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What You Need to Know Before Joining a Bootcamp

Joining a bootcamp is an exciting and transformative journey

UX/UI Design
5 minute read

You’ve done it! You’ve picked the right boot camp for yourself and now you’re just a few weeks away from embarking on an exciting journey! I remember that feeling myself a year ago and it felt great but at the same time scary. To help you navigate this transformative journey, here are some suggestions on how to tackle specific aspects of the bootcamp.

Navigating the Intensity of a Bootcamp

Bootcamps can be intense and demanding. They cover key topics within a relatively short time frame and putting in your best efforts is crucial for achieving success. To truly excel, you must be willing to put in the extra work and immerse yourself in the curriculum, constantly thinking, reading and even dreaming about the subject. I must confess that during my bootcamp, most extracurricular activities were put on hold as we dedicated ourselves wholeheartedly to the program, so I suggest setting yourself up for success by clearing out your schedule, preparing yourself mentally for the next 8 or 15 weeks and communicating with your friends and family that you’re committing to embarking on this journey. It may sound challenging, but trust me, the journey will be worth every effort!

Managing Time Efficiently

While you’ll have the support of your teachers and mentors throughout the bootcamp, a lot of the time you’ll be needing to work independently or in groups. Depending on the course, one thing is clear, you must be comfortable managing your own time and understanding how to work by yourself. Finding the right tools to stay focused and determined is key.

Reflecting upon my own bootcamp experience, I quickly realised the importance of a great productivity tool. Within the first week, I started using Notion, a tool that I still use every day. This allows you to set up a personalised space that suits your needs and learning style. You can explore a Kanban-style board, like the one available here, or opt for a straightforward weekly planner template. If you are a little bit more old school like me, consider ordering yourself a printed weekly planner to keep yourself organised.

Harnessing Effort and Energy

Remember, the more effort you put in, the better your outcome. View the bootcamp as a life-changing experience where you give your everything to succeed. This may involve more reading than you’re usually used to, spending more time on your computer or enhancing your knowledge by listening to podcasts. Before starting my course, I rarely used YouTube, however, I discovered its value when I needed to learn Figma. The short videos and quick 'how-to's' became my go-to resource, helping me master the tool efficiently. This experience taught me just how important it is to embrace new resources and put energy into exploring new things. My suggestion here is to embrace new resources, bring the energy into exploring new things and keep focused and you will be breezing through this!


UX/UI Design Bootcamp

12 weeks · part-time

Spend 12 weeks learning live from industry experts in a micro class. Learn-by-doing with practical case studies and publish your portfolio! 

Embracing Help & Collaboration

It’s completely normal to feel lost at times during your bootcamp experience. Remember, nobody knows everything and that’s ok! Don’t be afraid to ask for help whenever you need it, even before the bootcamp begins if you’re unsure about what to expect. When I was offered a full scholarship for my course, I jumped at the opportunity without much prior research. As a result, I found myself feeling overwhelmed and struggling to navigate the platform and access the pre-reads. Feeling lost, I reached out to the course manager, who helped and reassured me.

Based on my experience, I highly recommend reaching out to the course managers and addressing any queries before your course starts. Once you’re connected on the communication channels like Slack, start engaging with your peers. You’ll quickly discover that many others share the same uncertainties, and together you can reassure and support one another.

Completing Prep Work

To set yourself up for success, start your prep work before you embark on the course. Most bootcamps provide pre-reads for a reason - they offer valuable insights and help you prep for what’s to come. I did not go through much of the pre-reading material and found myself a little bit lost in the initial few lectures when my colleagues brought up certain techy words that I knew nothing about. Make the most of these pre-reads as they allow you to familiarise yourself with the fundamental concepts and technologies that will be covered throughout your course. Additionally, I would also suggest starting to immerse yourself within the field, following content and key players from the industry.

Trusting the Process

Keep your end goal in mind, whether it’s breaking into a new field or mastering design systems to secure a pay rise. Maintain a clear focus on your objectives and ensure these are always in sight. While the bootcamp itself is crucial, remember to also dedicate time to other supporting activities that contribute to your overall success.

Consider tasks such as updating your LinkedIn profile, sharing your learning experience regularly or even attending networking events. While it's important to be proactive, exercise caution when it comes to jumping ahead too early. I learned this firsthand when I began setting up my portfolio in week one, only to realise that I lacked the necessary skillsets for the task at that stage. My top recommendation is to trust the process and be prepared to follow it, as the course is purposefully designed that way.

Joining a bootcamp is an exciting and transformative journey. Set yourself up for success by following the points mentioned above: do the prep work, invest your time and energy and last but not least, trust the process. Embrace the experience and enjoy your new journey! Good luck!