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Help! - I've graduated from bootcamp, what now?!

heysarahpaz profile image Sarah Paz ・3 min read

I've recently graduated from Flatiron School's Online Software Engineering program (December 4th 2019 - woo hoo! πŸŽ‰ ), and like many other bootcamp grads out there I've hit the overwhelmed stage of "What now?!". The structure of school spoiled my learning in the sense that it easily laid out where to focus, what to learn.. pretty much what direction I had to take to reach the obvious end goal - Graduation! But where do I go from here?!

I decided to put my efforts into 3 buckets to keep me on track towards my new end goal - Landing a developer job! πŸ˜„

  1. Networking - Online + in person
  2. Learning / Practice - Udemy + side projects
  3. Guidance - Mentors + accountability partners

Networking

Online

Networking is huge - you never know who you'll meet, what you'll learn and I can guarantee you'll be surprised with something new each time. My go-to with online networking is Twitter (follow me! @heysarahpaz), and I can't say enough about how amazing the community has been throughout my dev journey. I've met some great friends who've become accountability partners and have impacted my growth as a developer immensely. πŸ™

In-person

Part of being a developer is getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, and yup - socializing as an introvert is one of those things! But, hitting up Meetup's is a great way to put yourself out there within your local community. This is something I am actively working on. Just earlier this week I attended a QueerJS Meetup, connected with a fellow dev who's hiring and passed along my resume.

Learning / Practice

A huge part of this is understanding where your interests are. I'm still at the stage of discovering myself, but one thing I know for sure is that I lean more towards front-end, so I'm focused on improving my JavaScript and ReactJS skills. Of course, I'll be dabbling in a lot more - but this is where I'll start. Learning will get overwhelming, so I think setting a goal with frequent practice is key.

My go-to's right now are:

Guidance

Even with networking and learning, I still felt (and feel!) overwhelmed. And as much as I pushed back on track, I would often find myself falling off. This is when I realized I needed more guidance, and reached out to my good friend Twitter in search of a mentor.
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I highly recommend this approach to any code newbie, junior dev, or recent grad! I couldn't believe the amount of people who jumped at the opportunity to offer help. Just this week I had 3 mentorship calls! Aside from Twitter, I also reached out to a mentor on Coding Coach.

But don't think that a mentor is the only way to go - guidance comes in many forms, and alongside these mentors I have a handful of accountability partners who I check-in with daily. Even more so, participating in #100DaysofCode is great for accountability as well!

Conclusion

Figuring out "What now?!" is tough. But narrowing down your goals and focuses with some guidance, a community, and persistence will get you through this weird gray area between graduation and getting a job. Well, at least that's what I believe!

Lastly, I want to end off with a few takeaways from my mentor calls this week:

  1. Build small projects (2-3 week limit) - for inspiration look up API's you're interested in and work with those. (e.g. think of ways to display the data etc.)
  2. Be involved - network, meet the local community
  3. Be active - blog, GitHub contributions etc.

If you've got any other tips to share, please let me know! I'm fresh on my journey and always open to new tips / advice.

Posted on Jan 25 by:

heysarahpaz profile

Sarah Paz

@heysarahpaz

Web Developer on the job hunt! πŸ‘€

Discussion

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A tip: Don't let "connection to internet failed" make you useless. A lot of people can't work unless there's a mentor or stackoverflow. You should understand Domain problems an how technology you work in works. I have a friend who can't work if he's in the office because of fear. He was bad in school so every office task to him feels like failing a test. He's not bad he just freezes when in office. If you get frustrated or get into "imposter syndrome" it's a good thing. The more you learn the more you know you have much more to learn

That said good luck.

 

Congratulations Sarah. And good luck!

 
 

Hey Sarah, I am reading this post on May 2020. How is it going so far?