What is a Coding Bootcamp?

Columbia State Community College’s Software Development Bootcamp is a 12-week, full-time training program powered by Upright Education. The coding bootcamp is designed to bring adults with little-to-no coding experience to the point where they are capable of landing an entry-level position as a computer programmer, web developer, or related technical role. 

Experience in coding is not a requirement, and there is no one-size-fits-all type of person who attends a coding bootcamp. Participants come from a wide variety of backgrounds, however, there are recurring traits commonly seen in successful graduates. These traits include a strong work ethic, the ability to convey complex information and communicate well with others, a high tolerance for frustration, and the desire to improve one’s life. Does this sound like you?

Participants attend coding bootcamps for a variety of reasons: perhaps you have hit a ceiling in your current career and feel unsatisfied with your trajectory, or maybe you have discovered a passion for programming through self-study and want to advance to the next stage with professional support. Maybe you want a career that offers more opportunity to spend time with family by allowing remote work. Whatever the reason may be, bootcamps allow you to quickly transition into a new and exciting role in an industry that consistently demonstrates huge growth potential, high starting salaries, and a deeply fulfilling line of work. 

Why We Teach JavaScript

Columbia State Community College’s Software Development Bootcamp focuses on JavaScript, which is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world. Along with HTML and CSS, JavaScript is one of only three native languages of the web – all of which will be taught in this program. Companies big and small, including Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Netflix use JavaScript to power pieces of their web applications. This is because JavaScript is the only scripting language that can be used on servers and browsers (front-end + back-end). Including JavaScript in your résumé provides growth opportunities in your career as it continues to find its way into more and more domains. In short, JavaScript casts a wide net in terms of employability. 

Our Methodology

This program not only teaches you how to code, but also how to think like a programmer in a career setting. Our bootcamps work through an industry recognized curriculum taught by passionate instructors. Participants experience a unique career-coaching approach, networking opportunities, and the development of a personal portfolio featuring software that you build with a real client – all of which contribute to helping you land your first job in tech.

Programming Fundamentals: Weeks 1-4

In the first few weeks, you will learn the basics of web design, user experience, and front-end web development using HTML, CSS, and Javascript. You will also learn how to work with terminal commands, GitHub, text editors, and take a deep dive into programming with JavaScript. The following weeks will focus on DOM manipulation, layout, structure, and solidify what you learn through weekly projects.

Full-Stack Software Development: Weeks 5-8

The middle of the course will teach you the software development concepts and practices used in the industry; you will become familiar and comfortable with building full-stack web applications. This unit focuses on more powerful front-end software such as React.js and Leaflet. You will also learn back-end software development using APIs, Express to build servers, and MongoDB for database integration. In the last week, you will have finished your portfolio website, a place to showcase all of the projects that you have completed thus far.

Work with a Real Client: Weeks 9-12

This is where you will build, think, and work in a real development environment. Every Software Development Bootcamp participant works with a real client to produce a high-quality portfolio project. You will form a team of peers and pair with an organization that has an objective that you solve with a software solution. 

By working with a client, you get to experience developing software in an environment that closely resembles a real career setting: interpreting client needs, working in an agile project cycle, time management, and the opportunity to program a piece of software that has the potential to be used in the real world. Clients that bootcamp participants work with are often non-profit or mission-driven organizations looking to solve a real world problem. 

An example of a student-built project is Park Burlington, a dynamic application that features an interactive map displaying available disabled parking spaces in Burlington, Vermont. Clients who sponsored this project include representatives from the Burlington Business Association and the Department of Public Works.

park burlington student project
Park Burlington, Interactive Map Application


Career Development

The Software Development Bootcamp is not all coding. Working with our career success team, you are planning for your future from the very beginning. The career development track is taught through workshops, 1-on-1 sessions, and networking with employers and industry experts. In our career track, you can expect to participate in:

Career Coaching

One-on-one coaching sessions that provide you with a framework to identify your post-bootcamp career goals and a 360-degree strategy to achieve them. One-on-one sessions allow you to curate your resume and create a customized approach to finding employment upon course completion. These sessions provide you with an opportunity to work together with a career success professional and create a plan to target open positions with employers that align with your personal values. 

Our career success team hosts a series of weekly workshops that teach a range of valuable skills from job application strategy and nailing your interviews, to more specialized topics such as networking techniques and negotiation.

Networking

Each week, you will meet with hiring managers or industry professionals in the form of interactive Q&A panels. These sessions provide an in-depth perspective directly from those in the industry on what skills employers seek in candidates, what actually happens in a career setting, and allow you to build professional relationships with the panelists. 

Demo Day

Demonstrate your competency in software development to the world. At the end of the program, you will show off the culmination of your hard work at Demo Day – a live demonstration of your capstone project delivered to an audience of hiring partners, industry professionals, and your personal network.

Post-Bootcamp Career Support

Following the completion of your program, you will have access to the career success team for continued support while you find your first job. Staff regularly share available job opportunities sent directly from our network of employers, and we facilitate personal introductions to interested graduates to help get your foot in the door. 

Taking the Leap

You may be asking yourself, is learning to code worth it? Or, will this lead to a fulfilling career? 

Before joining a course, we encourage you to do your research! Attending a coding bootcamp is no small commitment, and being prepared in all aspects of your life is critical to your success. Our admissions team welcomes you to connect with an advisor to help you determine if learning to code will lead to a career that will bring you personal fulfillment, and provide you with all of the necessary resources to prepare you for success.

If a full-time bootcamp sounds like too big of a commitment, consider looking into the less intensive part-time Career Ignition program first, and ease your way into the bootcamp.  

If everything described above excites you and you have a desire to enter a new career in tech, we invite you to submit an application. Upon doing so, you will be paired with an admissions advisor to help you find a course that fits your schedule, secure available funding, and help you start your journey towards a new and fulfilling career.