Author’s note: Last week I had lunch with yet another hopeful career-changer who was telling me all the promises she had heard about, both online and in-person, while getting the hard sell to lay down her credit card and enroll in programmer boot camp. It was the same mix of “rah, rah, anybody can learn to code in 12 weeks!” and “the tech sector has millions of jobs going unfilled because there simply aren’t enough people with computer skills!” hyperbole you see everywhere. At best, this line of thinking is unrealistic. At worst, schools — often, for-profit enterprises — pitching to prospective students this way seems to be more interested in siphoning cash from uncertain and uninformed, but hopeful, people seeking a better job, or even their first real job, than providing a firm foundation in the skills they will actually need to get hired. The following is my version of the sales pitch marks, I mean prospective students, get from recruiters — many of whom make all kinds of claims and promises to get you to sign up for their (for-profit) program. Yes, my version is over-the-top — nobody is promising my friend Amy she will learn front-end web development in two weeks. It’s satire, people. All I’m saying is, when it comes to promises boot camps and other code schools are making: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do careful research before committing.
Once upon a time, if you wanted to snag that sweet high-paying job in the exciting field of computer programming, you needed a college degree. And your double major in Communications / Hold My Beer, Bro, from MyStateU doesn’t count, either — it had to be one those dorky Computer Science degrees. Remember the guys who, like, liked going to classes, and who never made it to even the most major kegger? Oh, right, maybe you don’t remember, lulz. But my point is, who wanted to be one of those dudes, amirite?
Well, things have changed now that there’s, like, AI and robots and stuff. It’s a digital world, dude, and now anybody can get in on that action. No need to spend years learning to write computer programs and read books and stuff — we got computers to do all that now. You want that nice phat digital economy paycheck? No shoes, no degree, no problem — that’s what boot camp is all about!
And you are gonna loooove our two-week program! It is SO super rad. We took all those other three-month boot camps out there and just picked the real important parts. That’s right, with EZ Method Koding Kamp you get just the pro tips and time-saving hacks. That is how we get you your Official Certificate ten weeks faster than those *other* boot camps can!
Here’s a sample day in our lil’ programmer’s paradise:
10 a.m. — Nobody wants to start crazy early, amirite? Wake up while learning Some Stuff About The Internet.
11 a.m. — Break time! Did somebody say “Beer o’clock”??? Check out our lounge area with comfy sofas and fully-stocked fridges featuring free local craft brewskis, or grab a latte at our barista bar.
12:00 p.m. — Lunchtime!
1 p.m. — Aw, back to grinding. But don’t worry, it’ll be a blast: it’s time for our ace instructors to help you work on your foosball game. ‘Cause you know that every tech company everywhere is gonna have a foosball table, and you’re gonna need to represent.
1:30 p.m. — The afternoon session is a deep dive into The EZ Method Guide to Cutting and Pasting Other People’s Code (Without Getting Caught!). See? Toldja you don’t actually need to worry about learning actual programming — we teach you how to do like the pros do! Tips include the importance of changing variable names and maybe switching up line indents some.
2:30 p.m. — School is out and it’s Happy Hours time! Meet up with fellow EZ Method Boot Campers to talk about important topics relating to your new profession, like what kind of car you’re going to buy when you land that first tech job.
Sound awesome? Awesome! So, yeah, just sliiiide right on over here and meet Jamie, our smokin’ hot Admissions Producer. (By the way, I think she’s totally into you!) Just get out that credit card and Jamie will hook you right up. I’ll hold your beer. This is gonna be awesome. Fist bump!
Code N00b appears every other Friday, only on The New Stack.
Feature image via Pixabay.