Breaking Out Into The Workforce After A Bootcamp
You finished your coding boot camp and not sure what steps to take next? Here are a few tips to help push you in the right direction.
3 min read
The day you finish your programming boot camp can be a mixture of excitement and nerves. What steps should I take next? Will I find a job? But to ease the situation, we have come up with a plan of action to help maximise your chances of succeeding after your course is done.
It’s all about “Practice, Practice, Practice”
Now if you assume that once you’re finished with the course, that your learning is done too - think again. One important step to take is to continue coding. Sure, it may have felt like you learnt a lot - and no doubt, you did - but there is still so much more to the world of programming left for you to explore. So challenge yourself! Learn a new programming language, tackle a new database management system, or better yet, touch-up on what you already learnt. Practice makes perfect, right? All of this will only ensure that you have more skills under your belt, which will also widen your job search.
And don’t worry, you won’t have a problem when it comes to resources. With a quick search online you’ll find that there are plenty of videos, blogs, and online courses that will make the prospect of self-learning a little less daunting. Plus, if you’re ever stuck on a question or need help debugging, Stack Overflow will be your greatest companion. There you'll find the world’s largest developer community, all ready to provide you with advice and solutions to any pesky error in your code. Gradually, as time passes and you’re still working as hard as ever, it won’t just be you who sees progress, but potential employers as well.
Show your hard work off
After graduating, you probably won’t have a lot of programming experience to put on your resume, so it may look a little empty at first. But don’t stress, this is where online platforms will come in handy to showcase your work. Two options you should definitely look into would be creating your own online portfolio, and using any open source coding repository, like Github or Bitbucket. This way, instead of just telling an employer how great you are at coding, you just show them. These platforms will be visual proof of the skills that you have acquired and can offer future employers. So, always keep these platforms updated and presentable. Basically, your end goal is to turn it into something that you’d be proud to have represented who you are as a developer.
Update Your LinkedIn
You may have heard before how important it can be to maintain your LinkedIn profile. And whoever told you this wasn’t wrong. If you’re starting out a new career as a developer, you need to let people in- and outside of your network know about this transition. Start out by adding the school you attended to your profile. Like many bootcamps, they may hold a solid reputation in the community so recruiters may be more inclined to hire you. On top of that, you can join groups on LinkedIn, and even like and post articles that you think are cool and topical. This will build a reputation for yourself and shows that you’re active and engaged in the tech world.
An added bonus would be to include any programming skills to your “Skills” section on your profile and write up a little summary about yourself. From that, a recruiter should be able to determine what type of candidate you are just from reading it. Think about mentioning why you chose to make this career change, how you’re passionate about programming, and also what type of development you want to focus on.
Go to Meetups and Conferences
Networking is key once you finish. It’s all about knowing the right people who can help land you an interview, and if all goes well, the job. But for that to happen, you need to make yourself known in the community. Be sure to check out any relevant meetups in your area. You can always test out different groups, but eventually, it makes sense to find one that suits your preferences -- whether it being front-end, back-end or even just tech in general. And while you’re there, try striking up a conversation with someone in the crowd. Ask them questions or advice, or even showcase your own knowledge! Who knows, networking at these events may just be the secret to your success.
But don’t stop there, keep an eye out for any tech conferences and events that you may find interesting. Your options are aplenty: The Next Web in Amsterdam, Wired in London, Tech Open Air in Berlin... Even if you don’t live in any of these cities, you certainly could find somewhere closer to home. These are all perfect opportunities to not only meet new people but to also get inspired.
Sophie van Wersch recently graduated with honors from the University College of Maastricht with a B.A., and majored in International Politics and Sociology. During her time at university she concentrated on the ways in which technology played a part in political events, and society as a whole. Since graduating, she has taken time off to prioritise her online courses in both computer science, and social media management. Although having majored in more of a political study, she intends to build a career in the video game industry - specifically, project management and/or the social media management of video games.