DEV Community

Cover image for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Ruby, Oh My! What Comes After Bootcamp?
Valencia White
Valencia White

Posted on

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Ruby, Oh My! What Comes After Bootcamp?

My Flatiron graduation approaches rapidly and my anticipation is building steadily! Over the course of half a year, I have some takeaways from the entire experience I would like to share with others who have completed a coding bootcamp and those who are considering joining one.

What I Took Away From Learning Full-Stack Development

Having the opportunity to learn both front-end and back-end development was truly amazing! Knowing I come equip with the abilities to render out any idea that pops into my head, is a wonderful feeling and seeing how the more I code, I can scientifically only get better, I'm even more excited for my future!

I definitely know for now, I want to work on Front-end as my time with JavaScript and React was very satisfying in comparison to my time in back-end. I do like the fact you can experience your creation immediately as a front-end developer, and as an ex-graphic designer, that area just feels closer to home, as design and creativity can be implemented more so than rendering out a back-end to an application. I simply say that as back-end is very a-to-b in terms of how everything should be working. No bells and whistles there. But who's to say down the road, I won't end up taking a journey down back-end development.

I do know I will need to brush up on a few lessons after graduation, but that's to be expected. Even though I'm focusing on front-end, honing in on my back-end designing capabilities is a skill I would rather not loose all the way, as the information is still rather fresh in my head. Cue the bi-weekly full-stack side projects!

They Say Your Dream Life Is Made by Design

With my mornings freeing up, this gives me an amazing opportunity at re-ordering and re-designing my 'life-admin' duties that fell way-side as I got absorbed in the engrossing program that is Software Engineering. My program was 15-weeks + and extra 4 weeks for me as I ended up repeating a phase. JavaScript, you are tricky at times, but you changed my life so, thank you. From morning to night reading and watching every lecture on the front-end all the way to the back-end.

Nearly 10 whole hours back to myself for 5 days a week, this seems like a blessing from above. I can focus on building projects I'm interested in without the guilt of feeling like I'm behind in my actually classwork, and this is what I'm most pumped for. My instructor warned our cohort about students who graduate and stop coding for a while as a way to rest and recover from the grueling nature that is a coding bootcamp, and they almost always end up regretting taking that long of a break without coding as the skills seem to almost leave your memory.

With that being said I will still be coding daily, while studying more theory based knowledge in order to prep for technical interviews, while re-nurturing my love of graphic design! So don't worry about me, I will be very very busy entertaining myself with all my wildest design fantasies.

Some critical questions you're going to need to ask yourself before attending a bootcamp includes questions like, "What matters to you right now?", and "What can wait?" Because sacrifice will have to be made somewhere down the line in order to truly propel and see growth. You need to focus and having too many prospects on your plate can have you putting in a ton of effort with little returns on investment. Imagine spreading a gallon of water(yourself) over a span of ten cups (opportunities). Yes, you'll be quite diversified, but at what cost? In some instances depth in a field trumps breadth over many.

Outlooks + Prospects

I haven't dived too deeply in the job searching realm of business, I've been waiting until all loose ends are completely sealed with my program as the days wind down before graduation. I will be meeting with my career coach after graduation and I'm excited to see what opportunities lay before me.

After some research and careful thought, I do know I want to incorporate an old skill back into my current toolbox and that's - graphic design. So positions like UI Developer and UI Designer have been appealing to me. As they seem to scratch the logic of programming, while taking advantage of my eye for design. Also all things that fall under 'creative technologist', I just found out about this term not too long ago but the general description of all it entails pretty much sums up the life I want to be involved in.

From BetterTeam - "Creative technologists are primarily technology-focused individuals who develop information technology solutions for digital innovation projects. They collaborate with production and marketing departments, design software prototypes, and enhance digital user-experiences."

There's an entire new world opened up to me and now I have the luxury of experiencing it for myself full force! I wake up excited to create and design, and seriously learning to code has added a depth to my creative endeavors in a way I did not see coming. I joined a bootcamp because I was looking for a change in life, and by far this is the best chance I've took on any anything!

But now that I have these wonderful moments to look forward to, it's crucial I mention, that the journey to this position was not a cake walk by any means for me.


Juggling everything all at once got very tricky at certain points also factoring in natural emotional fluctuations. Missing family and friend's events for so long leaves connections a tad severed and strained, if you are introverted in nature with a low social battery.

That's a key takeaway for you: Know Thyself

Seriously if you're thinking of enrolling in a coding bootcamp full-time, factor in the shifts to your social life, factor in the shifts to your diverted attention from your other hobbies, and especially scouting the source of income you will be receiving while enrolled, because working a regular full-time while attending bootcamp full-time is next to impossible. Not saying it can't be done, but you will feel like you're operating off of fumes, and the goal is to cross the finish line in stride, not barely scathing by.

In my case juggling between the coding program, my weekend job, and my social life every week, one of them would have to suffer in some way. I've paid great money to attend Flatiron, so I couldn't just waste it away, so I intended on showing up in that regard. I still have financial obligations I'm tethered to, so not giving my job attention is almost impossible as well... hopefully you see the image I'm trying to paint here. In my life during this time, the social aspect to my life was heavily neglected, so now a nice portion of my time will be spent re-nurturing those connections.

It was hard for me to be involved with others, while duties in my own life seemed so desperately urgent and I seemed to struggle with managing my own anxious thoughts and self-sabotaging nature.

There is only so much of you to go around, and only you have a say of where your energy goes!

Final Regards...

I have widening curiosities about the combination of technology and design and the wonders the two can produce. I know I will be entering the tech world as a Front-End Developer, but where that path leads, I'm excited to explore.

Thank you Flatiron for the experience, I'm proud of the work I get to provide into the ethers and the craft that a user gets to experience! I will keep on developing and building projects out, stretching my knowledge and visions in this field.

Top comments (2)

andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Nice story I always enjoy reading other peoples developer journey.

marinsborg profile image

" I know I will be entering the tech world as a Front-End Developer, but where that path leads, I'm excited to explore."
That is the best mindset you can have. Good luck!