We get a lot of questions from people considering enrolling in our programs: What kind of laptop do I need to bring to class? What are your program's outcomes? What are my options for paying tuition? How many projects will we complete?
But before you dedicate the time, energy, and finances to complete a bootcamp, there are some questions you should be asking yourself.
What's Your Motivation for Making This Change?
Why do you want to make this change and become a part of the tech industry? Maybe you want to put your problem-solving and creative skills to use, maybe you want to be better able to support your family, or maybe you got inspired by an episode of Silicon Valley and want to work at a startup. Either way, ask yourself what's motivating you to make this change.
Now combine that with your goals. What are the outcomes you need to see in order to consider your bootcamp experience a good investment of your time and finances? Are you looking for a new career? A better title? Specific skills?
Once you figure out your motivation and goals, remember them. Write them down. Bootcamps can be tough, and when you're two hours into a lecture on React or find yourself unable to debug your capstone project, it'll be important for you to recall the reasons why you chose to attend a bootcamp in the first place.
What Do You Envision Your New Career to Be Like?
Ask yourself what you envision your new career to be like. Maybe you imagine working solo on squashing bugs, or perhaps you dream of solving hard problems collaboratively with a team.
Next, do your homework. Find out what it's really like to be a student at a bootcamp, and learn about what a day in the life of a software developer is like. Go to Meetups, network with developers and ask how they spend their days.
Figure out what aspects of being a developer are a good fit for you. You can ask things like: Are there areas of the industry where you can be in more customer-facing roles? How much interaction will you have with other team members, like designers or project managers? How do you stand out in an interview in the first place?
Then find out what other skills are necessary to succeed, and check with your bootcamp representative to see if the program you're considering will help you with those areas of professional development. (Hint: DigitalCrafts does! We help you build a great portfolio and resume, and offer career support in your job search.)
How Do You Like to Learn?
Take some time to reflect upon how you like to learn new information and how you spend your time. If you are a "people person" and enjoy group interactions, then maybe a fully remote program is not for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy self-study or need to take more time to grasp new subjects, then you might do best in a flex or part-time program.
At the end of the day, coding bootcamp programs want you to succeed, so make sure you pick a learning environment where you can be successful.
Are You Comfortable Diving into the Unknown?
Unless you're coming into a coding bootcamp with a CS degree (and many of our students don't have one!), there will be a lot of unknowns for you to deal with during your time in a bootcamp. But that's ok! Those situations will only better prepare you for your career as a software developer.
Ask yourself if you have ever dealt with situations where:
- you were working with incomplete knowledge of tools and equipment while solving a problem
- you didn't always have a colleague, instructor or other resource available to help you
- you have struggled, and even failed, before finding a solution.
If you've ever found yourself in one of those situations, how did you solve the problem or move forward? Keep those solutions in your back pocket and have coping mechanisms in mind for when you're stuck.
What Is Your Support System Like?
Think about your community. Who's in your tribe? Who might support you financially or emotionally throughout this process? Who will you be able to call on when your capstone project breaks two days before Demo Day (trust me, this happens!)?
Find your people and establish your support system. Explain to them what you are doing and what struggles you might go through. Most importantly—reach out to them when the times are tough!
Choosing to enroll in a coding bootcamp is a big investment of your time, energy and finances. We'll be honest: it can be a challenge to learn new things, but our grads find that it's worth it when they successfully build projects using their new knowledge, and when they land a job in their new field.
What other questions are you asking yourself? How can we help you find the right bootcamp for you?