How To Be Successful In A Coding Bootcamp

Inside a Bootcamp classroom

You’ve committed the next ten weeks of your life to coding bootcamp. Tuition is paid, software is downloaded, pre-work is submitted…now what?

In order to be successful in a Coding Bootcamp, you have to understand that it’s so much more than just showing up at 9am and going home at 5pm. Our most successful students are the ones who truly dedicate themselves to the program and are fully committed to the opportunity to kickstarting an amazing new career.  Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your time at Grand Circus:

8 Tips to Being Successful in a Coding Bootcamp

Treat it like a job opportunity

You wouldn’t show up late to a job three times a week. You wouldn’t wear sweatpants to work (unless, of course, it’s Pajama Day). You wouldn’t leave a project incomplete. You wouldn’t opt out of professional development opportunities.

Inside a Bootcamp classroom
Come in with the mentality that this is a job and treat it as such: be on time, be professional, finish your labs, do the readings, ask for extra challenges, take that second round mock interview even though it was optional, and aim to be the best student in the class. Bootcamp is an eight-week interview, and you’ll be on your way to is landing a job and having a career that you love.

Get comfortable talking about yourself

Whether you’re at a Meetup, a networking event, coffee & code with Girl Develop It–––whatever it may be–––you should be able to do your Elevator Pitch in your sleep. Don’t know what an elevator pitch is? That’s okay, we have a soft skills session for it. Want to get a head start? Read How to Craft Your Elevator Pitch written by Kim, our Director of Learning and in-house elevator pitch specialist.

What’s your professional background and how does it translate to being a developer? Why are you making a career change? What did you learn at Grand Circus and how are you going to apply it? You’re a newbie, there’s no doubt about that, but you’ll want to talk about yourself with a confidence that screams, “I’m passionate about this career change. I’m a fast learner. I am a developer.”

Grant Chirpus shouldn’t be your only friend

You’ll likely be seeing your classmates and Grand Circus staff more than you see your friends and family–––you might as well like each other! Make a point to sit next to a new person each day, meet for a morning study session at Ashe Supply Co., take the People Mover to Niki’s for their famous feta pizza during lunch, support each other by sharing job postings, giving honest feedback and more. Socialize, network, have fun! Our most successful cohorts are the groups that are invested in each other’s success.

Take advantage of all the resources Grand Circus has to offer

Student success is our success but we can’t demo your code for you, we can’t do that extra credit assignment for you, and we can’t interview for you. What we can do is give you all of the support, resources, and tips to be successful both during and after bootcamp. From the resume and LinkedIn workshop, to built-in Office Hours, to alumni and company visits, to the confidence chart in your workbook, to Meetups hosted in our space, to Job Office Hours, to mock behavioral and technical interviews and more, we’ve got you covered.

Soft Skills trainings: if you don’t think you need them, you probably need them

I’m just going to leave this here. It’s easy to forget that soft skills are just as vital as your technical skills to get a job and to be good at said job.

Try to find the answer on your own first

Hitting a wall? Google and Stack Overflow are you best friends. Trying to figure out if there’s a Retro or 1:1s this week. Check out the schedule posted in your classroom. Wondering what a visiting company does? Look at their website. Preparing for what you may be asked in a technical interview? Turn to your workbook. Searching for a spreadsheet of all of the Meetups in the Detroit and Ann Arbor areas? Open up the pinned items in your Slack channel. Before asking, try to find the answer on your own!

Working through problems by yourself first, then ask questions

As a developer, you are a problem solver and although you may have a mentor or an incredibly supportive team, employers will see value in your ability to search for solutions independently and your effectiveness at approaching a problem.

Imposter Syndrome is a real thing

We get it–––this is new, it can be overwhelming, it can certainly be tough. But being aware of Imposter Syndrome, which is described asa collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true.” Understanding it is crucial as you make this transition, and will continue to be in your career as a developer.

Be resilient

Be resiliant

Ninety percent of our students are placed in tech jobs within 90 days of graduating. This is because they’re going to Meetups after 8 hours of class, they’re applying for jobs as early as Week 3, they’re reaching out to alumni as mentors, they’re staying after hours to prep for a phone interview, and they’re going to hackathons and career fairs on the weekend.

We’re often asked at Info Sessions, “What makes a student successful in a coding bootcamp?” Hustle. An eagerness to learn. Not getting easily frustrated. Sticking with it. And again, hustle.

…Did I mention hustle?

Are you ready to put these steps into action and break into a new career? Our coding bootcamps will give you the skills you need to get into the tech industry.