This is the second part of answering questions about my boot camp experience. Make sure you also check out What was coding boot camp like? Part 1.
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 coding knowledge did you have before starting the boot camp?
Almost none. I had watched the YouTube videos of CS50 at Harvard and I had also done a little HTML and CSS editing, but I had not written a function, I could conceptually understand how a program ran, but I really was a noob.
I’m in college and I’m considering dropping out to attend boot camp. Should I do it?
Umh, I’m not your mom. (And yes I actually have been asked this question).
My thoughts on the matter are this, if you haven’t gotten your Bachelor’s degree and you won’t be getting a ton of student loans from going to college, stay in college. A Bachelors degrees is required for many software engineering jobs, even if it’s not in software engineering. I’m not able to help you evaluate your specific situation. The boot camp has admissions advisers you can talk to, you can talk to the guidance department at your college and also to friends and family, but I’m just a stranger on the internet, I’m not going to tell you to drop out of college.
Do you think the program was worth it?
YES!!! For me it definitely was. I would not have been able to learn as much as I did in such a short time period if it wasn’t for the boot camp, the curriculum and the staff was amazing. I definitely got my money’s worth. Does that mean that you will get your money’s worth? I don’t know. It depends on how committed you are. I have a “Successful Coding Boot camp experience formula“, it is up to you if you’re going to have the same successful experience. If you set your mind to it, you will be able to accomplish a lot in a short time period.
I wanted to get a college degree in programming, but I didn’t have the luxury of time and the money to do it. I was going through major life changes at the time when I found the boot camp. I was hired at the largest insurance company in Florida as a software engineer two months after graduating from the boot camp. That is incredible to me, it’s such a life altering step. So YES, the boot camp was definitely worth it.
Should I read any books?
The boot camp I went through didn’t require any books and in fact recommended to stay away from them as it might confuse you. I would say, if you think of them as reference books, get
- HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites
But really, if you want to get a book, get a book. If you’re not in a boot camp, I’d say any way you want to learn to code, is up to you. The more exposure you have to code and coding concepts the better. Do what works for you.
Do you have questions that you’d like me to answer in a future blog post? Go to my Contact page, fill out the form and let me know what’s on your mind.