Barcelona Code School

How (not) to fail a coding bootcamp

🔴 Do not try coding before deciding to sign up

🟢 Coding bootcamp is a serious commitment which will require a lot of dedication from you. Naturally, it will be easier to go through this challenging experience if you actually like what you are doing. There are plenty of free materials available online so please give it a go and try one of them to see what is HTML, CSS and JavaScript on a very basic level.

🔴 Come unprepared

🟢 Our curriculum is designed for the beginners and we start with the basics but we move very fast and amount of information you will receive is enormous. This is a bootcamp and it’s the only way to make sure that after 9 weeks you will be employable as a junior developer. To ensure that you will keep the pace and learn everything we’ve prepared for you there is a list of pre-course materials which are introduction to HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Based on the experience we can clearly see that those students who did the pre-course thoroughly on average are performing better than those, who ignored it. So do yourself a huge favour and prepare well before starting.

🔴 Expect it’s going to be easy

🟢 Programming is one of the toughest industries an individual can enter. There is a reason why the rewards are so high. It requires solid lateral thinking and an engineering mind. About half of our graduates come from this type of background. The other half who come from backgrounds unrelated to engineering know they have to develop an understanding for this type of thinking. So do not assume you can just do it. Be prepared. Be ready to be challenged.

🔴 Do not follow the curriculum and/or mentors guidance

🟢 Trust the process. This is the fastest way to get you there. You will not understand everything at once but there is a good reason why we have chosen this style of teaching. This is about high volume learning. Do not give up. Our workflow is heavily practical and you will have to write a lot of code from the basic to more advanced level. The process is structured in a way where after learning all the different parts of web development you will combine them into a big picture during the project time. So sometimes you will be wondering “why do they make me learn this?” at the earlier stages -- don’t worry, it will all come together once you will start coding your app and realise how many different parts there are and you already know all of them, now it’s time to combine all of them like building blocks.

🔴 Do not ask for help

🟢 It is super important to try to solve any challenge by yourself to learn it once and know how to solve same/similar issue later. But don’t get stuck forever, if after some reasonable time you still can’t find a solution, ask for help. We are here to teach and guide you. We try to answer questions not by giving the solution but by asking more questions which will help you to think and find an answer.

🔴 Be afraid to fail aka only run your code if you think it’s going to work for sure

🟢 Sometimes we have students who are trying to write the whole code for the exercise or a function which is a part of their project and only try to run it after it’s completely written. Instead we suggest to do it step by step and test every step so that once you will move to the next one you will know for sure that up to this moment your code works. It’s ok if it will not work from the first or second or nth attempt but trying it, debugging, seeing the errors/warnings output will help tremendously to understand your code better and to learn how to find and fix errors.

🔴 Do not read the documentation

🟢 Being a developer means constant learning, you will be learning ever after you will finish the bootcamp and through your entire career as a developer. This is part of our lives. We learn new languages, frameworks, libraries on a regular basis and one of the best ways to do it is to read the official documentation. Ultimately, it’s your source of truth. Sometimes official docs are written in a dry language but the sooner you will start to read it the sooner you will become comfortable with a way docs are written and will be able to use them.

🔴 Do not do any extra studies or use any external resources

🟢 While bootcamp is packed with tons of materials, information and mind bending challenges it’s always a good idea to explore external resources as well, either from our reading list or outside of it. Reading or watching something about the current topics will help you to see it explained from a different angle or with different words which can help to understand the topics better.

🔴 Compare yourself with other students

🟢 As we are all very different and unique naturally you can see that during a bootcamp some students are progressing slower or faster. There is no reason to compare yourself with them. While you can feel more motivation to catch up with faster students, once you will start comparing it may turn out into a stressful race. Remember, that your goal is to learn as much as you personally can. Instead of comparing with others, compare with yourself one day, week or month ago. You will discover that you learned a lot.

🔴 Stop learning/practicing after the bootcamp

🟢 Once bootcamp is finished and you will be already able to do a lot of great things the learning doesn’t stop. While job hunting keep practicing and learning. Write code regularly, do some side projects or pick anything from the list of suggested resources we will send you. Without practicing you are more likely to get rusty very fast with your new skills.

🔴 Refuse to take responsibility for your learning.

🟢 Like everything in life, it is up to you to decide your future. This course is a doorway to a new profession and a new way of thinking but this is only a door, you are the one that has to open it.

🔴 Have no strategy

🟢 Development at its core, is about building systems. Coding is, at its core, about structure. You must be able to deconstruct and compartmentalise individual challenges and exercises which means taking it one step at a time. You build brick by brick, you write code line by line. You must be able to break a problem down into its fundamental components and conquer the complexities of a problem with strategy

🔴 Think that bootcamp is a 3 year degree.

🟢 This is bootcamp and this highly intensive course will take your to your limits and through a variety of problems that some of you will never have encountered before. We at Barcelona Code School recognise that bootcamp is a course which introduces you to everything at once and when you are in college, the material will become unpacked over time. This is a steep learning curve so be prepared to be destabilised and learn to deal with these feelings.


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