Hi Moxi! Sorry for the delayed response! The web immersive course I attended at Flatiron School was very intense because we covered so much material in such a short amount of time! During these 3 months, I was at school from 9am-6pm every day and would spend around 3–5 hours after school per day working on labs and other reading. On the weekends, I’d spend about 5 hours a day again, working on labs and reading. It was extremely helpful being in an environment where I had access to TAs, tutors, and fellow classmates to go over problems to help understand the material. You’re right that being in this type of community was crucial for me to understand concepts and grasp the material.
In terms of the learning experience and the ability to apply the learning right away — I often felt as if “I didn’t know anything” and got down on myself because I had a difficult time understanding concepts. However, taking a step back and practicing what I learned via mini projects made me realize that I actually did know quite a bit. I think this is an important part when learning how to code — even if you haven’t mastered a language, the easiest ways to understand concepts is practice! This can be via small issues (like our labs we did in school) or by building small projects and exercising what you know. You’ll definitely understand more of the code when you see it in use.
Hope this helps!