What I wish I knew before signing up for a tech bootcamp.
Three months ago I started a 6 month front end developper bootcamp, and now when I’m half way through I thought it might be a good time to reflect on what I wished I knew/had done before the bootcamp started.
My background is in construction and sales so I had no prior experience in the tech industry.
To learn a programming language from scratch in 6 months requires a very high tempo, I understood that but I wasn’t really prepared for the actual speed in wich you do your projects. I don’t mean it in a bad way, the tempo is just faster then what I had imagined it would be.
Every week introduces a new thing and a weekly project to go with it. It felt overwhelming at first (and sometimes still do), but you get so much help from your classmates who are in the same position as yourself and in the end of the week when you hand in the assignment it feels really good!
Do some pre-studys if possible:
First of. Not having any experience at all in programming is ofcourse a bit of a handicap. I applied very close to the actual start of the course so I didnt have that much time to read up on the program or watch alot of tutorials and such before I was thrown into the fray. So that would be my first recommendation. Do some kind of pre-studys. You won’t regret it. It might feel frustrating, and you won’t understand it all. But it will almost certanily help you.
Be prepared for the tempo.
Like I mentioned above, the tempo of the course is fast. You are not given the time to fully reflect on what you did on your weekly project before you have to start the next. It will feel like you didn’t understand it all, and it’s true you probably didn’t. But next week is gonna add something new to what you learned the previous week, so you do get some repetition, but with a twist.
My weekly mental state at first was “I don’t understand any of this” . But now when I look back on the first projects I did compared to what I’m doing right now is pretty crazy. What felt impossible in week 2 now feels pretty easy and takes a fraction of the time.
Don’t try and do this alone.
If you are coming in to this completley fresh without any experience such as myself. You are maybe going to have a hard time understanding everything, even if it’s explained to you several times. It might even make you start questioning if you are gonna be able to do this bootcamp at all. And believe me, you are not the only one thinking that way. Ask your classmates if it’s something you don’t understand, it’s very possible that the majority is feeling the same. Help each other out. Someone who did understand will gladly try and explain to you because that’s helping them understand it better aswell. Don’t be afraid to ask!
I hope this might be useful forsomeone that is thinking of joining a bootcamp, not just in programming but it any field where a bootcamp is a viable way to change career.