Saw a tweet around Nov/Dec 2017 from a London Bootcamp doing free places for underrepresented people in tech, so I applied, had to pass a test and an interview and I got through.
They were experimenting with race & class diversity and wanted to see if they can get the 15 people they selected to mid-level developers in a year+ time. We also got paid for up to 3 months for every month we didn't get employed afterward.
I was a bit skeptical because I only had A-levels and no real work experience meanwhile the cohort was filled with people with a lot of corporate experience, some Oxbridge grads or mostly top 20 uni people.
Breezed through the course (started in Feb this year), they taught me about all that agile malarkey, TDD, OOP, Functional Programming, all the soft skills etc.
I think one of most important thing is building a good portfolio of work and learning about TDD and testing software. Most people who are learning at home are not teaching themselves Test-driven development so if you are self-taught it is important to learn this. A lot of companies are actually hiring juniors who know how to TDD, to help develop that culture in these places to learn all that, it's important and will give you a competitive edge. It's defo a big selling point.
Getting regular feedback on your code is the MOST important thing. Code with people, look up at online programming communities on slack or real-life meetups, get friendly with some people who will help you out.
You need that regular feedback to level up as quick as possible. That's how they do it at the boot-camps, you have your code, the way you work and communicate reviewed by your peers and coaches multiple times a day sometimes(informally, everybody is taught to be open to constructive criticism after you work with them) so you are used to someone picking up on something and then you can correct it.
The more of these feedback loops you go through, the quicker you will get better. (Applies to other stuff too). So imagine how many times you go through this to get people to a work-ready level after 4+ months.
If you are self-taught and can incorporate those things into how you are learning, it will make your pathway to getting hired much more quickly than if you didn't. That's the sauce they use.
If somebody is trying to set out a junior or entry level learning path or not sure what they should learn moving forward (concept wise) I can write a quick list of things to have covered