Life As An Online Coding Bootcamp Student at the Dojo

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We recently sat down with Mia who is currently participating in Coding Dojo’s online coding bootcamp. We asked her to dish on what a typical day is like, how she stays focused andtips for anyone considering tackling the coding bootcamp course remotely.

Check out the Q&A with Mia below!

This is the view my instructor sees twice a week. My pup, Ripley is my biggest cheerleader.

Why did you decide to attend Coding Dojo’s online coding bootcamp?

Even though I live 30 miles from Coding Dojo’s San Jose campus I was most interested in theonline programfor a couple of reasons. I really didn’t want to commute, going 30 miles in Bay area traffic is less than fun. I also really like having the flexibility to make my own schedule and go at my own pace.

What does a typical day look like? How do you schedule out your time?

I’m not working right now so I treat coding bootcamp like a full time job. I get up around 6am and usually go for a walk to get some fresh air. I then make some coffee and sit down at my desk by about 8:30am. I take a lunch break, and then in the afternoon I take a second break to walk my dog. I often work after dinner in the evenings and try to also get in some time on the weekends. I do have to be mindful to relax and not think about class once in awhile though.

Mia commandeered her husband’s office and desktop computer for Coding Dojo. Her desk essentials include my whiteboard, notebook, water bottle and lots of California sunshine.

Any tips for staying on track/staying focused?

I’m pretty good at staying on task, but some things that have really helped are:

Taking regular breaks from the computer, especially when faced with frustrating problem. Going for a walk, making a snack or just snuggling my pup all help my mind settle down. I also like to set goals, and what those are depends on the section I’m working on. However, I try to not get too upset with myself if I don’t hit my self imposed goal. Some days I’m just more productive than others and I find that I learn so much more when I cut myself some slack once in awhile rather than just trying to power through. Oh and when I really need to focus I make sure to put my phone (my beloved Nexus 6, in case you’re wondering :D) in the other room because it is my #1 distraction. How often do you receive support from Coding Dojo instructors/TA?

I meet with my instructor, Kris, twice a week on Skype. These meetings are really helpful to me, not only because he can provide more clarity on topics I may be struggling with, but also because it’s really nice to talk to someone other than my dog during the day. My pup really appreciates the break too! Ha! I’ve also reached out to the remote TA’s when I’m stuck on an issue and they have been great to work with.

I created a Slack channel for my cohort too. When you’re working at home all day long by yourself it can feel rather isolating so reaching out to others in the same position can really be a morale boost.

5) What career support have you received thus far?

I’ve been focused on learning the material so far so I haven’t taken advantage of the careers services yet, but I will for sure!

6) What do you hope to do after graduating from the Dojo?

I want to be a web developer! I’ve worked in software development, in both QA and program management roles, for the past 10 years. Web dev teams have always been my favorite to work with because of the fast-paced nature and creative variety of the work. I’m really looking forward to joining a company as a developer and seeing my work make a difference for their customers.

7) And anything else you’d like to add, or think would be helpful for anyone else who is considering attending the online coding bootcamp?

I wanted to learn to develop for a long time and I was so pleased to learn about coding bootcamps. Taking the plunge to start the Coding Dojo course has been one of the best decisions I could have made. If you’re interested in learning web development and willing and able to put in the time I say go for it! My only regret is not starting it sooner.


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