Switch is a website that helps you decide not only what kind of tech career might be right for you, but which boot camp will help you get the training you need to pursue it. It’s been described as a Yelp or TripAdvisor for careers, and offers lists of boot camp offerings along with reviews and access to financial aid.
The site was founded by Jonathan Lau, a graduate of Stanford and MIT with degrees in civil and environmental engineering. While working as a data scientist after graduation, he discovered his real love was programming. He signed up for a 10-week Ruby on Rails boot camp from Launch Academy, which led to a programming job at an ad-tech startup in Boston. Thinking that boot camps offered a lot of people a lot of potential, he built a prototype for Switch before recruiting co-founders Michael Suen and Jeremy Schwartz to help turn it into a real product.
Today, the site has more than 200 reviews covering 120 programs in 10 countries. That’s not a lot but the company has a full-time staffer whose only job is to solicit reviews from boot camp alumni. By next year, it hopes to have 1,000 reviews posted. Bear in mind boot camps are relatively new, and have only produced about 10,000 graduates to date, Lau says.
For career changers, Switch starts off by presenting an eight-point questionnaire that’s meant to point you toward an area that matches your interest and presents courses it thinks are appropriate. The focus is on programming right now, though Lau plans to expand the scope into other areas, including many outside of technology. “The long game is to help people customize a curriculum for themselves,” Lau told Wired. “There are a lot of online resources, but deciding which resource to use is a big deal.”
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