Alumni Wisdom Series: Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Coding Bootcamp

You’re gearing up for bootcamp—you’ve taken classes, passed unit one and made sure your technical bases are covered. But, have you thought about how to prepare for life outside of bootcamp as well?

Joining a coding bootcamp is a big commitment, but one worth the time and financial investment. It requires support from others, solid organization and some preparation that you might not be thinking about.

Never fear! We have the wisdom of Grand Circus alumni (and one program manager) en masse to share with you. They’ve gone through a bootcamp and can share their best advice for not just finishing a bootcamp, but being your best self, the whole time.

What are your best bootcamp hacks/tips for surviving and thriving in a bootcamp?

Megan Boczar

“Make sure you have an amazing support system in place at home. I didn’t do a single load of laundry or wash a dish for the entire two months. Making sure all of that is taken care of takes such a weight off your shoulders.”

                 – Megan Boczar, Java  2017, Detroit

Karina López

“Optimizing your time (even if you aren’t working while doing a bootcamp) and giving yourself dedicated time to work on projects is helpful to keep you on track. And find a way to de-stress. Learning new material and feeling like you’re floundering is stressful, so you need an outlet for that.”

– Karina López, DEVELOP(her) 2017, Grand Rapids

Christopher Namyst

Be realistic with yourself. Do not be afraid to ask questions, your peers help you learn too. And do your best, Grand Circus is investing in you, so never give up and never surrender!”

– Christopher Namyst, Java & Facebook Front-End 2017, Detroit

Josh Buteyn

“Ask lots of questions! And make sure you get an hour of time for yourself each day to de-stress.”

– Josh Buteyn, C# .NET 2017, Grand Rapids

Sloth I

“Work collaboratively.  Talk through the code. Dive in head first and don’t be afraid to fail:  through failure comes learning and understanding.”

– Sloth I, Facebook Front-End 2017, Grand Rapids

Michelle Williams

“Make sure you do the readings assigned the night before. I know a lot of people don’t think that the readings will help them, but it helps you to already know some of the material that is going to be presented to you the next day. Since this bootcamp is an accelerated way of learning to code, everything is fast paced. So, if you’re already exposed to the material the night before, it may help you to understand the content quicker and easier.”

– Michelle Williams, Front-End 2017, Detroit

Tori Boone

“Never be afraid to ask for help and to lean on your fellow classmates for support.”

– Tori Boone, C# .NET 2017, Grand Rapids

Christina Lee

“Buy groceries and try to bring your own lunch as often as possible. Going out for lunch every day adds up quickly!”

– Christina Lee, Front-End 2017, DetroitAriana Waller

Don’t compare yourself to others in your cohort. You all have a different story, purpose and reason for why you are there. Go at your own pace, be persistent.”

– Ariana Waller, C#.NET 2017, Grand Rapids

Kelsey PerdueMost people haven’t been in this type of learning environment, even if they have been to college. It’s really important for students to be open to taking direction. We give you resources, advice, study strategies and more. Embracing it can make the difference between getting through surviving and thriving through bootcamp.”

– Kelsey Perdue, Assistant Campus Director & Program Manager, Grand Rapids

Thanks, alumni, for sharing your tips with us! One of our favorite things about Grand Circus is that it’s more than a class—it’s a community, and we’re proud to foster a place where we can build each other up.

Liked this post? Check out part two in the series: Alumni Wisdom Series: Feeling Like a Fraud? Tips to Overcoming Imposter Syndrome