15 Diverse & Inclusive Coding Bootcamps in the USA
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The iPad and smartphone can be seen used by babies more often than a pacifier in some parts of the world. With each passing year, it becomes clear that technology is on an upward spiral and there seems to be no end in sight. Now we’re not just being optimistic here. Studies show that since the dot-com bubble burst in the late 1990s, the growth has not ceased. We’re pretty sure Python is being used more to refer to the coding language than the snake it was named after – and for good reason! It’s one of the most flexible skills out there. The reason being, coding and IT skills in general are imperative in a plethora of fields. Additionally, the ease of acquiring them seems more open and easy than ever to bring web development to your door. They’re not just for aspiring NASA-bound computer scientists anymore.
For instance: Want to work in event production? Website management & UI experience could give you that edge over other candidates. Even top-tier academic institutions who pride themselves on dusty books and archives are now looking for a basic comprehension of coding in their employees. Digital solutions are now needed to rejuvenate, expand and increase accessibility of physical archives.
From increased productivity, to cost efficiency, to greater accessibility of information: Life is unimaginable now without tech. No wonder everyone’s rushing into the coding industry. In fact, in the face of extreme labor shortages, this is now the time to get your toes into tech.
You would think that a labor shortage and talks of an incoming recession in the US would help more marginalized people who have not been well-represented in tech enter the market, but unfortunately, this is not the case. Social-political inequities are still reproduced in the world of tech. Amongst many reasons is that recruiters maintain an old, outdated idea of who is fit for their positions from inaccessible company policies. This is where the bootcamp comes in.
Many NGOs in the US are now aiming to close gendered and racial disparities in tech. Opportunity@Work is one of the many NGOs looking to handle the labor crisis happening in the US by advocating for equity and fair treatment of workers who have become skilled through alternative routes (STARs). Seeking to rewrite the narrative on who is seen as capable and talented, bootcamps from such NGOs offer a non-traditional way of building your repertoire outside the limits of rigid and elitist institutions.
So if this is true, then the question begs: is it worth it then to attend one of those bootcamps? Continue reading to look at our top 5 coding bootcamps in the USA – as well as 10 honorable mentions – that are either focusing completely on diversity & inclusive measures or offer scholarships in recognition of the gender-race gap problems that continue to detriment the future and viability of tech. Let’s catch the tech wave together.
Our Top 5 Picks for Diverse & Inclusive Bootcamps in the USA
Ada Developers Academy
We love Ada Developers Academy for its vision of changing the face of tech and tackling the heart of the labor shortage. On its homepage, Ada Developers Academy says it “prepare[s] women and gender expansive adults to be software developers while advocating for inclusive and equitable work environments. We primarily serve and address the needs of Black, Latine, Indigenous Americans, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+, and low-income people.”
The application process is very selective, but for good reason. It has gleaming reviews and positive feedback. If your application is accepted, it’s tuition-free. We suggest you take it rather seriously and do some preparation if you want to apply.
Grace Hopper Fullstack Academy
Grace Hopper operates as a branch of Fullstack Academy. In 19 weeks, it offers an empowering, gender-allied, and career-focused web development bootcamp. Mixing in career coaching and knowledge of how systemic barriers work in the tech industry, Grace Hopper still has the certification and backing of Fullstack Academy beneath its curriculum so you know your time and effort are being well-spent. It purports a staggering 95% job placement rate. Nevertheless, a big downside is that for the quality and support in making a direct transition into the industry, you have to pay a large sum of money for the tuition. Not everyone can afford that commitment from the very start.
Based at the heart of the US tech industry, Hackbright Academy is a great choice for women and gender-diverse individuals. Classes can be done either in person or online at their respective locations. Its bootcamps are only for women and gender-diverse individuals looking to learn Python. Seeing the raving reviews and well-done research on how it is pertinent to address the gender gap in tech, we believe that Hackbright Academy would be a fine choice for those looking for not just skills, but networking opportunities outside of the Zoom screen.
GDI: Girl Develop It
Girls Develop It is a national non-profit organization that creates opportunities for women and non-binary people to gain the software development skills that they’ll need in the 2020s and beyond. We dig GDI for its comprehensive online program model, which offers live workshops, hybrid (pre-recorded & live content), and independent study. Having and developing a portfolio to show to future employers is important when starting out since you’ll most likely find the gig economy more accessible. GDI is definitely targeting those who may want to freelance more than those looking to enter into a full-time position.
SheCodes is only for people who identify as women and gender-diverse individuals. This is geared towards those who are just beginning or looking to gain a new skill. The best part about it is that it’s much more affordable than a few other options, so there’s less of a financial commitment to worry about. They offer “workshop” style programs, in which you can choose a longer route of 3-6 months or a shorter route of 3-6 weeks. Their workshops are all completely online, so if you’re a person who wants some in-person contact. SheCodes might not be for you. On SwitchUp, SheCodes has been regularly praised, earning the title of 2020 and 2021’s “Best Bootcamp”. For an organization that is specifically prioritizing and handling the gender barrier in tech, this speaks a thousand words about how much they value their students.
Now we know that the conversation and discourse around diversity in tech has a myriad of roots, influences, and interconnections. Structural problems will not get solved overnight, but the tides are changing. Top bootcamp companies and platforms are making the effort to provide scholarships to marginalized groups, as well as incorporate a holistic approach so that their students can be equipped to do their jobs well, but also be empowered to support and protect themselves in tech environments that are not doing enough to handle toxic and discriminatory working environments.
In fact, 52% of tech employees would say that their tech workplace is extremely toxic. Sexual misconduct and blatant acts of racial discrimination are rife. Though we have touch-screen phones, doesn’t mean that women are being paid equally for their time, labor, and talent. Retention statistics show that even when one makes it past the gates of tech and finds a position in the company, the rates of women and people of color dropping out are much higher than other social groups. This growing sense of awareness and consciousness of inequity has led to bold moves by employees, such as Google’s walkout of 200 employees that protested the mishandling of a sexual harassment case of a former Google executive. The demand for transparency, equity, and ethics is only spreading to more and more companies. Tech is not just a job, it’s become a culture and it is beyond doubt from well-researched statistics that the industry needs fresh perspectives, leadership, and talent.
Now we know we said we would give you 15 coding bootcamps in the USA and so we’re going to continue on with the next 10 bootcamps that might fit your bill! The following 10 bootcamps listed below are part of our honorable mentions, due to their notable steps in providing equitable, well-rounded support for underrepresented groups of people. We think that’s a good sign of their values and distinguishes them from the rest. There is strength in numbers. It’s about time that the tech industry begins to hunker down on its structural problems because it’s becoming clear that the only thing that can hold tech’s progress down, is itself. In no particular order, here are our 10 honorable mentions.
- Flatiron School
- General Assembly
- Alchemy Code Lab
Q1: Is bootcamp good for programming?
Yes, bootcamps are good for programming when you know what you want. For example, if you are looking to get a supplemental skill added to your CV, bootcamps are a surefire way to get that boost you need. We suggest that you look into what is best for your career goals and choose to know that a bootcamp can be the first step to programming, but it most certainly can’t be the only one. Boot camps are not accredited, so be sure to do your research and look at reviews before making any major financial investment. We suggest looking at Codecademy which offers foundational introductions to a large list of languages so you can be prepared and make the best of your bootcamp investment. Still at a loss? Review the 15 coding bootcamps in the USA listed above and see who they would suggest as well.
Q2: Can I get a job after coding bootcamp?
You can definitely get a job after coding bootcamp, but it depends on your skill set and experience on which job you will get. The field of programming is vast and varied. There are many subsets. Coding bootcamp is not a magical solution and in some regards, it can be used against you if you do not have sufficient skills or experience in your respective professional field. Some employers regard less noteworthy bootcamps as rather unprofessional. It all depends on how you sell and portray the role that coding bootcamp has on your CV.
Q3: How hard is it to get a coding job?
This depends on your skill level and where you are geographically located. The labor shortage isn’t that simple. For instance, front-end developers are still high in demand, but many jobs require a high level of experience and skill. In the USA, it’s predicted that the labor shortage will continue at least all the way until 2030. That means if you’re situated in a tech-hub and your CV is loaded with years of work experience, you’ll probably have the pick of the town. If you’re in a town of 200 people and you just have a few bootcamps on your CV, then you might want to start out freelancing to build your portfolio first before entering the big leagues.