A Coding Bootcamp – ”The Perfect Summer Internship”
It all started with an ambition to land the perfect summer internship, despite not having any real hands-on experience, to kick-start my career. With a wish to develop within the field of my studies and to get the cutting-edge skill set that is required when applying for jobs in today’s labor market, I decided to join a coding bootcamp.
In Sweden, there is no shortage of highly educated people, and each year the pool of highly educated people keeps growing. Still, there is a gap between what is produced and what is in demand. Swedish companies are desperately seeking employees with cutting-edge skills within tech and with the ability to proactively contribute immediately as they join a team. Unfortunately, the demanded skill set is not always the outcome of traditional education.
When I was a student at university, the long-awaited summer months also meant dealing with the pain-in-the-a** recurring question: “What are you doing this summer?”. For some, summer might mean a three-month-long vacation, for others, it might mean working 24/7. For students, the summer break can be associated with anxiety over what internship you have or have not managed to land. Two and a half years ago, my answer to the pain-in-the-a** question was: “I am doing a 10-week coding bootcamp to become a full-stack developer”.
Three years ago, I was a first-year student in Computer Science at Stockholm University in Sweden. I had all sorts of ideas and dreams for my career but I lacked real experience within the Computer Science jungle. I had completed one introductory course in Java, one introductory course in Python, one introductory course in operating systems, and one introductory course in IT security. In other words, I knew nothing about everything. At the same time, I started thinking about the recurring question: What am I going to do this summer?
So far, my university studies had given me introductory courses and introductory skills but what could I possibly bring to the table in a real company?
Don’t get me wrong, university studies have given me a lot, but I have always felt that I needed more. I knew that I wanted to do something that could help me prosper in my professional future but I had no idea of what and how.
This is when I first came across Le Wagon and their coding bootcamps. During a 10-week program, I would learn how to build my first MVP and have a live product to add to my portfolio. A hands-on experience of how a real software development sprint looks and is done.
Five months later I was on a plane to Le Wagon’s campus in Barcelona. It ended up being 10 of the most intensive, interesting, challenging, fun, and amazing weeks of my life. Most important of all, it left me with a feeling of knowing everything about something. With the skills the bootcamp taught me, I was able to enter the labor market with knowledge and skills I could apply straight away.
An upskilling coding bootcamp gave me the knowledge and competence I had been looking for.
Coming back to university after the coding bootcamp, I could relate the theoretical knowledge I was learning in school to the practical experience I had gained during the bootcamp. It allowed me to feel that I could bring real value to a company as I had worked on real-life projects with real-life people.
I know — there is a big financial difference between landing a summer internship, paid or unpaid, compared to joining a coding bootcamp. Although this is a big financial investment, it is one that is well worth it and repaid quickly when landing your first job.
With the long-awaited summer months coming up, regardless of what your plans are, remember that there are plenty of opportunities. Despite not having completed an internship that summer, I still felt that I, among my classmates, was the one that had learned the most.