Should you attend a programming boot camps or workshops?

I teach programming boot camps and workshops, and I have noticed people who waste their time attending such classes. Who should attend such events?

Should you attend a programming boot camps or workshops?
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I teach programming boot camps and workshops, and I have noticed people who waste their time attending such classes.

Don't worry. I won't be out of the job. A vast number of people should learn at boot camps because that's the best way for them. I would love to see more attendees whom I can help.

How can you know whether you are a person who wastes time at boot camp or someone who benefits from them?

Passive watchers

I know I have the entire group of passive watchers when I ask: "Are there any questions?" and I hear only silence. I ask, "Has anyone already finished the assignment?". I hear silence. I ask, "Does anyone want to share their solutions with the entire group?" Silence. "Does anyone want to share it privately with me?" Silence.

Nothing changes even if I say, "We are not here to watch someone else programming. We can do it for free on YouTube." Why are they attending training? They waste their time and money.

On the other hand, it shouldn't bother me. I shouldn't feel bad when I teach a passive group. It's their choice. I will get paid even if they do nothing and learn nothing. I should say, "I cried all the way to the bank," and move on.

But I can't. It makes no sense to me.

Is this procrastination? Did you persuade yourself that you need to learn everything before you even start programming? What are you waiting for?

In need of structure

Sometimes people want to learn independently but have no idea where to start and what they should learn. Those students come to training to be told what they need to know.

Should they do it differently? Ideally, they should read the boot camp schedule to get a general idea about the scope.

I like teaching such people because they ask lots of questions. After all, they came to the training with some questions, and all they expected was the answers. However, such a training session may turn into a discussion between the student who needs the solutions and the instructor. Unfortunately, the other students won't benefit from it at all.

The students who came to get answers had no other way. Offering 1-on-1 consulting sessions for individual programmers is relatively uncommon. On the other hand, if you need the help of someone with more experience, you can always reach out to people on LinkedIn and offer to pay for consultations.

I can't suggest that to students during the boot camp. If I do it, it will be perceived as up-selling, which is, righteously, frowned upon during paid training.

Time blockers

Those are the people who need to protect their schedules from disruptions.

You may be one of them if you can't focus for long on your own, if your family nags you with requests while you learn, or if you postpone tasks unless they have an immovable deadline.

They can't decide to sit in front of the computer for two hours every day and learn. For them, boot camps are the only option. I love teaching such people because they put lots of effort into the training. After all, the lesson is their only chance to learn. And they know it.

In my opinion, boot camps are, primarily, for such people. The other groups else either don't care about learning or don't need long training.

Should they be the only people who attend workshops?

Are you telling me to stop attending boot camps?

By all means, attend a workshop if you are one of the people who benefit from them.

You shouldn't attend a boot camp or a workshop if taking such training is your excuse for procrastination or if you are looking for individual consultations.

For every person and every situation, there is the best learning method. Bootcamps are not silver bullets. You can't solve every problem by attending a workshop.