What to Expect After The Bootcamp

May 24, 2020

If your goal after a coding Bootcamp is to get a job as a developer, then you’ll need to know what to expect. Learning to code is just the first step. Now you need to show employers what you can do! For many, this is an exciting part of the process as you can show your personality.

Let’s discuss some of the essential materials you must produce and the support you might get from your Bootcamp.

Online Portfolio

With your new skills, you’ll want to create an online portfolio. This will be you personal space on the internet. Think of it as an online CV and more. You can use it to show your projects, your previous experience and highlight any profiles on GitHub or social media. It’s a way for you to communicate with potential employers, showing them your skills and your personality. As a junior developer, this can be a real way to stand out from the crowd.

If you like to write, you can also keep a tech blog.

Examples:

CV

The classic resume. This should be a pdf document that highlights your skills, professional experience and education. You’ll want to take the time to make sure it is well presented, easy to read and avoid any silly mistakes (like spelling errors).

Most Bootcamps have a career support team who will run CV workshops. Use them to get feedback on your CV. They are professionals who have seen hundreds of CVs and understand what makes them effective.

CV Tools:

  • Microsoft Word or Apple Pages for CV Template
  • Canva for CV Design

Meet & Greet

Many Bootcamps will also offer their own version of a “career fair”. This is when potential employers are invited onto the campus location in order to meet Bootcamp grads. As a grad, you’d be expected to speak to potential employers, discussing yor projects and your experience on the course. This can be a great way to meet employers face to face and often attracts employers who have hired Bootcamp grads before.

a women preparing to apply to jobs

Projects

Remember, the Bootcamp is just the beginning of your learning experience. You should build projects so that you can continue to practice your coding and build your experience. Try to build bigger and more complex projects as you go, challenging yourself each time. These projects will make excellent talking points when you begin to have interviews.

If you don’t have ideas for your own side-projects, you can also complete small code challenges online which can be useful practice.

Coding challenges:

Applications

Once you’ve prepared your CV and built your portfolio you can start sending job applications. In the software industry, most companies have a careers page on their website that lists all their open job jobs. There are also several tech specific job boards which aggregate jobs across the industry.

Once you’ve found companies you like, you can begin to apply, being careful to follow the application instructions. For most companies, this involves sending your CV, a cover letter and filling out a form with some basic information.

It can be tempting to send as many applications as possible. But it’s worth remembering that if you are successful at this first stage, the next stage is normally a telephone interview. These take more time and require scheduling, so you’ll want to keep the number of applications manageable.

London Tech job boards:

Interviews

If your initial application is successful you’ll be invited for a telephone interview and after that a further in-person interview.

A telephone interview is generally shorter and less formal. It’s an opportunity for you to learn more about the specifics of the role and for the employer to learn more about you. Make sure to prepare by learning as much about the company as possible. If possible, also learn about the specific person you will be speaking to. It’s crucial to prepare some good questions. This shows the interviewer you are enthusiastic about the company and hungry to learn.

The in-person interview is more formal and often involves a competency based and technical interview. You’ll be expected to talk about code, answer questions and explain your thinking around technical topics. This can be daunting at first, but remember that as a Bootcamp grad the interviewers will not be expecting you to know everything.

Again, many Bootcamps can offer some workshops and help around preparing for interviews.

Code Tests

If you’re changing career, this part of the interview test will be new - the code test. As software development is a technical and practical skill, employers want to see what you can do in practice. They often will set you a specific coding task to do over a few days. The test itself normally takes a few hours and attempts to replicate the work of the company, although this can vary.


If you’d like further help, please ask any questions on Twitter or join our community on Slack. I’m always happy to help.

Stevan Popovic

Written by Stevan Popovic, creator of Code With Bootcamps, software developer and coding Bootcamp alum.

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