10 Tips for surviving a coding boot camp and landing a job post graduation

Guest speaker extravaganza! Drew and Kevin from the last front-end-engineering cohort here at The Iron Yard (SLC) were kind enough to take time out of their schedules to come give us some real advice on getting a job post TIY. The tips are (in no particular order):

  1. Ask more questions during the cohort. Any coding boot camp is expensive, so don’t waste your time. You’re there to learn, so take advantage of your full-time instructor and classmates.
  2. On the technical side, make sure you understand what a ‘promise’ is in JavaScript. We have not covered promises in our cohort yet, but I’ll be on the lookout for it. Drew emphasized this because it’s a common part of his job.
  3. If you’re willing to move, you’ll have an easier time finding a job. Your skills are valuable, but your potential employer may not be located in your current city. If moving is a possibility for you, consider it.
  4. Little details make a HUGE difference in code. Be precise. Add that little extra feature — it could be the difference between you and a competitor.
  5. README files are important. Take some time to make them look nice.
  6. The 12 weeks you spend at a boot camp won’t teach you everything. You gain enough knowledge to get your foot in the door to an interview. The learning never stops because the languages are always evolving and changing.
  7. Remember to network! Be friendly. Take a potential employer out to lunch. The purpose of this isn’t to impress them with your coding skills, but impress them with your personality. Make them laugh and show them that you are a human being worth hiring.
  8. Learn the difference between functional programming and object oriented programming. If you can’t distinguish the two, chance are you won’t pass the interview.
  9. Help out your fellow classmates! When you explain a concept or why a line of code works/doesn’t work to a peer, you gain a deeper understanding of the topic. Don’t leave your friends behind. They might be able to help you out down the line.
  10. Get rid of the ability to give up. If the possibility even exists that you may quit the cohort, then save yourself some time and money. If the job hunt is taking longer than expected, don’t worry. Bug potential employers until they tell you to leave them alone. The persistent coder is the coder with a job.