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Alex Kharouk
Alex Kharouk

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Yesterday's Work Rewards Me Today

I’ve been coding now for almost three months. Small change, little steps, I know. However this week marks the next step of my life as a software developer. I was accepted into a bootcamp in London. I’ve begun the pre-course work yesterday and am already making tidal waves of movement in my learning.

There are many posts about life as a web developer, or one’s process of getting that first job. I’ll be submitting this into the category of “the developer’s journey via bootcamp.” I think these are important posts. Bootcamps are expensive. So is your time. But you might want to go to a bootcamp. Hopefully I can give you some context of the journey.

First Two Weeks

I think a common trait that is shared amongst eager learners is ‘rapid passion.’ Passion that builds so fast that you just don’t know what to do with it. Maybe you write a song about it, or you build a project. You need some kind of outlet for all the passion. When I first started to code, I had the case of the rushin’ rapid passion. I created a simple website to display what I learned from a quick workshop at General Assembly. Then I moved towards a blog created on WordPress, where I posted about this HTML tag or that CSS attribute. I felt like I was learning enough to talk about it. Which is fine, even if I read it back now and think of how little I knew back then; the irony will be outstanding when I read this post a year from now.

Then as the first two weeks pass, there’s that dipping point. Many don’t make it back. That’s when you realise there’s more to programming than just HTML. There’s JavaScript and other languages. Front-end; Back-end. Full-stack or node stacks with a sprinkle of dated MEAN stacks. Keywords start to emerge, as if bidding you to come with them. Learn that framework or this language. This framework gets the $$$. That language is older than the person who wrote it!

All these words. They can overwhelm you. And it’s at this point the dipping occurs. The overwhelming world of software development comes at you, like paparazzi after a leaked affair.

During my first two weeks I thought I could do it all. Bought many Udemy courses, believing in those 99.999999% discounts they always claim to offer. Signed up to all the online courses. Even considered to enrol into a remote bootcamp right then and there. Luckily I took a step back. Since I already purchased the Web Developer Bootcamp for ten quid, I decided to only play with the thought of attending a real in-person bootcamp once I finish that course.

First Month Passed, Enter Month Two

Next thing I know, I’m out of that dipping point and into month two. At this point I’m really happy with myself. Six months ago I used to be the kind of guy who’d thankfully join the dipping crowd. Not this time. I stuck through it.

I’m even making great progress on the Web Developer Bootcamp. However I was going through the JavaScript material and it was tough. Terrifying. The instructor then introduced jQuery and I started feeling that overwhelming pressure of Imposter Syndrome. The whole time I was thinking damn, I have an english degree. Why am I even doing this?

Oh no. A second dipping point! This time I stepped back. Not to quit (although I contemplated the thought), but to try another language out. Now I doubt this is recommended by the pros, but it worked for me. I decided to try out Python. I even went to a workshop titled Python 101. Funnily enough it actually helped me grasp the things that confused me the most about JavaScript.

I started to see what Object Oriented Programming actually meant. And why everything is an object. I began to understand context, as well as scope. The clicks clicked. Later on, this will allow me to understand the Ruby fundamentals faster.

Now, whilst I have a better understanding, it’s not the perfect understanding. I don’t have enough experience with OOP, but at least I know the keywords to search for in Google whenever I have a question.

So Python helped me get back into JavaScript, and allowed me to continue the journey. Both languages went on hold as I begun to learn Ruby for my bootcamp.

Month Three is Just Around the Corner from Today

So I finished that course with a basic understanding of front-end and back-end. How APIs work and what are libraries and frameworks. Honestly, I’m really thankful for the course. It gave me a kind of TL;DR of what the Web Development World looks like. I didn’t absorb 100% of it, but it left me curious. Which leads me to why I’m writing this.

I never really thought about my future until last week. There was a time where I was in a rough spot, before I decided to make some healthy life-changing choices. It was during this transition that I discovered to code. Once I began feeling well-adjusted, with this ‘coding’ thing in my toolbox, I realised: Wow. I love this. I want this to be the thing I do for the rest of my life.

I finished the online course curious. I then finished a few other courses, still curious. Then I decided to take the step to join a bootcamp. Because I’m curious. Not only of code, and what languages can do, or what apps I’ll make, but I’m curious about the future. What I will see and do. Who I’ll become.

What do you think?

Do you agree with all the dipping points and high passion rates? Let me know if you think I’m terribly wrong. Or let me know if you want to mix it up, by reading my blogpost about Ruby Modules and Mixins on Medium.

Thanks for reading! I'm still new to this, but I hope I will continue.

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