Life After A Coding Bootcamp

Photo by NEXT Academy on Unsplash

Tip #1: Create A Schedule

Okay so the first order of business, create a schedule! Now that you have all this free time, make sure to create a schedule for yourself to keep you busy and on track. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to have an empty schedule because it can lead to steering off track and is not the best practice for time management. Creating a schedule can help you stay productive and allow you to keep yourself in line with your career goals. Some ideas for your schedule could be to do HackerRank or Leetcode problems for an hour in the morning and then take a quick 15–30 min break. Then maybe building out a nice profile page for your Github or working on your personal portfolio. Then take another break or have a lunch break and spend the rest of your day applying for jobs and tailoring your resume to what they are asking for. Then take another break. Network with people on LinkedIn and take another break.

Tip #2: Market Yourself

Since we graduated from a bootcamp, most of the time, we come from untraditional backgrounds. Typically no computer science degree or any form of technical experience prior to attending the coding bootcamp. This means that we MUST be able to market our abilities and share how our unique experience benefits the company.

Tip #3: Practice Practice Practice Your Code

There are a wide variety of coding languages to learn. Whether it be JavaScript, Ruby, HTML, CSS, Java, they all have one thing in common: repetition. What do you mean by that? I thought you’d never ask! What I mean by repetition is that because like learning any language (Spanish, Japanese, German, etc.) it requires you to utilize it every day. It’s like a muscle. You have to practice and work on it every day in order for your understanding to be solidified. If you leave weeks or even months without touching your code in JavaScript, the likelihood of you remembering how to efficiently code in that language diminishes. Practicing code allows you to continue to learn about different ways in which you can solve the same problem. This becomes extremely helpful when you begin to talk about Data Structures and Algorithms.

Tip #4: Community

This is a big thing that is often overlooked. Reaching out to your community should be one of the first steps you make after graduating from a bootcamp. Of course, you won’t know what to do post-graduation because you’ve never done this before! What better way to get some insight on what to study or how to market yourself than from someone who was in your shoes! Your community can be your fellow bootcamp alumni, a front-end or back-end developer group, women who code, etc. They can be any community that you get involved with or have been involved with. It can even be your fellow cohort mates and you can keep each other on track by practicing code together or creating a cool project together! It may seem daunting at first, especially when reaching out to bootcamp alums whom you’ve never met before, but I promise, everyone is super nice and those who respond to you only want to help you!

You Got This!

With all of this in mind, I am truly rooting for your success! After over 180 job applications, 4 take-home coding challenges, I finally landed an interview at one of my top companies! It may seem like a long journey and job hunting is a full-time job but when you finally land your first job, everything is totally worth it! If you have any questions or want to chat with me, feel free to connect with me or leave a comment! I’d love to share my insight as I go through this journey. I’m extremely proud of all the accomplishments you’ve had thus far and I cannot wait to see my fellow bootcamp grads grow exponentially as a developer! Good luck out there and happy coding!

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