So you have decided to jump on the bandwagon of becoming a software developer. But where do you start?
Learning a programming language takes a fair amount of focus and commitment. Right from choosing the language, curating the resources, and learning a myriad of concepts, to building real-world apps that people use on a daily basis, the learning curve is quite big.
There are a few factors that come into picture while choosing the best places to learn coding -
- Technology - Is the technology that you want to learn, in demand today, and will your learning be relevant for a few years at least in the industry?
- Offline vs Online - Are the classes interactive? Should you go for offline or online based learning?
- Mentorship - Is there a mentor who can guide you constantly, provide feedback, and course-correct you when necessary?
- Cost - Is the pricing justified?
- Placements - What is the placement scenario? Do you get guidance in terms of developing your portfolio, and what kind of companies or roles would you be qualified to apply for?
The Learning Modes
Before choosing the best place, picking the best resources from the vast ocean of internet can be frustrating. Rather than finding hundreds of materials from as many sources, it is always a wise decision to find a place where the structure has already been laid out.
There are endless materials on the internet to get one started, but there are a few that stand out in terms of quality -
The drawback here is that even with the premium (or PRO) subscription, Codecademy lacks in one of the most crucial elements of learning - personalized mentorship. You will have to depend on outside community help; even if it is fellow Codecademy students who are on the same path as you, the lack of a mentor to provide feedback, makes this rank a bit lower on the best places to learn coding.
This is a huge platform that has gained widespread popularity over the years. Established content creators and even organizations have started publishing their content here in the form of courses, mini-project series, etc. Founded in 2010 with a goal to globalize education accessibility for students everywhere, Udemy has become the go-to platform for learners in every nook and corner of the world.
The caveats here are many. While access is definitely easier, along with affordable costs, there can be biased reviews on the quality of the courses. Coding along while watching the instructor online, with virtually zero direct access to mentorship or the community of learners, is definitely a disadvantage.
There is also the absence of practice. Without enough practice exercises and challenges to cement the concepts you have gained from the course at each step, online courses from Udemy are at best, a supplemental resource but never a reliable source for learning programming.
This platform stands as one of the true exceptions to the disadvantages of online learning. Founded in 2014, Freecodecamp (FCC), is a not-for-profit organization that aims to deliver 100% free education in computer science to learners everywhere. Thousands of testimonials stand out as a testament to how FCC has helped students from a plethora of diverse backgrounds to dive into the world of programming and restart their lives and careers.
FCC has hundreds of practice exercises and course materials to ensure that your learning is at par with any other premium course out there.
There is however, a fundamental drawback to learning from FCC - lack of mentorship. The learning playground is free and filled with materials, but spending an unnecessary amount of time trying to find solutions and practice by yourself is not constructive.
Bootcamps in India have grown in popularity over the years, largely due to the increase in demand for skilled software developers. Traditional educational institutions do not impart the much needed skills required for the modern industry. This, coupled with the rapid advancements in technology means that upskilling is the way to grow in one’s career.
Bootcamps offer this and much more. Apart from just upskilling, they also help people who are looking to entirely switch careers from a different domain to software development. There are various bootcamps in India to learn programming :
- Lambda School → Online coding school that remotely trains devlelopers. Students pay 17% of their annual income for two years in the ISA model of Lambda.
- Flatiron School → An in-person bootcamp that offers courses in Software Engineering and Analytics. Upfront payment and loan based payment options are available.
- Le Wagon → An online as well as in-person bootcamp based out of multiple locations. Offers courses in Web Development and Data Science.
- The Newton School → An ISA based online bootcamp that offers various courses in programming, with zero upfront fees. Students can start learning right away and then pay the bootcamp back when they get a job. This payment period can extend to 36 months depending on the terms of the ISA and the salary.
- Masai School → Based out of Bangalore, Masai also offers an ISA based online platform for both full-stack web development and full-stack Android development. The fees/ISA structure is similar to that of Newton School’s.
While the courses may be relevant, the fee structure in ISA is exorbitant, and is the first thing that hinders students from joining. Quality education along with affordability and personalized mentorship are what students need today, to become qualified full-stack developers tomorrow.
While it is true that online platforms are easily accessible for self-learners, it is also true that more than 60% of students need 3 main things in their learning journey -
- Personalized Mentorship.
- Feedback Loop.
This means choosing a good bootcamp that has done the work for you in terms of curating content, designing the curriculum, and solid mentorship to guide you all the way through. If you are still on tenterhooks as to whether to join a bootcamp or not, this article gives a compelling reason to make your decision easier.
AltCampus is an online bootcamp based out of India that offers best-in-class curriculum on the popular MERN stack. All course materials have been precisely structured and optimised so that the student can focus on learning right away and not spend time looking for resources elsewhere.
What makes AltCampus different?
It’s more than a traditional bootcamp. AltCampus focuses on setting a process that makes it easy for students to learn programming. With regular communication sessions that engage the students with each other throughout the week, students build their soft skills. And with an active community of learners, AltCampus helps build students’ networks and in landing their first tech job even without prior experience.
Learning at AltCampus is an immersive and experiential experience because of engaging activities such as Demo Days where everyone can present anything that they have built or designed, Hackathons where students form teams and compete to hack away at a prototype in the given time frame. This encourages them to put their theoretical learnings into practice and also inculcates the spirit of collaboration and managing workflows under time-bound pressure - two very important skills for the career ahead.
Students from AltCampus have shared their experiences about overcoming hurdles and becoming successful developers. This goes to show that diversity in the learning community gives a lot of perspective to incoming students.
Built for Developers, by Developers
The gamified learning platform by AltCampus is interactive and gives the perfect roadmap for students to learn programming in a very structured manner along with numerous assignments, practice exercises, including “katas” from Codewars, which ensure that concepts are cemented in the learners’ minds at each milestone.
If you are wondering what you need to know before undertaking the coding journey, all it takes is commitment, dedication, and a will to keep learning new things everyday. This is where AltCampus also goes a step ahead - students learn about how to learn anything in their future tech career. The process is made that simple.
It comes down to two things in the end - time and money. Both are precious assets that everyone needs to invest in learning, in order to become successful developers. Along with what has been stated above, the math for pricing is really quite straightforward. While many bootcamps in India and abroad charge exorbitant prices for very less ROI, AltCampus has kept students’ concerns as the sole factor behind its pricing strategy.
Investing less than 15% of your first annual income as a developer beforehand is practically a steal, considering the demand as well as popularity of full-stack developers. If you are from India, from a long-term perspective, it is the best, most affordable bootcamp to learn full-stack web development. From a global market perspective, this investment is a no-brainer if you are from a high-income country.
As for placements, by the time you complete the curriculum, you will have built a great portfolio that showcases your skills hands-on. AltCampus has a placement percentage of 84%, which ensures that your career in tech is launched as soon as you finish the bootcamp.
Take the leap, today!
Becoming a full-stack developer is a huge feat. There are endless opportunities to create and build impactful products as a developer, especially with the right knowledge and skill sets. If you have decided to take the leap, let’s begin your journey at AltCampus today 🙂🚀