What Will I Learn at Dev Bootcamp?

By Dev Bootcamp • May 07, 2017

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Dev Bootcamp’s full stack web development immersive helps students master the foundations of web development, while also teaching them the skills needed to learn more advanced languages and systems. We marry the basics of web development with team-building skills, giving you the ability to plug into a diverse team immediately. Get to know what we teach and how we teach to assess if Dev Bootcamp is the right program for you.

Grounding in the Fundamentals

Technology changes fast. New techniques and trends emerge, augmenting or replacing the last ones.  While our curriculum is nimble in that we dial up an instruction on a particular language or framework based on the current market need, our focus remains constant over time - teach students the programming fundamentals and the problem-solving training they’ll need to adapt in an ever-changing tech landscape.

There are core coding concepts such as object-orientation and function definition that are common to all programming languages. You could say “the quick brown fox” in multiple languages and it accomplishes the same thing, but looks a little different. Our curriculum is designed to help you master these commonalities, creating a solid platform to enable you to spring into learning other languages as you progress in your career.

What we’ve found in talking with hiring managers is that they care less about whether a new developer has mastered a specific language and more about the person’s ability to reason using programming principles, to understand and communicate the theory of programming languages, and to work outside of a pattern. Our teaching philosophy is rooted in those foundational skills because, in the end, great engineers – schooled in the fundamentals – will produce great products.

Exposure to Front- and Back-End Technologies

A “full-stack” developer is one who has a broad understanding of both front- and back-end technologies. Developers with this expertise are valuable to their team because their broad understanding of web development helps them bridge disconnects and improve the overall web-development process.  Learning multiple languages - on both the front and back end  - helps you understand how to use the right language or framework for the right problem.

“Front-end” technology, sometimes called “client-side” usually refers to code that powers what you see on the website. Things like drop-down menus, contact forms, fonts, image sliders, JavaScript and the JavaScript library JQuery, together with HTML and CSS, are the foundations of front-end technology. Once you learn this combination of technologies, you’ll know how to use HTML to program the content of a web page, use CSS to program the look of the web page, and use JavaScript to program the interactive behavior of the web page.

“Back-end” technology, sometimes called “server-side” usually refers to code that plugs into the server and connects with a database. Commonly used back-end technologies include Ruby, Python and PHP.  

We begin by teaching Ruby, not because Ruby is necessarily the language skill that is the most in demand today, but because it provides a approachable entry point into programming. Ruby’s clean and simple syntax allows you to focus on the coding concepts, rather than focus on the syntax, where it’s easy to get tripped up, especially if you’re new to coding.

Once you get comfortable with Ruby, you’ll not only be able to pick up other back-end technologies quickly, but you’ll also be ready to process the more complicated syntax of JavaScript.  If you’re new to coding and you try to start by learning JavaScript, you run the risk of learning how to write code that works, but without really understanding how or why it works. That knowledge gap will hinder your ability to make progress learning new languages.

We then layer in HTML, CSS, JQuery, Ajax, Rails and other tools and frameworks that help you build a fully-functioning web application.

Learning Through Practical Application  

Bootcamps are short, but intense and designed to pack the most amount of knowledge into a short amount of time.  To best set up students for success in entering into the tech job market, Dev Bootcamp focuses on practical application versus simply theory.

We believe that practical application is the best way to solidify one’s understanding of key concepts. Our  teaching practice is based on peer-to-peer and experiential learning, where you actually build applications, and practice an Agile workflow method of project management.

Unlike the typical classroom setting, our learning environment looks and feels more like a workplace.  Through brief lectures that are more of a dialogue than a monologue, our teachers provide the critical instruction to get you started, but then you’re off and running learning to apply the material and solve coding challenges on your own or together with your peers.  

Understanding How to Learn

Programming is a discipline that is constantly changing and the problems you’ll be asked to solve will change as you progress through your career. That’s why it’s important to learn the techniques that will help you quickly uncover solutions to problems. It’s also critical to learn to feel comfortable with ambiguity, with not knowing the answer.  Discovery is a part of the process, and for many coders, part of the fun!

As you go through Dev Bootcamp, you’ll learn to identify the right tools for the task, the right questions to ask, and the nuances of question-asking that will elicit the answer you need. You’ll learn to build a mental model that will enable you to learn any language.

If you enjoy continuous learning, you have a curious mind, and you’re motivated to break through learning barriers, then coding may be a great path for you. (Explore our post: “5 Indicators That Programming Is Right For You”).

Collaborating on Diverse Teams

Human, interpersonal challenges are so often the cause of technical project failure - teams don’t work well together, contributors don’t communicate effectively, diversity of ideas is not encouraged.

Dev Bootcamp is the only program that has, since its inception, integrated soft skills training alongside technical training.  Through our one-of-a-kind Engineering Empathy curriculum and its supportive, collaborative style of learning, Dev Bootcamp facilitates open communication, self-awareness, and team leadership skills. Our program helps students build self-confidence and develop an appreciation and desire to work with others, particularly those who come from diverse and non-traditional backgrounds.


We often tell prospective students – particularly those with little or no prior coding experience – to choose a bootcamp not based on whether it teaches the programming languages you’ve seen in aspirational job descriptions, but to choose a bootcamp based on its approach to teaching programming concepts.  We also encourage you to think about where you want to go in your career after bootcamp, and investigate if the curriculum is going to set you on that path. Lastly, we always encourage prospective students to select a bootcamp based on the learning environment, which can have a distinctive impact on your ability to absorb the information at a rapid pace.  

If you’d like to learn more about our curriculum, our approach to teaching or our on-campus experience, please contact us at admissions@devbootcamp.com.

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