What would I want to tell myself 6 weeks ago before starting my bootcamp?
1. Don’t worry too much– I have an overwhelming urge to worry. It won’t matter. Take a step and breathe. I stressed out about the pre-work. Ultimately, I completed 80/20. That is respectable. There are 6 weeks of pre-work material to cover. Lets be honest, some of it was boring. It turns out everyone approached it differently depending on their previous experience.
The disclaimer that I want to make: All of the pre-work was helpful and concepts were applicable. Having said that, and confessing I did 80/20, I don’t feel behind those who did more (or less) than me. It all depends on how much knowledge you have on each subject prior to the class.
Here is my perspective:
Things to be comfortable with:
- Command line– A MUST! Don’t skip it.
- Python– The first part of the course will focus on learning python. I would not recommend skipping the tutorial. You will get frustrated if you don’t have a basic understanding. The tutorial is not too bad either. Just bite the bullet and do it!
- Github- This will be key to understand and use. If you don’t get it during the pre-work, don’t fret. Just know it will be a something you will use a lot in this class and the instructors will help you get comfortable with it.
Things to attempt doing:
If you don’t get it, don’t stress about it. Give it an honest attempt.
- Basic knowledge of CSS/HTML will be helpful when you start Django. This wont be a front end focused class. You will need to do a little (at the very least) for your project.
- SQL– Give it an honest attempt to review this. This is another one where you shouldn’t fret as well if you are confused or find it hard. I found it tough even when we were doing it in class.
2. Have Fun! It’s not that hard. Costa Rica is a beautiful place. I’m here for business (investing in my skills) but you need time to play.
I am glad I made time for myself and got to know others. Hit the beach, laugh with friends…you wont regret it. Without the small escapes, this program would be harder. Take advantage of this paradise.
3. Enjoy the Food. Costa Rica is a blue zone: where people live longest. The food is simple and local. That is one adjustment to make. No fancy ingredients. You won’t find large grocery stores, instead there are small “Supers”. It is like a convenience store. There are 3 within a 3 minute walk for me, and I go a few times a week when I need a staple.
Otherwise, I hit the fruit stand. It is my go-to. Fresh. Local. Fair Price. I have felt good eating the meals these fruits and veggies make!
So far, I have had no issues with food, including drinking the water! Matter of fact: the water on the Nicoya Peninsula is renowned for life-longevity benefits.
There are cheat meals…we have silly moments. Sometimes, it means having an “early” beer and some fruit-loops.
3. There are No regrets. You would do this all over again in a heartbeat! Looking back at all we have learned, all the headaches I have had…I have no regrets. My progress is tangible and this was my goal all along. Where I stand today, I feel content with my experience thus far.
There are 2 weeks to go and I miss home, but this experience taught me more than how to code.