There’s nothing less fun than showing up unprepared for school or a social function, especially when said school program is thousands of dollars of your own hard-earned money. If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been pretty MIA on Away We Stray, its because I’ve been waist-deep in programming bootcamp preparation for months, trying to focus my brain, slow my pulse and keep my stress level low enough that my hair stops falling out. (Kidding, this mane is flawless.) I’ve finally started my course, which means that I’ve prepared as much as I could….up to the last second, folks. My brain is literally mush. I’ve got notebooks full of scribbles and a hard drive packed with downloaded books and lectures. Here’s how I prepared for my programming bootcamp:
How to Prepare for an Intensive Programming Bootcamp
There’s tons of online resources meant to prepare you for the basics of computer programming. Though I spent over 300 hours preparing, you by no means have to spend this much time, especially if you have any familiarity with web design or programming in general. I always take over-preparation to the extreme. I compiled a list of all of the preparation work I raked through, as well as a rating of how useful it was overall to my understanding. (And here’s more information about how I chose my bootcamp) Now that I’ve finished with the bootcamp, I have a better grasp on how useful each piece was to my overall understanding of the overall online environment. Please see below:
Primary Focuses: Full Stack
Whether or not you know you are going to focus on front end or back end, you should have a basic grasp of both and how they integrate. You don’t have to dive deep into front-end language if you know you want to work with database tech, however, you should understand how users are able to interact with the database. Similarly, even if you know you want to be a Web Designer, you should still have a basic understanding of the logic that goes into back-end languages, how authentication works, and other server-side integrations so that you are able to understand how the code you write fits in with the larger picture. I’ve broken down the resources by language and by which side they focus on for your convenience:
Front End: Client-side language
- easy examples using HTML/ CSS and the like
- EDx Courses:
- CSS FlexBox Frog Game
- Super useful game (feel like a kid for a bit!) that will help you understand how flexboxes work, which is how you can create responsive websites
- CSS Grid Garden
- Easy way to learn about the CSS grid through another game!
- FreeCodeCamp Youtube
- Inspiration and code snippets from designers
- You Dont Know JS
- Eloquent JS
Back End: Your programming bread and butter
In my programming bootcamp preparation, I actually found these resources to have more of a “flow”, they were easier to see where to start, what to learn when, and how each piece fit together, whereas frontend is a bit more messy and creative. Ruby stole my heart. In comparison to other older, clunkier languages, theres nothing easier than the grammar-free syntax, programmer-first mentality of the language. No hours stressed out over an unclosed parenthesis…no grammar so complex it makes your eyes cross. Just easy, almost-can-read-as-english, Ruby. Here are my favorite resources:
- I can’t recommend this coding website enough. Free, intuitive, and HAVE I MENTIONED THEIR YOUTUBE CHANNELS?
- Eloquent Ruby
- A great read on the ins and outs of the language. I used this in conjunction with videos and tutorials
- Odin Project
- Tutorials from Frontend to Back End. Learn as you go. A fabulous resource for those that learn best hands-on.
- Zen Ruby
- Exhaustive blog all about Ruby. Great resource to start from the very beginning
- A great resource to learn all about MYSQL, a
- Ruby on Rails Tutorial
- A great resource to help you learn how to use Rails, the amazing system built on top of Ruby
- Rails for Zombies Redux
- Whats better than learning through games? Um, zombie games. Duh.
- And MORE because….Zombies.
The Best Programming/Coding Articles I consumed
- Best Programming Languages to Learn
- How I learned Front End in 5 days
- Things to add to your data stack
- A guide to Full Stack Development
- SkillCrush: Where to Start learning Code
- 17 Awesome Things to do with Ruby Language
- How to learn Ruby on Rails
Things to add on to your data stack once you have the basics
While this is not an exhaustive list of all the resources I used, I feel it represents the bulk of the information I consumed before starting this journey. I hope it helps you on your path towards web development and software engineering. Programming bootcamp preparation is no joke. I watched others in my course fall behind because they didn’t finish the bare minimum prep work before starting the course. Don’t be one of them! The more times you see a concept, the higher the likelihood of it being confirmed in your long-term memory. Read. read, read ladies and gents.
For anyone interested, the program that I took (and will recommend- Blog Post coming soon!) is:
If you are interested in my journey and would like to read more about how I got here, check out these blog posts:
- How I Became a Digital Nomad
- How I chose my programming bootcamp
- (Older) Why you should Teach English Abroad
- Le Wagon Bootcamp Review (coming soon!)