I appreciate you going into all three of the options! Currently I'm a self-learner, but I'm struggling to keep motivation to keep learning/determine what to learn and work on while working 40+ hours a week and trying to fit in time for me, my SO, etc. It sounds like you have a lot of time commitments, too. Has the bootcamp helped you restructure your priorities for your day and help you stay motivated to learn?
I'm also terrified about leaving my cushy job! It would be so much easier to have a guarantee of a job or something working out at the end of the initial learning phase.
I do believe it will help structure my priorities. As someone with ADD, through the years I've really had to work hard to learn time management and project management. Because I've made this commitment, it's going to come first (at least until the program is over).
However, of course spending time with family/friends is important! I also volunteer doing digital marketing at Amman Imman. Until now, I have tried to commit 4 hrs per week at least. But I may have to scale that down, if it becomes to much.
At least with the bootcamp, I'll have a clear list of what I'll need to learn per week which will help me organize everything else around that.:)
I also use a paper planner, Passion Planner to help me keep track of everything. (I know, not a digital platform, shocking!).
It would be easier! I could have also went to get my CPA, decided to do a path that is more aligned with what I currently do in Accounts Receivable. Sometimes, though, we have to figure out what is worth it. The one benefit to having a job that is stable already is you don't have the pressure of needing income immediately. Of course, I'd like to find a new one as soon as I can after I complete the bootcamp, but it's not essential for me to do so which is nice!
Good luck with the start of your bootcamp, Jamie! It's coming up QUICK! FreeCodeCamp is the only free learning site that I've followed all the way through on JS, and definitely recommend that site for JS, HTML, and CSS. 😊
I've been debating about using a passion planner (honestly, I love colors and stickers and those are both in them typically!), and maybe that's one way to help me prioritize what I need to do daily. (And get me to code more often!)
That is super nice that you don't need a job right away. I think that's why I'm terrified of making the leap, since student loans follow me everywhere... It sounds like coding is more of your passion, and that's great that you are able to continue to learn!
I definitely recommend Passion Planner. If nothing else, I'm a fan of trying things to see if they work for you. Worse case it doesn't, and you try something else! I will warn you. It's easy to spend too much time on planners, thou, haha.
Fair point! I just finished ordering one with a set of stickers, of course! :) We'll see how it goes.
Let me know how it works!
Will do! :)
I am currently enrolled in Lambda School (lambdaschool.com). It is an online program (with full-time and part-time options) similar to other bootcamps with a few key differences:
Check them out.
Oh, thank you so much! I'm actually already enrolled to Rutgers, however. No turning back now. Also, I'm fortunate enough to be able to already pay for Rutgers fully with 0% interest--and Lambda School is still a loan. I've actually looked into them too. They seem good!
I posted that message for Rachel since she mentioned being concerned about job guarantees.
Historically Rutgers' CS department has a good reputation so I'm glad to hear they have a bootcamp program (I'm originally from NJ).
Good luck with your journey. As someone who is currently in a bootcamp I can honestly say it will be one of the best investments you've made for yourself.
A few tips that will help you:
Ask for help as much as you need to. If you're stuck on a problem more than 20 minutes ask for help. (Trust me this works)
Take regular breaks (Pomodoro Technique) is effective
Get good sleep
Please do NOT be hard on yourself. Programming is hard and everyone makes mistakes, you could be stuck on something for a long time and it was due to a typo. So allow yourself to make mistakes.
Best of luck on your new journey.
Awe thanks so much!! These tips are great.
I've looked into them before, but haven't made the move to apply beyond their Summer Hackers Program. How are you liking the program? Have you tried learning other ways?
So I decided to enroll in Lambda to refine my skills and get myself job ready. The biggest reason I choose Lambda is because of their deferred tuition job guarantee plan. I pay no money upfront and I only begin paying them back after I get a job as a software developer. If I don't get a job or I decide to work as a shoe salesman instead, then I don't pay them a dime. So the only thing I risk is my time.
It has exceeded my wildest expectations. Not only am I getting excellent instruction with tons of support from a variety of teaching assistants and students but I also have a dedicated career counselor at my disposal to help craft a resume, LinkedIn profile, etc.
But that's not the best part...the best part are these projects we work on that simulate a professional software development working environment which will count as real-world experience with many tech companies.
We have a very diverse student population many of whom have no prior coding experience and yet the people who graduate are more skilled than 80% of CS graduates. And they are getting hired at top tech companies making good salaries.
The caveat to this program is that it requires a time commitment and it's definitely hard-work but the instructors and staff are sooo supportive and they'll never give up on you as long as you don't give up on yourself.
Anyone who completes this program is hands down a bona fide software developer and can work anywhere.
Hope this helps. Best of luck in your endeavors.
That's great to hear! Thanks, Wilfred, for breaking it down further for me! 😊 It definitely gives me more to think about in terms of learning and what would be the best path for me.
Best of luck to you also!
Great post. I took the self-learning route and sometimes wonder how a boot camp could have affected my career. Good luck and make sure to reach out to various developer communities. I have found that most developers are very willing to share knowledge and point you in the right direction.
Thank you! Yes, so far I have met a few really nice people who have been willing to share advice or even teach me a thing or two! It's pretty great. I'm trying to join some Meetup groups in my area as well. I really love seeing how open people are.
Feel free to reach out anytime! I'm currently focused on react and react native but have a lot of backend php and nodejs experience.
Thanks! I added you on Github. :)
Good for you for making the step! Don't worry about the age thing because the dev world ranges in ages. No matter what school you go to, as long as you surround yourself with devs in the world, they'll help you with all the other stuff boot camps don't teach. You have a passion so I know you'll succeed 😊
Awesome round up!
I took the bootcamp path for many of the same reasons you did and have had many conversations with people trying to figure out if a bootcamp is right for them discussing many of your points.
Bookmarking this post so I could share in the future.
Thank you for being so open and introspective. This was a pleasure to read. I wish you all the luck in the world, although from the looks of it, you won't need luck.
One thing that you put in the cons which I find to be a pro in these short programs: they're intense and fast paced.
I have always struggled and lost attention in regular classes (maybe because of undiagnosed ADD). If it's short and intensive? I'm on point.
It leaves a lot of time to actually build all kinds of nifty stuff as your mind clicks the pieces in place after the classes.
Thank you! Oh, yes absolutely. It's hard for me to last for long classes. However, these don't necessarily fix that. The class is still 3 hours long, which is a nice chunk of time to have to sit through. It's just as bad as college, really. I think this will be a little different since you're more actively involved in doing something versus just listening, however.
I guess that feature really is split for me. Because of the fast pace, you have to learn faster which is harder (generally). For example, I experienced this when I took a 4 week class in college on Intro to Marketing. That was insane. It sounds great because hey I'm done in 4 weeks. But it leaves no time for confusion or catching up. Luckily, I had a lot of real life experience already to make it possible to do well, but if I had no prior knowledge, it would have been hard.
But I actually very much agree. The fast speed of the program is a large part of what convinced me as well. If it was lengthy, it wouldn't be as attractive.
One of the tricks for ADD I learned at a much older age is to record every class or meeting that is long or I know I need notes on. This way I don't have to stress myself out if I'm not capable of retaining everything. It works very well for me. It might not work as well in this case, but I'm going to try it out.
Your post reminded me of this:
Been there, struggled and probably thought whether I made the right decision at least 1000 times. I am, where I am, 0 regrets, and to be honest if I think now, If I would get a change to go back in time and do things different, I would, but then again, without trying I wouldn't never have realised which decision that I made was right and which was wrong.
However, the fact that you chose this path, at least for me, seems like a very good and wise decision, most people here find what they love and are passionate about, and quite often make then feel like they are never working, because they just enjoy what they do. Hopefully you will be one of those. Good Luck to you, stay strong.
Thank you for the encouragement Andrej! I absolutely agree. Whatever happens, we can't change decisions. We can only learn from them. It was hard to make this decision but I believe it is was the right one.
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