The Bootcamp Survival Guide. How to survive your first tech bootcamp

If you are here it’s probably because you are planning or have decided to join a bootcamp. Now, after making this decision, you thought everything would be easier but the truth is that you’re faced with many more questions than before: Is it as hard as they say? Will I be able to finish it? Should I stop trying to make fetch happen? The short answer to these questions is yes.

A bootcamp is an intense and exhausting experience. You’re taking it because you want to learn the fundamentals of Web Development, UX Design or Data Analytics in just 9 weeks — how else do you expect it to be? That said, don’t panic. As hard as a bootcamp can be, there are some dos and don’ts that will help you make your experience as enriching and endurable as possible.

Come prepared to rock your bootcamp experience

We can’t stress this enough. Do your future self a favor and do the prework. It’s there for many reasons but the most important one is that you can hit the ground running once the course starts. You only have 9 weeks. Everything you’ll learn during the bootcamp is cumulative. That means the better prepared you start, the more you’ll make of it since day one.

Embrace frustration

At some points you’ll feel like a total loser, you’ll wonder what you’re doing here, why did you quit your job to come to this class full of smarter people… Should you perhaps just do everyone a favor and just quit? And the next moment, you’ll feel like you can solve any problem you struggled with for hours. And then you’ll feel like a genius and wonder if you should start applying for a position at Google. Then something will break and… you’d remember the moments you felt like a total failure. That feeling again. Get used to this emotional rollercoaster — it will be a constant in your new developer/designer life.

Break smartly

We’ve just mentioned solving problems. During the bootcamp you’ll encounter lots of them so using your breaks to solve them will become a key to your success. When you’ve been hitting your head against a (hopefully metaphorical) wall, take some distance. Exercise. Meditate. Play ping pong. Practice yoga. Take a nap. Usually 10 minutes is the perfect amount of time to clear your head while not getting too distracted.

Say goodbye to your social life

This one is especially important if you’re taking the bootcamp in the city where you usually live. The bootcamp will require your undivided attention so it might be a good idea to tell your friends and family before the madness starts — and they get angry or worried about you not answering a text.

In other words, value your investment. You did not only pay good money to be here, you’re also using some precious time. Help yourself make the most out of it by putting on hold everything that can wait for a while. 9 weeks is not that long and it really does make a difference if you’re able to absolutely focus on learning during this experience.

Fuel your brain

One of the most useful things you can do to get ready before the bootcamp (besides doing the prework!) is doing some meal-prep. Think about superfoods, dishes that are easy to make and/or freeze and get all you need beforehand so you can almost forget about it during the bootcamp. You can thank yourself later.

Don’t underestimate the power of sleep

By now you should have realized free time will be a luxury during the bootcamp. Use it wisely and rest. That doesn’t mean you should spend all your Sundays sleeping. Go take a walk, a bath, a massage or whatever that helps you recharge your batteries and get as much energy as you can. You’ll need it.

Enjoy the bootcamp ride

Not to get too dramatic but you’ll never have such an amazing support system to accomplish your goals. Focusing on them will never be this easy. Think about it. In what context can you have:

  • experienced teachers and TAs devoted to helping you learn.
  • a whole class with the same goal as you.
  • staff to support you during every step of the way, from preparing yourself for the course to landing your first job position.

Your only job during 9 weeks is to learn as much as you can. Enjoy it.

Check out all our full-time bootcamps and part-time courses.

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