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The Rise of Coding Bootcamps (And How They Can Transform Your Career) With Ruben Harris (S6E15)

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It can be tough to know if coding bootcamps are the right investment for you.

After all, it’s a big commitment that requires time, money, and dedicated effort. And before you make that decision, you should weigh all the factors involved and evaluate them in the context of your personality and goals.

Ruben HarrisHere to help explain how to do this is Ruben Harris, CEO of Career Karma and co-host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast. Before tech he worked in investment banking after teaching himself financial modeling online, and he’s also been a professional cellist for 25 years—Ruben is no stranger to hard work!

Ruben first discovered coding bootcamps when one of his friends left the bank to go study with Flatiron School. Fast-forward to present day, and his company Career Karma empowers people to make their most important career decisions—the first being which coding boot camp is best for them.

Disclosure: I’m a proud affiliate for some of the resources mentioned in this article. If you buy a product through my links on this page, I may get a small commission for referring you. Thanks!


In this episode, Ruben talks about the history of bootcamps, how to know whether attending a bootcamp is the right decision for you, how to evaluate them and yourself, what happens if you decide you don’t want a job in tech afterwards, and how income-share agreements are making bootcamps more financially accessible than ever.

Key takeaways

  • Tech is taking over every single industry, and code is the universal language that's spoken globally among tech companies. Learning code lets you communicate on a worldwide scale.
  • Before you learn music theory, you learn the notes. And then once you learn to play the notes, you start learning theory. This is similar to coding bootcamps: they teach you the practical experience about how to perform on the job, and then when you get the job, you start getting a deeper and deeper understanding of the theory.
  • Income-share agreements are a great way for people to afford bootcamps when they usually wouldn’t be able to—you just need to make sure you’re serious about getting a job in the field you’re studying.
  • Bootcamps essentially condense what normally requires 2-4 years to learn into 3-12 months. Because of this, they typically want to make sure candidates are qualified and motivated. Thus, after you’ve decided which bootcamp to do, you still have to pass the admissions program, which tend to be very selective.
  • If you’re considering a coding bootcamp, you need to evaluate yourself first. Do you know your own learning style? Are you good at time management? Are you good at being disciplined and creating a plan for yourself? Are you able to network? Do you have the soft skills that are necessary to navigate and adapt and interact in any environment? You need a lot of self-discipline and self-belief.
passing the admissions

Links and mentions from the episode:

Where to listen to the podcast

You can listen to the Learn to Code With Me podcast on the following platforms:

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Special thanks to this episode’s sponsors

Flatiron School: Flatiron School’s Online Data Science Immersive can help you become a data scientist. Start learning for free with their Data Science Bootcamp Prep course at flatironschool.com/learntocodewithme.

dotTech Domains: dotTECH domains are perfect for all things tech – your portfolio, your passion project, or your business. To get 90% off your dotTECH domain, head to go.tech/Learntocode and use the coupon code Learntocode.

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