Ever wonder what those first couple weeks in an intensive coding bootcamp are like? Paul Wenig is a student at gSchool in Boulder Colorado, and blogs here about his first week...
Nothing quite prepares you for the first week of gSchool. Sure, you can do the Code Academy exercises, read all of the required books (I <3 Chris Pine), and get your personal life in order. But none of that gets you ready for that initial push into the cold, dark waters. Think polar plunge at night!
Our first day started off slowly with improv exercises designed to get to know our fellow classmates and instructors. Lawyers, surgical assistants, nuclear engineers, yoga teachers. Denver, Boulder, Chicago, Grand Rapids. Men, women, young and old. Everybody is represented and the diversity is inspiring. We all found our way here for one common goal – to learn to write code! We leave laughing and excited.
And then day two starts! Our instructor tells us the plan. We’re going to push through a lot of content in the next couple of weeks so we can get a good, strong foundation. The sooner we can get our heads around the basics the quicker we can get to actually building applications. HTML, CSS, Ruby, Git Workflow, Heroku, RSpec, Command Line, etc., etc. We’re shown the deep end of the pool and are shoved in.
Some of us float and some of us drown. Fellow classmates help search and rescue. Maybe that improv really worked? All of us try to get our bearings so we can at least tread water and, ideally, swim. The feeling of frustration moves in and takes over. At the same time, your subconscious is screaming “Quit!” But, you don’t. Instead, you tell it to shut up and persevere. You read, you study, you do the assignments over and over again. And you just breathe through it. Week two is right around the corner!
Stay tuned for more First-Week perspectives!