My Coding Boot Camp, So Far

I was VERY excited to be accepted into my coding boot camp. Pft I’m still excited. After doing an initial coding exam I was then contacted by an admissions person. She let me know I was going to be contacted by a coach to go over my thought process on how I came to the solution I got. That was a little nerve-racking because my interviewer was very monotone and intimidating. I was hoping for more feedback but they let me know that I was accepted. On youtube, I watched videos and read a couple of articles on how the interview would go. I’d definitely say doing as much preparation as you can before you start the process of going through a Bootcamp. After all, they’re accelerated courses.

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You already know first thing’s first. After I was accepted to my Boot Camp I was asked how I would pay for it. Since I didn’t have the amount in my pocket I had to take out a loan. Some people will say the ticket price is steep but I always say an individual should invest in themselves if they want a decent future. They introduce two lenders that they partner with that do private loans that are sort of like school loans. No there usually isn’t FAFSA for these programs, but a few schools I also looked at accepted what was called the GI bill I think which would basically assist or pay for the program. Luckily I was blessed with a scholarship which helped me save a bit. The cherry on top if you don’t have a recent computer you’ll have to dish out some cash to get one. The lender can also include in the loan as a living expense but lord don’t forget that interest hah!

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Before the actual start of the Bootcamp, there were instructions on completing the PREWORK. It consisted of the introduction to general coding terms. Learning that anything inside of “quotation marks” was to be called a string. I learned about hashes, arrays, NDS, and much more. When you decide on your school be sure to pay the most attention to this. An old saying I’m familiar with coming from blue-collar work, measure twice cut once. Make sure you’re very familiar with the material they provide and don’t be afraid to ask questions since this is an investment in one’s self.

As the course progresses, it does get harder since it’s just layer and layer of new information being slapped on top of each. For example, you’re a pancake and they’re dumping all of and I mean all of the syrup on you. You’re supposed to absorb all of it but we do our best. Imposter syndrome is a very real thing while going through the course I feel it just about every other day. My fall back saying inspiration saying is from Dory from Finding Dory you know “Just keep swimming.” except it's more like “put one foot in front of the other”. Just know that you can lean on your instructors and cohorts as well.

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I’m very grateful for the Flat Iron instructors and my cohorts. From day one it’s very clear the instructors want what’s best for us and want us to get started in our careers. Right off the bat, they let us know that they will help us with Socratic questions. Answering a question with a question to get your brain gears turning. Being a developer means you need vast problem-solving skills. Working with my cohorts is really cool too. If I spoke up about maybe slowing them down they reassure me that we’re all learning the vibe overall is very chill in the Bootcamp. Which makes learning that much easier.

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Learning in a totally new environment is a challenge within a challenge. Imagine moving to a foreign country and having to learn a subject in the native language. There would be gaps in information because you only prepared yourself with the basic sentences. As you start your way through you’re stuffed with so much information after the other it might even seem like you forget some of the basic stuff you learned. As if someone is throwing items and you instinctively let go of some to hold on to other items. In programming, though it’s very important that you retain everything because it all builds off each other. At the end of the first week, you’re notified of your first challenge coming the next Wednesday, then your first project is due the following Friday. It can become overwhelming but with the right support system, your instructors, and a friendly cohort you’ll be fine. Fail fast and fix the mistakes and retain the information and the less you learn in a Boot Camp will be very rewarding in your career.