One of the First Mistakes I Made| Straight out of Bootcamp

Before joining a Bootcamp to learn Software Engineering, I took to the internet to read blogs, watch videos, and take in as much knowledge that I could in order to prepare me for what was to come.

One of the most commons topics that I came across were coding languages- everything about the most popular languages, to the languages that would make you more hirable or give you a better profit. The main language that kept reappearing time and time again was Python. However, my bootcamp chose not to teach that language.

Instead of Python, my bootcamp focused on Ruby on Rails for back end web development. Not knowing much about software engineering at this point and only hearing about languages like Python and Java, I was a bit underwhelmed with the thought of learning something no one seemed to care too much about on the tech side of social media. During my first days of doing the curriculum and needing to reference google and documentation for questions that I had when learning Ruby, I found that the resources were not as robust as they were for languages like Python.

Naturally, after graduation one of the top things on my mind was learning Python in order to make myself more employable. While looking for careers within the field, most of the listings were asking for Python, Java, or Javascript. I began focusing more on Javascript as I had learned it within my bootcamp experience and trying to pick up Python as a new language while only using Ruby every once in a while.

This is where my mistake came in. I was prioritizing learning a new language without understanding that it isn’t the language that ultimately matters but the fundamentals of software engineering, being able to do the job, and the ability to learn and adapt.

Although it is true that learning Python instead of Ruby during bootcamp may have made me more competitive in the job market, Ruby is amazing in its own right and it has gotten me very far in my job search. Ruby has been the stepping stone for countless start ups and is a great beginner language.

When I thought that there weren’t enough resources on the web to learn about Ruby, I learned how to better optimize my searches by using keywords that I wasn’t using before. I quickly realized that there were more than enough ways to supplement my education online and the issue was that I simply was not searching the right way.

Learning a new language is amazing and learning should never stop. The issue was not that I was learning something new, the issue was that I thought a new language was the main thing that I needed to do in order to succeed. To this day, I am still learning Python and Java but it is because I love adding to my skill set and becoming more diverse in what I can do. Even without those two languages, I still receive many opportunities.

If I could advise anyone who is about to graduate, focus on Data Structures and Algorithms, practicing questions in your current language of choice, growing your expertise in the skills you do have but have not yet mastered, and always be adaptable to learning new technologies when the time is needed. Do not worry about learning all of the languages that are out there like I did when I graduated.

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Software Engineering Student

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Nneka U.

Nneka U.

Software Engineering Student

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