Learning in Paradise


It’s interesting letting life take you where it wants versus the other way around. It’s a scary thought for me to NOT know what I’ll be doing 2 months from now. Will I have a job? I am confident in myself but those thoughts do not escape me.  I’ve gotten used to scary things by now. My trick: I think of something to counteract that feeling.

In this case, I think of: the satisfaction I feel realizing how much we learned in the past two weeks!

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It was a battle with the brain that felt like a roller coaster. I wrestled with comprehending for-loops for a couple of days until it finally clicked. The excitement made me want to throw a party.  Before I had time to celebrate, recursion gets thrown at me; and I’m once again knocked on my ass!

It’s beautiful how immersion lets you ignore the world and just focus on your battle. I don’t nail everything. Sometimes I have to walk away knowing I’ll return. Take a break. I’m ok loosing battles so long as I win the war.

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My classmates also went through the roller coaster of emotions. Everyone could relate after the end of week 2. We sometimes seemed sad but it was really our ‘tired faces’. A result of feeling defeated, or the drain from completing a challenging exercise. As our knowledge increased, our bonds grew. Not only in the classroom but also outside.

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We celebrated birthdays after a week of knowing each other…

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Daily, we congregate for mid day pool swims to wipe out our brains and relax our minds( and bodies). We shared long talks (well mostly the girls, we like to chat). It’s a little GoCode family adventure every day. I wake up and look forward to it!

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Coupling Week 1 and 2 is important because the progression between those two weeks blew me away.  In week 2, things got tough!  As the material got more complicated, we adapted and tackled the next challenge.  It makes me proud.  Remember I said I felt behind and people were blazing through things? Well, more people started feeling like me by week 2. We really needed that pool time those days!

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10-12 hours of working on coding can take its toll but the beauty of being immersed is that it gets broken up.

My Days:

  • Wake up, workout, have a nice breakfast 
  •  squeeze a couple of hours of review
  • 3 hours of morning Class
  • 1:15 min lunch / POOL!
  • 3 hours of afternoon class
  • Walk the beach and see the sunset
  • 2 hours of evening work

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Every week goes as such: We cover topics, complete hands on exercises, and tackle 1 capstone project to culminate our learnings.  On week 2 we created a local search engine on our computers.  On week 3 we created a blackjack game.

All projects push you to implement the material covered.  On Friday afternoons, we reconnect to discuss as a group the pros and cons of the week. On the last reconnect, we visited a beautiful bar with an infinity pool and watched the sunset.  These colors are magical and surreal!

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This program has me excited about implementing projects as examples of my technical and creative abilities.  Once gain, I feel ecstatic about sharing what I learn and absorbing all I can every day. I miss home, my family, and routines.  However, every second that goes by, I am grateful to be here.

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A good blog post by The Firehouse Project regarding making the most of your coding boot camp experience.  It is a good read and helps put in perspective what we should expect to achieve as students.

Overview of Material Covered:

WEEK 2:

  • List comprehensions
  • Debugging Strategies
  • Good coding practices
  • Recursion
  • Big-O Notation and algorithm design
  • Capstone week 2: Local Search Engine

WEEK 3: 

  • Object oriented Programming
  • Objects + Classes
  • Inheritence and Polymorphism
  • Build a golf game
  • Git
  • Capstone week 3: Build a blackjack game
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