As Singapore’s tech scene has grown over the years, so has interest in tech jobs, and in turn, coding bootcamps as a means to get there. According to Course Report, a coding bootcamp review site, the number of bootcamp graduates has grown 10x in the last 4 years.

Beyond the hype, participating in an intensive bootcamp requires substantial time and financial investments. Is it really for you?

Our short answer to you – it depends. Coding bootcamps are most worth it for students who want to quickly learn development and land a job in tech, and are willing (and able) to significantly alter their lifestyles and routines to do so.

Read on as we walk you through the 4 questions that will help you determine if a coding bootcamp is the right fit, and more importantly, how ALPHA Camp’s programme fits into the picture.

What is my motivation?

Defining your goal is the first step in your decision making process (image source)

If you’re reading this, you likely have some interest in learning to code and build software applications. But what exactly do you want to get out of learning how to code? Do you want to pick up a new hobby? Do you plan to work on some side projects? Are you hoping to make a career switch and become a professional developer? Do you have the next billion dollar idea but don’t know how to build it?

In general, bootcamp is probably an overkill if you’re casual learner or someone who wants to test the water out first before committing to a career switch. However, if you’ve already made up your mind on pursuing a career as a developer, coding bootcamp is an attractive option (more on this later).

What are my options?

To be clear, bootcamps and formal education are not requirements to becoming developers. As an analogy, think about learning a new sport. You could technically get really good on your own – you really just need a pair of sneakers, open space, sports equipment, and a lot of practice. Regardless, some people like getting private instructors or joining teams. It all depends on their learning style and what environment they thrive best in.

Here’s a quick rundown of the most common ways that Singaporeans currently learn how to code.

4 Ways to Learn How to Code (infographic)

ALPHA Camp’s online web development programme serves as a happy medium between basic online programmes and intensive coding bootcamps. Like a physical bootcamp, our programme prepares students for industry by teaching them the most in-demand skills in the tech industry, but allows students the flexibility to learn around their own schedules.

However, we know learning online can be lonely, so our students will receive personalised coaching from our student success specialists, and have the opportunity to attend regular live sessions where they can learn and problem solve with teaching assistants and classmates.

Which course/programme do I chose?

Within each of the 4 course types we just discussed, there are likely several options that you are considering. We recommend that you compare these options across 3 dimensions.

1. Curriculum

Going back to your goal, check that the curriculum matches it. For example, if your goal is to apply for a specific type of job after graduating from the programme, you’ll want a curriculum that teaches very industry-relevant skills and incorporates career preparation.

ALPHA Camp’s programmes are highly focused on industry needs. We work with startup and corporate partners from the tech industry to bring real-life projects to our students. One of our industry partner, Mukkull Dasgupta, Head of Marketing and Analytics at Linkedin, said that working with ALPHA Camp students reinforced his belief on the importance of practical learning in an academic setting. ALPHA Camp “covers the gap between the theoretical and what you really need in the workplace, because there usually is a really big gap there,” he said.

Beyond the content, also check for expected experience level – while our programme requires zero experience and is beginner friendly, some programmes want students with a baseline level of experience.

2. Schedule and course setup

Are you planning on putting your life on halt and dropping everything to code, or do you need something more flexible? If it’s the latter, see how different programmes keep you motivated and foster a classroom environment remotely. How accessible is the teaching team if you have questions? Will you get to interact with other students?

3. Reputation and student outcome

How do alumni do after graduation? How quickly do they find relevant jobs and what kind of companies do they join? Most graduates take between 1 and 6 months to find their first job post bootcamp, with more landing jobs as time goes by.

bootcamp career result

Employment numbers from Course Report’s 2017 data – 73 North American coding schools and 1450 student responses (source)

ALPHA Camp’s grads from previous programs have done well in the job placement process as well, as 90% of our employment-seeking alumni managed to land jobs within 6 months of graduations. Our alumni currently make up the backbone of Asia’s tech ecosystem, from exciting startups like Carousell, honestbee and Grab to innovative organisations such as Facebook, DBS and the Singapore Government.

What if I still can’t decide?

Sometimes you just have to dive in and give it a try (image source)

If you’re still unsure after doing your own research, here are some of our tips to help you finalise your decision.

  • Try a free learn-to-code programme online – If you’ve never coded before, try a free resource like an online coding game to get a taste of what it entails. Ask yourself, can you really picture yourself committing yourself to coding for the next few months?
  • Talk to alumni – You can read about our alumni  or reach out to them directly via Linkedin. They can give you honest feedback on their experiences that you won’t find on any marketing page.
  • Ask lots of questions – After carefully reviewing our curriculum, you can ask us directly about any outstanding questions you might have.

Ready to become a developer? Join ALPHA Camp’s upcoming cohort today!