The Life of a Programmer: First Projects After Bootcamp

Jessica mitsch By Jessica Mitsch ● July 30, 2021
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What bet­ter way to learn about the life of a pro­gram­mer than by div­ing into their day-to-day projects?
So, you’re think­ing about tak­ing Momentum’s immer­sive course. Let’s fast for­ward. Once you’ve secured a job, you may be won­der­ing what your first weeks in the new posi­tion will look like. What skills will you need to suc­ceed, and will your expe­ri­ence be enough? These are typ­i­cal wor­ries that come with start­ing a new job.
Recent­ly, the Momen­tum Slack com­mu­ni­ty shared sto­ries about the first projects they were giv­en after being hired. Through these con­ver­sa­tions with grad­u­ates, we were able to gain a glimpse into the life of a pro­gram­mer. Here are some exam­ples of poten­tial first projects that could be assigned to you in your new career.

Visu­al Changes

A com­mon first assign­ment giv­en to new web devel­op­ers involves cos­met­ic changes to pre­vi­ous­ly exist­ing projects or soft­ware. These edits are typ­i­cal­ly low­er-lev­el and do not impede the oper­a­tion of a soft­ware. They make use of front-end tech­nolo­gies such as HTML, CSS, and vanil­la JavaScript which grad­u­ates often feel most com­fort­able with when start­ing off.
While begin­ning a new career appears daunt­ing, many com­pa­nies ease new employ­ees into their posi­tions by begin­ning with front-end visu­al improve­ments before mov­ing onto more chal­leng­ing assignments.
Momen­tum grad Alyshia for exam­ple, was hired in a pro­gram­ming role using the lan­guage Java, how­ev­er, she was not giv­en a Java assign­ment until she had set­tled into her role and had a chance to onboard and get to know her team’s best prac­tices. Grad­u­ates Tay­lor and Jesse shared sim­i­lar expe­ri­ences. Taylor’s first assign­ment involved sim­ple changes using CSS, and Jesse was told to pick up any tick­et [she] felt [she] could han­dle.” Her first projects allowed her to become famil­iar with the code base of the com­pa­ny and hone in on her front-end devel­op­ment knowledge.

Improv­ing Efficiency

The life of a pro­gram­mer wouldn’t be com­plete with­out spend­ing sub­stan­tial time stream­lin­ing soft­ware. Improv­ing the effi­cien­cy of appli­ca­tions was anoth­er com­mon­al­i­ty found among first projects. This is one of the most impor­tant aspects of cod­ing for a com­pa­ny, because the end goal is almost always to max­i­mize user expe­ri­ence. Sev­er­al Momen­tum grads shared sto­ries of how they used their cod­ing skills to improve user-friend­li­ness of frame­works and soft­ware in dif­fer­ent settings.
Mo works for a com­pa­ny that makes soft­ware for oth­er com­pa­nies. Since her cus­tomers are soft­ware engi­neers, her assign­ment focused on mak­ing a prod­uct more user friend­ly for oth­er web developers.
Sowmya and Dan also worked on stream­lin­ing code in their first projects. Sowmya cre­at­ed new mod­ules from an exist­ing code to make it more effi­cient, while Dan mod­ern­ized an appli­ca­tion by rewrit­ing it using new­er frameworks.

Imple­ment New Services

Often the most excit­ing first projects involve the imple­men­ta­tion of new ser­vices. In cod­ing, imple­men­ta­tion is a fan­cy word for the process of adopt­ing and inte­grat­ing a new soft­ware application.
Momen­tum grad Ash­ley imple­ment­ed an autho­riza­tion page on a new serv­er for her first project. Matt, anoth­er grad, has the for­mal title of imple­men­ta­tion engi­neer” so his first projects relied heav­i­ly on ter­mi­nal git expe­ri­ence for set­ting up devel­op­ment envi­ron­ments. Bob pro­vides an inter­est­ing exam­ple of a first project involv­ing imple­men­ta­tion. He used his Momen­tum expe­ri­ence to cre­ate an online score­board wid­get that was able to dis­play over­time scores and the scores of games still in progress.
You’ve like­ly noticed by now that in real­i­ty, the life of a pro­gram­mer varies great­ly from per­son to per­son. But, there is a good chance your first project will fall into one of these cat­e­gories, or be a com­bi­na­tion of sev­er­al. The career ser­vices offered at Momen­tum will help you find a job fit to your best skills and inter­ests and are there to coach you beyond your first job. To learn more about Momen­tum, down­load our course guide.

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