“Should I get a degree or go to bootcamp” is the WRONG question to ask – Here’s why

If you’re asking “Will going to a bootcamp, getting a degree or learning on my own give me the best chance to get a job?”, you’re asking the WRONG question.

I know women who taught themselves HTML and CSS only and got a job.

I know women who went to a bootcamp and got a job.

I know women who have a degree and got a job.


I have members in the Learning Circle who have a computer science degree and don’t know how to get their foot in the door.

A few weeks ago, I saw a post from someone in the Facebook Group with a PhD who asked how to get an entry level job. A FREAKING PHD!!!!

It’s not about the degree or the certification – it’s about whether you believe that you can do the job and whether you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get that first job.

It’s no secret that the job application and interview process is intense in the industry.

Here are some questions about the job search process you have to ask yourself BEFORE you invest more time in learning to code.

Are you willing to:

  1. Be rejected over and over again to get a job? If you want any job at a great company, you need be ready for this.
  2. Put together a few projects in your portfolio and talk about them in your interview?
  3. Do the work to figure out the skills, interests and experience that make you stand out and communicate it effectively?
  4. Study algorithms and nuances of the language you’re learning to answer technical interview questions?
  5. Take timed coding tests that are intense and demanding?
  6. Break down a coding problem and code on a white board in front of your interviewers?
  7. Feel dread when you encounter unexpected questions and tests that you might not know how to do?
  8. Accept a tech-adjacent job that will leverage your coding knowledge but not necessarily code 24/7 as a stepping stone?

The reality of interviewing for web developer positions is that it can be scary, unpredictable and stressful.

Now, your interviews might be well-designed. Your coding tests might be more practical and actually involve what you would do on a day-to-day basis – not some random algorithm that you will never have to implement.

But you have to be ready for intense (and maybe awful) interview experiences. You have to be mentally prepared for the unexpected and accept that you might not know the answers to all the technical questions.

This is what’s required if you want a job as a web developer. Not necessarily a degree or a diploma from a bootcamp. Are you ready for it?

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Hi, I'm Jenny. I'm a developer with 3 years of experience. Welcome to the most supportive community for female developers!

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