What Really Shapes Your Journey
There was a period of time recently where everyone wanted to learn to code, quickly. People would come to me and ask me for guidance related to learning to code and going to a 12 to 20 week bootcamp in order to do so. Is this enough time to learn to code? Can I get a job after I go through this bootcamp. Yes and no, respectively. It’s not enough time to become a developer, but surprisingly, it is enough time to get you a job. We’ll look at the reasoning behind it in this article.
Be realistic about the length of training time you’ll need
A 3 to 4 month course is not enough time to become a developer. I know that it’s a huge blow to most of you thinking about getting in and becoming a developer. Why do you think that you can learn to code in 3–4 months? This is a pretty challenging field. Who started this misconception that you can become a developer in such a short amount of time?
In order to call yourself a developer in the shortest amount of time possible, you’ll need to devote a minimum of 5 hours each day for at least a year and a half. It’s about how long it’s going to take you to learn the terminology, learn the basics, and most importantly, rewire the way that you think. Even if you consider yourself a highly logical person, you’re not as logical as a developer is. So, give yourself some time, find a structured approach to your learning, and become a developer.
Bootcamp graduates have flooded the market
Most people still think that they can go to a bootcamp and become a developer. And there are a ton of them. You wont have the necessary skills needed by most companies. It will be a challenging time for you to get a job, especially when you’re competing against so many other individuals in the market.
The number of bootcamp graduates has diluted the quality developer. The number one complaint that I hear from companies isn’t that they can’t find developers, it’s that they can’t find “quality developers anywhere.” When they do find them, they hold on to them.
Bootcamp placement numbers can be misleading
Understand that your bootcamp is there to make itself money. It’s going to promise you unrealistic timelines and unrealistic job opportunities. The likelihood of getting a job right out of bootcamp is pretty slim. You will struggle for quite some time until you develop the skill and mindset that the company you’re applying for is looking for.
Individuals that get a Computer Science Bachelor’s degree have a challenging time getting a job right out of school. Getting a job right after bootcamp is much more challenging.
Coding is often very frustrating
Writing code professionally can be an extremely frustrating process. You’re there to solve problems. You’re not following a template that shows you how to create an application.
You’re always presented with an issue and you must solve that problem. Armed with only the basics of programming, it becomes incredibly difficult to know where to even begin. Hours are spent on StackOverflow in hopes that someone had the same issue as you’ve had and that it has been solved.
Going through this frustration is what will make you a developer eventually.
Bootcamp: 7 things you should do, and 2 things you shouldn’t do
If you’re still set on becoming a developer through a bootcamp, here’s how to make your bootcamp experience successful.
- Prepare for your bootcamp. Spend 6 months before your bootcamp at 4–8 hours per day reading the basics and writing as much code as you possibly can.
- When you start your bootcamp, it’s time to quit your job. Save up enough money before hand to be able to support yourself for the next 3–6 months.
- Devote 12 hours a day to learning your craft. Each time you learn something new, look it up and overanalyze it. Consume as much content as you can about it.
- Stick to the curriculum. It’s been tailor-made for your learning journey. This is not the time to start learning another programming language at the same time.
- Start researching companies that hire bootcamp graduates. Prepare to apply.
- Connect with the bootcamp placement department. See which companies they work with and how the process goes to get you in there. Is there anything special that you’ll need to do after you graduate to prepare for it? It’s better to get those answers now.
- Once you graduate, do not stop learning. It’s time to start ramping up your skillset. What interests you? What are companies hiring for. Learn the skill, like React.js, and apply only to those companies. Hopefully the bootcamp would have placed you, but this is something that you should be prepared for if they haven’t.
- Bonus: do it with a friend. It’ll be so much easier for you if you have someone else to help you along the way.
Just because you attend a bootcamp doesn’t mean that you’ll get a job. In fact, it’s a huge gamble if this is your approach. You might just throw away your money.
- Do not think that just because you’re getting some sort of education in software development that you’ll be a programmer. Companies are looking for qualified candidates.
- Working and attending a bootcamp is going to be difficult. Try not to work at the same time that you’re attending a bootcamp.
Can you become a developer without a bootcamp?
Yes you can. You just have to be realistic about your timeframe. There are plenty of journey maps online that will help guide you to become whatever type of developer that you want to become. If you’re working, set a 2–4 year plan to become a developer. Not working, you can probably get away with 1.5 to 2 years if you really put the time in. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials that will help you with your learning process. In fact, there’s probably more content than you can consume. You just have to dedicate the time and put in the effort.
Do companies really hire people right out of bootcamp?
Yes. I actually know of a few companies personally that only hire individuals right out of bootcamp. They get them for an extremely affordable rate. They allow those individuals to hone in their craft in exchange for as much code as they can get.
From a company perspective, it’s usually a really frustrating process. Things break all the time. Clients aren’t happy. I’m not sure why they do it. One senior developer is probably better than 10 programmers right out of bootcamp.
Some companies do it right where they hire senior developers that hold the bootcamp programmers’ hands the entire time. After a 6–12 month period, these programmers are usually ready to start tackling the code themselves. Some get promoted, but most leave for higher paying jobs.
While becoming a developer out of bootcamp is difficult, it’s not impossible. As long as you prep before and after the bootcamp, I’m confident that you’ll be able to land that software development job.