What To Expect At A Coding Bootcamp

If you are thinking about joining a code bootcamp you might be curious to know what to expect and what it really is like. Before I joined coding bootcamp I did a lot of research through different types of outlets such as Youtube, Reddit, reaching out to previous Alumni’s through Linkedin and more. I looked for topics regarding expectations of what a successful student looks like, how the program would run via online during quarantine, and overall if this was ultimately going to be the right decision. If you may be in the same predicament that I may have been in, I hope that you may find an outlet through here! Please note, I will only be talking about my experience in Flatiron Software Engineering Immersive Program (West Coast) as this is my only area of expertise.

Before starting bootcamp

As my cohort approaches the end of Phase 2, I can share some knowledge of what to expect when first joining a bootcamp (at least for Flatiron). We will start from the beginning after being admitted into the program. First, once you are admitted into the program you will then be given access to the “Pre-Work” which is a self-paced course that teaches you the fundamentals of programming and can take anywhere from 90 hours — 120 hours to complete (if you have no CS background). Essentially, Flatiron does this so that everyone starts off at the same level on day 1. They do this method to ensure that every student understands the fundamentals prior, which will ultimately increase the amount of time that we have to learn in such a small amount of time. It is not necessary to complete all the sections that are given as well, but there is a bare minimum threshold that they expect students to know prior to the first day.

Phase 1

After completing the pre-work and the bootcamp officially starts, you go into Phase 1, also known as the first section which is essentially 3 weeks long. The way you will be meeting with your cohort will be through Zoom which is very convenient and is structured very well! This section will consist of you attending lectures, work on labs with groups, and a small project at the end. The instructors will also be around in case you are stuck and need additional help and aren’t able to find it among your peers. The transition can be overwhelming as you will be learning a lot in a short amount of time, but Flatiron and their instructors are very helpful during the transition and are there to help you when you ask for it. In this section you will take a deeper dive into Ruby — object-oriented programming — meaning that it will be focused around creating classes/objects in the start you will start to learn about databases and how to interact with them. In Flatiron it is important to make sure you understand what is taught because everything usually builds on top of one another.

Your “why?”

Throughout your time in coding bootcamp you will constantly be asking yourself why you decided to attend coding bootcamp. Once you have figured out what your “why” is, it will help motivate, encourage and drive you to become a stronger individual both mentally and emotionally throughout this journey. For myself, my “why” is the ability to create something from nothing and overall wanting to live in a better world. When comparing the past, present and future, in terms of technology; we are constantly growing, and technology is becoming more innovative. I want to become part of the group that is able to create a better future for everyone, have the ability to design something that people can utilize throughout the day, and have the knowledge to discover methods to increase accessibility and much more. For myself, my “why” is what drives me to go through each section, new projects, and labs with an easy heart knowing that I will be one step closer to finishing and reaching my goal. Prior to figuring out my “why”, my days were filled with college classes that I had no interest in, I worked jobs that I didn’t feel inspired in, my thoughts were filled with doubt which reflected in my behavior. I got lucky during my time as a student and was exposed to coding and found a high in problem solving but knew that my time as a student wouldn’t allow me to focus what I wanted to do. I ultimately made the hard decision to leave college and focus on what my “why” was rather than spending another $15,000 for 3 months of class that I was unimpressed by at the University. Through this, I’ve learned that without figuring out your “why”, it can this can cause dissatisfaction within yourself which can ultimately reflect your work. Before I had figured out my “why” I was living in doubt and fear of what my future is to become, whether it be as a future Software Engineer or not. After finding my “why” I have a strong head and image of what my future holds and the path that it will take to get there and hope that you can find the same before you take a leap.

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