Attending DevMountain is an intense experience; you spend your days fully immersed in code, learning new concepts, getting used to a different way of learning, and working on projects for eight hours or more a day.

But what is it really like? What does a typical day look like? When we say intense, what exactly do we mean?

If those questions are running through your mind and you’re on the fence about making the final decision, then this article is a must-read.

We talked to a few of our students and asked them to share their experience and insights on a typical day in the life of a bootcamp attendee. Read on to see what they said.

What does a typical day in class look like?

James Carrigan: Classes begin every weekday at 9:00 AM. They usually begin with a toy problem, usually a fun JavaScript scenario that seems simple at first, but requires a great deal of brain work to complete. After that, we meet in our mentor groups (usually five-seven individuals) to discuss our triumphs from the previous day and what we could improve on. From there, we go into lecture mode, where the instructor or a guest lecturer will fill our minds with the wonders of current industry coding practices. From 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM we have lunch and then spend the rest of the day working on our assignments. The day officially ends at 5:00 PM, but I honestly stay late to get more practice in. I typically go home around 8:00 or 9:00 PM.

Erin Sheridan: DevMountain likes to bring in people from the community who are currently working in the industry to teach the concepts we are learning. They also use former students who now have jobs. Both of these practices are great because you get to see and talk with people who are currently working, and can give some real and practical insight. The lecture times vary, but once the lecture is over, we usually have the rest of the day to work on a project that incorporates the information we learned on that day. The mentors are available for questions, and to help us through the places where we are having trouble. It makes for a great hands-on learning experience. At 5:00 PM, class time is officially over, but I usually stay after to work longer on things that interest me or to dive into concepts deeper. Mentors are available after hours to help me with questions, even though they do not have to be—it’s awesome!

How much free/personal time do you have if any?

Erin: I could have more free/personal time if I wanted to. I choose not to because I want to get the most out of my time here. The class is 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day. I usually end up staying after to work more on current projects, or explore aspects of the languages deeper. Otherwise, we are free to do what we want outside of the 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM timeframe.

James: It is possible for one to have as much free time as they would like if they were working a typical 40-hour-per-week job. We were told from day one that we need to play just as hard as we work because, let’s face it, coding is tough. Especially if you’re someone like me that has had no prior experience with web development before attending the cohort at DevMountain. This is not your run of the mill introductory course to computer science. These courses are meant to prepare you for the real world and they do a fantastic job of it. So, to answer your question, you can make time every evening and weekend to relax and recuperate, but putting forth that extra effort can help you gain so many more hours of coding experience.

Jacob Talley: I like to consider myself a pretty active and outdoorsy person, and if I was part of something that took away from either of those, I would definitely reconsider my participation in it. That being said, while attending DevMountain, I still find plenty of time to do all the things I want. I wake up at 6:00 AM to go to the gym and will still have about an hour before class to sit down and research or read whatever book I am on at the time. After school, I will often still find myself taking advantage of the open lab hours until about 7:00 PM or 8:00 PM each night. Whether it be working on a personal project or studying the new things we learned that day. I’ll also be sure to set aside my entire weekend to go on various climbing trips or just camping with friends. After spending all that time indoors during the week, it’s important to have that balance and get outside.

What was the hardest adjustment you had to make?

Jacob: The hardest adjustment was going from a year of not really being on a rigorous learning schedule, to eight+ hours a day of constant new knowledge. The brain is definitely a muscle and having day after day of procuring complicated new logic and ways of thinking will definitely leave you exhausted.

James: The greatest adjustment I have had to make was figuring out how to speak clearly to the computer. Computers can do incredible things, but they’re still pickier about how their instructions are given to them than the most ill-tempered toddlers. A child can figure out how to do some things on their own eventually, but that’s not the case with a computer. Thinking logically and patiently working out the processes before I begin typing has taken some effort, and it still does, but now that I’m in the home stretch of this cohort, I’ve been amazed to see how certain concepts have begun to click in my mind, whereas before I wouldn’t have the slightest clue as to what I needed to do.

Erin: I am taking advantage of the housing that DevMountain offers. This is an awesome service that they provide out-of-towners like me. So, my hardest adjustment has been not getting to sleep in my bed! I say this partially in jest because I think that if you come willing to work hard, and have put in good preparation time, like me, you will not have many hard adjustments. DevMountain has a great staff that has been available to help me with coding issues outside of work hours, and even on the weekend. They want to see us succeed, and are willing to do what they can to ensure it.

We hope these students’ answers gave you some insight into a typical bootcamp day and helped resolve any questions you might have. Find out more about our courses and send us your application today.