A Free 12-Hour Coding Bootcamp to Help You Decide Whether Coding is For You


I created this 12 hour course with the global pandemic job situation in mind. I thought about all the people trying to decide if Software Development was the right career path for them, without the resources to do so.

A few years back, I was at a cross-roads. I had a comfortable yet dissatisfying job in Finance, and a never ending battle in my head, daring myself to take the plunge to become a Software Developer.

It was a job I had always been fascinated by. I loved the idea of creating apps and websites out of thin air and letting my creativity flow. But I had no idea about the profession itself. Was it something for me? Or would I regret throwing everything away for something I had no real idea about?

After months and months (that turned into years) of second-guessing myself, I finally decided to go for it and join a Bootcamp. It was there, after creating my first JavaScript project, that I realised I was hooked. And to be honest, I was relieved that I had made the right decision!

To save you from hesitating and going back and forth as much as I did, I created this course to help more people hit that moment of realisation faster, and feel less anxiety early on.

In light of my own experience, as well as the pandemic and current global job loss situation, I want to help people make an informed decision as to whether software development is the right career choice for them as an individual (without having to spend a lot of money upfront first).

So without further delay, here are some things to consider.

Should I Do a Coding Bootcamp?

In today’s market the most popular software developer bootcamps tend to be 12-16 weeks long and range from 12,000USD to 20,000USD.

Almost all of them have the same structure and teach HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, plus back end languages and libraries/frameworks. This will most likely include a mixture of React, Ruby on Rails, Python, Angular, and Node.js.

In the 12-16 weeks you will go through lessons and complete projects 9-5 every day, 5 days a week in a classroom environment. For me it was a class of roughly 15 students.

In addition to this you will be taught interview techniques, and softer skills that come with the territory of being a web developer.

The overall experience was good, and in my case, the Bootcamp even set up meetings with recruiters for us on a final ‘showcase day’, where we got to present our projects to potential employers.

Now, while my experience was a good one, I did get a scholarship to the program, making my fee considerably less. There were also no refunds given to those who decided that this career path was not for them.

So, if you are thinking about joining a bootcamp and have the means, I would strongly advise doing some preliminary work on HTML, CSS and JavaScript to figure out if this career path is for you. That way you’ll be sure that you aren’t about to throw money down the drain.

I would suggest especially focusing on JavaScript, as the JavaScript section was when the drop out rate started to rise. We will discuss why this is further down in the article.

Self-taught Developer vs Paid Bootcamp Grad

There is a lot of discussion about which is better, being self-taught or attending a bootcamp. When I was deciding whether I should pursue a career as a Software Developer, the idea of being self-taught did not cross my mind. I assumed that to get a job in the city I would need to go through a course in order to be successful in getting job interviews.

I cannot stress enough how this is totally not the case! In fact, my colleague who got hired at the same time for the same role as I was completely self taught.

As you are reading this on freeCodeCamp.org I assume you have already found this incredible source of information that has everything you need in order to become a professional software developer.

Applying for a job and telling your potential employer that you have taught yourself how to code also comes with a lot of positives. It shows you are determined and self-motivated, skills that are valued highly in the profession.

This means that even if you missed something that might have been taught at a professional bootcamp, it’s ok. Your skill-set could potentially outweigh that knowledge gap, as the employer will be confident you’ll be able to make up for it in time.

Ok, But How Do I Figure Out if Software Development Is for Me?

To decide if software development is for you, I would suggest getting familiar with the following three languages. Here is a breakdown of each, to give you a basic understanding.

HTML

Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML for short, is the standard mark up language for documents designed to be displayed on a web browser.

In computer text processing, a markup language is a way of annotating a document that is syntactically distinguishable from the text. This means that when the document is processed for display, the markup language is not shown, and is only used to format the text.

Let’s look at an example. Here we have a bold tag. The bold tag is an HTML element. It makes the text in between the two tags appear bold when viewed on the browser.

This is what it looks like in HTML:

<b>Hi!</b>

And here’s what it looks like in the browser:


Styling in CSS

Hi

We can also use markup to tell our browser we want to make text italic, make it red, and so on.

Based on this concept, HTML elements are considered to be the building blocks of HTML pages. Aside from text, we can also construct images and other objects too.

HTML is considered to be a relatively simple language, which is great!

It can be assisted by technologies such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and scripting languages such as JavaScript.

CSS

Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS for short, is a style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in HTML.

CSS is a cornerstone technology of the World Wide Web, alongside HTML and JavaScript. In simple terms, we use it to style up the elements we created with our HTML.

For example take a look at this div below. An HTML Content Division element, or div for short, is a generic container. It has no effect on the content or layout until styled in some way using CSS .

This means that until we give it a height property , width property, and a background-color property, each with a value, we will not be able to see it in our browser.

div {
  width: 100px;
  height: 50px;
  background-color: blue;
}

This is what it looks like in the browser:


Styling in CSS

CSS is an extremely powerful tool when it comes to the presentation of any project.

JavaScript

JavaScript, or often JS for short, is a scripting language that enables you to create dynamically updating content. It lets you control multimedia, animate images, and much more. It is not to be confused with Java, which is a completely different language!

We use JavaScript to essentially ‘make stuff happen’ on our static webpages. For example, I can use JavaScript to essentially make Bob look angry here, every time we click on his head.


Bob

const bob = document.querySelector('.face')
        
function angerBob() {
	bob.style.backgroundColor="red"
}
bob.addEventListener('click', angerBob)

Now JavaScript can be HARD. You have to think about it in a completely different way than HTML and CSS, and it can take a while to get used to. Once you figure it out, however, it’s like riding a bike. Something will just click and you will be on your way.

This is the point where most people find out if Software Development is indeed something they want to continue with. Some give up, or some people decide they dislike it.

Getting to the point where you feel comfortable with JavaScript takes a lot of practise and repetition, so please do not be disheartened if you don’t get something the first time round. Practise is key!

Here’s a 12HR+ Free Online Coding Bootcamp

If you are reading this article, you might still be questioning whether you are ready to part with 20,000USD, or if you simply want to get started on your self taught journey. To help you out, I have created an unsponsored online Coding Bootcamp for you.

To be part of the solution, I have made this video for free and it will always be free. So please do give it a like and a Subscribe if you found it useful for you.

12HR+ YouTube Coding Bootcamp

Follow me on Youtube for more videos on Software Development:

Code with Ania Kubów

Hello everyone. This channel is run by Ania Kubow. In this channel, I will be teaching you JavaScript,React, HTML, CSS, React-native, Node.js and so much more! A little bit about me:My background is in the financial markets, where I worked as a derivates broker our of University. After starting m…



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