This is week 7 of my 12-week programming bootcamp. What a ride it has been. I intended to publish this post and started on it at the beginning of the week. But after just the first two sentences, it is now suddenly Saturday at almost midnight.
The past week was that intense. Actually, all days are when you’re in bootcamp. People ask me all the time, “how was school?” or “how’s schooling?.” Well I can say that it definitely is not school. Its bootcamp… there’s a big difference.
At bootcamp, you are not spoon-fed. Instead, the training is to learn how to learn and apply that to working within teams composed of front-end and back-end engineers who use different languages, which is how it is in the real world.
Attending a programming bootcamp is hard to describe. The first day was a breeze. I confidently thought, because of my background and experience, that I had it in the bag. The very next day, my confidence was shattered. That afternoon, I felt high again. And everyday ever since, it’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions. Between the half-day lectures including code review, and afternoon lab work, we cover about 300 pages of a technical workbook/textbook per day– it’s like drinking from a firehose! There are times your head actually hurts and feels swollen from maxing out cognitive load.
Its peculiar though, that I find every minute of being there oddly satisfying. Even if I get only 3-4 hours of sleep on most nights because of working on assignments at home, I always feel excited to be in campus. My hunger for learning seems insatiable. There are also many times I feel like I don’t belong with such great company. But I’m also fascinated by my own evolution as a front-end developer and equally so, from witnessing others’ evolution as well.
So its almost midnight and I still have some coding to do. I just wanted to get his blog post published and share my thoughts on attending a programming bootcamp, so that others who may be considering such a move might benefit. It definitely is hard and its not for everybody. My cohort already had 5 dropouts within the first few weeks. Just like going through military bootcamp, you need to have the basics. You won’t be taught how to do push-ups… you should already know how, and be fit enough to give the Staff Sergeant 20 on day one. Their goal is to make you tougher, stronger, quicker, more agile, able to work in teams, and become a trusted team member.
Software engineering/programming/coding bootcamp is a lot like that, but the people around you– your cohorts and instructors, they are a lot nicer and genuinely want to help you. This is an incredible community to be a part of, where by helping others, you help yourself too.
For me, I love every minute of it.