Being a software engineer is an opportunity to create technological products that people love. It is well-paid and gives flexibility for travel, remote work, and spending time with family.
Practicum’s Software Engineering Bootcamp will teach you the extended fundamentals of programming and building software solutions, prepare you for the job search, help you highlight your experience, and land an awesome job. Let’s look closer into the program to find out what the next ten months of your life will bring you.
Who can join this program?
Anyone can become a software engineer. You don’t need to have a technical background or be brilliant in math to start to code. What’s needed is patience, a willingness to learn, and a love for discovery.
There is no need to be skeptical about or afraid of switching to software engineering from another field. Any prior experience or knowledge will be valuable in your new career. It may actually help you stand out from other candidates later. Check the story of our graduate Jake McCambley, who has a background in psychology and currently works as a software engineer for Zencare, a platform that connects qualified therapists with clients. Our Career Team will help incorporate your experience into your tech profile.
Finding out if you’re a natural fit for this profession is also simple. Those who succeed in software engineering often are:
- Inquisitive. Being a natural learner helps you grasp new ideas and solutions.
- Creative. Software engineering is your field if you like to build things, especially in abstract, 100% digital settings.
- Patient problem-solver. You’re ready to spend hours on a puzzle to get that final magic of seeing the code work as it should.
- Collaborative. Software engineering is an area for teamwork adepts, as you’ll be responsible for your area that will connect with the work of others.
How is the bootcamp organized?
Bootcamps run in sprints like many tech companies organize their work. Sprints usually run for two weeks, during which you can look into topics and accomplish a project dedicated to it, just like you would treat sprint goals in your future job. This way you will get a taste of the tech environment early.
- Total weeks: 35 weeks, with the possibility to take a break between sprints.
- Total hours: 730 hrs of studies + up to 120 hrs on your final project.
Practice is on the agenda from day one, as software engineering can’t be taught in theory. The program is set so that you learn more as you progress, but starting is simple, even without prior coding knowledge.
After the first day, you’ll learn how websites are made. You will work on a mini-series of projects to make your first HTML markup and style it with CSS.
You will receive constant feedback from your tutor and the code reviewer, getting acquainted with the real-life environment of peer code review.
After the first month, you’ll create custom CSS styling for different screens, build website layouts with various elements, and push your project to Git with the basic commands.
Simultaneously, you will start your career preparation course to focus on building a neat resume, writing convincing cover letters, and building your portfolio. With this skill set, you will be ready to reply to job offers even before officially graduating.
Halfway through your studies, you’ll be able to use the React.js libraries to build advanced interfaces that interact with practically any service on the Internet via the API. Now your Social Media Web App can handshake with existing software and retrieve data from it!
Before the final project, you’ll become familiar with server-side development and know how to manage the back end of apps with Node.js and Express.js if you have hundreds of users. You will protect your app with security tokens, validate new registrations, and make sure no data breach is possible. At last, you will get to deploy your app to Google Cloud and invite your friends to register.
What is the final project about?
The final project takes four weeks. You’ll put everything you’ve learned during the bootcamp into a live project that will become part of your job-hunting portfolio. Just like in real life, you will get an assessment with milestones, deadlines, and research to do.
Example of an assignment for the final project.
Using the APIs of major news agencies, present a website that aggregates the latest news under the tags “Earth”, “World”, “Nature”, and “Geography”. Allow visitors to search by articles, see the latest articles on the landing page, and sign in to save further reads.
How do you get experience before graduating?
Our externship program gives students an opportunity to work as a team, challenge themselves, and showcase real-world projects in their portfolios. Externship managers, designers, and company representatives work with students, guiding them through the process. The team mimics the work environment of a professional, remote team as closely as possible.
“Practicum has code challenges, where we had to build an MVP (Minimum Value Product). It was the exact same process at my [new] job. So wild!” remembers Tiffany Hall, Practicum graduate and a full-stack engineer at Learning Ovations. “I’m sitting in a meeting, and they are showing me the Figmas, and they want to see the CSS and the pixels, and I think - hey, I know how to do this! That’s awesome!”
How do we support your future career?
After three months, you will have access to the Career Prep Program. The Career Team will guide you toward your dream job. The course will cover building your resume, portfolio, LinkedIn, and Git profiles to showcase your experience and skills to recruiters. You will also learn how to ace interviews and negotiate an offer.
“One of the biggest mistakes in a job search is a poorly created resume,” admits Ana Mineeva, a Career Product Lead (Data) at Practicum. “That’s why we don’t consider a career course finished unless your resume is polished and looks like an impressive presentation you can show anyone.”
“Same goes for your GitHub profile,” she adds. “Some people don't bother filling it out, but employers look at your GitHub for well-described and well-done projects. All software engineering resumes should contain effectively written technical project descriptions.”
Upon graduation, U.S. residents will be eligible for the Career Acceleration Program to support those needing job search assistance. Practicum’s career coaches will have 1:1 sessions with candidates to highlight your strengths, help shortlist offers and companies, and prepare you for interviews.
Why should I choose Practicum?
The most comprehensive program for full-stack software engineering
Practicum Bootcamp allows you to learn the process, from A to Z, scaling your knowledge and applying it to any role in the future. “In U.S. schools and colleges, all projects are done in groups where every person only does their part,” explains Yuliya Khilko, Practicum Software Engineering Bootcamp graduate. “But it’s not very convenient because you don’t cover the entire stack of app development… When you’re learning, you need to get to know everything and touch every single part.”
There’s a lot in the curriculum that focuses specifically on this aspect.
You can combine studies with your duties
“I liked that they stretched the [program] to ten months, unlike other bootcamps. They realize that people have other things to do — they work, care for their children, or something,” says Yuliya Khilko, a front end software engineer, former DNA researcher, and a mom.
You have many doors opening in front of you
You get constant feedback and support
With a whole team of tutors, mentors, and career specialists to back you up in your studies, you will find answers to any question and never feel stuck.
“It was exceptionally difficult for me to ask for help, even though that's the reason why I wanted to be in a bootcamp, right, so that I could get feedback,” says Desiree Bradish, animation artist, and software engineer. “So, I could have somebody to ask, ‘Can you look at this?’, ‘Is this how I should be doing it?’... So, towards the end of the bootcamp, I was much better about asking for help and had much more understanding of how coding worked.”
You are worth the life you want
“I graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Biochemical Engineering. But when I got into the workforce, I ended up being the guy doing paperwork,” says Practicum Software Engineering Bootcamp graduate William Schutte. “After four or five months, I knew it was just not for me. I started looking for something else. My end goal was to live in a big city and have enough money to do fun things and enjoy my life, and I just didn’t see any of that in the career I was in.”
William enrolled and combined his studies with a full-time job. Shortly after graduation, William was able to land a job in tech, which was an exciting start-up based in Atlanta that valued his prior experience in biochemistry. He relocated to Atlanta in order to further his new inspiring job and live the lifestyle he desired.
Start your software engineering career today by enrolling in Practicum’s Software Engineering Bootcamp and mastering the core basics of programming. No prior coding experience is required!
Do you still have doubts if software engineering is for you? Pass our Career Quiz to find out which tech career suits you most.