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How to Be a Successful Bootcamp Grad

Written by Clayton Wert on October 11, 2017 in bootcamp, how to

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re interested in joining a coding bootcamp.

You may have already committed yourself to 12-weeks of intensely studying various programming languages fueled by late nights and buckets of coffee. The good news is that you’re already halfway to becoming a better web developer by searching for a way to improve yourself.

Indeed’s recently published study back in May had shown that 72% of employers think bootcamp grads are “just as prepared” to be high performers as degree holders when it comes to landing a job. Knowing there is a demand for coding bootcamp graduates, what does it take to get yourself to the status of a bootcamp alumni? Becoming a web developer is a blend of passion, technical ability and a great work ethic that will kickstart you to a successful career.

With a little hard work and dedication, you can be the New York Code + Design Academy graduate that stands out from the rest -- Here are six key tips for you to succeed as a bootcamp grad:

  1. Preparation is key. The Roman Philosopher Seneca is quoted as saying, “Luck is when opportunity meets preparedness.” This is essentially saying that you create your own luck, and define your own future. Deciding to join a bootcamp is a major opportunity for you to make a change for your career and learn a new skill set. No matter what you are trying to learn in life, it’s going to take time. The more work you do beforehand is going to make you successful as a web developer in the long-run. Take the time to research tech, set Google alerts to coding languages like JavaScript, and listen to industry podcasts. We’ve even listed some resources for you before you get to your first day of class!


  2. Communicate, communicate, communicate! Being a successful web developer starts and ends with communication. Every aspect of a coding bootcamp is meant to prepare you for a successful career in an actual working environment, so this means letting your partners know your thought process all the way from concept of design to working application. It’s important to decide how and where you will be accessible as well, to your instructor's, class, and anyone else who may need to be in touch with you. This means being active (and vocal) on email or a communications app like Slack. Most of the time, you will come across roadblocks while you’re in a coding bootcamp and beyond with your code. It’s important to have an open line of communication with your team to ensure that you’re staying productive.

  3. Take advantage of all of your resources. As a student at NYCDA, we’re prepared to support you with resources that are not available at any other coding bootcamp. You will have access to our Success Coaches, a team we have created to guide our students down the path of success, supporting them all the way to the finish line at the end of twelve weeks. Your Success Coach is your own personal cheerleader and your “accountabilibuddy”. They’re dedicated professionals who focus solely on your success — motivating, advising, and guiding you throughout your time as a bootcamp student.

  4. Hold yourself accountable. In addition to having great resources at New York Code + Design Academy like your Success Coach, it’s even more important to be self-aware and realistic with yourself. Coming through a bootcamp successfully is no easy task, and it takes a lot of hard work. It’s important to keep yourself honest during this time, and to also establish good habits in the meantime. You will have a support system around you here, but what if that weren’t the case? Learning how to manage yourself can be one of the greatest tricks in your tool belt as a professional. Create a daily to-do list, have you been doing the things you need to do in order to live a sustainable life during these busy three months like eating well and exercising, and most importantly -- take time to reflect on what you’ve done well and how you can improve moving forward.

  5. Identify your short-term and long-term goals.Write down a list of what you hope to accomplish in your twelve weeks. This could range from anything to your understanding of JavaScript, to speaking more confidently about yourself, or knowing how to effectively network. Keep notes in your phone, or on a piece of paper by your side to remind you of how far you’ve gone and what other goals you’re looking to meet. You can speak to your Success Coach and set weekly meetings to track your growth. By doing this, you’ll not only have a visualization of your growth, but you and your peers will see you’re trying to improve yourself every day. When it’s all said and done, you’ll thank yourself for always trying to improve.

  6. Be responsible.You’ve made an investment of your time, or financially to join a bootcamp, and while a decision like that never comes easy, chances are that you know there is no more slacking off watching daytime soap operas or playing Call of Duty at 3:00 in the afternoon. It’s time to get serious, be on time, and give your best attitude and effort at all times. Employers are looking to hire for full-time positions, and they often look for those individual characteristics that are built both inside and outside of the classroom.

If you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to not only succeeding as a coding bootcamp graduate, but you’ll be setting yourself up for a successful career as a web developer.

About The Author

Clayton Wert

Clayton is a Student Success Coach at NYCDA. After previous stints of working as a career coach in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City helping students and professionals pursue their dreams, he has relocated to his home state of Pennsylvania to help make every NYCDA students’ experience more meaningful and successful as they transition into thriving new careers. Passionate about experiential learning and helping others, Clayton is a lifelong student of the world in the pursuit of growth both personally, professionally and every other aspect of life. You can find him listening to podcasts and obsessing over how to roast coffee, taking photos of landscapes and nature, cooking up new recipe ideas or re-creating the burger of the day specials from Bob’s Burgers, and traveling to new destinations pretending he’s Anthony Bourdain.