Cameron Buckingham is a student at gSchool, a 6-month coding school in Colorado. He blogs each week about his experience at gSchool- in his final post, Cameron gives future bootcamp students three pieces of valuable advice. Congrats and good luck, Cameron!
With graduation coming up this Thursday, November 20th, our entire class is thrilled to be stepping into new careers. Now that we are done a lot of people have spent the majority of their time interviewing, practicing coding exercises, and researching jobs to apply for. Myself, I have been lucky to be going to interviews all over the US because I prefer to move away from Colorado after school.
Since this is my last post for Course Report, I want to leave you, the reader, with some words of wisdom to think on before, during, and after you have gone through gSchool:
Like I said before, the class is tough and in order to stay afloat you will have to incorporate studying into your daily life. No longer can you clock out at 5 and go home, veg out, and watch "Sherlock" on Netflix all night. You have to be disciplined enough to accept the challenge of learning something like this. Bear in mind, studying does not mean just sitting at a desk and reading and pounding through exercise all night, it can include fun things too. A great way to learn is to attend meet-ups, lectures, and HH with other developers to grow your network and learn around people.
If you are really good at mapping out your time and following lists, make sure to schedule in some downtime as well. This may seem contradictory to the first point I make, but I strongly believe that if you incorporate breaks and time-outs from coding you will benefit in the long run. Yes, coding is something that can bring you lots of happiness and thrills but it is also an activity that can make you unceasingly grumpy and agitated. Find a happy balance in what you do and make sure to reach to other see how they let loose and unwind. Sometimes a role model or mentor has already cracked this problem and can help you find a way to bring more balance to your life.
Finally, a mantra that helped get me through this experience was "Diamonds are made under pressure." Let that saying sink in for a second... Putting yourself in circumstance that are new and weird help you grow as a person. Sometimes when you back is against the wall and you feel overwhelmed, you are forced to think differently. In the programming word, that is good! You are encouraged to think differently and sort through problems. I urge you above all else to take this mantra and use it to help you solidify a thought in the back of your head, "this experience is hard, but it will make me a better person."
With that being said I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience. Overall the experience I had at gSchool was very positive and has given me the confidence to feel better about the direction in my life.