I had been eyeing doing a bootcamp for about 5 years, so I think my perception of them was from the earlier days. I honestly expected a more intense experience with more committed peers. A big surprise to me was that Saturdays are optional (and only a... Read More
The curriculum is split between 3 phases - Foundations (remote, vanilla JS), Junior Phase (learning the stack and how to put together a full web app), and Senior Phase (building 3 full projects). I found myself with lots of free time during the junior phase. I was disappointed that when I asked fellows or instructors for ideas on what else to work on, they mostly just told me to relax and have fun.
Ok, that's the bad out of the way.
The good - Fullstack ultimately gave me what I paid for. The ability to get a job as a software engineer. I graduated 3 weeks ago and have already had 4 offers and accepted 1 at my top choice company. I felt very prepared for my interviews (although I think part of that was my exposure to the tech scene in my previous job). Learning React is key as I think that's one of the main things that set me apart from just CS grads and every company I interviewed with uses React. I was able to go from theater producer to account manager to software engineer and I don't think I could have done it nearly as fast without Fullstack. I will also say that Collin the instructor is fantastic. Eager to teach, knows everything, and great at explaining the underlying concepts behind the frameworks. I was very, very thankful for his code reviews and guidance.
Suggestions to Fullstack - Please don't ignore students if they are bored/ahead. I really appreciated the extra workshops that started being available to me towards the end of Junior phase. If a student asked me what else they should work on, I would tell them to build a simple CRUD app. Then I would say re-do it using React Hooks instead of Redux. Then I would say use GraphQL.
Suggestions to Students
- Pick your capstone project carefully, but not in the way you think. I was very focused on the actual product and wanted it to be cool, but I am so so thankful that we ended up using new technology and went through struggles and learnings I could talk to. This came up in all my interviews. Several said they brought me in because they liked how well I could communicate in my Youtube video and one had me give a 15 minute presentation on a challenging project to a room full of people. If you don't know how everything in your app works, ask your teammates to talk you through the code AND their decision making process. This was super important for interviews.
- This is something not everyone can control, but I think my exposure to the tech industry and how software is built was invaluable. The people in my class who had similar backgrounds really stood out and seemed to grasp the bigger picture much much better. So if you can work in the field before doing a bootcamp, I highly highly recommend it. I had no technical experience before landing a job as an account manager so I do think this could be an option for lots of people.
- And go to the optional Saturdays and do the optional workshops! They were my favorite workshops and the most beneficial.
I think Fullstack is a top tier bootcamp and I am very grateful for all that it gave me.