Coding bootcamps. So far, attending one has meant either having a good one in your city or temporary moving to a different city to attend one, with all the logistics and expenses that come with that.

San Francisco-based Hack Reactor is looking to change that, and is announcing an online version of its coding program that students can complete remotely. Its program teaches the fundamentals of full-stack web development, with a heavy emphasis on the programming language Javascript.

Hack Reactor is making four half-scholarships available for remote students in an attempt to help lessen the financial barrier as well. Hack Reactor’s program normally costs $17,780.

The remote program is designed to be as close to the in-person version as possible, with students “attending” and participating in the lectures at the same time as the other students, working on the same assignments, and benefiting from the same job search and placement resources.

However, since students are required to be “in class” during the same hours as the students in San Francisco, this means they will be devoted full-time to the program and will have to adjust their schedules if they are in a different time zone. This likely means it would probably be manageable only for people in the Pacific, Mountain, Central, and Eastern time zones.

While there are other online coding programs, such as Tealeaf Academy and Thinkful, this appears to be the first online version of an in-person program, at least among the San Francisco-based bootcamps. General Assembly offers online courses through its Front Row division, although they are individual courses on narrow topics that are one- to one-and-a-half hours long and not comparable to Hack Reactor’s full-time, three-month program.

Although there are certainly benefits and advantages to having students attending such programs in person, Hack Reactor told VentureBeat that its remote version can be just as successful:

Hack Reactor has always had two missions: 1) to empower people and 2) transform education with rapid-iteration teaching. We felt we could expand our mission best by offering our curriculum remotely. We’re deeply integrated with the city of San Francisco (local internships, scholarships, meetups, nonprofits), but we’re always unhappy to hear about people in Denver who can’t afford to move out to SF but won’t settle for anything less qualified than Hack Reactor.
This will certainly be an interesting experiment in the world of coding bootcamps. Bootcamps have been popping up everywhere and growing at an incredible pace, yet there has been much concern over their ability to churn out qualified web developers, with graduates of some programs having better success than others. While this remote program could increase access to a lot more students by saving them the relocation costs, remote students could miss out on a lot of the networking opportunities that local students can take advantage of both through and outside of the program.
The three-month session will start on July 21 and students can apply until June 24. The application process for the remote option is the same as for the in-person program.
Disclosure: The author of this post formerly worked at General Assembly, a coding bootcamp. 

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.