With software development being a highly demanded skill, attending coding bootcamps are becoming very popular. Back in 2014, I attended Wyncode, one of the first coding bootcamps in Miami. This alternative form of education was extremely eye-opening and valuable to kickstart my career in tech.
Being a few years out of a coding bootcamp and now fully involved in the technology industry, I would like to share some pointers to those thinking about attending, are currently attending one, or have recently graduated.
See if you have an interest in software development
It’s a big decision to dedicate 10 full weeks and spend about \$10,000 on a course. Whether you are leaving your current job to start a new career or seeking an alternative to traditional university, I highly recommend you do your research before attending.
Start reading about software development, take some online lessons, and see if you are intrigued to find out more. A software developer learns, researches, and experiments for the rest of their career so the passion towards bettering your craft needs to be there.
Consider the self-taught route
Great news for those not looking to spend the thousands of dollars on a coding bootcamp! Everything taught in a bootcamp is available online! The only way you’ll really save the admission fee is if you have the discipline and time to teach yourself these difficult concepts.
Prepare as much as possible
The classmates who usually excel are the ones who have more of an understanding going into the course and are looking to advance their current knowledge base. There’s a lot of time you can save by spending months in advance familiarizing yourself with the beginner concepts and understanding the parts that make an application work.
During the Bootcamp
I know it sounds cheesy but you have to “love the journey”. The best software developers are the ones who geek out over code. If you are going to spend the time and money, give it your all. Remove yourself from your social circle, stay late into the nights, study on weekends. During these weeks, your life should be eat, sleep, code.
Take advantages of the resources offered
You just paid thousands of dollars and are taking a chance on propelling your career. Why not make the most of it? The resources bootcamps offer are a great learning environment, classmates you can collaborate with, knowledgeable teachers, a network of past graduates, and hiring partners where you can land a job.
Bet on your future
Congrats! You just completed the course and feel you can get that high paying job as a software developer. Guess what, you are still VERY GREEN. There is so much more to know before you can start contributing to production codebases and working with other engineers.
Look for the job with the best mentors and for the one that offers you the most upside to grow.
In terms of dollars, it’s far more valuable to bypass a higher paying salary where you will be doing maintenance code, lack mentors, and use outdated tech VS working in a place where the culture is great, the learning opportunities are high, and you have great mentors. In the long run, your skill set will earn you an even higher salary.
Go to meetups, attend hackathons, see what’s happening in the community. Getting out there is always beneficial to collaborate, learn new things and meet a future business partner, employers or friends.
The journey is a long, but fun one. Technology moves fast and it’s up to you to develop skills to pick up the latest tools to implement.
If you have any questions feel free to tweet me @i_wein.