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Silvia España Gil
Silvia España Gil

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My experience in a coding bootcamp

Léeme en español aquí

Hola Mundo!

Well, this is how it went. Twas' Christmas and I realized that I am in my mid 30's, my husband started law school, we just moved abroad and I am seriously rethinking my professional future.

Why? I'm glad you ask. I felt at a plateau, not happy nor unhappy about everything😐. But then 2020 happened and, in between those feelings and watching my partner so happy and passionate about doing something he loves I asked myself why I'm not doing something that I'm passionate for.

That led me to a process of introspection in which I quickly realized that every project I was part of -professionally- that I enjoyed and loved the most, were IT projects and so I decided that I wanted to learn how to code.

But don't be fooled, I say this in four lines but it was a hell of a storm in my head 🌪️. Should I?, am I capable of doing this?, am I to old?, is it silly to start over right now? and go on...

Suddenly I asked myself:

Silvia, if you didnt try this now, would you regret it in 6 months/ 1 year?

Answer was: yes.

Looking for a bootcamp🔎

Choices were made, so I started looking for a Bootcamp that teached Front End Development, that was 100% online and of course, affordable.

The one I found out about and wanted to be part of, was a female oriented Bootcamp that sought to reduce the gender gap in the IT sector. It was like a match made in heaven for me.

I was ready to apply. The application process was pretty simple
but it included a technical test that I was pretty afraid of taking, because I had zero experience with code.

After taking a little free course, I went for the said scary test and some other skills's evaluations. The waiting time was ETERNAL, until one day I read a "Welcome, you're in". What a joy!🥳

The roller coaster🎢

What's a bootcamp?

If you are not familiar with the concept, a Bootcamp is an intensive course or coding program. And don't get me wrong when I say intensive: I mean intensive...whatever you imagine right now, go further.

In my case it was a 📅12 weeks program📅 with: HTML, CSS, Javascript, React and Node, SQLite.

🕓Each day for me, was like this:
-8:30 to 13:30: Online classes, pair programming, group code projects
-13:30 to 15:00: Lunch because a girl needs to eat
-15:00 to forever: Flipped classroom, coding exercises, code, code, code.

We were not only learning how to code, but also doing group proyects, Sprint Reviews, Code Reviews, Agile & Scrum and twice a month, several mini personal proyects/evaluations.

So...if you ever saw this meme...this was my life!meme code sleep

Surviving the bootcamp

I already told you about how intense the bootcamp was; but, the most amazing thing was the realization that we can do it.
First month is idilic because you are so hyped, HTML and CSS , it was beautiful, you can behold your creations and it's pretty exciting. It was like >"look what I did mom"🎉

But then Javascript happened 🤯💥💣🧨. We wanted it to happen...HTML was fun but we wanted things to occur and in order for that to happen, Javascript must come to play and we were not having it at all.

I remember a very specific day in which I was reading about conditionals and I really really really did not understand anything for the first time 🙇‍♀️. My eyes watched letters but my brain couldn't process them. The frustration hitted me and I was just half way through.

Again, in a bootcamp you learn brand new things literally everyday at a dazzling rate, but suddenly as I kept learning, I surprised myself coding an event and the if and elses came all alone.

OMG does this mean that I know Javascript now?

Of course not! Javascript is infinite but I was loving it 👩🏻‍💻

When I coped with the frustation, the rest of the things went downhill. Yes it was a challenge and Javascript, React and the bit of backend I learnt had its own difficulties but my mindset changed.

Breaking myself

Once a colleague told me that I was excelent in my previous experience but now I'm not and this is so true. It's hard to learn something from zero and it's also hard to allow yourself to navigate the learning curve.

When Javascript hitted me in the face, it broke me and I needed it to happen because that was a moment of realization; this choice I made was a forever learning path and most important, that it's a path that I was walking now.

The end

When the bootcamp ended I was so happy. Honestly...uber happy. I was tired, my brain was soaked tired and I needed a little pause. But the happiest thing was looking back to the beggining of my road.

How come was I able to do ALL THIS in only 3 months? I was/still am in awe because it really is surprising; all the knowledge you get and most important, the accomplishment of feeling that that you overcame it and that now, that you are able to do it.

🦾So, if you are reading this, if you want to start coding and you are not sure you me out: YOU CAN and when you least imagine it, you will be coding your first website.🦾

Top comments (8)

marizoo profile image

HI Silvia, do you mind sharing the bootcamp you went with?
I am on a self-learning path and it got to the point where I get confused where I am at. The interaction with people and challenges sounds like something I need right now. Cheers

silviaespanagil profile image
Silvia España Gil

Yes! I went to Adalab that is based in Spain. What i liked is that it's a bootcamp women focused and that all of us where changing careers so it was a really safe place to share and learn

marizoo profile image

Wew! thanks for this info. That sounds fun.

saramansori profile image
🌻 sara~

Just what I needed! As someone who is about to start a webdev bootcamp in less than a month and is quite nervous to be honest, articles like this are heaven-sent.

Thank you for sharing your experience, it is incredibly motivating and enlightening <3

silviaespanagil profile image
Silvia España Gil

Sara, thank you for telling me this. Right now I'm feeling like I want to share things but I also think like "what can I share if I'm a uber junior" so knowing that at least this helps and motivates you is so encouraging.

Enjoy the ride, I'm sure you gonna love it!

shahershamroukh profile image
Shaher Shamroukh

The best thing is that the excitement never ends, as there will always be something new to learn!

silviaespanagil profile image
Silvia España Gil • Edited

Oh I do agree with that there's always something new or another take for everything

azaharasiroco profile image