One of the most common questions among future Ironhack students is how and where to start if they want to prepare before starting the bootcamp. If this is also the case with you, we recommend our guide to surviving a bootcamp.
Most Ironhack students have no previous experience or knowledge in the tech sector; in addition, it is their first time doing a bootcamp - maybe, like you, they have just discovered exactly what a bootcamp is - and they want to prepare to make the most of this experience.
What are the necessary steps or previous knowledge required to complete a bootcamp? When it comes to Ironhack everything is thought of in advance: there is a mandatory online prework that you must complete and present before starting a class. In this article, our Lead Teacher at the Data Analysis bootcamp in Madrid answers the most frequently asked questions about Ironhack prework.
1. How much time do I have to do the prework?
You have access to the prework from the moment you enroll in the program, except in the Cybersecurity bootcamp, where you will be given access about 20 days before the start of the course. The bootcamp must always be completed one week before the start of class, so that the teachers can correct it; sometimes it is allowed to deliver up to 72 working hours before depending on the date of registration.
2. What is the prework like?
The prework consists of a theoretical part and a practical part, like the whole bootcamp. It acts as an introduction to the minimum knowledge required before starting so that the first few classes are accessible for all. Prework requires time and hard work, like the bootcamp itself, but it is just as satisfying and very effective in acquiring basic knowledge.
If you study the theory and do the exercises calmly but consistently, you will have a minimum foundation of the topics which we will later deepen and solidify.
3. Where to start the prework?
As always, start at the beginning. It is best to follow all the steps one by one, combining each part of theory with its exercises. It’s important to check in on all tasks in order. It's like building a house: if you start with the roof... It won't work.
The same thing happens during the bootcamp: you have to let yourself be carried away by the established script and trust that later all the pieces will fit together.
Sometimes it may seem that the prework is general; that is because many technologies will be explained in class later. So, it is important to understand each part and trust that, at some point, everything will be connected.
It is also very important not to get frustrated and fully understand the entire technical base, in the case of programming languages, since it is a language that will be learned from scratch and will be used throughout the bootcamp.
4. How long should it take to complete it?
You should take the amount of time indicated on each task (usually between 40-60 minutes) using the time to look for solutions working on the computer. This can vary from person to person, there is no penalty for taking longer. If this is your first time entering the world of tech, there are likely to be several modules that take you slightly longer as you work hard to grasp the basic knowledge.
5. What happens if I can’t complete one of the modules?
Nothing will happen if you it you don’t complete a module. But it is very important that you have at least tried to complete them all. Striving and perseverance are expected from everyone who attempts the bootcamp. Class explanations are not always enough to finish the labs, because the exercises are more complicated so it’s important have a self-taught and authentic warrior attitude to ensure your learning has no limits. Google searches will be a vital tool both during the bootcamp and your prework. Even so, nothing happens if you don’t get 100% of the exercises, as after the first week of bootcamp the prework will feel like child’s play in comparison.
6. Can I ask for help during prework?
Of course! At Ironhack we work with slack, which is a messaging tool that you must have installed on all your devices and check regularly. You can ask for help from your classmates, former students, even the Ironhack staff are available to help you on these channels.
It may seem that you’re all alone as you face your prework, but that isn’t the case. There is a large community of Ironhackers willing to lend you a hand. Take help from the community, and give back and you’ll soon find things feel a lot easier.
7. Is prework easy?
Nothing is easy at Ironhack. But difficult is not synonymous with impossible.
A bootcamp is a very intensive and hard style of training, you have to work hard and have to come to the program with a warrior mentality. At first, prework can seem very complicated, you just have to face it head on with a positive attitude and work hard.
8. What is the purpose of the prework?
The main goal is to get to class with an idea of what to expect from the training So that when you arrive it doesn’t feel as though the teachers are speaking in another language. It helps to make sure that all students enter class on the first day with the minimum knowledge so that classes can progress at a normal pace and we can complete all the content within the 9 weeks. Everyone is on the same level, it doesn't matter if you know more or less, everything starts at the prework level, so as long as you try hard and complete the work, you’ll be prepared for what is coming.
If you want to be an Ironhacker and start the prework needed to make the job change you are looking for, you can submit your application here.