Is it a good time to take a bootcamp?

A lot of potential coding bootcamp students are worried that it’s not a good time to take a bootcamp.

And you know what? I think they’re right.

AND… I THINK THEY SHOULD DO IT ANYWAY.

I have a few thoughts on this and they actually could apply to a lot of things other than taking a bootcamp right now. So even if you’re not considering a bootcamp, maybe you’ll find something useful in this post.

There are a lot of reasons why a bootcamp will be harder right now and maybe less fun.

  • We’re totally remote right now so the in person fun isn’t there, although we do have some fun on Zoom. (By which I mean I make lame jokes and my students pretend to think they’re funny ). Still it’s not the same as being able to chat over lunch or wait outside in the cold with other students before class.
  • A lot of us are facing extra stress and uncertainty. Nothing in life is ideal right now.

The truth is the perfect time to do anything basically never happens.

There will always be reasons not to do something. It’s what we do anyway that matters.

Coming from that perspective I think it’s the perfect time to take a bootcamp because it’s now. What you do NOW matters.

There are also many reasons why it really is an excellent time to take a bootcamp.

Learning is always valuable

Increasing your skills and learning new things is always a valuable thing to do.

Lots of opportunities in tech

A lot of industries are changing right now but tech will continue to boom. There are a ton of opportunities for people with tech skills. This will continue to be the case no matter how our world evolves during this pandemic.

Plus there are a lot of benefits to working in the tech industry like benefits, pay and the ability to work remotely.

Dedicated time

A coding bootcamp is a huge investment of time. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

If you can’t go out with friends in the evenings anyway, it’s a great chance to snuggle up under a blanket with your laptop and really focus on learning to code.

Accountability to make the most of this time

It’s a perfect time to learn a new skill while life is on hold in so many ways. While a lot of us intend to do useful things with this time period it can also be hard if we don’t have the structure and support to keep us on track.

Taking a bootcamp is a way to create the accountability and get the support you need to take advantage of this time and turn it into something productive.

The students that I have had in class during the pandemic have so far ALL finished the bootcamp. I imagine that the people that have decided to learn things on their own during this time have not had the same success rate for sticking to it.

So here’s a question for you:

Whether you’re considering a bootcamp or interested in another goal, what is something you can do to help yourself find the accountability, structure and support you need to be successful during this time?

Setting yourself up for 6 months from now

Taking a bootcamp is the perfect way to make sure you’ll be in a better position down the road.

On a bit of a tangent… I remember in April when lots of people were on unemployment and getting a ton of money with the extra $600 a week ON TOP of normal unemployment benefits. I don’t really like to admit this, but one itty-bitty part of me felt a bit jealous.

I still knew that taking a long term view of it was better for me. A few months later, those benefits started expiring. Our economy is crazy and a lot of people are out of work and really struggling.

I am so fortunate to have remained employed throughout that time – both to have a job now and to not have a gap on my resume.

This doesn’t relate directly to taking a bootcamp other than to make the point that it’s important to take a more long-term view as to what you will wish you’d done down the road.

Are things going to get back to normal?

Am I the only one that wonders this when somebody says they’re just ready for things to get back to normal? It seems like ‘normal’ might never be the same.

Maybe someday, we’ll get back to something that feels more normal. It could still be a while. In March, I never imagined that eight months later things would be like this.

There’s a good probability that things will continue being pandemic-y for months to come. Waiting until things are ‘normal’ again might mean waiting a loooong time.

This sort of brings me full circle to where I started this post. So I’ll leave you with one of my favorite sayings: DO IT NOW.

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