So whether you want your child to learn how to code, or maybe they know some basics and do not want to do a long drawn out course–bootcamp may be the perfect solution. Bootcamps are a fun way for kids to get a head start in learning programming and make friends who have the same interest as them.
Here is some information on what exactly coding bootcamp is, how to find the best one for your child, and why it is worth your child attending.
What is coding bootcamp?
“Coding is the thing that makes our smart cars work, and our smart homes, and everything that makes what people love, and don’t think about what makes them work,” says Trina Coleman, CEO and president of Coleman Comprehensive Solutions, creator of the STEM Skills online course platform and the second of five African American women in U.S. history to obtain a Ph.D. in theoretical high energy/nuclear physics.
“Coding is essential for making technology move forward.”
Coding bootcamps have been on the rise in recent years, due to high demand and the lack of computer coding in schools. Parents are searching out other ways to have their children taught these vital skills, so they are beyond prepared for an excellent job in a technologically advancing world.
Coding courses can be drawn out, which may be hard for children who are in school most of the year. A coding bootcamp may better suit your child and family’s needs by allowing them to learn large amounts of information in a fun and exciting way.
How to Find the Best Coding Bootcamp for Your Child
Because a bootcamp can be an intense way of learning, you want to ensure that it is teaching your child in a way that they will understand, not get frustrated, and have fun.
Here are a few things to look for:
- Understanding the basics: A good program will go over the basics first. Forming a strong foundation is very important because literally speaking, everything they learn from here on out will build off of it. “The coding should not precede the well-rounded skill of analytical thinking,” Coleman says. “You have to understand the problem you’re trying to solve before you can do pure coding.” Most things teach us to think in a solution-oriented mindset; for instance, what is the solution to my problem. Coding needs you to think problem-oriented, meaning you have to analyze the problem and break it down into smaller achievable parts.
- Make it fun: There are so many fun options when they are deciding what they want to create like a webpage, an interactive game, a drone, or a robot. Have them check out fun games or apps to introduce concepts, an animated youtube video, or buy them books or a coding kit. Coding kits come with components to create and code a robot or a circuit board; they can be an incredible tool to help your child get more comfortable with the concepts. At bootcamp, they will have tons of opportunities to see all the fun they can have learning to code. Your child should already be interested in coding before they head off to bootcamp, or they may be way in over their heads and wondering what they are doing there if they are not interested in learning.
- Learning together: Having peers their age around them interested in the same things, asking similar questions, and sharing ideas will help coding come to life. They will see it is okay not to know everything and feel more comfortable asking for help. Anything is more fun when you are doing it with other people, and this is no exception. Plus at the end, they can all show off what they are creating. A little healthy competition is also a fun way to learn.
Based on this information, we hope this will help you in your search to find the perfect bootcamp for your child!
Is bootcamp worth it?
Only you and your child can know if bootcamp is the right choice for you, but here are some advantages and disadvantages, cost factors, and long term goals to consider:
Advantages and Disadvantages:
- Accessibility: Coding bootcamps do not have general education classes or stringent admission requirements. They can also be more affordable than a four-year education.
- Flexibility: Compared to earning a traditional degree, code schools may come with fewer opportunity costs. Whereas a bootcamp might require around 12 weeks of full-time immersion, a full-time bachelor’s degree requires four years.
- Innovative Repayment Options: Some code schools offer innovative repayment schemes, such as deferred tuition, income sharing agreements, or employer sponsorships.
- Practical Skills: Coding bootcamps focus on practical skills that are needed in the workplace, while computer science degrees also emphasize theory.
- No Accreditation: Coding bootcamps are not nationally or regionally accredited in the same way as colleges and universities. Accreditation is a way of measuring quality of instruction.
- Less Depth: The short and condensed formats may come at the expense of depth and focus, whereas a four-year degree provides the time to explore different areas of computer science.
- Less Financial Aid: Some coding bootcamps are more expensive than others, and private code schools do not currently qualify for federal financial aid.
- Less Versatile: Bootcamps tend to teach you one area of computer science, such as web development, whereas a computer science degree can prepare you for a variety of jobs in the field.
There are a few different options here; as you can imagine, an in-person bootcamp is going to be much more costly than a virtual one. Only you can decide if it is worth the cost. There is a small percentage of free ones, but these may not be the best quality. You want to invest in this; after all, it is your child’s future.
A quality in-person bootcamp is going to fall anywhere from $5,000-9,000. That may sound like a lot, but it is comparative to a semester of college, and having this on your resume is going to increase your chances of getting into a great college, and may eventually affect their career.
How to ensure your experience is worth it?
Before your child starts, you will want to prepare them to feel lost, frustrated, confused, and maybe even like quitting. Help them prepare by getting them started beforehand, so try signing them up for an introductory coding course before bootcamp. Prepare them to persevere through the hard parts, reminding them they will get the hang of it, and it will get easier.
Learning how to code can be challenging and overwhelming at times, but that is to be expected. Like most things in life, anything worth having doesn’t come easy. We hope this has given you some things to think about as you embark with your child down this life-changing path.