Bridging the Gap from BootCamp to Professional Software Engineer

You Graduated from a BootCamp… now what?

So, you graduated from a coding bootcamp. Congrats!

Whether this was the kick start to a career change or your way of leveling up your self taught coding skills, finishing an immersive boot camp is a great feat and certainly opens up many doors for you to start your career in the tech industry. I finished a full stack coding bootcamp called Coding Dojo in May of 2018 and was able to land and start my first job as an entry level software developer 2 weeks later. Don’t fret if it takes you longer; I was extremely lucky that I had found a great company that was a perfect match for me. I hope to write another article soon about steps to take to filter and find the most ideal job opportunities that align with your career goals.

Though I felt comfortable in the various interviews and white boarding exercises, it was readily apparent to me during my first week on the job that there was a gap between my educational programming knowledge and the applicable, professional coding skills it seemed everyone else around me had. Luckily, the company I work for is full of helpful engineers and I am super grateful for the investment and potential my company saw in me. I quickly learned from the help of my awesome coworkers and through trial and error. From working on my first professional applications some crucial pieces of knowledge you will most likely need to know upon starting your first entry level job. So, I have created an overview of these key skills that I wish I had known or been exposed to more before coding professionally.

Git flow

Git flow and version control is essential to working in an engineering team. Git flow allows different developers to code locally or on their own machine and “push” up to a common “branch” or code base. To do this successfully, git flow has different mechanisms of saving an individual’s code and reconciling it with the main branch as well as alamgym of each individual’s new code. Git flow was something that was explained to me during my bootcamp, but it never really clicked until I had to struggle and use it in practice. I have found this graphic helpful in visualizing the version controls.

(link this https://danielkummer.github.io/git-flow-cheatsheet/)

Agile methodologies

Agile is essentially one method for software product management. It typically involves 2 week Sprints with various “ceremonies”, including Sprint Planning, Sprint Grooming, Sprint Retrospectives all of which are conducted by a Scrum Master. I have found it extremely beneficial during interviews to just be familiar with these concepts, even if you have never used the agile method before. It conveys insight into current industry trends as well as indicating you can work in a collaborative manner.

Github

Github is a cloud hosted git repo management product, where you can not only store your own project code securely, but can explore other users’ projects and directly clone or fork their projects, if permissions allow. I always try to keep my activity on Github up to date as it demonstrates that you are keeping up with what’s new in the community.

HTTP Response Status Codes

Regardless of whether you are interviewing for a front or back end position, it’s pretty imperative to know the basic HTTP Status codes you could receive back when hitting an API. These are all available with a quick google search but some key ones to know for an interview (and for life) are:

200 — OK

400 — Bad Request

401 — Unauthorized

403 — Forbidden

404 — Not Found

418 — I’m a teapot

500 — Internal Server Error

Conclusion

Again, I am not claiming that these are universal “must-knows” for an entry or associate level software engineering position, just that they were newer topics (to me), that, on top of the knowledge I gained from my bootcamp, helped me succeed at my current company. I plan on writing a more comprehensive e-book that can deep dive into the practical applications of these concepts as well, so stay tuned!

I hope that this overview of topics has helped you identify areas you may be unfamiliar with and prepare for your next job or interview! If you are interested in working at the fabulous company that I do, you are in luck because we are currently hiring for many positions and levels, including Software Engineer, Quality Engineer, Data Engineer, Designer, and many more. Apply today here or feel free to email me for more information at grace@dialexa.com.

Full Stack Senior Software Engineer at Dialexa— B.S. Engineering Sciences (Chemical) Yale 2015— New Orleans Native- Creator of Gracelet, TM