Dallas, Texas is more than an international destination for barbecue and a home to the Cowboys. Located in one of the largest states in America, it’s also home to some competitive coding bootcamps and important American companies. These companies are set on competing for the same coding talent as notable cities like New York and San Francisco and do the hiring to prove it. First, however, they need the coding professionals to fill those positions.
Enter the Dallas coding bootcamp. Without question, choosing a coding bootcamp can be a challenge. You’re not only choosing to advance or change your career trajectory by building up your skill set, you’re also tasked with selecting a reputable bootcamp among a great deal of options. “What’s the best coding bootcamp?” is actually answering many questions.
- What are the costs of a coding bootcamp?
- What benefits will a coding bootcamp have for a job search in Dallas/Fort Worth?
- What are the outcomes most attractive to you: Job placement, core skills learned at the coding bootcamp (data science, web development, UI/UX, cyber security)
- What eventual jobs will the boot camp prepare you for in both Dallas and beyond?
As we begin this guide to choosing the best coding bootcamp in Dallas, start with a few tips that that will put you on the right coding journey for your career:
- Know what’s leading you toward a coding career. Some of the coding challenges or problems you hope to solve personally and professionally in these bootcamps will help solve challenges at a greater scale for companies in Texas and beyond. Understand your motivations for solving those problems (e.g. career growth, financial upside, change of city, family needs) and prioritize this first.
- Know your personal coding proficiency. Coding bootcamps offer programs to applicants of all levels, and the preparatory courses in Dallas-based coding bootcamps can help prepare you for the intensive before the start of the program.
- Consider your budget for the bootcamp and living in Dallas. This is as important as the other two. While researching both online and in-person bootcamps in the Dallas area, keep your budget ceiling in mind. Dallas coding programs have varying costs, most have several financing options for their students. We’ll discuss this in more detail later in this article.
Consider these decisions as you plan for a career in the tech industry in the capital of the Lone Star State. There are several benefits to choosing a coding school in the five boroughs, so let’s explore the advantages of the valley and discuss the type of coding skills you want to learn.
The Benefits of Attending Coding Bootcamps in Dallas
Only a forty-minute drive to Fort Worth and ninety minutes to Waco, Dallas is an underrated city for affordability and convenience. The city boasts a rich history in energy and technology. It’s the home of companies like AT&T, Southwest, Exxon Mobil (Irving), and McKesson (Irving), and continues to incubate and grow startups. The demand for talent post-graduation in the DFW area is extraordinarily high, so students do well to both learn and work in Dallas.
Dallas’s attraction is more than professional. Those who have Dallas on their short list for their coding education have a positive perception of “Big D” and the type of talent the city attracts. There are several other reasons why Dallas is an attractive option for the aspiring software engineer:
- Coding professionals are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the employment for software developers will grow 21% through 2028. This is four times higher than the average industry. Software developers earn a median six-figure salary, essentially a requirement for a single-income household in Dallas, and why many bootcamps are transparent about their job placement numbers and the benefits to their students.
Combined with HackerRank’s findings that full-stack developers are among the hardest jobs to find qualified candidates for, selecting an immersive bootcamp with a program that specializes in your area of interest can be invaluable in the marketplace.
- Lots of opportunity to build products that can contribute directly to business challenges. Coding bootcamps in Dallas attract personalities of all types that share a common thread: they are hyper-focused on addressing big and small challenges in areas like web development, data science, and UX design that unlock potential for enterprising companies in competitive verticals.
The coding bootcamps in Dallas facilitate the type of coding coursework where students can code, collaborate on, and deploy projects that prepare them for real-world development teams. Demonstrating coding expertise and fundamentals is a pivotal interview step at tech startups and in increasingly competitive software engineering roles in corporations.
Choosing the right bootcamp will offer more than just a foundational coding class. It will create an opportunity to learn to position yourself as a respected programmer, work collaboratively with a team, and ideally be a catalyst for building solutions that change the world -- no matter the programming language that solution is built in.
- Experience-based learning. One of the biggest challenges of aspiring software developers - whether fresh out of coding bootcamps or a standard computer science degree - is fine-tuning their coding skills once they’ve left an organized classroom. Coding bootcamps provide accelerated learning immersions that foster deeper learning with experience-based models.
What makes Dallas a desirable place to attend a coding bootcamp?
There’s more to Dallas than being in one of the fastest growing states for startup businesses. The proximity of these coding programs to the culture, cuisine, and lively suburbs of the Dallas Fort Worth area also makes it an attractive location for single programmers as well as those with families. The simmering job market reflects the influx of Americans moving to Dallas from other cities, as it’s grown a staggering 20% in population since 2010.
With that level of capital being invested in Dallas, along with its reputation in oil and energy, Dallas and its surrounding suburbs are growth positive. They’re a recruiting target for regional and national companies looking for full stack web developers and other web development roles. Students considering a data science course also have strong opportunities to network with companies looking for expertise in Python, SQL, Knack, and more.
Known as a famous football and barbecue metropolis, Dallas is an ideal city to live for those who want to work hard and play hard, but who also want to live in a downtown area. The inner ring suburbs and lively neighborhoods like Deep Ellum and Bishop Arts are among the most desirable places to live. Like many other cities, more and more of the young professional class are moving closer to the city from outside the suburbs.
If you do want to buy a home, know that the Dallas market is hot. Home prices are projected to rise 20%, though the median home price pales in comparison to some of the Tier 1 American cities like New York, Chicago, and LA.
For programmers, salaries are well above the cost of living. Considering the high salaries for programmers ($110,000) and data scientists ($118,000) relative to the expenses, Dallas is a solid option for coding professionals looking to grow in and around the area. In 2020, the city of Dallas, Microsoft & Verizon partnered on a strategic alliance to bring more innovation jobs into the city.
A programming salary, a committed mayor, and a lower cost of living opens up an opportunity to enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of Dallas. Speaking of tastes, one of the draws of the city is barbecue and Mexican-American fusion, known as Tex Mex. After a long day of coding in a full or part-time classroom like Coding Temple or Coding Dojo, head down to Mia's or Pecan Lodge for incredible local cuisine before wiring back in. Dallas also has beautiful parks for taking a break, picnics and exercise like Klyde Warren (highly popular) and Lakeside Park (a bit more romantic).
It’s no surprise that Texas is also anxious to fully reopen. While state leadership has been issuing different messages on moving forward safely following the pandemic, Dallas’s individual willingness to create a safe reopening should soon provide more options for students to attend a boot camp in person. Students interested in coding (physically) alongside other members of their cohort are communicating their desire to learn and interact with one another in person, and both options will be available once bootcamps can reasonably accommodate the safety of all of its students.
Features of Dallas Coding Bootcamps
Most coding bootcamps in the state of Texas in general fit this description, but all of the coding bootcamps in Dallas deliver on the following features:
- Bootcamps that fit different learning styles. While we’re seeing some positive indicators following the pandemic, future software engineers and developers work differently and want different experiences in various learning environments. Some would like to learn coding outside the home office they’ve been confined to for multiple months. Others are moving into larger homes that have a second bedroom they’ll use as a dedicated workspace.
- Immediate Accessibility. On-ground and remote boot camp instructors have the ability to provide quick feedback on questions or projects, whether it be questions on coding challenges, specific information about the curriculum of a coding course, or their advice for applying to that dream data science or web development job you’ve been researching.
- Convenience and Reputation. Dallas’s startup culture might be less competitive than the New Yorks and San Franciscos of the world, but the coding bootcamp options couldn’t be more competitive. The Coding Dojo in Founders’ Square (downtown Dallas) will resume in-person classes once it’s deemed safe, as well as highly desirable bootcamps like UT Dallas’ coding bootcamp program (powered by Fullstack Academy) and DevMountain. They all offer online bootcamps that can be completed at home or in Dallas’s many coworking spaces.
Dallas’ reputation nationally owes a lot to its sports teams (famous for the Cowboys, less famous for the Stars). However, their hope is that technological innovation receives the same media coverage and esteem.
Before Attending a Coding Bootcamp in Dallas: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Coding bootcamps in Dallas offer several to students. Depending on the chosen programming language, data science immersion, and/or design tracks you choose, curriculums will vary both on content, breadth, and on length. A “typical” bootcamp curriculum will have several paths that require a base knowledge of the concepts. Let’s explore what skills an aspiring software engineer, full stack web developer, or data science professional will need prior to entering the bootcamp.
Prior to preparing and enrolling in a coding bootcamp, you’ll usually need to complete a short assessment on your coding ability. However, Dallas-based programs like Coding Dojo don’t require a coding challenge for admission. Even so, we recommend that all students brush up on coding fundamentals. There are some free online courses like Codeacademy that offer free tutorials and support for newer aspiring software engineers. It allows each student to dive into the basics of coding in some of the most commonly used programming languages, as well as offers a premium tier for more support. These courses will help prepare you for the rigorous part or full-time coursework.
One of the benefits of this important step before applying and then enrolling in the boot camp is that it allows you to assess your current skill level, and choose the programming course that best suits your budget and proficiency. Perhaps more importantly, preparing for your boot camp allows you to understand the nuances of coding languages and engage in introductory projects with other students.
Preparing for the coding bootcamp and the evaluations you’ll complete will help ensure that you receive a return on investment from the time and money you put toward your coding education.
Cost of Coding Bootcamps in Dallas
The cost of a full stack coding bootcamp in Dallas isn’t that different from the national average. According to Nerd Wallet, the average cost for a bootcamp is nearly $13,500, but several different payment options are available should you be exploring different ways to pay for coding school.
If you’re considering paying for a coding boot camp upfront with a credit card, you can consider opening a travel card to meet the minimum benefits of a bonus card while earning miles. However, several other options exist. Many students use third-party financing options like Meritize or Ascent, two popular bootcamp loan options that provide a loan and feature grace periods for repayment. This may not be a bad option for a student projecting to earn a software engineer salary and budgeting after the course is completed.
While there’s a lower cost of living in Dallas, attending a bootcamp is still a considerable investment. After weighing whether attending a coding bootcamp is worth it, here are three great tricks to funding your coding bootcamp enrollment:
- Apply for every coding scholarship. Several coding bootcamps offer scholarships geared toward increasing the amount of underrepresented coding professionals in the tech sector. Coding Dojo - a bootcamp offering remote and on-ground bootcamps in Dallas (returning to campus once the pandemic variants are under control - offers scholarships incentivizing LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and military veterans to apply and attend their bootcamps. Several need-based scholarships are also popping up across different coding schools in the five boroughs.
- Research income-share agreements. Some bootcamp graduates pay for their tuition using income-share agreements (ISAs). An income share agreement is a written agreement between you and a bootcamp provider that says you’ll commit to paying the provider a percentage of your income for an agreed amount of time.
- Project your salary earnings. Carefully evaluate the tech job you can realistically land and the median salary of your desired position. Even though Dallas companies are hiring, is that desired position going to be paying you significantly more than your current role? Will it earn you a higher multiple several times over than the cost of the bootcamp itself? For example, if you want to be a full stack developer and or are also seriously considering data science roles, will the career path pay off dividends in the near or medium term?
Dallas boot camps should work within your budget to capitalize on the learning opportunity while not compromising your financial health.
Choose a Coding Bootcamp in Dallas
If you’ve decided on attending a Dallas coding bootcamp, here are some on-ground programs in the city who are popular with students:
Nucamp Dallas. Nucamp’s Dallas campus is currently fully online due to the pandemic. They specialize in front-end, back end (SQL, DevOps, Python), and full-stack web development tracks. Most of their ratings they advertise are based on student reviews, but they do list some outcome data around the student ratios and students who are placed in jobs six months after completion of the bootcamp. We’d like to see them include data on median salaries and whether or not the employment rate is inclusive of tech-specific jobs, but their reporting is a good start. This is worth asking an admission officer about if you’re matched to this bootcamp.
Southern Methodist University (SMU) Coding Bootcamp. SMU’s Coding Bootcamp offers fully online, part-time and full-time coding bootcamps in partnership with 2U. Specializing in coding, data science, fintech, and cybersecurity, these coding bootcamps can be completed in four to six months, depending on which track you choose. SMU is one of a select thirty universities to offer $2500 in need and merit-based scholarships to historically underrepresented students pursuing a coding education.
DevMountain Dallas. DevMountain is located in the heart of Dallas’ downtown historic district. Offering some of the widest range of courses across many coding bootcamps, DevMountain offers coding basics, Java software engineering, Python software engineering, data analytics, app development, UX/UI, and cybersecurity. These programs are typically offered remotely and in-person, with this bootcamp offering a housing program as part of the in-person cost. (One of the few bootcamps to offer this.) This program is not available until gathering is safe for students.
In 2017, DevMountain partnered with the Council on Integrity and Results Reporting (CIRR) to validate its outcome data. However, in recent years DevMountain does not list outcomes on its website. (They do indicate that the report is coming soon.) We encourage anyone applying to coding bootcamps to ask for their most recent outcomes report.
Coding Dojo. Yet another bootcamp located in Dallas’ downtown historic district, Coding Dojo offers full and part-time immersives in software engineering, as well as prep courses to ensure you’re able to practice prior to your admissions exam. The roster of employers who hire from App Accademy’s bootcamp grads is impressive: Google, Slack, Amazon, and they list 200 others.
Deciding to Attend a Coding Bootcamp in Dallas
Dallas is more than the city famous for being the home of a famous shark and megastars like Demi Lovato. It’s mayor is focused on building a community of top-tier web developers and tech companies for residents and bootcamp graduates seeking a personal and professional network. Despite the pandemic, major tech companies like AT&T, CBRE, and Southwest Airlines are planning a safe return to office with an intact roster of full stack developers, data scientists, and software engineers at highly competitive market rates. The potential for career growth as a developer or data scientist in Dallas is on the rise.
If you’ve been thoughtful about what drives your interest in coding, analyzed the benefits of attending a bootcamp in Texas, properly budgeted for a life during and after becoming a bootcamp grad, and have a strong sense of what you want to pursue, we can match you with the right program. Click here to match to your future bootcamp in Dallas.