If you want to make the most of your coding bootcamp, you need to make sure you don’t distract yourself from your main focus: CODE.
But in order to improve your environment, learnings, and successes, you may need to be more conscious about what’s how it’s going to look once you are there and which things are a good idea or not. Here is a list of musts and mustn’ts based on my own experience and my conversations with other bootcampers.
Things you must do to make the most of your coding bootcamp
Have an early conversation with your relatives
When the bootcamp starts, you’re going to be coding up to 10-12 hours a day, for 5-6 days a week. This means there will be no much time to be with your partner, to hang out, or to catch up with your family, so as sooner you communicate with them, the better to avoid conflicts. You’re going to be “missing” from your world for some weeks/months, so everyone in contact with you needs to be prevented.
Maintain a keep going attitude
It’s quite possible you are going to have bad days. But don’t let that influence you. You have a goal in mind and you need to believe in the process, so keep going even that at some point you don’t see yourself advancing in your way to learn programming.
Ask, Ask, Ask
There are no stupid questions and less in programming. Don’t be afraid to be ridiculous. Assume you are in a safe environment and give yourself the permission to make questions until you understand. While it’s going to be positive figuring things by yourself, you’re going to reach points where you need extra help.
If it hurts, do it more
If something has been difficult for you, it may mean that you are not comfortable enough doing it and probably there’s room to improve. Repeat regularly what you are not good at, and you will be better at it.
Willing to code overtime
If you are lagging in the group, you’ll need to catch up in your free time or on the weekends. This way you’ll have time to go step by step to solidify your learnings, so you will start the next week fresh and ready for new challenges.
Team up with your peers
If you’re doing a cohort-based coding bootcamp, going solo makes no sense. If you team up with one or more peers to practice out of hours or receive feedback, you’re going to get help to step up and win allies. It’s easier to keep track of your progress when you have someone with whom you are keeping accountability.
Things you should avoid to make the most of your coding bootcamp
Get distracted by phone notifications
You don’t want to be receiving notifications while you’re doing deep work. You may miss important details and lose your focus, so it’s best to silence all of them. Checking your phone once or twice a day will be enough to keep up with the outside world.
Compare your level with other candidates
Everyone has a different level depending on their background, experience, and learning speed. You may be at the top or the tail of the class, but keeping a humble attitude and focusing on improving yourself it’s what’s going to make you advance. It’s not uncommon to see beginner students outperform others with some coding background, so don’t get too influenced by your initial level.
It may sound like a classic, but not copy-pasting is going to help you in all the steps of your development career. When you copy-paste, it means you are skipping the process of remembering and completing the code by yourself. It also may mean that you don’t understand what’s going with the code snippet you are pasting. Sometimes it may be inevitable if you’re trying to win time, but I recommend you avoid it. Instead, take inspiration from the original and code your solution.
Judge other peers because of having a lower level
Don’t laugh about other peers or ignore them because of their coding knowledge. If you want to understand something at the core, the best way is to try to teach it to someone else. This doesn’t mean you should babysit other peers but have in mind that all of you are here for the same reasons. You never know when you may need help.
Party between course days
Programming is not something you can do with a hangover. It’s ok if you want to disconnect after hours and eventually take some beers, but don’t pretend to party often. If you don’t establish some boundaries, it will affect your performance and you’ll probably waste hours in class. Wait to party when the Bootcamp is over.
Assume you’re going to have a job after the bootcamp
Some bootcamps claim a 100% hiring rate after the course, but surely this is not always the case. When you end a coding bootcamp you will not have a graduation and a flashy university title. What is more probable is that companies and recruiters will not care about what you just completed, so you will need to rely on your technical abilities to be hired. Keep that in mind while you’re taking your bootcamp.
We just saw a list of recommended tips to make the most of your coding bootcamp. While is not meant to be a complete list, I hope it may bring you an idea of what’s to come.
Did any of the tips surprise you? Or are you missing some? Let me know in the comments!