Congratulations! You worked hard, did your research, and found the perfect coding bootcamp. You applied, made it through the interview process, and got accepted. As the glow of accomplishment slowly starts to dim and you realize that you’ll be coding full-time for several months, you may ask yourself, “Now what?”
The weeks leading up to the first official day of your bootcamp can be nerve-wracking. Keep the anxiety to a minimum with these tips.
Coding bootcamps can be intimidating no matter how much experience you have. Get yourself in the right mindset by utilizing the wide variety of programming how-to's, tutorials, and resources available online. With its simple interface and variety of available languages, Codecademy is a great resource for programming beginners. If puzzles are your thing, check out Coderbyte's programming challenges to hone your code writing skills. Programming is a skill that builds on itself, so every bit you learn now will give you a head start when your bootcamp begins.
Whether you are attending a programming bootcamp to change career fields or to learn a new skillset, your online persona should reflect that. First things first, set up a Github account.
Github is the ultimate platform for programmers to showcase their coding portfolio for potential employers. Github users can also share code among friends, co-workers, and the wider programming community.
Next step: Clean up your social media profiles and hide anything you wouldn’t want your fellow bootcampers or potential employers to see. Drunk photos from your Super Bowl party on your Instagram? Delete. A string of profane tweets at the top of your Twitter profile? Delete. You don’t have to avoid silly posts entirely (they do show some personality, after all), but use your best judgment. It might seem trivial to scrub your online presence, but you never know what could be a deal breaker for a future employer.
While you’re working on your social media presence, don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your participation in a programming bootcamp. Not only will you connect with peers and mentors within your specific bootcamp network, but you’ll be on the map as a soon-to-be developer for hiring managers to contact.
There are tons of different career paths in the world of software development, so it’s important to do some research to determine what path you want to pursue after graduating. If you discover your dream developing job only to find out that the bootcamp you’re attending doesn’t teach the specific programming language you need, don’t panic! Programming bootcamps give you the skills to learn a multitude of languages, and give you confidence to teach yourself.
Again, congratulations on enrolling in a programming bootcamp. Soon you’ll be completely immersed in the world of programming, and hopefully these tips will help you prepare for your first day.
With programming courses and bootcamps popping up all over the country, there are more resources than ever to help you prepare for your own bootcamp experience. Treat your enrollment like a golden ticket to the plethora of resources available both online and in your community. Developers are a welcoming bunch, and everyone has been a coding rookie at some point. Reach out to veteran coders in your network and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re part of the coding community now, so utilize it!