So You Want to Go to Code School

A Guide to Choosing a Code School and Succeeding When You Get There

Why I Wrote “So You Want to Go to Code School"

Going to code school was a hard decision to make, and I made it with surprisingly little information. I had been learning how to write code for a few years, but developing scripts to handle repetitive work is different from building software. I didn’t know anyone in the industry, or how to break in. All I really knew was that I enjoyed the challenge of writing code. That is when I heard about code school.

A friend forwarded me an advertisement for a code school in New York that was offering a scholarship for women to attend their 2012 summer session. Coding bootcamps were a new concept in career training, and they offered to teach web development fundamentals to uninitiated but passionate students through an intensive short-term program. This was exactly the jumpstart my career change needed, but there was still a great deal I didn’t know that I didn’t know.

I wrote this book because code school is an expensive and difficult challenge. There are many unknowns before you begin, such as:

  • What’s it like to be a developer?
  • What should you consider before choosing a code school?
  • What will you learn? What won’t you learn?
  • What kinds of jobs can you apply for after code school? What could your career path look like?
  • How does code school compare to a traditional computer science degree?

Becoming a software developer requires curiosity but also persistence in the face of frustration. The payoffs can be immeasurable. I love the ‘aha’ moment when you break through a difficult problem, or learn a new method or pattern that makes everything easier. Not only is the work rewarding, but it is also lucrative. Going to code school is not an easy road, but it is definitely worth the effort.

I am now a software developer at an awesome company. I get to spend every day working with bright and curious people, writing software that people love to use, and solving challenging problems. I love my job. Code school was an amazing but difficult experience. If I knew then what I know now, I would make the same decision again, but may have relaxed a little more along the way.

I hope that after you read So You Want to Go to Code School, you will be better prepared than I was, and that you will be just as successful and happy in your new career.