Learning how to lead: how a bootcamp is about more than just coding
"At Re:Coded, I learned how to hit pause, look around, and let others take the initiative." Tarkan has always seen himself as a leader but since enrolling in a Re:Coded bootcamp, he's learned that good leaders are also good team players.
min read //
October 12, 2021
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"I couldn’t believe it. The curriculum alone is worth way more than anything else. I didn’t understand why they were giving me this really expensive bootcamp for free. It sounded like a scam and I was suspicious but I still applied and I did an interview with them which made me believe that it was actually a real company."
He laughs at that now but he remembers taking a look at the curriculum and thinking that learning so much in so short a time would be an almost impossible task.
"I honestly didn’t think that I would be able to learn all that in a few months but they made us achieve the impossible. When I tell my friends about it, they don’t believe it. I have never really experienced intensity like this before."
Often when people want to learn to code, their first port of call is online video tutorials but many often struggle to complete courses or to know what really to focus on.
The aim of Re:Coded bootcamps is not only to learn coding but also to give graduates the tools to continue learning and to have a growth mindset as the field is constantly evolving.
"Before the bootcamp, I thought I already knew what learning was, but Re:Coded has taught me how to learn properly and I’m so grateful for this. This has helped me to gain a new perspective on life as right now, I think that if I’m not learning something, life simply isn’t worth living. This mentality means that I cannot fail at life as eventually I will learn enough and achieve my dreams. Re:Coded made me more optimistic about my future."
Creating projects from own experiences is satisfying
As part of the bootcamp, students are encouraged to put theory into practice through coding projects and for his first project, Tarkan was inspired by his own personal experience. As he had previously been overweight, weighing over 175kg, he was no stranger to the world of diet trackers but he found that a lot of them were difficult to use.
"When I was losing weight, I used a lot of diet trackers but I found that I got really lost inside of them. Therefore, I just wanted to build a really simple calorie and macro tracker. It became bigger and better than we’d intended and our engineers were really impressed as it was better than expected. Right now, it’s almost finished. We are developing the database which will let you see the nutrients of individual foods and meals and create charts," he says and continues.
"If you’re just solving maths problems it’s fine but actually solving a real-life problem is just so much more amazing."
Coding gives me this sense of satisfaction.
"At the moment, I’m looking for a job and carrying on learning at the same time so I’m doing both job applications and working on projects for my portfolio. I try to divide my time into parts to help ensure that I keep my knowledge up while I find a job."
As personal experience often provides the best inspiration, Tarkan hopes to use his job hunt to create a new app which will keep his skills sharp and enhance his coding portfolio.
"Right now, I’m thinking of creating a job tracking app to keep a diary of the jobs, the resources I’m using, how I’m applying. One of the big problems is that often, you forget who you’ve applied to. It’s a way of organising your applications. I would use an API which keeps track of different companies and though it’s aimed at investors, I could use it to give information about the company to help with interviews and writing cover letters. To help keep track of their values, all the stuff you find on the website."
Learning to lead
Becoming more employable isn’t just about learning hard skills such as coding, and we often forget how essential soft skills are.
Although Tarkan has always considered himself to be a natural leader, taking on leadership roles throughout his university career, the bootcamp taught him that being a good leader also requires you to be a team player.
"Personally, teamwork was one of the most important skills. I thought that I knew how to be in a team but the bootcamp gave me an opportunity to reflect on my performance within a team. At Re:Coded, I learnt how to hit pause, look around and let others take the initiative too. I have learnt how to involve others and give more to people around me. In group projects, we have to use a different type of leadership and be a team player."
Tarkan hopes to take some of these skills forward in the future, both to his career and to other people by becoming a mentor.
"In the future, I will be either mentoring or teaching so I will be utilizing my skills to give back to certain people. I also aim to be a team leader or a project leader so that I can use what I’ve learnt at Re:Coded from the teamwork and business communication courses."
Now that he’s graduated from the bootcamp, Tarkan’s main aim is to find a job, ideally in a large company where there is a more developed mentorship scheme. Tarkan sees his future as being within a large tech company as he feels that this will help him to learn throughout his career so that he never stagnates.
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