Coding Camps: What to Look For

Have you considered a boot camp for your student this summer? We’re not talking about basic training, but a new kind of boot camp: coding boot camp. That’s right: there are camps that teach kids to code. As the name suggests, these can be pretty rigorous. But if your student spends a lot of time on computers, they might like a good way to keep them busy over the summer – while they learn.

There’s no question that students will learn valuable skills. People who have completed a camp say it’s amazing how much information they can pick up in a short space of time if they’re in a really focused program.

If your family is considering coding camp, be sure to research the camp’s credentials. Coding camps are not regulated (that means anyone can set up a camp), so it’s a good idea to ask for references and talk to the administrators before you hand over any money. Find out if they’re connected to any potential hiring companies, if getting a job is your child’s goal. If they want to study computer science later on, find out if they’re connected to any universities.

Insiders say it’s best to keep your expectations realistic. Just as a gym boot camp isn’t guaranteed to make participants look like super models, there’s no guarantee a coding camp will lead to a high-paying programming job or write the next big-selling app. If your child is really good at coding already, be sure to ask if the content will be advanced enough. (The reverse also applies: if their tech experience is limited to texting, make sure it’s not too hard.)

Even if your child doesn’t aim to work in computer science, the problem-solving and analytical skills they’ll learn are important in many careers – and that’s never a waste of time.

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