Bootcamp Grads Have Feelings, Too

817f5f1ada5fdeffcd14668107c08f0a?s=47 Megan Tiu
November 10, 2016

Bootcamp Grads Have Feelings, Too

Presented at RubyConf 2016 in Cincinnati.

You’re a bootcamp student. You’re so excited to become a developer! Amidst your excitement about this new industry, you hear everyone say that bootcamps are a blemish on the community, that they’re a waste of time and money. “Maybe I’ve made a huge mistake,” you think. “I don’t know how I’ll fit in here."

But you can make this community better! In this session, you’ll learn about the varied experiences of bootcamp students and grads, how exclusionary behavior can end up stunting our community as a whole, and what you can to do make a more inclusive environment for everyone of all skill levels.

817f5f1ada5fdeffcd14668107c08f0a?s=128

Megan Tiu

November 10, 2016
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Transcript

  1. Bootcamp Grads Have Feelings, Too Megan Tiu RubyConf 2016

  2. Hi there Software Engineer at CallRail Communications Coordinator at Rails

    Girls Atlanta @megantiu on Twitter megantiu on GitHub my name is Megan Tiu I am:
  3. None
  4. The Bootcamp Stigma

  5. What is The Bootcamp Stigma? Negative feelings toward bootcamp students

    and graduates, or bootcampers, as a group because they are/were involved with a bootcamp.
  6. I’m here to tell you a story

  7. Kaya

  8. None
  9. Why else might we seek out bootcamps?

  10. Why might you seek out a bootcamp? • Change careers

    • Start a business • Learn a new skillset • See if a hobby might be a viable career • Learn what coding is all about
  11. Not all bootcampers want to be developers.

  12. There’s an over-generalization afoot.

  13. Why do we have this stigma?

  14. None
  15. “Save your money, it’s not worth it.”

  16. “You’ll never learn enough from a bootcamp to have a

    real career."
  17. “You should just teach yourself.”

  18. ¯\_(ϑ)_/¯

  19. What happens when we refuse to acknowledge alternative education paths?

  20. The Pipeline Problem

  21. “There are groups underrepresented in tech because of schools and

    early-stage education.”
  22. %

  23. “The Pipeline Problem” • On average, bootcamps 1/4 of the

    cost of a CS degree 1 • 20% of bootcampers are Latinx, over 6.8% of CS students 2 1. http://bit.ly/2fsPhxL 2. http://bit.ly/1MOD38j
  24. Women make up 36% of bootcamp students, but only 14.1%

    of CS students http://bit.ly/1MOD38j
  25. Imagine how many people are deterred by this type of

    thinking at the beginning of their journey
  26. How does the Bootcamp Stigma manifest?

  27. &

  28. How does the Bootcamp Stigma manifest? • Bootcamp horror stories

    • “We interviewed someone from a bootcamp once…” • Job listings + interviewing • “Entry-level position: CS degree required” • “Okay, now implement a hash table on the whiteboard.” • Exclusionary discourse • “Bootcampers just don’t know.”
  29. #NotAllBootcampers

  30. How does the Bootcamp Stigma manifest? • Bootcamp horror stories

    • “We interviewed someone from a bootcamp once…” • Job listings + interviewing • “Entry-level position: CS degree required” • “Okay, now implement a hash table on the whiteboard.” • Exclusionary discourse • “Bootcampers just don’t know.”
  31. Antiquated hiring processes weed out those that did not learn

    the specific principles and theories behind them
  32. How does the Bootcamp Stigma manifest? • Bootcamp horror stories

    • “We interviewed someone from a bootcamp once…” • Job listings + interviewing • “Entry-level position: CS degree required” • “Okay, now implement a hash table on the whiteboard.” • Exclusionary discourse • “Bootcampers just don’t know.”
  33. What are the costs of this ignorance?

  34. The real costs of the Bootcamp Stigma • Impostor syndrome

    • A community divided • A homogenous industry
  35. It’s our responsibility to make a change

  36. Why should we change? Why does this matter?

  37. Why should we change? Bootcampers are valuable. • Encourage mindfulness

    • Question your codebase • Energize the team • Diversity of opinion
  38. None
  39. Why should we change? • We can create better, more

    well-rounded teams • Bootcampers contribute to longer lasting, engaged communities • Bootcampers are the future of this industry
  40. What can we do?

  41. How can we make bootcampers feel welcome?

  42. How can we make our communities more inclusive?

  43. What can we do? • Leave your preconceived notions at

    the door • Level the playing ground • Bridge the gap with community • Improve community communication and perception
  44. Leave your preconceived notions at the door

  45. Don’t expect the world of recent bootcamp grads

  46. Don't underestimate bootcampers

  47. Leveling the playing ground

  48. Equalizing strategies • More apprenticeships! • Practical over theoretical coding

    tests • Actually hire bootcampers
  49. Bridging the skill gap with community

  50. None
  51. How can we make this achievable?

  52. What can we achieve on a smaller scale?

  53. Equal distribution of labor

  54. Employer assistance

  55. Community communication and perception

  56. None
  57. Keep yourself in check Check your bias and think about

    how what you say will affect others.
  58. Keep your peers in check If you see something, say

    something.
  59. What’s Kaya up to now?

  60. Wrapping Up

  61. Takeaways • Bootcampers have feelings. No one’s immune to hate.

    • No two bootcampers have have the same goals or knowledge. • Bootcamps are more accessible paths that are friendlier to people from underrepresented groups. • Bootcampers: you deserve to be here. You belong here.
  62. It’s on us and it’s time to get to work.

  63. Thank you! Software Engineer at CallRail Communications Coordinator at Rails

    Girls Atlanta @megantiu on Twitter megantiu on GitHub Again, I’m Megan Tiu I am: