Preparing For Coding Bootcamps

Before my interviews with all the coding bootcamps I applied to, I did some digging and really went out of my way to try and find out what would make me a better candidate in the entire process.

How are students selected?

There are 2 main ideas behind selection

1. You have a basic working knowledge of JavaScript fundamentals.

  • They judge you on how you think, not what you know
    • How willing are you to learn?
    • What is your potential to succeed?
    • Can you demonstrate the aptitude to pick up simple concepts?
    • Have you learned a reasonable amount of JavaScript on your own?
  • Their ability to teach you is very important
    • You should not be afraid to ask questions (be honest about your weaknesses).
    • ^ No such thing as stupid questions.
    • Have a positive attitude under pressure.
  • Synonyms that come up to describe the ideal student
    • warmsmartdrivencompassionatecapablefriendlydedicated
  • You don’t have to be expert coder, but a good learner.

2. You are a good fit for the program.

  • Culture fit is vital in the interview process
    • They want to make sure everyone gets along (so show your best self).
    • You’re fun to hang out
    • You do not ring any alarm bells (ergo, not an asshole).
    • There are ~30 applicants for each student, but it is important to note that qualified applicants typically underestimate themselves and reputation
    • Your formal education and previous job success does not matter, only your ability to code

How do I prepare?

The Gist Of It

You will go through a pair programming interview process that (usually) pushes you beyond your comfort zone (in terms of programming, hehe).

Helpful Resources

Going All Out

Topics that are generally NOT covered in the interview

  • jQuery
  • regular expressions
  • AJAX
  • node.js

Topics that CAN be covered in the interview

  • plain old JavaScript
  • callbacks (passing functions as arguments to other functions)
  • how anonymous functions and functions are stored in variables as callback arguments
  • iteration through collections
  • variable declarations, function signatures, if loops, conditionals
  • built in array and string functions
  • underscore JS functions
  • RECURSION (yes, seriously, inception)

Prep Resources Offered by Bootcamps

  1. App Academy Prep Work
  2. Code Fellows – GitBook on Full Stack JavaScript Engineering
  3. Flatiron Prework
  4. Fullstack Academy Interview Preparation Guide
  5. General Assembly Dash
  6. Hackreactor How to Prepare for the Admissions Challenge
  7. Launch Academy Codecabulary
  8. MakerSquare | Learn
  9. Viking Code School Prep

Really Getting Down to The Nitty Gritty

  • What arguments are provided to each function, and what are their types?
  • What gets returned out of a function, if anything?
  • How and when do you use anonymous functions?
  • What does it mean to be a higher-order function, and how are they composed?

Potential Problem

  • Create an array of numbers, save it to a variable
  • Use a loop to iterate through each element of the array
  • Write a separate “doubling” function that returns any number it is given multiplied by two
  • Pass each number from the array to the “doubling” function in turn
  • Save the original numbers and the doubled results as key-value pairs in an object

Recently, SwitchUp released their 2014 list of the top coding bootcamps. I’d check that out too.

For finding them, refer to this post where I look over the best websites for that purpose and also the post where I elaborate on each.

I also have shared my interview experience with bootcamps such as

Last updated on May 12th, 2020