Mireille Bobbert, a woman from the Netherlands, worked as a digital consultant and growth hacker before joining the Coding Bootcamp Praha Winter Batch 2018. She previously studied marketing and business administration. It took Mireille only a few weeks to find a job she truly liked as a software developer at Zamro, an e-commerce platform, based in Amsterdam.

Why did you choose the Coding Bootcamp Praha?

It's 12 weeks rather than 9 or 10 weeks like most bootcamps. So you have 3 weeks longer to learn how to program, and you spend more time working on your final project than other bootcamps. The final project is, in my opinion, pretty important because it's the biggest project you're working on during the 12 weeks. You can use it as a calling card at job interviews. You work on the final project for 6 weeks, of which 4 weeks after class and 2 weeks full time.

It teaches in-demand languages like Javascript and PHP.  When you don’t know anything about programming, it's difficult to know which bootcamp might suit you best. A fair number of bootcamps teach Ruby on Rails, but RoR is relatively specific, and after having talked to some developers it became clear that it’s better to learn something other than Ruby.

Also, it's at least half the price of whatever other bootcamp you're comparing it to, anywhere in the world!

What did you like about the bootcamp?

Great teachers: the teachers are really great at teaching. They are fun, and you can ask them anything. Some of them even reply on weekends when you're stuck on an assignment…;).

Understanding the basics of front- and backend: every two weeks you get taught another subject. First HTML/CSS/Bootstrap, then Javascript, then PHP,then Laravel, then React, and then two more weeks on your final project. Before starting the bootcamp, I thought that everyone who takes a bootcamp comes out like a programming wizkid. This is not the case: the bootcamp is set up to teach you all the basics and show you what full stack web development is about. Going through these blocks allows you to better decide whether programming is really your thing and which aspects you like about it for a future job (more frontend, or more backend).

Individual programming: From Monday to Friday, you work on assignments as you go through the class content, which means you really get to understand how it works. This at least worked well for me.

Teamwork during hackathons: every two weeks there is a hackathon on one topic (eg Javascript, PHP, Laravel etc). This is the time to work in teams and a good moment to experience how programming works in the real world. Because you’ll always have to work with others, one way or another.

Exams force you to revise: every two weeks there is an exam. It's great to be forced to go through all the stuff you've learned from the two previous weeks, otherwise you just forget immediately.

Final project to deep dive: the final project allows you to focus on one topic. And if you really like what you're creating, it helps tremendously to relay your enthusiasm in job interviews.

How did you find a job after the programme?

I was really skeptical that anyone would hire me after just a 3-month coding bootcamp. But I never had such an easy job hunt. This was in Amsterdam. It took me 3 weeks. I only started applying once the bootcamp was done because I wanted to send along my portfolio projects with my applications. It's clear that there is a shortage of developers on the market, and if you give everything during these 3 months then it's pretty much guaranteed that you will be able to find a job.

How intense was the programme?

The bootcamp was really hard work. During the 12 weeks, I studied 7 days a week, for 9-10 hours per day. On the weekend, it was 7-8 hours a day. I took a maximum of 3 Sundays off in 3 months. During the day from 9 to 5, you learn a lot of new concepts and do some exercises. However, the evenings are there to really digest what you’ve learned in class and apply it yourself. You won’t be able to make it to the end if you don’t study in the evenings. It was really intense, but looking at the outcome, very worth it.

What do you recommend to someone picking a coding bootcamp?

When picking a bootcamp, think about the group size that suits you. During my research I was looking at large bootcamps (40 students) because I thought it would be such a great team vibe. However, I chose Coding Bootcamp Praha which only accepts a smaller group of students. I was really happy with the small size, as you get more attention. Also, it’s sometimes stressful when doing an assignment to see that others are already finished while you’re still stuck, so with fewer people you should be less stressed ;-).

Were there any negatives?

One of the reasons I chose Coding Bootcamp Praha was its duration: 12 weeks instead of 9/10 weeks. The downside of this extended period is that it does get tiresome after around week 9. However, if you make sure that you pick a final project that really excites you, you will be able to keep yourself motivated until Demo Day!

All in all, Coding Bootcamp Praha is the best value for money bootcamp you can get: get taught full stack web development by great teachers, learn in-demand languages, and get more than enough exposure to all sorts of different programming challenges. And all of this for the fraction of the price of what you would pay for any other bootcamp. Don’t hesitate, just apply, you will not regret this!