When I was in high school, social media was just starting to boom. Myspace has just emerged. I created a Myspace account and was amazed at the things it could do. Connecting with friends, and creating a presence online. It was new, it was fresh and it was exciting. I was intrigued at how something like Myspace was possible, and since then I always had this curiosity with web development.
I graduated from The Flatiron School a couple of months ago. At first I was hesitant, as bootcamps are not cheap. So I decided to self-teach myself through various methods, such as using Treehouse, Freecodecamp and many others. At the end, I felt I needed better structure and I knew I would do better in a class setting.
Fast forward a couple of months after graduating bootcamp, I don’t regret it one bit. I met so many amazing people and learned so many things. Of course, it’s not all sunshine and butterflies. Attending a bootcamp meant condensing a bunch of information and constantly having new material thrown at you for 15 weeks. It was hard, and a lot of work but it was definitely worth it.
I would also do a few Leetcode questions a day. I would live and breathe algorithms all day and everyday for the past month. And as you may be aware. I crashed, I crashed hard. I was so burnt out from doing algorithms. It eventually became a chore and it was no longer fun for me. I would give myself about an hour for a question, and if I still could not come up with a solution I would take a look at the solutions or discussion section. After seeing what others come up with, I felt I still needed to improve, so I kept chugging along. So many times, the imposter syndrome hit. Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Why couldn’t I think of this? I felt like I hit a wall.
It wasn’t until I came across a reddit post. The original poster of the thread was in the same situation as me. This was the reddit post that gave me a new perception on how I should be handling this burn out. A user by fangbuster22 gave his/her two-cents and after reading his post (link to post at the bottom), I felt like I had a second wind. I needed to approach this differently.
I completely abandoned what I was doing. At this point coding and grinding Leetcode was not fun, and I completely lost myself and my main purpose on why I attended the bootcamp to begin with. I became obsessed with completing Leetcode questions.
My current approach
I knew I couldn’t grind Leetcode, it was not healthy for me. So I decided to reconstruct my schedule and approach. To me, building something was fun, I get to learn and I get to create awesome things and show it off! Although I knew I can’t just brush off practicing algorithms. So currently my schedule is something along the lines of
- Work at least 8 hours a day
- Spend the first 1–2 hours on networking and job hunting
- Spend 4 hours on a project
- Spend 2 hours practicing algorithms
- Spend the last hour or so on job hunting
So far this has been a great pace for me, I feel a lot more productive everyday and I’m learning everyday. If I’m not able to solve a Leetcode question, I don’t jump into the solutions section, and will wait for the following day to see if I can solve it.
If you are also a fresh bootcamp grad, I hope this gave you some insight on how you should use your time. Of course, If you’re 100% fine just grinding out Leetcode then by all means. Everyone has different ways to learn. But for me personally, I knew grinding Leetcode was not my thing.
**If you are in the same situation as me, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend checking it out. Read the reply by fangbuster22 (https://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquestions/comments/glwmg7/how_do_you_handle_leetcode_burnout/)**