As I write this I have just completed my first week of the Bootcamp. In short, it has been amazing! I felt that I have already learnt so much and I am very excited to continue on with Week Two. If you want the long version keep reading, and if you want the day-by-day version take a look at my daily main takeaways at the end of this post.
Anyway... Here's the 'long version.'
My personal highlights of Week One.
The week started off, as all our days do, with squats! This was followed with an introduction to the course and what we should be expecting from it. After this we got to meet our small groups for the week. I must say everyone who I have spoken to on the course has been amazing and I have loved meeting them all. The tremendous support on our slack channels and during the bootcamp itself is a testament to everyone and I am amazed at the support ethos we have built so quickly! I feel very comfortable being in this team and I look forward to working with more individuals across the duration of the course.
Now lets get into some juicy content...
On Tuesday we had our first introduction to VS Code with HTML and CSS. We we tasked with creating a koala using the skills we'd developed on the day. My group of three made this little guy -
We spent a lot of time discussing the importance of computational thinking over the week and this came to head on Thursday with a guest speaker Joseph Trodden. He is the co-founder of C-Zero Ventures, and he give us an in depth presentation focused on 'The Hero's Journey'. The Hero's Journey was most developed by Joseph Campbell an American professor of literature. Near the end of his life, he was interviewed in a documentary series exploring his work, The Power of Myth. During this series Campbell highlighted the importance of 'myth' in our lives, not just in stories, as symbols that inspire us to flourish and grow.
The Hero's Journey is composed of 12 steps that are separated into three acts:
- Departure (1-5)
- Initiation (5-10)
- Return (10-1)
The hero journeys through the 12 steps in a clockwise fashion. As Campbell explains:
“The usual hero adventure begins with someone from whom something has been taken, or who feels there is something lacking in the normal experience available or permitted to the members of society. The person then takes off on a series of adventures beyond the ordinary, either to recover what has been lost or to discover some life-giving elixir. It’s usually a cycle, a coming and a returning.”
The Hero's Journey Cycle. Unknown Author. Source: 4chan.org, thread about monomyths, AKA the Hero's Journey.
This presentation gave new perspective to my time at the bootcamp and focused my aims on 'leveling up' as a complete person and not just in my knowledge of code.
After completing the bonus tasks our game was more BigBangTheory than classic rock-paper-scissors with our addition of lizard and spock. It was particularly satisfying to see our code being robust enough to simply add on these additional variables without too much issue. It was incredibly fun to problem solve as a team in a new environment using skills we had only been developing for a week. I am incredibly proud of the work we completed as a team. Not just our code but the way we worked together to push through challenges and try new things! It highlighted the importance of computational thinking which allowed us to break down the problem, create a robust plan and the finally code a project that worked and a project that we were proud to present to other groups at the end of the day.
That just about sums up my highlights! But just to showcase how much we were able to cover and how far I have already come after just a week here is...
My main take away from each day in Week One.
Obviously my time learning CSS code was important, howeverm the main thing I took away from Monday was how key communication is going to be in my coding career. The pair coding task showcased how effective you can be if you both fully communicate your thoughts and do not stress that your ideas may be wrong. By sharing what you are thinking effectively you can literally use two brains to solve the problem.
On Tuesday I got to grips with the fact I will spend more time reading my code than I will writing it. It will be important that my code is clear for my future self and other readers. It will be important to keep DRY in mind (Don’t Repeat Yourself, if you’re repeating yourself just double check that there’s not a more optimal way to do it).
You are going to struggle! It is okay to be stuck or lost, especially with something that is brand new. What is important is the way you respond to the challenges you face, don’t get disheartened, take a step back, break them down and then you can get through.
Thursday showed me that even if I struggle (like on Wednesday) I may find another task more simple and I definitely should continue to push through my challenges. Thursday also showed me how the SchoolOfCode is not only going to improve my coding skills but it is going to make me a better person as a whole! The future is exciting!
Friday really showcased how important things outside of coding itself are (Plans, Teamwork and Communication). We can all learn to code in our own time but the real skill you need to develop is being able to effectively communicate and work as a team to solve a problem or produce a project. On Friday me and my team were able to showcase those skills in our Mini-Hackathon.
If you've got this far, thank you! The first week has flown by as I'm sure the rest of them will! I already cannot wait to get going for week two. Anyway, if you want to follow along with my journey please do. If you want to contact me for any reason also the best place to connect with me is Twitter - @_pattisoj. You can also find my GitHub here. I hope you have a good week and, as always, happy coding!