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Code Bootcamp...Failed It!

As I skimmed through my Twitter feed, I came across a retweet by Osvaldo Vargas (@ozzie_v91 ). The tweet contained a post written by Vets Who Code founder Jerome Hardaway (@jeromehardaway ). The post was titled "Code Bootcamp Tips for Rookies." My first thought was, "Where in the h.e. double hockey sticks was this when I needed it 11 1/2 weeks ago?" Thanks for nothing Jerome! I'm totally kidding.

In all seriousness, these tips would have saved me from experiencing what I now refer to as "it that should not be named," only it does have a name...CBC6, aka Code Boot Camp (cohort 6). I won't get into specifics right now (future series coming), but had I known these tips prior to June 3, 2019 this post may have been titled something like "Code Bootcamp...How I Made It My B****" or not...but you get the idea.

The post mentioned 5 tips:

  1. Empty your cup (Don't let your past experience block your learning from new ones).
  2. Ask questions if you don't understand something
  3. Get a f*cking mentor
  4. Create
  5. Build relationships and use them

Lets just say the first tip itself would have saved me from a slow decent into dev madness. There were days when I wanted to say to my instructor, "Why are we talking about this? Follow the darn curriculum!", but according to tip 1, there may have been underlying reasons as to why the class was being taught a certain way, from work experience to legal reasons. So, maybe there WAS a method to my instructors madness?

Tip 2 is all about asking questions if you don't understand something, but don't just ask your instructor, ask your classmates as well. This tip was a 50/50 toss up for me. I say that because the typical answer to a question asked to my instructor was, "What does Google say?" Which would then cause my eye to twitch a little...but discussing questions with my classmates was spot on. I found that when I talked to my classmates about something I did not understand it made me feel less vulnerable, because I would often find that I was not alone in my struggle.

Tip 3...Well tip three is universal in life, find someone that you personally like, has the skills you want to learn, and ask them to be your mentor. Crazy as it may sound, I really wanted my instructor to be my mentor. Yes, Mr."What does Google say?" I think he would have made an interesting mentor, even though we hardly saw eye to eye on anything, he challenged me and I appreciated that.

Tip 4 is summed up in one word, CREATE. This tip is so instrumental when attending a code boot camp. Constantly creating content (say that 3 times) and working on projects allows you to hone your craft and showcase your talent. This was a difficult tip for me to digest, because I never felt that anything I created was "good enough." I'll use this example, the fist month of bootcamp I had 65 commits to my GitHub month two I deleted everything. What I kept forgetting is that I was LEARNING a new skill, it takes time and most of all consistency to create a portfolio I would be proud of.

Tip 5, Building relationships and using them. I understand why Jerome chose to save this tip for last. Networking, building relationships, being able to showcase your talent, getting involved in the community and working on the developing your soft skills is vital. I had many experiences during code bootcamp that I could share to support this tip, but for now I will share just one... After all, lets not forget why I wrote this post, to share my experience of failing code boot camp.

About 7 weeks into code bootcamp I began to put myself in a bubble and in my bubble I took EVERYTHING personally. We all know that in business you can't take anything personal, but I did, and because of that I completely lost site of my goal and why I wanted to attend code boot camp to begin with. I completely shut down...To make a loooooong story short, I let situations that were beyond my control dictate my ability to learn and as a result, with 7 class days left until graduation...I failed.

In those last seven days I went through a range of emotions I can only compare to the way everyone felt after Thanos snapped his fingers...but in the end, the comeback was f*cking EPIC.

Top comments (1)

marsackg86 profile image

These are some great tips and should be discussed at the beginning of all code bootcamps! As someone who went through the process as well it would have helped me with the gap between expectation and reality.