For those wanting to give up (I almost dropped out of Coding Bootcamp)

Matt Upham on October 15, 2019

I went to a coding bootcamp 2 years ago. This is the story of how I almost dropped out, and why perseverance is key to success. (For those who want... [Read Full]
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Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your story. This is EXACTLY what I needed today. I'm taking OOP in Java this semester, and today was midterms. I bombed it. I felt sad, inadequate, like I was destined to keep failing. I felt betrayed, even. There was so much there that I had never seen before. I felt guilty for spending the previous week concentrating on C++ instead of java. I felt guilty for the unfinished projects I have in my workspace. I felt like this failure was one small step away from total failure and a drop from the program entirely-- and then what? Where would I go from there?

But I realized the exact same thing that you said in this post: There are two options, and I get to pick from them. Do I want to succeed, or do I want to fail? I considered failing. It was a dark road. I considered success, and it was much brighter. I at least have to try, don't I? That's what we all have to do, right?

I'm going to go to bed early and try again tomorrow. That's what we all have to do, right?



Hey! I've felt all of the same things throughout my coding journey. I think overall, these are normal feeling when we're doing anything that's challenging. You have complete control over the choice though, and you're not alone! Most likely everyone who's been on a coding journey has considered giving up at one point or another. Don't give up! You'll look back in a few years and realize that failed test didn't mean as much as you thought it did in the present moment: what ultimately matters is consistent persistence!


Also, different people take different paths and there is no shame if your story is different than someone else's. When I reached my breaking point, I quit school and became an EMT. Pretty extreme reaction, but I don't regret it one bit. All my friends were making way more money than me as I stayed up all night in an abandoned parking lot making next to nothing for the amount of workplace hazards I was exposed to, but I'm so glad I took that path. I learned a lot about life, I gained some self confidence, and I learned to think clearly in intense situations.

It was pretty humbling having to move back in with my parents for a few months to teach myself programming again, but I managed to get a consulting job and work my way up from there. I'd probably be earning more if I would have finished college, but I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything. I chased my dream, it didn't really work out, but I'll never have to wonder what if because I chased after it and learned it wasn't for me.

It took me many, many years to finally find purpose in my software career, but recently I finally managed to find that. If you feel lost and confused with your career, keep exploring, keep an open mind, and be honest with yourself when you know you aren't in the right place. Things just sort of all came together for me at one of the lowest points of my life.

As my favorite author once said, "the truth will set you free. But not before it's done with you."


This is an awesome story - Finding success definitely isn't linear, and takes a lot of trial and error! Thanks for sharing!


I also needed this today. I can't navigate the schedules of any actual bootcamps, so I'm two weeks into trying to bootcamp myself (I'm doing Dart/Flutter). Anyway, I was feeling pretty confident yesterday, like I had a pretty good idea of how to get started on a wide variety of different apps, and then I discovered Code Wars and learned that 1) I can barely solve the simplest challenges, and 2) even when I think I did it perfectly I look at other people's solutions and they're so much more concise than mine in ways I barely understand. Plus, there are a bunch of things I know I need to face eventually, like databases, that I'm terrified of.

I don't think I'm going to give up, but I'm definitely having to take deep breaths and a one-day-at-a-time kind of attitude.


Don't get down on yourself! The challenges are supposed to be hard, and generally not solveable on the first try. Over time you'll improve a lot, with practice!


I feel you on this topic man! I did bootcamp first then self taught my self. Bad idea because boy did I struggle. The sales rep was super pushy man! Anyway, I still gain enough projects to work with and gave me opportunity to see how I did going head first. Now, I am actually refactoring my projects and learning from it after understanding the fundamentals of Javascript etc.

The only reason I didn't want to give up bootcamp is bc I paid for it and it would be a waste to finishing through, time is valuable! During the same time, I became a father of twins and that was a great rollercoaster ride while handling demands of a bootcamp! Whoo-haaa but i still completed, I don't play around! OK sure, I might have not digested everything taught in the bootcamp but hey I survived and learned the fundamentals and finished the program. I don't give up that easy.

And now I find companies want you to know data structures and algorithms, my bootcamp didnt do very well teaching that or maybe it wasn't their job. But at-least, give us a heads up! It's all good you live and you learn!


That sounds like a complete roller coaster! Glad you made it through. And yeah, a lot of the algos / DS will be self taught. They're challenging, but a neccesary evil to learn to break into the industry

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