The big lie about coding bootcamps is that anyone can become a professional software developer in 12 weeks. There’s a reason why bootcamps are very careful to vet their candidates before admitting them, because not anyone has the aptitude or attitude for it. What’s the admittance rate? Less than 10 per cent?

And yet, every day thousands flock to bootcamps in the hope of striking it rich in this new Gold Rush. Bootcamps are selling an unrealistic dream.

An even bigger lie is that a bootcamp can teach anything more than the basics of programming in 12 weeks. I am extremely wary of these immersion programs. They try to cram years of programming experience into a few months. When you graduate, you’re supposed to be ready to work as a professional software developer? Hogwash!

Cramming doesn’t work. A few months are not nearly enough time for the human brain to internalize all the lessons learned in the course of practicing exercises and programming projects. After 12 weeks of intensive training, you will still be little more than a beginner. You will still only know the basics of programming.

In all likelihood, if the bootcamp manages to place you somewhere, you’ll have to gain real programming experience on the job. The employer will have to cut you some slack for not carrying your own weight. If that’s the case, what was the point of all that cramming that didn’t take? What a colossal waste of time and $15,000!

That’s the con job. Bootcamps promise all of this training experience and employers buy into the crap. That’s how they get their high placement rates. But the real question I have is: how many of those bootcamp grads survive the first 6 months on the job when more experienced developers on the team have to look over their shoulders to make sure they didn’t screw up?

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