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How to prepare for a Coding Bootcamp

Congratulations on taking the leap to try something new! Since I decided to learn coding at General Assembly I haven’t looked back! It’s still a novelty to genuinely love what I am doing when I go into work every day and I am still not over the buzz of fixing a bug! You have all of this to come!

Lots of people have been asking me how I prepared for my time at General Assembly (or coding bootcamps more generally). Here are my tips:

1 — Sleep

This is not an exaggeration. If you want to change your career in 3 months then you are going to have to commit and be as fresh and prepared as you can manage. This also goes for if you are doing a longer course part time. Don’t think that it is going to be easy. You need to be prepared to say goodbye to normal life for the duration of the course. Forget about getting an early night, spend time with your friends and family now before politely disappearing for the next few months.

Do not. Repeat. DO NOT start a new box set now unless you can finish it before the start of the course!

It will be a lot to take on, certainly for the first few weeks, but the time will go in a flash and when else do you get to take 3 months out of life to focus on you and your goals.

2 — Read

Obviously do any pre-work, but if you have time, why not try some free online courses on some of the things you will be learning. The General Assembly course focussed on JavaScript, so before the course I was working on this from Codecademy, and I also watched these seminars on Udemy. It really helped in the first few weeks when the intense study was a bit of a culture shock. It lessened how steep the learning curve was.

Robert Martin’s Clean Code Handbook is useful for general coding principals and will help ensure you don’t get into bad habits while you’re learning.

I wrote this blog offering advice on other resources you might want to try.

3 — Prep

Finally, prep your CV. The more work you can do around finding a job before you start the course, the quicker you will find a job after the course. Bring your CV up to date with your current experience, then you will only have to add your coding bootcamp experience once you finish. Think about where you might want to work and do the research on the company to save you time later when you (hopefully!) interview with them!

I hope this has been helpful. What are your tips for starting a bootcamp course? Let me know in the comments. And if you have any questions, please do get in touch.