Once upon a time, the words “coding” or “web development” conjured up images of data-obsessed computer aficionados.
Nowadays, coding is seen as a vital skill and an illustrious career path—pursued by a wide range of people from both creative and non-creative backgrounds.
Web developers are considered an essential asset to pretty much any digital team, and as the field of web development grows, traditional universities have struggled to keep up with the demand.
Enter coding bootcamps.
These are an alternative educational institution that offers an antidote to the shortage of talented web developers. Coding bootcamps are often touted as being a “fast track” to well-paying web development jobs. With lower tuition costs, flexible learning, and a practical curriculum, these schools are praised for increasing access to an education in tech.
But are coding bootcamps really worth it? And with so many bootcamps on offer, how do you go about choosing which one is right for you?
In this article, we’ll lift the lid on the world of web development bootcamps, and how to tell the good from the mediocre. We’ll start off by looking at the wider field itself, before diving into the benefits of a web development bootcamp—and how you can expect life to look upon graduating.
Before we get further into that though, let’s take a look at the topics we’ll cover in this guide:
- What is a coding bootcamp?
- What will I learn in a coding bootcamp?
- Do coding bootcamps really work?
- Do I need relevant experience before enrolling in a coding bootcamp?
- What will my day-to-day look like when studying at a coding bootcamp?
- What kind of salary can I expect?
- How do I choose the right coding bootcamp for me?
- What are some of the best web development bootcamps?
- Round up
Ready? Let’s dive in!
1. What is a coding bootcamp?
Before we start checking out web development bootcamps, let’s first establish what web development actually is.
Static web pages, social media platforms, apps, e-commerce websites, content management systems—web developers are responsible for building pretty much everything we regularly engage with on the internet.
Web development jobs can be broken down into three common categories:
- Backend web developers build the more advanced functionality of the site, such as the checkout function on an e-commerce site.
- Full-stack web developers are in charge of all aspects of a website’s functionality, both frontend and backend. You can learn about more of the differences in this article: What is a full-stack developer exactly?
So now we know what web development is, what is a web development (or coding) bootcamp? A web development bootcamp is a condensed, immersive education program that aims to take motivated beginners to job-ready graduates in anything from a few months to a year.
By focusing on high-impact learning and practical, real-world projects, web development bootcamps fuse fundamental web development theory with the industry skills that would be valuable to current employers. The result? A comprehensive, well-rounded learning experience that will take you from total coding newbie to qualified web developer.
Bootcamps were created in direct response to the growing demand for talent in disciplines like web and software engineering—and were met with instant praise. With bootcamps quickly becoming the preferred entryway to a career in tech, they eventually grew to include vocations such as UX/UI design, digital marketing, and data science.
Boasting low or even no barriers to entry, web development bootcamps take students who have little proficiency in coding and allow them to focus on the fundamental aspects of coding, teaching them skills that can be immediately applied to solve real-world problems.
When considering a bootcamp, tech hopefuls have the choice to either study in-person or online. Many online coding bootcamps are flexible and self-paced, meaning students can fit their studies around a full-time job.
Others offer virtual classrooms with fixed lessons that take place over video call or chat. On the other hand, in-person bootcamps take place in a set location, with fixed start dates and class times.
2. What will I learn in a coding bootcamp?
Taking less time than a traditional degree, coding bootcamps focus on equipping you with both the technical skills that can see you walk straight into an entry-level web development position upon completion. On top of that, though, they’ll also teach you the soft skills that will see you slot seamlessly into an already well-established team.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the hard and soft skills you can expect to learn at a coding bootcamp:
Collaboration tools such as GitHub are essential for web developers to master early on in their journey. Any good coding bootcamp will equip you with a good grasp on the tools and technologies that developers employ when collaborating on a project, such as how web developers use version control systems.
You’ll also get to grips with servers and hosting, such as Heroku, that will allow you to quickly put a web application live on the internet—as well as common developer databases, like MySQL.
While the nature of web development involves significant amounts of autonomous, independent work, web developers can still expect a sizeable amount of collaboration with stakeholders or the wider team.
More in-depth coding bootcamps will emphasize collaboration techniques, and even take you through some useful online tools that will keep you synched with your teammates.
Empathy is a vital skill in web development. Developers should be able to place themselves in the shoes of their colleagues, their clients, or anyone associated with the product.
Empathy won’t just help you to collaborate effectively—but also understand the stakeholders and their needs.
Alongside writing code, debugging and fixing errors is a huge part of web development. As a result, the ability to effectively solve problems is paramount to any web development job. A thorough coding bootcamp will take you through how to logically approach problems, and come to a working solution.
Finally, communication skills are essential in almost any job profile—and web development is no exception.
Developers often need to explain their processes in simple terms that can be understood by employees who are less technologically savvy. They should be able to communicate well, providing as much clarity as possible.
3. Do coding bootcamps really work?
While we’ve gone through the ins and outs of a coding bootcamp, you might still be wondering: do bootcamps actually work, and are they worth the investment of my hard-earned cash?
We might be a little bit biased by simply saying “yes, bootcamps do work!” So to prove our point, let’s dive into the data.
According to bootcamp comparison site Course Report, respondents of a 2022 research study reported a $24,000 increase in median salary in their first job after attending a coding bootcamp. That’s a salary increase of 51%.
So, how does a web development bootcamp stack up against a conventional university degree? Most university computer science programs currently on offer take roughly four years, with tuition ringing in at about $163,140, according to CourseReport.
Coding bootcamps, on the other hand, are usually around 14 weeks long, and average $11,874 in tuition. If that wasn’t convincing enough, the average coding bootcamp graduate earns $70,698—a considerable amount more than the average university graduate salary of $59,124 (Course Report, 2022).
If you’d like to look at other reasons why this is true, we’ve created a full guide to whether coding bootcamps are worth it.
Our takeaway? If you want a faster, more affordable route into a lucrative career in web development, a coding bootcamp is absolutely worth the investment.
4. Do I need relevant experience before enrolling in a coding bootcamp?
If you’re interested in becoming a web developer, but you’re worried that your lack of relevant experience or qualifications could hold you back, we’ve got some great news: you don’t need development-related qualifications—or a solid background in tech—to enroll in a web development bootcamp.
All you really need to enroll in a web development bootcamp is a strong interest in web development, and time to dedicate to the course.
As previously mentioned, web development bootcamps are designed to take you from total novice to fully qualified web development —so a background in tech is certainly not a prerequisite. If you’ve got the motivation, web development bootcamps have got the means.
Many of the world’s most successful web developers have come from a myriad of diverse backgrounds—from web design to engineering and beyond. The joy of web development bootcamps is that everyone is on a level playing field.
5. What will my day-to-day look like when studying at a coding bootcamp?
It’s a common misconception that coding bootcamps are a “quick fix”—and don’t require as much hard work or dedication as a computer science degree.
You might expect that you’ll breeze through the syllabus, skim-reading the course material undetected, and, in the absence of a conventional exam system, emerge as a fully-qualified web developer with minimal input.
While many web development bootcamps offer flexible learning, you can expect to put as much hard work, dedication, and concentration into a coding bootcamp as you would for a traditional degree. Juggling your studies with your schedule (or, in many cases, a full-time job) requires a huge amount of organization and self-discipline.
If you’re opting for an online web development bootcamp, you’ll also have to find time for regular Skype check-ins with your mentor, alongside your independent study. You’ll also be expected to immerse yourself in the field of web development through networking and independent projects.
Learn more about a typical day in the life of a web developer in this insightful blog post.
6. What kind of salary can I expect on completion?
An increase in salary is one of the most common driving factors behind a career change, so it’s natural to be curious about the kind of money web developers can expect to earn in their first role.
On top of that, it makes sense to be wondering what you can expect salary-wise as you progress through your career.
After all, in order to assess if a web development bootcamp is truly worth the investment, you need to know that you’ve got a financially secure future ahead.
Average web developer salaries
As with any profession, the average salary of a web developer depends largely on location, as well as experience level.
To give you a rough idea of the kind of money you could be earning, we’ve rounded up a global snapshot based on the latest data provided by Indeed, Glassdoor, and CWJobs for the job title “web developer.” You’ll find their equivalent in US dollars after each.
- Australia: Aus $92,352 ($62,044 USD)
- Canada: C$70,179 ($51,559 USD)
- Germany: €54,494 ($57,167 USD)
- India: Rs 475,266 ($5,757 USD)
- UK: £37,411 ($45,571 USD)
- USA: $75,848 USD
Remember, this is only a snapshot! To find out more, this complete guide to web developer salaries dives into specific roles, locations, and level of expertise.
7. How do I choose the right coding bootcamp for me?
With so many bootcamps on offer, choosing the right one can feel like a minefield.
They all have their own unique models and offerings, and a hefty amount of research is required to truly unpack which bootcamp will align with your preferred learning style, your career goals—and of course, your budget.
The truth is, not all web development bootcamps are created equal. Picking the right one could mean the difference between finding a job quickly and struggling to get a company to hire you. To help you along the way, here are some points to consider when deciding which bootcamp is right for you.
Think about your schedule
How many hours of study can you realistically commit to learning web development per month?
Do you intend to fit your studies around your full-time job, or are you planning on dropping everything to focus on making the switch? If the former is correct, you might be more suited to an online, flexibly paced bootcamp. If the latter rings true, you might be more drawn to an intensive, in-person course.
On top of that, it can be useful to think not just about the weekly time commitments of a bootcamp, but also its overall length. If a twelve-week bootcamp seems to intense for a career-change, there are many online coding schools offering longer or more flexible courses, stretching up to a year in some places.
Look at the quality of the curriculum
Is the curriculum curated from outside materials, or is it produced in-house by web development experts? How does the program break down some of the soft and hard skills that we discussed earlier, like coding languages?
Is the curriculum up to speed with the latest methods, tools, and software? Unpack each web development bootcamp curriculum to ensure it meets your standards. Above all, make sure the course content excites you!
How will the course guarantee you a job in the field?
Does the bootcamp offer in-house career specialists who can support you throughout your job searching process?
Do they offer opportunities to broaden your horizons and seek out job opportunities, such as networking events? Will you graduate with an impressive web development portfolio that you can show to future employers and clients?
Get to know the graduates
Whether it’s through virtual and in-person networking events or via LinkedIn, connecting with current students and alumni and hearing the stories of the people who studied at web development bootcamps will help you to gauge whether it’s right for you.
If you can, try to talk to a graduate who comes from a similar professional or educational background as you. That way you’ll be be able to find out more accurately what their level of coding knowledge was before they began the course, what was worthwhile investing time into, and which wasn’t. Through them, you’ll get more of an insight into how your own career path might look.
Review the reviews
Student reviews offer great insights into what it’s like to study with that bootcamp. Bootcamp comparison sites like Course Report and CareerKarma are great places to start when it comes to both finding detailed reviews and comparing bootcamps.
Weigh up the investment
Of course, comparing the prices of different web development bootcamps is crucial. Research what programs offer ways to lighten the financial load, such as your money back if you don’t find a job within a set period of time after finishing the course. What other payment options do they offer? Is there a way for you to stagger the cost of tuition, such as with an Income Share Agreement (ISA)?
8. What are some of the best web development bootcamps?
Now that we’ve explored everything there is to know about coding bootcamps, let’s look at some of the best ones currently on offer that will get you started on your journey to becoming a web developer.
Price: $8,075-$8,500 USD
There are few full-stack web development programs on the market that combine a comprehensive curriculum, personalized mentorship, and project-based learning quite like CareerFoundry.
With 96% of our eligible alumni getting a tech job within 180 days of graduation at top companies including Google, Apple, and Amazon, CareerFoundry offers some of the highest quality course content on the scene.
CareerFoundry’s offering comes in at $8,500 for the entire program, but the cost of the tuition is dependent on your location and is competitively priced. This includes all of the learning materials you’ll need, and the tools you will use are either free-to-use, or free for when and how you’ll use them during the program.
A range of flexible payment options include paying upfront, or getting a small course discount. Contact a program advisor to find out your local pricing and if there are any partial scholarships available.
If you’re not yet sure whether you want to take the leap into a new career in web development, you can take the one-month, mentored Intro to Web Development Course.
Price: $9,500 for part-time Flex program, $16,000-$19,909 for full-time
Offering not just online web development bootcamps but also design and data science, Thinkful students are paired with a mentor to support them one-on-one. Renamed from a full-stack web development course to a software engineering one, Thinkful promise students are guaranteed job placement after graduating—or tuition will be refunded.
Scholarships for their web development bootcamps are also available for underrepresented populations and veterans. They also have a Cybersecurity bootcamp which also may be of interest.
4. General Assembly
Also offering online and in-person bootcamps, General Assembly offer an immersive 12-week software engineering bootcamp or the same course over a more flexible 24 weeks.
On top of that, they offer a wide range of shorter coding courses in the likes of frontend web development, Python, Java, and React. In these offerings, students learn in-demand coding skills from expert developers in a 10-week part-time course. The courses are offered online and across 15 campuses in 4 continents, with fixed start dates.
Price: $11,610-16,000 for the Software Engineering Bootcamp
Springboard offers a range of online, self-paced courses, but chiefly they offer a bootcamp in software engineering lasting nine months at 20-25 hours of work per week. They boast a wide range of payment plans including deferred tuition and a job guarantee.
Price: $1,511 for the nanodegrees, or $377 for monthly access.
In case you haven’t heard of them before, Udacity offers online courses. For coders, they’ve set up their School of Programming and Development, offering courses such as 16-week frontend web development and full-stack development “nanodegrees”.
It must be noted however, that these bootcamps are not for complete beginners—Udacity state that some coding prerequisites are required first. Students also don’t receive career assistance apart from a GitHub portfolio appraisal and LinkedIn optimization advice.
As well as these two bootcamps, they offer more than 30 programs cover such subjects as cloud computing, data science, mobile app development, and Dev Ops.
BloomTech offers online programs for beginners in web development and web design. One of the major benefits is that there aren’t any up-front tuition costs—under this Incoming Sharing Agreement students can start repaying when they earn over a certain amount in their new coding job.
There are also a range of other payment options, but no job guarantee. This is an intense and challenging web development bootcamp, with 95% attendance required, with completion of pre-course work or entrance test required.
So there we have it: everything you need to know about web development bootcamps. Changing your career is always a risk. But bootcamps provide the ideal environment where you can discover the joys of coding—without the hefty financial burden.
If you’re still not sure whether web development is for you, we’d recommend signing up for this free 5-day coding short course to build you very first website, and see how you like it. Here’s a sneak preview, as our in-house developer Abhishek shows you the ropes to get started:
Once you’ve decided whether this mode of study is for you, you can start comparing options.
To learn more about web development, check out these articles over on the blog: