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Are you considering a career as a developer? Postpone that boot camp for a month!

In recent years, more people have opted for a career path in IT. And we couldn't be more thrilled! If that sounds like you, congratulations! No business area is more fascinating, full of challenges, crazy ideas, and tremendous progress than tech.

But be careful out there.

We understand the enthusiasm and passion moving you. Still, a piece of advice from an all-IT team: don't rush. You are about to change your whole life, be smart about it. Give yourself some time; there's no need to dive into software programming, pay the first tuition, and quickly lose your enthusiasm, interest, and energy.

There is a massive demand for software developers, and boot camps lead beginners to believe that the more expensive, the better the course. Let's face it: it's not true. Plus, you have no time to lose. As a junior programmer, you need to know what you like and don't. There are dozens of jobs in the field of IT; web developer, application developer, iOS developer, Business Intelligence developer, RPA developer, SAP developer, Front-End developer, Back-End developer, and even AI developer. You risk starting on the wrong foot without an astute understanding of all they convey.

One of the biggest challenges is choosing the language and technology smartly, allowing you to develop the applications that fascinate you. The more attractive it will be for you, the faster you'll learn and grow. To be a great software developer, find your passion. This passion will carry you when you return from classes and still want to read the news in WIRES, watch IT experts on YouTube and look for hints on StackOverflow.

If you've never written any line of code, don't let your first "Hello World" be your Hail Mary. A free online course often makes more sense and can be an economical alternative to an IT boot camp or a great way to get hands-on coding knowledge without a significant investment.

To help you manoeuvre these exciting waters, we've asked some of our Rankode programmers to drop you a few hints:

  • Forget about programming 24/7. Your brain needs rest, as does your body. Get distracted. Open your mind and express your creativity. Being a programmer is so much more than just coding. Developers of every kind, and especially beginners, spend hours searching and reading. Programming is about thinking and reading the documentation, looking for similar problems and their answers. You shouldn't use a boot camp to get acquainted with the essential Internet sources.

  • Boot camps are not for rookies. And don't believe the ones that say they are! With an average entry ticket of $13 000 and an average span of 12 weeks, IT boot camps require a serious commitment in both time and money. Only students with some background in this field should follow them. Why? Because the more you know about the technology you want to learn, the more thoughtful questions you will ask, and the better the project you will deliver in the end.

  • Start coding now! Graphic designers have Behance, and software developers have GitHub (or GitLab and BitBucket). Your portfolio and number of commits will show your engagement, motivation, and problem-solving skills. Of course, it would be great to initially have a few outstanding projects; however, nobody requires that from beginners. Many "one-day coding" challenges exist, and you can publish them to secure your first job. Give IT managers and recruiters good reasons to hire you. Plus, it's a great way to test and verify your motivation; programming is complicated, reading the documentation takes hours, and sometimes, it can be frustrating and stressful.

Finally, if you're set on boot camping, make sure to choose the right one by following these simple rules.

  • First: don't trust the Internet. No graduates will confess they've wrongly invested time and money at the risk of devaluating their experience.

  • Number two, it's easy to verify a teacher's experience. A short work experience in tech companies should be the first red flag.

  • Number three, ask questions and require detailed answers before the first payment. Be informed about the algorithms, techniques, syntax features, commands, parameters and working style (problem-solving vs copy-paste manual) you will learn. Ask for details, not only well-known tools and technologies.

Liked our advice? Find out more about coding on our blog and LinkedIn!


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