A Whirlwind Start to Bootcamp Part 1

I think these last three days have been my most productive in a long while, and I think that’s largely down to pair programming. I can’t quite believe it’s only Wednesday, when I feel like I’ve managed to learn so much.

On Monday, we officially started our bootcamp and I finally met the rest of my cohort. We shared mixed emotions of excitement and apprehension as we had no idea what to expect from our first day. Day one actually ended up being pretty easy going. It was largely a day to get introduced to the cohort and staff, what to expect and how to get the most out of our time and then a teeny bit of coding at the end. Followed by pizza. Obviously.

I was a little surprised at the late start to coding. I’m not sure what I was expecting, having an induction day makes perfect sense, but I am a fan of knowing the overall plan of my day. I like to map out my time. I’m a time-mapper… otherwise known as a control freak, but in retrospect I did need that day to get to grips with the Makers ethos and lifestyle. There is such a strong focus on wellbeing, both mentally and physically, with daily meditation and twice-weekly yoga classes. It’s essential for a company to put their money where there mouth is when they talk about committing to their employees’ (or in this case, students and employees) health. I really felt that Dana, the Chief Joy Officer, and Dan, our coach, were as enthusiastic about taking up these practices as they were about us learning to code, thus removing any stigma or insecurity I might have felt doing them.

Will, the Head of Careers, and possibly my new best friend closer to recruitment time, gave us a talk on things we could do throughout the course to put us in the best position when it comes to looking for jobs and how to train ourselves to become ‘knowledge workers’.

Our final task of the day was to create a rectangle in the command line. Ewan and I ended up approaching it by ‘spiking’, or in order words, we just bashed out some code. This was remarkably successful for us, but wasn’t really going to help us develop good TDD habits, so we had to start from scratch and only write code once we had written a test for it. And that was significantly harder.

TDD, is going to become a bit of a theme over my next few blog posts. My knowledge of Rspec relative to that of Ruby is close to nothing at the moment. My brain keeps wanting to revert to familiar Ruby territory, without writing any RSpec, but I know I have to break that habit and be equally comfortable with both. Hopefully that happens sooner rather than later… Our rather basic code can be found here.

Are you beginning to see what I mean about our days being jam-packed so far? This was only day one!




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