Bootcamp Survival Guide

What I wish I knew before enrolling in coding bootcamp

Photo by Lagos Techie on Unsplash

As someone who changed careers three times, transferred schools, and received my BA in a timeline of 6 years, I thought I was done thinking about my career. Then a global pandemic happened and few hundred thousand people including myself, decided to make a career change. In the looming days of covid anxiety and banana bread madness, I recalled teaching myself HTML5 and CSS from the advice of a friend. He suggested coding as a possible avenue to combine my own passions of language and art. I remembered the gangling nature of my fingers as they hastily try to write out a basic styling and all the red that littered my code when I forgot to close a tag. It was something new but familar. It was the comfortable ritual of creating, but my tools were a keyboard and a monitor, and my mark on a page was a blinking cursor.

That memory reinvigorated my self education in coding, eventually leading me to the world of coding bootcamps. After much consideration, time spent exhausting my resources, and bothering my only programmer friend, I felt comfortable to commit to a school. Within the week of applying I found myself enrolled in a part time, online, intensive 10 month software engineering bootcamp.

With much time to reflect on the past months I’ve compiled a few things to keep in mind when entering a bootcamp:

  1. Research the offered curriculum of your bootcamp of interest. Given that every bootcamp has their own curriculum, it’s important to understand the basis of what you’ll be learning in the span of the bootcamp. Look up the frameworks and languages you’ll be learning and understand how they’ll apply to you in the real world. Which languages align with your ideal career path? Which seem necessary to know? Even better, look up ideal job positions on LinkedIn and look at what languages are expected for the job offer. This will help you gauge what the market demands and shape where your knowledge will be focused for the bootcamp.

Software Developer and visual artist based in NYC. Join me on my journey to coding enlightenment or a torrential mental breakdown, whichever comes first.