Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

What it’s like to do a coding bootcamp

As I have said in previous blogs, Coding and indeed the whole tech industry is still very new to me. I recently completed the Web Development Immersive course at General Assembly’s London Campus.

In a few words, a coding bootcamp is:

  1. Intense
  2. Supportive
  3. Life changing

Intense

It cannot be underestimated how much commitment and focus it takes to change careers in just 3 months. When I interviewed for General Assembly, I was warned that I would need to say goodbye to my family and friends for the next 3 months. I thought this was an exaggeration. It was not. I worked on average 10+ hours a day, 6 days a week. These courses aren’t for the faint-hearted, but they are for the ambitious and driven.

It was actually quite an interesting experience shutting everything else out for 3 months and committing to myself and my professional development. The 3 months went in a flash! I will always be proud of what I achieved in those few months and personally I would rather 3 super intense months than 6 quite intense months!

Supportive

So you are probably now wondering why anyone would put themselves through that! I met some wonderfully supportive (and fun!) friends from the course. During the job-hunt and the general ups and downs of the course, they were the ones to offer the motivation (and at times the shoulder to cry on!). They really got what I was going through and will be great connections in the future. We often spent our evenings doing homework together, coding as a group often with a glass of something.. I now know a whole new variety of people with different backgrounds and expertise in a variety of different industries. You’d have to network hard to make these kind of connections by yourself.

Me with my new coder friends, Modestas, Patrick, Jack & Adam

The staff at GA were also brilliant. I thought it was fab that a lot of the teachers had at some point done the course and were only a few years into their careers. It made becoming a Developer seem achievable. It was great to be able to ask questions as we went along, as opposed to having to google or post on a forum if you were learning to code online. The teachers were so patient and generous with their time, explaining concepts and helping out with projects. Even the staff who you weren’t directly connected with were always really happy to help, answer questions, show support. GA is lucky to have a wide range of expertise and experiences to call on to help you out.

Receiving my coding certificate from my teachers, Gerry and Rane at graduation

GA were fantastic with careers support. I would say the careers support was worth the money alone! Even for the people who were changing careers and had applied for jobs before, the advice specific to finding a Dev job was invaluable. The outcomes teams are really supportive, approachable and genuine. We had some brilliant presentations on a number of topics and a number of people at various stages in their career came in to help. I have never had my CV, cover letters, portfolio looked over with such commitment and detail. They mentored, encouraged and advised at every stage of the process. They supported through the despair and also got involved with the celebrations!

Life-changing

I took a risk on myself to quit my stable (yet boring) job, take 3 months off (plus the course fees), all to try something completely new. General Assembly changed my life. With their support, I achieved something I just never thought I’d do. No one would have believed that I would be in tech this time last year! In fact when I said what I was planning on doing, very few of my friends thought I was serious!

General Assembly Alumna

I hope this gives an overview into what bootcamp life is like. Please do let me know what you are interested in hearing about in more detail.