IT Coding Bootcamp

How to Become a Software Engineer in Hong Kong | The Complete Guide

18 min read

IT is now a global trend. Look around, you will realize there is a rapid growth of business turning into digital and virtual. Even for retail, you don’t need a store to run the business, instead, you can run the business through social media and e-shopping platforms. Given the ironclad facts, many of us have been working from home, shopping our daily goods and necessaries online under the pandemic. Relatively speaking the change of customer behavior from bricks-and-mortar stores into virtual has proved the market needs to digitize their business. 

eMarketer, a subscription-based market research company, has published a report regarding the sales figure of e-commerce in 2021 will be over 5 trillion US dollars. “In Hong Kong, January 2021, the value of online retail sales provisionally estimated at $9.96 billion HK dollars which grew 53 percent compared with the corresponding period last year”, Census and Statistics Department said. From here we can see digitalization is a global phenomenon. The ideology of digitalization appears to be the lake in the desert while everyone in the business starts digging and reforming their business model. Due to reform underlying the society, it leads to numerous people facing the risk of being obsolete and replaced. In order to stay in the workforce, people start thinking about getting themselves into IT through coding bootcamp.

Bootcamp vs Degrees

IT Coding Bootcamp has always been a trend in foreign countries. In recent years, enterprises in Hong Kong started coordinating bootcamp with the elites in order to provide variety for people to change their career paths. Meanwhile, a question comes to our minds:

What is the difference between bootcamp and degrees?  

1. Length of courses

Bachelor’s degree: takes over 4 years to complete

Master’s degree: 1 year for full-time course; 2 years for part-time course

Bootcamp: normally takes 3 to 4 months to accomplish, 13 to 14 weeks in general

2. Theoretically vs Practically  

Bachelor’s degree: 

Emphasis on the academic side and more comprehensive learning scope. The courses not only included practical knowledge like computing, computer science, and UX/UI design but also covered the theories of information technology in order to build an informative and all-rounded steppingstone for us to grow our career and become the IT elite.

Master’s degree:

Emphasis on both academic and practical, provide a more in-depth course in order to broaden our knowledge and get to know the industry more. Meanwhile, the tuition fee and recognition are the highest among all.

Coding Bootcamp:

Emphasis on the practical level, niche targeting the industry needs and customize the courses by a project learning-oriented learning scheme to adopt different software and programming languages like Java, Javascript, AWS, API, etc. The content of the courses is not as comprehensive as the above mentioned. However, it is definitely the fast track for you to become an IT beginner and grow your career path. Yet, the value of money is the highest among all.

3. Admission requirements

Bachelor’s degree: 

Academic results based, through examinations or diploma/ high diploma to get access (including HKDSE/ IB/ GCE/ Higher diploma/ Associate Degree, etc. )

Master’s degree:

Required relative bachelor’s degree in information technology, engineering, computing, etc.

Coding bootcamp:

Everyone is welcomed, for those who have no IT experience or even graduated with a bachelor’s degree in arts. You all are welcome to join.

To sum up the above: 

學士學位Bachelor’s degree碩士Master’s degree微學位Coding bootcamp
價錢Tuition fee180K – 260K100K -150K46K – 60K
獎學金Scholarship
學習時長Length of course9個月至4年9 months – 4 years1-2年1 – 2 years3-4個月3 – 4 months
入讀門檻Admission requirementsHKDSE/ IB / GCE / Higher Diploma/ Associate Degree需持有相關學科之學位Related Bachelor’s degree需有基礎電腦知識Basic computer knowledge
教學內容Course content著重學術性及較全面Academic and comprehensive著重實用性及較全面Practical and comprehensive著重實用性及較針對性Niche targeting and practical

Information sources: Hong Kong universities and institutions of Coding Bootcamp

Which coding bootcamp suits you most?
Full-time? Part-time? Or distance education? 

Studying IT coding bootcamp normally takes you over 3 months to complete for full time; as for part-time or distance education, it would take you a bit longer to finish the course. Despite the fact that it is still the most efficient way compared to a bachelor’s or master’s degree. 

The external factors need to be considered in order to choose the right coding bootcamp for you.

1. Cost & time

As for a full-time student of IT coding Bootcamp, it brings you back to the time in high school as classes will start from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday. Frankly speaking, giving yourself a few months’ time to adapt and learn is a more effective and efficient way to grow your knowledge and technical skills. However, the tuition fee of Coding Bootcamp is not cheap as a full-time course could take you HKD40K to 60K. Besides, you need to consider that you won’t be receiving any income unless you get a part-time job. Therefore, you need to ensure you will be able to support yourself for 5 to 6 months before decision making.

If you find yourself not able to secure your financial status, part-time or distance learning courses will be more suitable for you. The tuition fee is generally between HKD10K to 40K, classes will be held at night or weekend. It gives you more flexibility or you might also consider hybrid courses to choose whether you want to attend physically or virtually.

Apart from the external factors, what are the push factors for you to join the course?
Start your career in IT? Not being polarized in the society? Self-value added? Or your own interest?

2. Demand of knowledge

There are thousands of reasons for you to join IT coding bootcamps.

There are not many things to worry about in the future once you decide to start or change your career path and get into the IT industry. Full-time courses are more detailed and comprehensive for you to get yourself ready to join the field, as full-stack software engineering would allow you to master your technical skill and knowledge to create your own products.

While you want to be value-added in the industry in order to grasp chances of promotion or job opportunities. You will be able to gain relative experiences by getting yourself in part-time or distance learning bootcamp. That’s the reason why part-time course would be a better fit for you.

For the scenario of you only want to join because you are interested in it and there is no urge, you might want to consider joining a trial coding course or bootcamp online and self-learning a bit to make sure if you are still interested or need to acquire the skills before making any decisions.

Which style of teaching would enable you to absorb the most knowledge? 1 on 1? Group class?

3. Personalities

One on one:

If you are a slow learner, you need a more flexible teaching style and the lecturer would be able to explain the details for you, 1 on 1 would be perfect for you. The only drawback is you don’t have chances to discuss and exchange ideas with others.

Group class:

If you are a quick learner, joining a group class would allow you to discuss and learn from peers. It helps you to get to know more or experience a little more of working in the IT industry that you are required to communicate and collaborate with colleagues. Besides, it makes the learning process more interesting and intriguing.

What is next after graduating from coding bootcamp?

After graduating from IT coding bootcamp, you can be a web programmer in the beginning. There are also many other choices you can pursue:

  1. Application Developer:
    Specialized in designing, building, planning and revamping applications/ website/ software. Being an application developer appears to be all -purpose style as people from different industries need them to do the gig to revamp software.
  2. Analyst Programmer:
    They are specialized in R&D, testing, analysing, protecting and maintaining software, including coding, programming and applying applications.
  3. Back End Developer:
    They are specialized in building, maintaining, testing and adjusting the backend of websites/ applications, their duties cover servers, applications and databases. 
  4. Development Operations (DevOps) Engineer:
    They are specialized in bridging between software development and IT operation, their duties are lying in development and deployment procedures which ensure deficits/ obstacles being eliminated on or before the software is released or enters the operating procedure. 
  5.  Digital Marketer:
    They are specialized in managing companies’ websites, social media, SEO (Search engine operator), EDM (Electronic direct mail), web ads and blogs.
  6. Front End Developer:
    They are specialized in frontend of the website, which means the parts that we can see from the browser. Their design is about how the website should operate and shown in front of our eyes. 
  7. Full Stack Developer:
    Specialized in managing frontend and backend programmes in one go and dealing with the database, establishing a detailed user website and to cooperate with the client in the planning stage of the project.
  8. Junior Developer:
    Specialized in helping the development team to handle software design, coding, learning codebase and collecting user data. 
  9. Product Manager:
    Specialized in managing a product/ software development life cycle and roadmap, besides, they prioritize on ensuring software/ product meet users’ requirements and establishing achievable goals.
  10. Software Engineer:
    Specialized in applying mathematical analysis and principal of computer science to design and develop software.
  11. Technical Support Specialist:
    Specialized in providing assistant or technical support to enterprises and users for example poor server connection, systems crashed etc. 

You might top up your skills with IT Coding Bootcamp, however, for a course of about four months, it is only at the entry-level. If you delve in more, you will also be able to find jobs in Mobile App, Machine learning, Fintech, etc.

Whether companies will hire graduates from IT bootcamp?

According to a Linkedin report, it indicates “Specialized Engineer” has become one of the most popular professionals in 2021. Between the years 2019 and 2020, demand for jobs in the industry has increased by 25%, including Web Developer. In addition, Project Management, Digital Marketing, and Product Management are listed as the most popular Hard Skills this year.

IT is the global trend, the high volume of demands of those elites to develop the skill. Enterprises are now putting more resources in technology and upgrading tech stack in order to attract elites to join. You might go check out the job vacancies on Linkedin, there are approximately 5,600 vacancies which Data analysts, software engineers, and product managers take up the majority. Referring to the data from the institution of coding bootcamp, the employment rate of Bootcamp graduates is over 90 percent. 

Although the job vacancies in the market are significant, whether companies are going to hire you or not also depends on your performance. You can check out “讀完 IT Coding Bootcamp 一定搵到工?” in order to know more about the hiring requirements. 

How to choose the right institution?

1. Course coverage on the technical scale:

It is better for you to know more about the courses before you make any decisions about which and what you are going to enroll in. In general, Coding bootcamp can be divided into Java, Javascript, React, API development, Gitlab, MYSQL or AWS, etc., and there are different kinds of courses in the market to teach the above-mentioned tools in order to help you master the skills and become a beginner of a web developer. For the courses which are specified in “Frontend”, “Backend”, technical areas, it helps you to build a concrete and fundamental understanding of the industry and gives you more varieties of job opportunities. Feel free to visit the article “畢業生分享” regarding graduates sharing and content outline of enterprise to have a clear mindset. 

2. Teaching style:

As a matter of fact, students who have been enrolled in the bootcamp are not sensitive to numbers, especially bachelor’s degree holders in Art. It is painful and challenging for them to face a pool of numbers every day, therefore, it is important to make sure whether the teaching style will make you feel enjoyable.

When you google about the courses or study course outline, you will find the details of the lecturer like which universities and past experience stated in the introduction. For sure, only those in the top tier of the field are qualified enough to coach. 

Recalling the past, have you ever experienced some terrible learning experience from someone who is from top university brands? I did and that is why the trial class is important for you to get experienced before joining the courses. The teaching style and learning atmosphere led by the lecturer really matter and affect learning effectiveness. After paying a fortune to submit your admission to Coding bootcamp, the last thing you want is regretting that the course might not be exactly the way you thought it is but dull and not enjoyable.

Once again, it is essential to register trial classes from different institutions in order to compare the course content and outline as well as its methodology of teaching. In the end, you will find yourself the perfect one with no regard.

3. Associated scheme/ partnership:

There is always a close connection between the industry and bootcamp institution, we might also put this into consideration for choosing a bootcamp. There are three main institutions in Hong Kong hosting IT coding bootcamp, including Xccelerate, Tecky Academy, and Venturenix LAB. Graduates’ employment rate from these institutions is over 90 percent and monthly salary is 20K or above on average. Not to mention, Venturenix Lab provides employment guarantees. 

If you would like to know the differences/ which campus is more suitable for you, let’s check out the table below:

 XccelerateTecky AcademyVenturenix LAB
價錢Tuition fee46K-49K*59K-61K(可分12/24期)(can pay by 12/24 instalments)60K*(可分4-12期)(can pay by 4 to 12 instalments)
Scholarship Program
On-campus
Online
教學模式Teaching style小組Small group小組Small group小組Small group
就業率Employment rate91%90%100%
就業保證Employment guarantee
平均成功就業時間Average time to be hired約一個月App. 1 month約兩個月App. 2 month一至兩星期App. 1-2 weeks

Confusions before admission

1. Tuition fee

Although you might think the range of tuition fees is tolerably wide, the differences in between are not as big as expected. For instance, you can choose to pay those relatively expensive courses by installments to break down in months, it is only a few thousand. Plus, with the periodic promotion or early-bird discount, you might save thousands as long as you grasp the chances. Additionally, you can pay attention to institutions’ policies as they might offer special discounts for payment in cash.

2. Why is employment guarantee important?

Almost every IT coding bootcamp institution stated the employment rate of their graduates is over 90 percent. In other words, 9 of you will be hired in every 10 graduates. Nevertheless, we need to prepare ourselves in the worst scenario that we are actually not being hired by any? The time and money you have invested throughout the period will be in vain and back to square one. 

Therefore, before choosing an organization, in addition to comparing fees, you also need to pay attention to how the organization provides necessary support and assistance to graduates who fail to get into the workforce, such as providing job search services or processing refunds.

Beyond all institutions in the market, Venturenix LAB, is the subsidiary of Venturenix, the recruitment firm specializing in IT. Graduates would be able to fall into the talent pool for profile matching which higher their chances of being hired or gives them a variety of opportunities. Put it in a bigger picture, we are talking about the career path in the coming decades, we need to be cautious.

3. What is the difference between Java and JavaScript?

The IT Coding Bootcamp launched by each organization has its own set of programming languages ​​(programming language), the type of programming language learned will also affect the future employment path, so you must choose carefully. However, among many programming languages, the one that most people cannot separate is Java and JavaScript.

The biggest difference between the two is that the former is an object-oriented programming language (OOP programming language), and the latter is an object-oriented programming scripting language (OOP scripting language). Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a computer programming model designed around data and objects, rather than functional and logical organization software. But how big is the difference between the same object-oriented program?

JavaJavaScript
– Lower-level programming language– Contains compilation steps– Usually runs on a parent program – It is more compatible when the code is integrated with mathematical models – It can be compiled and then used on any platform– Higher-level programming language – Does not include editing steps – Some instructions in the program will be automated – Extract/extract data from the data set – Compared with traditional programming languages, the code density is relatively low

Overall, the compatibility of the programming language of Java is relatively high, because it is simpler than JavaScript, and the compiled system can be applied on any platform through compilation. The only drawback is that the designed layout is not necessarily as beautiful as the platform compiled through JavaScript.

But there is an unclear law in it. If you learn Java first, then JavaScript will be easier to get started. On the contrary, if you decide to learn JavaScript at the beginning, it will not be so easy for you to pick up Java. Therefore, in addition to learning a more comprehensive programming language, the micro-degree (bootcamp) that provides Java tutorials will have more room to play in the workplace. Therefore, the average speed of employment in some institutions is faster.

Preparations for admission

One question we have received a lot from you all before joining the coding bootcamp is: “anything I need to prepare or do I need to do theory previews in advance?”

The answer is NO.

If you have to prepare a lot before enrollment, it basically violates the original intention of bootcamp. The purpose of coding bootcamp is to train people with no related experience to enter the IT industry. If you really want to prepare yourself beforehand and relieve yourself, what you need to do is to make yourself a schedule and adjust your mentality.

1. Time allocation

The four-month IT Coding Bootcamp is relatively intensive. You have to go to class from Monday to Friday and do some readings of the materials on weekends. Therefore, you must be mentally prepared after you apply for IT Coding Bootcamp, you must sacrifice your leisure time and do your time management before the start of the course so you can get a balanced life between your free time and the course, such as ensuring no overlapping timeslot or reschedule plans to avoid clashes. Even on weekends, you have to spare time to deal with schoolwork and digest the content from the past weeks.

2. Adjust mentality 

As you are going to learn something that you have not experienced before, you have to be open-minded throughout the course. 

At the very beginning, you might find it is very difficult and hard to face the unknown. Everything is difficult at first but it is going to be better every day and learning all these steps by step. Based on the experience of our students, it normally takes one or two months to transit from the beginning stage and starts picking up and getting used to it. After that, you will get the satisfaction of learning and getting closer to the road to success. Meanwhile, it helps us to absorb knowledge more effectively with an open mind.

Pre-employment preparations

In the last few weeks of the course, the organization will usually start to help you make a CV and prepare for the interview, so you need to adjust your mentality for job/career hunting.

However, one thing we need to bear in mind is as IT Coding Bootcamp is a four-month course. The advantage is that you can quickly learn the skills and knowledge needed in the industry in a short period of time. 

If you want to pursue your career in the IT industry in the long run, you should be well prepared to learn the latest IT knowledge. IT Coding Bootcamp is a course organized in response to the needs of the industry, and newcomers can definitely cope with related jobs. Conversely, if you find yourself interested in staying in this industry after doing it for one to two years, it’s not too late to think about whether you need to continue your studies according to your needs. You can also choose to continue to be a Software engineer or change your direction. Being a Business Analyst is mainly to collect the actual needs of customers for the system. After analyzing the parts that need to be modified, it is also a bright way to express customer needs to the relevant IT team.

Conclusion

To conclude, IT coding bootcamp is definitely the stepping stone for you to build your career in the IT industry. Once you grab the entry ticket, find the core value in it and stick to it, you can make a day of it and become an IT elite.

If you are confident enough and dedicated to building a career in the IT industry, you will definitely be interested in Venturenix’s newest IT Trainee Programme. You can also know more about the programme by reading this related article: [IT人才荒]Venturenix推軟件工程師培訓計劃招聘零經驗潛力人才.


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