Should I do a CS bootcamp during my freshman year of college or take a gap year after high school to do it?
I tend to be comfortable handling heavy work loads but at the same time I don't want to get too stressed out. But I have gotten advice from someone that works in IT that did a bootcamp while in college, they've encouraged me to do the same and that there's no need to take a gap year for it. I may have plans to travel during my gap year but I think it would be better to take an abroad program.
What would the purpose of the boot camp? Would it be to learn programming to do well in college or is it to help you get a job once college is over?
If it's the latter, I can tell you as a hiring manager for CS positions that boot camps aren't all that they promise to be. I've interviewed many different candidates from various boot camp programs and I was not impressed by what the boot camps taught them. I'd advise that if you're serious about getting better as a programmer to rather enroll in community college classes, or to self-learn through various methods through the internet. As for gaining experience, you can do that by giving back to open source programs (even documentation) to gain real-life experience.
If I was in your shoes, I'd take the opportunity to travel abroad. If you've lived in the US all your life, your eyes will get open to a different way of living, and that may teach you lessons about life that you'll never forget.
I wish you the best! And please ask follow up questions if you need clarification on anything!
I think if you have the opportunity to travel and you’re going to be going to college for four years maybe the Boot Camp can wait but then again there’s no time like the present.
Will you have the opportunity to travel again during college time off?
The Boot Camp will still be there if you travel now?