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Coding bootcamps instead of college
Old 07-05-2018, 07:20 PM   #1
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Coding bootcamps instead of college

What do you think of putting kids in high school in a coding bootcamp and letting them start their careers as a programmer by 17 instead of sending them to a 4 year college?

Save the college fee & instead open a vanguard account on their name with 200k. Let them be home with you saving up all their income and continue to invest it in the account from age 17 to 25 to be FI at 25 with ~800K in their account.

My BS in computer science really hasn't been useful in my career as a coder. I am really averse to taking the same path for kids. What are your thoughts on this?
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:28 PM   #2
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Rather than tell you what my thoughts are, I'll ask a couple of follow-up questions:

Is this what your children want instead of going to college?

Is it in their best interest or a way for you to avoid the expense of college so you can retire on your current less-than-optimal nest egg?

You say "I am really averse to taking the same path for kids." Isn't it the kids, not you, who will be taking the path and shouldn't they have a say in what that path might be?
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:32 PM   #3
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IMO it depends on the kid.

Not everyone is cut out for college and we all know kids that went into "the trades" who did a lot better financially and personally than many who got degrees.

I actually knew of a classmate who's grandfather set aside his school tuition because the kid didn't want to go to school. He used the money to buy a rental property and built it up from there.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Rather than tell you what my thoughts are, I'll ask a couple of follow-up questions:

Is this what your children want instead of going to college?

Is it in their best interest or a way for you to avoid the expense of college so you can retire on your current less-than-optimal nest egg?
I think OP said "...save the college fee & instead open a vanguard account on their name with 200k...." I'm taking that to mean he'd use the money he'd spend on their tuition and set it aside.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:36 PM   #5
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I think OP said "...save the college fee & instead open a vanguard account on their name with 200k...." I'm taking that to mean he'd use the money he'd spend on their tuition and set it aside.
My bad. I'll edit my post.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Rather than tell you what my thoughts are, I'll ask a couple of follow-up questions:

Is this what your children want instead of going to college?

Is it in their best interest or a way for you to avoid the expense of college so you can retire on your current less-than-optimal nest egg?
I don't know yet what the kids want. Yes fair point that it depends on the kid.

How is it that you think I'm trying to avoid expense when I said I'll open an account with 200k (college expense) for them. This is exactly the problem. Rushing into a thread and being judgemental thinking about my past posts. Instead how about simply being in the present moment. Simply read my post for what it is exactly saying. Nothing more. Nothing less.

And as I mentioned my threads are more like a general discussion than "seeking help" on my issues in specific.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:45 PM   #7
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IMO it depends on the kid.

Not everyone is cut out for college and we all know kids that went into "the trades" who did a lot better financially and personally than many who got degrees.

I actually knew of a classmate who's grandfather set aside his school tuition because the kid didn't want to go to school. He used the money to buy a rental property and built it up from there.
Yeah I see more and more folks are moving away from school / college to getting into doing what is more useful
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:50 PM   #8
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I was a hiring IT manager who came through a year long trade school. I've hired a couple bootcamp folks as a last resort. Most are very limited career wise, I know I had to work a lot harder than most of the people who worked for me.

You can be limited by education, but it doesn't mean you can't do anything you want to. My buddy had a 12 week USMC coding bootcamp for education and went on to be the CIO of a major company.

Depends what you want. My ole man wanted to manipulate me so he withheld the education he'd promised. He was a real work of art. How do you want to be remembered?
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:53 PM   #9
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I think you’re discounting your education too much. Sure, it probably didn’t really help you much with coding, but what about general knowledge? Learning how to learn and interact with people in projects come to mind. I’m not saying there aren’t batter paths than a 4 year degree, but none? Also, at 25, if all goes well, your son is FI (though I don’t think $800K at 25 is FI), then what? Back to learning how to learn. There’s a lot of paths. I think your idea has potential but is not fully developed yet. Good thing is that your son has a dad whose heart is in the right place. Maybe he becomes FI at 25 and then goes to school to do something he’s figured out he’ll really enjoy.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:02 PM   #10
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Nope. Nope. Nope. My hands-on experience at hiring and managing software engineers tells me that bootcamp grads are not as good at programming or general work skills as those with a 4-year BS degree. I'm sure there are a few exceptions out there, but as a general rule, a BS beats a bootcamp cert hands down.

Besides which, don't assume your kids want to follow in your footsteps. You've made it pretty clear you don't like your work. Do you really think your kids haven't noticed? And even if they haven't, do you really want to condemn them to sharing your unhappy fate?
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:37 PM   #11
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Nope. Nope. Nope. My hands-on experience at hiring and managing software engineers tells me that bootcamp grads are not as good at programming or general work skills as those with a 4-year BS degree. I'm sure there are a few exceptions out there, but as a general rule, a BS beats a bootcamp cert hands down.

Besides which, don't assume your kids want to follow in your footsteps. You've made it pretty clear you don't like your work. Do you really think your kids haven't noticed? And even if they haven't, do you really want to condemn them to sharing your unhappy fate?
Your experiment sample has a bias here. Are MIT graduates more successful than others because of the education at MIT or because they were anyway smart enough to get into MIT? It is the latter. Similarly the folks you have seen going through a bootcamp may not have been as smart as the ones that went to college. Infact may be that's why they dint get admission into a good college in the first place.

The best way to measure this is to take two good size equally smart samples and let them go through BC and BS and then measure their success in work life. I'm sure college doesn't make a difference here. If you are specifically working in say compiler design, writing a new operating system yes BC graduates won't have those skills which they can learn by taking a course in that specific area. But for general application development which is what most people work on there is no need to sit through a four year college.

What I am worried though is about managers with biases like you have. These folks might not even give a chance to a BC graduate to check him out first. But this is only a problem for the first job. Once the first hurdle is off, your education becomes less significant as you build your experience in resume.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:41 PM   #12
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Bootcamps are a (poor) means for college grads from other majors to have a chance to switch over to a programming career. They aren't a substitute for college.

It also would limit the kids ability to work for the top tier tech companies with only a bootcamp certification and not a degree. Software Engineering is becoming more and more necessary and lucrative across a wide variety of industries, don't short-circuit their career path unnecessarily.
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:16 AM   #13
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Bootcamps are a (poor) means for college grads from other majors to have a chance to switch over to a programming career. They aren't a substitute for college.

It also would limit the kids ability to work for the top tier tech companies with only a bootcamp certification and not a degree. Software Engineering is becoming more and more necessary and lucrative across a wide variety of industries, don't short-circuit their career path unnecessarily.
+1000

With more development moving overseas the dream of a development in your hometown is ending. Most larger organizations have moved much of the coding overseas and use their local talent doing architecture, design, performance. All specialists.

While I had years of experience, without a BS there were many doors that were permanently closed to me.
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:38 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by firenow View Post
What do you think of putting kids in high school in a coding bootcamp and letting them start their careers as a programmer by 17 instead of sending them to a 4 year college?

Save the college fee & instead open a vanguard account on their name with 200k. Let them be home with you saving up all their income and continue to invest it in the account from age 17 to 25 to be FI at 25 with ~800K in their account.

My BS in computer science really hasn't been useful in my career as a coder. I am really averse to taking the same path for kids. What are your thoughts on this?
are the children actually interested in computers ( and coding )

after mixing with several geeks , passion seems to be the key , not the desire for money .

one ( or more ) children might be just as happy taking a job and investing wisely ( with some extra cash in that account if they save a little )
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:47 AM   #15
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What do you think of putting kids in high school in a coding bootcamp and letting them start their careers as a programmer by 17 instead of sending them to a 4 year college?

Save the college fee & instead open a vanguard account on their name with 200k. Let them be home with you saving up all their income and continue to invest it in the account from age 17 to 25 to be FI at 25 with ~800K in their account.

My BS in computer science really hasn't been useful in my career as a coder. I am really averse to taking the same path for kids. What are your thoughts on this?
It sounds like you got a degree in optimizing compilers and then went into a business information systems environment. Of course your degree did not help. Wrong degree for the job. It's not unusual lots of people have done this since the schools were selling what they had available.

Here's a simplified hierarchy that I hope you recognize in most organizations, please no nitpickling on salary ranges, it's just meant to be comparative.

At the top: Architect level people and management types. Degrees are necessary for these. ($100 to 200 K jobs)

Next: Business and technical analysts. These used to be open to anyone but nowadays, more require a degree. ($60 to 100K jobs)

Next: Coders. The best ones are worth 10 times what the worst ones are. A degree is not necessary and boot camp would be a decent option, but it is a dead end job - you are a mouse driver for the foreseeable future. ($40K to 100K, but high end is with 5 years experience). You are competing with folks in foreign countries with PhDs and working for $20-30/hour. Good luck with that.

That said, for someone starting, they could transition to one of the other jobs but it would be extremely difficult without the degree. But it is an honorable living.

Also look at lower cost schooling options - state schools or community colleges can offer strong programs at a fraction of the cost.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:36 AM   #16
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What does your kid want to do?

As for finances, I did let my kids know early on that if they wanted to attend anything more expensive than an in-stare school they'd need to figure out how to cover the extra cost themselves.

Which they did.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:46 AM   #17
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Your experiment sample has a bias here. Are MIT graduates more successful than others because of the education at MIT or because they were anyway smart enough to get into MIT? It is the latter. Similarly the folks you have seen going through a bootcamp may not have been as smart as the ones that went to college. Infact may be that's why they dint get admission into a good college in the first place.
The smartest person is not always the best person for the job. Quite often other qualities are more important than intelligence in determining how successful someone will be. And no, I honestly haven't found MIT grads to be better developers than SDSU grads on average. I have found that they are very likely to be better developers than grads from Coleman or University of Phoenix though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by firenow View Post
The best way to measure this is to take two good size equally smart samples and let them go through BC and BS and then measure their success in work life. I'm sure college doesn't make a difference here. If you are specifically working in say compiler design, writing a new operating system yes BC graduates won't have those skills which they can learn by taking a course in that specific area. But for general application development which is what most people work on there is no need to sit through a four year college.

What I am worried though is about managers with biases like you have. These folks might not even give a chance to a BC graduate to check him out first. But this is only a problem for the first job. Once the first hurdle is off, your education becomes less significant as you build your experience in resume.
Yes, of course I'm biased. Everyone is. When my job was to hire and manage 35 people, and make sure the products got designed, developed and delivered, I didn't have the luxury of setting up scientific experiments to determine whether bootcamp coders were as good as college grads. Like all hiring managers, I have to rely on my past experience and learn from the mistakes I've made. And based on my experience, I would never suggest to a child that she pursue a bootcamp cert in lieu of a BS degree.

I've actually interviewed many candidates from bootcamps and 2-yr tech schools. Candidates took coding skills tests, were interviewed by other senior engineers, discussed their approach to solving various problems, etc. Very, very few of the bootcamp and 2-yr technical college grads had even remotely comparable skills to a 4-yr college grad with a BS. The few who made it through the interview process came in two flavors: a) had a college degree in some other subject, usually a hard science, and were making a career change; b) had been doing freelance web and app dev for several years either before or after getting the bootcamp cert. Even when we hired them, these guys definitely struggled a lot more than the ones with 4-yr degrees and had a lot more to learn before they became productive.

Plus, don't underestimate the importance of just knowing how to do work and how to behave in a professional environment. For a manager, taking on a 17 year old with minimal high school work experience and a bootcamp cert means you are committing to spending a massive amount of time teaching them about everything from the importance of calling in when you're sick to appropriate dress to what jokes should not be told in the office to making sure they don't commit timecard fraud. You have to do some of that with 22 year old BS grads as well, but the younger they are, usually the more you have to do and the more times you have to repeat it.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:16 AM   #18
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I would say water the grass where it wants to grow tall, not short. If coding or tinkering with logic puzzles, and solving problems, and puzzles and creating functioning programs is of interest, there are a couple paths to take.

I took this route but back in 2000. Meantime, I had a good friend who went the BS CompSci route. FFWD, we both love our careers and make well into six figures. I did it with little to no debt, he did not. I was able to buy a home, and another, and another, and he chose to surf and be in Huntington beach, I chose to live in the cold Midwest have kids and get married, he chose to have a live-in girlfriend.

I've racked up about ten certifications that have helped my earning potential. This was a must for me since I did not have any bootcamp or CompSci degree, I did take a CompSci class to try it out.

I don't discuss NW with my buddy but my guess is we are close to the same. You can definitely ER on a CompSci career, if you become a Sr Dev, or anything Sr fairly quickly.

Finding the job is the hard part, and sometimes I see being in college can allow you more social connections, but that also didn't hurt me. I am a very social person and have been on hundreds of interviews.

As for the bootcamps...I have mixed feelings. I've never met someone myself who has completed one and is working in IT afterward, but I do know it happens. My OTHER good buddy dropped out of a code bootcamp and ended up paying 10,000+ for a wasted opportunity. (this is the same guy that majored in photography and spent well over 100k obtaining that degree). Both my coding buddy and I spent weeks helping him try to make his decision, and we honestly told him it wasn't for him, he is not left brain, he is right brain.

He didn't listen and is now on the hook. His problem was that he wasn't apt in computers when he started, had little interest and did it only because he saw me and buddy in HB making good money living the good life. You can want it all you want, but you need to actually complete the class, and find a job, and enjoy that job for decades before ER is possible.

Full dislosure I am not "DEVELOPER" but I do write code as a Test Engineer. So I am an engineer, I write code, but not as the general public perceives it to be. I write code that automates checking and validations, so humans don't have to do that.

Oh, and now I don't find my jobs, they find me. So when you get to be trusted, respected, and well known in your field, that matters much more than where your credentials are from. I'm not talking being GOOD vs BAD employee...just what the reality of getting hired is today. There are more jobs than people, but that might always be the case, as innovation should never stop, if it does, we are hosed.

I've also been told we don't hire people without BS degree's only to be offered a position. Soo yeah, some companies say they require it, but if you are a strong enough candidate, they will take the risk.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:32 AM   #19
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The degree gets the foot in the door at the mega Corp where I work, they like degrees.
Internships help securing a job too during schooling, we hire many that come thru the internship.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:59 AM   #20
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I got a BS in EE with minors in Math and Comp Sci.
Spent my entire career in software/hardware systems test and manufacturing automation.
While I rarely directly used college material in my day job, had I not had the broader college education, I would not have:
1: Taken Engineering Economics. A one semester class that covered things like ROIs, amortization,

Without that background, I would not have been able to perform cost-benefit analysis, make-vs.-buy estimates, budgets including depreciation, etc etc.
I could have pounded bits, but management has an expectation that you continuously improve.

2: Statistics class: one thing a programmer REALLY needs to learn is just because it worked once does not mean its ready to release. And how to defend your position when somebody is using statistics in a completely biased or absurd manner.


3. Calculus: a little thing like comparing the area under a curve and rates of change when ramping up input into a system is valuable. Without it your "just a tech/drone that needs to be told what to do".


There are a lot more examples.
I think there are a lot of worthless college degrees out there, and trade schools are not given enough credit.

The net is, if you only aspire to be a software industry drone, get an education that only focuses on drone tasks.
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