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Amberley Romo

Reflecting on Code Bootcamp, Three Years Later

There have been only two times in my life that I’ve kept a consistent blog. The first was my study abroad experience in China. The second was my time at Makersquare. (Makersquare was acquired by Hack Reactor, which is now a project of Galvanize. Lol, startups.)

At some point I decided to make all my bootcamp posts privately published (on my old WordPress blog). Yesterday, I decided to port them over and re-publish them. It’s now been three years, but if anyone is currently going through a bootcamp, or considering it, I hope that perhaps they find it helpful.

Weekly bootcamp posts

Was it worth it?

Short answer, yes.

I had been trying to break into full-time web development for years, and at the time, I still didn’t feel I’d done it.

I ran a Twitter poll asking how long I had been a developer. 61% said 10+ years (when I started tinkering with code). 21% said 9-10 years (when I started building static sites). 11% said 5-8 years (when I started building WordPress sites). 7% said 3-4 years (when I started building React apps.)

I needed a complete change of pace, and a completely focused time period to focus on the pivot. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to do so. I f’n love what Lambda School is doing to make this pivot more accessible to a wider range of people. (Enjoyed this Founder’s talk episode feat. founder Austin Allred recently).

Edit to add on 8.25.2020: In the time since I wrote this, a lot more discussion has happened and a lot more has come to light on Lambda School. I still believe strongly we need to open the doors of this industry more broadly, but it doesn’t look like Lambda is it.

I took a chance on a bootcamp because:

  1. I had been scratching at the door and doing the work for a long time, I already knew it was something I enjoyed.
  2. Despite the fact that bootcamps were pretty much a new thing, and unregulated, I felt it conferred some greater level of validation, and gave me a better shot. (They’re not so new anymore, I feel like I was at the tail-end of that).
  3. I needed to invest in a hard pivot. Working my way gradually wasn’t working.

I’m so grateful to be where I am now, and it’s absolutely mind-blowing that the bootcamp was three years ago. Also, none of this would be possible without these folks.