So You’re Starting A Coding Boot Camp? Great! Now you need to prepare!
Tips for New Students
- Complete the pre-work
- WRITE DOWN a schedule to carve out a minimum of 20 hours per week for boot camp work outside of class. It has to be written and it has to be realistic. If it’s written and realistic you will stick to it. If not, it’s not likely to stick.
- Tell friends and family what you will be doing and tell them that you will not have much free time for the 6 months that you’re in the boot camp. Ask for their support and understanding. The boot camp takes “REAL” sacrifice. You will not see your friends (and possibly family) as often. The sacrifice is worth it but it is real. You have to be ready for it before you start the boot camp.
- Carve out scheduled personal time for relaxation and exercise. It’s important to keep that up during the boot camp because stress is intense at times and exercise will help curb the stress.
- Sleep schedule: Try to make a strict sleep schedule. There will be times that it is difficult to stick to but it’s important to try as much as possible.
Once the boot camp starts follow these rules:
- Don’t be shy in class. Ask lots of questions. Your classmates will thank you!
- Attend Office Hours! This is a must. Spend time with TA’s as much as possible.
- Practice syntax until it’s memorized.
- Practice mechanics until you know exactly what the code is doing.
- Do NOT COPY/PASTE. You won’t remember syntax if you do. Type, type and start over again.
- Understand all the class exercises by experimenting with the code.
- Start homework early in the week even if it is only pseudo-code. Dissect every problem into little pieces and then code in little pieces. Build HW from the ground up. Small pieces at a time. If you are getting stuck, get help during office hours early in the week so you can improve your work.
- Form study groups! Helping others understand helps you understand better too.
- Take breaks! Don’t study for hours without taking 15–20 minute breaks. You’ll need that to process and absorb the material that you’re studying. It’s important for your brain!
- Prepare for the following week by checking out the syllabus and watching some videos, doing some online reviews, etc. You should walk into each week’s class having already previewed the topic. You’ll follow along much easier and get more out of the class by doing that.
- The day after class, redo the class exercises from scratch to reinforce the material before the next lesson. This will also help when you go to complete the homework.
- Write down questions when you are getting stuck outside of class so you can come prepared during office hours to figure things out.
- Write down key terms and make a list of those that you need further explanation on. Then research online and ask for help in class.
- Organize all of your helpful links into specific folders on your browser and keep a live doc with organized resources by unit. This will be essential when you want to review topics later because all of the resources will be organized.