Exactly one year and three days ago, I started Sabio. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was tough trying to absorb so much new material in so little time, but by week six, I felt much more comfortable.
I had studied the... Read More
I read, and read, and read the Sabio reviews on Course Report and SwitchUp, giving equal weight to good and bad reviews. I also listened to almost all, if not all, alumni podcast interviews. I read these months before enrolling, during the cohort, and still read them now and then.
Pleeease do your research and assess possible outcomes before enrolling in a bootcamp. Find the patterns. See where alumni are working now, if they had prior experience with technology, if they have a degree, if their degree is in STEM. It seemed to me that those with a STEM degree found jobs sooner, then people with a degree, and then those without a degree. This is not to say you need a degree as plenty of alumni have jobs without one. I hold a B.A. from UC Berkeley and found work after three months, but more on that later.
When I finally went to an info session, Gregorio and Liliana recommended I go on Codecademy and get familiar with JavaScrip, jQuery, HTML, and CSS. This was not a requirement for PreWork but recommended. It proved helpful for PreWork. Some people skipped Codecademy and struggled as a result. During PreWork, I learned how to use jQuery, how to build forms, and how to use Bootstrap, among other things. I had homework assignments, and an instructor would go over them each Saturday. At the end of PreWork, I took an assessment. If you do not pass, you can retake it in one month. The instructor always did their best to answer all questions we had. For cohort, all instructors are permanent instructors; they are not students or recent alumni that were hired after the cohort ended.
Once the cohort starts, you will be in a work environment the entire time. Every day there will be a standup meeting where you mention blockers, updates from yesterday, and what you will accomplish for that day. If you have questions, you are encouraged to ask the rest of your team first or browse the internet. Still stuck? That is when you reach out to the lead developers, the instructors. Most of the time, you will not receive a snippet of code as your answer. They will give suggestions on how to move forward. Only when you are absolutely stuck, you will get an instructor/lead to provide you with a code solution, as has been the case at my current job. Again, please keep in mind you will not be in a classroom setting and that you will be teaching yourself most of the time. It is up to you to rewatch videos, take notes from lectures, and put in the time to absorb the material. Bootcamps are not magic carpets. You have to be disciplined and put in those long, 12-hour days. For me, it was challenging to adapt to this style of learning. I had to learn a new way of learning, but it has been useful. If you want a career in technology, you will have to teach yourself new technologies continually.
You will likely spend the first four weeks learning ReactJS, then will begin learning C#, .Net, and SQL. If you have no prior experience, as I did, your world will likely flip upside down each time you have to learn something new. Just keep asking questions and stay disciplined. There are hardly any lectures, and while I wish there were more at the beginning, I’m glad there weren’t many now. Chances are you will not learn much watching lectures or videos. Most of the learning will probably start when you start coding and implementing what you learn in the lectures and videos.
By week six, you will have learned about most of the technologies you need to build the project that you will start working on during the cohort. An entrepreneur will come in and share their vision of the project. Developers can ask any questions they have. Some entrepreneurs will be on campus every weekend, and others you will only see when they present their vision to you, when the project is halfway done, and on demo day. Each developer will have user stories/tickets/cards (tasks) assigned to them. Once they finish their task, they will check in with their project lead to see what task they will take on next. This project will go live a few weeks before the cohort ends, and the entrepreneur will be able to use it. You are building a project that will have users.
In the last two weeks in the cohort, we focused on personal projects and interview prep. For the personal project, we learned Redux, how to incorporate a 3rd-Party API, and worked on a web scraper. We received plenty of interview questions for React, Redux, C#, and SQL, likely over 100 total questions. I did use these to study for interviews, but I also used other questions I found online. The instructors will revise 2-3 drafts of your resume to help you be a competitive applicant.
The job search was tough. I sent 1500+ applications. Get ready for technical trivia, sometimes up to 25 minutes of it. I went through several phone screenings, eventually made it to manager screenings often, and interviewed on-site with three different employers before I finally received an offer.
Income is probably the main factor at play for those of you reading this. Here’s my data: Before Sabio: ~50K | After Sabio: 70K+. Sometimes I still glance around the office as I work and think about how surreal it is. Yes, I worked hard, yes, you are ready to work after Sabio (though you will still have much to learn) but remember someone has to hire you. Keep working until that happens.
As I looked for work, I reached out to alumni (that I did not know) and instructors for advice through messages and phone calls. They always answered my questions, and some alumni even checked up on me several months later. It’s nice to know that I can always reach out to the Sabio community if I need to do so. Some cohort peers, you will never hear from again, others, you will remain in touch with long after finishing the program.
For those on the fence regarding enrolling in the program: I can’t recommend or not recommend it simply because I believe you should seek information and decide for yourself. It’s a risk and can be costly, but if you are willing to accept the risk, believe in yourself, and are in it for the long run, this is a good program for you. Would I do it again? Absolutely.