10 Dos and Donts

Ten Do’s and Don’ts for Living and Learning during Coding Bootcamp


Code Platoon began its 16th full-time Software Engineering Bootcamp for Veterans, military spouses, and transitioning Service members two weeks ago. The start of Papa Platoon made us think about some of the “Do’s and Don’ts” for students attending their first coding Bootcamp. The list of do’s and don’ts falls into two categories – living and learning. Check them out.

Living Do’s and Don’ts

  • Don’t spend all your school days and weekends studying. You’ll burn out too quickly. Yes, Code platoon is intense, but make sure to take time off from coding each week. This will help you be more productive and thoughtful while you learn.
  • Do take time for breaks and drink LOTS of water. It can be tough when you’re in the middle of a breakthrough or just want to squash one more bug, but take regular breaks and keep yourself hydrated. Sometimes, you can think more clearly after walking away from a problem for just 5 or 10 minutes.
  • Do exercise. It’s great to have an outlet and keep yourself healthy. It’s easy to end up going to school early and leaving late, but don’t forget to take care of your health as that’s most important.
  • Do find a mentor — someone with experience in your field who is willing to share knowledge or look at your projects and offer constructive feedback. (Code Platoon offers professional mentors who are also Veterans or military spouses to help prepare our students for careers and apprenticeships).
  • Do lean on your peers in your cohort. These people are here for the same reasons as you, and they share a desire to learn and become professional software engineers.

Learning Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do read the error messages you get and try to understand them. If you don’t know, then Google what the error message means. You’ll inevitably see the same error message in the future, and if you know what it means, you’ll be able to solve it faster the next time.
  • Do break down each problem into smaller problems.
  • Don’t copy and paste code without trying to understand what the code is actually doing.
  • Don’t feel like you have to memorize every method or every way to do something. Google is your friend.
  • Don’t compare yourself to your peers. Everyone comes in with a different level of knowledge, and everyone learns at different tempos. If you work hard and keep pushing forward, you will eventually get it.

As a Code Platoon student, you will be challenged and rigorously trained in our immersive full-stack software engineering Bootcamps. Professional software engineers teach each class. The curriculum features lectures, pair programming, and independent study. Students get hands-on experience working with today’s web development tools, from programming languages to industry best practices. Code Platoon provides a solid foundation to launch a software engineering career.

Jim Hennessey is Code Platoon’s Director of Marketing. Jim brings a strong background in non-profit marketing and start-up enterprises to the mission of Code Platoon. Jim is a graduate of Clemson University and lives in Chicago. Follow Jim on LinkedIn.

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