No matter how much you prepare on your own, demonstrating your technical proficiency can be one of the most daunting parts of applying for a coding bootcamp—especially for students coming from non-technical backgrounds. And while most students probably have experience with the other parts of the admissions process from their previous education—non-technical written applications and interviews that just seek to get to know you—a technical assessment is a new scary, prospect. But it doesn’t have to be.
First, let’s break down the ways coding bootcamps might assess your technical aptitude. Online coding bootcamps like Flatiron School’s Online Web Developer Program look to see that you’re making great progress coding on your own, either through our free intro courses or other resources. In-person programs, on the other hand, generally rely on some form of technical assessment in the interview process. Coding bootcamps have to cover a lot of ground in a short time span, so we move through curriculum fast. A technical assessment is a way to test whether you’re ready to hit the ground running from day one.
Different bootcamps may assess this in different ways, but you’re likely to see a process resembling what we do here at Flatiron School for our in-person Web Developer Program. Applicants complete several coding challenges on their own in advance of a technical interview—a live coding session with an instructor—in which they will be asked questions about their prepared work and possibly to expand or change their code to solve new problems. (Sounds like something a tech company would do to interview developer talent? That’s by design. We want to prepare you for that process as early as possible.)
Keep in mind: we are not trying to assess how you work under pressure; it’s more about determining your ability to learn, communicate what you’re learning, and improve in real time… much like what you’ll be doing as a bootcamp student, and later, on the job. But even knowing this, many students still approach the technical interview feeling considerable stress. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to prepare yourself and put your best foot forward.
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