I enrolled in coding boot camp in February 2016 and I started at the end of March 2016. It was a 6 month long, part time boot camp at University of Central Florida. I wanted to answer some of the common questions that I get often from prospective students who want to know my point of view.
What was the most challenging project?
The final project was the most challenging, I spent so many hours trying to learn Angular and figuring out how to do things like user login and authentication. I used up all the office hours I could to get help, I got one session of tutoring and I used a service called Hackhands to get extra help. I was getting really frustrated because when I went to get help, I would spend time on such basic things like folder structure that I wasn’t seeing much difference on the page, but I didn’t realize at the time how important getting basic things like folder structure right would be.
What was the most challenging homework assignment?
I think all the homework assignments were tough, they are meant to challenge you. The one that brought me closest to tears was early on in the program, it’s called Hangman. We had a recommended assignment and then an alternative that is an easier assignment. I now recommend anyone going through the boot camp to do the easier assignment, if you can finish that in a couple of days do the recommended assignment. These assignments are tough and when you start this program with no coding experience, trying to do even the easier assignment is a real challenge.
What helped the most?
Creating habits where I was constantly coding helped me enormously. I can’t recommend enough having set time every week that you spend coding and also if you can try to do it with someone else who is on a similar level to you. I was working full time, going to boot camp part time and coding every minute that I could in between. I think what kept me motivated was that one of the TA’s, Victor, created a workshop for the students that were interested in extra challenges. He not only came up with additional material to compliment the boot camp lessons, he created coding challenges for us to solve, for example he wrote code and had big blanks in it that had to be filled out in order for the program to work. Having someone who was that invested in helping me succeed really kept me going and I wanted to make sure I was not wasting his time when I came to those workshops.
Are there any outside resources that you used to help you learn?
I did get a subscription to Code School, which has now been acquired and adopted into the Pluralsight platform. I also would read documentation, watch YouTube videos and I would use Mozilla’s Developer docs a lot.
I wrote the second part to this, go check out Part 2