Bootcamp Prep Courses


Updated March 21, 2023

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Coding bootcamps can provide an accelerated, cost-effective pathway to technical careers in computer science. Many bootcamps welcome beginners with no previous related experience, but bootcamp prep courses can still benefit new students.

Developing a familiarity with the foundations of coding allows learners to hit the ground running once a bootcamp starts. Some schools require participants to complete in-house prep courses. Others suggest that students complete a general introductory course before enrolling.

This page explains why to consider completing bootcamp prep and what to expect from a typical prep course. We also include a list of popular bootcamp courses that prepare learners to succeed in full-time programs.

What Is a Bootcamp Prep Course?

Bootcamp prep courses are short-term classes that provide a basic introduction to the subject that the full bootcamp covers. Bootcamp prep courses are different from standalone courses from companies like Coursera or Udacity, though they may cover similar content areas.

Preparatory bootcamp courses allow students to gain an elementary understanding of coding and get some practical practice before the program begins. Prep courses teach learners coding fundamentals and the basics of different programming languages.

Instead of focusing on the most basic skills when they start their bootcamps, learners who complete prep courses can advance to more technical or complicated subjects sooner. Some advanced bootcamp prep courses include prerequisites or pre-work that students must complete before enrolling, but many invite total beginners.

Students can find bootcamp prep courses through bootcamp providers. Completing a provider's prep course can improve your chances of acceptance into the provider's full bootcamp program. If you apply to a bootcampand do not get in, consider taking the provider's prep course.

What Does Bootcamp Prep Cover?

Learners who attend bootcamp prep courses can gain a basic understanding of common uses for coding, explore a broad overview of software development, and familiarize themselves with programming languages. A prep course offers a great starting place for learning to think like a software engineer or developer.

Prep curriculum varies by bootcamp but usually includes computer science fundamentals. Some common skills covered in bootcamp prep courses include the basics of using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Other courses cover Python and Ruby. Students learn to manipulate data, implement code, and create complex data structures.

Prep courses can provide the chance to complete hands-on exercises and projects, get expert feedback, and become part of a community.

How Long Does Bootcamp Prep Last?

The length and format of bootcamp prep courses vary among bootcamp providers. While full bootcamps typically last about 12 weeks, bootcamp prep is much more condensed.

Bootcamp prep courses may offer part-time or self-paced options. They typically take place online, but some may include in-person learning. Students can complete online prep courses asynchronously with no set meeting times or synchronously in real-time.

These prep courses usually meet online on a part-time basis and last 2-5 weeks. Self-paced options usually require a certain number of hours or however long it takes the student to complete the work.

How Much Does Bootcamp Prep Cost?

Bootcamp prep course costs vary widely by provider. Some of the bootcamp prep programs we list below charge tuition that ranges from a low of $249 to a high of $1,500.

Many bootcamp prep courses are free. Other programs deduct the cost of prep courses from full bootcamp tuition if the student receives admission. Do your research — you may be able to attend a program at little-to-no cost.

Reasons to Attend Bootcamp Prep

Aspiring coders attend bootcamp prep courses for various reasons. We explain some of the most popular reasons to complete bootcamp prep below.

Bootcamps May Recommend or Require It: Many coding bootcamps either recommend or require that new students complete introductory bootcamp courses before starting the primary curriculum. If you do not complete bootcamp prep, you may quickly fall behind or, at the very least, not get the most out of your program.

Learn Essential Skills Before You Start: By preparing before beginning your full bootcamp experience, you may be able to handle more advanced knowledge and skills on day one. It can help to know that you are at least familiar with the building blocks or essential skills that your bootcamp will cover.

Try Coding Without a Commitment: Bootcamp prep is a great opportunity for students to figure out if they want to invest the time and money into enrolling in a full coding program. Most bootcamp prep courses are inexpensive, and some are even free. If you realize that coding is not for you during the time you complete a prep course, you can avoid wasting time and money.

Popular Bootcamp Prep Courses

Explore some popular bootcamp prep courses below to get an idea of potential options. Readers can find many other prep courses online. This list is neither exhaustive nor a ranking of the best prep courses.

Codesmith Prep

Provided By: Codesmith

Format: Live online

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $875

Free Intro to Coding

Provided By: Flat Iron School

Format: Self-paced online

Cost: Free

Learn Python Fundamentals

Provided By: Hackbright

Format: Live online

Length: 5 weeks

Cost: $249

Full Stack Coding Bootcamp Prep

Provided By: QuickStart

Format: Combination of live online and self-paced online

Length: 6 weeks

Cost: $1,500

Questions About Bootcamp Prep Courses

  • How do I prepare for coding school?

    You can prepare for coding school by completing bootcamp prep courses. By learning some of the basics before starting a program, you can get more out of your education. Your previous coding experience and the requirements of your school will guide you in your prep.

  • How much should I know before coding bootcamp?

    Most coding bootcamps welcome beginners and do not expect participants to start their programs with previous coding experience. Some bootcamps require students to complete preparatory bootcamp courses before starting the official program.

  • Does everyone need to take a prep course before coding bootcamp?

    Not necessarily. You may not need to complete a bootcamp prep course if you already know basic coding. Also, some bootcamps do not expect students to enter with any coding knowledge and include an introductory module as part of their programs.

  • Will completing a prep course help me get accepted into a bootcamp?

    Yes, it can help. Bootcamps typically prefer applicants who can demonstrate their commitment to learning coding. Completing a bootcamp prep course can indicate to an admissions committee that you are willing to put in the time and work to master the material.

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