Title: Barriers Faced by Coding Bootcamp Students
Advisors: Andy Ko (iSchool) and Katharina Reinecke
Abstract: Coding bootcamps are a new and understudied way of training new software developers. We interviewed twenty-five current or former coding bootcamp students to learn about the barriers coding bootcamp students face. We used the Communities of Practice framework to analyze barriers in both the students' relation to coding bootcamps and their relation to the software industry. We found that bootcamps offer an alternate path into the software industry, providing a second chance for those who missed programming earlier, particularly for women who had not considered programming a possibility or had been too intimidated to try. As in other computing education environments, bootcamp students faced issues around "fitting in" and divisions between those who "get it," and those who don't. Bootcamps came with a great personal cost to bootcamp students, often including significant time and resources used outside the bootcamp to get into the software industry, though they sometimes expressed uncertainty of what was needed to make this transition successfully.