Improving Accessibility: Students Can Now Use PCs in DigitalCrafts Bootcamps

Since our launch, we’ve been working hard to make our bootcamps accessible to as many people as possible. First, we launched part-time Flex classes in 2017 so students with full-time jobs or other commitments could learn to code at night and on the weekends. Last year, we began building partnerships with city government organizations and other groups to break down the financial roadblock of attending a coding bootcamp. In addition to offering discounts for women and veterans, we have also introduced scholarships for underrepresented groups in tech, like the Curtis Jenkins Scholarship and the Turner Women in Tech Scholarship.

And now, we’re excited to announce another effort to make our classes more accessible: Starting today, DigitalCrafts students can now use PCs in all classes that we offer. 

Why We Required Macs In Class

We had previously required our students to use MacBooks in all of our Immersive web development bootcamps. We had several good reasons for this requirement: Most professional programmers use Macs, which means that a lot of great developer tools, both paid and open-source, have been built specifically for use with macOS, Apple’s operating system. 

There’s another reason: Under the hood, macOS is similar to Linux, which is a key element of high-quality web applications. As developer Harry Whelchel put it when he spoke to us previously:

The majority of web servers use the operating system Linux to run the web applications we all use in our day to- day. Linux and MacOS share the same "operating system ancestor" in Unix. So, by developing on Macs, you learn a lot of programs and concepts that are applicable when deploying, operating and managing production web servers.

In the past, coding could be done on PCs (plenty of people have done it!), but it could be awkward and required a lot of work on the developer’s part. The open-source tools devs rely on wouldn’t behave correctly without heavy modification, and even then, further modifications were required to deploy code developed on a Windows machine.

So What Changed?

In June of this year, Windows released v2 of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), which lets users run native Linux command-line tools directly on Windows.

Thanks to these updates, PCs can now replicate the Mac experience, allowing users to run Linux programs. This has opened the door for devs on Windows machines to access the same high-quality open-source tools that Mac and Linux users have had for years, and deploying code on Windows is similar to the process used by developers using Apple laptops.

MacBooks Are Still the Best Choice for Most Students

The way you code in class will be the same whether you’re using a Mac or PC, but classes will typically be taught by an instructor using a Mac, so for most students, using a MacBook in class is still the way to go.

Using a PC in class is an approach that’s best for students who are already technically savvy, as your particular instructor may not have experience using Windows machines and may not be able to provide IT support should you need PC-specific troubleshooting.

Check out this article for a more exhaustive list of reasons why choosing a MacBook might be right for you.

Technical Specs for Laptops in Our Bootcamps

Our current specs for laptops used in class are as follows:

Your PC laptop must be able to run Windows 10 Build 18917 or higher. To find out if your PC can run WSL v2, follow these instructions.

If you’re using a Mac, you can use any MacBook (Standard, Pro or Air) with Apple's latest OS installed that runs smoothly.

We’ll see you in class soon!

Ready to take the next step in your career and become developer? Download our course packet for more information about our full-stack web development bootcamps.

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Author
Tasha Schroeder

Marketing Manager