2022 Guide to Online Coding Bootcamp Programs

Coding can be a valuable skill that may open up new career opportunities. Online coding bootcamp programs can help you learn coding online in a structured, fast-paced format. You’ll gain firsthand experience and skills that may prepare you for a career in coding.

What’s the Difference Between Coding and Programming?

Coding and programming are closely related, work together, and are often used interchangeably. Programming refers to the process of planning and designing a software program. Coding is a facet of programming that involves writing a machine-based language code a computer can understand. 

The skills involved in coding and programming differ, even though the processes work together to accomplish a single goal—the creation of an app, program, website or other element. Popular coding languages include Python, R and Perl. A coder may need to be familiar with these languages to do their job effectively. Programmers may need to be familiar with other processes and skills, including the ability to model algorithms, test frameworks and use analysis tools when designing and testing a program.

Do you need to learn coding before programming? Not necessarily. In the program development life cycle, a programmer may start by planning out an app’s structure, features and design. Once they’re done with that, they may give the information to the coder. The coder would then translate those ideas into a code, essentially creating the app and its functionality. From there, the programmer would review the app and check it for bugs and other issues. 

While traditional computer science degrees may include classes on programming and software development, coding bootcamps are more like short, intensive training programs to teach job-specific coding skills. 

What Is a Coding Bootcamp Online Program?

What is a coding bootcamp or online web development bootcamp? A coding bootcamp can be a fast, convenient and less costly way to learn coding online. A bootcamp may help prepare you to become a web developer. These short-term training bootcamps are typically run by private, for-profit companies, not accredited colleges or trade schools. Many are offered entirely online, while some are also available as on-campus programs. 

Coding bootcamps differ from traditional degree programs in their structure and in the information that students learn. Rather than spending four years studying coding, these bootcamps typically last 12 to 40 weeks. A full-time coding bootcamp might take six to 12 weeks, while a part-time coding bootcamp can last six to 10 months.

With this condensed time frame, these bootcamps might focus on the most important skills a web developer will need to be prepared for employment. Many programs focus on these key skills for real-world jobs. 

Online bootcamp program structures may vary, but many bootcamps involve both observation and hands-on work. You’ll likely watch your instructor demonstrate a skill and lecture, and then try the process on your own to gain experience. Plan to also spend time reading and learning course materials on your own. 

Some bootcamps may have a focus on team learning, including group projects. Because the coding world is largely collaborative, learning to work well as a team is an important career skill. Most camps will include at least one significant group project, and you’ll have the chance to put your skills to work in a group setting to create something new, like an app. 

What’s Covered in Online Web Developer Bootcamp Curriculum?

Coding bootcamp curricula will vary depending on the program, but some common full-stack web development skills that may be covered include: 

  • HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  • How to create a website from scratch.
  • Terminal commands. 
  • jQuery.
  • API consumption.
  • Web development frameworks like Ruby on Rails, ExpressJS and Django. 
  • Version control tools like Git and GitHub. 
  • Servers and hosting platforms like Heroku and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • Common databases like Postgres, MySQL and MongoDB.
  • DOM manipulation.
  • How to update website data with AJAX.
  • How to write Node.js server code.
  • How to use a MySQL database to query large amounts of data.
  • How to use Joins, Wheres, and Counts.
  • How to use data structures and algorithms.
  • How to use databases like MongoDB instead of MySQL.
  • How to improve application performance.

During a bootcamp students may learn coding languages like Ruby, JavaScript and Python. A bootcamp may also focus on other languages such as PHP, C++, Java and .NET. 

Bootcamp curricula may start with introductory topics, giving students the skills they’ll need to build on as the course progresses. By the completion of the bootcamp, students will be able to perform both front-end and back-end web development as well as relevant data analytics. Students may be ready to put these skills into action and might have also created a portfolio of projects during the bootcamp.

Online Coding Boot Camp Admissions

When applying for a coding bootcamp, you may need to complete an interview and an application that expresses your interest in the program. Some programs require you to complete a multiple-choice assessment to assess your critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities. You don’t necessarily need coding or web development experience. 

However, other schools have more stringent requirements and may expect you to already be familiar with the foundations of coding. If you don’t have that experience yet, schools may offer prep courses to develop the skills you’ll need to be admitted into a bootcamp. 

While these are common admissions requirements for online coding bootcamps, requirements can vary from program to program. It’s always best to refer to the website of the bootcamp that you’re applying to for complete requirements. 

Benefits of a Web Development Bootcamp

Coding bootcamps offer multiple benefits, and they may be an appealing alternative to a traditional four-year degree program. Because many bootcamps can be completed in just months, they may be an ideal choice if you want to pursue a career right away. The option to choose a part-time or full-time course of study may make it easier to balance your education with your other commitments, including work and family obligations. 

Bootcamps may help open up new career paths and opportunities, including potential employment as a back-end developer or front-end developer, a webmaster or a full-stack developer. With the demand for web development professionals growing, pursuing a career in coding may be a promising choice. 

But why do a coding bootcamp? There are many potential reasons. You might want to change careers and be looking for an educational opportunity you can take on with your current job. Maybe you’ve always had an interest in coding and want to get started building your career sooner than you would if you pursued a traditional degree program. You might also be looking to specialize in a specific job or career area. Whatever your situation, coding bootcamps may appeal to students for many reasons. 

Why Become a Coder Online

While some coding bootcamps are available both online and in-person, bootcamps that are delivered entirely online may be the more appealing choice for some students. Prospective students may have many reasons to participate in an online coding bootcamp. 

One of the major benefits of becoming a coder online is that you aren’t limited by your location. If you wanted to attend an in-person bootcamp without relocating, you would be limited to the programs in your area, or there might not be a local program at all. Choosing an online bootcamp means you can select the program that’s right for you, whether that’s a rigorous, fast-paced program, a self-paced program or one that focuses on a specific topic in which you’re interested. 

Many online programs offer the scheduling flexibility you need to balance your education with your job and family responsibilities. Some online programs are entirely self-paced, allowing you to access recorded videos so you can study and work at any time that’s best for you. Other online programs are more structured. Some online coding bootcamps function just like an in-person class, with live instruction, real-time exercises, team projects and more. With these asynchronous and synchronous learning opportunities, you’ll be able to choose the type of online bootcamp that’s best suited for you.

The flexibility offered by online coding bootcamp programs may make them a more practical option than attending an on-campus bootcamp.

Online Coder Bootcamp FAQ

Still have questions about online coding bootcamps? Though not all bootcamps have the same requirements, these are some frequently asked questions.

What Qualifies You for a Coding Bootcamp?

Do you need a degree to join a coding bootcamp? Not necessarily. Many coding bootcamps have minimal qualification requirements, and they’re promoted as being alternatives to traditional computer science programs. 

Is a coding bootcamp for beginners? Sometimes. While some computer background is helpful, bootcamps may accept applicants who have no previous experience.

Other bootcamps may expect you to have more experience. You may need to pass a technical assessment and have a working knowledge of JavaScript callbacks, functions and more.

Is an Online Coding Bootcamp Worth It?

If you’re wondering about the ROI of a coding bootcamp online program, you’ll need to consider the cost of coding bootcamps, your career goals and the opportunities a bootcamp could help prepare you for. According to the BLS, web developer employment is projected to grow by 13% from 2020 to 2030. This means that there is likely to be greater demand for web development professionals, and a bootcamp could prepare you for those opportunities.

What Jobs Can You Get After Completing a Coding Bootcamp Online?

How many hours of coding do you need to get a job, and what types of jobs can you get? The answer depends on the job you seek. Coding bootcamps can help prepare you for a variety of careers, including opportunities as a back-end developer, front-end developer, webmaster or full-stack developer. You can even work as a freelancer, establishing your own business and offering coding services on your own.

Is an Online Coding Bootcamp Hard to Get Into?

Is coding hard? It can be, but a quality bootcamp aims to provide the foundational skills that can help you be successful. Bootcamps often don’t have the same rigorous application requirements as colleges, and some may let you take required skills assessments multiple times. Some bootcamps don’t require previous coding experience, just a desire to learn.

Finding the Best Online Coding Bootcamp Program for You

It’s important to find an online coding bootcamp that covers the specific skills you want to learn in a program format and length that works for you. The following online coding bootcamps can help you start your search. 

Last updated January 2022