Today’s celebration of Women’s Equality Day reminds all of us that as a society, we still have a ways to go before women are treated with the same respect and dignity as their male peers appreciate. No more is this evident than in the tech industry whose female denizens are trending the #ILookLikeAnEngineer hashtag to remind everyone that their beauty does not define them. In tech, women are often underrepresented in teams and mistreated by their male colleagues who feel their input is not as valuable.
Plenty of brave voices risked their reputations to relate these experiences. The consensus looks bleak: while Silicon Valley breaks down technological barriers, most of its companies are satisfied with the status quo when it comes to supporting women in the workplace.
However, changes like Netflix’s new parental policy that allow new parents unlimited paid leave from work are indicative of a more promising future. For the women who are interested in tech today and want to help push all women forward, there are five great coding bootcamps in San Francisco that can help get them there.
As documented by Huffington Post, 30 percent of women in congress graduated from all-female institutions, as did 20 percent of Business Week’s Rising Women of Corporate America. These numbers are a stark contrast to the percentage of women who enroll in these institutions nationally, a mere 3%. There’s something to be said about providing women with a supportive space to learn.
Hackbright Academy is for women only, that makes it the top-most contender for any woman looking to get into tech. They are a great school and provide a judgement-free zone for women to educate themselves. They are also competitively priced and offer need-based and corporate scholarships.
The program at Coding Dojo lasts 14 weeks and provides a unique twist when compared to most other bootcamps. They offer multiple stacks that you can swap into their curriculum, which lets you choose Rails or MEAN when it comes time to learn a backend technology. Their tuition costs are on par with other institutions. What sets them apart for women is their Women in Tech Scholarship, which is worth up to $2500.
Often cited as the quintessential brick and mortar bootcamp, Dev Bootcamp, or DBC, was one of the industry’s first options and it remains one of the best. Dev Bootcamp is now a two-part program: nine weeks of remote work followed by another nine to 15 weeks of in-person class time for 12 hours per day. Formerly, they offered a big discount to members of Girl Develop It, but they now offer a $500 scholarship to all women, regardless of financial need.
This program is among the industry’s most rigorous and most expensive. Hack Reactor is not for complete beginners however, they market themselves as a 20 to 120 program (whereas most are 0 to 60) that expects applicants to have some understanding of software development. While they do not offer scholarships, they recently partnered with Optimizely to provide a full-ride tuition and internship program for women.
The I/Ownit program is highly selective and the most recent deadline for applications was June 1st. There is no guarantee that the program will have another iteration, but it is worth keeping an eye on.
Unlike the other programs on this list, Bloc is entirely remote. You don’t have to live in San Francisco to enroll in our program, but if you do, you’re more than welcome to visit the Bloc office. What makes our program appealing is the one-to-one mentorship we provide. We pair our students with mentors that suit them best, and if a student prefers to work with a female mentor, we can make that happen.
In terms of financial aid, Bloc partnered with New Relic in 2013 to provide a $500 diversity scholarship to women and underrepresented minorities. Bloc also has a partnership with Girl Develop It, which offers their members two $2500 scholarships towards our Full Stack Web Developer Career Track.
All of these bootcamps offer a great experience to students, but they’ve also taken the time to include and promote women in the tech industry. If you’re looking to get into software development, any one of these bootcamps is worth your time, but their costs vary.
If you already live in San Francisco, you avoid the biggest bootcamp expense: relocation. However, there are additional costs associated with in-person bootcamps and for that reason, sometimes a remote program like Bloc is the better value.