So each time Ada Developer's Academy opens applications, there's a flood of ambitious, excited, and outgoing applicants that creep around on the internet (as we all do) trying to find advice on applying or experiences with the program to help make the decision about trying a coding bootcamp. Well, good news, here's an Ada blog master post where you can find advice from current & former Ada students!
Ok, so a long time ago after I had finished Ada and the next groups of women to apply were researching the program, I ended up getting tons and tons of emails from women seeking advice. Turns out, so were all my peers from the same cohort! It became overwhelming sometimes, and occasionally we'd even get spammy emails where we'd each get the same email from the same person asking the same questions! So to help stem the wave of emails, I wrote a blog post about my top tips for applying to Ada.
Of course, now it's been so long that the tips are a bit outdated: Ada no longer requires a video as part of the application (thank god!) and some of the steps have changed too. That's why I wanted to make this master post--now you can find advice from many different cohorts of Ada students, while also getting different perspectives on the experience of the classroom and the motivations behind applying!
Awesome Ada blog posts:
First, you absolutely have to start with Michelle Nathan's Advice for Applying to Ada. Michelle's blog is so friendly and casual that you can get really sucked in and lose track of time, but don't let that fool you, every paragraph has at least one important point for you as you begin the process of applying to Ada. I also really recommend checking out her post about surviving Ada--this is what you'll need to read if you are wondering what kind of program Ada is and what your life will look like for the next half a year in the classroom. Michelle from cohort pulls no punches; you'll get exposed to the good, the bad, and the exhausting parts of Ada! (Later, after you get in and totally rock the classroom potion, come back to Michelle's blog for her guide on surviving the internships!)
Marleigh Chiles, also from cohort, has great posts about applying to Ada. Start with her post Currently…. Sleepless in Columbia to get an inside look on what the application looked like and the emotional rollercoaster of throwing your hat into the ring. Then read her follow up post Why You Should Apply to Ada Developers Academy to get her insights after getting accepted, packing up her life, and moving in under 4 weeks to join us here in Seattle. If you have little to no experience programming before applying to Ada, pay special attention to Marleigh's writing about learning how to measure your success when others around you seem to have a head start.
I'd be remiss if I didn't point you in Loraine Kanervisto's direction. You might already know her from her writing over at Autostraddle, where she also did a great piece breaking down different code school options for the Queer Your Tech column. Her blog has a great post reflecting on Expanding with Ada Developers Academy as well as a post about her experiences with culture shock from the Seattle tech scene.
One of my fav posts about taking the leap into a coding bootcamp is by a cohort Adie: Logan McDonald. She wrote a beautiful post, Applying to Bootcamps and Committing to Code, that describes her excitement after learning about Ada as well as the way she smartly used her time before applying. Logan even let one application deadline pass, knowing that she needed to finish up what she was already doing and making sure she'd be ready for the next round. I got a little tiny heartache (the good kind!) when I read her concluding paragraph, written before she found out she was accepted:
I was so happy to have found Ada not only because of their program, but because this is exactly the culture I want to create, foster, and learn from in this line of work. So regardless of what happens in the coming months, I am glad to have this community and thankful for what they’re trying to do for women like me in trying to enter this field.
Awww, lots of Adie love to go around! 👩❤️👩
Can't get enough? Need more to read?
- Follow Kristina Hjertberg's detailed week by week account of her experience as part of cohort.
- Sally Moore from cohort, a former clinical psychologist, wrote about her experiences applying to Ada and the switch from a long term professional career into software development for Geekwire.
- Is tumblr your thing? Then head on over to another cohort Adie Amira Hailemariam's tumblr with loads of great asks about Ada.
- Sarah Trowbridge wrote about her experience after three months in Ada's cohort, highlighting some of the challenges of getting back into a classroom setting.
Of course, don't forget to check out the official Ada Developers Academy blog on Tumblr, which features great resources and some inspirational interviews with graduates of the program!
I just HAVE to end this post with Michelle again. In her own words:
I will just say that if you’re serious about applying, then you need to take the process seriously...You will probably feel the whole spectrum of emotions as you are applying, if you aren’t, you probably aren’t doing it right.
I know I felt that spectrum of emotions, to say the least, haha. And don't worry, you'll keep on feeling 'em as you start down the path to changing your career with Ada. 😉
Thanks for reading and special thanks to each Adie that let me share their posts today--read their blogs, follow them on social media, and thank them on twitter if you found their advice and experiences helpful!