CodeClan students learning in classroom

Learning to code: bootcamp or online?

Written by Tony, Instructor at CodeClan

Here’s a common question I’ve been asked before by people looking to learn the craft of coding – if there are loads of resources on the internet which can help you to learn to code, why do I need to attend an immersive coding course? From my own experience, nothing beats class based immersive learning.

I’ve experienced both sides of the bootcamp experience. I was once a student at a coding course based in London, and now I’m an Instructor at CodeClan. There are loads of benefits to learning in a class environment which you just don’t get if you teach yourself online. Here’s five that instantly spring to mind for me…

1. Your fellow students

The people you are going to learn with will not just be your peers, they will become your coding friends. They will celebrate your high moments and be there for the odd low ones. They will be your second pair of eyes and sometimes the solution to the problem you were facing. The most important part is that they will go through this journey with you, some of them will teach you, and in return you will teach them. This relationship is invaluable and is something that only comes from learning in a classroom environment.

2. Having role models

Having talented developers as your instructors makes all the difference. “You are not dumb, we all just learn at different paces” were the words of my main instructor as soon as I screamed “I CAN’T DO THIS…” Let’s be realistic, if your experience of coding is limited you are bound to make mistakes. When you have these moments your instructors will be the people that lift you back up, help you and you will strive to become just as good if not better than your role model and become a role model to someone else.

3. Working in a distraction free environment

One of the main problems I have found as an instructor is when a student says “I tried it online, but got distracted, lost all interest and gave up”. Being in a class environment means you will be able to truly focus on the tasks and problems given to you and of course you will have us to help you along the way. There will always be an instructor on hand to help, just in case the tasks are too challenging and to ensure you don’t end up staring at the computer thinking “what do I do?”.

4. Networking opportunities

Being a student in CodeClan has another advantage that you will not get from online tutorials. You get to meet people and I don’t mean just your fellow students and instructors. CodeClan has a network of almost fifty Employer Partners. You’ll get to meet these companies as the course progresses, finding out what it’s like to work for them and in some cases even visit their offices. Most importantly, you’ll have access to any new roles they may be hiring for.

As well as this, CodeClan is part of CodeBase, Edinburgh’s tech incubator, home to a plethora of start-ups, big tech companies and a lot of programmers. It also plays host to regular tech events and meet-ups.

5. The Instructors

I won’t go on too much here, just think about it. Will you be able to ask a computer screen why that line of code you just wrote makes no sense to you? Will you get an explanation of why your code broke or it didn’t run correctly?

All the instructors here have one thing in common. We love what we do. We learn from each other and apply this same passion to all the students. We’re constantly striving to learn new technologies to keep ahead of the game, giving our students the finest experience in learning to code.