Full coding bootcamps, the ones that truly get your prepared with the skills you need to begin a career in coding and web development require time, energy, and almost always some course fees. That said, there are ways to reduce the risk associated with starting something completely new.
1. Test Your Interest With Free Online Courses
To begin with, start with a free, or relatively inexpensive online course first. Popular options are offered through Coursera or edX. This is a great way to gauge your interest and coding and really understand your capacity for fitting in coding training into your life. As your completing the course, begin to ask yourself, “Am I enjoying this process?” This will help you evaluate if the nature of coding is something that is intrinsically interesting to you. Some people really enjoy building things from scratch and troubleshooting when bugs pop up. Others don’t. These are things you’ll need to gauge first-hand.
If you don’t finish the online course. Ask yourself why. If it’s because you couldn’t understand the concepts, didn’t find them interesting, or more compelling things got in the way. That’s okay. It likely means that coding wasn’t a good fit for you, and your risked nothing trying it out. If you generally liked the experience but found that it was hard to stay on track, that could be a good signal that a coding bootcamp is a good fit. If you like the work but are missing structure and accountability, coding bootcamps can definitely help fill those holes.
2. Sign Up For An Introductory Web Development Bootcamp
Coding bootcamps come in all shapes and sizes. Before making a commitment to a six-month program, dip your toe in the water with a web development fundamentals course offered by a community coding bootcamp. This approach offers several benefits. To begin with, they are fairly short in duration, usually lasting no more than four-weeks. That means in just one month you’ll have a much stronger sense for whether or not coding is for you.
Additionally, you’ll be able to see if the community bootcamp’s hybrid online-offline education model works well for you. These bootcamps generally have students learn general concepts during the week via their digital platforms, letting students fit their learning around work and other responsibilities. They then have students meet once a week in a local setting to complete assignments and projects while working with other students and a dedicated instructor. During this process, you can determine if this dynamic works well for you, keeps you accountable, and allows you the flexibility to tackle your other tasks.
3. Seek Out Low-Risk Coding Bootcamps
With so many strong ways to test out if coding and coding bootcamps are right for you, you can avoid some of the typical pitfalls students often encounter on their path to learning to code. For starters, don’t quit your job! Along the same lines, don’t take out a loan to fund your coding education. There’s no need. With the advent of community coding bootcamps that offer flexible online-offline training, affordable prices and locations in many local towns and small cities, there’s no longer a need to stop everything and attend a full time bootcamp.
Next, make sure you get the fundamentals first. Students often enroll in more advanced coding bootcamps like a front end coding bootcamp or a full stack coding bootcamp without getting the basics in place. Take advantage of free online class to do this first. This will make you actually prepare you to enroll in, and succeed at, these more complex bootcamps.
Lastly, don’t sign up and enroll in any coding bootcamp without understand the refund policy. You need to understand if there is any kind of satisfaction guarantee in place, and any way to exit the course while it’s in-progress if you find it’s a bad fit or other issues in life take center stage. After all, if you find that coding isn’t something you want to pursue, you have a risk-free, affordable way to exit.