Flip Flopper – I want to go to a bootcamp – Launch Academy

When I first started thinking about a career in programming I thought I would need to go to a bootcamp in order to get a job. After I talked to enough coders they convinced me that if I was committed enough I could teach myself how to code and get a job that way. Now I have flip flopped again and I am hoping to go to Launch Academy in Boston. What changed?
a few things did.

Time matters

I shifted from the mentality of “I can slowly teach this to myself and save tens of thousands of dollars” to “I can spend some money to save months if not years of working a full day and then coding at night”
I have been really good about coding every damn day, and documenting my work and pushing myself. There are just only so many hours in the night, and I am hitting the max amount of hours that I can study in any given week without slacking at work or at home. The concept of doing this for another year or more is hard to take, especially considering that once I get my first job they will essentially be paying me to learn and become a better developer. In the end I don’t just want to be a developer. I want to be a good developer. Part of what qualifies good is ‘hirable’. I am making the assumption that I will get a job through a bootcamp. I believe that I could probably get a job eventually on the self-taught route, but it would go much slower and it would require a bigger leap of faith on the hiring company’s part.

Content matters.

I could study for 3 years and still be unhireable if I wasn’t studying the right things. I have spent almost a third of my time so far studying in python. Python is not nearly as common as ruby from what I can see for web development. It is out there, but not as much. I’m not upset about my time in python. It has taught me a lot of fundamentals that easily transferred over to javascript and ruby. I do realize now that having a curated curriculum is an important thing. That is one benefit that I look to Launch Academy to provide. They say that after every cohort they speak with some of their hiring partners and finesse the curriculum based on their input. That is going to be much better than me looking at lots of job postings and trying to learn everything on there.

Labels matter

“Bootcamp Grad” is an easy term to understand. Most hiring partners have a mental box to put you in. This is all my gut feeling, but I feel like “Bootcamp grad” has some mixed feelings, but probably an overall better reputation than “self-taught non-cs grad with no relevant paid coding experience.” I know that all classes have a range of abilities coming in and going out of the bootcamp, but I feel like graduating is proof that you have a decent understanding of a few coding topics and that you are able to learn.

Focus matters

It’s really hard to work 45 hours a week and then work 20 hours on coding. Especially because the hard stuff needs to be late at night when your bed is calling and your kid is crying. Everything is trying to tear you away from focusing on learning. My hope is that making the leap and committing to Launch Academy will allow me to clear my mind of some of those things, and certainly give me back 45 hours a week!

That is my thinking behind applying. I think it’s worth the investment in myself, and it’ll be worth it to get into the field sooner. I’ll post more once I hear back, and (hopefully) once I start!

Tell me what you think.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.