From Foundations into the Immersive

8/14/2023
Table of contents

You’ve just taken a big step into programming by completing the Foundations/Foundations Lite course. Congratulations! You might now be wondering how to get into the Immersive Bootcamp and take that next step. Consider this a roadmap to help guide your path through the admissions process.

1. Apply and start the next step!

After you finish Foundations, keep your coding momentum going and apply to the Immersive Bootcamp. Here are a few reasons we encourage everyone to apply right away:

  • You’ve already learned many of the Technical Check-in’s concepts - If you have followed along with the Foundations curriculum closely, you should already be able to pass the Technical Check-in’s initial questions.
  • You’ll know what to expect from the Technical Check-in and how to prepare for them - For many students, the Technical Check-in will be the first time solving coding problems in a one-on-one session. It’s common to feel nervous for the first check-in, but this will go away as you become more comfortable with both the format and process.
  • You’ll receive feedback and guidance at the end of Technical Check-ins - The Technical Check-ins are not just a test. It’s also an opportunity to get to know you and help guide your learning as you prepare to enter the Immersive. The feedback you receive will not only let you know what you still need to learn, but also provide advice on good coding practices to make you a stronger coder. Think of the check-ins as an opportunity to discuss coding with others, learn new concepts and techniques, and check your coding progress.
  • You’ll be in a better position to match your Immersive Bootcamp goals and timeline - It takes time to grow and learn the expanded concepts that take you from Foundations into the Immersive. The Technical Check-in process can often take several sessions, with sessions scheduled generally a week apart to provide the chance for additional study and growth. The process can range from weeks to months depending on your previous experience and pace for learning new concepts.

2. Be a Completionist with Foundations

While the material is fresh, reflect on what you have studied until this point. Were any concepts unclear or challenging? Was there an exercise you couldn’t get to or didn’t finish? Did you only complete the Basic questions? The time between finishing Foundations and waiting for the first check-in is a great chance to complete all of the material that you already have from the course.

For both Foundations + Foundations Lite students:

  • Review any missed sections or concepts that you were lost in during the course.
  • Complete any exercises that you might have missed.
  • Focus only on the projects that used JavaScript during the technical check-in process.(The admissions process focuses solely on JavaScript, there is no HTML or CSS involved. However, completing / reviewing sections that involved HTML and CSS after passing the check-in process will be helpful for the Precourse and Immersive Bootcamp.)

For Foundations students:

  • Complete the exercises for all difficulty levels (Basic, Intermediate, Difficult, Challenge)

For Foundations Lite students:

  • Complete exercises up to the Advanced difficulty level.

A caution on review

One trap that students can fall into is over-reviewing previous material that they have studied, even if they already know the concepts quite well. If you have already completed an exercise smoothly and with full understanding, it will be better to seek out new exercises or ways to practice using the concepts instead.

3. Get comfortable with the following concepts

While questions and topics vary for the Technical Check-ins, they are generally focused on the following topics and some others:

  • data types
  • array + objects
  • loops and iteration
  • conditionals
  • functions
  • higher-order functions
  • callbacks
  • closures

For each of these, you should be able to:

  • identify what they are
  • define them in your own words
  • understand how they are used in JavaScript
  • know the basic syntax for writing these in code
  • use some of their different properties and methods (when applicable).

While these concepts cover many questions you’ll be asked during the Technical Check-ins, some other key concepts that are important to know, both for the Technical Check-in, and by the start of the Immersive Bootcamp include:

  • explicit vs. implicit coercion
  • statements vs. expressions
  • scope
  • working with arrays & objects without mutating them
  • dot notation vs. bracket notation
  • pass by value vs. pass by reference
  • function declarations vs. function expressions

These are some additional things that are good to be familiar with by Immersive Day 1, but NOT required for the Technical Check-in:

  • ternary operators
  • default parameters
  • switch statements
  • short circuits
  • prototype chains

Resources for learning concepts

Many of these concepts are covered in Foundations and you should already have a good understanding of them. For the concepts that you might not have learned yet, or to build upon your current knowledge, we recommend the following resources:

  • MDN - A popular JavaScript documentation site. Not only will you find a wealth of information about the topics above and more, gaining the ability to read documentation is a key skill for a career as a developer.
  • javascript.info - Explanations and tutorials on a wide variety of JavaScript concepts. Everything you will need to know for the technical check-in process can be found in Part 1 from 1.1 to 6.4

Resources for practicing concepts

Coding is not the same as reading. Writing and debugging code is where the real progress comes in being a coder. Setting a daily practice routine of an hour or more to work on coding challenges is vital when starting out. We recommend the following resource.

  • CodeWars - Contains a large number of coding challenges from a wide range of difficulty levels. 8kyu is the easiest level and a good starting point to practice from.

4. Prepare for the Technical Check-in

The Technical Check-in is a one-on-one pair programming session. Sessions are made of coding challenges that you will work on together to see where your level of understanding is at and whether you’re ready to move on to the next concept/pass the Technical Check-in process. During the pair programming session, the Technical Interviewers will type what you direct them to code to complete each coding challenge.

Technical Interviewers are looking for the following during the Technical Check-In:

  • How is their ability to work with a team?
  • How well do they communicate?
  • How open are they to feedback?
  • How do they respond to frustration?
  • How well do they understand the concepts?

Other important things to know about the Check-in

  • All Technical Check-ins are free.
  • Applicants who haven’t passed the Technical Check-in receive feedback and guidance on what to work on for next time by email.

          - If they are a promising candidate, they will also receive an invitation to schedule another Check-in.

           - Check-ins can typically be scheduled again about 1 week after the previous one. (This is to allow time to study and practice the areas of feedback ahead of the next session.)

  • There is no set limit on how many times you can try.

          - The importance is on the applicant’s ability to show perseverance, growth, and improvement.

          - If growth has not been seen in following check-ins, applicants might be asked to spend more time practicing and studying in between check-ins.

5. Check these important notes and tips

Below is a list of tips and advice specific for Foundations + Foundations Lite graduates applying for the Immersive course:

  • Understanding parts of code / functions and how to discuss them with others.
  • Comfortable with using a variety of loops and understanding when it’s best to use each one.
  • Understanding the difference between let and const.
  • Keeping up a study routine.
  • Comfortable creating functions using the function keyword and not.
  • Reading Documentation
  • Effective Troubleshooting and Online Error Searching
  • Using the proper vocabulary when discussing code.
  • Being cognizant of proper coding syntax and structure.
  • Try explaining your coding solutions to someone else. Explaining your code to someone else is very different than typing it into your machine.

Final tips

  • Learn how to pseudocode from the questions and exercises. Could you produce code without relying on the example code or expected outputs?
  • Check your inputs and outputs on your own. Don’t just rely on the tests you are given. Incorporate tools such as console.log() and make sure to add labels so you know what is being logged.
  • Be careful about syntax. Make sure that you have opening and closing brackets, and that they are in the right place (), [], {}.
  • Use errors to help your code. Errors often provide the line an error originates from and some information about what the error might be. They are there to help you.
  • Stay focused on the JavaScript basics and know them really, really well. Your time is better served focusing on the core concepts of JavaScript at the beginning. Expanding into different frameworks, technologies, and languages too early can often make things more difficult and confusing than they have to be.

Best of luck with your continued studies and we look forward to seeing you at the Technical Check-ins and in the Immersive Bootcamp soon!

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