Software development bootcamps are absolutely worth the time. But there’s a caveat here: you need to make sure you choose the right one. And you need to make sure you put in the effort to get the most out of it. Choose the right bootcamp, and it can help you land that first job and give your career a boost. Do software development bootcamps require prior experience or training? But what does a good bootcamp include? What should you be looking for? There are five things you want to be included.
1. Gives you practical experience
You want to get experience that will actually be relevant to a real job, not an easy project that you come up with yourself. The ideal software development bootcamp gives you a very rigid brief, just like a real employer or client would. It helps you work through the problem, making changes along the way, until you have a real end product. Practical experience isn’t just about programming. You could program a calculator, a game or a script to trawl the web for pictures of cats. But that’s not what a real job will look like. There’ll be demands or limitations to how you work. Perhaps it’s a database that isn’t in the ideal format. Or maybe the branding doesn’t let you style the front-end design in the way you planned. Learning to overcome these problems is what programming is really about.
2. Teaches knowledge and theory, not just one language
Some software development bootcamps will focus on one specific language. This can lead to you developing limited habits or just learning a series of workarounds and ways to bodge your code.
The ideal bootcamp teaches you the fundamental principles of programming. What does object-orientated mean? How do you optimise your code to avoid repetition? Why should you condense repeated segments into functions? What kinds of variable are available?
This theory helps you across every language. And it means that you understand the limitations and quirks of specific languages. For example, almost every language counts from 0. But not all. This can cause all sorts of problems if you’re sending data between two programs that use different languages. If you don’t know the theory, you’d never understand why your code wasn’t working properly.
3. Covers multiple languages
Once you understand the theory, it’s best to learn more than one stack. This helps you become a better programmer, but it also helps you find a job after the course is over. We’d recommend learning two safe languages, along with a more niche language. Niche languages are likely to give you a better salary, but it’ll be harder to find a job.
This also gives you a chance to put that theory into practice. And it’s a much safer way of learning to program. You’re much more likely to find a language that suits your style and way of thinking if you learn more languages.
Every language has its own quirks, advantages and structure. You’ll find there are certain languages that you struggle to use or just don’t like for whatever reason. It’s best to find that out early, so you can avoid them in the future.
4. Helps you build a software development portfolio
Before you set off into the world and sit down in front of interviewers, you want to make sure you’ve got a hefty portfolio of programs under your belt. But you don’t just want useless programs that help you pass your course. You want practical and real-life examples that will actually impress the interviewer.
The right software development bootcamp will help you figure out the kind of industry you’re looking to enter, and give you projects that’ll help you solve real-life problems. If you want to become a backend developer for a finance company, then you don’t want to program a game. You probably want to be working on authentication problems. Or perhaps you want to consider how you’ll keep track of multiple transactions without slowing down the whole system?
5. Gives you CV, interview and career advice
Learning to program is only the start of your journey. Getting a job in software development also means understanding the kinds of interview questions you’ll get, where you’ll often be asked to solve a logic problem.
So a great software development bootcamp doesn’t just cover the software development. It covers the whole process of applying for a job. It helps you search for a job that’s right for you, build a CV that’ll get noticed and make sure you know how to talk confidently about the projects you’ve worked on.
It takes hard work
A software development bootcamp teaches you a lot about programming in a relatively short time. It’s an intense period.
So it’s down to you to make the effort. A good bootcamp guides you to all the right places, shows you the sights, gives you the grand tour of the programming landscape. But it’s up to you to open your eyes and remember what you’ve seen.
Remember: the more effort you put in, the more you’ll get out of it.
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If you’re looking to start your career in software development, stil wondering if software development are worth it? You can check out our curriculum to see if our bootcamp is right for you. We teach three full stacks, give you practical experience and help you search for a job.