Self Taught Coder Vs Coding Bootcamp; which one's better?

Profile Picture of Jared Mullane in Suit and Tie

For our Veterans in Tech episode, we had Jared Mullane as our guest for the Sabio Tech series Podcast. Jared is a Military Veteran who currently works at Facebook as a Connectivity Program Manager.

During the Q&A segment of the show, one of our listeners who is also a Veteran, voiced a question that many people ask: Is it better to go the self-taught route of becoming a software engineer or join a coding bootcamp?

Why does it have to be one or the other? You’ll probably find that as you start teaching yourself how to code, there’s more that you’ll want to learn and coding bootcamp is the next best step for you to take in your continuous journey to develop your skills and knowledge in tech.

But I can’t afford Coding Bootcamp

Sabio has a deferred tuition program where you pay for the course, after you’ve gotten a job. We have several other payment options such as the Income Share Agreement, Sallie Mae student loans and the Skills Fund.

Our Coding Bootcamp is also eligible for Veterans to receive funding through the GI Bill (covers prework), Vet Tec, Vocational Rehab and more.

I Don’t Have Time To Do a Full Time Bootcamp

We have a part time program that takes 20 weeks and we have a night time program that takes 24 weeks. We also have a virtual campus for those that cannot attend the classes physically.

More Pros for Joining a Coding Bootcamp

“I think it's a great way to learn, especially like speeding up your learning depending on how disciplined you are on your own.

I think for me, it's difficult without a class or without structure to stay focused and to stay consistent and kind of keep myself honest to learning new skills. I think one of the other advantages of not going on your own and going through a bootcamp or a type of program like that is you build your network.” –Jared Mullane, Connectivity Program Manager at Facebook.

  • Whether you’re a Vet or a civilian, if you don’t know anyone at any tech companies, enrolling at a bootcamp, is a great way to gain a network in the tech world. It will come in handy during interviews when you and other candidates have the same skills and qualifications but you have the added benefit of a referral from your network.

    Through your network, you’ll hear about job openings and you can find out which places have the best company culture that suits you.

  • As a Vet, it’s easy to feel isolated and lost at large institutions because you find it difficult to voice your lack of knowledge to civilians. Since one of Sabio’s goals is to help increase the number of Vets joining tech, there’s a high chance of having other Vets in your class and you will have access to our Vet alumni who you can ask questions and get assistance from.

  • You’ll learn with people of different age groups unlike in university where it’s mainly young people for undergrad which may make you feel like you don’t fit in.

  • During the bootcamp, Sabio students are exposed to project-based learning. Students are connected with a client and build a website and mobile application for them that will be featured on their resume.

    Because of this, you’ll be able to answer interview questions based on group projects. This puts you at an advantage against self-learned interviewees who didn’t work on group projects. Every institution wants someone that can work with a team and not frustrate their colleagues.
  • You’ll be prepped for interviews and hence, will find it easy to talk code and explain code during video interviews.

  • You’re provided with a curriculum which makes your learning more focused and effective.

  • At Sabio, our instructors are tech professionals so they’ll teach you what language is current, answer your questions and relay concepts in terms that are easy for you to understand but they’ll also challenge you to come up with your own answers.

  • Bootcamp will prevent you from learning bad coding habits.

  • The fast pace at Sabio, will make it easy for you to work anywhere else.

  • As ex-military, learning at a coding bootcamp will help you transition from working in the army to being able to work with civilians in a flat structure unlike the authoritarian hierarchy which exists in the army.

  • Unlike universities, what you learn is more practical and less theoretical.

What to Consider Before Applying to a Coding Bootcamp

Coding Bootcamp is a challenging course which is one of the reasons that not everyone who applies or interviews with Sabio, gets accepted. We enroll people who are committed and will see the course through to the end.

If you’ve joined a bootcamp purely for the salary that you want to earn when you graduate, there’s a high chance you’ll drop out because coding needs interest.

illustration of a Guy Thinking with questions marks surrounding him Self Taught Coder

If you have any more questions, you can attend our Sabio online info sessions or contact us through join@sabio.la.