Do all the things like ++ or -- rants, post your own rants, comment on others' rants and build your customized dev avatarSign Up
Get a devDuck
Rubber duck debugging has never been so cute! Get your favorite coding language devDuckBuy Now
Search - "too smart for my own good"
When I first joined the profession, I had a mentor who refused to give me straight-forward answers to my questions / queries. He always had the same answer, "Google it. Find the solution yourself." I hated him for that. Sometimes he used to explain that it was for my own good (blah, blah, the usual stuff) and not because he didn't know or couldn't give me the answer straight-away. I still thought it was just that I was too smart to ask all the right (complicated) questions and he didn't have the answers.
(Of course, that is a bit too exaggerated; he used to help me out with complicated stuff when he knew I was blocked and couldn't move further; he wasn't a sore mentor; he was a good one, in his own way.)
Several years later, I find myself giving the same answers and advice to juniors I mentor. It turns out that push to figure things out on my own did me a lot of good. I'm able to approach any problem head-on and not freak out even if the specs or the deadlines seem surreal. I know how to "figure" answers to problems that I come across for the first time. In the process you learn a lot of stuff that "keep you ahead of the curve and not grow old".2
I can't get any shit done when trying to work in a public place, like in class or at Starbucks or frankly anywhere where people can (and will) look at my screen, as they'll inevitably think, "what the fuck is this guy doing?"1
Without getting too into the backstory, I got my start at one of these. I wasn't technically illiterate, but I wasn't doing anything more than basic static sites and scripting.
Here's the good: the bootcamp I attended covered a veritable fuckton of material, and really served as a good introduction to the kind of stuff that I now (as an actual employed developer) see every single day. The instructor was an actual, successful, smart-as-a-whip developer, and there were many such devs on staff, ready to help when the need arose, for the most part.
The Ugly: First, is the expense. Wowee, was it expensive. It's been years since I attended, and I'm still paying it off. Second, this was full time stuff, in another state. So not only did I quit my job to attend, I also incurred expenses moving into the area to attend this school, and I was not in the minority in that regard. I kind of knew what I was getting into, so this is in no way the fault of the program, but it was part of the boot-camp experience. Two things were indicated on the website, that ended up not being accurate: one was a hiring network/guarantee of employment after finishing the course. I know that this isn't something that you can really guarantee in a sustainable way, but they shouldn't have advertised it, and then retracted it when asked. The second was "you don't need anything but the clothes on your back! We'll provide a laptop, to ensure that everyone has the same computing experience." Nope. The day I arrived, I got a "by the way, did you buy your laptop?" I was good for it, but there's a surprise $1,500 expense from my now-fixed cash reserves. And the biggest gripe is this: after dropping several thousand dollars altogether, experiencing immense financial stress that detracted from my ability to concentrate fully on my coursework, and ultimately not getting a job in this industry for fully a year after completing the program, I realize that I could have saved a shit-ton of money and sanity if I'd had a little bit of self-confidence and discipline to learn the material on my own. And by learn the material, I mean learn how to browse stack overflow and google things.
And that's really the tl,dr of this wall of text: the coding bootcamp I attended taught me that writing code isn't rocket surgery, and if I realize that I'm smart enough, and I can do it, then I'll be alright. Years later, I actually have a ton of fun doing it, so there ya go.
Final verdict: am I glad I went? Yes. Was it worth the money? Hell to the no.