So You Want to Go to Code School

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

What if You Don’t Get Into Code School the First Time?

I didn’t get into code school the first time I applied. I set my sights on a program but didn’t make the first cut. Even though I had some programming experience, my application did not stand out enough to score me an interview. I was disappointed, but took advantage of the opportunity to firm up my financial footing and beef up my application. If your heart is set on a particular school, city, and program, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get in the first time you apply.

How to Be Creative in Your Code School Application

Many code schools are interested in your profile as it appears on paper: a resume, cover letter, and your online presence (LinkedIn, GitHub, etc). These schools will make their decision based on an in-person (or Skype) interview, where they can get a feel for why you are choosing code school, what drives you, and how well you will interview for your first job in tech. Others will ask you for a small, creative project to set yourself apart from the other candidates.

Getting Your Foot in the Door After Code School

This post is adapted from my book, So You Want To Go To Code School.

Many people have asked me what it is like on the other side of code school, and if there is any advice I would give to someone before they get their first programming job. Technical ability, problem solving, and communication skills are all essential to success as a developer, and your online presence is a way to demonstrate all three. Getting your foot in the door requires having something to show — keeping your foot in the door requires a little bit more.

How Long Does It Take to Land a Job After Code School?

In my book I advise students to prepare for a minimum of two months of additional unemployment after they graduate from a full-time code school. Why so much time? Won’t there be employers clamoring to hire you, now that you have mad programming skillz? While you may be anxiously awaiting a response to your application, there are a few important things to remember while you wait.

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.

What Else You Can Do After Code School

This post is adapted from my book, So You Want To Go To Code School.

Learning to program at a code school is a great opportunity to acquire new skills, and to make your current skills relevant in tech. Becoming a software developer is the most common goal, but there is a wide variety of roles that technical people can play in software that aren’t about writing code. Whether you have left a job in customer service, teaching, or research, the skills you gained in your last career will help you fill a niche in your new one. Here are a few paths in tech that don’t involve writing software, but do require some experience with coding, frameworks, and methodologies.