Life post software engineering bootcamp, pre employment

This article will aim to provide structure and resources for graduates of a Software Engineering Bootcamp, who are currently job searching.

It is not sponsored in any way. The companies and sites listed are a reflection of my interest and research.

Photo by Jingda Chen on Unsplash


You have officially graduated from your software engineering bootcamp, and are getting ready to find your first job.

You have gotten used to a grueling schedule and a fast paced guided learning environment, and finally have some down time… right? …maybe? … please?

Though you do not have to keep yourself to the same learning pace as your bootcamp, it is essential to maintain structure and yes, learning, in the time between graduation and employment. Though you deserve a break, please do not throw all the good habits you have built over the past few months immediately out the window.

The Importance of Schedule

In your bootcamp, you will have developed a daily schedule, most likely from 9am-5/6pm. You may have had morning stand-ups and evening check-ins to organize and summarize what you have done throughout the day. During the day, you will have classes and meetings. This structure will not formally exist post bootcamp, but will most likely be followed in your job to come.

Though it may feel like freedom to no longer be tied to a 9–6, it is a good idea to loosely keep this schedule post-graduation. Tech jobs tend to have more flexible scheduling than other fields, and while we are still living in COVID-19 times it is indeed likely that many jobs will be remote. That being said, there is still a pretty large chance you will have to continue 9–6 working hours upon employment. Rather than being thrown back into these hours, it is best to stick to the schedule you have already developed, getting work done between the hours of 9am and 5pm Monday through Friday.

Now that we are committed to working 9–5 each day, it is time to fill those hours. After a bootcamp, there are countless topics you still do not know that can help you find a job. Pick one new thing to learn each week, and map out how you will do so. Make sure you have time to watch lectures, read blogs, and get a good amount of coding done.

Start your day around 9am and give yourself a half an hour or so to look at what you did the day before, and organize what you will do that day. Though it may feel excessive, it helps to plan your day in hourly chunks, as was done in your bootcamp. Make sure to schedule in lunch and a couple breaks. The same goes for the end of the day.

For the last half hour, reflect upon what you learned that day. If you have a new skill to add to a resume or blog, make sure you record it. Keeping a physical (or digital) record of your accomplishments will come in handy when updating your resume, or sharing a new skill with a potential employer.

Finally, keep in mind how much time it takes to apply for jobs. This will take hours of your week, rather than minutes, and it helps to have that time blocked off so you can focus.

Learning Resources

After the structure of a bootcamp, it can be intimidating to take your learning into your own hands. Thankfully there are many resources out there to help guide you along the way. The following list will hopefully give you an idea of where to start.

LeetCode is the best platform to help you enhance your skills, expand your knowledge and prepare for technical interviews.

LeetCode lets you choose between featured challenges, interview questions, and learning materials, helping you prepare for interviews ahead. They support 14 popular coding languages.

Codewars is where developers achieve code mastery through challenge. Master your current language of choice, or expand your understanding of a new one.

Codewars allows you to improve your skills through code challenges. They push you to expand your knowledge with a ranking system that progresses you through difficulty levels. They use test driven development, and allow you to look at an optimized solutions upon completion of a project.

Matching developers with great companies. Practice coding skills, prepare for interviews, and get hired.

This site is geared at marketing your abilities to potential employers. HackerRank provides skill practice options and certifications in many different areas. If you create a profile, you can publicly promote your certifications to employers to show proof of your skills.

Learn how to uncover the hints and hidden details in a question, discover how to break down a problem into manageable chunks, develop techniques to unstick yourself when stuck, learn (or re-learn) core computer science concepts, and practice on 189 interview questions and solutions.

This book is written by a software engineer, targeted towards helping job seekers through the interview process. It contains interview questions with walk-through solutions as well as tips on how to tackle many different types of concepts including big O time, data structures, and core algorithms. It also offers techniques to prepare for the behavioral questions that come with the soft side of interviews.

Coursera is an American massive open online course provider … that offers massive open online courses, specializations, degrees, professional and mastertrack courses.

If you enjoy a class like learning environment, Coursera offers the chance to take open online courses from a number of top universities. Most are free, but for a price, you can earn a certificate upon completion. They offer a very wide variety of computer science and data science courses.

The leading global marketplace for learning and instruction

Udemy strives to connect students all over the world to the best instructors. It offers courses on a wide variety of topics in computer science, giving you the potential to find very specific material. Courses are paid, but typically on sale.

You have made it through your bootcamp, and now it is time to find a job, which was probably the end goal all along. With some practice and a final push, you are almost there!



Software Engineer and Librarian

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