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What You Need to Know Before Arriving at a Coding Boot Camp

04/17/2017

Group of young people attending immersive coding boot campIntense.

Rigorous.

Immersive.

Those are some of the words we use to describe the Zip Code Wilmington Software Development Boot Camp.

Many Zip Code Wilmington students are new to coding and have never attended a boot camp. In our information sessions, we set the expectation to prospective students that this is a full time, immersive program that requires a lot of hard work and commitment. But being at Zip Code gives our students the best of both worlds: they’re being trained by industry professionals while also receiving the support of their peers in a classroom setting.

If you plan to attend an immersive coding boot camp, here’s what you should know before day one:

A strong support system is essential. The next few weeks of your life will be intense. The length of coding boot camps varies. Here at Zip Code, our camp is 12 weeks. That’s 3 months. For 3 months, your life will revolve around coding, programming, and mastering skills. It’s a huge undertaking, especially if coding is completely new to you. It’s essential to have a strong support system. You’ll need cheerleaders, good listeners, and encouragers. Having a supportive cheering section helps you get through the rough spots. They buoy your spirits when you’re having a bad day and celebrate victories on your good days.

Free time and socializing probably won’t happen. When we say “immersive,” we mean it. Learning a new skill, particularly one as specialized as coding, will take all of your time. The Zip Code boot camp classes are in session 40 hours a week. Outside of class, you have homework, projects, and other assignments to complete. This will consume your evenings and weekends. Approach the camp with a serious mindset, knowing the intensity will be short-lived, but the results will change your career trajectory forever.

You’ll wonder if you’re cut out for this. The first time you run into a hard concept or project, you may question if you’re smart enough to do this (you are). You’ll think you’re the only one who feels like a dummy (you’re not). You’ll wonder if you made a mistake by coming here (you haven’t). These are natural feelings. Your fellow boot camp attendees feel the same way. Coding requires a new way of thinking. You’re approaching problems in fresh ways. It will take time to retrain your brain. Stick with it and you’ll be amazed at your ability to learn new things.

This will be the hardest that you’ve ever worked. In our boot camp, classes run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 5 days a week. But you’ll be on campus more than that. Our facility is open 24/7 and you’ll find students here at all hours. Coding boot camp really is a team sport. There are individual projects but you’ll also become part of a group working toward the same goal.

You’ll come to know your limits...and expand your horizons. Tired. Drained. Exhausted. Those words may describe how you feel at the end of a day at the boot camp. Thrilled. Amazed. Excited. Those words also may describe how you feel at the end of a day at the boot camp. You’ll learn your physical and mental limits, but you’ll also expand your horizons. At the end of 12 weeks, you will have accomplished tasks and finished projects that you would have thought impossible when you arrived on day one.

Coding boot camps aren’t easy, but knowing what to expect helps you arrive with the right mindset. If you’re ready to give it a shot, check out some pre-course work before applying. Our next boot camp starts in October so get ready! Apply now.

photo credit: goodluz / 123RF Stock Photo

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