Is a Coding Bootcamp Right for you? Getting Started in Code..

This seems like a back and forth for the many tech enthusiasts out there. And it is simple why. Learning code or understanding basic elements of it is nearly an essential part of your professional life in the current market and workforce. No matter what you do or where you do it, understand basic coding frameworks and technologies is essential.

Why did I decide this was my path?

I took a Computer Science class in college, and was not immediately in love. And seeing my family members, who each in their own right are successful in the field, I still was not sure it was what I wanted and because of that I almost resisted it.

So I chose the Pre-med background, which I felt would help make some kind of a positive, significant difference in the world, I wanted more at the time. Nope. Definitely Not. So then what. I felt so lost. For the longest time, I’m not sure what I am sure I wanted to graduate with, or even minor in for that matter.

It took myself a while to to get back on track. But I did. I graduated with a Psych and Entrepreneurship specialization (so yes very non-tech). I had absolutely had very little to do with where I eventually wanted to take the next steps of my career. What I learned was that I was not alone. And What I realized was that I was still curious to learn more.

In my last semester I found my school offered a coding program in Web Programming and I enrolled. It was my chance to delve into the field of tech without a long term commitment. I learned on my own the basic web technology principles. This was my shot at being amongst individuals who were curious about the same things I was, while being from what I later discovered so many different walks, paths, and levels in career of life. Just joined together in the curiosity to learn more in a unique way. And using the skills I learned from this I would still be able to make the positive differences and build awareness to issues I cared about using tech.

The developer and tech community is such a unique and profound. You will meet me that will change how you look at the world, and that does not stop at the program.

Pursue a Degree or Certificate?

If you are reading this article, the main assumption is that you most likely may not have a the time or option to earn a (initial or additional) degree in the immediate future. And so, like most, are looking for creative new ways to advance in the world of code in a more sustainable fashion.

I realized just because I didn’t know something today doesn’t mean it’s any excuse not to start knowing about it tomorrow. My one primary advice through the whole experience: Never stop asking questions. You won’t ever stop learning new aspects of code and frameworks once you start. Your success will go only as far as your curiosity. The one phrase I always will remember from this program is: We will not teach you code, but how to learn code. This very specific “how” has now opened up so many doors for me and continues to do so.

Basic Curriculum (If Web Development focused): HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Responsive Design, Bootstrap, Angular.js, Node.js, Meteor, MongoDB, Heroku, Git, LAMP Stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) Test Driven Development, SEO

Skills Learned: “Social Coding” accepted and best practices, create frontend website either from scratch or by utilizing a frontend framework (such as Bootstrap), Deploy static and dynamic websites to the cloud, Writing SQL commands to perform Create, Read, Update and Delete commands, Navigating the file system and terminal basics, Working independently or in a group on complex projects throughout an entire project development lifecycle, creating RESTful API’s utilizing JSON as a data format

Types of Jobs Available Post Program: Full-Stack Developer, Backend Web Developer, Technical Project Manager, Front-end Web Developer, ProductManager, SQL Developer, QA and Test Engineer, Computer Programmer, Web Content Manager, Technical Business Analyst, LAMP Developer

Where to Start?

Some people ask if it is worth going to a program if most of code can be self taught, so is worth the time and financial pursuit? I will discuss this further in detail in a future article, but in the end it really depends on your persistence, self-drive, and skill set. As someone with limited experience in the field as a fresh college graduate, it opened my eyes to real world experiences and project life cycles win creating applications and working in team environments. You learn to quickly and effectively code various applications first hand with caring and brilliant instructors beyond primarily learning the theories as you would at home. Some great programs that are worth a look to start:

  • General Assembly
  • Rutgers Coding Bootcamp (or others at your local university)
  • Codesmith
  • Bloc
  • Thinkful
  • Flatiron School
  • The Tech Academy
  • Hack Reactor
  • Tech Talent South
  • Epicodus

Find a program best suited to your needs and learning styles. Speak to previous graduates if you can connect with them. Research the post graduate life and resources visible when looking for a career. Talk to the instructors prior to, during, and after the program. These are lifelong connections that will always be valuable to you.

Whats Happened Since?

Well, in short. Quite A lot. I will discuss this more in some of my next articles, but the journey after my program was nothing short of the (un)expected. Know this. There is absolutely not any one path defined for graduates of a coding program. The content and skills you learn prepare you for the world. In short, no even today I do not code every single day of my career. In fact, sometimes I seldom get to do it. But I appreciate every lesson learned.

It took a while to get the ball running. They gave us realistic estimates in the program. Anywhere up to 6 months to land your first role. But never stop applying. Follow up on your applications. Make lists. Make goals. Follow them. Have a portfolio. I did all of that. Though, I was still lost for the longest time. But eventually, I got the call. After many interviews, learned experiences, I landed at contract role with a university in NYC to be my first foot in. It was short term, but it was experience and I did not take that for granted. One short term contract led to another, and then to longer terms, and then to full time role, and back again to couple consulting roles, and now I am nearing a year full time back in my favorite city and it has been one hell of a ride. Each experience different form another, constantly learning, evolving and growing into something better. Patience is a virtue. But the reward is lifelong gift and talent.

Learning Resources To Get Started

https://www.codeacademy.com/catalog/subject/all

https://www.w3schools.com/

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=coding+tutorials

https://www.udemy.com/ — may have a small cost, but are usually pretty informative

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/learning-programming-languages-for-free-githubs-best-courses-and-guides-for-javascript-developers/

https://learn.freecodecamp.org/

https://gist.github.com/KaliaHayes/633e93581ebace3bde6291e745aa209c

https://www.coursera.org/

https://www.edx.org/

https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/computer-science

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Web technologist, among other things, looking to share and learn more about the things I care about and my journey in tech and life

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Harika Kasireddy

Harika Kasireddy

Web technologist, among other things, looking to share and learn more about the things I care about and my journey in tech and life

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