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California Regulator Seeks To Shut Down 'Learn To Code' Bootcamps

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the here-for-the-danegeld dept.

Education 374

cultiv8 writes: "The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE), a unit in the California Department of Consumer Affairs charged with licensing and regulating postsecondary education in California, is arguing that 'learn to code' bootcamps fall under its jurisdiction and are subject to regulation. In mid-January, BPPE sent cease and desist letters to Hackbright Academy, Hack Reactor, App Academy, Zipfian Academy, and others. Unless they comply, these organizations face imminent closure and a hefty $50,000 fine. A BPPE spokesperson said these organizations have two weeks to start coming into compliance."

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California (5, Insightful)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 10 months ago | (#46119831)

Yep. This sounds like California.

Re:California (5, Insightful)

idobi (820896) | about 10 months ago | (#46119949)

If you're charging someone $15000 for a 10 week course, and promising jobs at companies "like Facebook and Google," you probably need to fall under some sort of regulation and compliance.

Re:California (-1)

pesho (843750) | about 10 months ago | (#46119961)

Mod parent up. This is exactly right. All I can say here is thank god it is California.

Re:California (2)

WPIDalamar (122110) | about 10 months ago | (#46120043)

Hack Reactor claims 99% placement?

If true, maybe this really is an innovative education environment that aggressive regulation should stay away from.

Re:California (3, Informative)

alen (225700) | about 10 months ago | (#46120185)

what is the small print

unless its really 99% of their grads are hired for real software jobs which i don't believe they need to be truthful. every school that hypes a placement rate always has some small print that shows the 90% number is a small percentage of sampled students

Re:California (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120203)

Or we need regulation so they can stop claiming 99% placement when its more like 9%

Re:California (5, Informative)

pesho (843750) | about 10 months ago | (#46120229)

The regulation is hardly aggressive. According to the regulators for now all the companies need to show is a good faith effort to come in compliance. The article headline is obviously misleading.

Re:California (0)

NewWorldDan (899800) | about 10 months ago | (#46120255)

I generally agree that regulation should be minimal in any educational environment, but how do you differentiate?

Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120055)

No, really: Why?

Where in the Constitution (federal or state) does it enumerate regulating education as a power of government?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120159)

You are aware the constitution is not the only piece of legislation the regulates societal affairs, right? It is not without reason that there is a legislative branch in the government.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about 10 months ago | (#46120243)

You are aware the constitution is not the only piece of legislation the regulates societal affairs, right?

You are apparently unaware that both the US and California state constitutions are not pieces of legislation.

Incidentally, the US Constitution does give the state of California the ability to regulate such "bootcamps" via the Ninth Amendment. The real issue is whether California's constitution does.

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | about 10 months ago | (#46120313)

10th amendment. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Since the US Constitution doesn't prohibit the regulation of education, it is permitted to the states.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120339)

The California Constitution, Article 9, Section 1 clearly grants broad regulatory authority to the state legislature over education matters.

Re:California (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120085)

Yeah, I'm kinda on the fence regarding this. I really think its a hindrance to innovation to force anyone trying to teach someone else something to be licensed. Is there a legal limit where you have to be licensed. Lets say I teach some kids to play the piano in my spare time, do I really have to be licensed. If I'm running a studio with multiple employees, I probably should.

Re:California (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120089)

If you're charging someone $15000 for a 10 week course, and promising jobs at companies "like Facebook and Google," you probably need to fall under some sort of regulation and compliance.

If you're charging $15k a head, and you're whining about the undue burden of a "hefty" $50k fine, then you have what, 10 clients?

Re:California (4, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 10 months ago | (#46120171)

No, if you are promising jobs that you can't actually guarantee, you don't need regulation, you need to be prosecuted for fraud. That simple.

Re: California (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120281)

Regulation can prevent harm. Litigation is expensive, time consuming, and a crap shoot with loaded dice since the perpetrator has much deeper pockets. Also see tort reform which gutted your only recourse. Deregulation and tort reform are done for the wealthy to give them impunity.

Re:California (1)

killkillkill (884238) | about 10 months ago | (#46120189)

If that is what they are promising and the statistics don't match there are plenty of laws about fair marketing and fraud that would open them up to well more than a $50,000 fine.

Re:California (3, Interesting)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 10 months ago | (#46120201)

If you're charging someone $15000 for a 10 week course

My spouse's employer recently paid that amount for a 2 day SAP course, and I'm pretty sure CA regulators are not going after the company providing the SAP course.

promising jobs at companies "like Facebook and Google,"

I do not see a promise or guarantee of employment anywhere in the article or in a brief search of their websites.

Re:California (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 10 months ago | (#46120241)

If they truly are promising employment upon completion of their course then the students have grounds for a refund if they fail to be employed. What is the purpose of this government body? To ensure students are not ripped off? California all ready has a consumer protections enforced by the Department of Justice, this is just another bureaucratic hurdle imposed by California that will stifle smaller companies while protecting established companies and universities from competition.

Re:California (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 10 months ago | (#46120271)

Yeah, If the course was free (did not RTFA) I would argue that cali can go fuck off, but if they are charging and making promises, there should be some kind of regulation.

Re:California (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about 10 months ago | (#46120301)

If you're charging someone $15000 for a 10 week course, and promising jobs at companies "like Facebook and Google," you probably need to fall under some sort of regulation and compliance.

I'm echoing what's already been said here. But regulation and compliance already exists. Fraud didn't become legal just because. If fraud and similar crimes are not being prosecuted, then it is an enforcement problem not a lack of regulation problem.

Let Us Control You! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46119833)

California, possibly the state that receives the biggest benefit from programmers (in the form of jobs and taxes paid) wants to limit teaching programmers because they think they should control these coding bootcamps?

Pull your head out, California before the industry picks up it's ball and goes somewhere else.

Re:Let Us Control You! (2, Insightful)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 10 months ago | (#46119853)

Control is only a part of the equation. I bet they're after money. Control and money go hand-in-hand, especially in this state.

Re:Let Us Control You! (1)

jasper160 (2642717) | about 10 months ago | (#46119987)

Big Education hates competition especially when it may be better. for a fraction of the cost.

Re:Let Us Control You! (3, Informative)

keltor (99721) | about 10 months ago | (#46120023)

Not sure if you realize, but these camps are typical of private education that doesn't give you "credits" in that they cost an arm and a leg. They cost as much as my Master's Degree cost me.

Re:Let Us Control You! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120127)

I know what kind of developers bootcamp programs produce in 12 to 16 weeks. About 25% of them are useful as developers. 50% are useful as QA. And 25% are useful for converting O2 to CO2.

Re:Let Us Control You! (0)

c0lo (1497653) | about 10 months ago | (#46119939)

Your politicians want you more stupid than they are... how could they manipulate you otherwise?
The worst thing: they a f..king stupid already.

Re:Let Us Control You! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120143)

California, possibly the state that receives the biggest benefit from programmers (in the form of jobs and taxes paid) wants to ensure that teaching programmers is o the up and up, and genuinely thinks that people deserve an honest education, not a con job.

Pull your head out, Anonymous Coward, California may well be serving industry interests. Well, not the scam education industry, but the ones they do care about it.

Re:Let Us Control You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120283)

Pick up that apostrophe and make it go somewhere else.

Ah yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46119835)

California's efforts to keep the population dumbed down like sheep.

Appropriate use of government power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46119837)

This is an excellent use of the government's power. I highly approve.

If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (2, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 10 months ago | (#46119843)

then surely there is good reason that this should be regulated.

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (5, Insightful)

andyring (100627) | about 10 months ago | (#46119943)

Why? Is there a specific price point at which regulation should be automatic?

On what do you base your premise that regulation is both necessary and positive?

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120015)

On what do you base your premise that regulation is both necessary and positive?

Experience. History. Fraud.

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (2, Informative)

ph1ll (587130) | about 10 months ago | (#46120029)

"Is there a specific price point at which regulation should be automatic?"

Any financial transaction. This is fairly standard.

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (4, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | about 10 months ago | (#46120087)

"Is there a specific price point at which regulation should be automatic?"

Any financial transaction. This is fairly standard.

Why? Should garage sales be regulated? Why does the government need to be involved in every facet of your life?

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (2, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#46120225)

"Is there a specific price point at which regulation should be automatic?"

Any financial transaction. This is fairly standard.

Why? Should garage sales be regulated?

Depends on the circumstances - if you're having a garage sale maybe 2-3 times a year, it seems like a waste of resources.

However, if your primary source of income is "garage sales," and you're holding one every weekend if not every day (we call that "running a flea market" 'round these parts), then yea, you're a business and need to be regulated.

Of course, this is all ignoring the fact that garage sales are already regulated in most places, by way of permit requirements.

Why does the government need to be involved in every facet of your life?

Control, duh. In the case of private citizens, I highly disagree with the practice, as it limits liberty; however, in reference to businesses, the government should be up their asses 24/7/365 - there's a damn good reason the Constitution doesn't give any rights to corporations.

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (1)

countvlad (666933) | about 10 months ago | (#46120343)

Control, duh. In the case of private citizens, I highly disagree with the practice, as it limits liberty; however, in reference to businesses, the government should be up their asses 24/7/365 - there's a damn good reason the Constitution doesn't give any rights to corporations.

The only entity that the US Constitution gives rights to is the US Government, by design.

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (5, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about 10 months ago | (#46120261)

" Should garage sales be regulated?"

House sales are regulated, I don't see why garages should be any different.

Flea markets? ANY cash transaction? (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#46120097)

Any financial transaction. This is fairly standard.

If I beat you every day your whole life, it's "fairly standard" but does not make it right.

There's lots of transactions that are not really regulated, especially cash ones...

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120099)

kill yourself.

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120293)

So the state should regulate me paying my child an allowance?

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (1)

madro (221107) | about 10 months ago | (#46120337)

There are price levels where the risk of fraud and abuse may outweigh the costs of enforcement and compliance. People who travel to other countries cannot carry more than $10000 in cash without reporting it. The risk is money laundering and drug running.

Regulating everything or regulating nothing always leads to huge Type I/Type II errors. Reasonable people can disagree on the appropriate level of compromise.

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (5, Insightful)

Luke has no name (1423139) | about 10 months ago | (#46119981)

So should every technical training course for firewalls, networking, VMWare, etc. be regulated similarly? Those are $5k+ a week.

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120125)

Those sort of courses are for people who already have a job and a career, and the cost is generally paid by the employer.

The kiddie bootcamps, on the other hand, are a sort of get-rich-quick scheme, promising an amazing future where your brat can earn really big bucks. Sort of like the modeling agency scam that lures in dumb parents and says "your snotty-faced kid will be a big star, just sign here, and pay us $$$$ in fees".

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 10 months ago | (#46120003)

Doesn't that depend on what the course is worth? Programming is a relatively well paid profession, particularly in the US. It is conceivable that a good ten-week course could pay for itself almost immediately if a student could then expect to secure a better position with a significantly higher salary as a result of their improved skill and understanding.

For contrast, in the UK university fees are highly controversial but can be up to £9,000 (almost US$15,000 today) per year. However, reputable professional training courses teaching even quite basic IT skills can easily cost an employer £500+ per day.

If there is really as much competition in the Californian programmer education market as TFS suggests, it seems like in this case market forces really should be sufficient to keep prices fair unless their is collusion between the largest course providers to keep fees up artificially, in which case presumably the normal laws against anti-competitive behaviour should apply.

Obviously I'm ignoring other relevant factors here, such as arguments in favour of education for education's sake, and concentrating purely on economic value. However, it sounds like the regulator might be doing that as well.

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120039)

Why, if people are stupid enough to pay that?

Albeit it was in the late 90s, my masters degree cost about $15,000.

Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 10 months ago | (#46120237)

My spouse's employer recently paid that amount for a 2 day SAP course, and I'm pretty sure CA regulators are not going after the company providing the SAP course.

“Our primary goal is not to collect a fine.. (2, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about 10 months ago | (#46119849)

“Our primary goal is not to collect a fine. It is to drive them to comply with the law,” said Russ Heimerich, a spokesperson for BPPE. Heimerich is confident that these companies would lose in court if they attempt to fight BPPE.

Sounds like a real charmer...

Re:“Our primary goal is not to collect a fin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120137)

I find the reflective response that industry is virtuous and the regulators power mad to be unwarranted. My view is that neither party is especially virtuous but those motivated by money can easily slide down the slope to distasteful practices.

Re:“Our primary goal is not to collect a fin (3, Interesting)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 10 months ago | (#46120209)

"We don't want money. They need to bow down and acknowledge us as Lord."

Compliance (2, Insightful)

Akratist (1080775) | about 10 months ago | (#46119867)

I absolutely detest the word "compliance." For some reason, it seems out of character to be used in what is ostensibly a "free society."

The Alternative Is Worse (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120075)

There's actually a pretty good reason there are accredation standards in education. People are paying a lot of money. It's hard for someone to know (without actually taking the course) if the course is valuable or worthless. There are plenty of shysters out there who couldn't care less if you learn - they're just out for your money, and provide as little education as they can get away with ('For Profit" online universities are, IMO, more scam than educators).

Whether it's a government or a private body, setting clear expectations on curriculum standards and certifying compliance with them is a highly useful service to keep students from getting victimized. Which means "compliance" with someone else's idea of what a reasonable student needs is not only not anathema, it can be a Very Good Thing.

Being free to dupe people into paying a lot of money for a worthless service isn't exactly in character with a "free society" in any but the most extreme laisse faire ideologies.

Re:Compliance (4, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | about 10 months ago | (#46120139)

I dunno, but compliance is not necessarily a bad thing.

I want all of my electrical and electronic devices to comply with appropriate standards and regulations so they all work together and are safe to use.

I want vehicles and buildings to comply with the myriad of safety regulations.

I want my food and food preparation/handling facilities to comply with best practices.

I don't know what the BPPE requires with respect to compliance (article does not say in what way these places are not in compliance), but maybe I want that too.
=Smidge=

Re:Compliance (1)

_UnderTow_ (86073) | about 10 months ago | (#46120227)

I don't know what the BPPE requires with respect to compliance (article does not say in what way these places are not in compliance), but maybe I want that too. =Smidge=

I fully agree. While at first it sounds like a typical bureaucratic money grab, I'd like to see what laws they're violating before further rushing to judgement.

Big $$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46119875)

Ooops looks like some Big $$ Colleges are a bit miffed they cant rape $$$ off of the masses and have called in a favor or two.

Re:Big $$$ (3, Interesting)

tibman (623933) | about 10 months ago | (#46119941)

Maybe if colleges could teach software development there wouldn't be a need for these code bootcamps.

Re:Big $$$ (-1)

pegr (46683) | about 10 months ago | (#46120061)

Maybe if the state of California read the First Amendment, there wouldn't be a need to fine code bootcamp operators.

(Hint: Commercial speech is still speech.)

Re:Big $$$ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120373)

As an European, I can only shake my head at such abominations like "commercial speech is still speech".
That's pretty much on par with "kinetic speech is still speech", which I then can use to legally "disagree" with you by driving my fist into your face. Hey, it's free speech!

captcha: merged

Curious where he'd draw the line (4, Interesting)

barlevg (2111272) | about 10 months ago | (#46119879)

What are the regulations regarding wilderness survival camps? What about rock & roll fantasy camps? Is he going to start going after knitting retreats?

Re: Curious where he'd draw the line (5, Insightful)

Dan Lyke (9648) | about 10 months ago | (#46119945)

I think that it's probably about advertising: They're claiming 99% job placement, waving around the idea of six figure salaries, for $17k and 10 weeks. I'm not sure where you draw the line, but having tried to help counsel some lower income people who were looking at nursing schools, this is way the hell over the line.

Re: Curious where he'd draw the line (1)

operagost (62405) | about 10 months ago | (#46120161)

We already have laws against fraud.

Re: Curious where he'd draw the line (3, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 10 months ago | (#46120303)

Yes, and the spirit of those laws is encapsulated in the regulation of postsecondary education. These bootcamps are trying to skirt the regulations designed to prevent fraud in the education market. They're being asked to comply with the anti-fraud regulations.

I'm going to start Rock Fantasy Camp.. (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 10 months ago | (#46120167)

What are the regulations regarding wilderness survival camps? What about rock & roll fantasy camps? Is he going to start going after knitting retreats?

Dude, don't steal my idea. In my Rock Stah Academy, students will all sit in my Mom's basement for 8 weeks talking about how they are going to get discovered. Maybe I will teach them how to write a few tunes, or maybe we'll all just sit around and smoke weed. Then I will get them ready to launch their super awesome careers by teaching them how to apply for food stamps and work in fast food jobs. Also, I will send them lots of rejection letters on (simulated) record company letterhead. For this ultimate Rock Stah Academy I will only charge $10000 for the complete course. Hurry now, space is limited in the basement!

Yes, it's Friday...

Re:Curious where he'd draw the line (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 10 months ago | (#46120187)

Well, these coding courses are aimed at creating careers - the "students" are trying to make this their job. People going to any of your examples are not - they may be developing skills, but the camps are for hobbies, not careers.

That seems like a significant enough difference to me.

money is the clear motivation (1, Funny)

kbush$ (3520241) | about 10 months ago | (#46119883)

“Our primary goal is not to collect a fine. It is to drive them to comply with the law,” ... Least believable statement i've read today.

Re:money is the clear motivation (1)

glennrrr (592457) | about 10 months ago | (#46119915)

I'd say that telling people what to do is a prime motivator for people who go into government. So, I'd tend to believe it.

Re:money is the clear motivation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46119983)

I thought Judge Dredd was the law, not an educator compliance nazi. This makes me sick.

"I'm DA LAWWUuuuuuHHH!"

California has stupid laws (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46119889)

BPPE, a unit in the California Department of Consumer Affairs, is arguing that the bootcamps fall under its jurisdiction and are subject to regulation. BPPE is charged with licensing and regulating postsecondary education in California, including academic as well as vocational training programs.

California's laws may be stupid, but clearly they have laws requiring licensing for training programs.

Just more unelected beurocrats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46119899)

who somehow have the power of law over us all. How many levels of indirection before representative democracy becomes meaningless?

No Accredited Credential, No Regulatory Authority (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46119903)

If these places are not offering a recognized credential of completion (such as a degree or certificate recognized by the prevailing accreditation bodies), then they are not an educational institution subject to state regulation. Instead, they fall under Federal Dept. of Ed Work Training facilities.

Federal Law is settled on this, and there are at least 100 cases that I can find that set this precedent.

Re:No Accredited Credential, No Regulatory Authori (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 10 months ago | (#46119929)

Ok, I'm gonna go ahead and disagree with you there. Would you care to cite any of these "100 cases" for us laypeople?

Re:No Accredited Credential, No Regulatory Authori (1)

tibman (623933) | about 10 months ago | (#46120021)

I only checked out http://www.hackbrightacademy.c... [hackbrightacademy.com] but they don't appear to offer any kind of certification. Just 10 weeks of training for women that ends with a "Career Day".

All the cyberlibertarian rage... wrong questions.. (3, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | about 10 months ago | (#46119923)

So, what does compliance involve? That's the first question we should be asking.

If your local libertarian hot dog stand guy rages at you about maybe being shut down because the health department is on his back, instead of saying "fuck guvment", maybe you should figure out if it's something as simple as them having hygiene standards for how he cooks, and some small fee for a license. I mean, maybe there is something unreasonable or crazy, and there are some industries that corrupt government and do rent-seeking in order to limit competition, but these details matter.

Re:All the cyberlibertarian rage... wrong question (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120001)

Nah...fuck guvment!

Re:All the cyberlibertarian rage... wrong question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120119)

They're pissed off that they can't rip off desperate people looking for jobs teaching information freely available on the internet.

It's kind of sad, really.

Re:All the cyberlibertarian rage... wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120133)

I disagree on a fundamental level because food service is a public health issue whereas wasting your money on a class is nobody's business but your own.

Re:All the cyberlibertarian rage... wrong question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120251)

Until one of these poorly educated individuals ends up working for a company that produces "high security" applications and they fuck it up 'cause they didn't actually learn anything while getting their certificate, then suddenly you got a few million stolen identities floating around or something.

Re:All the cyberlibertarian rage... wrong question (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#46120135)

Your hot dog stand may SEEM to have been doing just fine, but if you don't give a but to us hot dog stands have a mysterious way of causing terrible accidents to youse owners. So cough it up.

Re:All the cyberlibertarian rage... wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120157)

Wow, it's amazing that you've lumped everyone into "cyberlibertarian". So now I can't be upset about an idiotic bureaucracy without being labelled?

What about the stupidity of the DMV or IRS? I certainly hope that we don't tolerate incompetence in fear of being called libertarian. Oh and about tolerance...it doesn't mean accepting crapah...nevermind, I doubt this is going anywhere.

-Just another friendly progressive.

Re:All the cyberlibertarian rage... wrong question (4, Interesting)

Akratist (1080775) | about 10 months ago | (#46120193)

I do find the luv/hate libertarian thing kinda funny when these things come up. Statist sorts believe that since people are fallible, there needs to be people to regulate people. Libertarians believe that since people can't be trusted to run the lives of other people, then we need to trust individuals instead of groups. Both sorts miss the fact that the basic problem is that we recognize there are people we can't trust. Anyway, as far as regulation goes, I've gotten salmonella twice in my life, both times from large corporate food chains that were regularly inspected by the health department, had food handling standards in place, etc. I've eaten plenty of time at mom and pop greasy spoons and have not gotten sick from them. Likewise, I didn't go to a coding boot camp, but got my degree from an accredited four year college. While most of my professors were good, the guy teaching the .NET class I took had simply gone to a weekend seminar on coding in .NET and copied all the .ppt slides and used them as his own (I knew more than he did about .NET). I had another professor for calc who, while not intentionally being a fraud, absolutely could not communicate the subject matter in a way that was comprehensible. In both of these cases, I figure I was out money because of fraud, so it can happen anywhere. If the coding boot camps are making false claims, then it seems more like grounds for a hefty lawsuit by former students, than grounds for another layer of regulatory compliance, particularly when the products of the four year colleges may or may not be subject to the same type of scrutiny in terms of product quality (disclaimer -- I don't know what the process for this is in CA).

Re:All the cyberlibertarian rage... wrong question (0)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 10 months ago | (#46120247)

So, what does compliance involve? That's the first question we should be asking.

No, the first question we should be asking is why regulators are targeting these specific companies and not going after companies that provide 2-3 day training seminars that frequently cost the same amount.

Re:All the cyberlibertarian rage... wrong question (2)

Smidge204 (605297) | about 10 months ago | (#46120355)

I had the same question and started clicking around. I came up with this:

http://www.bppe.ca.gov/lawsreg... [ca.gov]

Just browsing through the dense wall of legalese, it seems largely related to being clear (and documented) in purpose and intent, having structured hierarchy of responsibility, good record keeping practices, providing appropriate resources (access to staff, libraries/labs, equipment etc), having clearly defined financial policies in place, making sure your faculty is competent and up to date on their subject matter, have clearly defined admission standards, etc.

I don't see anything particularly onerous in these requirements.
=Smidge=

Just shoot everyone at the BPPE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46119927)

and burn the building down. Problem solved.

Postsecondary Education? Description fits the bill (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46119957)

The summary makes it sound like these are people in makerspaces getting free skills. The article says that these places are charging tuition $15k - $19k for an intensive (~ few months) training course, presumably with a certificate of completion. The state and the public have a vested interest in ensuring people get their money's worth. The article also states that the bureau doesn't not demand immediate compliance in 2 weeks, but that they show progress towards attaining compliance. Look around you. Experience shows that the free market is not effective at eliminating scammers. Sometimes regulation and auditing is good.

Re:Postsecondary Education? Description fits the b (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120307)

Statist.

Lets start killing all the authoritarians. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46119979)

Sure, it will be ugly hypocritical for a while but once they're all dead we can live in a utopia.

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120007)

If too many people learn to code, we will have more crackers, cybercriminals, child pronographers, terrorists, money launderers and pirates. This is a matter of national security!

If anything, this measure is too little, too late.

California, you voted for this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120027)

Enjoy the ride. Next time vote Republican.

nothing to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120045)

Next we need a license of sorts to turn on lightbulbs in a certain order ...
or even need a license to write a book (on how to turn on lightbulbs)?

ED-209 (1)

brianerst (549609) | about 10 months ago | (#46120091)

You have 15 seconds to comply. [youtu.be] You are in direct violation of penal code 113, section 9...

No little-girl cupcakes and no education? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 10 months ago | (#46120155)

Sometimes I am annoyed that the word "too" exists. Change the spelling so that the different meaning stands out. Not like context wouldn't play a role there. But in cases like these, I think there aren't enough "o"s in "Too much" or "Too far" or "Too stupid."

Apply uniformly (1)

Phasedshift (415064) | about 10 months ago | (#46120195)

There are a number of training classes and "bootcamps" for various things which are based in California. Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert certification bootcamps and various others come to mind. Those bootcamps (and many others) can be many thousands of dollars.. So the question becomes, at what point do you start considering regulation for a group? When the amount of money they collect is over $X? Or when the duration of the course is over X weeks? If they are going to regulate courses at all, these need to be clearly defined and enforced uniformly. The issue here is that when it is defined too vaguely, there are a very large number of classes that should be regulated, which aren't. Cooking classes, professional certification training programs and many other classes should fall under this. Regulatory authorities in state are likely not equipped with experts in the field to be able to define what methods/requirements are "best" for every type of organization.

With that said, I think the drawbacks of regulating classes like these, is far more than the "help" it will provide to consumers.

* If someone is willing to drop $15,000 on a bootcamp without fully vetting it via research, references, reviews and the like, that's not very smart of them and they are partially at fault for signing up for something that didn't provide what they need/want.

* However, if the bootcamp doesn't provide on what it promises, then they have every right to complain to the state and/or sue to get their money back (although, I expect most would complain to the state due to resource related issues.)

In short, California either needs to clearly define exactly who should be regulated, and they should apply that uniformly, not just on a specific group of companies.

-Phasedshift.

Remember MCSE Bootcamps? (5, Insightful)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about 10 months ago | (#46120221)

Back in the late 90s / early 2000s, training companies were making tons and tons of money funneling people with zero computer experience through MCSE certification bootcamps. Basically, they would do the entire set of certification exams in 2 weeks, and not all of them were 100% honest to students about their chances of passing or even getting a job once they were done. These bootcamps still exist, but from what I've experienced, they're only for people who actually know the material and just need to update their skills quickly. The earlier iterations of these were definitely certification mills though. I went to one around 2001 because I wanted to update my certs. The class was split -- some of us were there to just do a quick skills upgrade, and others had obviously been suckered in by a dishonest recruiter. To get these folks to pass, instructors would give them copied exam questions to study and pay for these students' extra chances to pass the exams. The school would then be able to tout their super-high pass rate for the exams. And these weren't cheap either -- some were $7K or $8K in 1990s dollars. Even when you factor the cost of a hotel stay, meals and an instructor, the profit margin is huge.

Now it seems that the focus is less on system admin skills and more on "web coding" like these schools are offering classes in. Seems like a perfect hook -- young students who use their iPhone or Android mobile constantly get sold the dream that they too can be the next great app writer and make millions. And it really does seem doable -- with all the web frameworks out there, there's very little a "coder" has to know about what's actually going on under the hood to make something that works. Problem is that paper MCSEs didn't work out so well when they got on the job, so I doubt these classes will help mint genius developers either. My boot camp class back in the day had a former bus driver and someone who was fresh out of the army in an unrelated field.

Libertarians will say it's OK for businesses to take advantage of people, but I think education is a little bit different. Selling someone thousands of dollars in classes and telling them they're equivalent to CS graduates just isn't honest, and these schools profit off peoples' naivete and sell them dreams. The state gets to regulate educational institutions, so it makes sense that they're taking a look at them. And what if it was something simple like needing to publish student outcomes or pass rates? The libertarian free market would be all excited then, because the bad ones might be weeded out if students could be bothered to do research on statistics available from regulation.

It took ages to weed the paper MCSEs out of the workforce, and it's still not 100% complete. Every time I meet an "IT professional" who has no troubleshooting ability, I think back to these bootcamps.

Re:Remember MCSE Bootcamps? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120329)

mod up. Spend any time browsing the web without an ad blocker, and you'll see tons of ads like "Learn to be a Developer in your Spare Time".

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120265)

I support this wholeheartedly!

PS. I'm from Europe.

Similar Programs? Any ones for employed people? (1)

itwasgreektome (785639) | about 10 months ago | (#46120275)

I never even knew these programs exist. My goal is to get back into development. I'm working in a completely unrelated field, having a Major in Cognitive Science and minor in computing. Anyone know of similar programs to these in the Los Angeles area for fully employed people, at cheaper prices? I love the idea of these programs...thanks!

control freaks need more control. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46120305)

massive disobedience required

Quick Fix.. (1, Insightful)

LVSlushdat (854194) | about 10 months ago | (#46120321)

Here's a quick fix.. Move OUT of that bat-shit insane state.. Then let those insane asylum inmates running that state try to shut you down.. These coding academies are pretty much web-based anyway, so all they have *in* California are the offices.. Those could quickly be moved out to say, Texas or Nevada, with little or no impact on the company.. I was born and raised in California, but the wife and I got out of there in the mid-90s, and moved to Nevada. Unfortunantly, we still have relatives there, so I have to make trips yearly to that nuthouse...

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