I Just Finished a Coding Bootcamp... Was It Worth It?
31 year old online entrepreneur and -sometimes- writer. Now learning to Code.
Long story short: F*ck Yes!
As I explained on two previous posts
, I was lately focusing my time on learning how to code
at the same time I was managing a business.
Now that the last one didn't need as much attention as it needed at the first 2-3 years, I could finally focus on programming.
I tried first some online courses and books with little success, but at least I learnt there the basics of software thinking: arrays, strings, loops, variables, functions... you know, the usual jargon.
However, I was clearly lacking a proper roadmap and a schedule, so it was difficult for me to "make" something out of my limited coding knowledge. Yes, I could build HTML/CSS basic websites, but oh my god... they looked -and worked- like a 90's website.
So I was sticking-and stuck- to my old Wordpress knowledge when it came to building real stuff.
And I knew right on the first class week that it was the best decission possible.
6 months forward (Yesterday), I presented my final project: a website where you can sign up / log in and then create, modify and delete things, made with React on the frontend, Node + Express on the backend and a MongoDB database.
For people like me, who love to build online websites, It feels crazy empowering to be able to write those lines, put them together and see a final proper-working site. As someone said:
“There is a great satisfaction that comes with truly creating something from scratch, and having a deep understanding of how your code works and how to manipulate it.”
But I mean, finishing a coding Bootcamp is not the end, is just the beginning. You finish this course with the basic knowledge, so you can put your feet on the door of a company, get a junior developer job and start learning the real thing. Or, if you're more the entrepreneurship type, like me, then continue building stuff for your own.
I feel now like my head is a lot clearer, I can see better. I had so many technical words and concepts related to programming flying around my mind without any order, but after those 6 months, every single one is in place and, most importantly, I can make the connections between them.
And I also learned how to learn coding.
There's no magic on a bootcamp, just work and tons of practice. I've been very lucky as well to have a great teacher, Thor, who's passionate about the subject and passionate as well about teaching it, and three great TA's that were helping us padawans on the way: Alex, Manu and Jorge. I think that's very important. Thank you guys from the bottom of my heart.
So, if you really like this world and you're thinking about it, I can tell you that, for me at least, it's been one of the best professional investments on my life.
So, how to make the most out of it?
That's what I felt:
- Don't sign up for a coding Bootcamp with zero previous knowledge on coding. I've seen classmates learning it from scratch during the bootcamp as well, but I think is a lot better if you struggle first doing one or two free online coding courses and then learn the fundamentals. That will help you a lot. And make sure as well that you really really like this stuff.
- Practice a lot. Theory will be good, but you need to write a lot of messy code, so your mind can learn how to think in a new way, the programming way. It's a safe environment, so try new things and break constantly your websites and apps, without comparing yourself to other classmates.
By the way, you don't need a Mac to program decently, I've done it all with my beloved Xubuntu
laptop and I couldn't be happier with it :)
That's it, I'm very open to any questions in regards of the coding bootcamp experience.
Now let's go build some things!
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