The pointer is not a thing that every developer needs to know, but it's still a thing that exists. This question is kind of a stand in for concepts like pointers and not just that one thing.
I wonder: Do they teach this concept in bootcamp at all?
I imagine the course doesn't need to cover computer science from the ground up, but what should get detailed and when?
In computer science, a pointer is an object in many programming languages that stores a memory address. This can be that of another value located in computer memory, or in some cases, that of memory-mapped computer hardware. A pointer references a location in memory, and obtaining the value stored at that location is known as dereferencing the pointer. As an analogy, a page number in a book's index could be considered a pointer to the corresponding page; dereferencing such a pointer would be done by flipping to the page with the given page number and reading the text found on that page. The actual format and content of a pointer variable is dependent on the underlying computer architecture.