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Discussion on: Advice for a struggling bootcamp grad?

tterb profile image
Brett Stevenson • Edited on

As someone who graduated with a Computer Science degree in December, I feel like I can definitely relate to a lot of the worries that you're experiencing and I know just how disheartening it can feel. Even prior to graduating, I often found myself struggling to find any way to get more experience and demonstrate my skills and while some of them were helpful, a lot of them also left me feeling burnt-out and over-worked.

So let me share with you some of the things that were the most helpful in landing my current position:

  • Build a side-project without tutorials/courses - This will not only look good on a resume, but will also demonstrate that you understand the concepts you've been taught and can apply them without supervision, while also allowing you to find your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Contribute to open-source - This will allow you to demonstrate your ability to work collectively with other developers (communicate technical concepts, code-review, ect...) and that you are able to adapt to foreign codebases. This experience can obviously be gained through an internship as well, though from my experience those aren't exactly easy to get interviews for either. I know that this can seem intimidating at first, so I would suggest contributing to a project with a friendly community like forem/forem.

Though I also found that sometimes "just keep pushing along" can be exactly the advice you need, as this is a field that appears to be flooded with new talent looking to gain experience. Luckily, I've found that the SF area has no shortage of opportunities and positions to apply to!

sylviapap profile image
Sylvia Pap Author

Thank you so much for this! It's always helpful for me to remember so many people are in the same position/it's not just something terribly wrong with who I am as a person lol. And that even the things I idealize like a CS degree aren't some magic door opener. I will definitely work on contributing to open source. I've been meaning to for a while, but always find it intimidating. Forem is a great suggestion to help with this though.

drewmullen profile image

+1 for contributing to open source

Look at the most popular tools in your field of interest and try to learn those tools and contribute to them