Coding Bootcamps: How To SUCCEED And Don’t WASTE MONEY!

Written By Jason Humphrey

Many coding bootcamps claim or imply that you can become a professional developer in three weeks, 12 weeks, or perhaps six months when you take their courses. But most of these 90%+ job placement claims are largely unaudited.

After years of helping students get through coding bootcamps, I know exactly their biggest mistakes.

You can expect to join a coding bootcamp and leave as a full programmer. You need to put in the work. You need to put in the practice. And this is where most aspiring developers fail.

Things, like holding yourself accountable, learning effectively and joining a peer group, are things that can help you in succeeding at a coding bootcamp.

If you really want to make the most out of your money after joining a coding bootcamp, then, this is the perfect video for you. I'll give you my 4 best tips after years of helping students succeed and become great programmers after joining a coding bootcamp.

Transcript Of The Video:

Jason Humphrey: So you have just put down a ton of money, and the only option is success. That's exactly what all bootcamp students feel like, and if you're a bootcamp student here watching this, then you're in the right place, because we're going to talk about the four tips for you to succeed at a bootcamp. And it's like, “That's a very broad question, very vague. Like, yeah, be successful, but what do you… Successful what? The coding aspect? The doing your work, like showing up every day? What are we talking about here?” So I'm going to give you four things that you can do today that I always try to answer to people to be successful in a bootcamp.

All right, first and foremost, mentor sessions. The first tip is all around mentor sessions. You must come prepared with questions and problems ahead of time. The second thing you do once the actual session is flowing is you take notes on everything, because that'll help you commit it to memory. And last but not least, once you're done with the session, you send out a summary to you and your coach of what you both got out of that. I've learned in recent years that it makes communication a hell of a lot easier on both of us to know what we both got out of the session. At the same time, in that summary, a to-do list for you and for me. If I have to-do items, make sure it's clear in that summary sent to me, or you have to-do items, it's clear, I can look at it and go, “Oh yeah, yeah, all right, you'll get that to me.”

The second tip I like to give to people is effective learning. I hear all too often that there are tons of people always spending lots of hours but getting nowhere, or they fail a mock interview, and I go, “Oh, well, how many hours are you spending a week?” “Oh, like 30 to 40.” It's like, “Okay, well, what are you doing with all that time?” Ideally, for most people, when they do this in a flex style, they need 20 to 30 hours a week, but in general, you have set hours. If you're going way over and not getting results, that means we're not being effective.

So how do you learn? Take a look at yourself and see what you're doing when you're learning. I will see people read a curriculum and absolutely get it. I'll see other people read the curriculum, have no idea what's going on, and then tell me they read the curriculum for the last 30 hours and they've learned nothing, and that's because you're not spending your time effectively. We need to look at, do you learn best by videos? Do you learn best by doing? Do you learn best by reading, talking to a mentor, working with other peers, pair programming, tutorials, blogs? How do you learn? Because whatever you learn best, that's how we need to spend our time effectively. I get there's probably some points where you have to read a curriculum, even if you're not the best at it. We've got to find what supplements goes really well with your learning

Now, the third tip I'm going to give you is time management, and specifically, I'm only going to give you one for this, because we all know and love it on this channel: the Pomodoro Technique. You must have a time management technique in bootcamps, so check out John's old video, I think there'll be a link for it up above or down below, about the Pomodoro Technique on the KanbanFlow. Absolutely fantastic. You should be shooting from anywhere to 10 to 12 pomodoros a day. I warn you, you go over that, you will get burnt out very quickly. You go under that, you're going to be underachieving. So shoot for 10 to 12 pomodoros a day, not too far over that, not too far under that

Last but not least is accountability. My tip for you here in accountability is one, you must hold yourself accountable. If you want to get anywhere in the bootcamp, if you want to be successful in the slightest, you must hold yourself accountable because at the end of the day, unless you're joining something like the Coding Career Fast Lane that holds you accountable, a majority of mentors out there and a majority of programs will only hold you accountable as when you show up. So, even in the… Like, when no one's looking, they're not looking, you need to hold yourself accountable when no one's looking so that you get your shit done.

But here's my one tip for you, how to be accountable besides me just saying, “Get your shit done.” Social challenges, that's what you need to do. Find a group of peers. Find, I would say, Facebook group, but that's a bit harder. But find a group of peers or a Facebook group or a cohort, or something like the Coding Career Fast Lane, or even the Simple Programmer membership. Find a group that you can put out there, social challenge yourself that you're going to get this done by this date, and ask them all to hold you accountable. At the end of the day, it's easy to just say, “Man, I'm going to hold myself accountable.” But it's really hard not to hold yourself accountable when you know someone's watching, especially someone you respect and someone close in your circle.

Now, overall, with these four tips, mentor sessions, effective learning, time management, and accountability, it's all about finding what works for you to make yourself successful and doing all these things in the most effective way possible. Whether that's the pomodoro, whether it's social challenges, whether it's taking notes, whether it's changing up how you learn, doing these things will get you to where you want. And if you're interested with help with this, I've created a service called Coding Career Fast Lane where I help you with accelerating your career, even from bootcamps to advanced programmers. Now, that's it for me today. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below. We will talk to you guys all in the future.