| ||Jialor Cheung ||Overall Review:
The CodingNomads bootcamp is one of the most unique and rewarding experiences in my life. Traveling to a foreign country and meeting new people from around the world with the common purpose of learning to code creates a common atmosphere that allows friendships to form over the struggle of learning to code. Before the bootcamp I was in the process of transitioning from one career to becoming a software engineer and the transition has been rough studying alone. The distractions of daily life or fatigue from being at work 8-10 hours a day can impede the ability to truly focus on coding. Struggling on your own learning to code can also leave a negative and overwhelming feeling. There were aspects of this bootcamp that I enjoyed as well as other aspects that I thought could be improved that I will discuss below.
Overall the experience was definitely rewarding. Kim and Ryan are two wonderful people who have the students interest always in mind. Their support in helping students can vary from reassuring students that the overwhelming feeling of learning something new and vast will pass, motivating students to push as much as they can, spending extra time outside of class to help students who seek additional help, or even planning relaxing activities in the foreign country to help destress students at the end of the week and also not miss out on opportunities available in the country. I feel I learned a lot and am more prepared and motivated to move forward in the next step to becoming a software engineer.
A few things to note in my opinion:
* This is a bootcamp that is directed towards anyone who wants to learn but has no background knowledge of coding.
* The required preparation work before the bootcamp starts is important and will affect how well someone will progress through the course.
* It is not intended to land you a six figure salary after graduation.
* It still requires time and hardwork to be put in even after class and sometimes on the weekend depending on the situation.
* Be prepared to work hard so you can play hard and enjoy the country of your bootcamp on your off days.
Aspects that I thought this bootcamp excelled in:
* Ryan, the instructor, is truly devoted to making sure everyone learns and is never stagnant. He will spend the time to make sure everyone understands the material before moving forward. If you are ahead he will have different assignments ready to keep you pushing forward in learning.
* The course material is not set it stone. If the class learns better with powerpoint presentations vs oral lectures vs a combination of both, the instructor will adjust the material to suit the class's need. If material in Java fundamentals is not as relevant due to the constant evolution of coding, it is noted by the instructor and relayed to the students.
* The material being covered in class is relevant to skills required for current day job opportunities. It is directed more towards real life coding situations and best practices in the industry are taught in class. It is not about learning theoretical concepts.
* Being in the presence of other students who are learning/struggling just like myself promoted a camaraderie that extended past the classroom. Study sessions with other students outside of class or even relaxing together during downtime made the struggles of learning to code enjoyable and less alone. Everyone is feeling similar stresses, worries, struggles, etc. throughout the course.
* Studying abroad in a remote country helped remove day to day distractions and worries that would otherwise preoccupy a student's mind (speaking from my personal experience). This allows a student to really be focused on coding.
* Pricing of this bootcamp is a major plus that may affect which bootcamp future students will choose. The pricing of this bootcamp compared to others is roughly half if not less than half the price of other bootcamps. This is huge with regards to having the opportunity to join a bootcamp. Living in Mexico for this specific bootcamp reduced the cost of expenses even further during the stay of the onsite bootcamp which helped relieve monetary stresses.
* The small class size allowed more one on one time with the instructor or TA if needed.
* Availability of the instructor extends past class hours. If I had questions I could message him at any time (within reason) and receive a response within minutes. If additional tutoring or studying sessions were needed he would make those available to us on the weekend. This availability is also offered beyond the scope of the bootcamp session.
* Job preparation and advice at the end of the onsite bootcamp was useful and informative. Assistance with these aspects extended beyond the onsite bootcamp timeframe as well as the offer of assistance past the entire bootcamp timeframe.
* The instructor is always open to suggestions on how to improve the course for future bootcamps. Constructive criticism is not shunned and solutions for improvement were welcomed. The comments for the selection below was voiced personally outside of class as constructive feedback for improvements for future bootcamps.
Aspects that I thought could be improved:
* A stricter enforcement towards class preparations before the class. Our specific bootcamp spent a bit more time on Java basics to ensure everyone was on the same page but this caused other aspects of our learning to have less coverage towards the end of the bootcamp.
* Overlapping time coverage of the instructor, Ryan, and our TA, Caden, could have been separated out by a few hours. This would allow more one on one time exposure or in person interaction for students to take advantage of outside of lecture. |