4 Biggest Misconceptions about Coding Bootcamp Graduates

December 02, 2019

4 Biggest Misconceptions about Coding Bootcamp Graduates

To hire or not to hire, let us debunk some of the biggest misconceptions about hiring Coding Bootcamp graduates.

A Coding Bootcamp is a technical training programme that teaches key programming skills. The intensive course can last anywhere between 6 weeks to 2 years but typically span around 20 weeks. They started way back in 2012, but they have since grown massively. In 2018, the industry was worth $240 million, with 20,000 graduates.

Hired did a study that found 76% of participants surveyed who had been to a Coding Bootcamp said it helped them prepare for an engineering role. But only 57% of the overall participants said they would hire bootcamp grads for an opening role. So why are the 43% hesitant to hire bootcamp grads? We had a look at the common misconceptions about bootcamp grads and debunked some of the myths.

Misconception 1 – ‘Bootcamp grads don't have enough experience'

Coding Bootcamps are indeed shorter than other more traditional forms of programming education and so, therefore, don't cover as much material. However, it would be naïve to think that the coding bootcamp covers the entirety of that candidate's coding and professional experience. Majority of bootcamp grads do it alongside other projects and usually enrol in a bootcamp after they've learnt the basics.

As a recruiter or hiring manager, if you see a CV from a coding bootcamp grad, you may want to take a closer look at the other things that the candidate has done. You'll probably be surprised to find additional projects and coding competitions that demonstrates the candidate's passion for the craft. It's important to remember that bootcamps are there to teach the key skills and provide a base to build on. Coding bootcamps actively encourage its students to use what they've learnt outside the classroom, and many bootcamps also provide ways that its students can use these skills in real-life scenarios.

As for professional experience, many bootcamp grads have experience in different roles before they transition into coding, hence joining a coding bootcamp to learn the technical skills. This means they're more than equipped when entering the workforce.

Misconception 2 – ‘Bootcamp grads don't have any soft skills'

Naturally, in a 3-month intensive course learning the hard, technical skills, you wouldn't think there is enough time to develop soft skills. However, bootcamps have changed since they first started. Many successful bootcamps interlace technical knowledge with developing problem-solving skills and helping candidates prepare for the real working world.

As mentioned before, many bootcamp grads are transitioning from different roles, or are working alongside the course, which means they've acquired interpersonal skills elsewhere. In the tech industry, especially as it's rapidly changing, having transferrable skills is becoming more and more important. When a candidate has a range of experience in a variety of roles this can indicate they are adaptable and willing to learn, which is a very desirable skill in this field. Bootcamps are focusing more on training people on how to build things and solve problems, essentially teaching them how to learn.

Misconception 3 – ‘Coding bootcamps are not up to date'

This misconception couldn't be farther from the truth. Since coding bootcamps have a shorter syllabus than other education systems, they can be much more flexible in what they teach. When changes in the industry occur, coding bootcamps can quickly respond and since they are usually taught by leading professionals in the industry, they are likely to be in the know about the changes and can implement these quickly.

Take Fullstack Academy as an example, they implemented a flexible curriculum when they moved from focusing on Angular to React. They also shifted the second half of its programme to Career Success, to help its students prepare for their job search after graduating.

Misconception 4 – ‘Coding bootcamps graduates don't learn enough'

Yes, it's true bootcamps are much shorter than other traditional education routes as they were created to be intensive learning. However, they focus on teaching the fundamentals which work as a springboard for development outside of the classroom. So while they may just be learning the key skills in the programme, they should be applying this knowledge and developing it elsewhere.

As we've already mentioned, the ability to adapt to trends and react to the changes in the market means they'll always be focusing on what's the most important technology now.

So it's not that bootcamp graduates don't learn enough, they're just learning the most relevant skills to the industry which can help them develop their skills elsewhere.

So, should you hire them?

Well, yes! Everyone has to start somewhere and coding bootcamp grads can be just as skilled as any other coder from any other educational background. Just because someone has taken this route does not mean they have less to offer you and your business. Think about all the other soft skills they could have from previous roles or all the other side projects they do just because of their pure love for coding. By screening out these grads, you could be massively limiting your talent pool, and depriving your team of some seriously good talent.

In coding bootcamps, male graduates still outnumber female graduates. However, research shows the distribution is much closer to equal at 41% female compared to computer science degrees in which only lastest stats suggest are 18% are female. So actually if you want to get the best talent, and diversify your teams, you should consider hiring coding bootcamp grads, and coders from non-standard educational backgrounds.

Regardless of where a candidate has come from, you can be sure of their skills and ability by implementing online technical assessments into your recruitment process. Screen your candidates' on their actual ability to write code and solve problems, let them really show you what they can do, and that way you're more likely to find those hidden gems that way.

If you'd like to discuss how technical testing, using our online tech assessments can help you validate your tech candidates skills, so you get more insight into what they can actually do... say hello to our team.

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