Web development boot camp grad, ask me anything.

I completed a 5 month full-stack web development boot camp this past August. I was self-teaching for about 2 years on the side and working in the medical field before committing to the program.

Ask me anything.

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What would you say to someone considering a bootcamp versus courses available via MOOCs ( Algorithms from Princeton, CS from MIT, Paradigms of Computing from Louvain, Software Development Micromaster from UBC, etc )? Thank you!

I think the answer is always subjective to a person's situation. I was teaching myself code on the side for 2 years before leaving my full-time job to attend a coding bootcamp. I live in a rural area so there aren't a lot of web dev jobs out here. I felt like my learning was slow, inconsistent, and the bootcamp offered me structure, assistance staff, a personal mentor, the ability to work on teams with other developers, and a job guarantee.

Now if I lived in a bigger city that had more developer positions and wasn't in a huge hurry to switch careers, I may have just stuck it out with self teaching until I landed a gig. Just depends on what you want and how fast you want it, I can definitely say the program accelerated my learning by a lot.

I keep forgetting about the role of geography. Budding devs in bigger cities can go to meetups, more than likely they have an engineering department at work which they can befriend, etc. Having access to these opportunities can make all the difference. I can definitely see the reasons a bootcamp is the best decision.

Congratulations and best of luck!


Thanks Bresson! Best of luck to you as well!

What did you find was your favourite area of web development and why?

What languages were you taught as part of the boot camp?

What are you going to do now you have completed the boot camp, any plans for the future?

That first question is a little hard for me to answer. I like both the front and back end, but I definitely have more experience with the front end. I'm not sure I favor one over the other though.

The program covered JavaScript, HTML, CSS, jQuery, React, Redux, Node, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Express, and there is a flex week where you pick a tech you want to learn, I chose Python. You also touch on data structures and algorithms.

The plan now is to get a job haha. In the meantime I've been attending meet-ups, networking, and continuing work on projects.

How did your rate-of-learning compare between the 2 years of self-study versus the 5 months of bootcamp?

Do you think the bootcamp was necessary to get to your current level of proficiency, or "merely" an accelerant?

Any regrets on "waiting" so long before jumping into a bootcamp, and/or any regrets on doing the bootcamp after all?

It was honestly a pretty big difference. For every programming topic we learned we would have a different instructor that was highly knowledgable with that language/framework. On top of that we had TA's and a personal mentor. Having all that dedicated support I feel really accelerated my learning, debugging skills, and confidence to learn on my own post boot camp.

Definitely an accelerant. All the info is out here on the internet, the thing the boot camp provides is direction with the material, seasoned veterans who can answer your questions, and a network of other developers as well as an employer network for securing a job after grad. One of the things I found to be valuable that I didn't think about going in was that I got to work on team-based projects and learned how to communicate on a team with other devs.

No regrets on the waiting part. I had to make sure I had enough saved up before committing to a longer boot camp. One thing I've learned is to appreciate the process. So often we beat ourselves up for not knowing exactly what we want or for not being where we think we should be, I've learned to enjoy the journey. One thing I wish college me knew is that very few people know exactly what they want career wise, for most people it's a process of elimination. Just gotta try things.

One regret I do have is that in the beginning I didn't take care of myself enough during the bootcamp. I was getting 5-6 hours of sleep when I was used to getting 8. My exercise and diet slipped. I wasn't taking enough breaks. Looking back that's the only thing I would change. Don't sacrifice your health for anything, future you will thank you.


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What took the longest to understand? Any particular logical challenge or framework?

There was this two week period where we went over data structures and algorithms. Recursion, tree structures, hash maps, etc. I'd say that was the most challenging. Then again, I was also in and out of the doctors during that two week period so that probably added to it.

Some of that stuff makes my head spin. I've been doing this for my entire adult life (7 years).

Yeah, I'm just scratching the surface with most of that. Luckily we still get access to our program curriculum and they had pretty solid readings & diagrams on that stuff. Would share if I could. I'm sure there are tons of blog posts and YT videos on that stuff.

What boot camp did you take and what made you choose that particular one? Any regrets on the particular one you chose?

I attended what they call the "Engineer Immersion" program at Thinkful. Thinkful's program is all online by the way. I live in a fairly rural area that doesn't have any local coding boot camps, no tech meet-ups even. I wish I would've been in a position to attend an in-person boot camp, but then again depending on your current situation online may be better anyways. For me the online program was a better option at the time because I had family that I was helping care for so the online aspect gave me the flexibility I needed.

Awesome! Thanks for the reply :)

I'm at a stage where I'm considering courses/bootcamps/uni, this was super helpful to learn.

I'll definitely take a look at Thinkful.

Of course, happy to help!

Definitely do your research and decide what is going to work best for you. Feel free to reach out with any follow up questions.

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Terrance Corley
Hey there! I'm a Full-Stack Web Developer currently based in California. Feel free to reach out with business inquiries or if you're just looking to talk shop. Happy coding!
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