Our very own past student — who's a full-fledged developer today — has a few key points he'd like to share with aspiring coders through this NEXT Academy review. He had switched careers himself, and had little coding knowledge when he first begun, so his perspective is definitely an interesting one. Without further ado, we give you:
A NEXT Academy Review by Chong Er Whey
So you’ve decided to enroll in a coding bootcamp. You've justified a million reasons why you should. Perhaps you'd like to build an app. You might want to switch careers. Maybe it's because you've always had an unexplainable interest in coding. But have you really thought this over?
After all, you're not exactly signing up for a quick seminar (despite its relative brevity compared to a university degree). It takes great dedication to glean the full benefits off a coding bootcamp. And when you can't fully commit, it makes more sense not to sign up.
I've went through the whole 10 weeks, and while I enjoyed it, there might have been a couple of people who didn't, just because they weren't prepared for the nature of a coding bootcamp.
So I've written a NEXT Academy review based on a few red flags. If any of these apply to you, perhaps it's not the best time to sign up for a coding bootcamp.
1. You Don't Know Your End Goal
Whoa, hold up, stop right there. This is perhaps the biggest red flag that should discourage you from registering. After all, there must be a reason why you thought about joining a bootcamp.
Are you looking to secure a job as a developer? Do you want to become a product manager? Or are you looking for something to fortify your Computer Science degree with?You can’t just sign up without having a goal in mind. It's what's going to push you through the 10-hour days of staring at the computer screen. That, and the endless nights trying to figure out why your script won't run.
2. You’re Looking For A Traditional Class Setting
Hours of one-way lectures, piles of unneeded textbooks, and 2000-word assignments that have nothing to with the subject — sound familiar? These belong in old school environments, and you won't come across of any of them in a coding bootcamp.
Instead, lectures are kept to a minimum, with most of your day spent on actual coding and solving real-world problems. You learn through doing, and solutions are achieved through a proactive approach. Those who wait to be spoon-fed will just be left behind.If you like to be told what to do, you'll definitely have a bad time in coding bootcamps.
3. You Don’t Like Searching For Your Own Answers
While mentors are always around to help you address your obstacles, you should know that they're often told to let students learn from their own mistakes. After all, once you land a gig in the tech industry, you'll want to be comfortable with getting answers on your own.
This skill alone will carry you throughout your career, and it'll be helpful no matter what technology stack you pick up along the way. It's an inevitable part of being a coder, and if the thought of reading through documentation puts you off, then you should look into picking up another skill.
4. You're Easily Frustrated
Piggybacking off the last point, you're going to have get acquainted with frustration, especially when you don't find answers after 10 pages of documentation.And even that's the least of your worries. Imagine having written thousands of lines of code, but your program won't work because of a missing parenthesis. Then imagine not being able to find this bug after hours of searching, and you have a looming deadline the very next day.
If that triggers feelings of swinging your laptop into a brick wall, you can save yourself a lot of heartache by staying far away from coding. On the flip side, if this excites you, do give our bootcamps a quick look.
5. You Think A Bootcamp Is All You Need
While it may be a great way for a non-coder to land a job in the tech industry, a coding bootcamp is definitely not the be-all and end-all. Many bootcamp graduates move on to work with different technology than they've learned, and often find that continuous learning is a necessity in the tech industry.
Staying relevant in technology is an endless race, and it's a fact you'll have to accept if you want a career in it. So don't think of a bootcamp as the end of your education, but merely an introduction into the exciting and vast world of tech.
6. You Don’t Like Working In Teams
It might seem counter-intuitive to look at programming as a team activity, but most products are actually built by a group of engineers. Programs can consist up to millions of lines of code, and that requires a team effort. So if you can’t work well with people, you’ll find yourself on the disadvantaged end.Think you can ditch the team and start your own business? Well, dealing with clients takes the same amount of soft skills, so if you're not a people person, coding might — surprisingly — not be the career for you.
7. You're Not Passionate About Coding Or Tech In General
A career in the tech industry can be lucrative, but if you’re in it just for the money, you’ll quickly find it to be a cold and thankless job. If you have a passion for it however, you’ll find meaning in routine tasks — like taking the extra time to write an automation script instead of blindly completing tasks, or finding ways to shorten your code even when it's already functional.It takes a special kind of someone to want to code just for the sake of it, and if all of this seems mundane to you, then you'd definitely do better in another trade.
8. You Have A Ton Of Responsibilities
I get it. This is the real world. You have student debts to pay off. You need to service your car loan with whatever’s left over after paying rent. To top that all off, you have a family to take care of, and you’re currently doing that with two day jobs.
If you find yourself in this position, the last thing you want is to add more things on your plate. Bootcamps require full-time concentration, and you definitely won’t be able to get as much out of them if you’re preoccupied throughout the course. Better to see through some of your responsibilities and come back at a better time.
9. You're Just Looking To Cruise Through
Remember how you used to get by a whole semester in school by copying your classmates’ notes and relying on year-end exam tips? Well you won’t get any of that in a bootcamp, because if you miss even one day of class, you’ll be left playing catch-up for the rest of the course.
And since coding bootcamps are mostly hands-on, you won’t be able to go through your friends’ notes and expect to understand what’s going on.
So, is a coding bootcamp for you?
There you have it, 9 reasons why you shouldn’t join a coding bootcamp. However, another rule you should live by is not let people on the internet tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, so if you fall into any category above, but you’re still interested in checking out our courses, just go ahead and click on the link below to browse our bootcamps.