Debating whether or not to join a bootcamp

Hey guys,

So I’ve been having a lot of trouble finding a job the past year and a half. I’ve had a handful of phone interviews, a few in-person interviews and a couple technical tests so far. I’ve been mostly teaching myself front-end development for the past couple years using FCC and other resources like Udemy courses. But I get the feeling that maybe it’s not enough and am considering joining a bootcamp. The problem is that it’s really expensive and am not sure if it’s worth the investment at this point. My question is, based on my portfolio and Github, do you guys think it’s worth it or do you think I’ve got enough of a foundation to keep building on myself to take me the rest of the way?




You’re clearly farther along then I am so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Good Qualities:

  • Your portfolio site looks good
  • Good mix of projects of various skill levels
  • Active on GitHub
  • Code looks decent to me
  • LinkedIn looks good

Something that seemed lacking to me was a decent Fullstack project. The one project in Node didn’t seem very impressive. Looking over your LinkedIn it looks like you’ve already completed two programs: Thinkful & Udacity.

You could find a decent bootcamp to attend which would likely get you a job sooner but you’d have to consider if the benefit of obtaining a job sooner outweighs the cost.

If you are looking for a good and affordable Online Fullstack Bootcamp I would checkout Code Institute.

I’m sure those with more experience then me will give you advice soon but I hope this helps.


Hi @envincebal,

IMHO, you can improve your portfolio with better documentation and unit tests.

If you want I can give you an in depth code review and help you with the documentation and unit testing ( just send me a DM ).

Cheers and happy coding :slight_smile:



Thanks. Yeah the Node project is the first of the FCC microservices. I was my first try at back-end, but I plan on building bigger and more complex Node projects to replace it.

Thanks for the suggestion for a bootcamp. I’ll check it out. But in all honesty, I’m hesitant to join any bootcamp even if it is relatively affordable. Because I already paid for a Udacity nanodegree program. I’m still open to it, I’m just trying to get a gauge whether my progress so far on my own is far enough where paying for a bootcamp would have diminishing returns. Because if what I accomplished so far is advanced enough to land at least a junior position then maybe it wouldn’t be worth the money.

Thanks for the feedback! I sent you a DM :slight_smile:

Thanks for your feedback. I’m glad you think I’m ready for a junior position. I actually was debating whether to add a pic of myself in the beginning. You may have a point though. I’ll consider taking it out.

Lol, how’d you know I was taking the zero to mastery course? It’s a solid course for sure. I only went through the back-end half since I’m pretty familiar with front-end half. I love the Discord community and the fact that Andrei offers career advice. Though personally, I’m more of a fan of The Complete 2019 Web Development Bootcamp by Angela Yu. It’s just a personal preference in terms of teaching style. They both cover pretty much the same stuff. But Andrei’s course definitely has the advantage with a large Discord community.

It’s good that you had the chance to read it and liked it. I was thinking to elaborate more on the subject but i was not sure if it was good. btw good luck with the job search .try to read some books on resume and cover letter .
I figured that you were in the course from your github.

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No, it was really good advice. Thanks, I’ll try see if get a few books on the matter.

While considering bootcamps- some do offer full or partial scholarships. Only you can decide whether the value of a bootcamp is worth it. Many bootcamps have different criteria for admission- no to little experience, some experience…and some with CS degrees even go into bootcamps; in my cohort most were relatively new to web development and/or coding in general. I was somewhat different in that I did have IT in my background already but it really did help me further my knowledge and skills plus being in a physical environment helped my discipline and focus a ton. Kept me accountable. Being home (I went out of state lol) is a big distraction (for me).

There isn’t an ironclad guarantee you’ll land a job faster or slower if you do a bootcamp but it seems to help especially when you have access to the alumni network.

Best of luck to you.

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I mean you’re getting phone calls and interviews so you’re on the right track.

How did you feel you did in your onsite interviews? Was there anything you felt you needed to improve at?

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If your already getting calls you are almost there.
Go on hackerrank and practice those algorithms for white boarding, and achieve for harder projects that will force you to learn more in depth.

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Yeah true. In all honesty, getting access to hiring partners and alumni network would be the main reason why I would join one. I can’t imagine I would learn a whole lot about actually programming that I don’t know already. At least not enough to justify the cost.

It is true that it doesn’t guarantee a job so in many ways, a bootcamp is like going to college. It’s a risk you have to be willing to take. Although one thing bootcamps do have in their favor is many have a “job guarantee” policy where they would fully refund you if you don’t find a job within 6 months or so.

Well my first on-site interview this year went really well actually. They just asked me questions about my experience and then gave me a brain teaser as a thought experiment. It turns out I solved the problem faster than anyone they’ve ever interviewed! But I didn’t get the job ultimately, presumably because I lack professional experience.

Then there was another interview that was kind of a wash. It was the owner of an auto-shop that knew absolutely nothing about tech and just called people in without really knowing who to filter out. He didn’t even know what he was looking for. I actually had to walk him through the development process just to help him figure out what kind of developer he needed, which turned out not to be me.

The most recent one went great at first as I got called in for a second interview focusing on the technical side of things. I was expecting the leads to give me a code challenge to solve. Instead, he went through all my portfolio projects to try to break them. He found a pretty glaring bug on one of my projects which I couldn’t believe I missed. He grilled me on how I could fix it. I was caught off guard and only managed to give some half-baked answer. I felt so stupid. Needless to say, I didn’t get that job.

In the past couple months though, I’ve been getting a lot of calls from recruiters. But for one reason or another, they lead to nowhere. Either I never get contacted by the client company or the client companies don’t keep the recruiters in the loop and just fade away.

I don’t know, I guess I haven’t been getting as many on-site interviews as I hoped. I was hoping for at least once per month but many months not even that.

You really think so? I like to think that I’m on the right track. I’m leaning towards maybe it’s not worth it to join a bootcamp at this point, unless someone can give me good reasons why I should.

But anyways yes I am starting to do more algorithms and trying to come up with more complex projects. Thanks for your input!


I love your sense of design in your portfolio, so I’m curious about the idea of a 1.5 year job search without an offer. Did you start fCC before graduating from Oregon? Or did you start fCC 1.5 years ago?

Do you have an application process, like “apply for every web dev job on Craigslist, Dice & LinkedIn; and apply to one company that is not yet advertising each week”?

How many applications/contacts have you made in the last year and a half?

You might add your portfolio as a website to your LinkedIn page.

Have you applied to contracting agencies, like TEKsystems?

Have you tried triplebyte?

Sorry for hammering you with a bunch of questions, but you have sparked my curiosity.

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This is just my personal recommendation, so do take it with a grain of salt. I attended the Thinkful “full stack” bootcamp and would not recommend it whatsoever. It was extremely expensive, and considering one is capable of learning way more things here at FCC, I would consider it a waste of time and money. The FCC challenges later in the program are even missing some clues and project descriptions, and I still find the curriculum here more valuable. It also has the added benefit of a large community. It’s a big no from me.

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So if you are getting recruiter feeler and on-site interview, you are probably already very close. I’d suggest you be more aggressive in asking for feedback when you do get to the interviewers and able to get contact information of hiring manager and interviewers.

Place more of your effort into networking, and selling yourself to potential employers, either at meet ups, hackathons, or conferences.

I’d suggest maybe try applying to consulting/talent firms like Wipro or Accenture, get in contact with one of their recruiters, as they serve contracts with serval business clients and may have some inside track on some contractor jobs.


Thanks, I didn’t think it was anything special to be honest, but I still appreciate your kind words.

I started job searching after I finished a couple of the intermediate AJAX projects from the old curriculum.

I honestly don’t know how many applications in that time. I’ve sent out way too many to keep count. But I do a combination of applying to jobs in job boards that sound up my alley and tailoring my resume/cover letter at company websites. With network contacts, I would say I have spoken to about 10 people. But for one reason or another, their companies either weren’t hiring developers at the time.

And yes I have done the LinkedIn thing and gone through TEKsystems and other recruiting agencies. I’ve actually had a lot of recruiters reach out to me. Some of which I actually interviewed with initially before applications be sent to their clients. But for some reason none of their clients ever reach out to me. So my experience with recruiters haven’t gotten further than contact with the recruiters acting as the middleman.

But if any of you have feedback on my resume and cover letter below, I’m appreciate that too.


Cover Letter:

Actually, the bootcamp I was considering was Thinkful. It is true they are expensive. I was considering joining their Acceleration Program where they put you through 5 months of intense mentorship. The payment option I was considering was their Pay Sharing option where you pay nothing until you get a job. They get reimbursed 15% of your paycheck for the next 4 years or until you reach $40,000, whichever is first. It was a tough pill to swallow for sure.

In their defense, I was with Thinkful for a brief period a couple years ago. My experience with them was great. The mentors really invest in you and there were tons of office hours and resources at your disposable. But yeah, you probably are right that it’s probably not worth the money especially given how much I’ve learned from FCC and other free resources.

Yeah I have had maybe 3 or 4 on-site interviews the past year. Not as many as I would have liked, but I have been getting a lot of recruiters. As I said though, either they had nothing developer related at the time or they do and I never get contacted by their client companies. I haven’t connected with Wipro or Accenture specifically, but I will do that for sure. Thanks for the tip.

I have been more aggressive in going to meetups and conferences. Personally I hate going to them because networking just feels fake to me. Plus I’m a huge introvert. It feels like I’m just talking to people just to use them to get a job. But I do try to establish authentic connections and try to offer value to them as they would to me. I may not like doing it, but I know I can’t ignore the potential opportunities they may bring. So I just need to suck it up and do it.