Why you should be weary of going full freelance after a coding bootcamp.

We've heard it a thousand times before, you want to learn to code so that you can work remotely from a beach in Fiji while you sip coconut flavoured rum. Ah the good life of being a digital nomad! Isn't that the dream?

I'd say a good chunk of the applications we receive at Decode have some sort of mention of this. And in reality, this is totally attainable (maybe lay off the rum until post work hours), but it will likely take a little longer than a 2-3 month bootcamp to get there.

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Let's break it down:

What you get out of a coding bootcamp:

At Decode specifically, we are focussing heavily on fundamentals. Our hiring partners have said that it’s much easier for a tech lead to ramp up a junior developer on the React API than the art of error handling or functional composition. Essentially you leave a bootcamp with a strong base, and knowledge of some key tools/frameworks. The goal is really to build on this foundation.

What it takes to be a freelancer:

Freelancing requires multiple sets of skills, which generally are not taught in a bootcamp. Here are a few key freelance skills:

  • Ability to sell yourself and your services
  • Ability to scope out projects, propose timelines, and give quotes
  • High level knowledge of the various tools/frameworks available in order to appropriately select what to use for a specific project
  • A good eye for design (depending on the project)

What you lose out on by not working as a Developer post bootcamp:

When you choose to jump into the workforce right after a bootcamp, you will benefit from:

  • Your knowledge will sky-rocket. You will learn an incredible amount of new information in your first year on the job. Surrounding yourself with people who have been coding for many years is one of the best ways to grow your knowledge.
  • You will gain real world experience, which looks good on your resume and gives your reputation a boost.
  • It's a lot easier on the cash flow, since you will get paid regularly, rather than having to constantly get contracts.

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Conclusion

We encourage all of our students to look for work as developers when graduating from our bootcamp. If your goal is to freelance one day, start by gaining some real world experience. Build up your knowledge, and then start selling your services on nights/weekends. Eventually, when you have a good client base, you will be in a better position to jump ship.


Ready to embark on a new adventure as a Developer? Check out our Full-Time Bootcamp or our brand new Part-Time Front-End Web Development Diploma (offered through Concordia University).