My Experience of the Code First Girls' Software Engineering Degree Bootcamp

A detailed review of the Code First Girls Software Engineering Degree


8/28/20236 min read

My Experience Of The Code Furst Girls' Software Engineer Degree
My Experience Of The Code Furst Girls' Software Engineer Degree

I remember getting the email saying that I had gotten onto the Code First Girls' (CFG) Software Engineering degree so vividly. After months of self-learning, I was excited to have a structured course that would not only give me technical skills, but a thriving community and hands-on-experience that would get me closer to my dreams of becoming a Software Engineer. In this blog post, I will share my personal experience of the Bootcamp, and key takeaways.


💡What is The CFG Software Engineering Degree?

💡The CFG Community

💡Course Content

💡Instructors and Tutors



What Is The CFG Software Engineering Degree?

It is a 16-week Bootcamp split into a foundation layer followed by a section specialising in your selected area (in my case, software). The Bootcamp runs 4 evenings each week for 2 hours.

During the course, we covered APIs and micro servers, data structures and libraries, data management, debugging, algorithm design and much more (see the curriculum here).

There were 3 assessments during the course - two of which contributed to our final grade.

In addition to these, weekly homework, theory questions and group work also contributed to the final grade.

The group work involved a randomised team working on an area of their choice and building software around it. You then gave a presentation on the software built 🔧.

Ultimately, the course was meant to equip you with the technical and soft skills required for the role of a Software Engineer. The four things that stood out to me whilst on the course were community, course content, the instructors and the support.

The CFG community

One of my core reasons for wanting to join a Bootcamp was the community. Learning how to code alone in my room got isolating at times and coming from a Pharmacy background💊, I had access to very few people who shared the same interest in coding. I was excited to be learning together with other like-minded women.

It was warming seeing the passion each lady on my cohort had for technology and learning - this created a positive atmosphere and contributed greatly to my learning experience 😊. People were really open about sharing their struggles on the Slack channel (where we did most of our connecting) and also offered encouragement and additional learning resources. I appreciate the role of community learning and think this was a great aspect of the course.

The Course Content

The course content was well designed and comprehensive. It was very fast-paced though which is something to consider when working full-time. When speaking to other ladies on my cohort, I acknowledged that many had decided to quit their jobs in order to be able to complete the degree. It is definitely possible to complete it alongside a full-time job, however, you must develop a robust organisation system 🗂 which I outline here.

My fear (and I think I speak for the majority who are considering doing a Bootcamp) was that a Bootcamp wouldn't be sufficient to give me the knowledge to get an actual developer job, especially in comparison to those with a Computer Science Degree. I would be lying to you if I said they (and anyone in that matter) could condense a 3-year degree into 16-weeks 📅 - however, I felt that they provided a necessary amount of detail into key programming themes. We covered essential foundational topics (that you could build upon later down the line) as well as getting into the grit of more challenging ones. I was able to leave the course confident in my Python abilities whilst fully aware that there would always be more to learn 🧠.

In addition, I was grateful that we didn’t just review programming languages, but also the software used by developers in their day-to-day jobs. This included things like JIRA, software used for testing purposes and Git. The Bootcamp was designed to not only develop our technical programming skills, but also our soft ones. During sessions, we would often break out into teams and complete programming problems together. Not only did this enhance our ability to communicate technical concepts effectively, but also strengthened our teamwork ability🙌🏾. In addition, doing a group project gave us real practice on how to manage a project and code software.

Check out mine!:

My group project 'Cookie Jobs' - a job platform geared at women beginning/in the early stages of their tech careers

Instructors and Tutors

My instructors were engaging and passionate (sometimes I couldn’t understand how they gathered up so much energy and enthusiasm on a weekday evening to teach so brilliantly) 👩🏾‍🏫. But honestly, their dedication and ability to teach was what made my experience on the course. The enthusiasm was contagious and pushed me to stay engaged even when all I wanted to do was take a nap from a long day in the Pharmacy 🏋🏾‍♂️.

They had great experience with the majority having computer science degrees and many working as software engineers 💻. Therefore, they were able to give additional insights into their professional experiences as well as advice on applications and further learning etc. We were also assigned tutors who provided feedback on assignments and also checked in on us from time to time to see how we were doing 📚. In hindsight, I thought I could’ve used my tutor more. Especially for the application side of software engineering as I don’t think the course covered this as much in detail.


The degree is challenging. The pace is really fast and it can be difficult to keep up at times. CFG made sure there was continuous support during the course. Instructors and tutors provided supportive advice and even went further by putting in more time to create supplementary videos for the content. Most surprisingly, a great amount of support came from the Slack channel with the other course members. The ladies would use the chat to encourage one another, provide prompts for homework and suggest additional resources we could use to supplement our learning after a lesson 🔌.

As a CFG sponsored-graduate, I felt that more support could've been given in regard to navigating tech applications 🗒. Tech interviews greatly differ from that of other industries and so preparing for them is a whole job in itself. Things like take-home coding tests, whiteboard interviews and other technical assessments are concepts many aren't familiar with - especially with the majority of students coming from non-technical backgrounds. Something like CV reviews, mock technical interviews and Leetcode practice sessions would have been a great addition for CFG-sponsored graduates. I think that because the majority of spaces are sponsored by external companies who place their students into jobs directly after, it's not something CFG focuses on. Nonetheless, ongoing career support would've been helpful to make the transition less stressful.

Here are my key takeaways:

📢Learning how to code is fun but can be even more fun when in a group.

📢Having a deep understanding of how systems work is necessary: This is something I would have brushed past during my own self-learning, however on the Bootcamp, we visited concepts such as processes, multi-threading and other concepts.

📢Practice is KING!


Ultimately, the CFG degree was no walk in the park 😅 but it was an exceptional experience. It was amazing to see how my cohort and I were able to grow in technical confidence and ability within those 16 weeks 👩🏾‍💻.

My favourite part was when we had the presentation session - it was a true testimony of how much everyone had learnt and how coding had given us the ability to build solutions to issues we saw as important. I think it's amazing to see so many women who were never even given a chance (or presented with the prospects) of doing something tech-related finding their voices and pursuing this career. Through this degree, I’ve been able to expand my professional network, inspire others to start their coding journey as well as obtain a job in this field. If you’re thinking of applying, this is your sign (and your guide)!

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Until next time,


Me at my CFG graduation ceremony

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