There are several well-documented stages of going through a coding bootcamp. Each week has or is its own low or high. Typically, you begin the course by learning the tools for the work flow you’ll need to adapt. At first you’ll feel like a champion. You’re like, Boolean, objects, arrays, pfft! You got this! Then you’ll have to start applying it and you’ll realize that the computer thinks in really weird ways. One minute you’ll feel like a champion, the other you wonder if maybe you should polish your resume for some other job. As soon as you think you know things, you’ll learn Angular and cry. It’s now week 7 and you’re wondering how you’re going to survive coding bootcamp for another 5 weeks?
Here’s the thing: the world of programming is vast; there will always be things you don’t know. As soon as you iron out the kinks in one app, you’ll find entirely new ones in other apps. And this is how it will be when you’re a full time developer (except that your Google Fu will be spot on, and you can Stack Overflow that bad boy easily). Programming will be difficult, mainly because it involves learning a new way to think.
In order to survive coding bootcamp (and we’ve said this before), you must actually immerse yourself in the learning. And yes, lots of classes are immersive and intensive. But what this really means is doing some of the work outside the class. The standing guideline is for every hour spent in class, you should spend 3 hours outside of class on homework. That sounds like a lot of hours—and where would I get time to scroll through Instagram and judge people or window shop in H&M even though I don’t get paid for another two weeks?
Where Can I Find Outside Materials?
Your instructors are also there for you. Slack them with your troubles. (Your code troubles; don’t hit them up to borrow money or talk about your girl drama, please.) Watch Bootstrap tutorials and learn how to make your own website. Scroll through the dope animations and the code that brought them to life on CodePen. Maybe try your own hand at something. Even if it doesn’t work, at least you’ll start somewhere. If in your city there are hack-a-thons and coding meet-ups, definitely take advantage of them, even if you don’t know that much.
The best way to survive coding bootcamp and learn this material is through repetition. Build and rebuild. Over and over. This class is about repetition. Learning with repetition. Which is why it will help you if you practice outside of the class. If all you’re doing is following along with the instructor, then you’re not really absorbing the lesson. It can be intimidating trying to read all the documentation and keep up with the blogs, and other stuff. Sometimes they speak in a language you only half understand, and sometimes you might feel more lost than before you start.
If you can’t beat them, join them. Get better at your craft! Practice! Have you already been practicing and are ready to take the class? Come talk to us about our fall semester!