Last winter term I chose to take The Bridge’s Python Bootcamp for Data Analysis because I wanted to relearn a lost skill. I hadn’t coded for ten years since my undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering! Even though the trends of coding experience were rising and I understood how this skill could help me in my career, I had a deep anxiety that I would be out of my depth in this course. However, despite this fear, the experience turned out to be a great opportunity and the push I needed to realize that coding isn’t hard!
On the first day of the bootcamp I was surrounded by people of different levels and backgrounds. People who had never coded, people like me who coded ages ago, and people who had been practicing via online courses. Although this would be a challenge for most programs, this one was able to aptly teach to this range of students by having base instructions and bonus material for those who were more confident. This made the bootcamp challenging to people with experience, and gave the newcomers to coding a chance to catch up.
We learnt coding fundamentals by applying the skills during hackathons where we analysed real data from Spotify and Glovo. I was so proud of my fellow classmates who at the beginning of the course had never touched coding because they had learned the skills to excel at the hackathon!
Overall, I had an amazing time during these two weeks and I am now not so anxious about this overarching trend but actually looking to find future positions where I can apply my newly sharpened skills!
And to encourage anyone who has even a bit of curiosity to join in a bootcamp, I’m sharing here my ten take-aways from my experience with The Bridge:
1.Level up your knowledge
Everyone knows that coding is a skill that is widely needed by companies. This bootcamp gives you the opportunity to level up your skills to meet the demand in the workforce!
2. Get over your fear of coding
What you don’t know is always scary, and coding may seem like this completely different, intimidating world that Hollywood has depicted to us. But honestly, coding isn’t that hard! This is your opportunity to dive into unfamiliar waters and realize that you too can code.
3. Understand business applications for coding
Understanding how coding intertwines within business is a strong skill to have, especially with these data driven companies being some of the fastest growers in our careers. Being able to understand how they go hand in hand can accelerate your understanding and also your future potential impact.
4. Network with applicable companies
During my time in the bootcamp I was able to learn from multiple different companies about how they use data in their everyday operations. It also gave me an opportunity to show interest in those companies who are seeking my new found skillset from the bootcamp!
5. Benchmark where you need to be in comparisons to others
My undergrad in Electrical Engineering was shared by computer engineers, which honestly made me really nervous as I thought I had to be on their level of coding. Throughout this bootcamp, I realized that I don’t need to have their super high skillset to start or even have a career involving coding as I bring other skills to the table. Knowing how much you need to know for the specific job types you’re seeking is super important and something that I learned during this time.
6. Find your weak spots
Along with the point ahead, this bootcamp gives a safe environment to learn what you don’t know but need to know to be successful! It helped me identify my gaps and also fill many. Python is no longer a black box of everything I don’t know, but a set of nicely segregated areas that I either know, I need to learn thoroughly, or just know where to find the information.
7. Understand Developers requirements
Have you ever been in the experience where a developer tells you “I can’t do that”? Well, after taking this bootcamp, you will know WHY! Being a business professional that knows the limitations and potential of coding, what is possible and what is not,is extremely valuable.
8. Figure out what you want in your career
This course was fantastic because it showed me that I love data and that I want to work with coding in my future career. For others, it was exactly the opposite. Figuring out what your yes’s and no’s are is so important…I I firmly believe that you can’t figure them out without trying.
9. Start your referenceable coding documentation
This course not only gave me great working knowledge of how to code in Python, but also fantastic reference notes and code that I have ALREADY referred to! From speaking with other coders, it is not likely that you write your code from scratch but use code you have developed in the past to shape it into something new. So having these “libraries” of past code and knowledge is super important.
10. Try something different!
At the end of the day, this bootcamp was completely different from other courses I have taken. It gives you a workable skill that you can immediately use, and it gives you insight into what the future holds. It was this scary course that I took as a challenge and it’s changed my whole career trajectory because I loved it so much.
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