Debating whether or not to join a bootcamp

Actually, that seems like a cool idea. They didn’t have that option when I was with them. My course was six months and was with a mentor, but I don’t remember the frequency. It was a bit much for me at the time, but to their credit, I learned a bunch that essentially led me to breeze through a lot of the challenges here. Thing is, it was the same content as here. The mentorship was unique to thinkful, however. Whatever you do, you seem like you have a great attitude, and I think that will take you very far.

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Hey There!

Have you tried the networking angle? Connecting with devs who are in your area and employed in tech companies will likely benefit you in the long run even if it may feel a bit awkward to start.

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Yeah this new payment option is fairly new. When I was with them a couple years ago, they didn’t have the option either. But anyways, at this point I’m certain I will not join a bootcamp. Instead, I’ll just be more aggressive on other strategies. I think bootcamps are great for having mentorship and give people a sense of accountability, but I don’t think it’s worth it to me since I have learned how to be relatively self-sufficient in my learning. Plus, like you said, we can get the all the same information bootcamps teach for free and more.

Again, thank you for your kind words. I certainly hope the time and energy I spent will be worth it in the end.

Yeah, I have in the past but stopped after while due to burnout and not really getting anywhere. I do plan on getting back into it though. I just don’t know how to go about it effectively. I can go on meetup.com and similar sites with tons of meetups, but am not sure how to differentiate between ones that are great for networking and those that are not. Because of all the ones I’ve been to, only about 2 of them did I actually make some sort of connections. Secondly, I also want to be genuine in my networking. I don’t want to engage people in a way that feels like I am treating them as a means to an end. I want it to be a mutually beneficial relationship which I can give them value as well.

I acknowledge networking is important and necessary, I just never liked the idea of it because it often times feels fake. I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong on that. But that’s just how I feel about it.

Yeah that is a very common feeling and totally understandable. Here is couple thoughts I have on this that may be helpful:

  • You definitely should not treat people like means to an end, It is awesome that you feel that way and want the relationships to be mutual. That’s exactly the right approach.
  • Look for meetups that are specifically organized to network. Something like "Networking for Software Developers in [insert your city here]. I do not know where you are based, but in major tech hubs and cities there are usually events like that. They are great because everybody is there for that same reason - connections. There are no hidden agenda, there is only one agenda that is right in the name.
  • Join Slack channels for your local tech community. Start contributing there in the chat rooms, just have fun and be friendly. Slack is also a great way to get your feet wet with the whole networking game. There are frequently people posting that their company is looking to hire somebody, you can always hit those people up in private slack and ask about the position and ask for an advice how to go about seeing if you are ready to such challenge.
  • If you meet a developer in meetups or online, be genuinely interested in them. Ask questions, listen, remember and iterate over that next time you see them. There is really no secret here, ask if they would have 15 minutes to chat with you about their journey, how they got into tech and what advice would they give to people who are just starting. People love giving advice (look at me writing this post :smiley: )
  • Notice at no point I am suggesting you asking them if they can help you get hired. Simply being curious, showing your victories and passions (like a project or a blog post you just published) will be much more effective. Maybe at some point in a few months when their company is looking for a jr developer, they will remember you with your projects being excited and asking all the right questions and hit you up! You never know!

I hope this helps at least a little! Keep going!

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I believe in applying also to jobs that look like I would like to do them but are not up my alley. To get myself to do this, I apply for 3 jobs a day, 7 days a week. Hiring is seasonal, so it may work better to apply for 1 every other day until you get a bite and then 5 a day until the season settles down. I would also plan on out-of-the-blue sending your resume to the head of IT at a company that is not currently advertising and doing that at least every other week.

Have I gotten confused, or is it that you have not yet finished the fCC curriculum? If you haven’t, I would recommend doing that before I paid for a bootcamp.

I wish there were some way to get a measure of how competent your coding looks when you interview. I mention Triplebyte, because they provide something like that. Maybe other folks know of other resources that would allow us to say, Vincent has X level facility in web development.

You can do this. After a while, you will look back at how hard this was to get your first coding job, and be glad you’re launched. Hang in there!

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Here are my thoughts on attending a coding bootcamp (I’ve attended one and taught at several as well).

I think adding an additional full stack project to your portfolio is a good idea. That said, it looks pretty great already! A simple CRUD app is fine, but if you can get creative and build something unique that stands out, that would also help.

Otherwise, just keep interviewing! The more interviews you do, the better you’ll get and the more you’ll know what to expect.

Also, don’t forget to socialize. Go to meet-ups and events where you can meet other developers. You never know, you might land a job just by meeting the right person at an event.

Best of luck!

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Wishing you the best my dude! Excited to see your “I got it!” Thread. You can do it. Some great advice here as well.

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Like was mentioned by others focus on selling yourself as full stack even if you want to do front-development. Sounds like your getting into plenty of interviews so you resume, profile and everything are converting. If you aren’t getting offers then there must be something going on in the interview that is keeping them from extending an offer. Every time you don’t get offer make sure you understand why they went forward with someone else. Don’t take it to be a personal rejection. In certain areas where the competition if just fierce. I do see your github says that you are in Portland, Oregon so that is tough market.

If lack of the experience is their complaint then be sure to include the time you have been learning to code in your experience. Its not fair to your employer and you if you tell people in interviews as this point that you have 4 years of experience in my opinion as your github goes back that far. Best of luck.

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Yeah, sometimes I will apply for jobs that are not exactly in my skillset. There are some days I get burnt out from the job search and not apply for anything. But I usually pick myself back up fairly soon after. I know that the winter season typically is a period of low hiring. But there still are meetups happening, so that’s good at least.

No, I haven’t actually finished any FCC certs. I just built a few from each FCC section here and there along with projects that I came up with on my own. But now I decided a bootcamp just wouldn’t be worth the money at this point.

I haven’t tried Triplebyte but I will give it a shot. As far as interviews go, of the 3 or 4 ( possibly 5 if you count a 2nd round for the same job) in-person interviews I had, only one was a clear bomb. The other ones, I either had positive feedback or at least no negative vibes from the interviewers. The same can be said with most initial phone interviews I had. I had a technical phone interview with a recruiter based in Utah that ran for an hour. He mostly asked me a ton of conceptual questions related to front-end development. His overall evaluation was that I had a solid and well-rounded understanding of a junior to mid-level developer. Unfortunately, their client decided to end the open position because they didn’t need it anymore. Interestingly enough, I have yet to have an in person interview that gave me a code challenge. Usually I get code challenges as a preliminary test before an in-person interview.

Thanks for your encouragement!

I apply for full-stack every so often. Maybe it’s imposter syndrome, but I don’t feel I can rightfully call myself proficient in full-stack because I only started learning back-end fairly recently. I’ve only built a couple small Node.js APIs on the server without any databases. It is true that Portland is a tough market to crack even if it is a fast-growing tech hub. The flip-side to that is there is intense competition. So I am focusing on how I can stand out from the crowd. I am also applying out of state to less competitive areas as well. It is hard to gauge exactly why I didn’t get selected after interviews. But I’m sure the main reason is likely due to lack of experience. I say this because the interviewers seem to enjoy talking to me as a person. But in the end, my lack of experience is hard to ignore. At least that is what I think anyways.

While it is true that technically I did start learning this stuff even further back, I wasn’t really serious about it until about 2016. But I see your point. I will add the extra time I had in my learning to reflect that.

Hey envince! You and me both. Though I’m not swimming with recruiter attention yet, I did almost make it on a recent interview. Going to a meetup now and excited to just meet and talk with others.

Also as a tip from a female, and sorry this is a bit on a shallow point but age discrimination is real. You don’t look old but try to find an image that makes you look super young where you look like you just graduated college. As an asian I know you probably look like a baby in some photos. It’s a life long irk of mine, I used to get carded everywhere, but hey it’s super useful in the job hunt!

And everyone has imposter syndrome. I live it every minute.

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On a side note if you want to keep track of your job applications process…

this is a fairly good one. I used it for the past 6ish months at least- easier to get to(when I remember). Reminds me guess I need to fill in the “I got this job!” for the one I accepted (a job that has nothing to do with IT or coding :frowning: but still looking for the one I want…:slight_smile: )

https://jobhound.io/

It’s written in React- the guy who created it is nice- he responds pretty quickly to emails (I had an odd bug but he explained why it was happening lol).

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Those are all great tips, thank you :slight_smile: I do have a Slack account and a Discord as well. I know a couple of big web development communities that I could get more involved with and see where things go. Your advice on approaching a conversation sounds really solid. I will definitely try that route for sure. I especially like the part where you say to not even ask for a recommendation. The more I focus on the person I’m talking to rather than what I can get out of it will make me be more authentic in my interest in the conversation itself rather than what I can get out of it. This helps a lot!

Haha! Yeah it is true us Asians tend to look younger. Saves us having to get botox or plastic surgery :stuck_out_tongue: And hey, you may get annoyed being carded now, but you will appreciate it more when you get older. But seriously, what you are saying is the reality, unfortunately. Which is why someone else suggested I remove my pic from my portfolio entirely. On that note, I sometimes wonder if maybe I get rejected because we tend to be overrepresented in tech. It’s not something that we like to talk about but I can’t help but wonder sometimes, you know?

I totally get you on the imposter syndrome. I never say this, but the struggle is real. lol.

Thanks for your thoughts. Good luck to you on your search. You can do it too!

Wow, that looks like a really useful tool. It looks simple and easy to use. This could be helpful because I’ve applied to so many jobs that I forget which ones to follow up on. Thanks!

This is going to sound like a bunch of psychology mumble jumble, so bear with me here.

Introversion and extroversion are traits that people tend to misinterpret and misunderstand. It has more to do with the physical factor, ie how sensitive you are to external stimuli than people think, and it has less impact on your social behavior than you realize.

We have these stereotypes of what introverts and extroverts are, and a lot of times we convince ourselves to behave a certain way. So in a way we’re not so much impacted by our nature of extroversion, rather influenced by various internal and external suggestions and bias.

Reality is we all exist on a spectrum and are capable of shifting on the scale. Neurologically, we’re constantly changing and adapting to external stimuli, it’s how we learn, and it’s how we change. We have to experience and exert effort to change. Don’t use being an introvert as an excuse. it’s not something you just are, so you shouldn’t let it hold you back.

To do so, you have to discard some of your predisposition of “hate”, because we are some fickle and suggestible creatures. If you approach it as a chore, it will feel like a chore and when you don’t get the reward you expect, it negatively reinforces your distaste for it.

Networking feels fake because you probably have not experienced it enough, therefore it feels unnatural and awkward. There is also a chance that you are actually just faking it, that you are not genuinely interested in the person you’re trying to connect to, in the deep recess of your mind, you’re thinking you’re just doing this for a job.

Frame your mindset in a positive way, keep an open mind, and most importantly keep trying.

Realize that no one is actually telling you to feign interest for the sake of a job. Networking is actually just a very fancy way of saying make friends and have a stimulating conversation. Making genuine connections should be your goal. Genuineness goes both ways, to form a genuine connection, both people have to be in on it. You’re not always going to be successful, and sometimes it will be fake, it could be you or it could be the other person. It takes practice to get good at it, like anything worth doing.

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Interesting analysis. I agree with what you said about stereotyping introverts and extroverts. As a personal example, when I am in a group of people I can be quite chatty and animated. Therefore, some mistake me for an extrovert because I give off an impression that I am not shy, which I am not. Many mistake not shy with extroversion and vice versa. The truth is where we fall on the spectrum really comes down to how we get energy from and to what degree. Introverts tend to get energy through solitude while extroverts tend to get it through being around people.

What you said about mindset is totally true. I think part of my problem is I am seeing networking as a chore rather than as something that could lead to real connections. I think I should approach meetups without much expectations at all. Because my mindset is trying to achieve a goal (ie job connection), it discourages me when I feel like I exhausted all that energy and got nowhere.

Your insight was very thought provoking. It definitely helped me reflect on my own motives and how I may have been going about this all wrong. You should be a psychologist, if you aren’t one already. lol

A few points:

  1. All of your GitHub repos have a single contributor - you - so there’s nothing to show any experience at working with others to build a web app. This is something you will get from an good bootcamp since there should be multiple team projects. If you don’t do a bootcamp, then look for other ways to collaborate with others, either by teaming up with folks you know or met online to build something from scratch, or by contributing to open source projects. This will show potential employers that you are capable of working with others.

  2. Delivering a presentation at a local meetup will expose you to potential employers. Master a specific topic (such as a certain API, how to use D3.js to visualize data, how to customize a Google Map, etc) and put together a presentation around the topic. Then, find a local meetup and ask to take one of the presenter slots for their next meetup. JavaScript and React meetups are always looking for people to present. People who do this frequently come away with job offers from attendees. At a minimum, you will gain more expertise on the topic since teaching others is the best way to attain mastery, and you will get something interesting/unique to add to your profile and resume. Also, be sure to write an article about the topic and post it on Medium to further expand your audience.

  3. I also did the online course thing for a while (FCC, Udemy, edX, Coursera…) but got no where with it. So, I decided to attend a full stack coding bootcamp (DigitalCrafts in Atlanta). I am 3 months into the 4 month immersive program (M-F, 9am-5pm) and it was the best decision I could have made. Yes, you can learn the material other ways, but it is hard to beat the experience you get sitting in a classroom with 20+ other motivated students. The break-time conversations with other students, the side discussions with the instructor, the debugging sessions with the teaching assistants are all things you aren’t going to get from doing an online tutorial by yourself. If you do decide to do a bootcamp, make certain to research you instructor. You want someone who has several years of actual industry experience as well as lots of teaching experience.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

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I’m a total newbie in web development ,but I agree with what @psychometry said. It’s really easy to get trapped in self-labeling and I’m lucky in my current job it actually made me realize that I CAN improve by exposure and doing it more (I know sounds cliche but it’s what I did).

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