Bootcamp Diaries - Week 8 - Careers Week

Bootcamp Diaries - Week 8 - Careers Week

2020, Oct 04    

Hello! This week’s blog will be slightly different from my previous entries. We have been given an extra week between backend and frontend to focus on some career-based things. A lot of this will involve making ourselves job-ready and working on our own personal brand. Hopefully you will find this insightful, so without further ado…

Monday

As always, I woke up at 6am because that’s when my boyfriend has to get up for work. However, our first Zoom meeting with the careers team wasn’t until 10am, so I decided to ease myself into this week by reading some more of The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide. I’ve really been enjoying this book and I’d recommend it for anyone else entering the industry, because I think it gives a lot of honest and realistic advice.

reading on ipad with cat

The first Zoom meeting of the day was about industry insights. During this meeting, we learnt about the different types of employers we could work for; such as startups, SMEs (small-medium enterprises) and corporations.

This afternoon, we had another session at 2pm called “positioning yourself for success”, which was basically how to prepare ourselves to be job-ready. I’ve been working on building my tech network since I first enrolled for bootcamp, but this session prompted me to look for more meetups and things I can get involved in. I’d seen an event advertised online a while ago called Code and Stuff, which is a weekly coding and networking community for women and non-binary developers in Manchester. Due to COVID, the meetups are currently happening online instead of in-person, so I registered to attend online this Thursday.

Then I decided to search for more events and found:

  • STEMs 10th Oct - a FREE global, virtual conference that aims to inspire young women to pursue science, tech, engineering, and math.
  • DevFest UK & Ireland 2020 with Google Developer Groups 17th Oct - Learn the latest in web, mobile, cloud, machine learning, AI, emerging/hot tech and more at the UK & Ireland’s largest community organised conference.
  • I also discovered Hacktoberfest throughout October - which I really want to take part in! I’ve never contributed to open-source before either, so it will be good practice.

I’m really excited to virtually attend these events and gain knowledge and inspiration! I’ve always liked to be part of a community; I built up a network of artist friends back when I was selling my products at comic cons, so similarly I hope to make some valuable connections in the tech world.

Tuesday

This morning I had another relaxing morning with a coffee and my book, then we had a Zoom meeting about personal branding. Having a personal brand enables you to promote yourself with a consistent message online and across social media. Due to being a freelance illustrator previously and having many creative projects, I’ve had quite a lot of experience with personal branding and promotion. Over the last few months, I’ve been working on my website, blog, Twitter and Linkedin, to promote my new skills and career goals, but I still took some tips away from this meeting about things I could work on.

This afternoon, I decided to work on my JavaScript Pokemon battle game some more. Previously, I had only written it so you could battle with one Pokemon at a time, but I’m working on allowing the player battle with a team of up to 6 Pokemon now. I also want to introduce multiple rivals that the player can choose to battle against. Every new piece of functionality needs to be tested, so the majority of today was writing tests for things I’d planned.

At the end of the day, I thought it would be nice to organise a Zoom hangout with the other students on my cohort, as otherwise people are probably feeling a bit isolated this week. We had a nice catch-up discussing how people were getting on, especially with building their websites.

Wednesday

As soon as I woke up this morning, I had my Pokemon game on my brain, so that’s what I got to work on! I managed to create teams for the player to choose from (just with 3 Pokemon in each for now), and I also made it so if the active Pokemon faints, the next one will be brought out automatically. I still want to create more options for the player, because the battle plays quite linear at the moment, but I’m pleased with how it’s coming on so far.

Pokemon battle game

Today’s meeting with the careers team was a CV Workshop. I find it really difficult to translate everything I want to say into a simple one-page CV, but we were shown some examples of what a good CV looks like.

This afternoon, we organised another Zoom hangout to discuss how people were getting on. During this discussion, I discovered some new resources I could use to improve my website; an animate on scroll libarary and Formspree for an easy to manage contact form. Following this, I spent my evening working on improvements to my website.

Thursday

In store for us today were two sessions from the careers team; Proactive Searching and Tech Interviews. These sessions provided us with tips on how and where to look for job opportunities, and then how to plan for a behavioural interview.

For the afternoon, I worked on my pokemon game again, starting to add some more Pokemon and gym leaders; it’s getting a lot more complex now!

Code and Stuff logo

This evening between 17:30-20:15, I attended Code and Stuff which was held online via Discord. I was a bit nervous at first because I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, however my fellow student Alex was also attending, so that helped a bit with nerves! We were greeted with a friendly welcome and it was explained to me that usually after introductions and discussing what we’d like to work on, we would pair up with mentor to discuss ideas and receive support. Alex and I were both interested in finding out more about the industry and jobs in general, so we spent the evening having a really good group chat about this with the mentors. I enjoyed the social interaction of this evening and would definitely plan to attend again. I’m looking forward to a time when we are all allowed to attend events in person again.

Friday

Today’s careers talk was about tech tests, which are probably the most nerve-wracking part of the interview process! I learnt about the different types of tech tests that we may encounter, and discovered that the best way to prepare is to practice what you know and get used to discussing your thought process.

This afternoon, I spent more time researching and networking and discovered WomenTech Network, which I have now joined as a Global Ambassador! I’m excited to be part of an empowering community celebrating diversity in the tech industry and creating a culture of inclusion. I spent some time watching talks from the online conference earlier this year and I’m looking forward to the next one.

WomenTech Network logo

Finally at 4pm today, I watched the graduation presentions of the current bootcamp cohort on Youtube. I can’t believe that is going to be me in just 6 weeks time! It feels absolutely mad that I’m learning so much so fast!

I’m not going to blog anything this weekend as I’m not really doing anthing exciting. However I’m really looking forward to starting frontend next week, so I hope you will join me again for that!

Bye for now!