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Why I chose a bootcamp over self-teaching

We ask 5 Web Development and Data bootcamp graduates why they chose to go down the bootcamp route.
Le Wagon London group photo, students celebrating at Demo Day
Summary

Many students enter the bootcamp after having attempted self-teaching. It’s a great way to explore whether coding is right for you and also develop an understanding of how you best learn. Are you ok with online courses? Do you need videos? More or less guidance? Or a mixture of both? We put together a mini-guide of things to consider to help you to decide.

Now we speak to alumni about their experience with self-teaching and why they decided to go the bootcamp route.

Here are the top 3 reasons graduates chose a bootcamp over only self-teaching.

Teaching Support

Cat – Freelance Web Developer, Unify Media

“I was using Udemy courses. They are excellent tools when learning! The pros are that you can go back as many times as possible when watching videos, and they’re broken down well. The cons are definitely not having someone to ask in person.

If you have someone teaching you and you don’t understand, they may be able to explain it another way, and unfortunately, you don’t get that with online courses and videos.”

Melina – Associate Software Developer, Pearson

“The pros of self-studying are that there are many free online resources available these days, and you can learn at your own pace in your free time while working. However, without any direct support from someone who has been through the same thing, you may experience frustration and may be tempted to give up.”

Kurt – Software Engineer, BJSS

“It gave me a good foundation in coding, given I had little experience prior to this other than a couple of online courses. At the end of the bootcamp, we could code in Ruby, Javascript and build apps using Rails. I also met some lovely people who I’m still in touch with to this day.”

Becoming part of a community

Cat – Freelance Web Developer, Unify Media

“For me, it was important to be surrounded by people who were just as lost as I was in the beginning! Even now, after the bootcamp, having a community you can fall back on makes you a stronger coder, in my opinion.” And she still keeps in contact with alumni. “We have a small WhatsApp group and try to meet up when we can!”

Cederic – Data Engineer, Freelance

“Being part of a community was absolutely brilliant. I enjoyed every aspect of it, the perfect balance between independent learning and guided learning, the pub nights, and the networking. I have really good souvenirs of the people that I got to know. I’m sure they will stay friends forever. Last winter, we went skiing in the French Alps with some alumni from my batch, for example.”

Renato – Data Scientist, Nextdoor

“Learn with other people who want the same things as you do. You will accelerate your learning process, meet like-minded people and have an experience you would not have if learning on your own. That is why I joined Le Wagon.”

Kurt – Software Engineer, BJSS

“The socials are great too with sporting events, pub quizzes, yoga etc which can really help break up the intense coding sessions.”

The Learning Experience

Cederic – Data Engineer, Freelance

“Joining a bootcamp is important because it gives credibility to future employers that you’re serious about data. It also provides you with a good basis on which you can build to further develop the skills that you want.”

Renato – Data Scientist, Nextdoor

“Without the bootcamp, I wouldn’t be able to learn everything I learned on my own–let alone go through the technical interview process for Data Scientist roles.”

“Learn with other people who want the same things as you do. You will accelerate your learning process, meet like-minded people and have an experience you would not have if learning on your own. That is why I joined.”

Melina – Associate Software Developer, Pearson

“The bootcamp equipped me with foundational skills that helped me transition my career, as well as teamwork and collaboration abilities that I gained through the projects we worked on together. In a professional software development setting, effective teamwork and communication are critical skills.”

Conclusion

The journey of learning data and web skills is as varied as people’s needs. Self-teaching will always be an important skill that a person develops, but sometimes you need extra, more focused support when it comes to building the foundations of new skills.

If you’re currently interested in self-teaching, take a look at our free online courses at Start.LeWagon.com. If you’re ready to experience a bootcamp, take a look at our free workshops on online and on campus.

Our users have also consulted:
Pour développe mes compétences
Formation développeur web
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Formation data analyst
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