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Coding academies as gateways to $100,000 jobs

Interesting article on NYTimes today about coding academies that train people for several months for programming languages in high demand.
So Mr. Minton, a 26-year-old math major, took a three-month course in computer programming and data analysis. As a waiter, he made $20,000 a year. His starting salary last year as a data scientist at a web start-up here was more than $100,000.

“Six figures, right off the bat,” Mr. Minton said. “To me, it was astonishing.”
Companies cannot hire fast enough. Glassdoor, an employment site, lists more than 7,300 openings for software engineers, ahead of job openings for nurses, who are chronically in short supply. For the smaller category of data scientists, there are more than 1,200 job openings. Demand is highest in San Francisco. Nationally, the average base salary for software engineers is $100,000, and $112,000 for data scientists.
Galvanize’s 24-week web programming course is one of the largest among the coding schools. The average class length among the schools is just under 11 weeks, and costs $11,000. Galvanize’s web programming course is also among the most expensive, at $21,000. The company offers scholarships and deferred payment plans, and has partnerships with online lenders like LendLayer and Earnest.

The job placement rate for Galvanize students is 98 percent. “Graduation here is you get a job,” Mr. Deters said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/29/technology/code-academy-as-career-game-changer.html
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
Shovels are called 'handjes' in Dutch.
It's a short-term solution. The same trend happened during the internet boom until the boom came.

BTW you are not a software engineer after 11 weeks.

Stories like his are increasingly familiar these days as people across a spectrum of jobs — poker players, bookkeepers, baristas — are shedding their past for a future in the booming tech industry.

I once had 16 internet developers in a OOA course; only one of them had a background in IT.
 
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In college, she had dismissed computer programming as all math and numbers, and not a creative pursuit. But she dropped into an open house one evening at the Galvanize school in Denver. She found it filled with creative, smart people — and not at all just dry math.

Kind of a ridiculous quote IMO
 
Conveniently ignored the fact that he had a math degree to begin with. I highly doubt someone with a degree in social studies would be able to get on the market as a developer and secure a $100,000 offer after just 3 months.
 
Kind of a ridiculous quote IMO
I believe it. I'm familiar with Hacker School. I think they follow a similar model and their graduates are all solid software engineers in the realm the decide to follow. Their software engineering skills are usually much better than your average quant.
 
Conveniently ignored the fact that he had a math degree to begin with. I highly doubt someone with a degree in social studies would be able to get on the market as a developer and secure a $100,000 offer after just 3 months.
This is usually the case on these organizations. They usually accept students with a lot of schooling but very little or no software engineering skills. The combination of their field + coding makes the graduates really marketable.
 
Hey all, so I actually did a coding bootcamp in Miami, FL. www.wyncode.co, it was 9-weeks, and learned Ruby/Rails, and front-end. The cost was 10k.
I had a bit of programming experience (one semester C++ and learning Python on my own) but could never have gotten a job, lacked the skills.
I really worked hard, and did a lot of extra stuff during the bootcamp as I really wanted to get a job right out of the bootcamp, placement is not that easy, and the Miami Tech scene is definitely small.
We had a pitch day (make a web-app in two weeks and present as final project) and won that. I got hired right on the spot to do web development in PHP (never coded it before, but once you get the concepts, learning languages that do similar things is not hard). I make 50k, as the bootcamp is rather new, PHP is not very well paid, and lacked experience as a developer but by the end of the year (I started working in March), it will be around 60-70k. I was ok with going down in terms of salary (previously I worked in Wealth Management at MS) because I really wanted to be a developer.
Again, this is Miami but the highest salary anyone has gotten right off the bat has been 60k, and it was an older guy who will be doing a hybrid developer/project manager role, so he is getting paid for that experience.
Most people that got jobs, got salaries in the 40-45k range.

Regarding the bootcamp, 9-weeks is not enough to make someone a developer, especially people who are only working the 10-6 hours, you really need to do more every day and weekends to be an attractive candidate for a job. We were a 20 in my cohort, and those that worked hard got jobs, but again, we were as junior as it gets when coming out of the bootcamp. Most of what I know about servers, unit testing, front-end technologies, bash, permissions, etc., I learned on the job. The bootcamp gave me the structure I needed and the problems to work, so to me it was definitely worth it. I would have become a developer even studying on my own, but this certainly helped me speed up the process.

Currently, I develop in PHP and some work in Rails as well. I am doing work in Python on my own with all the different libraries related to finance. Eventually I'd like to get back to finance as a developer but working for a start up is pretty exciting as well.

In summary, there's always going to be demand for good developers, and hard working people, but it's not like doing a bootcamp means you immediately have a 100k + job, no chance of that. Many people are unemployed, or have gone back to their old jobs because they did not do well/did not put in the effort/wasn't for them or whatever their reasons. The 100k salary quoted I find suspect, maybe for somebody with a ton of experience in another field, or a different market, but it'd be maybe the top person of the class.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
95% of software development is either maintenance or run-of-the mill. A lot is outsourced to regions where annual salaries are much less than 100K.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
I believe it. I'm familiar with Hacker School. I think they follow a similar model and their graduates are all solid software engineers in the realm the decide to follow. Their software engineering skills are usually much better than your average quant.
Can they implement Monte Carlo, for example without hand-holding? In a downturn, these will be the first ones on the street. They have no product knowledge, in contrast to quants. It takes years to learn the 'business'.

Historically, (many?) mathematicians and physicists do not see software as an engineering product development and it can show in the quality of code.

Regarding Hacker, do you learn real software design or is it lip service? My thesis is you cannot appreciate design until you have made a mess a few times.

Ex. Try explaining Strategy design pattern to a s/w rookie.
 
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Can they implement Monte Carlo, for example without hand-holding? In a downturn, these will be the first ones on the street. They have no product knowledge, in contrast to quants. It takes years to learn the 'business'.

Historically, (many?) mathematicians and physicists do not see software as an engineering product development and it can show in the quality of code.

Regarding Hacker, do you learn real software design or is it lip service? My thesis is you cannot appreciate design until you have made a mess a few times.

Ex. Try explaining Strategy design pattern to a s/w rookie.
This is what I have seen. The typical student is somebody with an eagerness to learn coding/software engineering that already knows his/her field. It's not the old mathematician/physicist but a new breed.
 
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In summary, there's always going to be demand for good developers, and hard working people, but it's not like doing a bootcamp means you immediately have a 100k + job, no chance of that. Many people are unemployed, or have gone back to their old jobs because they did not do well/did not put in the effort/wasn't for them or whatever their reasons. The 100k salary quoted I find suspect, maybe for somebody with a ton of experience in another field, or a different market, but it'd be maybe the top person of the class.

This is more what I expected. You probably had a lot more analytical skills and relevant background (plus the drive) than many others who were coming from much less mathematical / quantitative backgrounds.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
This is what I have seen. The typical student is somebody with an eagerness to learn coding/software engineering that already knows his/her field. It's not the old mathematician/physicist but a new bread.

Sure. I would hope each new generation is better than the previous one! :)

//
'bread'? breed I assume?
 
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I suspect these coding academies won't take international students so these will only work for domestic audience. It's easier for companies to hire Americans.

I TA sometimes where I studied and have met pretty much everyone who's been through the academy. Pretty much everyone is local, or from the US. I'm not sure the academies won't take them, but I don't think people from abroad consider these academies as an option to get a job either. At least not yet.

Another thing worth mentioning: some people, maybe 5-10%, do it because they have an idea they want to develop. I've seen quite a few people who just go through the academy to get a better understanding of how to program/develop their idea, or to meet other people to help them.
 
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