Bootcamp, Self Teaching, and Professional Skillset


After a year of self-study using FCC and other online resources, I will be starting a bootcamp in September.

The bootcamp curriculum covers HTML, CSS, Javascript, React, Python with Flask, SQLite, and ORM / SQLAlchemy.

I just had some questions. I would really appreciate if someone could offer me some guidance or advice.

  1. After learning basic SQL commands with SQLite, I’m guessing that we will get in the habit of relying on ORM / SQLAlchemy when having to work with other technologies like MySQL and PostgreSQL. Is this a sustainable paradigm for a programming career, or should I familiarize myself with MySQL and PostgreSQL?

  2. We will not be learning Node.js, but I see that it is in very high demand. Same thing with Django. After learning Python and Flask, should I learn Node.js and Django on my own? Is there enough overlap between Python / Node and Flask / Django that I could pick those up pretty easily?

  3. After completing the bootcamp, I will have an apprenticeship opportunity with one of several companies. I looked up the tech stacks used by a few of these companies, and they mainly used languages like PHP, Java, Swift, and Go, among others. Should I spend some time becoming familiar with these technologies, or should I instead focus on becoming proficient in one stack, demonstrating general progamming knowledge to the interviewer, and expect to pick up the additional necessary skills on the job?

Thank you for your time.

I would like to ask, why are you taking a coding bootcamp? Career opportunity is one thing but I think you have something else in mind?


How exposed are you with React? You can pair it with Node.js using the MERN (MongoDB, Express, React, Node.js) stack though I’m not sure if that is what you want to pursue.

Choose either Python or JavaScript for the back-end. I don’t want to recommend you go for both since it might be too much for you to learn as a start.


I think you should focus on one particular subset. Considering the back-end concepts are almost the same with every web stack out there, I think your abilities can be translatable.

What you might have to look out for are the different tools (and with it, different concepts) used. That will take time to learn.

Postgres, MySQL while the databases are different, they use the same query language: SQL.

No need to learn SQL twice though some databases have some differences with the syntax most of the queries perform the same operations.

I think if you were to transfer from one SQL database to another, the things you might have to worry are the syntax, how the database is managed (with the CLI or GUI) and if the language has a driver (PHP has one for MySQL and Postgres) or library for it.

I’m not an expert though. I based this on what I learned so far so I could be wrong.

Keep learning with dedication. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you for the insightful response.

I have a few reasons for pursuing a coding bootcamp. Learning a language and framework on my own is one thing, but there are a lot of core concepts that I’m not even aware that I don’t know [deployment and hosting, containerization, implementing microservices, stuff like that]. I don’t know what I don’t know, and I would like a little more structure on “what to learn.” Also, having a teacher with professional experience will expose me to practical wisdom like best practices, tips for navigating the industry, and advice on when and how to implement specific tools in a project. All the little things that you don’t get from a tutorial.

Yes, I am sure with a little legwork, I can learn all this for myself using Google. I have the opportunity to attend a bootcamp with my tuition fully paid, and then be paired with an apprenticeship afterwards. That is a large part of the reason I am choosing this route.

I’m pretty comfortable with basic React conceptually. I’ve completed FCC’s React section, built one of the projects, and taught myself several hooks using online documentation. I definitely need more experience creating complex apps with event handlers, lifecycle methods, etc. Why do you say that the MERN stack is something I may not want to learn? Also I read that people do pair React front ends with Python back ends, but I’m not sure how common this is.

I appreciate that insight into the transferable nature of back end skills. I will focus on deeply understanding one back end language and trust that I could pick up new ones, as needed. Same with SQL.

Thank you for taking the time to provide a thoughtful and encouraging response.

I was considering the MERN stack as my path but because my university course (computer science) taught me a little PHP and MySQL, I thought that I can expand it on my own, so I did.

It makes me curious to dive into the various functionalities, tools (you might run into Docker like me at some point), and practices utilized by the technologies I am following. It is what I want to learn right now.

You might already know this but if you look online for development jobs, most of what they ask are plentiful. Some are not even related to the job itself and it can be overwhelming to learn all of them which you shouldn’t.

It’s great that you’ll get the chance to be an apprentice. Though once done you might be with yourself again learning in the development world.

I think this is why you should set some goal on what to pursue learning (regardless of your wants or needs) and have a reason behind it. :slightly_smiling_face:

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