How to Succeed at a Coding Bootcamp

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By Megan Whitenton

Published on September 3, 2021

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Coding bootcamps provide intensive, short-term training for aspiring computer programmers, web developers, and cybersecurity professionals. Students often choose coding bootcamps for the accelerated timeline and affordable tuition rates.

Many learners look to coding bootcamps to enhance their job prospects. The majority of top in-person and online coding bootcamps offer career preparation in popular tech fields, equipping graduates with the skills needed to launch their careers.

Read on to learn how to survive coding bootcamp and maximize your potential when preparing for a tech career.

Making the Most of a Coding Bootcamp

While bootcamps can be rigorous, there are plenty of ways to maximize your results and get your money's worth. Follow these tips to set yourself up for success in a coding bootcamp.

Enroll in a Prep Program

Many bootcamp providers offer free or affordable prep programs, which give students a sense of what to expect in a full-length bootcamp. Prep programs typically include coursework in coding fundamentals, introducing students to potential areas of interest and specialization.

Some bootcamps do not require but strongly recommend students gain experience before applying to the bootcamp. For coding bootcamps that do require experience, prep programs can help incoming students meet basic prerequisites before enrollment. Additionally, some prep programs ensure a student's acceptance into that provider's intensive coding bootcamp.

Know Your Career Goals

Learners in an accelerated bootcamp may need help to stay motivated through graduation. Knowing your career goals ahead of time can help you maintain your focus and make the most of the bootcamp experience. Students should seek out a bootcamp that can lead to tech jobs in their particular area of interest.

If you have yet to decide on a specific career, setting bootcamp career goals with the bootcamp's career counseling team can help. Bootcamp curricula often introduces students to a variety of tech skills and tools, offering a path toward diverse and profitable coding jobs.

Network, Network, Network

In addition to saving time and tuition, coding bootcamps offer networking opportunities on par with a traditional degree. Bootcamp providers emphasize networking among students, instructors, and alumni, potentially leading to unique jobs and continuing education events.

Graduates of a coding bootcamp may qualify for membership in professional organizations, which could also lead to networking opportunities.

Use Career Support Services

Coding bootcamps typically offer unique career support services, including job and internship placement, recommendations and referrals, and resume-building skills. Many coding bootcamps incorporate career support into the curriculum or recommend a timeline for when to seek support before graduation.

Complete the Extra Credit

Some coding bootcamps offer extra credit through additional assignments. While students often find this extra credit to be especially challenging, part of learning how to thrive in coding bootcamp is learning specialized skills now instead of on-the-job. Seize the opportunity in your bootcamp to ask questions and make mistakes along the way.

Take Care of Yourself

When juggling the demands of a rigorous academic program, many students put themselves last. Students must prioritize their mental and physical health and set good self-care habits before they begin their bootcamp. To help you survive coding bootcamp, get regular exercise and lean on friends and family for emotional support.

Frequently Asked Questions About Succeeding at a Coding Bootcamp

Are coding bootcamps still worth it after 2020? true

Yes. Coding bootcamps are still worth it after 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that computer and information technology jobs will likely grow 11% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than average.

Can you fail coding bootcamp? true

Yes. Students may fail coding bootcamp for a variety of reasons. Bootcamps, by definition, are short, intense, and demanding, so students must rise to the occasion or risk wasting their time and money and failing the course.

How to choose a coding bootcamp?

Students should weigh multiple factors when choosing a coding bootcamp, including their desired specialty, prior experience, cost, and program format. For example, students should consider whether they prefer to learn in person or online.

Do you need prior experience for coding bootcamp?

Many bootcamps accept complete beginners. However, many also recommend that applicants familiarize themselves with basic coding concepts before starting. Many bootcamps offer prep courses for students to get up to speed before beginning the full program.