It’s not just JavaScript you’re learning at that Bootcamp

Programming bootcamps are everywhere now. Some are up to the mark while others make up for it with good marketing. Whichever the choice you end up making, it’d be a mistake to think that you’re going into one, say a web development bootcamp, to learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

No, you’re not. You are going to learn programming. JavaScript is but one of many languages you’ll need to use as a software engineer.

While it’s probably scary enough to try to pick up a single programming language, and it’s not my intention to scare anyone away from trying to gain this tremendously empowering skill, it’s the truth. Being able to write JavaScript code is not going to make you good enough to be an employable developer. We need to be more versatile than that.

Here’s the good news: if you know JavaScript well enough, you probably already know how to use Python and Ruby and PHP. You just don’t know the specific syntax yet. Forced to use them, you will find a way to write in that language.

That said, I think it’s useful to go into a bootcamp with the mentality that you’re going in to learn how to write software, not to learn how to write web applications or mobile or desktop applications only. Neither are you going to be so clearly labelled as a front-end or back-end developer. No good sculpture comes out of a craftsman who knows only to work the paper or the chisel.

Let’s face it. You’re looking at joining a bootcamp because you’re interested in technology and want to be able to use it to create things. When you’re done with the bootcamp, you’re going to come out as “the software guy/girl” – so it’s best to play the part before you’re made to.