3 steps to getting into the most selective coding schools
Not all coding bootcamps are the same. Some focus on personal development, while the top bootcamps focus on getting you a job. If your goal is to get hired after attending a coding bootcamp, it's important to take preparing for one seriously, as a selective school can be the difference of over $40,000 in additional salary in your first year alone. I'm here to tell you what you need to know and how to get there. Most elite coding schools, like App Academy, adhere to the admissions structure below. We'll tell you what you need to know about each step and how to prepare for it.
Step 1. Online Coding Test
Step 2. Technical Interview
What you need to know: The next step is a coding interview either in person or over video-chat. Schools are looking at everything about the way you solve problems and interact with your interviewer. Practice just as you did for the Online Coding Test, but this time add some extra challenges. Try solving the problem without running your code. Try to get to the point where you can write your solutions without any errors. Practice mentally stepping through your code. Practice until you can track every variable at every line without any trouble. Talk through your thoughts as you're solving the problem. Recruit someone to listen and give you feedback from time to time, even they don't know any code. Practice until they can easily follow your thoughts.
Step 3. Non-Technical Interview
What you need to know: When it comes to landing a job after the program, soft skills are equally as important as the hard skills. Prepare for this interview as you would prepare for a real job interview. Be ready to talk about your experiences in work, school, and life and relate them to coding and an intensive learning environment. This is your chance to ask any questions about the program. Don't miss this opportunity to find out more and show that you've done your research. Schools are looking to see how you communicate, how you present yourself, and how prepared you are for this journey.
How to prepare
There are two main options when preparing; studying on your own or studying in a structured environment. Here are our suggestions for each:
- Structured Environment
- Find a computer science tutor and meet with them bi-weekly.
- Finish the Codecademy track for your programming language.
- Read the introductory book your bootcamp recommends and type out the code as you go.
- Solve some of the easy and medium challenges on CoderByte. If you can't solve a problem within 30 minutes, look at the solution. Don't get stuck.
- Get comfortable with nested loops. They're crucial for solving interview problems that make you compare items inside an array.
In our experience, the main differentiator for people who are successful in the admissions process, versus those who are not, is a passion for web development. Preparing for an elite coding school is tough, and you're going to experience your fair share of ups and downs in the process. However, if this is a career you truly want to pursue, you are going to find success and we're going to help you every step of the way.
Interested in applying to App Academy's Bootcamp Prep program? Complete an application here. If you're ready to take on App Academy's full-time program, click here. Have more questions? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!