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June 1, 2020

The Bootcamp Survival Guide. How To Thrive at Ironhack

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.

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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 it happen? The short answer to these questions is yes.

A bootcamp is an intense experience that requires a lot of effort. You’re taking it because you want to learn the fundamentals of Web Development, UX Design, or Data Analytics in just 9 weeks — this is bound to present some challenges. 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 from day one.

Embrace The Highs And Lows

At some point, you’ll feel a little stuck. You might wonder if you can keep up with the people in your class or if leaving your previous job was a good idea. Take heed and don’t quit now! The next moment, you’ll feel like you can solve any problem you struggled with for hours. Then, it might go to your head and the next thing you know you’re searching for positions at Google. But alas, something will break and you’ll remember that feeling of being stuck again. The highs and lows are a normal part of the process — they 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 just about had it, 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.

Balance Your Social Life

This is a skill people actively practice throughout their entire life, so starting some good habits now can be helpful. The bootcamp will require a good portion of your attention, so it might be a good idea to tell your friends and family what’s up.

In other words, value your investment. Your time and money are going into this bootcamp to help you transform your career. That being said, make sure you set aside a little bit of time to see your family, friends, and people who care about you. Maybe just don’t go out the night before a big project is due! You get it, balance and good time management can make or break the situation.

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

Freetime can seem like a luxury during bootcamp. Use it wisely and rest. It’s okay to sleep in on Sundays, but remember all of the other ways to recharge as well. Go take a walk, a bath, get a massage, or whatever that helps you recharge your batteries and get as much energy as you can. It’s essential!

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 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!

Don’t Forget To Check In With Yourself

Through it all, your mental health should remain your top priority. Remember to assess how you are feeling throughout the bootcamp. When times get particularly tough, think about your goals, and focus on what's waiting for you at the end of the road. Which is an awesome career in tech! It may seem like a lot to get through at that moment, but eventually, you will miss your bootcamp days.

If you've been reading this because you're on the fence about enrolling in a bootcamp, we hope we've reassured you here that you've got this! Take a no-commitment look at our full-time bootcamps and part-time courses.

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