Terry Hillis
The Right Bootcamp Terry Hillis


TL; DR: Don’t rush into a $13,000 coding bootcamp without checking out this alternative.

“Hey, you should check out JavaScript. We just hired a graduate of a BootCamp and offered him $85,000, with only 3 months of experience.”

That’s what my brother told me about a year ago. I was in-between work and looking for a change. Enter JavaScript.

It started casually — coding bat, freeCodeCamp, YouTube — but as the months went on, I knew I needed something more. I wanted something hands on.

That graduate that my brother hired attended Hack Reactor, which was apparently as competitive as Harvard, and comparatively just as costly. I figured if I could make it in, I’d be set.

Given Hack Reactor’s barrier to entry, I decided I ought to be a savvy consumer and search the field. I went on to apply, interview, and receive admission from other, easier to matriculate, programs, such as UT Austin and DevMountain. I even put in my two week’s notice at work. More on that in a later post.

It was like I got a thrill from the admission, but when it came time to enroll, I would get cold feet. Some $13,000 worth of cold feet.

Each time, I couldn’t help but think “Is this large expenditure really necessary to take my learning to the next level?” I couldn’t justify it.

By this point, it was June 2019, and was still playing catch-and-release with bootcamps, including Hack Reactor. I decided it would be worth the application, and so I blew through the prep material, interviewed, and then heard nothing back.

Bummer. Time to move on to better things. I turned to the next bootcamp: Bloc. This time, the goal was to save money. They have a 100% admission rate, a job-guarantee, and an overhead of only $8,000. Not too bad.

I was set on Bloc. I placed the deposit and was set to begin in August. That’s when the folks at Hack Reactor reached out..

Surprisingly enough, after two months of silence, I was admitted to Hack Reactor! How proud I was. After a year of hard work, I was admitted to the program that inspired me to take the plunge into JavaScript technologies in the first place.

Like clockwork, however, I got cold feet. Hack Reactor may have a top tier reputation, but they also incur top tier costs. $18,000 worth of costs.

I couldn’t do it. I knew there had to be a cheaper and equally effective way to do it all. Even Bloc, while it was $10,000 less than Hack Reactor, still felt overpriced. If you don’t believe me, just read student testimonials from attendees of these programs. Sure, you they provide structure, mentorship and a cohort of like-minded peers, but the content of these programs is nothing special. You can find top-tier project ideas and tutorials on Udemy, Coursera, YouTube, and FreeCodeCamp. If you shell out $20,000 for a bootcamp, it certainly should not be for the content alone.

I continued my search for the best bootcamp for me. I wanted mentorship, but not with $10,000 of overhead.

That’s when i discovered NuCamp: a full-stack, in-person, part-time, bootcamp, that only costs $2,000.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Finally, after a year of searching, I knew that I had found the right program for me. NuCamp offers an introductory HTML, CSS, and JavaScript course, and also bootstrap, React/Redux, React Native, and Node.js courses as well. Best of all, if you don’t need the introductory stuff, you can skip the first class and head straight into bootstrap.

I matriculated in early October, and I can unequivocally say that I am a proud customer. I have no buyers remorse whatsoever. My NuCamp instructor is outstanding, and the course pace is ideal with my full time work schedule.

More on my coding ~journey~ to come.



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