Find a Bootcamp That Turns You Into a Programming Wizard E-learning courses are great not just for programmers but for tech entrepreneurs as well

By Sandeep Soni

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Entrepreneur India
Meraj Faheem, Founder, The Hacking School

As a hardcore tech entrepreneur, e-learning courses for programming can be great but that's just scratching the surface. Beyond that lies intensive training programs like coding or programming bootcamps that impart training relevant to changing technology and market demands. Meraj Faheem, a Hyderabad-based serial entrepreneur and the Founder of The Hacking School – India's first coding bootcamp in 2014 as he claims, highlights the path to finding the right bootcamp.

Do you find bootcamps similar to traditional technical institutes or MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) teaching

Technical institutes or MOOCs impart theoretical knowledge, but at bootcamps, you get d own to building your product from day one. While the fundamental concept of coding makes up for around 20 percent of the theory, the rest is practical. These are very rigorous and immersive around 11 hours, six days a week and 10-15 weeks duration programs where you have to fully dedicate yourself to it. You can't log in and log out like in online courses.

Moreover, charges for such programs run up to a lakh and above in different bootcamps. During the program, there is an instructor who would always be standing on your head and checking the daily progress of your product.

Moreover at institutes, there is a set pattern of coaching, but at bootcamps, you can work on the user interface of your product on one day, on the backend the other day, etc. So you learn to connect things and that's what required in doing a start-up. What happens at training institutes is something similar to what can happen in a well-structured center of an MNC.

Does that eliminate the need of a tech co-founder?

Most of the entrepreneurs join bootcamps because they either fail to team up with those who might be interested in their ideas or their team members seek equity in the company. While through bootcamp you would be able to build the initial two-three versions of your product or a Minimum Viable Product but that doesn't mean you don't require a tech co-founder.

On the entrepreneurs' part, what's important before he/she joins a bootcamp?

The most important thing is applicant's zeal to complete the bootcamp. Also, there are lots of people who join bootcamps to enhance their chances of job placement or they find learning coding as cool, so that shouldn't be the case. On the other hand, there are many who are very motivated about programming but don't know anything about it. That is the motivation required because these are the people who are most likely to complete the program.

In terms of bootcamp, what's important for entrepreneurs to know?

Some of the things to look at are first, understand which language you want to learn or which one is easier to learn. Don't focus on the one in fashion.

If you have a non-tech background, you should be concerned about whether you would be able to learn the language in the limited time. There are different bootcamps focusing on different programming languages. For example, we focus on full stack JavaScript programming, while others focus on Ruby on Rails, etc. Second, what kind of programming fits you better – agile or competitive? In agile programming, you have to keep improvising and optimizing your product daily.

This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (April 2016 Issue).

Sandeep Soni

Former Features Editor

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