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[alert color=”red”]edit: This post is outdated. Please see my updated post on bootcamps comparison.  [/alert]


How did I decide on Thinkful?

If you have been researching on different programming bootcamps, then you have probably been to the website BootCamper. This website list the many different programs that exist that teach programming in around 12 weeks time. I’m sure you have heard about Hack Reactor, Dev Bootcamp, or General Assembly.

But here comes my dilemma.

As an international worker in United States (or the legal term is ‘Alien with Extraordinary Ability’), I have to be employed full-time by a company, and my visa is tied to the company that sponsor me. 12 weeks is beyond my vacation quota, so that eliminates all classroom bootcamps from the list, including the three names I mentioned earlier.

So I have to browse the online bootcamps. I guess I should mentioned that I have tried Codecademy and Code School. While their course is excellent, and I highly recommend it, it still lacks simple projects that will allow me to use the skills I learnt step-by-step. Also I tend to want to finish the curriculum before starting a project (a form of procrastination in skill acquisition). So this left me 3 choices: Tealeaf Academy, Bloc, and Thinkful.

Tealeaf and Bloc both focus on development using Ruby on Rails. Comparing the two of them, I like Bloc better, because it seems that Bloc provides more hands on approach and attention from their mentors. Also Bloc website looks better, so I suppose that plays a role in it too. Hey, I’m just being completely honest here….

So we are down to two contenders: Bloc and Thinkful. Researching on technologies, it seems like JavaScript is trending upward while Ruby on Rails in trending downwards with employers. It seems like there are new frameworks created for JavaScript every week. Also with the introduction of Node.js, a JavaScript ninja can write codes for server allowing them to be a full-stack developer with javascript knowledge. Therefore for language my preference is JavaScript.

Now comes the biggest difference between Thinkful and Bloc. Bloc costs between $4,250 to $5,000 depending on your payment plan. Thinkful Front-End Web Development (FEWD) is only $300/mo with the average student finishing the program in 3 months, netting at $900. That is a huge difference, which made me lean towards Thinkful.

After evaluating the curriculum more, there is another difference between the two that made me decide towards Thinkful: the amount of projects. By the end of Bloc, you will have created 3 applications, one of them being your own capstone project. With Thinkful FEWD program, you will complete 8 websites, with one of them being your personal portfolio. Of course Thinkful’s projects will be smaller in scope, however my personal view is that it is much better to have more frequent small wins than have a few big wins (think Agile). This will create a snowball effect to my morale and will motivate me to keep going. Also having more things to include in your portfolio is probably good (though I will probably have to evaluate the value of each).

So in the end, Thinkful wins me over mainly because of cost and projects curriculum. I hope this helps for those of you who are considering online bootcamps!


[alert color=”red”]edit: This post is outdated. Please see my updated post on bootcamps comparison.  [/alert]

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