2019 – How To Prepare For A Coding Bootcamp

2019 – How To Prepare For A Coding Bootcamp

We’ve all been there. You make a big decision and then doubt starts to creep in. You start to panic. What if I am not prepared, what if I fall behind? While second thoughts are common in many decisions in life you can take steps to work through almost every roadblock and thrive with a little preparation. If you have answered the question why coding and now want to prepare for a coding bootcamp it is important to understand your success depends not only on your technical preparation, but also your mental preparation.

You only have 12 weeks to go from novice to job-ready. That’s a tall order for your brain, so here are 7 tips that will help you hit the ground running when you start our coding bootcamp:

1. Become a Self-Aware Learner

If you have no real experience programming, you’re going to instinctually try to memorize every concept and definition {intellectual learning).  Avoid this.  Instead, implement some of these ideas on self awareness and come in in with the mindset that you’re going to primarily learn by cause and effect (tactile and visual learning).  When you type this code and run it, what you see is the product of your work.  If it ran as you intended, then great job!  If something went awry, your coding has a bug and you have to find it and fix it.  Then you run it again.  It worked this time?  Great!  Now type and create more code, and find new bugs that will inherently come about.

As you do this repetitively, you’ll see your efforts take shape, and you’ll instinctively begin to learn how to code properly and efficiently.  Avoid overanalyzing how each line of code interacts with the end product.  Instead, focus on groups of similar lines of code that produced the same, good result.  When you come across code you’ve written that doesn’t do its job, you’ll be able to scan grouped lines of code that you’ve become familiarized with, and be able to find the bug much faster.  The key process here is unintuitive: focus on quantity initially, not quality.  The many errors you type will only help you to learn how to efficiently debug, the number one success trait found in the best programmers.

2. Lay the Initial Foundation

There are literally dozens of free, good resources on the web that will help you become familiarized with the concepts of coding and will immensely help your efforts with number 1 of this list.  Here are some of the best online resources to get you started:

    1. Codeacademy
    2. Treehouse
    3. Udacity
    4. SkillCrush
    5. Code School
    6. Coursera
    7. GitHub
    8. Stack Overflow
    9. Coderbyte

3. Define Your Goals

Successful bootcamp students have decided that attending a coding school is the fastest and most cost effective method for achieving their goals. In the vast majority of cases, they are working towards getting a job working as a developer. Others come to round out their existing skill sets after hitting a ceiling in their jobs. Some bootcampers go while they are in college, either as a means for personal exploration or simply to fulfill an unstated interest. Whatever the goal, they are clear on how and why they want to learn programming, and this is a huge requirement for success in the long run.

The Define Model

4. Learn Quickly

Studying at a web programming bootcamp is a lot like drinking from a fire hose. The material comes out fast and hard, and it is extremely easy to fall behind. With new material being taught every day, it’s imperative that you keep up.

There are many resources online to help foster a “learn-quickly” environment.  Get organized, make a routine and stick to it, and take advantage of your support groups, especially in the bootcamp.

5. Have Resolve

How do you feel when you’re studying programming on your own? Does your energy and enthusiasm stay relatively high even after hours and hours of slogging behind the screen? How do you feel when you hit roadblocks and you can’t seem to figure out the answer?


Have Resolve in Coding

The reality is that you’re going to spend most of your time debugging and figuring out how to make the code work for 8 to 10 hours per day, 5 to 6 days per week. It’s going to be an intense experience.  Make sure you are on a good sleep and exercise track before you get to bootcamp.  Begin to wind down on non-essential activities before bootcamp so that you can focus on the intense curriculum for the full twelve weeks.

6. Prioritize

When you eventually work as a web developer, you’re going to have dozens of to-do’s and action items lassoing in your mind, at all times.  Bootcamp is going to be similar.  Write down all the items needed to be done to achieve your programming goals.  Use S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals and break them up into smaller goals.  Keep breaking them up until you have goals small enough to be accomplished in a day or two.

Learn to Prioritize

Our curriculum will help you fill in these blanks of what you need to accomplish to become a job-ready developer.  However, to get a head-start, a simple Google search will get you on the right track to finding out what goals you should have as an aspiring web developer.  This applies to your personal life as well.  It’s important to have your personal priorities in order so that you can be organized, efficient, and just generally happy!

7. Get Comfortable Not Knowing in the Beginning

The type of people that the programming industry attract are generally smart and like to seek out and provide answers.  That’s a wonderful character quality, but the nature of learning programming can be frustrating and sometimes even discouraging when you get stuck at a roadblock.  A philosophy called Meno’s Paradox exists and it states that you aren’t allowed to ask questions about something if you don’t know anything about it at all.  However, as you experience something, you have the basis to begin asking questions.

Get Comfortable with Coding
“Get Comfortable” Challenge Accepted!

Our coding bootcamp is no different; it requires you to engage material while not knowing what or why something happens when it does.  That normally offsets most people, but after a week in the in-class portion of the curriculum, enough foundation will be set and you’ll notice this effect less and less until you don’t feel it at all.  At the end of the coding bootcamp, you’ll feel proficient enough to steamroll mind roadblocks and hone in on viable solutions to temporary problems.  Patience is key in the beginning.

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