“Out of curiosity, why does everyone recommend blogging about the [coding bootcamp] experience?” -P.M.
Digital Business Card and Home on the Web
You don’t need to blog about the experience of bootcamp. But you’re going to want a personal website as your online business card if you don’t have one already with links to your GitHub, LinkedIn, and contact info. [Also add the bootcamp to your LinkedIn page…right now.] What will make your personal website even better? Articles. You wrote. Featuring your thoughts on computering. Most people who attend a bootcamp want to work at an amazing company and build great things. Maybe you’ll walk out the door of XYZ bootcamp with a job, but if your online portfolio is growing your legend while you’re busy studying and creating, all the better. Some programmers say they get hired at companies through their blog alone – without having to interview. Heck, even if you want to start your own business, your blog will build up your street cred while you’re building apps.The blog will help to build up your name as a brand and establish your authority.
What to Write About
1. Record of Learning: You learned Express/Node/Mongo/nested callbacks today – here’s your impression of how they work.
2. Project Announcements: You built an app in 3 days and here’s what it does and what you’d like it to do in the future.
3. Resources You Recommend: This book/site/tutorial/video was great because it helped you learn ______.
If you write something and someone disagrees with you, this is good. It will open up an intelligent discourse and you’ll learn more! You can always edit the blog post or write a new one to follow up after you learn more. So just some examples here, lots of great things to blog about including conferences, podcasts, programming inspiration, and more. John Sonmez of Simple Programmer talks a lot about blogging for these reasons – it gets your name out there, it shows your learning process and enthusiasm – it means you’re not out there programming in a vacuum. You want the world to find you and recognize you.
Build Your Blog Now
If you’re thinking… “I’ll build a blog/site with all the cool technologies I’m learning at bootcamp” – reality check: you won’t have time. So build whatever you can or want to right now (simple HTML, WordPress or Squarespace, whatever you can get online within a few hours). Recruiters will be Googling while you’re in the program. Your blog will help fellow students or other aspiring programmers. Later on, after the course, if you don’t like the structure or design of your site, then revamp it with all the new tech stuff you learned. If you’re at bootcamp for 3 months, and you write just one short blog a week… well then! That’s a pretty solid portfolio of articles right there. Alternatively: vlog.
Have fun! -Erika