BEFORE WE BEGIN, TELL US MORE ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOUR JOURNEY IN CODING STARTED.
JC: My coding journey started 5 years ago when I was studying as a business undergraduate, I got rejected for an internship opportunity within a bank because I did not know Excel VBA. So from there, I took some time to learn VBA and some HTML & CSS. That was where I started –a young man feeling indignant after being rejected for an internship position.
But coding has since helped me further my career and land jobs in some large MNCs, which is why I decided to plunge even deeper into the coding world by joining the bootcamp.
Q1. WHAT DOES A DAY IN CLASS LOOK LIKE?
JC: A day in the bootcamp can be summed up as breathing codes in and out, every minute that we have. Our lecturer Paul is really good, taking us from the basics and building up towards more sophisticated systems.
He would typically start by explaining the theoretical concepts before doing a coding demonstration, where students will code alongside as he does so. Following this, he would then explain each line of code in detail, making sure every student can understand what was covered.
Q2. WHAT’S THE CULTURE OF THE SCHOOL? HOW SUPPORTIVE ARE THEY TO THE STUDENTS WHO HAVE NO BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE IN FIELD OF STUDIES.
JC: Our program manager, Alex has cultivated a very supportive and inclusive culture in the bootcamp. For example, to help the weaker students in our class, he enlisted help from various sources to help them in their learning, even extending to help on the weekends. So far there have been many initiatives to allow students to build bonds together and I would say the students feel that we are surely in good hands.
Jerry (top right) and his course mates after their first project presentation.
“Even though some days can be really tough and intensive, we often lend a helping hand to one another out of camaraderie. I would say everyone feels that we are surely in good hands.”
Q3.HOW INVOLVED IS THE SCHOOL IN PREPARING ME TO USING MY EXPERIENCE OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM?
JC : The school has prepared:
- Workshops with HR personnel us on how to draft a tech resume and helping to review our own resumes
- Right after our 2nd project, the school already began to help send our resumes to potential employers
- After each project, we are given an opportunity to present our projects in a manner similar to an interview setting
Q4.WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACED DURING PROJECT WEEK?
JC: My biggest challenges so far have been down to time management. Sometimes I get a bit over-ambitious and want to try to build some advanced features, but I eventually learnt that it’s not feasible within the given timeline. For example my 1st project was a disaster, I did not plan my time properly due to my inexperience and the results showed. But it was an important lesson for me and I did much better on my subsequent project.
“My advice to any new bootcamp students is to always aim to complete a basic project scope and don’t be overambitious. Once you’ve done with what you set out, you can look at adding on new features.”
Q5.HOW MUCH PERSONAL/FREE TIME DO YOU HAVE? AND WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST SACRIFICE YOU HAD TO MAKE?
JC : To be honest, for me the sacrifice is quite minimal. I think boils down to being crystal clear with your priorities and aware of how you prefer to learn in a productive and sustainable way. For example, I used to code at night but it turns out that was not productive for me, so I changed my schedule to work on my code in the morning. Of course everyone is different, so you will have to find what works best for you.
As for my personal time, every weekend I am still running a cell group on Saturdays and making time for family day on Sundays.
Q6.WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST SURPRISE /SHOCK TO YOU SO FAR IN THE BOOTCAMP?
JC: Even though I read through the syllabus beforehand, the depth and quality of this course has surpassed all my expectations. I have no regrets in signing up for the bootcamp.
Q7.WHAT LASTLY, HOW DO YOU FIND THE BOOTCAMP EXPERIENCE SO FAR AND WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS PLANNING TO JOIN THE BOOTCAMP?
“Know your motivation for joining the bootcamp.”
JC : This bootcamp is intensive, there’s no dancing around that fact. So if you are coming into this course for some other motives (e.g. money) rather than learning, that may not be a motivation that is good enough to see you through the tough points in the course or even at your job!
That being said, it can be hard to know your passion until you try it yourself. Some graduates from the bootcamp eventually become product managers, instead of writing codes on daily basis. This has also worked out for them as an alternative.
We are happy to be a part of Jerry’s coding journey, and can’t wait to see how he will end up shaping the communities at large with his new skills.