7:00am: Wake up and start morning routine
7:45am: Check/answer emails
8:15am: Out the door, on the way to Suncoast Developer’s Guild (Thanks, Gus)
8:30am: Once I get to SDG, I head straight to the kitchen to make my first pour over coffee for the day.
9:00am: This is when the bootcamp begins. We start with a technique in agile methodology called, “stand-ups”. If you’re not familiar with agile methodology and you’re looking to get into the technology space, I would highly recommend doing a quick google. If you don’t care so much, it’s basically an approach to increase productivity and communication, primarily in software development teams. During these meetings, we discuss, one by one, what we have been struggling with, what we feel like we have accomplished in the past day, and what we are looking forward to learning.
9:15am: After stand-ups, our instructor will “blast out” our morning warm-up. We usually work on a coding challenge on the website codewars.com. These challenges are meant to prepare us for the intense thinking we will be doing the rest of the day. If I had to say one awesome thing about Code Wars, it would be that after you finish a coding exercise, you’re able to see the solutions from anyone else in the world who has finished that problem. In software development, there are so many ways that you can solve a problem, and it’s always best practice to not only solve the problem, but also to solve it in the most readable, and efficient way as possible.
10:00am: It’s lecture time! I want to first point out that the amount of material that is taught within a 2-hour period is almost too much to believe that one can retain. The days that are the really fun are when you have been stuck on a few concepts from the previous day, and you end up learning 20–30 new concepts on top of that. Although this may seem like a horrible experience, it makes sense coming from an educational point of view. With enough knowledge shoved into your brain, you’ll eventually understand it… right?
10:53am: “It’s 10:53, let’s take a… 12 minute break and be back by 11:05 to talk a little bit more about React.” These words make my day because it’s time to go off to the kitchen to grab a snack and brew up coffee número dos.
11:15am: Yes, it’s 11:15… we took a bit longer than expected. It’s okay because we are jumping straight back into learning mode.
12:00pm: Lunch starts. This is the time to have quality hangout time with the other students in the class. We usually go out to eat at a restaurant, or just eat around the conference table. One thing I will say about my team at SDG is that everyone brings each other up, and we always make each other laugh. Great times. Oh yeah, homework has also been sent out to start working on.
1:00pm: Depending on the homework, I’ll usually start around 1pm. Check out my GitHub if you want to see some of the homework that we’ve completed. I usually collaborate with a few other students in class and try to come up with questions that would be good to ask at “The Review at 2”. I don’t get a lot of the homework done at this time because I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concepts that we have just learned.
2:00pm: This is when the real learning happens. The 10–12 lecture is critical, and we need it; however, the review is when we put our knowledge to the test. Even if you understand the concept, you will need to write the syntax perfectly to make sure that the computer can compile your code at runtime. This takes practice, and, sometimes, is the reason why people quit software development early in the learning process. It is tough to learn this way, and if you can get over the first few hurdles, things will start to make more sense. You will also feel like a magician when you realize all of the cool stuff you can build.
3:00pm: At this point, most of the class has started the homework and has made some sort of progress. The best thing about a coding bootcamp, and the students and instructor specifically, is the ability to ask for help. Now, don’t get me wrong, you don’t want to ask for help every time you find that you’re having an issue. It’s important to research the documentation of a given technology before asking others. The ability for you to find the answer yourself is likely the most important aspect of being a software developer. If you research the documentation, look up Q&A websites for people who have had the same problem, and even find yourself throwing random words into your code to see what sticks, then you may be at the point to ask someone else for help. If you’ve done that, good job, you know how to learn.
5:00pm: The day is over… but not really. Depending on the homework, you may be working until 10, 11, or up to 12 o’clock trying to get your homework in before the deadline at midnight. Even if we have not finished the assignment, our instructor still wants us to turn in what we have at midnight to make sure that we get a good night’s sleep before starting it all over again the next morning.
And that’s it! You’ve now gone through a full day of Coding Bootcamp. Well, not really, but you can definitely start to understand the amount of work it takes during the day to be on track for success. This also doesn’t mention the amazing career support lectures that are given on Friday’s to help students in their résumé building, social media presence, and interview pitches. We also do extracurricular events outside of the classroom including but not limited to: hackathons, crash courses for other programming languages, code wars challenge nights, and networking events.
If you are interested in learning more about this awesome bootcamp and what it has to offer, shoot over to the Suncoast Developer’s Guild website and see what others have said!