Coding bootcamps and the reshaping of Computer Science Education

As coding bootcamps are becoming increasingly popular, some concerns about what it means to be a properly trained software engineer also emerge. Supporters to the Computer Science degree believe that these bootcamps do not provide the theoretical background that sustains a long-term career in the industry.


Bootcamps are accelerated vocational schools that prepare students to become professional software developers. But supporters to the CS education consider coding newcomers to have inferior programming skills when interviewing them for developer positions.

David Yang, founder of Fullstack Academy, an immersive software engineering coding bootcamp in New York City, sees it differently. He explains that bootcamps "have proven to be much more effective at closing the education to employment gap in technology because they provide a more holistic type of training that's required to be successful in the field," David Yang writes. "Bootcamps often focus on group work, pair programming, test-driven development, project-based assignments and empathy/psychology training," he adds.

Another important issue is theory versus practice. For David Yang, the magic of a programming education is the sense of empowerment it enables through creation. He believes it's much more fun for a student to learn about a topic when it's applied toward a problem they are currently struggling with rather than simply another part of a four-year theoretical education.

"This learning/application/empowerment cycle is what motivates students and makes bootcamps work so well."

However, prospective students should take into account several aspects when choosing a bootcamp, such as a school's admissions selectivity, the relevance of the curriculum in the industry, and where graduates have successfully secured jobs. "Students also should understand that the reason bootcamps work is that they provide the ideal environment in which you can do your hardest and best work," concludes David Yang.