Best online coding bootcamp - NOT looking for a job!
December 5, 2017 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Retiring 45 year old wants to learn how to develop and launch soup-to-nuts web apps and also play with data science tools. Doesn't need to be paid at the end but does want to know "the real deal." Thoughts on best bootcamps?

For the next phase of life I want to focus on stepping into the coding and analytics world. I don't need a job as I am lucky enough to be financially independent now, but am looking to learn very real world practical skills on how to build and deploy apps soup to nuts.

I have some clear ideas on web based platforms I'd like to start working on, but need a jungle guide to help me navigate the steps and choices on what technologies to learn and how to put them all together.

I've been looking at the coding bootcamps but don't really need the career aspect that many seem to be focusing on. I am much more interested in the practical aspects. I also live far from cities so remote is my best option.

Any thoughts on which bootcamp and why?
posted by mtstover to Technology (7 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Free Code Camp is the first one I thought of, but I can dig up a couple more.
posted by bendy at 1:08 PM on December 5, 2017

Team Treehouse is not free but is still reasonably priced.

Udemy has a good selection of courses.

At the bottom of this Coding Dojo post are links to introductory guides with descriptions for various technologies you may be interested in exploring.
posted by bendy at 1:14 PM on December 5, 2017

Coding bootcamp grad here.

There are two reasons the bootcamps focus on getting a job: #1, it convinces people that it's worth paying all that money, and #2, you learn about 10x as much in your first six months of full-time work as you do in the bootcamp itself. The bootcamp can be a good springboard, but I don't think it's realistic to expect one to prepare you to work independently on all aspects on an application.

If I were you I'd start by working my way through Free Code Camp or something similar, then hire someone (an experienced programmer) as a consultant to help you launch whatever project it is you have in mind (this will be expensive, but not necessarily more expensive than a full service bootcamp, and you can probably find someone who will work with you remotely regardless of where you are). Or if you don't have a specific project in mind, identify an open-source project that interests you and that has a good attitude towards newbie coders and commit to spending at least 20 or so hours a week working on it.

You will learn a lot more working with experienced programmers on a real project than you will from a bootcamp, but bootcamp-type base knowledge will help you get a lot more out of the experience of working with more experienced programmers.
posted by mskyle at 1:18 PM on December 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

I really like Laracasts, mostly covering Laravel, but he has series for Vue and other frameworks.
posted by backwards guitar at 2:11 PM on December 5, 2017

Most of the online boot camps are very career-focused, but if you let them know you have different goals, I think they can work with that. I already did a boot camp, I already have a job, but I had something I wanted to learn and I got a fair amount of training funding and I asked: Can I just do this Thinkful program? And in fact, both the entity funding the training and Thinkful were fine with that. I'm still doing some of the career reflection stuff as I go, but I'm just framing it in terms of what I want next and how this is going to help that, and it's been fine. That said, I feel like most of the boot camp programs are significantly helped by doing as much as possible on your own beforehand--doing every possible thing you can comprehend until you hit the point where you can't wrap your head around it, and then paying someone to help you the rest of the way? Thinkful's program, for example, gives you very little time on coding basics.

So really--before you get to that point, do everything you can off of Codecademy and other free stuff, not just because it's free, but because if you can't get your head around learning JS through Codecademy, the boot camp environment is not a good place for you to be working on basic JS skills.
posted by Sequence at 2:18 PM on December 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

I got a certificate in Python from Charles Severance at Michigan through I have programming experience (but not in Python), so I don’t know how it would be for someone who didn’t. It was reasonably priced and a good experience.
posted by Anne Neville at 3:24 PM on December 5, 2017

I've been working through The Odin Project curriculum, and really enjoying it. They curate lessons from all over and lay it all out in a structured path.
posted by pilibeen at 6:29 AM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

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