10 Tips to Avoid Coding Bootcamp Burnout
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- Coding bootcamp burnout can happen to anyone, even the most resilient of students.
- The best way to avoid burning out during a bootcamp is to prepare ahead of time.
- Getting a good night's sleep every night can reduce stress and burnout.
Because students must learn so many new things in such a short amount of time, coding bootcamps can be very challenging. Students encounter new material every day, and there is almost always homework, which may keep them up late into the night.
Additionally, most bootcamps maintain a rigorous schedule that makes it extremely difficult to catch up if you fall behind.
This stressful environment can lead some students to develop mental exhaustion, also known as burnout. You may think that as a strong student this won't apply to you. But coding bootcamp burnout can happen to anyone.
What Is a Coding Bootcamp?
Coding bootcamps are intensive educational experiences that pack a large amount of material into a few months of coding instruction. During the bootcamp, students learn many of the skills they need to perform a specific tech job, such as front-end developer, back-end developer, or software engineer.
Unfortunately, the quick pace can be overwhelming at times. Here are 10 tips to help you prevent or overcome coding bootcamp burnout.
Coding Bootcamps for You
10 Tips to Avoid Coding Bootcamp Burnout
If you want to succeed in your coding bootcamp, the first thing that you can do is to prepare ahead of time. Many bootcamps provide optional or required pre-work to complete before the program begins. Allow plenty of time to go through the pre-work until you feel comfortable with the topics.
If no pre-work is assigned, look at the topics that will be covered and try to get a head start on learning the material before the bootcamp begins. If you have any questions, reach out to someone at the program who can help you.
Enroll in a Self-Paced Bootcamp
One way to reduce the stress of a coding bootcamp is to choose a self-paced bootcamp. Unlike most programs, you may not need to keep up with the rest of the class to stay on track. You can complete each lesson at your own pace and move on when you are ready.
However, keep in mind that even self-paced bootcamps don't always allow an infinite amount of time to complete the course. There is often a limit to how much time you have access to the system, and you will need to finish before your time runs out.
Involve Family and Friends
Let your family and friends know that you are taking a bootcamp and make sure that they realize how important it is to you. Explain that you may not be as available for social engagements due to the rigorous nature of the program and ask them for their support during this challenging time.
Setting boundaries and expectations with those who are important to you can make the time you spend in the bootcamp less stressful. You may even be able to recruit friends and family to help with simple chores around the house so that you have less to worry about while you are enrolled.
You can make the stress of attending a coding bootcamp more manageable by setting goals. This includes short-term goals throughout the bootcamp, as well as long-term career goals. Keeping your eye on those long-term goals can keep you motivated as you progress through your program.
Short-term goals can be especially helpful when taking a self-paced bootcamp. Even though you have some flexibility regarding completion times, you still need to progress at a reasonable pace. You can do this by setting goals to learn a certain number of lessons per day or per week.
Ask for Help
Teachers and professors can help you if you feel stuck. Don't be afraid to speak up if you don't understand something. Each lesson builds on the last, so if you try to slog through without fully grasping the material, you will find yourself even more stumped during the next lesson.
In addition to teachers, many bootcamps employ counselors or advisors who can help you find more resources if you need extra practice. You may also be able to get help from other students in your class, recent graduates, or people you know who have coding experience.
Lean On Your PeersIn most bootcamps, a group of students progresses through coursework together as a cohort. Cohort members are a great resource when you are having trouble understanding the material. Try to befriend your fellow students, as they can be a great form of support.
Take Daily BreaksTaking breaks can help you feel refreshed and recharged, so try to take them as often as you can. Most bootcamps allow you to take short breaks every so often, even in all-day classes. Make the most of your breaks by getting up and taking a walk, stretching, and going outside.
Find Time to Exercise
It may be hard to find time to exercise during your bootcamp, but it's important to do something in the morning to get your blood pumping. Try to wake up a bit earlier to get some exercise in before your bootcamp starts. Even a 10-minute walk in the morning can do wonders for your energy levels throughout the day.
In addition to a morning workout, try to do stretches or light exercises whenever you get a chance throughout the day.
Get Quality Sleep
In addition to exercise and stretching, getting enough sleep can reduce stress and improve your mood. People who get plenty of sleep also get along better with others, make better decisions, and avoid injuries caused by drowsiness.
If you have trouble sleeping, try working out in the morning instead of at night and give yourself time to wind down in the evenings. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and other drugs and try meditation or yoga to help eliminate stress so that you can fall asleep more easily.
Celebrate Small Victories
You may have set some goals in step four, so now think about ways that you can reward yourself when you achieve those goals. Even something as simple as taking the time to congratulate yourself can give you a boost of self-esteem and help you keep working toward your long-term goals.
Come up with some simple rewards that you can give yourself whenever you finish a lesson or a coding project. Maybe you could listen to your favorite song or watch a funny YouTube video. Although the bootcamp may be very time-consuming, it is important to take small moments to celebrate your progress to keep your spirits high.
Frequently Asked Questions About Avoiding Bootcamp Burnout
How do you survive a coding bootcamp?
Step one of how to survive coding bootcamp is to get the support of your family and friends. It also helps to get plenty of sleep, find time to exercise, and set goals for yourself.
Can you fail a coding bootcamp?
Yes. You are more likely to fail if you don't prepare for the bootcamp before it starts. Make sure you do all of the pre-work and understand it well before your bootcamp begins. Personal goals can also help you stay committed to sticking with it through the end.
Are coding bootcamps worth it?
It depends. Each prospective student should consider things like their professional goals, learning needs, budget, and time constraints when choosing between a bootcamp vs. college.
Can you get a job after coding bootcamp?
Many companies hire bootcamp graduates. Bootcamps often report that their graduates find work shortly after completing their program. Both large and small companies may hire bootcamp graduates, often into entry-level roles.