Basic #coding camps and courses don’t make you #employment ready.

I could actually complete this post right here based on the title alone, something tells me that I better explain myself first.

Hey! You’re a muso now!

What if I told you that a course on playing guitar and in 12 weeks time you’ll be ready to do a full gig?

Depending on your point of view you’d either laugh me out of the room, panic or attempt to jump in with both feet. All those are correct answers, in fact there is no wrong response.

In the same way small courses introducing “web” programming such as Ruby On Rails, Python and so on will have you career ready, I doubt it highly. In most cases it’s down to how an participant absorbs new information, some will take the information and jump with it (both feet) and some will just accept what’s presented and stop there.

Online coding courses give you the guitar equivalent of:

a-chord-open-position d-chord-open-position e-chord-open-position

Does the above make you a session musician, able to step in to any situation? Of course it doesn’t. And the same goes for coding courses and camps. Yes they’ll give you the basics but even then you’ll rarely be employment ready as you’ve not come across the day to day challenge of problem solving, dealing with the requirements of managers and so. Software development is still about people. All of that requires experience.

It’s Only a Foundation

Three chords or the basics of Ruby/Python gives you a foundation to expand your learning, nothing else. After a good 12 week course in web development you’ll have another year or two of getting solid real world experience before anyone will really consider you. There are rare exceptions, ones who show such enthusiasm and a hunger to learn that they’ll go off and code and code just to get better. Like startups, these type of people are unicorns, rare. A quick look on the likes of Jobserve will show you very quickly that you are out of the frame from 95% of the positions listed, the other 5% and the pay is dreadful.

Building up a portfolio is fine but it still doesn’t give you commercial experience and that’s what the industry is driven on, not degrees and courses. I know PhD’s with all the knowledge under the sun but when you look at their code…. oh I’ve lost jobs making their code work properly. Don’t dent the ego for the greater good, it never ends well I’ve found.

The bottom line is can you, reader, start at a company tomorrow and start making a contribution within 48 hours? Some large companies will run these sorts of code camps and that’s fine but what they are really looking for is that unicorn in the room who can consume all the information and start spinning gold as quickly as possible.

Oh and lastly….

Has anyone mentioned how boring it is to be sat at a desk for 8, 10, 14 hours a day? No?

Not everyone must learn to code, regardless of what the tech press and others say. Perhaps it’s worth asking them what they code in first before jumping on their words of wisdom. Consider coding and software development as a lifestyle choice, one where everyday is a challenge, sanity losing sometimes but rewarding in others. A bit like playing the guitar, you never stop learning…..

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