Previously we shared a few thoughts via Mason Stewart, Partner and Lead Instructor, on How to Best Leverage The Iron Yard Family, and we wanted to continue to provide practical advice to our incoming students to our fresh cohorts starting up soon.
In addition, we want to also provide as much context to our future and potential students as they weigh the pros and cons of joining an intense 12-week bootcamp-style code school. Kyle Hill, one of our instructors in DC, has some valuable advice that may prove to be exceptionally helpful for your decision-making and preparation.
In a personal exchange with a new incoming student, Kyle had these words of encouragement to share:
Hey! Welcome to the TIY family! Love the hustle and your energy, your personal branding — if you haven’t checked out our own slides on personal branding (via John Saddington) then I’m sure you’ll find a lot that resonates with you.
To answer your question (about how to best prepare for the cohort), I’d say that it’s “Knowing what you’re getting into.” Whenever I’m doing student interviews, I take time to ask why someone’s interested not just in learned to code, but learning to code through an intensive program.
It’s a great way to learn deeply and quickly — my target for my students is that after three months with me, they’re at a point near where I was after a year and a half of self-study and learning on the job.
That said, it’s a full-time personal commitment; excepting family, it becomes the most important thing going on in your life for twelve weeks. It’s also really freaking hard. Everyone who does this will hit a wall at some point and need to find the mental reserve to take a step back and give it a second try.
Any doubt you have about whether or not coding is for you is going to be amplified by the accumulated stress of going through this program, and if you’re vacillating on whether or not you even like doing it, you’ll crash pretty hard. You can alleviate much of this doubt with experience.
During interviews we encourage our students to take some online courses and experiment with building stuff; the point of this isn’t to foist off our responsibilities onto free resources, but to A) provide a base to make the first few weeks just review instead of instruction, so we can cover more ground later, and B) let you know what coding is like.
If you’ve done this, and you’ve enjoyed it, and you’re willing to make the personal sacrifice and commitments for three months, you’ll be as prepared as you can be.
Best of luck!