The difference between entry-level and early-stage engineers.

Shipping is good, but not the whole story

While I do agree that startups require different skillsets than bigger organizations, I’m a little worried about these schools churning out people who are taught to “ship at any cost” without any understanding of fundamentals, testing, etc — the things that will make sure your startup not only gets off the ground but is around a year later. That’s kind of the fundamental problem of today’s world where startups are pasta thrown against the wall to see what sticks, and people are rabidly coding away and pivoting every week without any discipline.

I would agree that DBC does not turn out people who are ready to jump in and ship real world software on day 1, yet I’m also very skeptical that any school can do so in such a short period of time. I think there’s a lot of snake oil going around in the bootcamp community. While I do like Tradecraft’s focus on real world skills, we have to recognize that a bootcamp grad needs mentorship and discipline to become both a great engineer and a great early stage engineer. Again, if you can churn out engineers that can ship real world software, that’s great. But I think without any further guidance we will likely see such software quickly fall apart at scale.

I would agree that being e.g. a great engineer at Google is a totally different thing than being one here at One requires deep technical skills, and the other requires a lot of broad skills with enough depth to get things done. However, as we have trained a DBC grad into a successfull broad skilled early-stage engineer, I feel that the analysis that DBC does not produce such people is flawed. I know of plenty of DBC grads that are doing well at early stage companies.

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