What is a Coding Bootcamp?

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The Short Answer to The Question: What is a Coding Bootcamp?

Programming bootcamps are intensive, 3-12 month courses that take a different approach to teaching programming and meet different needs compared to a typical 3-5 year university computer science course.

Bootcamps are practice-oriented forms of training with little theoretical background, providing intensive training in the use of each programming language with real-life, practical examples. Emphasis is placed on teamwork, soft skills development and meeting business needs.

Training is often provided in cooperation with market players and companies, tailored specifically to their needs. You can find out more about the close links between employers and bootcamps by browsing through this article.


What is a coding bootcamp


Why is it Called A Bootcamp? 

Bootcamp is the name for military training camps, and programming bootcamps are called bootcamps because they usually put their students through a very intensive workload, “training” them in a few months, requiring a large investment of energy and time.

Training courses are available in different time frames and intensities, but there are also courses that keep participants busy for 8-10 hours a day for weeks.

How is a Programming Bootcamp Different From Learning Coding at University?

Bootcamps have been created to alleviate the lack of specialists in the IT sector by training skilled practitioners in a short period of time who can quickly get up to speed and start working as programmers.

Intensive programming courses usually last between 3-12 months and teach you the basic skills you might need to succeed in a particular role, for example as a frontend or full-stack developer.

In contrast, university bachelor courses last 6-7 semesters, with a much greater emphasis on learning the theoretical foundations of computer science and advanced mathematics. Students are given a complex overview of the whole field and are able to tackle complex problems, but there is much less emphasis on the actual practice of individual programming languages.

Theory vs Practice 

Due to the growing demand for software developers, bootcamps, or “crash courses” for programmers, have also appeared in Hungary. Unlike university courses, such courses do not reinforce theoretical knowledge, so they do not provide a strong mathematical and computer science background, but they focus very strongly on programming practice.

The Selection Process

The selection process is usually a multi-stage process, assessing logical ability, English language skills and presenting candidates with different tasks to filter out the most suitable candidates. The strict requirements for bootcamps are based on the need to train the best programmers for the market in a short period of time, in the interest of employers and schools. They can achieve this by selecting the most competent candidates.

How Do Bootcamps Approach Teaching Programming?

The curriculum focuses more on learning skills that can be used in the workplace, and on teaching current, modern technologies. For example, frontend, backend and full-stack skills are taught.

Another important difference compared to a university course is the group work and the continuous practice, which provides valuable experience. Bootcamps are usually conducted by experienced mentors who have been in the programming field for a long time and know the real needs and expectations of the IT field. Once the students have learned the basics, they can apply their skills to projects like the ones they will later work on in the workplace.

There is a strong focus on developing soft skills and on interview preparation. In general, cooperation and communication skills are developed in group work and joint projects, and various training sessions are held to support, for example, time management and assertive communication.

Preparation for job interviews is often part of the training, with special attention given to practising typical interview questions and familiarizing yourself with the programming tasks that you will possibly encounter during an interview.

Is This Form of Education Effective?

From the success rate of graduates in finding a job, it seems that, yes, a combination of theoretical and practical education, project-based learning, teamwork and the development of soft skills is an effective way of learning.

Employers are keen to sample promising fresh graduates at the end of one of these courses. Between 2015 and 2018, 888 students graduated from the 3 biggest players in the Hungarian bootcamp market (Codecool, Green Fox Academy and Progmasters). Of these, 692 students were placed in the labor market by the educational institution and a further 172 students were self-reported by the schools as having found a job on their own. (Data from the IVSZ Bootcamp audit report.)


What Technologies Are Taught at Bootcamps?

A wide range of programming languages is taught as bootcamps, such as frontend languages for web development (HTML, CSS and JavaScript), technologies for complex tasks such as Java, C#, and Node.js, a form of JavaScript that can be used on the backend, and the most popular frameworks related to the above languages (Angular/React, Spring, .NET).

In addition, participants will learn version control and the use of related platforms, agile development and the basics of testing.


What is a coding bootcamp


What Is The Difference Between a Programming Course and a Bootcamp?

Programming bootcamps usually aim to turn applicants into developers who can stand on their own and can get a job after completing the course. To do this, they learn a complex curriculum at an intensive pace and usually include skills development, team project work and interview preparation.

In addition to this form of learning, there are many other programming courses, often less intensive and less complex than a bootcamp, whose aim is not to train students to become programmers, but to introduce them to certain programming languages or to introduce them to the basics of programming.

In a previous article, we went through the different forms of training, comparing the different stages and settings of the IT training system. 

Who is a Programming Bootcamp For?

The main target group for bootcamps are people who want to change careers, who already have some financial means to afford an expensive training course and who want to acquire marketable skills in a short time so that they can quickly find a job in their new, more promising profession.

Those who want to study while also working or attending university can choose from part-time courses.

Others would like to gain the knowledge they need to start building their IT career in a few weeks or months. For them, super-intensive courses (bootcamps) can be a solution, but these involve 8-10 hours of learning a day, which amounts to a full-time job. 


“It doesn’t matter if you were a doctor, a policeman or a pianist, if you can get into developmental thinking, you’ll have no problem learning. Those who have worked with a living language, for example, are particularly quick to pick up the rhythm, as they can easily find similarities with the logic of programming languages,” says Krisztina Csepely, psychologist of Codecool.


It is necessary, however, that the applicant has the necessary time and financial resources to complete the training.

You’ll need a basic problem-solving, challenge-oriented, creative and inquisitive attitude, as well as perseverance and openness.

Programming bootcamp – Prices and Payment Methods

The price of a programming bootcamp is usually not low, but there are wide variations in the market and a wide range of payment schemes available. It is common to have the possibility of post-payment financing and many bootcamps are advertised with a job guarantee.

Read our article on Programming courses with a job guarantee for more information on what you can do with a job guarantee, and if you’re interested in where and how you can learn to program, browse our article series titled Programming Courses.


What is a coding bootcamp


If Programming Bootcamps are not the Right Choice for You

There are many people whose circumstances don’t allow 3-12 months of learning 8-10 hours a day, or who are just learning about programming and are not sure if they want to make a career change. For these people, it is a good first step to look for a shorter programming course of their choice, in a language, they like that suits their goals, rather than a bootcamp.

Codeberry courses teach you the basics of programming through the most popular programming languages (including JavaScript, Java, Python, C++). The majority of our courses are either 4 weeks long, for a total of 20 hours at a basic level, or intermediate courses that build on the basics you’ve already learned.


Of course, if those few months were enough to learn everything there is to know about programming, no one would bother getting a degree in computer science or spending years honing their skills.

A programming bootcamp can give you the basic skills you need to get a career as a programmer in a job that doesn’t necessarily require a university degree. If you’re new to programming but want to get a job as soon as possible, this could be a great option for you.

Basics of Programming

In CodeBerry Programming School’s “Basics of Programming” series, we discuss programming-related topics and everything you need to know to get started. Stay tuned for new articles and find the answer to every “what”, “why”, and “how”, you may have had about coding!

Would you like to learn how to code, online? Come and try our first 25 lessons for free at the CodeBerry Programming School.

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