Hiring Candidates from a Coding Bootcamp in Atlanta
Employers nationally, as well as in Georgia, face an increasingly competitive market for recruiting software developers. Coding bootcamps are part of the response to this need.
A coding bootcamp is an accelerated training program focused on development skills. It’s an alternative to a traditional university degree; instead of requiring four years of classroom time, a coding bootcamp in Atlanta might last two months to a year with forty-hour weeks of immersive development work. Bootcamp courses emphasize the technical skills that participants need instead of the full range of undergraduate requirements.
Michael Newman has expertise both as a technical recruiter with Agile, and as a graduate of one of these coding bootcamps. Here, he provides insights to help employers understand this method of professional training.
Why do participants attend a coding bootcamp instead of traditional university training?
It helps to know who’s enrolling in these programs. CourseReport, which conducts an annual survey of coding schools, found that the average attendee has several years of work experience and a bachelor’s degree but has never worked as a programmer.
“Most people start out in another job function but wanted to make a switch to development,” Newman says. “They might be excited about the skillset, the increase in pay, the work-life balance, or the career path.” Attendees may just prefer a shorter, less expensive route to get the training they need.
The numbers support the benefits of attending a bootcamp. CourseReport says 79.3% of graduates surveyed were employed in a job requiring the technical skills they learned. Hired.com’s “State of Software Engineers” study suggests that companies are open to programmers that come through a coding bootcamp; 57% of software engineers say they would hire a grad. Newman notes that successful candidates come through Agile’s IT staffing firm frequently.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of training from a coding bootcamp in Atlanta?
Employers like to hire candidates with a coding bootcamp background for several reasons:
- They tend to have previous work experience. “Since candidates are typically switching careers,” Newman says, “they’ve already been part of a professional work environment.”
- Candidates who were previously in another job function may have skills in communication, consulting, management, or engineering. They can leverage these abilities in a technical role.
- Coding bootcamp attendees often have extensive samples of work based on projects assigned in their program. This makes it easier for employers to judge their capabilities.
- They’ve studied modern frameworks and design principles. According to Newman, “There are a lot of excellent college programs, but not all of them have adapted the latest programming languages and approaches.” A coding bootcamp can be more nimble in changing its classroom content to include MongoDB, React, Angular, or Rails.
The downside of a bootcamp is that it may not provide the in-depth understanding of computer science and engineering that a four-year degree program can offer.
“Graduates are usually prepared to work in web development and web and mobile applications but not systems-side planning and projects,” Newman explains. Then, they’ll work their way to increasing levels of responsibility along the IT career path.
What are some of the coding bootcamps in Atlanta that job seekers have attended?
The following is a non-comprehensive list of programs that Agile job candidates have attended locally:
- Big Nerd Ranch
- Flatiron School
- General Assembly
- Georgia Tech Boot Camps
- Lamda School
- Tech Talent South
What should an employer know about hiring a candidate whose training comes from an Atlanta coding bootcamp?
Newman gives a list of qualities that the best candidates will offer. “Top bootcamp talent will have strong portfolios of work. They can explain how they were able to build their samples. They’ll have an efficient approach, and they’ll understand the reasons behind different development choices.”
Top candidates will also have effective communication and people skills. As a result, employers may find them easier to work with if they’ve had trouble managing technical people in the past.
In the end, success for both a job seeker and an employer comes from the fit. A coding bootcamp may or may not prepare a candidate for expert backend development. There’s a difference between building off APIs and changing extensive system settings. However, a professional who can solve business problems with efficient and error-free code is a valuable asset to a programming team, regardless of whether that expertise came from a four-year program or intensive training.