Getting to this first post has been quite the journey. Having spent the past couple of months underwater, I finally emerge into the light. Coming from an art and engineering background, I never expected to find a home in the Computer Science community. While I have made little Python games with friends, and worked with MatLab as a MechE, as soon as a year ago I could barely write a line of runnable code. Believe it or not, but the thing that started me down this road was a Facebook advertisement for App Academy, proclaiming a no-cost-until-hired programming boot camp. Sounded too good to be true, right? As it turns out, not only was it true, but with just a couple searches I found a number of programs similar to the one by App Academy, all eager and willing to teach those motivated ( and wealthy ) enough to take the plunge.
They don’t call them “boot camps” for nothing; you’re coding for 8-12 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week, for around twelve weeks. The graduates of these programs frequently go on to make upwards of six figures, and the student projects of the more prestigious academies were nothing short of astounding.
One program in particular caught my eye. A boot camp called Hack Reactor jumped out at me for two reasons: at nearly $20,000 for a twelve week session it was by far the most expensive boot camp I had seen, but the student outcomes and graduate placement rate were the highest as well. Their mission statement called attention to the fact that they weren’t a 0-60 style coding boot camp, but a 20-120. Applicants were subjected to a number of tests and interviews, and in the end Hack Reactor only accepted around three percent of their applicants.