Starting a coding boot camp? This is how you should prepare.

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and enroll in a coding boot camp. Congrats! This is an exciting time. You are about to embark on a few, short weeks of intense fundamentals and programming exercises. In anticipation of beginning your coding boot camp, we’ve put together four tips to help you prepare.

Tip #1: Mark important dates on your calendar

Prior to beginning your coding boot camp experience, get some sort of agenda or day planner. Ask your instructor for a curriculum or some sort of timetable you can reference when you will begin learning certain modules or languages. Whether you use a physical book or prefer your mobile phone’s calendar, make note of significant dates.

iPhone Week View

Image Source: TechCrunch

If you’re going to use the latter and have an iOS device, manage your schedule through your iCloud to keep everything up-to-date across all platforms. Having an idea of what your monthly workload will look like, and when you will hit more tough subjects, will help you balance your personal and boot camp life.

Tip #2: Spend your free time learning the basics through free, online courses

Remember that kid in class who would read ahead and know what the teacher would go over that day? Before you begin, channel this persona and start preparing as early as possible. It truly never hurts to get ahead, as a coding boot camp is a marathon (not a sprint). Programming is an extensive field that is ever-changing, but the core basics remain the same.


Eager Student Raising Hand


Take a look at Treehouse or Udemy for some light introductory classes, where you can pick up on the terminology and learn the framework of HTML or CSS. You might be thinking, “I will ask everything I have doubts on that same day in class,” this is the wrong way to go about it; others might have their own questions, and there might simply not be e time to get through everyone. This preparation will help you ask more detailed questions, and complement the additional guidance your TA’s or instructors will be providing.

Tip #3: If you’re working a full-time job or attending school, notify your employers or professors

You will see people of all ages at your coding boot camp. This is the great thing about getting started in programming – no matter your age or career field, you can learn to code at any stage in life. As such, most of your classmates might be attending school or working full-time. Before joining a boot camp, if you are comfortable, notify your employers or professors. Talk them through your reasoning and inform them of important dates, e.g. start and end dates.


Two Students Talking


These might not be exact and change by a day or two, but at least they will be aware of your additional workload. Regardless of your situation, everyone in the program will be studying concepts and frameworks for 10+ hours a day. Letting your higher-ups know of this change, could be beneficial; they might support your hard work and offer you projects post-boot camp.

Tip #4: Absorb everything you can and have fun!

This isn’t merely limited to the technical skills you will be learning in class. Engage with your instructors and classmates. The languages you learn will be intensive. Instead, of going through these battles on your own, reach out to your boot camp community. Form study groups, stay after class and talk through problems, and exchange information with other students to bounce around ideas or help resolve bugs.


University of Richmond Group Picture


Individuals who join these coding boot camps will more than likely be just as passionate you in learning all there is to programming. They will probably encounter the same obstacles and have related questions. Knowing others are experiencing your same frustrations, will provide you extra morale and support. Coding is difficult but fun. Enjoy your time!

Are you feeling motivated and ready to start your own coding journey? The University of Richmond Coding Boot Camp offers a full-time curriculum to help you learn HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, Java, Bootstrap, Express.js, React.js, Node.js, Database Theory, Bookshelf.js, MongoDB, MySQL, Command Line, Git, and more.*

Our dedicated team of instructors and career services, help students through every step of the boot camp to create complete portfolio’s and land job interviews. Visit our website or give us a call directly at (804) 616-3270.

*The material covered is subject to change. Our academic team adjusts to the market demand.

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