Going through our bootcamp is not just about learning a new skill. It’s about preparing yourself for the future of work, where expectations are high and a growth mindset is critical to success.
Learning how to code is fun, but hard. It can take up to 40–50 hours per week to go through our bootcamp curriculum and classes. But the effort you put in will reflect on the output.
That’s really the message we’re telling our students from the very beginning. In our communications, in how we set up the selection process, in the extensive interviews we go through with the students before choosing the final cohort and in the onboarding on day one.
The critical point is self-learning. Unlike in school or at university, our classes are not focused on instruction. In a traditional education system, teachers will tell you what theory to remember for an upcoming test but not necessarily how to apply this knowledge in practice.
Instead, we adopt a flipped classroom approach. Our fellows are expected to go through the Flatiron School curriculum at home and class time is focused on applied learning through code alongs, pair programming and activities. This ensures that our fellows are able to get closer to mastering concepts through project based work. Using this model, the process is more important than product. Over 80% of the learning process is on our fellows, who are in charge of their own learning journey whilst instructors serve as coaches to reinforce and clarify concepts where needed.
This education model is a shock for some fellows who are used to factory-based education models. However, it’s very much in line with where the future of education is heading and it’s completely in line with the demands of any modern workplace.
Coding is a practical skill and it needs practice. You need to be willing to try and fail over and over again on your own to learn how to code. If you’re relying on instruction, you’ll never be adaptable or prepare for what comes next so you need that capacity to learn yourself and look for solutions.
Creating a collaborative learning culture
The other thing we’re intentional about is creating a culture of collaboration. One of our core values is the belief that we will be better off if we help each other. As such, we encourage our students to adopt an abundant mindset in our programs rather than a scarcity mindset, which can fuel unhealthy competition and comparisons.
Instilling an abundant mindset in our students also helps them to grapple with imposter syndrome, which is incredibly normal when you’re trying to master a new skill. Instead of internalizing the belief that they’re not good enough, we encourage them to be vulnerable and reach out for support and guidance both from their peers as well as instructors. The willingness to collaborate with others is not only a core value at Re:Coded but a quality we hope that will ensure our fellows succeed well beyond the bootcamp.
Because our selection process is rigorous and takes into account key mindset traits like perseverance and grit, our students are generally receptive to both the demands and the culture of our bootcamps. Prior knowledge about coding is not essential, but having a growth mindset, being comfortable with ambiguity and a bias towards lateral and divergent thinking are critical.
We hope that the students that graduate from our bootcamp have the skills to launch their careers as junior developers but more importantly, we hope that they graduate with the intrinsic motivation to learn autonomously and go on to work as deeply empathetic technology leaders in their communities.