NASHVILLE SOFTWARE SCHOOL
I prefer to keep my posts technical, but I'll deviate from that for a moment to talk about my decision to attend the Nashville Software School (NSS).
Growing up as an athlete, I found that with enough grit, I really was able to accomplish whatever I had my sights on. However, with 'coding bootcamps' popping up left and right, I was drawn to the idea of being able to reach my goals faster, through an intense, immersive experience. With programming being quite possibly the largest rabbit hole known to man, I think the biggest benefit for me with be having a structured curriculum to follow.
A word of advice for anyone who may also be considering attending one of the many bootcamps out there. These programs are NOT all created equal. Specifically, I wonder how much you can really teach someone in a 10-12 week time span. The shorter programs that are successful, are filled with people who've already got a good bit of programming experience under their belt for that specific reason. Not to mention, I think it's important to have a solid 6-12 months exposure to the field before deciding whether or not a bootcamp is a wise investment for yourself. Personally, it seems a bit far fetched to think you can take someone who's done a few weeks worth of pre-work, and have them ready for a substantial job offer in that kind of time frame. Even with 18 months experience teaching myself, and pursuing a second Bachelor's in IT, I declined slots at other programs and decided to look at gSchool and NSS, both of which are 6 month programs. During gSchool's Skype open house, it seemed my concerns were shared by a lot of other prospective students, many of which had also declined their slots. With NSS being a non-profit, and with my family 70 miles away, I accepted an offer from NSS without moving further with my gSchool application.
Finally, I'll add that this is only the beginning, a next chapter as it may. Once I complete NSS, I will be continuing on with school, even if it means continuing at night while working. I want to dig deeper into some lower level languages, and while others may see formal education as being unnecessary, I definitely don't see the harm in utilizing every resource available.
Feel free to ping me if you have any specific questions about some of the other programs. I'd be glad to share more about my experience, and point those interested in a good direction!