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Matt Upham
Matt Upham

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Coding Bootcamp - Things I wish I knew before going

I went to a coding bootcamp recently. These were the things I wish I knew before going, which would have helped me set MUCH more realistic expectations.

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Check out this video for further detail:

Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to a Coding Bootcamp

What it takes

  • You will be coding daily, 6 to 7 days a week (a given)
  • You’ll be doing practice problems daily (and failing them daily, haha)
  • You’ll be making a ton of mistakes while building projects (but it’s normal)
  • Lot’s of BS online about ‘coding bootcamps being easy’ - it’s much harder than you think

Your health will probably suffer (health is a huge priority in order to maximize brain function)

  • You'll sit in a chair for a loooong time(get up and walk around occasionally)
  • There’s a lot of stress involved in the program
  • There’s not much time for cooking healthy food, focus on eating well
  • Be active, build in exercise at least a few days a week (mental clarity, feeling physically good)

The mental game is completely brutal

  • You will want to give up, you’ll fail over and over (but this is normal and should be expected!)
  • You’ll probably feel like you’re dumb, or something is wrong with you (you’re not dumb, you’re learning!)
  • You need to believe in yourself (do anything you can to stay positive)
  • Use the community, struggle together (you’ll build strong bonds with others)

You’ll be depressed and anxious (prioritize mental health!)

  • Everyone feels like they’re behind, but they won’t tell you that
  • You’ll feel like you’re consistently behind
  • Big Secret - everyone else does too, but you’ll only see their successes (people always superficially make it seem like everything is always going well, take Instagram feeds for example)
  • Ask questions! The worst thing you can do is not ask questions (if you don’t ask, you’re wasting your money)

The hardest part will probably be the job search

  • Absolutely brutal, please expect this
  • 150-300 jobs is a normal baseline you should be targeting (for some it will take less, others more, but this is an average)
  • Looking for jobs IS a full time job (devote a ton of time to looking for jobs, studying, and networking)
  • You’ll encounter bias by recruiters and developers during the job search because of your background, IGNORE THIS, push forward, someone will eventually take a chance on you!
  • It’s a lonely process (try to build an accountability group with your other bootcamp grads!)

Coding bootcamps aren’t all about the technical skills

  • You learn grit, perseverance (lifelong skills for continued success)
  • Work ethic
  • Make connections, bond with people you struggle together with
  • You’ll gain confidence in yourself

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Are you thinking about coding bootcamps? If you have any questions, shoot me a DM on Instagram @mattupham, or check out my other articles on here!

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