Dev Bootcamp

I’m entering my second week at Dev Bootcamp, an intensive program designed to teach you to become a professional web developer in 9 weeks. It’s been a wild journey so far, but one that I don’t regret at all despite the rather unusual situations I currently find myself in.

It’s difficult to explain to your family and friend why, as grown people with a home and careers, you would consider starting all over again. I liked my house and I loved my job, but as a chaser of information I wanted to learn more about coding. I love the internet, how it connects people and how it levels the playing field when it comes to learning. Anyone can gain access to all types of information; anyone can learn anything if they can tap into the power of the web. I’m an avid consumer, and now I want to contribute too. I was an inspired by a video here. Joey more than agreed. He was passionate about learning code even before I knew where to begin. We decided to take the leap together.

And so here we are. We’re living in an empty apartment in Chicago with an air mattress and thrift store chairs. Every day we spend anywhere from 8 to 12 hours at our school in an office building in River North with our fellow classmates and teachers. I stare at computer screens and tap tap tap away, stretching the corners of my brain searching for every little bit of info I’ve ever learned about coding. It’s difficult, it’s pretty darn tiring, but I’m in a strange state of loving it anyway.

Week one of DBC was full of emotional ups and downs, because this program is intense and learning is hard work. You realize how fragile your state of mind is; you constantly compare your progress to others, and you suffer severe mental panic when you think you can’t keep up. You find yourself fighting the mentality that you’ve got to stay on top, cultivate your type A, be the best in the class because those are the people that succeed in life. The truth about DBC is that the people who succeed here are the people who are learning how to code. Everything else is extraneous. Do what it takes to master coding, and pass along all the knowledge you can on the way. It’s an environment that’s inspiring. It’s refreshing. It’s effective. I think it’s amazing.

So here we are, learning about data structures and algorithms. I’m building variables and methods at lightning speed, hoping they’ll stick in my code-muddled brain. Here’s to another day of coding!