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3 Easy Ways to Prepare for a Bootcamp

Every day, students around the world are taking the first step by attending a coding, data science, or cybersecurity bootcamp. In the beginning of your bootcamp journey, it’s important to hit the ground running and stay on-track with the curriculum and course materials. According to Course Report’s 2017 Coding Bootcamp Market Size Study, The average bootcamp is 14.1 weeks long. That’s less than four months to receive what some compare to a year’s worth of knowledge.

So how do you ensure that you’re fully prepared and will be able to stay on track when diving into an intensive program? Here are a few ways to prepare for a bootcamp before your first day of class.

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1. Complete Your Assigned Pre-Work

Many bootcamps give their upcoming students “pre-work” to complete before the course, much like homework. Pre-work is designed to lightly familiarize students with the programs and frameworks the program will use. That way, each and every student is fully prepared to start the first day on the same page, which makes the coursework move more quickly.

“Pre-work is designed to make sure all of our students arrive on day 1 with a basic understanding of programming fundamentals.” - DigitalCrafts

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2. Build a Foundation with Online Resources

To gather more of a coding background outside of your pre-work, there are plenty of online resources available to help you learn how to code. Simply find out what languages, programs, and frameworks your program will use and teach (often found on the course page of the website, or by asking a member of the bootcamp team.) Head to Codecademy or Free Code Camp and find some beginner-level tutorials or guides for your topics. Check out Skills Fund’s Guide to Online Coding Resources for more websites.

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3. Get Ahead of The Game with a Bootcamp Prep Course

A Bootcamp Prep Program is the best way to ensure that you’re fully prepared for an immersive coding program. Schools like Flatiron School, Hack Reactor, and Fullstack Academy offer prep courses that perfectly pair with their bootcamp curriculum. Depending on the prep program you select, you can prep from a week to a month in advance, either in-person or online remotely.

Students should also consider First Step Coding, a prep course with both in-person and live-online programs. With beginner-friendly courses and small class sizes, First Step Coding is the perfect platform for students to ramp up their skillset before going into a bootcamp. First Step Coding goes a step further than online tutorials, offering dedicated instructors, real-time support, and partnerships with some of the greatest bootcamps in the industry, including Skills Fund partners Galvanize and Hack Reactor. First Step Coding offers in-person programs in Boston and San Francisco, and the online program serves the entire country.

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Spotlight: First Step Coding’s Bootcamp Prep Program

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First Step Coding’s eight-week course​ teaches fundamentals of programming and prepares you for interviewing at top tier coding bootcamps. You will earn a certificate of code literacy​ and be eligible for tuition credits between $500 - $2,000​ toward a number of immersive bootcamps.

After completing the course, students will be able to:

  • Solve coding problems with JavaScript that are likely to appear in your projects and bootcamp interview questions

  • Build a dynamic front-end​ for a web application that loads data from an API

  • Approach problems with engineering tactics​ like decomposition, isolation, test-driven development, and debugging techniques

  • Speak like a programmer​ and find answers to your questions much more quickly by mastering the foundational terminology

  • Rapidly learn related and more advanced coding topics that build on your foundation

  • Clearly understand your options for continuing your coding education by speaking with bootcamp veterans

You can learn more about First Step Coding by reading student reviews on SwitchUp and Course Report. The review below is from Erica who went on to Flatiron’s bootcamp program:

"Fun and Rewarding Experience - highly recommended!"

I had been contemplating a career change from business to software development for a while. Before committing to a full-time bootcamp, I wanted to make sure that I would enjoy coding as a full-time job. FSC's twice-weekly evening classes fit into my schedule and needs perfectly.

I had a blast in class! I loved that the majority of time was spent pair-programming. Coding is hard, so being able to work with another person helped my understanding of concepts through another person's eyes. Kurt, our instructor was also kind and incredibly patient.

Most importantly, I learned the fundamentals well enough to be able to apply to some top bootcamps. I got into my first choice and will be starting in the fall. I couldn't have done it without FSC!

To learn more about First Step Coding and apply, visit their website.