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888239)

Fucking autust, shut up about your worthless trade "education"

Re:There needs to be some kind of badges system (1)

greg1104 (461138) | about 3 months ago | (#46889295)

We don't need no stinkin' badges.

Re:There needs to be some kind of badges system (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 months ago | (#46889435)

Does understanding the difference between "then" and "than" constitute fluff and filler?

Re:There needs to be some kind of badges system (1)

jasonla (211640) | about 3 months ago | (#46895047)

I can barely make sense of what this person is saying. Did you attend a bootcamp for sentence structure, punctuation and grammar?

This needs to die (3, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | about 3 months ago | (#46886409)

1. Programming can't be learned in a few weeks. You need the freedom to play with it. To experiment. Boot Camp doesn't exactly inspire that.

I do believe you can be marketable within a year though.

2. This is about selling papers, certs. Just like colleges are most just about selling diplomas now.

3. What you learn there, you can learn online, for free.

Of course, you won't learn collaboration and all that (except on soureforge or someplace) but not really at a bootcamp either. That's what a job is for.

4. Pumping these students out suggests there will be soon a glut in the market. There is only so much software needed in the world. Other than games, there isn't the same demand for big, constant changes (maintenance and adhering to law changes notwithstanding) in all markets. Not that a bootcamp gives one the experience to touch old/big/production systems anyway.

5. This will end badly.

How not inspired? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 months ago | (#46886481)

Programming can't be learned in a few weeks. You need the freedom to play with it. To experiment. Boot Camp doesn't exactly inspire that.

I agree with that statement, but how do bootcamps not inspire that?

I would think they would have that effect, they would get you over the hump of starting in any new language to the point where experimenting was fun and not a painful fight with the language/tooling.

Programming can't be learned in a few weeks. You need the freedom to play with it. To experiment. Boot Camp doesn't exactly inspire that.

Some of it probably is but it seems like at least a few of the courses would be actually valuable.

Re:How not inspired? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 3 months ago | (#46886613)

I agree with that statement, but how do bootcamps not inspire that?

Mostly because the time involve (8-12 weeks) means that they will push a ton of hours and a lot of milestones. They'll have a lot of assignments to grade the student on. It's going to be very structured.

It's like cramming for the SATs or something. Someone can do it and score highly, but do they truly learn much from the exercise?

Play/Experimentation for the beginner has to be unstructured in a fashion. Without pressing time constraints or milestones. Like kids on a playground.

I remember learning C from C in 21 Days. I did all the assignments but I truly never played with the language until that was well behind me. At that point, I was making timid tests with my foot in the waters of the language to see how the ripples react, not diving in.

All I'm saying is they are taking a Ruby in 21 days course or what not and paying way too much for it.

Re:How not inspired? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 months ago | (#46886893)

All I'm saying is they are taking a Ruby in 21 days course or what not and paying way too much for it.

How many people never finish those 21 days things though? They may seem to be paying too much for what you could do for free, but part of the reason to pay at all is to have someone forcing you to proceed until you can get into it.

That's also a cheap price to find out if you like programming for real before you go all in.

Re:How not inspired? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 3 months ago | (#46887815)

I agree with that statement, but how do bootcamps not inspire that?

Mostly because the time involve (8-12 weeks) means that they will push a ton of hours and a lot of milestones. They'll have a lot of assignments to grade the student on. It's going to be very structured.

It's like cramming for the SATs or something. Someone can do it and score highly, but do they truly learn much from the exercise?

Play/Experimentation for the beginner has to be unstructured in a fashion. Without pressing time constraints or milestones. Like kids on a playground.

I remember learning C from C in 21 Days. I did all the assignments but I truly never played with the language until that was well behind me. At that point, I was making timid tests with my foot in the waters of the language to see how the ripples react, not diving in.

All I'm saying is they are taking a Ruby in 21 days course or what not and paying way too much for it.

This is structured because the program should be focused on those who can engage a very analytical mindset (to program) within a structured environment (i.e. your next office job and schedule), using that to weed non-programmers out.

What a 12-week program should not be is advertising that you will "graduate" with any sort of "degree" certifying you as a programmer, in which you can then flash like some kind of badge purporting you're now a "professional" in the field.

Let's put it this way. If you took a 12-week course in French never speaking that language before, you sure as hell wouldn't be stepping out of that course and applying for a consulate job as a translator. The beauty of verbal languages is your skill becomes rather obvious within a few minutes of conversation. Not so much with programming.

Re:This needs to die (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 3 months ago | (#46886563)

1. Programming can't be learned in a few weeks.

First you have to define programming. FTFA it appears most of the bootcamp is aimed at web development. While you can't learn to do "serious" development in a few weeks, you CAN learn how to create basic functionality to implement dynamic websites.

Additionally, the fact that the average is 10 weeks makes me wonder what's in the pool. Presumably some courses may be much longer (like 6 months) and in that time you CAN cram most of the comp sci related courses in an associate degree if you work hard enough.

This whole story is a sensationalist slashvertisement. Web development now (as ten years ago) is quite appealing for people because you can make a decent buck working from home doing something you can essentially teach yourself (if you can get the business).

Re:This needs to die (1)

narcc (412956) | about 3 months ago | (#46887421)

We're talking about programming. There are just a few basic concepts. Surely, that can be taught in a few weeks. The rest is just details.

Re:This needs to die (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46889799)

We're talking about programming. There are just a few basic concepts. Surely, that can be taught in a few weeks. The rest is just details.

Thus this must apply to to Mathematics even more. And in Math, you only have need to know logic and given axioms, you can derive all of math. Shouldn't take more than a day?

Re:This needs to die (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 3 months ago | (#46886579)

Tl;Dr You are claiming this will be ineffective, but effective enough to create an employment glut. That shows you really do not have a solid grasp on why you object, and just cobbled some reasons together. You should decide what is really bothering you, and hit with that, because your arguments will be much more solid.

1. I learned quick basic and Pascal by seeing what my brother typed to start it, and experimented from there. If they do slightly more in these camps, it is truly a boot camp and it serves the purpose. If they are willing to pay, the camp does not need to inspire.

2. No objection

3. If they are the type to learn from the internet, they probably would. But these people need a bit more hand holding. Just deciding what is worthwhile, and which language to start with, should be a 20 minute conversation with someone who knows about coding. But this person does not have, or does not like, that expert.

4. The glut will be in entry level tech support and basic office automation. They will not hold a code from scratch job beyond what HR needs to declare them firable. Everyone getting their panties in a bunch now will have no issues, because only a small number of people with the knack for code and tolerate being at a screen 8 hours a day will enter the industry this way.

5. No more so than for profit education in any other area, and this is explicitly short term, no credits. And if colleges are basically just selling diplomas, I'm way more concerned about that, and these camps just fell off the radar.

My only objection is they are selling class time that the audience is too ignorant to understand is nowhere near worth what it costs. In every other way, it fills a void that modern first world societies tend to develop, where people who need personal contact but don't know one in their social circles, or have someone who lives too far away, acan get that jump start.

Re:This needs to die (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 3 months ago | (#46886661)

Of course I'm saying it will make a glut in low level script writers.

Just like a thousand real bootcamps would create a glut of grunts during peacetime but not impact the market for generals.

Re:This needs to die (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886639)

Some of us do better in a structured environment. Bootcamps provide that. They also provide guidance from a human who you don't have to worry about bothering.

I'm not saying bootcamps are just as good as a CS degree, but they have a place.

Re:This needs to die (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 3 months ago | (#46886649)

1. Programming can't be learned in a few weeks. You need the freedom to play with it.

Exactly, you need to play with with it. But what a bootcamp could potentially do is give the beginner the skills and confidence to start playing with it. A well-run intro course would teach the students how to teach themselves.

Re: This needs to die (1)

backslashdot (95548) | about 3 months ago | (#46886679)

Most programmers get hired to write boring business logic stuff. Not to design games, drivers, or kernels. You can weed out anyone who doesn't know real programming quite easily when hiring for those roles. It won't create a glut in the market, rather it will expand the market.

Re:This needs to die (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886797)

There is only so much software needed in the world.

and there's zero need for Ruby scripts.

hmm, interesting... (1)

jopsen (885607) | about 3 months ago | (#46886987)

4. Pumping these students out suggests there will be soon a glut in the market. There is only so much software needed in the world.

Hmm... We'll see. Imagine what would happen if you hired secretaries who could code. I'm not saying CS graduates as secretaries.
But people who can write some horribly ugly and unmaintainable php/mysql applications.
There are so many work processes that could be automated. And the current manual implementation of these processes is so buggy, that a poor software implementation would likely be better..
Maybe it's okay to write software that solves the job here and now... And that you don't try to maintain :)


You can't build giant core products like this. But you can make many useful tools, very fast, very cheap, and enhance productivity of your organization.

I think there is a big market for shitty code that solves problems. Today many processes aren't digitized, because it's too expensive.

Re: hmm, interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888191)

This is the problem that faced with Office, particularly in Excel and Access. You wind up with an accountant that knows some basic coding that creates something that's mission critical. Then they end up leaving and this now critical piece is a nightmare to maintain.

I'm working with a client who purchased a webapp someone developed for themselves. It's a PHP application, where each new user of the site gets their own database. So you know have several hundred databases rather than just using foreign keys. Being able to write so code is handy, but not everything should go into production.

Re: hmm, interesting... (1)

jopsen (885607) | about 3 months ago | (#46894533)

Then they end up leaving and this now critical piece is a nightmare to maintain.

I'm not saying that this is the solution for everything. But it's a hammer that could be used more often than it is...
Specifically, I'm saying that when it becomes a monster, you just let it crash, burn and die...

I see let's of office people maintaining semi-critical client lists in excel... They would be a lot better of hacking up something ugly in access, php, asp3, ruby or whatever. Even if it crashes and burns some day... Their excel spreadsheet is slow to use (because it's all manual) and easy to mess up, it'll crash and burn all the time.

I'm not suggestion that things now implemented as nice solutions should be hacked... But that things currently implemented as stupid manual processes ought to be hacked.

Re:This needs to die (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46887047)

Just a guess, but #4 is probably the thing that annoys you most. You go from "OMG you can't teach coding in a few weeks!" to "Stay away from my gravy train!" and "It will end badly." You don't explain what bad means, but I'm guessing you're concerned about your own paycheck.

The problem there, as I see it, is our system of markets is sub-optimal to the human condition. We want to explore and express. Far too often that desire is subverted to protect someone else's golden goose. The notion of markets only helps that repression propogate. I digress.

No one is saying these camps are intended to turn out genius coders. That's an absurd suggestion. It will turn out folks that can get entry level gigs. It will produce folks that play and explore on their own time and after the course ends. For many folks picking up the skill isn't as easy as hopping on YouTube and learning about algorithms in a handful of ameteur videos. Studies have shown we learn better when we have someone at our side coaching us.

TL;DR Get off your high horse.

Re:This needs to die (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 3 months ago | (#46887325)

2. This is about selling papers, certs. Just like colleges are most just about selling diplomas now.

3. What you learn there, you can learn online, for free.

Kinda answered your own question there. Yes, you can learn programming online for free. But being self-taught is generally worth shit on the job market. Unless you have the piece of paper saying you spent thousands of dollars to learn something, people don't believe you know it.

Re:This needs to die (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 3 months ago | (#46887779)

1. Programming can't be learned in a few weeks. You need the freedom to play with it. To experiment. Boot Camp doesn't exactly inspire that.

Agreed. I also believe it takes a certain kind of mindset and natural analytical thinking ability to do the job naturally.

I do believe you can be marketable within a year though.

Marketable to who? Other people with the same degree hanging on their wall, using it as merely a stepping stone? Does the market really need more pseudo-programmers?

2. This is about selling papers, certs. Just like colleges are most just about selling diplomas now.

In the 90s, it was about "paper MCSEs" then, which the acronym quickly morphed into Must Consult Someone Experienced.

3. What you learn there, you can learn online, for free.

And this fact is somehow different for every single other computer class taught by Microsoft or Cisco? Pfft, hardly. The only thing that has really changed to make that even easier these days is YouTube.

...There is only so much software needed in the world. Other than games, there isn't the same demand for big, constant changes (maintenance and adhering to law changes notwithstanding) in all markets. Not that a bootcamp gives one the experience to touch old/big/production systems anyway.

A year ago I was running the "latest" version of my browser. That was 20 versions ago, which used to take years to release. Look at the languages taught today. Did they even exist 10 years ago? To say there is little change is rather foolish. We are certainly not going to have companies supporting desktop OS systems for over a decade anymore.

5. This will end badly.

Most likely.

Re:This needs to die (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888675)

If it means a glut of incompetent Ruby scripters that will continue to demonstrate what shitty language Ruby is and give it a bad name, I'm all for it. Ruby is the new VB Script. It needs to die a horrible burning death.

Re:This needs to die - really? (1)

Brandon Croke (3638879) | about 3 months ago | (#46895001)

Rolfwind, I'm curious how many programming bootcamps you have visited and how many student code reviews you've done? We'd invite you to come to any of our Dev Bootcamp locations to see our students final projects. Not only do they know how to code, but they know how to TDD, pair, present and work on a team like no other. Nobody is done learning how to code after our 18 week program, but they have a strong enough foundation and enough heart to be valuable and contribute to develop teams on day 1. Hope you take us up on the offer :)

Re:This needs to die (1)

Eric Wise (3521651) | about 3 months ago | (#46895141)

Given that I run a bootcamp, allow me to respond:

1. Programming can't be learned in a few weeks. You need the freedom to play with it. To experiment. Boot Camp doesn't exactly inspire that.

Programming can be learned quickly if you have the mindset for it. We test students for aptitude before admitting them to our program (about half fail the entry exam). Given that your average 16 week college class meets 3 hours per week that's 48 hours of classroom time. We spend 700 hours in my particular program, which is plenty of time to learn the foundations of programming.

2. This is about selling papers, certs. Just like colleges are most just about selling diplomas now.

Actually what we sell is a guided curriculum where you can learn alongside your peers. Some other camps give the appearance of this, but in our camp you don't get to teach here unless you are an industry professional with 10 years of experience. You are paying for a very small class size and having access to an industry professional to guide you in the methods of professional coding on demand.

3. What you learn there, you can learn online, for free.

Of course, you won't learn collaboration and all that (except on soureforge or someplace) but not really at a bootcamp either. That's what a job is for.

Considering we do projects in teams throughout our camp (and nearly every camp I know of operates similarly) you have no basis for this statement and it shows ignorance of the industry. You can certainly learn everything for free on line, not just about programming. The issue with self learning is that for the novice it is near impossible to put together an order for learning things and near impossible to filter out good advice from bad, or even know what terms to search for to solve your issue. A mentored curriculum solves that problem. Being surrounded by others learning like you and doing project work teaches collaboration.

4. Pumping these students out suggests there will be soon a glut in the market. There is only so much software needed in the world. Other than games, there isn't the same demand for big, constant changes (maintenance and adhering to law changes notwithstanding) in all markets. Not that a bootcamp gives one the experience to touch old/big/production systems anyway.

The BLS predicts a need for 1.4 million jobs in 2020. In the next 6 years computer degrees will put out 400k graduates. That's a shortfall of 1 million. Bootcamps are putting out 5k a year. Don't worry, your market will be just fine. Also, I would point out that my particular camp spends a lot of time on fundamentals, the same fundamentals you learn in CS. Our graduates have earned jobs in languages they didn't learn here, which shows their versatility and the strength of our program.

5. This will end badly.

Our typical student has a bachelors degree or better. The test on our aptitude test higher than comp sci students we have tested to get in. We have a 90+% placement rate. Are you suggesting that someone with a master's in bio-engineering is incapable of becoming a competent entry level programmer with 700 hours of focused learning? Let me clue you in, comp sci does not make you special. It also doesn't make you a good programmer. If you're logical, a good problem solver, and you have perseverance you can provide value just fine.

DeVry 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886411)

DeVry 2.0. Sad.

Ruby != computer science (5, Informative)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 3 months ago | (#46886421)

There is the ability to write scripts. And there is understanding of the field of computer science. The first is a miniscule subset of the second.

There are jobs where people only need the subset of skills needed to write scripts. There are jobs where scripting is the main task but a knowledge of theory is useful. And there are jobs where the 'science' aspect of computer science is critical.

Re:Ruby != computer science (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886721)

You can learn "computer science" with ruby without a problem. It's not the language but what you do with it. Ruby can be used for everything from scripting to teaching advanced data structures, parsing, algorithm design and more.

Re:Ruby != computer science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888759)

It is not uncommon for a seasoned developer with adequate schooling to take a boot camp just to learn a new language. If a senior developer with solid C++ skills goes to a new project where the base is predominantly Java, the developer may take a boot camp to learn Java. The boot camp does not replace any of his previous skills and he would probably be unworthy of the new position without those previous skills. The boot camp is not something that will replace a college degree.

. . and there is no difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886453)

Neither can code anything useful.

Repeat After Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886529)

Computer Science is NOT a programming degree....

bootcamps (4, Informative)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 3 months ago | (#46886631)

The last contract I had I walked into the "star" programmer using hidden text files to store data on client machines.

It took over two weeks to prove to him that SQL could store the data without errors.

People who are tossed into a learning environment for a month or two can't program their way out of a wet paper sack, let alone analyze and create tested solutions for a business.

But businesses will get what they pay for. If they want someone who can do a web page without a real back end (that's secure and actually usable) will end up paying the price.

It's good business for me. I can charge 4 years salary (of the bootcamp idiot) for six months worth of work to fix boot camp idiots work.

Re:bootcamps (3, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 3 months ago | (#46886733)

Indeed. Some companies are wisening up and start to pay real money for really good coders. Most do not get it and still think that the cheaper idiot is actually more productive per monetary unit paid. Quite often these people have _negative_ productivity.

Re:bootcamps (1)

ausekilis (1513635) | about 3 months ago | (#46888151)

In my mind it starts with hiring managers using correct terminology. Do a search for "software engineer" or "computer scientist" on LinkedIn or any other job site, and see how many web developer and database admin jobs show up. This isn't to belittle all web development, since some can get pretty creative in their optimizations (the "science" part of CS), but many simply have HTML and Javascript as requirements.

Once managers begin to understand the skill set they actually need and start asking the right questions, things will start looking better.

Re:bootcamps (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 months ago | (#46887857)

It took over two weeks to prove to him that SQL could store the data without errors.

How can a query language store data? A database that you talk to via SQL might be able to, but the language itself? Not so much.

Re:bootcamps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888965)

Woe. Someone left the pedant slippers next to your bed this morning.

Databases don't store data either. Disks do.

Re:bootcamps (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 3 months ago | (#46896741)

Thank you. I didn't realize I had to define RDBMS when I referred to SQL - as I had to help the novice in t-sql (transact structured query language that has some microsoft bits that don't work in the other RDBMS flavors) which is tied to MSSQL.which he had no Idea that the backend to the access/mssql platform the internal apps referred to (which is a nightmare in itself as the programmer who wrote that crap had three access databases running most of the data storage instead of porting all of it to MSSQl).

I was under the impression that it's often easier to just refer to SQL when real techs talk. (we pronounce it "see-quell")

I can go into how I built an external server for customer data and linked it to the internal server to keep financial data secure (without using MSSQL linked servers) but that would get into actual programming. Something that bootcamp devs can't do.

But we also need more doctors and surgeons. (1)

enigmatic (122657) | about 3 months ago | (#46886713)

Why not a med camp.
Where you can really get to know what you need in a few weeks.
Plus you the costs compared to medical school would be a lot cheaper.

Ok so maybe they cant teach you all about anatomy and neurons and everything, but
few doctors need that.

If we can teach them for instance heart surgery, or general medical things like a GP would see
that would be more than good enough.

Re:But we also need more doctors and surgeons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46887147)

I know this was meant sarcastically to prove a point, but it would actually be true in some cases(not surgery). The reason we don't do this in medicine is because of stricter regulation and good foresight by the community of medical professionals. The truth is, engineering and software development aren't nearly as regulated, hence employers can more easily get away with hiring anyone who can do the job instead of those with a formal education. The graduate pipeline for C.S. or engineering is also much less constricted, all of this causes a much larger supply. There are many brilliant people on this earth, there are plenty of people who could probably challenge the exams in any field in a fraction of the study time an average graduate in that field takes. The better paying professions keep this from actually happening, and it's an easier task to accomplish when you have health, or child safety as an argument for stringent regulation. I went back to school and obtained an MB ChB(British version of an M.D.) after getting a joint mathematics and C.S. degree mostly due to the above reasons.

Ruby? (1)

Animats (122034) | about 3 months ago | (#46886843)

This isn't teaching computer science. This is teaching web site business logic implementation. That's a useful skill, but somewhat specialized.

Re:Ruby? (0)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 months ago | (#46887683)

I would say that Ruby is being used because it's seen as hip and cool. If they really wanted people to be able to get jobs, they would be teaching ASP.net, Java, or even old school ASP. There's tons of jobs maintaining old code in these languages. Ruby doesn't even come close to having a big market share.

If it works so well, why is it just CS? (4, Insightful)

moderators_are_w*nke (571920) | about 3 months ago | (#46887155)

Why are there no civil engineering boot camps? I'm looking forward to driving over a bridge designed by someone who learned engineering on a boot camp. How could that possibly go wrong?

Re:If it works so well, why is it just CS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46887841)

Pretty sure you can't design a bridge unless you pass your state's professional engineering test. If someone who went to a bootcamp can pass that test, more power to them.

Re:If it works so well, why is it just CS? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 3 months ago | (#46890433)

Why are there no civil engineering boot camps? I'm looking forward to driving over a bridge designed by someone who learned engineering on a boot camp. How could that possibly go wrong?

Because a programming boot camp does not teach a profession, it teaches a trade.

And there are plenty of "boot camps" for teaching trades - welding, plumbing, carpentry, etc. They won't make you accredited, but it means you can do light work at home, for example. Hell, Home Depot and many other companies offer them, often for free.

We need to realize that programming is a trade. We've known it all along, because we typically call programmers "code monkeys" - that's all they do - put bits of code one after the other.

There's also the engineering part, or rather the software professional. These people are the ones that take problems and generate solutions - designing the blocks that get handed to the programmers to implement. The software architects, the engineers, analysts, etc.

The real problem is language ambiguity - we call "computer programmers" when they really encompass a trade, a profession, and a science, when really it's the programmer that's the tradesman, the engineer the profession, and the scientist the science.

Re:If it works so well, why is it just CS? (1)

XPhiNermal (91739) | about 3 months ago | (#46890483)

My local community college offers a welding certificate that requires 14 credit hours of coursework: http://www.waketech.edu/progra... [waketech.edu] . That bridge you're driving over required both PEs and community college welding certificate holders to bring into existence.

I earned a BS in CS, and it has served me well. But there is also a need in IT for tradespeople: individuals who can just bang out a simple data-driven website, or glue a couple systems together with a script. These coding bootcamps can help with that. They also offer an opportunity for folks without the means, aptitude, or desire to get a four-year degree in computer science to work productively in IT. I can't see where that's a bad thing.

Re: If it works so well, why is it just CS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46891501)

Its bad because it isnt how they did it and it scares them. Bootcamps dont produce top notch coders. Neither do cs degrees. But what they so is help you get a foot in the door. If you get the job and stop learning then sure thats a problem. But you dont stop learning, you learn everyday. Im week 8 of 9 at a bootcamp, and i can solve most every problem throen at me for web development. The fact is that you dont do a bunch of pointers and kernal optimizations as a web developer, and the fact that in 9 weeks i can walk away with hundreds of hours of programming experience scares people who went to uni to do the same.

Re: If it works so well, why is it just CS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46915893)

What about the math? I may not have a CS degree, but I do have a math degree, and I'm pretty sure college-level degrees for CS involve some higher-level mathematics, such as numerical analysis. Think rounding errors. Maybe I'm wrong.

Bootcamps 1/8 the size of undergraduates... (4, Funny)

flopsquad (3518045) | about 3 months ago | (#46887383)

What is this? A bootcamp for ants? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to code if they can't even fit inside the bootcamp? I don't wanna hear your excuses! The bootcamp has to be at least... eight times bigger than this!

Re:Bootcamps 1/8 the size of undergraduates... (1)

greg1104 (461138) | about 3 months ago | (#46889329)

The ruby hipsters have to stay very small to fit in their skinny jeans. It should surprise no one they are only 1/8 the size of someone in the neckbeard community.

Coding Bootcamps != CS (1)

RocketSW (1447313) | about 3 months ago | (#46887905)

Do coding Bootcamps teach calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, logic, etc? I don't think so! It's like comparing an auto mechanic school to mechanical engineering.

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46887931)

Some of you guys sound like a bunch of elitist pricks.

Re:wow (1)

greg1104 (461138) | about 3 months ago | (#46889349)

Ah, the tired refrain of the underachiever: everyone who has high standards is an elitist.

Stealing Money (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 3 months ago | (#46888683)

thats really what this is. 10 weeks for 10K? And that gets you exactly what? Some rudimentary Ruby? A typical (and reasonably good) CS program requires classes like these (with credit hours):
        Fundamentals of Programming 2
        Programming and Data Structures 3
        Systems Software 4
        Technical Presentation 1
        Computer Organization and Architecture 3
        Software Engineering 3
        Discrete Structures 3
        Programming Languages 3
        Operating System Design 3
        Introduction to the Theory of Computation 3
        Design and Analysis of Algorithms 3
        Senior Project 3

                Electives in CS 12


Note that does not include any of the math req's or basic "well rounded" college stuff. Is that more than you need to know to do simple scripting? Yes. Does it mean you probably have a clue once you graduate? Yes. I'll admit to thinking that the cost of college these days is out of whack but the reasons for that are not relevant. The bottom line is the depth and experience you gain in completing a program like above can't be compared to 'bootcamps'.

And yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888783)

We have been hiring for some 3 months now, and almost every candidate who comes in with a bootcamp background and little-to-no experience is resoundingly underwhelming. They have cursory knowledge of a FotM programming language (like Ruby), very limited knowledge of data structures and algorithms, and a tenuous grasp of core concepts of the field (we do mostly web development). Basically, if you come out of a bootcamp you're going to end up at a huge enterprise where quantity matters more than quality with regard to junior-level developers or get into a start-up working 80 hours a week.

is "coding" for trade schools? (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 3 months ago | (#46888865)

Back in 1970s thereabouts computer programming was mainly considered trade school training. MIT resisted offering it as a major or even practical courses.

This is cool! (1)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 3 months ago | (#46889165)

Why are we comparing coding bootcamps and CS undergraduate enrollment? There is very little overlap here. Apples and Oranges.

Seriously people, if you didn't get a CS or CompE degree take it from someone who has: you don't really learn to program in college. You don't. Most engineering disciplines take a CS101 intro to programming where you may learn the basics of Java, you might make some really basic programs where no one will teach you style, design, code reusability, architecture, anything. If you click run in netbeans and some numbers spit out in your output window you get a passing grade. Thats it. For the rest of your college career you are on your own. Most people graduating with CS or CompE degrees can't program professionally, but they have the tools to learn from others and teach themselves. From my experience in about 3 months with someone willing to be a sort of mentor/teacher they can stand on their own professionally.

So now that we understand that you don't learn "coding" in a CS or CompE curriculum, I am again asking: why are we comparing CS and boot camp enrollment? The headline insinuates that they are similar when they are very very different.

Now a message to practitioners (this may only apply in the embedded world, nomenclature varies drastically between embedded, desktop, web development):

Software Engineers: people coming out of bootcamps aren't going to take your job! You have to know this.

Programmers/Coders/Keyboard-Fu artists: well these people are going to compete with you for your job but I'm guessing you don't have a CS or CompE degree, and if you do explain to your boss that you can do software engineering and you're not just a human input machine turning someone's designs into code. If you are you never had a lot of job security anyways. (I personally don't believe in the "Engineer makes the architecture, coder implements the design" pattern, I and many much smarter and more experienced people insist that the designer/architect must code).

There is a lot of negativity around here directed towards the boot camps. I was sceptical too at first, but the more I thought about it the more I feel like these boot camps are very similar to community colleges. Unfortunately there are companies who insist that software engineers should make UML diagrams all day and then hand everything off to some poor sap that has to decipher incoherent nonsense and make a functioning piece of software. Thats where these bootcamp people fit in.

There are small businesses that need someone to write a basic shopping cart module for their website. Perfect for a boot camp graduate.
There are professionals and business owners who really want to learn how to do basic coding but don't know how to teach themselves, they are perfect candidates for boot camps.

If you think you are going to have a 35 year career with just a boot camp certificate alone you may want to rethink that strategy. Otherwise these things aren't bad.

Whoa, nelly: "average tuition is $9,900" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46889611)

I am astounded that people have $9.9k to blow on one of these worthless courses. Where do they get the money? After Richie Rich signs up for this course, who is left that can afford it?

You could blow $1500 on a MacBookPro, buy a $50 O'Reilly book, download a Ruby interpreter, and still have money left over.

(Hey, wait, Ruby? What happened to Python?)

Re:Whoa, nelly: "average tuition is $9,900" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46894659)

MacBook? Pshaw. Buy a Dell/Acer slim desktop for $330 (with a dual-core Pentium). More than enough to experiment with any basic scripting language. Or get a $200 Chromebook and install Ubuntu. Both options are far cheaper than the $1000 POS Compaq I got started with 17 years ago (to be fair, the Compaq came with a monitor, but you can use an HDTV for that these days).

A $1500 desktop could render 3D objects/movies (as in making objects for a game). Course, I'd probably just use it for games...

I used some books to learn programming, some Microsoft learning software, as well as some free online stuff (and once taking the plunge to go all Linux on a desktop computer). You could do some Bash scripting with Cygwin. Or run a virtual machine.

My community college charged about $3000 for two full semesters (a.k.a. one year) of C.S. courses. These boot camps are just rip-offs.

Holy crap! $9900???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46889665)

Buy yourself some simple kit like the Raspberry Pi. Get some books, play around, and build competence until you feel worthy of contributing to some Open Source projects. We literally hired a guy based on his BSD contribs one time. That's all I remember about the hiring decision. Of course he turned out to be a good hire. I have no idea where he went to school.

If somebody paid $9900 for that crap, I'd question their judgement.

It can be done (1)

Hevel-Varik (2700923) | about 3 months ago | (#46892247)

Been self learning for years and could save an aspiring newbie tons of time suggesting appropriate books and subject sequence. At the end of the day, nobody will come out ready for the job market from a boot camp, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if a good boot camp could shave a significant multiple of its time off the process.
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