Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

How To LA

The Truth About Some Coding Boot Camps And More LA News To Start Your Day

A Filipino man wears a short sleeve black and gray shirt, jeans, and white sneakers while sitting at a gaming chair. Behind him there's three computer screens, a lap top, and a microphone. To the left of frame there's a keyboard with sheet music. On the right of frame there's a TV and a print that reads "Eat, Sleep, Game."
Sean Sarreal left a stressful job as a restaurant manager, and after attending coding bootcamp, now works from home as a front-end developer.
(Samanta Helou Hernandez
We need to hear from you.
Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

We are in the middle of a new machine revolution. It’s rare a day goes by that I don’t see at least one news story about how artificial-intelligence technology, like chat bots, is either a good thing for our world…or a big problem. Remember when Google’s AI chatbot made a $100 billion mistake?

The Pros and Cons Of Coding Boot Camps

About How to LA Newsletter
  • This is the web version of our How To LA newsletter. Sign up here to get this newsletter sent to your inbox each weekday morning

But no matter what AI can do, humans are still in demand to do the programming work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for computer programmers is $93,000 a year. And that salary benefit has led to a boom in coding courses.

Support for LAist comes from

In recent years, there has been a growing appetite to take these classes or sign up for coding boot camps that teach computer programming in a lot less time than it would take to go to a four-year college. These courses are often promised as a way to fast track folks to a great-paying job — without the cost or time commitment of a more traditional school experience. But while some of these programs have delivered, any newbie should pause and read the fine lines before signing up. There are risks.

My colleague Julia Barajas wrote about the harms of enrolling in predatory boot camp programs. For example, she featured Jonathan Stickrod who enrolled at Lambda, a private, for-profit coding boot camp that asserted he could be a web developer in six to twelve months. The program stated: “We don’t get paid until you do…” But Stickrod soon realized it was not what it promised.

Lambda was racking up money from its students’ debt prior to them landing a job. It was only the beginning. Lambda was also sued as attorneys alleged the school told some pretty big lies about its instructors and its curriculum.

But Stickrod fought back. Read Julia’s story to learn what action he took against Lambda and what you should know to ensure you’re signing up for a quality coding bootcamp. She’s got some advice from the National Student Legal Defense Network about the questions you should ask if you are considering a similar program.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • Believe it or not, there’s only one supervisor per 2 million people across Los Angeles County. Today, the five members of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors are considering expanding their group to include more voices. 
  • The late February winter storm has left L.A. workers with a lot of cleanup work to do. Thankfully, the storms this week will be milder.
  • It rained so hard this past weekend, I’m sure many of you are wondering how much rain water the county was able to capture for our present drought. My colleague Erin Stone has the details on L.A.’s progress, the challenges and what we can expect next.
  • Irvine Unified School District officials told LAist that bus evacuations have begun for more than 600 middle school students who’ve been stranded in the San Bernardino Mountains since the blizzard last week. District families have expressed concerns on why the district planned the trip ahead of a blizzard in the first place. 
  • Earlier this month, we heard from former L.A. County Jails employee Ahmanise Sanati about her attempts to get books in the hands of incarcerated people.  Now, L.A. County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath has introduced a motion that will hold the Sheriff’s Department accountable for making more books available. 
  • According to a recently released audit, California’s community colleges are falling short when it comes to hiring full-time faculty. The report revealed an over reliance on part-time faculty and a lack of hiring racially and ethnically diverse faculty, as well as misallocating funds. 
  • A new study from the American Psychological Association shows what happens when teenagers limit screen time. NPR’s Allison Aubrey has five tips you can try to help your teen cut back on social media. 
  • Usually when there’s intense stormy weather, people would rather not fly. But some scientists who study the weather are going towards the face of danger by taking aircrafts into storms for researching phenomena like “snow bands”. 
  • Congressman Henry Cuellar said President Joe Biden’s proposed asylum rule would be a “reasonable” way to figure out what to do with the unparalleled number of migrants who are arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. But immigration advocates disagree. They think Biden is falling back on his promises. 
  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

Wait... One More Thing

Why Orange County's Clean Energy Agency Matters

A view of a low-lying city area with a beach on the right and streets largely vacant. Palm trees line street and park areas.
An aerial view of Huntington Beach taken during the pandemic shutdowns. The city is considering withdrawing from the OCPA, as is Irvine.
(Apu Gomes
AFP via Getty Images)
Support for LAist comes from

For today’s fascinating, insightful story of the week, we are going to explore my colleague Jill Replogle’s in-depth guide to understanding the complexities around the Orange County Power Authority. The agency was formed in 2020 to hasten a move toward clean energy but some of its biggest members and former supporters are pulling out.

On one hand, the agency can be a substantial mechanism to push California into a cleaner future. Some people say this local entity has already helped alleviate greenhouse gas effects. But others argue it’s costing customers more than they originally expected…in more ways than one. We’re talking about corruption.

Read Jill’s story about the necessity of this agency, the laundry list of concerns, and why some environmental and political groups are calling for reform.

Help Us Cover Your Community
  • Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything.

  • Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know.