5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Coding Bootcamp in San Francisco

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: June 5th 2024

This blog post is one of 4 in the serie Learning to Code in San Francisco.

In a time of great economic uncertainty, you want to control as much of your future as possible.  

Are you among the many who have decided to shift careers and learn computer coding? Smart move. Programmers continue to be among the most sought-after jobs in San Francisco.  

Since your end objective is to land a good coding job with a future, be sure to get the “most bang for your buck” by choose someplace that is cost effectices and teaches the most useful skills and languages.  This is the huge reason why coding bootcamps have been growing in popularity over the past five years.  Unlike traditional learning institutions, coding bootcamps are more sklll specific, allowing students to focus on one or multiple languages over a shortern time period. This is what makes it attractive for part time students and people looking to transition into new careers.  

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What To Look For in a Coding Bootcamp?

If you’re seeking coding courses that offer fast-paced, high-quality, flexible learning programs that allow you to interact with other students, a coding bootcamps are your perfect choice.  

Whether you’re a tech novice or a seasoned pro who wants to learn a new coding language, top bootcamps offer courses tailored to your goals. You’ll collaborate with other students, building a local network of fellow learners. Many bootcamps in San Francisco allow you to learn at your own pace, accommodating work and other elements of your busy life.  

Word to the wise: All bootcamps are not created equal. To decide which bootcamp is right for you, ask the following questions

Will I Have Access to a Real Instructor?

You can learn to code by just reading online or following a Youtube channel, but we all know that type of learning only works for 1% of people. When choosing a bootcamp, make sure that you will be learning from a real person. 

How Flexible Is the Curriculum? 

You cannot put your life on pause and we all know that going through Golden Gate Park is next to impossible to get through during rush hour.  Bills need to be paid. Personal responsibilities meed to be met. Life does not stop for you. Research and have a clear understanding about course pacing, expecations,  and what the cancellation policies are in case something comes up. You need to make sure you can coordinate learning this new skillset while also managing other priorities in your life. 

How Much of It is In Person, Online, or Hybrid?

As we mentioned above, life does not wait for you to learn how to code. The good news with coding bootcamps is that they are structured in a variety of ways. Some are 100% online, which may be exactly what you are looking for. You learn best alone at your own pace. Other students may have more availability in their schedule and prefer to learn in person with direct access to an instructor for questions.  The third option is a hybrid program which combines online and in person learning.  It really falls back onto your learning style and the amount of time you are able to commit. 

How Much is Too Much?

In many cases, pricing is the end all deciding factor. Most tradional bootcamps can range. from $5,000 - $15,000+ depending on the length and course type.  You will see others that advertise "Free Tuition"  and "Learn for Free". We recommend avoiding any program that promises you a job or free tuition. These usually come with strings attached or fine print meant to confuse you.  Find a bootcamp that fits your price range, offers the languages that are in demand today, and fits your schedule. 

Is there an Advantage to Learning with Others? 

Yes and yes again. First of all, no one wants to learn in a vacuum. Select a bootcamp where you can interact with fellow students. That empathy in a shared experience can make all the difference in the world!  Secondly, you live in Silicon Valley, the center of technology. Over 80% of job seekers landed their jobs through their network. Use the opportunity that is created with bootcamps and create your first professional tech network. Start building those relationships throughout the course and stay in touch afterwards. It is much easier to hit the job market as a group that by yourself. The perfect partner to launch that next start up with may be just around the corner. 

Do you have
other “musts” on your list for choosing the right coding bootcamp?   See our review in Switchup to see if Nucamp bootcamps in San Francisco are the best option for you.  Good programmers remain in demand despite growing economic turmoil. Skills you’ll learn at a quality coding bootcamp will help you get fast-tracked to the next phase in your career.  

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Chevas Balloun

Director of Marketing & Brand

Chevas has spent over 15 years inventing brands, designing interfaces, and driving engagement for companies like Microsoft. He is a practiced writer, a productivity app inventor, board game designer, and has a builder-mentality drives entrepreneurship.