Last year I completed a Full Stack Developer bootcamp through the Barcelona Code School. I was still living in Barcelona when I had signed up for it and planned to attend onsite but then we were relocated to San Diego so I completed the course remotely.
I tend to get a lot of inquiry from people who are interested in doing a coding bootcamp about my experience and how the job hunt looked afterwards. So I’ve decided to make a post about it which I will update over time as any new questions come in that I haven’t answered already.
Note- this post is not sponsored nor encouraged by the Barcelona Code School so my words and compliments on the program are my own.
Also- If you have any more questions for me, please let me know in the comments.
Here we go…..
Q: How was the work load during the course? If I´m able to work 25 hours a week on the course, will that be enough?
A: I did the full-time bootcamp and could not work during it because I was easily putting in 60 hours per week on the course. It was a heavy load and very fast paced. The pace may be different for the part-time bootcamp and it's hard to know how many hours per week you will need to feel ok with what you're learning. But what George told me is that if there is any time you feel you can move forward on a lesson, then move forward. Don't take a day off even if you feel like you are caught up. The course increases in difficulty as you continue. That said- what will help is to start as early as you can on the pre-course work because the more pre-course work you can do, the better! And if you finish your pre-course work and still have time before the bootcamp starts, repeat the pre-course work. Seriously, I wish I had done this.
Q: How is your opinion about the mentoring? Did the teacher respond fast or did you often have to sort things out on your own?
A: The mentoring was great. It was my favorite part. They are so incredibly patient and totally understand how to help students move through tough times. I am in California so it was challenging to match our schedules but they were really flexible and responded quickly. They will always push you to find answers on your own as well because that's a HUGE part of being a web developer- jobs want to know how you came to a decision you made about the code you wrote when faced with a coding problem. So they may not tell you the answers but tell you what lesson chapters to review to find the answers for yourself. It can feel frustrating sometimes but this is how it is working as a web developer.
Q: How did your job-search go afterwards? Were you able to find a job quickly? and how did you manage to do this?
A: If I had stayed in Barcelona (i was living there when i first signed up for the bootcamp), I would have had more support from them in terms of finding a job there. But because I moved to California and did the course online, I did not utilize their job-hunting services.
That said- I had already established myself as a freelance designer and writer so when it came to job hunting, I just kept looking for clients who needed my new coding skills. You can keep up your coding skills after the course by doing coding katas (this will make sense when you start). Just be prepared that it can take a long time. Every situation is different. So while I continued my freelance career I eventually did get hired at a startup in Los Angeles working remotely as a UX Designer with some development opportunities. I've since left that job to focus solely on my freelance career because I enjoy the flexibility and variety more. But learning to code has definitely helped me improve my client base as a freelancer.
Q: Do you have any other important things for me to consider?
A: Although my experience may sound discouraging, I just want to be realistic because I remember having all these same questions when I started the bootcamp. But don't be discouraged, it will be a hard course but you are in good hands with the Barcelona Code School and you will be SO IMPRESSED at how much you will learn in a short amount of time. You will not finish the course feeling ready, you will feel like there is so much more to learn, but looking back you will be so proud of yourself for what you were able to learn in such a short amount of time.
Other advice is to look for a Women Who Code group in your country/city. I am part of the San Diego one here and it is full of women web developers and bootcamp students. This is a relief just to have others to vent to or to help you with tough coding problems. They may also be helpful in the job hunt. I also suggest sharing your journey on social media because you will meet other developers who are so stoked for you and will offer their advice and support.
Additionally, the Barcelona Code School program is legit. And the price point can't be beat. You will learn the top coding languages to date and once you put those on your resume and LinkedIn you will have recruiters calling you. They teach a really great course, I know this because I compared them with similar bootcamps in Barcelona but also in California. Best of luck!