Things You Can Do To Make The Most Of Coding Bootcamps

Photo by Fotis Fotopoulos on Unsplash

The explosion in bootcamps for coding and programming have fundamentally upended the job market for developers, churning out tens of thousands of graduates each year. While the jury is still out on their efficacy and skills relative to traditional CS graduates, there is no denying that bootcamps have the potential to kickstart lucrative tech careers for individuals who put in the effort.

Leaving aside the tall claims and promises made by most such programs, outcomes ultimately rely on candidates, their ability to learn, stay focused, and persevere. Unfortunately, no innovative edtech disruption can ever make up for the lack of discipline, and along with that, here are a few other things that candidates can do to make the most of coding bootcamps, and get more bang for their buck.

Set Clear Goals

To get the most out of a coding bootcamp, it is essential to first be clear on what you expect to get out of it. What knowledge and skills do you want to acquire? How do you plan on applying these skills in your personal and professional life? Where do you see your career once you complete the bootcamp? What kind of jobs, projects, and opportunities do you see yourself working on following completion?

These are just a few of the questions that you need to ask yourself, and have clear answers for, before you can decide if the bootcamp in question aligns with, or stands to add value in this regard.

Understand The Prerequisites 

Coding bootcamps essentially offer a way into the lucrative tech industry for candidates with non-traditional backgrounds. While this includes people of all ages and walks of life, with few barriers to entry, in-reality there are certain prerequisites to help make the most of what is offered at leading bootcamps.

In fact, certain bootcamps take-in applications to shortlist based on the candidate’s background, and expect at least a basic understanding of coding and web applications. Online coding bootcamps have no such barriers, but even here, candidates are suggested to brush-up on the languages and technologies being covered to have a better understanding of concepts during live classes.

Stay Determined

The core essence of programming and computer science clubbed together in a 3, 6, or 12 month program, coding bootcamps are rarely a cakewalk, and require extensive studying and application to master. As a result it is often seen that despite the high costs of these programs, many candidates give up halfway through, in what can only be described as a lack of determination.

The key is to consider bootcamp courses similar to college classes, and set time aside for working through problems, and practicing lessons as and when they are covered. While the higher echelons of computer science do require higher IQs, coding and development itself is akin to learning a new language, which most people are capable of doing, provided they stay determined till the end.

Make Connections

Getting your foot in the door in the intensely competitive tech industry requires more than just skills and credentials. 

As much as the industry wants to believe that it is a meritocracy, the truth is, references and connections matter, more so, when you’re applying with just a bootcamp certification, and no actual computer science degree.

This makes it crucial to make connections and stay in touch with your bootcamp classmates, instructors, and support staff. At times, they can help you navigate the industry, and find opportunities following the completion of the program.

Final Words

Bootcamps represent a significant disruption in the field of tech education, one that will fundamentally alter the playing field in the years ahead. 

With the right planning, approach, and mindset, there is no reason why bootcamp graduates cannot witness the same career trajectory of CS grads at elite universities.

This article was provided by José Luis Martín Cara 

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