“Coding” school “boot camps” have become popular. The programs, often six months or so in length, promise to train students in specific programming skills, such as JavaScript web app development, with an expectation of high paying jobs.

Some require a 4-year degree in any subject, prior to start, while others do not.

This coding bootcamp received publicity for promoting the idea that management was not necessary and staff could complete their work in 32 hours per week.

Treehouse attracted national attention in 2013 and 2015 with two unorthodox management strategies: The company eliminated all layers of management and it moved to a 32-hour-work week.Neither experiment worked.

Source: Online coding school Treehouse, formerly based in Portland, lays off most of its staff – oregonlive.com

They later re-introduced both management and a 40 hour work week before imploding in 2021.

In my view, coding boot camps likely have value to those who have appropriate backgrounds and are seeking specific skills in software development. Boot camps do not substitute for degrees in computer science, software or computer engineering.

However, the reality is that much software development is more akin to a high skilled “blue collar” workforce that is developing specific projects with a limited skill set domain. You do not need a degree in computer science to develop most web or mobile applications.

On the other hand, we have the oddity of person with six months of training and a non-accredited “certification” calling themselves “software engineers”. Imagine if EMTs referred to themselves as “physicians”. Clearly, that makes no sense. But here we are – anyone can call themselves a “software engineer” (or “information security engineer”, or “computer engineer”) because they can write JavaScript, thus cheapening everyone who works in software development and computing. Titles thus become meaningless.

I once taught in a two-year community college information systems program where the graduates received a degree in “Network Engineering”. This was the only 2-year program in the nation that conferred an “Engineering” title, which also conflicted with the state’s law on use of the “Engineer” title. The program was later changed to “Network Administration” as used in almost all other similar programs.

By EdwardM