I attended the WDI3 cohort of GA’s WDI and have still not obtained a position as a “web developer”, despite my attempts with applications and interviews.
Sometime around 2014, bootcamps in the Austin area were beginning to pick up a negative vibe. The quality of students graduating these 12-week career changing programs was not sufficient to compete in what was already a competitive market. But the hype persisted and people were still willing to shell out nearly 15K — some financing the program through loans like Earnest and Climb — but the market dynamic has shifted with the overall net effect creating even more competition and ultimately leading to market saturation. This is happening in every trendy city that has bootcamps.
Your assessment of the hiring side of web-app companies (I hate using the word “tech” — tech is more than just gofer apps and software) is pretty spot on. The key take away is the expectations of the employers is hiring is preformed in a mirrortocracy where a candidates worth is valued based on similarities with a cultural construct. That is to say, someone who is a child prodigy who started hacking away at software and algorithms at 14, built a Facebook clone at 16, obtained a CS degree from a well known school, joined a startup at 21. There is a perception that there is some innate ability to do programing, and there are those who lack the genetic makeup to “just don’t get it”.
Now this is all pretty silly, but there is something to be said about an industry where there is no real on-boarding or training. You’re just expected to pick up, start assigning points to tasks in Pivotal Tracker, take an existing codebase, and start making pull requests with no help.
My advice is look for work outside of what the mainstream calls Tech. Find a company that isn’t a software/web-app company per-se, and see what computer related roles are there. You are going to be surprised just how prolific developer jobs are these days.