Choosing Which Path to Take Toward a Career in Software Development

Should you be a self-taught programmer, go to bootcamp or go to university?

Mike Wang
Mike Wang
Dec 1, 2020 · 3 min read
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Photo by delfi de la Rua on Unsplash

Would it be more beneficial to be a self-taught programmer, or to go to a bootcamp or a university?

I will be examining these three options based on these factors:

  • Price
  • Experience
  • Effects in the long run

Pros

  • Low price. I feel like this is big because university and code bootcamps cost hundreds of thousands more than if you are going to be self-taught.
  • Choose your own pace. I feel like this is good because if you are stuck you can spend more time on it and there will not be any deadlines to meet. But if you are at university then you need to finish things on time. At bootcamps you have a specific time to be there and can’t stay after.

Cons

  • Not guaranteed. There is no guarantee that you will even succeed. In university and bootcamps you have strict steps to accomplish and almost guaranteed a job.
  • Demotivation and no community. It would be quite easy to be demotivated and have no one to help you on your journey whenever you are stuck. For me if you get past this, it would be quite easy to succeed.

Pros

  • Help from teachers and others. Going to college, you get help from professors and other students that are with you. But being self-taught there might be one or two other people that can help you, but definitely not as much as college.
  • Community. The community allows you to make more friends and learn new ideas from more professional people. It’s also a place where you can party and have more fun than being self-taught.

Cons

  • Price. The price is big, you have to pay tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands to go to a college. Especially in the tech industry you don’t really need to go to a college unless that company requires it (which they probably won’t).
  • Unrelated information. Usually colleges teach unwanted and skills that will never be used in the field you plan to work in. Also if the topic is useless and doesn’t interest you, you can’t just jump out of college, you have to stay there for a while.
  • Time. The time that you are at college is four years. For me this is a very long time to learn how to code and all the things that you need to learn.

Pros

  • Community. Like being in college, you have a community to lean on if you need help and are stuck on a topic. It is a great place to learn with others and hangout and have fun with them.
  • Help from teachers and others. Teachers are better at bootcamps because there are fewer people that attend and the teachers can focus on you rather than on a few hundred people.

Cons

  • Price. The price, like college, is too high, usually around 15,000 dollars for around 6–40 weeks.
  • Schedule. If you do choose to go to a bootcamp you need to be there and stay there for a certain amount of time to get your money’s worth. They also have a time where you need to learn, similar to high school.
  • Live while going there. Right now, you probably don’t need to worry about this but if you go somewhere to learn you probably need to sleep there and do all your work there. You probably have to do this in college but you have the choice to live in a house or with your parents during college.

I would choose self-taught because it is the least time consuming and you can also do side hobbies without having too much work to do. The fact that there isn’t any community doesn’t bother me because the internet is a great place to meet new people and talk with them.

Choose whatever suits you best and stick with it.

Dedication can only lead to success.

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Mike Wang

Written by

Mike Wang

Student | C++, Linux | Writer

The Innovation

A place for a variety of stories from different backgrounds

Mike Wang

Written by

Mike Wang

Student | C++, Linux | Writer

The Innovation

A place for a variety of stories from different backgrounds

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