Checklist: 6 Things to do Before Your First Day of BloomTech

A group of students working on laptops

Congratulations on being admitted to Bloom Institute of Technology (formerly known as Lambda School)! You’re about to embark on a journey that will change your career, and ultimately your life. It won’t be easy – BloomTech's core programs require a strong commitment – but you can do it, and we’re here to help.

Here are 6 things to do before your first day of class to ensure you get the most out of your time at BloomTech:

1- Ensure you have the right technology

To succeed in your BloomTech course, you'll need the right technology. Check to make sure you can meet these computer specs and tools before your course begins.

Recommended computer specs for Data Science, Web Development, and Backend Development learners:


1.6 GHz Processor
120 GB Hard Drive
Web Cam


2 GHz Processor
256 GB Hard Drive (preferably solid state)

Recommended operating systems (in descending order): macOS, Windows 10 Pro, Ubuntu

Other versions of Windows work but students should anticipate occasional environment issues. Chromebooks are not supported, as coursework involves installing and running software locally.

You will also need to install all required software before your first day of class so you're ready to jump in:

Required software for Web Development students:

VS Code
Google Chrome
XCode - developer tools
Git bash
Slack for Mac or Slack for Windows
Node JS
Code Pen

Required software for Data Science students:

Slack for Mac or Slack for Windows

Other tools for DS students to get familiar with:

Google Colab
Canvas – you'll use the same credentials you use to log into your student dashboard.

2- Commit to Ongoing Learning

BloomTech courses are now flexible, enabling you to learn at your own pace and meet your goals on your schedule. To make the most of your tech education, think about how many hours each week you can dedicate to learning.

BloomTech will be offering live classes 7 days a week, in addition to on-demand learning and opportunities to work in teams. Join sessions when it makes sense for your schedule and be ready to put in the work to gain the skills that lead to tech jobs.  

Our staff is committed to helping you find a job after graduation, but not every student is hired immediately after finishing their coursework. Ongoing learning will help you continue to become even more competitive for openings. Adopting a learner's mindset is also great practice for your future job: You'll need to keep your skills sharp and learn new approaches throughout your career. Learn more about our placement rates in our 2020 Outcomes Report.

3- Set Expectations With Loved Ones

Have honest conversations with your loved ones, and especially with your partner, about the level of commitment required for you to be successful at BloomTech. Due to the interactive nature of BloomTech’s live, online curriculum, you’ll need to have a quiet place to work that’s free of distractions. It's also important to have a strong support system as you embark on your BloomTech journey.

Work together with your family and loved ones so they understand you will be working on your course on your schedule. That may mean you attend live classes at night so you can still work during the day; it may mean you work on projects while the kids are at school. No matter how you arrange your flexible class schedule, communicating with loved ones helps ensure you can count on their support you when you need it.

Be sure to also discuss who will handle family responsibilities, including childcare, while you’re attending class. The time you spend at BloomTech will be some of the most impactful and transformative of your entire career. 

4- Design Your Remote Learning Environment

One of the best parts of BloomTech is the ability to attend class from anywhere, whether that’s in a coffee shop or in a spare bedroom at home. Wherever you choose to learn, having a quiet, dedicated workspace will be crucial for you to focus in class and participate in team stand-ups and pair programming.

Adding a comfortable desk chair to your new workspace will make the hours of building and shipping that much easier on your back. Lastly, fill your remote classroom with things that will help you feel productive and happy, whether that’s your favorite pen and notepad, a plant, or some work-appropriate art. A second screen is not required, but will be helpful as you juggle Slack, Zoom, and GitHub windows.

Remember that you’ll have the opportunity to attend live sessions, so ensure that the background of your workspace is neat and tidy, and that you’ve tested your tech ahead of time. 

5- Keep Your Skills Fresh

BloomTech courses are in-depth and designed to prepare you for a whole new career. As you move through your program, you'll build on the skills you just learned. In this way, BloomTech training moves you from wherever you're starting all the way to graduating ready to work.

Learning to code at BloomTech is like learning a new language by moving to a foreign country – we’re immersing you in a new culture, and while you’ll have access to a guide, you’ll need to be resourceful and curious in order to learn and communicate effectively.

We highly recommend you spend some time setting yourself up for success by utilizing the following free coding resources.

Free resources for learning Web Development

You'll start your BloomTech course feeling more confident if you refresh your understanding of, or start learning, foundational web development concepts. Not sure where to start? Try these resources:

  • Sign Up for a GitHub Account if you don't already have one. In your course, you may be asked to use this will be the account to turn in assignments; you can also expect to use this account as a portfolio well into your new career. (Wondering why? Read our post on how GitHub can help your tech career!)
  • Use Wes Bos' What the Flexbox to improve your CSS. Wes Bos’ 30 Day JS Challenge is also a great resource to get into the nitty gritty of JavaScript. It's okay if you're less than 30 days from class starting — completing as much of the challenge as possible before Day 1 will help you be better prepared for class.
  • Explore Code Challenge sites. There are lots of different sites which offer challenges for various languages, at various skill levels. Check out Edabit, CodeWars, CoderByte, LeetCode, or CodinGame and see which one looks the most fun to you.

If you don't already have coding experience (and even if you do!), working through web development resources can help you quickly build the foundational skills necessary to be successful at BloomTech.

Free resources for learning Data Science

If you're enrolled in our Data Science course, you'll want to become familiar with the basic concepts you’ll be tackling in class.

Getting good at Python will be your number one priority at BloomTech, so check out these:

If you're already comfortable with Python, you can begin diving into Statistics and Linear Algebra.

6 – Complete BloomTech Orientation

BloomTech's courses are flexible, meaning you can work through them at your own pace and on a schedule that works for you. It's a good idea to complete your online Orientation before jumping into Sprint 1 of your course.

Orientation is where you'll get to know BloomTech, our resources, and how to make the most of your course. (Just like our main courses, Orientation is flexible: You can complete it when it works for you!) You'll explore BloomTech's approach to learning, how to get help when you need it, and the tech you need to succeed.

What's more, you'll be able to join live events, including step-by-step tutorials on getting onboarded onto tools and platforms you'll use as a BloomTech learner.

We're  honored to be a part of your journey to your dream career. We’ll see you in class!