No, You Can’t Learn to Code in Three Months

I read this excellent article on Quartz yesterday called No three-month course can teach you how to code. It’s definitely worth a read—and it’s important to note that the author is a self-taught coder. He does not say that people cannot learn to code on their own; he says it’s not possible to learn to do so in three months, as a lot of those stupid, overpriced boot camps say.

The Quartz article linked to this recent Wall Street Journal blog entry called Have Liberal Arts Degree, Will Code. I thought it was sort of stupid and left a comment:

Interesting article and great discussion. I thought I’d write a bit about my experiences with coding and liberal arts. I have a liberal arts degree (history and Russian) and after graduating with no job, I panicked and thought I’d do one of those coding bootcamps. I choose Dev Bootcamp and applied. I got in but eventually decided not to attend due to financial issues (it’s $12,000 and that’s not even including living expenses in San Francisco). This happened over a year ago and now I have a little bit of perspective, I am completely against the idea of these bootcamps. There’s nothing wrong with learning a little code on your own (I taught myself HTML and CSS for fun so that I could better design my blog) but paying to do it is obscene. As many have pointed out, you can’t learn in three months what actual computer scientists have spent their entire undergraduate degrees learning. That’s just absurd. And here’s another secret articles like this don’t say: these bootcamps aren’t as exclusive as people think they are. Dev Bootcamp accepted pretty much everyone who applied (at least when I was going through the application process).

Bottom line: if you got into a coding bootcamp, you’re probably not special. They just want to take your money and run. (Let’s face it: if you graduate without a job you have no legal recourse for getting that money back.) If you want to learn to code, there are much cheaper ways to do it.

Sorry for ranting but I have some pretty strong feelings on this subject.

I feel unbelievably pretentious for quoting myself, but hey, I wanted to share the comment with all of you. (And yes, I realize that “boot camp” is two words; unfortunately I made a few typos in my comment and cannot edit it now that it’s posted.)

The moral of the story? Don’t waste your money on stupid stuff.

Six Years

I waited six years for the Sochi Olympics, people. Six long years of wonderful anticipation. And you know what I find out when I try to watch this event I waited six years for? I can’t watch it because I’m not a cable subscriber! I tried a Comcast login on my computer (it is a legitimate login; a salesman gave it to my dad) and it simply does not work.

Maybe it’s a silly thing to be disappointed about. But I am so incredibly disappointed right now.

Hating on Sochi

I talked to my friend earlier today and I’m still annoyed at the way the conversation went. She was completely hating on Sochi, saying that the Olympics are terrible this year and that what she has read has only reinforced her desire to not visit Russia. I became very annoyed, as there have been accounts of journalists reporting wrong information from Sochi. (Someone tweeted a photo of an alleged double toilet. It turned out that bathroom was being remodeled and had the wall taken down.)

Anyway, I was annoyed because she was so smug about the whole thing. “None of the other Olympics have ever had problems like this,” she said. “So this is really unusual and really terrible.”

Ugh, I’m so annoyed! I wish people would shut up and stop dumping on Russia. Especially those who have no idea what they’re talking about.

Stupidity

Thank goodness stupidity isn’t contagious (though sometimes I wonder whether it is, being that there are so many stupid people out there). I say this because I just finished reading a book for my energy class. We had two required book and the first one, Power Hungry, was great. The second one—not so much. It’s called Reinventing Fire and although the first chapter or two were okay, it rapidly got worse. Much worse. By the end of the book, I was so annoyed I wanted to throw my computer off my balcony.

Instead, I simply returned the book to Amazon. The fact that the author won’t be getting any money off the sale makes me feel better. (Note: even if I had loved the book, I still would have returned it. The Kindle edition was so poorly done as to be criminal. I don’t know why publishers won’t get with the program on Kindle formatting. Publishers, if you’re reading this, I will format your Kindle and other ebook editions for you if you pay me!)

And, of course, I look forward to bashing this book in my final paper for the class.

Busy Busy

Ugh, this week. It’s just not working for me. I need to vent a little, so if you don’t want to read some serious complaining, skip this post…

  • Accounting has been especially difficult this week. Do people even realize how complicated corporate taxes are???
  • After three weeks with basically no homework, every professor decided to pile on the assignments this week. Today, I came home at 7, didn’t eat dinner until 8, and didn’t take a shower until 10, all because I was working on a portfolio analysis assignment.
  • And if that isn’t all bad enough, I have an early class on Friday, due to my professor’s scheduling issues. He’s leaving the country at the end of the month and has to cancel class—so all of us poor students have to suffer from his inability to schedule by having two make-up classes on Fridays.
  • We have a mandatory career event on Friday. I’m the kind of person who feels the insane urge to skip something out of spite just because it is mandatory.
  • Last complaint, I swear: the weather has been terrible recently and I’m freezing!

What do you want to complain about in your life, readers? Let me know and I’ll sympathize with you.

Road Tripping

Picture from the Allstate blog.

Picture from the Allstate blog.

I went on a road trip on Friday to a big city for an interview. It was three hours each way, so that was a lot of time sitting by annoying people on a bus. Nevertheless, I did enjoy seeing a new city. What was not so enjoyable was discovering that the job I was interviewing for wasn’t right for me. (In short: too much sales, too little actual money management.) The company didn’t even offer to pay for my trip. Not that it was that expensive, but still.

This leads me to my new wisdom for the day: no more interviews that require travel unless I get reimbursed. Obviously, this reimbursement must be promised up front.

Honestly, I am tired of the way a lot of employers here (“here” meaning the United States) treat interviewees. The career center at my school always says how we, the job applicants, have to be polite and respectful. I would do that anyway without being directly told to do so. I wish companies would return the favor, though. I can’t tell you how much rude behavior I’ve witnessed, from the dude who sighed throughout my entire interview (look bro, it’s not my fault you were tired by the early afternoon) to the guy from a major technology company who wrinkled his nose at the idea that I studied history (gasp!) and Russian (oh the horror) in college. And I won’t even go into the companies that I’ve interviewed with, then never heard from again.

I know this is turning into a bit of rant, but it feels good to finally say this. Just because the job market is bad (which makes hiring easier for employers) doesn’t give them an excuse to treat us like crap.

(Note: it should be said that some companies are really nice. I’ve had very nice rejections and pleasant interviews. The problem are the companies that give the impression of just not caring whatsoever.

Still Home

So, one of the stupid airlines of the United States (in this case US Airways) decided to cancel my flight for no good reason. It was one of two flights, so I was rebooked onto another set of flights tomorrow. Tomorrow’s going to be a long day as I slowly make my journey west.

In a way, I don’t mind being at home for an extra day. I’d much rather be here than where I’m going and I’m at the point in my studies where I don’t really care if I miss a class or two due to traveling. I’m just worried right now about my flights tomorrow. I have to take three different planes, which means two layovers to worry about.

At least I get in in the late afternoon. That’s preferable to the time I was supposed to get in tonight. Now I’m going to go work on some other writing (blog posts and the like).