Dev Bootcamp is Finished!

The last blog post I wrote about development was saying how I would keep everyone updated on my DBC experience while I was going through it. Ooops. That clearly didn’t happen. The reason being, I was just too busy and too exhausted.

Dev Bootcamp is a grind. It’s not just the 9 weeks of intensive in classroom learning, but the 12 weeks before in phase 0 also take its toll.

Here are some of the positives and negatives of DevBootcamp from my perspective. Everyone has their own opinions and thoughts, and the experience is different for each person, so remember, since this is my blog, these are just my thoughts.

Positives:

  • I learned a lot.
  • I would now call myself a junior level developer in Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, Javascript, JQuery, HTML, and CSS and working with APIs. I am confident I can build almost anything.
  • I experienced stressful, pressure situations, similar, if not more exaggerated than the real world.
  • I now am very confident in my abilities.
  • I know that I can be given a project, seemingly having no idea how to complete it, and learn enough to get it done.
  • I learned many best practices, such as testing my code, using single responsibility in my functions/methods, writing modular code, the MVC design pattern.
  • I know how to write Object Oriented code.
  • My code is much cleaner now than when I was writing ridiculously long php functions, without classes for my GPC.tylerstauss.com site.
  • I met some great people, especially most of my classmates.
  • I learned why some of the things I was doing before hand actually works.
  • I learned some solid technical jargon.

Negatives:

  • DBC is not as organized as it should be.
  • With each student paying $12,000+, I expected more.
  • There were many times when our class didn’t have enough computers, mice, or keyboards to do our work. We had 27 people in our class, apparently the largest class yet. The DBC organizers knew we had this many and should have planned better to have desk space, computers and everything set up.
  • The quality of the teachers varied greatly. There were some teachers who were rock stars, who were willing and able to answer and help and gave great lectures. There were others who seemed disinterested, who left immediately at the end of organized day and weren’t willing to help. For $12k over 9 weeks, I expected more.
  • I expected the teachers and the school to make it about the students more. One tiny example that really bothered me. Every 3 weeks we would have pizza when the new class started. The teachers always seemed to be the first one in line loading their plates. Not a big deal except that the first 2 times we ran out of pizza before everyone got some. The same thing would happen at the graduation lunch. Its a little thing, unimportant in the grand scheme of things, that just bothered me.
  • There were many times when we would be struggling with something and would ask the teachers for help and they wouldn’t help, saying they wanted us to struggle. One time specifically they told us to struggle and also told us the internet wasn’t a good resource to solve this particular project. That is really frustrating. I learn best by seeing something done, just one time, and then applying it myself.
  • We waste an inordinate amount of time on things unrelated to coding. Whether its engineering empathy, breaks, useless stand-ups (some stand-ups were good), group cleaning sessions, lengthy check-ins, etc. I estimate that a good 10% of our time with paid teachers (9am -12:30pm, 2pm – 6pm) was wasted.
  • You might be asking what Engineering Empathy is… It’s us talking about feelings, difficult conversations etc. I had no idea this was part of the curriculum at DBC. If I had, I would not have attended DBC. DBC needs to make it more clear on their website and during the application process how much EE is actually involved, or they need to make it optional.
  • It astounds me that when each student is paying over $1000 per week, and with 60+ students here at any given time, DBC doesn’t have a cleaning service. I feel like that is something that can be afforded and will provide a clean atmosphere as well as keep the students learning instead of cleaning.
  • DBC should be more selective on who they let in and who graduates. Every student should be able to have a baseline set of skills upon graduation. When you get some students who aren’t up to snuff and then they go try to interview for positions, it can bring the whole school’s reputation down. I guess its a matter of quality over quantity. From DBCs perspective, they are a business. They are trying to make money, and every student who graduates the full 9 weeks is $12k in their pocket. I don’t think it’s good for long term, but for now, they are raking in the cash.
  • Most of the learning was done via other students. We learned from each other and from online articles, videos, examples, etc. Something that we could have done without paying so much money. DBC seemed to provide the atmosphere, structure, computers and teachers to assist.

Overall, DBC was a good experience. Right now, before getting a job, I don’t think it is worth the $12k paid. I didn’t receive the instruction, help, experience that I expected for that amount of money. $12 thousand is A LOT of money, and DBC should realize that and provide more. However, if I am able to land a high paying job it will all be worth it in the long run.

 

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