The Benefits of an In-Person Coding Bootcamp vs. Online Classes

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With the rise of coding bootcamps as a pathway into the world of tech, there are a lot of options to choose from. One of the most important decisions to make is whether you want to attend an in-person class or an online bootcamp. While both options provide their own advantages, in-person classes tend to provide better outcomes for students for a variety of reasons.

The Breakdown: In-Person vs. Online Coding

Choosing between in-person and online bootcamps is an important decision that will shape your coding skill set. Your learning experience will influence both your opinion of the coding education service and coding in general. A bad programming learning experience can turn people away from coding altogether. Here are the benefits of in-person coding bootcamps compared to online classes:

Access to Support

While online classes may be more accessible in certain cases, they lack essential elements that are important when learning a new skill. Most important among these is support. When learning a skill that is as involved as coding, it’s crucial to have support for when you get stuck – because you will get stuck!

It can be incredibly difficult to simulate support in an online class, but it is a key component of the in-person experience. Having the ability to get live feedback from instructors and tutors can accelerate and improve the learning process, eliminate frustration, and allow for the exchange of ideas.

The wealth and depth of information that is available when learning to code can be a blessing and a curse. Many developers will tell you that the ability to Google is a key part of their day-to-day job. It may sound silly, but it’s true! Developers share knowledge with each other regularly, meaning there are plenty of answers on the web. This, however, can make it difficult and overwhelming to learn as a beginner. Where should you go for information? How do you know that the particular video you watched or article you read is a best practice?

In these cases, there is no substitute for having the guidance of a professional to help you work through the problems that you’re having. Not only can they give you the answers that you need and direct you to strong, reliable online resources, they can help you solve problems through real life coding, which brings us to the next benefit:

Practical Application

In terms of learning a new skill, and especially one that is going to be the center of your new career, nothing is more important than practical application. The core goal of the coding bootcamp experience is to make sure that students are ready to land a job after graduating. Employers value the ability to understand high-level concepts, but at the end of the day, if you can’t apply the concepts to real life code, no one is going to hire you!

Much like support, it is hard to simulate genuine practical projects through online classes. When opting for an in-person experience, you open up the world of guided coding, immediate feedback on project builds, and more. Even with the best online curriculums, it’s impossible to have the same level of responsiveness and guidance as an in-person classroom.

Peer Collaboration

Another important advantage that in-person coding classes have over online options are that they allow for real life collaboration with peers in a classroom setting. Similar to having the support of instructors and tutors, being able to collaborate and build with peers improves the learning process significantly.

Learning coding is an iterative process, meaning that it is best learned by doing, (often failing), and doing again. The value of having peers beside you who are going through the same process cannot be understated. It can be lonely to feel like you aren’t grasping a concept fast enough. Classmates are able to relate, provide their own unique perspectives and strengths, and help as you break down barriers. Not to mention, you’ll leave with the added benefit of having built a network of peers and friends that can help you in your future career.

The Pace of Online Coding Bootcamps Can Leave You Behind

Finally, many online or immersive coding bootcamps sell the idea that you can learn to be a web developer in just weeks. While this may sound attractive to someone who’s looking to switch careers, these expedited courses generally don’t allow for students to absorb the extensive amount of material required to become an effective and job-ready software engineer.

Think about any new skill that you’ve ever learned. Would you say that you’re willing to be a professional in it after a few weeks of study? Probably not. Web development, like anything else, is a skill that can be learned and developed. While you may be able to pick up some information over the course of a few weeks, real learning and competency comes from practice, application, and repetition.

Compared to these programs, in-person classes generally tend to be slower than online coding schools. A less frantic pace allows for exploration and helps the learning of a vast amount of resources sink in and stick rather than rushing through material only to forget most of it shortly afterward. For this reason, in-person grads tend to be more well-rounded and job-ready candidates after graduation.

Summary: In-Person Coding Bootcamps

Both options have some pros and cons to weigh out before choosing. Depending on what your learning style is, in-person coding courses could be the right fit for you. In-person coding bootcamps have some strong advantages that play off of student’s strengths and shore up their weaknesses more effectively than their online counterparts.

In learning programming languages or any other subject for that matter, motivation is key to succeeding. Having fellow learners and instructors around can help bolster motivation and ensures that you won’t fall behind. Online coding bootcamps can be less expensive, however, they are also less structured and make even the most prompt of online instructors feel out of reach. Furthermore, working in teams is one of the most important aspects of efficient coding, and in-person bootcamps allow for richer teamwork experiences.

Overall the superior structuring and level of student interaction make in-person coding bootcamps the way to go for most students. These pros make in-person bootcamps a better choice for you.

If you are considering joining a coding bootcamp, consider Austin Coding Academy.

Make Your Experience Learning to Code a Good One: Austin Coding Academy

At Austin Coding Academy we make sure that students get the best possible in-person experience, through three key components:

1. Our flipped-classroom approach project-based curriculum give you the practical experience that companies are looking for from bootcamp graduates. All of our students graduate with a full-built application that they can use in interviews.

2. Unlimited tutoring is available to all of our students. As long as you’re willing to put in the hours to learn, we make sure that you have the support to work through any problems that you may encounter.

3. Job placement is our number one priority. We have a Director of Job Placement who works with each of our students individually, and a 4-week Job Placement course to make sure that every single graduate is supported as they launch their new career.

Interested in learning to code with Austin Coding Academy? You can learn about the courses we have to offer, our job placement strategy, and more at austincodingacademy.com. If you’re ready to get started, you can fill out a quick, 5-minute application and apply now.