Deciding to take a step towards a brighter career future by pursuing a higher education is one of the largest decisions someone can make in their lifetime. On the surface, the hard work is predictable and a strong dedication towards long-term success is a must. Especially when taking that step forward through an online coding and data analytics bootcamp.
In the last decade, online bootcamps have challenged the traditional 4-year college degree by allowing adult students to get the relevant skills they need to launch a career in only a fraction of the time and cost in comparison. Even if it’s an easy decision to want those needed set of skills in only a handful of weeks compared to years, the learning process of an online coding and data analytics bootcamp is challenging if you aren’t fully prepared on what to expect.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss the best tips on how to prepare as a student going into an online bootcamp. We are going to share our expert opinion on what you should have, how to be the most prepared, and how to succeed far past graduation. This guide is created to help you have a better understanding on what to expect before day one and work as a checklist for you to reference while leading up to the big day of becoming a student.
Your Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Successful Bootcamp Student
What to Have Before Starting an Online Bootcamp
A Focused Area
In a remote learning setting, distractions can pop up much easier than a physical classroom most times. In your field of view, there could be an open window with cars driving by, the sounds and flashing lights of a television playing nearby, your roommate running around on their lunch break, etc. A train of thought may struggle with ease.
This is where a focused area will help you out. Having a comfortable spot that is distraction free allows you to properly focus when you depend on retaining information the most. Making sure to stay on track each day is crucial when learning new skillsets in the form of programming languages, technologies, and concepts. So, the less distractions there are, the better.
You don’t need the most expensive computer setup to be a student in an online bootcamp. But you will need a few key items to make your experience the most seamless possible. It’s likely you may have everything you need already. But in some cases, you may need to consider an upgrade or an addition.
Equipment you may need as a bootcamp student:
- Functioning and up-to-date computer
- A comfortable chair
- A dual monitor setup
Again, you likely already have the items that are capable of successfully getting you to graduation. But, double check your work area and computer settings to make sure it’s the best you can make it.
A Dedicated Workspace
Similar to having a focused area, where you decide to make your workspace is a major decision that you may overlook at first. Having a dedicated area is a great way to you to get in the right mindset every day understanding it’s your area to get work done and also allows you to unplug at the end of the day.
In a remote setting, it’s a challenge to successfully keep boundaries. To avoid burnout and any added stress, allow that boundary to be set and find that workspace that’s perfect for you to spend (potentially) long hours at but also able to walk away from. If your work area has to be your kitchen table then do what you have to do! But if there’s a corner in a room that isn’t completely occupied, you should also consider making it your space during the bootcamp.
Commitment is something you will need every step of the way. But especially leading up to your first day of class. Having a fear of the unknown is a very real and practical feeling to have. Getting in the proper headspace to confidentially tackle the unknown ahead of you will set you up for victory. But that all begins with the full commitment to yourself, your future, your career, your happiness, and your goals.
How to Prepare for Your First Day as an Online Student
Stay Excited and Motivated
As the big day approaches, you may begin to feel feelings of dread and doubt. This is completely normal. You are taking a massive step in your life and any sort of anxious feelings are to be expected. Bootcamp graduates come from all walks of life, experience levels, age, and locations. No matter what their story is, they all started on the same starting line as you. Which means you are capable of making it across the same finish line they did, too!
Even if this is a huge step in your career and life, make sure to stay excited and motivated for what’s to come. Eye on the prize and remember to just keep swimming.
Organization sometimes feels like a super power because of how difficult it may become naturally over time. Especially when there’s so much to keep track of in such a short amount of time. But staying organized will always be a huge payoff for you.
Your work area should stay clean with everything having a permanent location. This is so the item is exactly where you expect it to be when you need it, but will also prevent random pileups from starting around you. Keeping a clean work station also helps with focus and comfort. It’s a win-win!
But your work station isn’t the only thing that can easily get cluttered. Staying digitally organized on your computer is a huge benefit, too. Making sure all programs are easily accessible and all files have a folder they belong to. Any developer and analyst can tell you how quickly things can get lost on your computer because of the large number of downloads required on average. Having dedicated folders and quick access to tools will make the learning process easier and just another thing you don’t have to worry about.
Take it Easy
Becoming a coding and data analytics bootcamp student requires a lot mentally. You will begin learning a long list of soft and hard skills starting on day one. Leading up to that day one of class, make sure you have as much free space in your mind to prepare for what’s next. Get a lot of rest and stay hydrated! Because bootcamps can be a lot like a mental marathon. But just like everything else we’ve mentioned in this blog post so far, stay hungry for success and accomplishment will surely follow.
How to Succeed as a Student During an Online Coding and Data Bootcamp
Create Goals and Habits
During your journey as a bootcamp student, you will have a strong support system making sure you stay on track and motivating you. While this is crucial to your success, it’s also valuable to create your own set of goals and habits along the way.
You know yourself better than anyone. So, what is it that keeps you pushing forward when times get tough? What song inspires you to stay upbeat? What helps you start your morning enthusiastically? Whatever those answers are for you, work them into becoming your daily habits!
Setting personal goals for yourself is a strong trait you’re able to carry far into your professional career. This is also equally true when attending an online bootcamp. Even if you have the support system in place to keep you moving forward, setting goals for yourself is that extra layer of motivation to keep going and working for. Creating goals for yourself also does wonderful things for you mentally when you accomplish them. Which is just an added perk!
Sometimes when times get tough, it’s easy to lose sight on why you started in the first place. This is profoundly true for bootcamp students. It can become common to experience feelings of defeat if you struggle to grasp something being taught to you or develop strong emotions attached to imposter syndrome. Staying focused on everything you’ve worked towards leading up to this point is a fantastic way to keep up your momentum. With enough focus, dedication, and hard-work, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Especially whenever you have a solid system in place to help you succeed as much as possible. Keep going!
Strive in Uncertainty
There’s something to be said for the reaction our mind and body does whenever we are pushed into a metaphoric corner. One of the most notable tips we can give you is this: Enjoy the discomfort.
Obviously much easier said than done. But if you are able to face the uneasiness of learning so much new material in such a short amount of time, then you will in turn learn how to strive in uncertainty. You will turn into a student who is able to harness the discomfort and turn it into the power they need to tackle mountains of worry and expertly learn the new technologies being taught to you.
Being a coding and data analytics bootcamp student only gives you a glimpse into the unexpected you actually experience in a full-time professional role. If you don’t have the ability to strive in the uncertainty after graduation and are let loose into the great unknown of the ever-changing technology industry, then you could become a major weak link to the rest of the team running into the digital storm depending on you. It’s time to get comfortable in the uncomfortable.
Learn to Learn by Doing
Online bootcamps, such as devCodeCamp, lean into project-based learning for hands on skills while staying on a strict route towards the end goal. Coding, for example, is hardly something you are able to memorize. And the truth is – you shouldn’t!
Programming languages are changing rapidly in order to keep up with the speed of the industries that use them. Focusing on memorizing specific lines of code or structure is similar to learning how to speak another countries’ language that knowingly plans on switching to one entirely different by the time you visit. You may reach fluent level of that language. But it simply doesn’t matter if no one speaks it when you are finally able to go there. That’s learning how to code in a nutshell.
Learning how to learn is a crucial concept you must embrace for long-term success. Things change quickly and hurdles present themselves constantly. You will likely start to see a positive change whenever you lean into the learning how to learn concept and apply it to your day-to-day workload. The goal is to create the strongest possible foundation you are able to confidentially stand on to reach new heights. Learning the procedures and processes compared to the exact line-for-line information will give you plenty of opportunities to adapt.
At devCodeCamp’s online coding and data analytics bootcamp, learning begins on day one. Our immersive and flex courses are designed to give you the relevant soft and hard skills it takes to launch your career in code and data. Each lesson is built from the ground up in-house and constantly updated to accurately evolve with each language, concept, and technology taught. In this blog post, we discussed a few keys ways to be prepare yourself as a student. But the largest step to take is always the first one. Reach out today to speak to our team. Why wait?