Alumni Wisdom Series: What to do After a Coding Bootcamp

Coding bootcamps are designed to train you in the skills necessary to become a software developer. But, what happens after the program is over, graduation is done and you’re on the search for your new career?

Bootcamp: it’s a marathon, it’s a long-haul flight, it’s an intellectual feat. And once you’re done, it’s easy to become dizzy with the amount of free time and flexibility your schedule now has. While rest is certainly well-needed, it’s important not to let your new skills slide. This is, after all, the beginning of your journey.

We sought advice from alumni on how to best use your time post-bootcamp time: How to keep learning and keep growing as developer.

What advice would you give to a recent bootcamp graduate on what to do after bootcamp?

Christina Lee“I would strongly suggest trying to add other skills to your repertoire. Utilize FreeCodeCamp, Code Academy, etc. as much as possible in between bootcamp and the start of your new job. You can add those new skills to your resume but be sure to be honest about your skill level.”

– Christina Lee, Front-end 2017, Detroit

Tori Bone

“Don’t give up. It’s going to be hard landing that first job. Keep coding and keep at it. Your opportunity will come!”

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

Josh Buteyn

Keep asking questions and learning. You learned a small part of what it takes to be a developer, in order to be successful you need to be prepared to keep learning and pushing yourself. Never settle.”

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

Ariana Waller

Stay connected to Kelsey and John (at the GR campus) and be honest about the struggles you are having.”

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

Michelle WilliamsDON’T STOP CODING AND DONT STOP APPLYING TO POSITIONS!! A couple of days after graduating you may start to get comfortable because you don’t have assignments due anymore. Keep working on different projects and continue to add projects on your github for employers to see.  Remain patient through the job searching process. Don’t let a couple of “nos” discourage you or have you second guessing yourself and what you’re capable of.

Michelle Williams, Front-End 2017, Detroit

Christopher Namyst

Go on as many interviews as possible, and keep practicing by taking refresher courses or just building things. It keeps you fresh!

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

Karina Lopez
During bootcamp, connect with people in the industry that can give you advice about breaking into tech: recruiters, HR at your current place of employment, managers, etc. without the pressure of an interview. Their insight will help guide your decisions and you’ll start to put your face out there as someone interested in this industry. Continuing that after is important too, but nothing wrong with getting started early!

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

Megan Boczar

Apply to everything! I took a Java bootcamp but am now in a Front-End JavaScript position and love it! Don’t limit yourself!

-Megan Boczar, Java 2017, Detroit

Sloth I

“’Meet as many people as you can.’ – Jeffrey Fuller.  Put yourself out there. Show up to hack-a-thons and events.  Carve a space for yourself within the community. Show your passion and use your skills!  Build things you can point to, even if the building is “poor.” Again, this is how we learn.  We do not learn things by taking a wide variety of online courses. We learn by DOING.”

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

We’re forever grateful for such wise, insightful alumni. Thank you for sharing your tips with us! There’s a whole world of possibilities out there after graduation, and so many ways to succeed in the tech world. The key is to keep at it and not give up.