Programming Bootcamp Turns Lawyer Into Hacker


Felix Tsai was as far from a hacker as you could get. He was a lawyer.

In the mid ’90s, he practiced corporate law for a firm in Manhattan. During the dot-com boom he did mergers and acquisitions. But he never loved his work. After quitting law and starting a pair of tech-minded companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, he realized that what he really wanted to be was a programmer. So he went to bootcamp. And now he is.

Yes, bootcamp. Dev BootCamp. Tsai spent nine weeks studying at a mini-school in San Francisco whose only mission is to immerse you in things like the Ruby on Rails programming framework, the Git version control tool, and the Agile development methodology. Students work 12 to 16 hours a day, and life doesn’t get in the way because you’re not allowed to have any other life.