Build Your Own Bootcamp

Build Your Own Bootcamp & Break into Tech

By Denton Zhou | Updated May 18, 2017 | First published May 1, 2017

Developer and coding bootcamps are hot.

In 2016, they graduated nearly 18,000 students, according to Course Report. For students, these bootcamps offer a way to learn and shift careers.

Those who graduate often land well-paying jobs as product managers, web developers, and software engineers, or branch out to launch their own businesses.

Still, bootcamps aren't for everyone. On average, programs cost about $11,000 and require full-time attendance over a period of about three months.

That's three months where students are 100% focused on learning and not working or earning an income. Add to that relocation and living cost—most bootcamps are usually located in major cities—and the costs can be prohibitive.

You can learn it on your own

Build Your Own Bootcamp from OpenCourser features online courses and MOOCs that teach the kind of skills that bootcamps teach.

Our goal: to help anyone with the drive and motivation learn the skills they need to break into a tech career for no more than $500. It's a lofty goal, but so long as you're dedicated and serious, it's definitely possible.

We think so because most online courses:

  • Teach in-demand skills that are valued by employers today
  • Refresh themselves or add new materials to stay relevant over time
  • Provide a similar level of organization and structure to the coursework
  • Are taught by seasoned experts with real-world experience

Where building your own falls short

We'd be lying if we said that online courses are basically as good as a full-time bootcamp. Indeed, they have some glaring shortfalls.

Full-time bootcamps offer two things you won't find in online courses yet:

  • Workplace-like environments where you'll constantly interact with your peers
  • Job placement assistance from dedicated staff and instructors
  • Rigor and intensity—some bootcamps expect 60+ hours/week of work

If these are important to you, but you're not quite ready to commit to a bootcamp, we invite you to take some of the online courses we recommend. That way, you'll get a sense for what kind of skills you'll learn and develop.

Then, when you do decide to join a bootcamp, you'll have a huge leg up on, say, your coding abilities.


Below are links to "Build Your Own Bootcamp" posts that cover specific topics. You're free to follow these recommendations as we present them or pick and choose a la carte.

Check back often to see when our new recommendations are available.

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  • Creating Powerful Web Apps
  • Your First App: Android
  • Your First App: iOS
  • Launching your E-commerce startup
  • The 411 on Online Marketing
  • The Business Behind the Tech

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