What are some tips for making the most of a coding bootcamp? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
Start Strong. This depends on what your goal is for going to a coding bootcamp, but I'll assume for now that it's to get a job as a software engineer. One of the biggest things I've seen in outcomes at Fullstack is that attending the program acts as a multiplier of your skills/knowledge. In many ways, the stronger your programming foundation is when you start, the more you'll get out of the course. Because instructors have such deep expertise, and there's so much theoretical runway for the open-ended projects you build, you want to be as technically strong as possible when starting. So the advice here is, over-prepare for the admissions process, then invest heavily in the pre-course work.
Plan Your Projects. Another tip is to think carefully about the projects that you build. These projects are essentially your new resume once you hit the job search, so they should be:
- Technically complex
- Deployed (live on the web)
- Have the code shared open-source on Github, with a clean code base and commit history
- Presentable in an interesting way (have a "wow" moment)
- Use a technology (even if it's just a single JS library) that's not explicitly covered in the curriculum of the coding bootcamp. While building the project, this forces you to learn a new technology (an important skill to have a developer). You can then talk about that in interviews, which will impress companies and give them confidence that you'll be able to learn on the job (which you'll always have to do).
Some other tips I've seen successful students do:
- Write/blog as much as you can about your learning. My theory here is that we're able to hold abstract and complex thoughts in our mind but writing forces us to serialize those to paper. That serialization process engages a separate part of your mind and is extremely useful for retention.
- Teach others. I can't say how much teaching is a secret weapon to learning. If you spend time teaching others (in your class, among your friends) or giving talks, you'll grow very quickly.
- Teaching is to learning what hackathons are to MVPs; it forces you to focus on what's important quickly.
- Work on a side project where you do everything you learned again.