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By Ashwin Rodrigues
April 13, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. — After Mark Zuckerberg’s recent grilling on Capitol Hill, several major coding bootcamps have decided to update their syllabi. In order to reflect the new reality of the startup world, each bootcamp will include practice testimonies to Congress as part of the required coursework.

At an average cost of over $10,000, coding bootcamps are a popular way for aspiring computer programmers to take a short track to a software engineer position. But while these courses offer a robust education in web development, there is no lesson plan to address the question burning in each student’s mind: What happens if the app I build becomes an extremely powerful and possibly monopolistic enterprise, and the mishandling of customer data ends up under the scrutiny of several U.S. Senators?

As such, in addition to front-end, back-end, and full-stack development courses, all graduates will now be versed in testifying in front of Congress. Many coding bootcamp CEOs agreed this was the sensible move after witnessing Zuckerberg’s performance on Capitol Hill this week.

“It’s not enough to teach a man to fish. You need to teach a man what happens when he destabilizes a country with his fishing pole,” said Aaron Pyle, CEO of CodeCamp.

“In order to make our graduates ready for the real world, we constantly update our curriculum. We’re excited to add ‘Actually, Senator…’ and ‘I Built This In My Dorm!’ courses to round out our students’ education,” said Amy Figueroa, CEO of Bay Area Bytes.

Teaching students how to appeal to the United States government might seem unprecedented, for a coding bootcamp. But for those paying attention, it’s just another push update in constant stream of iterations. In 2016, coding bootcamps taught their graduates how to pretend the LaCroix sparkling water is a unique and enjoyable beverage. This small change increased their “culture fit” at most startups, and boosted by job placement by 32%.

While the congressional testimony practice is now live in the curriculum, bootcamps are already brainstorming updates for 2019. Potential courses include other government-related topics, such as “So, You’ve Been Subpoenaed” and “Remind Them You Built This In Your Dorm.”

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