Learning to code can be challenging, but rewarding!
After some research about the options, I found out a coding Bootcamp at GATech, its curriculum and the school credentials, as well as the length of the program motivated me to get enrolled. I got accepted and even though they were clear that I would need to spend as a minimum of 20 hour outside the classroom to ensure not just the completion of the assignments but my success in the program, I must to admit that it has been not just demanding but challenging in different ways since the beginning and that I have been spending more than the 20 hours per week to keep up the workload and learning.
It is not enough to be willing to succeed and complete the program but been able to understand every topic and new concepts in a short time, and then complete the required projects. Coding is not about memorizing or just double read the concepts, it is actually about CODING! (yes! I know it is obvious).
But, the fact that sometimes I felt behind the class and stressed with the feeling that I would not be able to complete the assignments kept me in a state of anxiety and alert, too!!! Lucky for me, I have great instructors and TA’s available for help or explain anything, but because of the program nature the classes move so quick, so you need to be prepared to move from topics and go back by yourself to re-learn the topics and keep fresh what at some point you are not looking in a daily basis during class, but eventually you will need to apply in further projects.
If you are planning to enroll into a coding bootcamp just be aware that you will need to put more than the time you are expecting, and that is not a regular class but that you will need to actually commit because you will be challenged in different ways, including family/friends time.
Don’t feel bad if you are not the star of the class but be sure you are trying your best every time and with every topic. Over the weeks or months, you will start realizing things you were unable to understand during class or at beginning of the bootcamp.
Look for Resources
Every bootcamp and every instructor will provide you with some additional resources that work for them or they have found helpful for other students but look also for additional resources that you know will work for you, like traditional or old fashion methods, maybe a couple of books or join a study group. Also, there are a ton of resources online if you feel more comfortable.
Keep yourself a log of things you are learning at class, concepts, ideas, examples or anything that you can revisit on a notebook (yes, I now you are hitting technology and making notes on your laptop, but don’t underestimate the old fashion methods).
Make connections, I know for some it sounds obvious and for others it sounds crazy when you are new at the field, but start making connections with your classmates, believe me most of my classmates have been of help when I need to ask something, there are some experienced coders in my class (in other programming languages) and some others that learn really quick and willing to share knowledge.
Practice, Practice, Practice…
By the way, the feeling of completing successfully a program, even a small one is what it makes this journey so rewarding.
Share how it has been you coding journey and how you have overcome challenges even as an experienced programmer learning new languages!