The best way to know what to expect from a coding school is to talk to the people who have been in the trenches. Code Fellows alumni have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of spending every waking moment thinking about code—whether they’re updating their existing skill set or actively pursuing a life-changing new career.
Below, alumni share their five guiding tips for others who are considering a code school.
Know what you’re getting into.
“If you’re considering going to Code Fellows, do the research! It’s a fantastic opportunity and could completely change your career (and life) for the better, but make sure it’s something that you really love doing and that you’ve adequately prepared yourself to dive right in.” — Keri B., UI / UX Developer
“If you want to change careers, it’s going to take a big commitment and a lot of work. Leaving my job without structure in place and a clear path forward was a frightening thought. Code Fellows gave me that structure so I knew what was next and what I had to do to make the transition. Be bold and there are great opportunities out there in the tech industry.” — Branton B., Senior Mobile Software Development Engineer
“Make sure to get plenty of rest when you’re not coding and be honest with yourself about the time commitment the program will require. Spend an equal amount of effort working on your career development and branding yourself appropriately in the later stages of the program. This should be a memorable experience. Remember to have fun!” — David F., Software Engineer
Manage your time well.
“Don’t let yourself fall behind on your reading and work. Save every article you are exposed to. Take ownership of specific parts of the project. It can help immensely when job hunting afterwards, and is an amazing learning experience.” — Chelsea L., Software Engineer
“Structure your time. Make a schedule and stick to it. Put yourself into an environment that you can be productive—for me, that was the Code Fellows campus, for others, that might be their living room. Explore every job posting and opportunity. Talk to everybody on the Code Fellows campus for referrals and networking. Code something and commit every single day.” — Lee B., Software Engineer
Believe in yourself (and fight off imposter syndrome).
“For those who are making a career switch I would say that you shouldn’t be intimidated, afraid, or doubtful. It takes a lot of courage to take a new path but anyone who can make that decision has what it takes to find success somewhere new. Also, always remember that you don’t need to be a mathematician, a genius, or a male to become a software engineer. All you need to be is a motivated, hard-working individual—and that is it.” — Kaylyn Y., Software Engineer
“Do not doubt yourself. Doubt will ruin you more than failure ever will. If you need help, ask! Everyone who works at Code Fellows is friendly and more than willing to help you with whatever you need. Make sure to take time for yourself when you can.” — Monica D., Web Developer
“Know that it is okay to not know! That is why you are here: to learn, and no one expects you to already understand the content. Waves are expected and moving through them helps you realize those are just thoughts, not always facts.” — Eve D., iOS Developer
Develop a growth mindset.
“You’ll never fully grasp everything in [the course], but take note of your weaknesses and never stop learning. Immerse yourself into a community, whether it’s just with Code Fellows alumni or something else. An encouraging network of people is invaluable when changing careers, looking for jobs, and navigating a new industry.” — Mark P., Web Developer
Want to take the leap? See upcoming coding workshops at Code Fellows.