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Coding Camps Climb Professional Ranks

From barista to tech wiz. Computer coding boot camps are hot. Vaulting their graduates in just months into high-paying jobs. We’ll look at the surge.

Shereef Bishay, co-founder of Dev Bootcamp, center, talks with student Ryan Guerrettaz during a class at Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Dev Bootcamp is one of a new breed of computer-programming schools that’s proliferating in San Francisco and other U.S. tech hubs. These “hacker boot camps” promise to teach students how to write code in two or three months and help them get hired as web developers, with starting salaries between $80,000 and $100,000, often within days or weeks of graduation. (AP)

Shereef Bishay, co-founder of Dev Bootcamp, center, talks with student Ryan Guerrettaz during a class at Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Dev Bootcamp is one of a new breed of computer-programming schools that’s proliferating in San Francisco and other U.S. tech hubs. These “hacker boot camps” promise to teach students how to write code in two or three months and help them get hired as web developers, with starting salaries between $80,000 and $100,000, often within days or weeks of graduation. (AP)

Computer software coding bootcamps are grabbing headlines lately. Two or three months of intensive training in writing code or analyzing data and – boom – the twentysomething on the cover goes from waiting tables at $20,000 a year to code warrior glory at $100,000 a year. Crash courses in software coding – “bootcamps” – are springing up all over. A lot of grads do appear to be getting good jobs. What’s the magic? The demand? The need being filled? And is this the future of a train-for-the-job economy? This hour On Point: bootcamp, career change, and the US labor market now.

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Liz Eggleston, co-founder of Course Report, an online resource for people considering coding schools. (@coursereport)

Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor. (@adchamberlain)

Jim Deters, CEO and co-founder of Galvanize, a coding school. (@yodeets)

Paul Ford, writer and computer programmer. His 38,000-word piece, “What is Code?” appeared in the June 11, 2015 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek. (@ftrain)

From Tom’s Reading List

Bloomberg Businessweek: What Is Code? — “A computer is a clock with benefits. They all work the same, doing second-grade math, one step at a time: Tick, take a number and put it in box one. Tick, take another number, put it in box two. Tick, operate (an operation might be addition or subtraction) on those two numbers and put the resulting number in box one. Tick, check if the result is zero, and if it is, go to some other box and follow a new set of instructions.”

New York Times: As Tech Booms, Workers Turn to  Coding for Career Change — “After Paul Minton graduated from college, he worked as a waiter, but always felt he should do more. So Mr. Minton, a 26-year-old math major, took a three-month course in computer programming and data analysis. As a waiter, he made $20,000 a year. His starting salary last year as a data scientist at a web start-up here was more than $100,000.

Quartz: Alternative lenders swoop into booming coding school market — “A rash of companies are looking to make money off the next generation of education financing: coding schools. The forces for a booming market are all there. College is getting pricier,salaries for computer programmers are going up, and people are flocking to non-collegiate classes at for-profit education startups like General Assembly and the Iron Yard to learn coding and other technology skills. The coding bootcamp market is poised to more than double in 2015 to 16,056 graduates, up from 6,740 in 2014.”

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