Things you need to start doing before graduating a coding bootcamp
23 Sep 2019 - John
If you're attending a coding bootcamp, chances are you have a list of companies to apply to as soon as you're done, or you might be thinking of starting your own thing. Regardless, there are a few things you can start doing today that might increase your chances of success.
Start Reddit and HackerNews accounts
There's nothing a Reddit moderator hates more than a zero days old account asking for stuff. If your final project is going to need data from real users, you should probably start a new account ahead of time and posting a few threads or commenting on existing ones. You could even make a routine of making at least one interaction a day in the morning, so that when the time comes for asking other users to try your app, your account has some age and your request will have a better reception.
Credit: Logo Vectors Free
Get in touch with your network
Just as you wouldn't ask for stuff on Reddit out of the blue, you shouldn't cold email your friends who you haven't talked to in years asking for referrals. Take care of your contact list. Make an inventory of all your acquaintances and where they work, then start working on getting closer to the ones that work in companies you're interested in. However, be forthcoming about your intentions. Don't ask for referrals, but state that you're about to graduate from a coding bootcamp and are interested in their company. If you do it right, you won't even have to ask for the referral. Ask if they don't offer, though.
Credit: PNG Mart
Research your taget company's culture
Just because you heard that a company pay well doesn't mean they're your fit. If you make it all about money, you will be miserable in the long run. Check the "about us" page of all your target companies. Reach out to current employees, or even better, use your Reddit and HackerNews accounts to ask what a dev day looks like. Find out their main languages, what kind of projects they work on, their work life balance and everything you can. Only proceed with the ones that match your expectations.
Start brushing up on those algorythm and data structures skills
If you're aiming for a job a one of the big five, just knowing a handful of languages is not enough. You need to know algorythms and data structures for your interviews so don't wait until graduation to start working on that. There are a myriad websites where you can practice your algos and DS chops, but leetcode and hackerrank are among the best ones. For a more in depth look into the theory behind it, look around at Codechef. For a quick look at the basics, as well as nice curated list of resources, check this awesome post by Daniel Borowski.
Prepare for interviews
So you now talk the talk and walk the walk, what's next? Preparing for actual interviews. The guys at Gainlo prepared a 10-part guide that will walk you through the whole process, from your first application to the phone and onsite interviews and closes it up with a primer on applying to other companies.
Make your final project your MVP
If you plan to start your own startup, your final project should be your MVP. That way, when you graduate, you already have a working product you can demo to investors.
Research competitor's patents
One of the most important things you need to do is research your competitors for exisisting patents. You wouldn't want to work hard on your MVP only to discover that someone else alredy patented your idea. Just enter your keywords on Justia and see what comes up. If your idea doesn't come up, tt's still a good idea to check their existing patents out of precaution.
File provisional patent
If nothing shows up on your patent search, you can proceed to the next step: filing the provisional patent application itself. It's worth noting that a provisional patent is not a patent itself, but a resource that allows you one year before you have to apply for the actual patent. It also doesn't mean that you will be granted the patent. The good news is that is super cheap and you get patent pending status right away. The folks at Upcounsel put up a nice set of resources on fees and a great explanation of the whole process here.
Now go out there and do something awesome!