| || ||I came to bootcamp as a career change, like many others. My experience in coding was beginner -self taught on-line.
The first, self-directed 9 weeks of the course was mainly on-line tutorials, with minimal support or meaningful feedback. Some support from tutors was there, but when some of the instructions were vague, it was hard to get clarification on where to start on a challenge.
The focus on the basics was good, a good balance of mindfulness and building up technical knowledge and skills gradually. There could have been more emphasis and support on working with algorithms that would be needed, or understood more fully, in the next 9 weeks.
The second nine weeks on-site was full on for the first three weeks, getting progressively less and less structured. There was a great emphasis on pair programming at the start, and we all gained confidence in tackling challenges individually after that.
The hardest part for me was dealing emotionally with the skill difference that emerged within the group. This environment is very different from school. There is no pass or fail, only an accumulation of experiences with the tools of tech, and how to work with humans productively (or not). The biggest thing was letting go of the comparison habit. I am what I am, and that is always changing.
The biggest asset I've come away with I think is that I can now approach problems as a problem solving coder. There are various structures and techniques that help me tackle problems. That confidence in being able to systematically work through a bug is invaluable.
The curriculum was good, but some of the group sought harder challenges. I thought it stretched me a lot, and covered some good ground. Some of the instructions could have been clearer, and some of the lectures could have benefitted from breaking down concepts into smaller chunks maybe? Hard to say that, as we wouldn't have gotten through as much material if we'd lingered on simple concepts.
Lightning talks were invaluable, short prep, 5 min talks with no notes and immediate feedback on verbal ticks and quality of presentation. Great experience in talking about tech to an audience of potential non-tech-ies.
The job support was focussed, but less intense. Great advice, and support, pulling together a CV, interviewing techniques and some background on the local tech community. It fell short however of introductions to industry players, or leads into actual work places. That's where it's been hard so far. Looking for any kind of work is hard on the ego, wanting someone to give you a break. It feels like a balance between putting yourself out there, and working on personal projects that will hopefully help you 'make your own luck'. There is a connection missing from companies looking for junior developers, and us graduates.
There were good talks and sessions on Engineering Empathy, but there was push-back from some in the group that meant that I didn't get as much from it as hoped possibly? One particularly good session was on diversity, or the lack of it in the tech industry. i really want to follow up on this, as a person from a minority section of society.
All in all, I have learnt and experienced two to three years of trying to teach myself to code, in the space of four months.
Awesome, and Hard. |