Allow me to start with the following:
- I am a software engineer with 8 years of professional programming experience in C#.
- I am a mom to a sweet toddler, a wife to a wonderful man, and a father.
- A speaker, content creator, and a person who is constantly curious to learn and grow in all aspects of life, personal and professional.
At the beginning of 2020, I had the crazy idea of quitting the job that I had for 8 years, with the goal of learning something new, I set my mind on learning web development and I decided to enroll in a coding Bootcamp.
I am the host of the Holistic Developer youtube channel where I share my experience in software engineering as well as my journey in the tech industry and I am amazed by the number of comments and questions I get asked on a regular base:
- Why an experienced software engineer join a Bootcamp?
- Is it worth it if to do a Bootcamp if you know how to code?
- Is a Bootcamp a necessary investment of your time and money?
- Why? You know how to code and you could learn by yourself?
- You have a CS degree and 8 years of experience, why do you need a coding Bootcamp?
I thought, well if I create a video with my reasons the questions will be answered, so I did exactly that, but it still does not seem like it is being accepted. To be honest, there is a certain stigma about it and I want to address that in this blog.
First, these are my reasons to attend a coding Bootcamp:
Let's start from the beginning, as I stated in the intro of the blog I am curious about and try what I can to continuously improve as a person as well as a professional while enjoying my family and life and with the massive amount of technology that we have to keep up on regular basis is not an easy task. I have tried multiple approaches(after work):
- take in-person classes twice a year
- take online classes
- watch youtube tutorials
- read tech and productivity books
- attend tech meetups and conferences
- calendar block time for continuous learning
All of these obviously resulted in new knowledge, but it was never enough, the learning curve was not as steep as I would like, I was constantly feeling that I am way behind and there is so much more that I need to know, experience, and try. That constant need for new knowledge and lack of time made me take the decision of quitting my job and take time to focus on learning new things that I have not tried yet. At that time, I did consider learning by myself, after all, I am a seasoned software engineer, I am capable of reading the documentation and learning that way, but I also knew myself, I knew that I will be overwhelmed by the number of things I can learn and get excited about a bunch of things and jump from one thing to the next.
I needed something that is well-defined and structured. Also, I needed something that will keep me accountable, being a parent and having the time I would spend it all playing with my daughter and let the learning for the next day, so I wanted to have something that will enable me to balance my family and my learning experience.
Going back to the same reason as being a parent I needed to save time, I wanted to learn something useful in a timely matter and having a good curriculum allowed me to save time.
Originally, I intended to do an in-person coding school, but with the pandemic happening, everyone's lives were affected and we all had to accommodate to our new current reality, there was a new reality and I had to quickly course correct. I already quit my job(there was no going back) with a goal of learning something new and in-person, but that was no longer an option. I had no choice but to enroll in an online coding Bootcamp.
Despite the stigma about an experienced software engineer doing a coding Bootcamp. I am happy with my decision. I learned a lot thru my journey. Was it all perfect? No, it was not actually far from it, but today I know more than I knew when I started this journey and it is all worth it to me.
There should not be any stigma, especially when it comes to learning, if you want to learn, do whatever works for you to achieve that knowledge. When it comes to programming, the fact that someone has experience programming does not mean that that person knows it all and there is nothing new to learn, in fact, you become better with continuous improvement.
You can become a great software engineer in many ways. We all are unique in our own way and that is true when it comes to learning too, we discover ways to learn that work for our circumstances, and there should not be any judgment about how someone learned to code as long as that person gains the needed knowledge and skills.
A programmer should not be judged based on the way he or she learned to code! Did those skills come from being self-taught? or from a coding Bootcamp or from a university? It should not matter how, as long as that person can do the job and solve the task programmatically.