How Do You Know When You're Ready?!

Hi all,

I’m a day or so away from graduating from a 16 week web development bootcamp. It’s been a seriously tough 16 weeks, with some major ups and downs, but I’m so glad I did it. I still have sooooo much to learn and a lot of confidence to start building before I put myself out there.

On the confidence front I feel like the pace of my course meant that we very quickly moved our way through languages, concepts and tools. One week we were covering Java and Spring, the next it was React. This was great - we got to see the big picture and also put the various bits together quickly to actually build something. This is key - making things matters! However, the speed of the course also meant struggling with something and quickly dropping it to focus on something completely different was the norm. I feel like I have a broad but shallow knowledge of many things. I’m now planning on focusing on deepening my knowledge and getting in as much practice as possible.

My main question is: how do you know when you’re ready to go for a job? Even after 16 weeks I’m still not entirely sure what a junior web dev position would entail! I guess this is what you call a crisis of confidence…

Thanks for reading my midnight meltdown!


You’re ready the moment you start learning to code but no matter how much coding you have done, you’ll still feel clueless. But that’s okay, junior roles are designed to be forgiving.

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I wish there is a concrete set of criteria I can give you to check off, but reality is that you are ready when a employer decides that you are ready.

In term of applying, you are ready to apply now, go apply now. You probably should have applied 3 weeks ago, before you even completed the bootcamp curriculum. Your fear of being not ready means very little in this context. Various company have various different criteria, and there is no way for you to know whether you fit those criteria. No matter how much you prepare, it is more likely than not that you will face rejection, so you might as well try. Worst thing they can do is say no, and you need the experience interviewing.

In term of your own confidence, this is more or less fungible dependent on your personality. Some people will never feel ready, even after they got the job and some people will feel completely ready despite totally bombing all their interviews.

Personally, I felt ready when I was able to rock an interview, regardless of outcome. It was validation that I could do it. At that point, I was already comfortable talking about my projects, not only give a succinct description and tech used, but also talk about technical challenges and system design, as well as field and answer some common questions. I was able to explain and give examples on basic concepts, and often times, I’d use my project to explain those concept when applicable. I was able to acknowledge my knowledge gaps and not get immediately flustered when drawing a blank, instead honestly say I don’t know or postulate with sound technical logic. I was still bad at coding challenges, but I was able to do some basic whiteboarding and at least create general pseudo-code that applies my logic.

I can only provide this as a reference, because as I said, different personality will define their confidence and preparedness differently. It is entirely possible that most company would still deem me as not ready at that point, but I found one that did deem me ready, and that’s all that matters.

Dude you’ll never technically ‘be ready’. You’ll always not have some content.

Your scenario was quite like mine in that I was unsure of when to apply to jobs. I only had 2 months of FCC under my belt and wasnt sure if I should start I applying.

But I was like screw it ill start applying. So I applied and applied and I got 2 internship offers and one front end dev. full time offer.

Keep in mind this was only with 2 months of FCC.

So just go for it!


Thanks folks. A lot of wise words and sound advice. I’ll take it on board and get myself out there ASAP.

Thank you.

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I’ve recently been recommending this as a baseline set of criteria. Any decent bootcamp should have covered most or all of these.

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Thanks for that. I’d say my course covered 99% of that list. It really was very comprehensive, from my point of view at least. I’d still like to revise and go back over a lot of these topics; really get to grips with them. But yeah, I could easily fall into the trap of never feeling ready. Time to set a goal/date and stick to it.