>If you already have prior programming knowledge and know at least one programming language, joining this camp is silly
As someone in this group, I'd have to disagree with you.
I work in a life sci research setting, and am usually the only person with any programming knowledge or experience whatsoever. In research, "it works," is generally the only quality control placed on bespoke software. I'm capable of writing working programs to perform simple tasks & do on a regular basis, but I could not begin to write a large web application using best industry practices. I've also never spoken at length with other programmers regarding the problems I'm facing, and as such, I would have a significant degree of difficulty discussing conceptual frameworks with a team.
Having spoken to a few people who attended these schools, it seems that they have a thing or two to teach someone like me.
Perhaps it's not worth $10k, but I think that's a separate argument.
Yes. I taught myself initially and was writing lots of small utility scripts. Towards the end of the bootcamp I attended I got a call to update one of the things I had written before. The difference between before and after was enormous. When you're teaching yourself for practical purposes it is very easy to achieve "working" code that would be totally unacceptable in an environment where the code was the primary driver of value. Additionally, if you're the only programmer in your office/program, it is very hard to progress since you must be the creator of your own curriculum. It's a good exercise and self-education is an important skill, but it's hardly the most effective way to learn.