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First Week of JS Bootcamp!

codetivated profile image Melissa Heying Updated on ・5 min read

First Week of Javascript Bootcamp in the Books!

This has definitely been a week of firsts and I'm SO excited to share what life as a Javascript student is like (for me at least). If you haven't already read my #welcome thread, I'll introduce myself again in a little more detail starting with who I am and what lead me to be a Javascript student at Claim Academy in Saint Louis, MO.

First off, name is Melissa. After graduating high school in 2010, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. So, I attended a local community college. After 2 years and a few switches to my major, I dropped out.

From there, I enrolled into cosmetology school and 9 months later, received my cosmetology license. After about a month in of servicing haircuts and hair color as a hair stylist, I realized hair wasn't for me and so I quit.

I needed to find work quickly because I was 21 and feeling guilty that I didn't have a "big girl" job. I ended up responding to an add on Craigslist for a receptionist position in an Orthodontic office. A month after feeling like I finally made it, I was promoted to the clinic and was trained as an Orthodontic Assistant. I worked for that office for 7 years. Although I loved my work family and what I did, at 5 years in I started getting the itch to do something different.

I dabbled into the cosmetology side of things again and was certified in Microblading and Lash Extentions. For two years I was an Orthodontic Assistant, a Microblade Artist and a Lash Technician. Then, Covid-19 happened and time stopped.

At first I didn't know what to do with myself. I went from working 7 days a week to being confined in my home. After the first week of doing nothing, I was feeling a little jealous and a little guilty. Jealous - because my husband was an essential worker and I was not and guilty - because I was not working to help provide. After expressing how I felt to my husband, he planted the idea in my head that I could learn what he does. My husband is a Network Engineer for a credit card processing company. At first I was mad because I did not understand what the heck he did for a living. He told me to just research. I spent that day researching what it meant to be a Network Engineer and somehow stumbled upon Web Development. After looking more into WebDev, I started to remember that in 8th grade, I used to mess with the code in my Myspace table. So, the next few days I started to research how to make a web page with HTML and CSS. And before I knew it, I was starting to feel like this could be something. That is when I discovered Javascript. I already thought HTML and CSS was neat but Javascript was AMAZING.

I took a few online courses each day to learn as much as I could. I was feeling on top of the world because I was understanding a language that I never knew existed. Then, I got a call that lockdown was ending and I realized that I was going to have to go back to my "normal" life again of holding 3 jobs; 3 jobs that I suddenly felt disconnected from. I knew I wanted to keep going with Javascript but had no idea on the next steps in doing so.

After viewing different local programs and schools that offered Web Development courses, I applied to Claim Academy. Since that application, I've been accepted and joined their Full Stack Javascript Developer Cohort. It's already been a week since starting and I've learned so much.


Monday was filled with many firsts. The first first was driving to the City. I live about an hour away from Claim Academy and have never been to the city alone. A few questions crossed my brain. "What if I get lost?" and "Where do I park?". I ended up reserving a parking spot the night before (online) near the school. GPS took me right where I needed to go and I arrived without any problems. Walking to Claim was pretty neat. I say that because I'm not a "city girl" and I never realized how beautiful Saint Louis is. Immediately I loved the atmosphere of city life.

Inside the building of Claim Academy were chairs spread out 6 feet apart for social distancing. I sat in the front row and waited for my future classmates to arrive. The first student to arrive after me was a woman. I was so happy that I wasn't going to be the only girl. After we got to talking, I was quickly informed that she was here for the Java Cohort and not Javascript. But that's okay. After everyone arrived, Claim Academy's Staff introduced themselves. The introduction was quite motivating and I immediately felt like I made the right decision.

After the assembly, we were sent off to our classes to begin learning. First day was pretty light. We learned a bunch of key terms (MongoDB, Frontend, Backend) and acronyms (CRUD, SEO, API, DOM). From there, we installed a few programs (Visual Studio Code, Node.js, git) and signed up on a bunch of websites (GitHub,, CodeSandbox).


I've grouped these days together because the rest of the week has been a blur. From learning some Markdown, to learning what GUI is and why it's called the 'gooey' and that the terminal is just a parallel universe of the GUI and what a repository is and how we can use the terminal to push that up onto GitHub are just a few things of the abundance of information that was given to my brain. I'm going to create a list of additional information that has been given to me this week. Some of it is funny in that one day when I look back at this, I will think these things that seemed like so much was only the beginning.

  1. Shortcuts are amazing.
  2. ~ is called a Tilda
  3. If you hover over certain things, you're given the shortcut via a tooltip.
  4. rm -fr is super scary.
  5. Control C saves you when you're stuck in the terminal
  6. You can have more than 1 terminal open.
  7. Undefined and Not defined mean different things.
  8. The "." has many different meanings.
  9. mkdir, pwd, ls, cd
  10. function(), () =>

Although I've learned a lot this week, there is still so much I don't know. But that's what makes this exciting. If you made it this far, thanks for reading and have a great 4th of July!

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