Boot Camp (bootcamp) learning
Bootcamp learning has a range of meaning and possible descriptions. In its pure sense, it refers to a high intensity, physically demanding fitness camp – commonly associated with induction or development in military training or in some instances associated with corrective services.
More recently, the term has been used to describe an intensive introduction to an aspect of IT – notably teaching coding skills. A ‘bootcamp’ refers to either a condensed and intensive timeframe where the focus is solely on the one topic, or it may refer to a sequenced program over a number of weeks – but where the focus is similarly highly intense and targeted on the development of a specific skill or understanding. In this way, it has also been used to describe intensive workshops in connection with executive development or any other business focused intensive program.
In the context of this listing, bootcamp is used to describe an activity that is highly focused, intensive and with specific learning outcomes in mind. It might refer to learning experiences that are mental, intellectual or physical.
The use of the term ‘bootcamp’ is on the rise. It captures the need to dedicate intensive time to learning one particular skill or grow capacity in specified ways. A quick search of the web will find the term used in very broad ways. People attend meditation bootcamps, property investment bootcamps, programming boot camps. Singularity University offers intensive training programs over a multi-week timeframe, but as with other bootcamps, focused on a targeted, intensive development program.
The following description of bootcamp learning comes from
In all cases, you stop what you’re doing, travel to a place, surround yourself with teachers and students, and go deep on the topic. The upside to learning this way is obvious. It takes hours to get into creative flow. Deliberate practice — which is a structured way to learn something — requires sustained attention. In an always-on and distractible culture, the rare act of deep immersion can produce differentiated insights.
Formal schooling is the anti-bootcamp model. You study many different topics at once - it’s a constant balancing act. As David Brooks once noted, to be an excellent student you have to train yourself to not let yourself become too interested or immersed in any one thing.
The term bootcamp has a wide range of applications. It is used to describe the physically-demanding intensive experiences preferenced to help accelerate mindset shift in learners who may have struggled in more traditional schooling contexts. It is also used to describe the short term, highly intensive learning experiences designed to enable learners to become proficient in a targeted skill (e.g. a coding workshop).