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Everything You Need to Know About Preparing for the Entry Challenge

The Northcoders in-person Entry Challenge is how we determine who to offer a place to on our course. We aren’t looking for ready-made coders, but for hard-working people with an interest and demonstrable ability for problem solving and learning new concepts quickly.

What Will Happen When I Apply?

Review. First, we will read your application, and decide whether to offer an Entry Challenge to you. Don’t worry - as long as you have demonstrated your interest in learning to code and we feel there is a fit, you will be offered one!

Book your Entry Challenge! Absolute beginners should aim to take their Entry Challenge around 2-3 weeks after applying. If you’re more familiar with coding then book your slot sooner - we suggest taking your Entry Challenge within 1-2 weeks after applying.

Get Started Coding. We’ll guide you through a curated list of free, online resources to help you get started. If coding is really for you, you should really enjoy it!

Code Together. We encourage you to come to a Coding Workshop! We run both evening and daytime sessions and will invite you after you’ve booked your Entry Challenge. It’s a great opportunity to get help with your code from a Northcoders staff member and other applicants.

Entry Challenge. It will be informal and fun - and isn’t anything to worry about! It’s a great chance to meet the team and ask questions about the course.You will be supported by a Northcoders tutor to answer some technical questions to assess what you have learned so far and whether you would cope on the course. There is no pass/fail mark! We are more interested in how you go about solving the problem and how quickly you have learned.

 

Why Do You Have An Entry Challenge?

Entry standards matter. My colleague Ruth wrote an excellent post all about this, which you can read here.

But in short, speaking from my experience of working to support both graduates and applicants of Northcoders, there are two main reasons that an application process is vitally important to providing you with a true industry-leading bootcamp experience:

  1. It helps you determine if a coding bootcamp, and ultimately a career as a developer or engineer, is the right decision for you. The opportunity to try learning to code in a structured, supported process without obligation or charge allows you to make an informed choice.
  2. Guaranteeing successful applicants are of a high standard builds credibility for both Northcoders and yourself, helping to maintain the respect and fantastic reputation we have built in the industry. This ensures you have the best possible prospects and access to roles with our network of hiring partners.

We don’t just teach our students to code, we provide them with the tools and experience to become developers. By ensuring all of our students are passionate and capable, you’ll be surrounded by an enthusiastic community of people every day you are on the course - and far beyond.

 

5 Tips For Acing Your Entry Challenge

  1. Dedicate Time. There's no substitute for practice! Make sure you set aside time to complete the resources and feel confident in your abilities before attending the Entry Challenge. If you already know basic JavaScript, 10 hours is a good rule of thumb. If you’re new to JavaScript, set aside 15 hours. Commit yourself to a couple of hours every evening to work through the preparation steps.
  2. Attend our workshops and drop-in sessions. There is a strong correlation between coding with others in your learning process and getting accepted onto the course. Let us know how you're getting on and make the most of our free workshops!
  3. Master the basics. We’re not looking for a glossary of JavaScript methods! We’re looking for clear thinking around how to solve a problem. A solid foundation is the best way to ensure success on the course.
  4. Learn how to Google things. They say that the best developers are just great at Googling things. JavaScript has a large and active community, which is a big part of why it’s a great first coding language to learn. Not sure how to split a sentence into an array of words? Google “how to split a sentence in JavaScript” - we guarantee you’ll find answers just by searching! (MDN is a great resource)
  5. Have fun! Coding can be incredibly rewarding and enjoyable if you have the right mindset and don’t rush the preparation materials. If you find getting ready for the Entry Challenge stressful, then speak to us and we can help you.

If you haven’t already, give coding a go and take your first step on our Manchester or Leeds coding bootcamps by applying today. We’ll help you get started to see whether coding is for you. Having trained hundreds of students, we know our craft - there’s no better way to become part of an industry growing 30% faster than the UK economy as a whole!

Good luck!

Apply Now

 

Josh Gray
Josh is an Onboarding Mentor at Northcoders. After leaving a career in recruitment and graduating from Northcoders in 2017, he decided to stay to help new students get onto the course and make the best start possible.

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