July 29, 2020

What YOU Need to Know Before Joining a Bootcamp



megaphone saying: what YOU need to know before joining a bootcamp.

What YOU need to know before joining a bootcamp:

Have you ever been curious to know what joining a bootcamp is really like? We know that pre-application jitters are all too real, so we asked our students and alumni to share everything they wished that they had been told before joining our bootcamp, the good, the bad and the ugly.

The bad:

  1. You will get stuck.
  2. Your projects won't be perfect.
  3. You will think you're not cut out for this (imposter syndrome).
  4. You'll spend more time than you planned working on projects.
  5. You will feel exhausted from learning (which is kind of nice if you haven't done it in a while).

The good:

  1. All those things above are ok because you're being pushed. Afterall, you didn't pay to get coddled. You paid to start a new career.  
  2. You'll learn how to learn. After going through a bootcamp, self-teaching new frameworks, languages, and libraries will be so much easier. 
  3. You'll focus on career development during the course so you'll be ready to apply for jobs even before you finish.
  4. Yes, you can get a full time job that pays well straight out of the bootcamp! Our Outcomes Reports are proof of that.
  5. The pace of your life after the bootcamp (even in a job) will feel much nicer in comparison.
  6. You'll have the entire network of BCA students, alumni, instructors, and staff to help you after the course. 

Bonus: You can work remotely. No mask required!

The ugly:

  1. You won't be working during the course (or working as much as you have been) so plan accordingly for your finances. Full-time students are highly encouraged not to work during a bootcamp because burnout is real. Also plan for the time after a bootcamp to find a job. 
  2. If you have a roommate, partner, spouse, or family member that you're living with, let them know that you'll need help with the everyday things (cooking, cleaning, shopping, childcare) to make more free time to work and that you may not have time for social activities - BUT that it will be worth it when it's over. Don't undersell the amount of work you're about to do. Get your support network ready. 
  3. Don't plan on having a job straight out of the course. No matter how well you do, you're still affected by the whims of the economy. Begin looking and applying as early as possible but also consider freelancing you hone your skills. 

Pro Tips:

  1. Do the Prework! You will be setting yourself up for success in the course. The more you prepare, the more you will get out of the course. Being diligent about self-learning is crucial to continued success as a software engineer. 
  2. Things like memorizing basic git commands, what sort of characters contain arrays, what characters contain objects, etc etc will allow a student to dedicate brain space to learning the theory and logic rather than remembering how their tools work. Downloading the syllabus is a great way to familiarize yourself with programming language to start practicing on your own. Plus being able to type fast. Being able to accurately type ~50 words per minute going into bootcamp is important. Not to mention the fact that you'll be using characters your fingers aren't used to.
  3. A Helpful Guide: I recommend every student complete https://www.amazon.com/Smarter-Way-Learn-JavaScript-technology-ebook/dp/B00H1W9I6C prior to bootcamp. The material isn't the latest but the exercises are timed and focus on getting your muscle memory dialed in. 

We know that the decision to take a bootcamp is always a risk, but preparation is key. When you’re ready to hit that ‘apply’ button, remember: you are investing in your future self. Read up, study hard and get ready to live the life you’ve always wanted.

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