Do coding bootcamps in Kenya deliver their promise? Can you really become a world-class developer after graduating from a coding bootcamp? Well, we cannot ignore such questions that linger in the minds of many aspiring developers.
If you dream of becoming a top software engineer in Kenya, you must have considered enrolling for a computer science degree. The traditional notion that you need a college degree to succeed in any career path is still so strong in the country.
Every guide you read on how to become a software engineer will mention a degree program. Where do coding bootcamps fit? Can you gain the skills you need in 4-6 months and beat another developer who takes 4 years in college?
We are in a generation that enjoys fast speed in everything. We are constantly looking for the fastest way to learn and start earning from our new skills. Are we missing something? Let us take the discussion further.
Coding bootcamps vs degree programs
As we discuss coding bootcamps in Kenya, realize that not all fit into the same category. Some promise skills that students never get while others go all out to shape developers. Our discussion is limited to coding camps that cover all major lessons in programming extensively.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing between bootcamps and colleges:
The most important consideration when choosing any school should the curriculum content. After all, you are after specific skills and not just passing time in class. A computer science degree covers all major programming components.
You have enough time in college to learn algorithms, languages such as Java, C++, system design, and advanced mathematics. Some booting camps will touch on these courses. However, the most camps are more focused on the job market than papers.
It takes any time from a few weeks to six months to graduate from a coding bootcamp. A college degree will take 3-4 years depending on the institution. Some private institutions offer a crash program to enable students complete a program within a short period.
How much time are you willing to commit to learning how to code? Do you want to learn part time as you work or full time? The decision will always vary from one individual to another. For instance, high school graduates may have more time to study than working professionals.
Beyond the time commitment, you must consider the cost of education. You may be willing to spend several years in school. Can you afford it? Let us be real about the situation in Kenya and many parts of Africa. Many parents cannot afford to take their bright kids through college programs.
Coding bootcamps in Kenya are cheaper than both public and private universities. Any aspiring software engineering should not settle for another career because of the lack of fee. You can start from a coding bootcamp based on your budget and build a thriving career.
4. Personal career goals
Students are rarely taught about setting and pursuing career goals. Such lessons only come as an additional program in college by third parties. You have the power to make such decision while still in high school. If unsure, ask a professional developer for advice.
Before thinking about a college or boot camp, think about what you want to do. The field of software engineering is wide. The reality is that most of the courses you learn do not apply to all fields.
Let us say you are enthusiastic about mobile apps and have no interest in websites. Learning both increases your chances of getting new jobs. However, specialising in one area makes you an expert in it. Clients always prefer to work with experts.
In such a situation, enrolling in a mobile apps coding camp will work for you. The tutors choose specific skills and lessons that apply to mobile apps development. However, if you intend to pursue a tutoring career in software engineering, enrolling into a degree program is not optional.
5. Practical skills
Some of the areas where colleges beat coding bootcamps in Kenya is algorithms, data structures, and advanced mathematics. Bootcamps, on the other hand, offer practical skills. In most cases, the organisations that run bootcamps are experts in the software engineering field.
The tutors recruited in bootcamps know the type of skills that developers need to succeed in the market. Have you heard of the skills gap in software engineering in Kenya? Many university graduates have good grades but lack practical skills that employers require.
You may think that four years are enough time to gain practical skills. However, the experience is different in every college. Some colleges offer opportunities for students to apply the acquired skills. However, most institutions focus on completing the components of the curriculum.
Must you choose?
Do you have to choose between programming bootcamps and college programs? Our advice, you can enjoy the best of both programs. Completing a university degree does not mean that you should rule out boot camps.
You need practical lessons to apply your skills and acquire new skills that a college does not cover. For instance, college tutors have limited time and resources to give personalised career advice. Bootcamps often have fewer students in session. You can access help from tutors and make personal career choices.
College programs offer the basic components of all aspects of programming. Hence, you can easily change your career path in the future. You can start with a college degree and then join a bootcamp. Alternatively, you can join a boot camp if you have less time and resources to enrol in college.
The right choice and path here depends on an individual’s life goals. What do you want to become? Do you have basic training in coding and looking for opportunities to grow? Are you a fast learner who can acquire basic skills within weeks and make a career out of it? Evaluate your goals and available resources to make the decision. Kwetu Hub offers the balance of a rich curriculum for each track and practical programming skills.