7 Traits of a Successful Coding Bootcamp Student

We are always super excited to meet people who are ready for a career in tech. Our coding bootcamps prepare people like you to work as an entry-level web developer. Our application process ensures students are ready for success in our fast-paced, multi-week training. So, what do we look for? A hearty mix of passion, resourcefulness and preparation.

7 Traits of a Successful Coding Bootcamp Student

  1. Self-led learners with a passion for coding

A passion for working in the growing tech industry draws students to our intensive bootcamps, and should include getting started on your own. Someone who has either dabbled or obsessed in free online coding tutorials is a prime candidate in our eyes. Learning on your own shows that you’re self-driven, resourceful and have what’s called a growth mindset – you believe that you can learn something new, even if you struggle along the way. As a new developer, these traits are key to professional success and what we look for in potential students.

If you want to try coding on your own, you can attend one of our free Intro to Coding Workshops and check out free online resources like Codecademy, Team Tree House, Free Code Camp and Hour of Code.

  1. Highly adaptable and able to thrive in an intense environment

As we prepare students for entry-level developer positions, we teach key technical and soft skills in a short amount of time. This model has been very effective; we’ve trained more than 1,600 developers and more than 300 companies from across the state hire our grads.

Still, this model is a bit demanding – mentally (think: fire hydrant of information), emotionally (you wonder if you can really do this. Hint: you can) and sometimes physically (don’t worry too much, our mid-bootcamp break helps you refresh).

Though it can be a stressful time, and impostor syndrome can be a constant battle, the best students find strategies for success. They figure out what studying methods work best for them. They plan out their day to make time for studying and family and friends. They embrace the challenge and excitement of changing careers, and do all they can to master the material. The most successful students lean on Grand Circus staff, resources and classmates for support. In a nutshell, Grand Circus students must be able to adapt to the fast pace of a bootcamp and thrive in an intense environment.

  1. A strong determination to succeed

It’s ultimately up to a person’s personal study habits, focus and overall determination that’s going to make them successful in a bootcamp environment. A strong determination to succeed pushes students through challenging subjects and points of low energy and to content mastery. Along the way, our staff are 100% your teachers, cheerleaders and accountability partners.

For example, are you revisiting topics you’re still fuzzy on? Are you reworking labs to solidify concepts? If you have a question, do you take initiative and use multiple resources to find an answer? If you are job seeking, are you tackling classwork as well as networking and job applications every week? These are all things we expect from students, and it takes a strong sense of determination to ace them all.

  1. Good communication skills

In a bootcamp, you will be asking lots of questions, working in groups and networking with strangers in an unfamiliar industry. We look for candidates who can communicate professionally with others, aren’t afraid to ask for help, will work a room even when it’s uncomfortable, embrace feedback and find ways to communicate effectively within a team.

Even more, good communication skills will help you ace the job interview and then perform in your new tech career. Software developers need to talk through their challenges and how they approach problems; they regularly collaborate within teams and communicate directly with clients. Having solid communication skills will help you both as a student and in your long-term professional development and is an important trait we look for in candidates.

  1. Self-driven and resourceful

The foundation of coding is solving challenges and problems. If you ask what makes a successful developer, you’ll hear skills like “problem solver” and “resourcefulness.” When you face a new challenge (which will happen a lot), a great developer knows how to begin looking for the answer. Strong bootcamp candidates have a knack for finding information or taking a unique approach to problem solving.

As a new developer, our coding bootcamps will help prepare you with the knowledge necessary to work through technical problems, give you an understanding of which online resources are best and how to leverage connections with those already working in the industry. Students should use this knowledge and employ it throughout the entirety program, job hunt and eventually on the job.

  1. In need of practical skills and an exciting new role

If you’re in need of practical skills, our bootcamps produce well-rounded candidates who are ready to work. Even students who have computer science degrees need a functional application and code portfolio to show employers that they have the experience to be efficient on the job. We help with that! All bootcamps end with final projects, where small student groups work together to build a functional web application.

Our team also helps you gain practical soft skills needed to land an exciting new role. Soft skill sessions are designed to support the job hunt process and help graduates be effective in their new roles from day one on the job. We hold visits with local employers, multiple mock interviews, show students how to better network, connect current students with alumni, share best practices for looking for a job in the tech industry, and more all in an effort to support student success.

  1. Has done their research

You want to work in the tech industry. Great!  First, how do you know a career as a developer is right for you – and can you effectively communicate this? Second, there are a lot of coding bootcamps throughout the nation, and there are a lot of reasons people join. It’s important that you’re making this commitment for the right reasons, understand which coding bootcamp is right for you and are familiar with what Grand Circus is all about.

Perusing our site and blog gives you a great understanding of our students, teachers and training model. You’ll have realistic expectations of what you need to put into a bootcamp and what we provide. If you’re still exploring development as a career option, take time to begin networking within the tech Meetup community. You’ll meet people working in a range of positions and companies that can give you insider information and help guide you in the right direction. And, attend an Info Session. These monthly events give you the opportunity to meet Grand Circus staff, learn more about our programs, explore our space and ask any questions you might have.

Do you have what it takes to be a Successful Coding Bootcamp Student? We’re excited about helping people find careers in tech they love. Let us help support your path into a new career.

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Kelsey Perdue

Part of the Grand Rapids team, Kelsey supports students from initial interest to beyond graduation, and builds the local brand. Kelsey is motivated by growing talent, changing lives, and bettering communities - and proud to be part of such a dynamic company.

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