Chapter 5: Living Logistics & Pre-Work
If the bootcamp you’re attending is in a city you don’t already live in, finding housing is probably one of the biggest concerns you have. It doesn’t have to be.
Earlier in the guide, we mentioned that most bootcamp graduates end up working in the same city as their program. If you have the savings and are pretty certain you want to stay in the city after you graduate, you might just consider signing a lease for an apartment or condo. That’s the simplest option, but also one that most people aren’t able to do, so here are some alternatives:
- Get in touch with alumni. There are sure to be plenty of them in the city, and they will definitely have connections for you to take advantage of. They’re also going to be very sympathetic to your situation, since they went through the same challenge. You may find that there is friendly housing in the area that is short term and passed down to students through alumni channels. Often alumni themselves may be seeking roommates and might be excited to have a current student live with them.
- Use the Internet. Plenty of people are searching for someone to sublet an apartment for a short period of time. Start your search on Craigslist or Airbnb. You also might try CouchSurfing or BeWelcome. These networks are typically geared toward shorter-term stays, but it isn’t totally uncommon for hosts to allow you to stay for a longer period of time. If you go the couchsurfing route, just remember to be an awesome guest.
- Most cities have short-term housing organizations that are designed specifically to be used by entrepreneurs or others trying to break into the tech world. Krash.io is active in a few cities, but there are sure to be others that are specific to each city (Hub House in Boston, for example). These co-living houses host bootcampers, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, and creatives. They can be a great place to meet like-minded individuals and start building a professional network around your new career.
Once you’ve found a place to live, you’ll need to calculate and set a budget. How much money will you need for food, transportation, etc.? Planning out your budget in advance will save you a lot stress in the long run. There are a lot of free budgeting software / spreadsheet templates available online. Your future bootcamp self will be thankful you were fiscally responsible early on in the process. Because let’s be real, we can only tolerate so much shrimp Ramen.
Most full-time bootcamps will require that you complete a set pre-work before attending the program. This ensures that all incoming students are in a similar place on day one. Take time during your pre-work to try out different methods of problem-solving and see if you can find multiple ways to complete the challenges. If you are struggling during the pre-work, let the bootcamp know. It’s important that you are upfront and honest early on. Perhaps you are not ready and need more time, that’s ok. Most programs will be empathetic and allow you to defer to a future cohort. They want you to succeed, you want you to succeed, sometimes waiting is the best option to become the programmer you want to be.
If you finish with the pre-work quickly, don’t stop there. Find additional challenges to work on. You can never be too prepared.