Back-end training programs similar to Hack Reactor?
August 17, 2016 12:47 PM   Subscribe

What intense, immersive training programs are out there that are similar to Hack Reactor or App Academy, but for back-end programming?

Anybody have any firsthand experience with such a program?
posted by mysterious_stranger to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Both of those courses cover back-end stuff.

I don't know of any boot camps that just do back-end - they're trying to graduate rounded junior devs, after all.

(I did Makers Academy; happy to answer any questions you might have about it!)
posted by henryaj at 1:23 PM on August 17, 2016

Response by poster: I used to be a developer. I don't want to do front-end stuff. I hate javascript especially. I am better at and like more backend stuff. I don't want to be a "rounded junior dev".

Again, I'm looking for back-end programs. I liked everything from data modeling to writing queries and stored procedures to tuning (though I never had any training in the latter). I'm looking both to learn what I've missed being in another field for 8 years, and to put something on my resume that will help attract employers.

Please assume that I do know what I am looking for. If you don't know of or like the concept of such programs, great, but I really don't need to hear about it.
posted by mysterious_stranger at 1:44 PM on August 17, 2016

I don't believe a program like the one you're looking for exists. All of the boot camps I know of are exactly as henryaj describes; they'll cover data structures and algorithms, but will also have a strong front-end component. There are any number of self-driven online courses in the kind of thing you want, but that's different.

The one thing I can think of that might fit the bill is the Recurse Center, but it's far more self-directed than the boot camps and doesn't have a specific curriculum.
posted by asterix at 1:54 PM on August 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

If you have professional development experience already, then a bootcamp-type program isn't what you're looking for. Especially if you already have the foundational knowledge, motivation, and desire to specialize as a backend dev.

I disagree with the idea that a "rounded junior dev" needs to know frontend development, but full-stack and frontend is easier to both train and get hired for without a solid theoretical CS foundation. And that's the demographic of students that bootcamps are aimed at.

I don't know of any intensive-style programs that focus on backend development, unfortunately. If you're interested in data science, maybe that would be a branching pathway to explore, but it may not be the "right" kind of resume boost (data scientists have a lower coding bar).
posted by serelliya at 3:25 PM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

The closest thing I can think of would be doing training for the kind of certifications Oracle and Microsoft offer. I think of them as more for IT or DBA roles than straight dev roles, but the specifics you mention - data modeling, query optimization, stored procedures - suggest that you might like a DBA-type job.
posted by orangejenny at 6:49 PM on August 17, 2016

Turing School.
posted by Bourbonesque at 7:07 PM on August 17, 2016

Even without the front-end stuff, I think you're going to be bored to tears in anything that bills itself as appropriate for people who have little to no coding experience, and I don't know of anything that isn't that. I'm in a program now that separates people into front-end and back-end, but I'd done some learning on my own before this and it took like eight weeks of my twelve week program to get to something that felt like I was really advancing. Pick something, learn it in your own time, search aggressively for a job for a few months before you spend the money for this. I only needed this because I don't have what you have, which is a resume that establishes that somebody previously thought I was capable of being a professional developer.

You can probably learn as much as most people in my class currently, nine weeks in, know about Rails in a weekend. Maybe two weekends if you do the Ruby Codecademy stuff the weekend before that. I'm not even exaggerating. I've never heard of any program like this aiming for people who have previous development experience, because I don't think there's a market for it. I think you're easily employable with just some stuff done in your free time, if that's the kind of thing you want to do. If you think they're teaching us anything about database tuning, you're grossly overestimating how quickly the curriculum moves. Without Googling, I couldn't even tell you what that is.

When boot camp programs say "back-end", they mean Rails. Or sometimes another web framework, but usually Rails. You can learn Rails yourself without giving up three months of your life. I'm happy with my decision to do this, but it's often tedious even for me.
posted by Sequence at 8:48 PM on August 17, 2016

I went to Recurse when it was still Hacker School. If you can be self- or group-directed, you can spend 12 weeks really diving in to backend stuff with a bunch of great people.
posted by dame at 11:36 PM on August 17, 2016

> If you don't know of ... such programs, great, but I really don't need to hear about it.


As others have said here, what you're looking for doesn't exist. That's all I was trying to convey.

Recurse would be an amazing experience, though.
posted by henryaj at 3:32 AM on August 18, 2016

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