Looking Back At Bootcamp

Jun 10 · 5 min read

To be fair it is not over yet, there is still 2 more weeks to go to complete the 9 week program. That being said, most projects are essentially done, and at this home stretch, I believe it is a good place in time to reflect upon the past 7 weeks. During the 7 weeks, 6 projects were basically completed, and these 6 projects work really well as break points for the bootcamp, so I will also use them as such as well.

Just starting bootcamp, the coming 9 weeks didn’t feel far nor did it feel close, it was just a number to me. A comfortable number where it isn’t right in my face but nor was it beyond my sight either. Starting the day with a 90 plus minute commute is anything but fun and it’s influence as the bootcamp progresses will most certainly be more significant, and then there’s also the commute back home too. The 3 hour daily commute is an element I’ve taken note of very early on because I know factoring them into my daily work flow is crucial.

Project 1, a simple single page psd conversion. It remains to be the only project where I actually stayed overnight for. Mostly because I didn’t want to waste time commuting back home when I still have a full day of my part time JavaScript course taking place the next day. That’s right, I have 2 overlapping weeks of bootcamp and Javascript. 6 days of class a week, but more importantly multiple projects are happening at the same time. As such, the first two weeks of bootcamp didn’t receive my full attention, thankfully, the subject matter was already quite familiar with me.

Project 2, a multi-page psd conversion. Similar to project 1, it has to be responsive and fairly accessible. As the final project for my JavaScript course is due, I delegated most of my time towards it as it is fairly more complicated than my project 2 for bootcamp. The thing to take away for these first two projects for me was best practices as well as accessibility. Something I still need to continue to work on after completing all 6 projects.

Project 3, a solo JQuery application. At this point in time, I was getting into the flow of the bootcamp and with my JavaScript course finally over, I can focus more energy towards the bootcamp. I personally enjoy the material as well as the hands on action regarding JavaScript compared to HTML5 and CSS3 used for the first 2 projects. This is also when I was first introduced to SASS, which I found to be quite exciting in terms of its capabilities, but I wasn’t able to do anything sophisticated with it due to the lack of experience. Project 3 is the start of the coming projects where I have to come up with my own project idea, which I often fall into the trap of wanting to do something original and amazing, but lack the resources and skills to do so. Which is why the bootcamp team has historically implemented a proposal approach where the Minimum Viable Product(MVP) is to be described along with the necessary functional and design elements drafted and approved within a deadline as our first step towards the project.

Tip for anyone learning anything, do not focus on being original or amazing, rather do whatever that hones the skills you first need to learned. Let the original and amazing come after.

Project 4, a pair programming project using JQuery and one or more APIs. Once again, even with 2 people, coming with a satisfying project idea was difficult. Finding a stable and viable API also proved to be a challenged as the one we used kept having our API key getting locked out even though it didn’t behaved in a way to warrant such a response based on the API owner’s documentation. The pair programming approach is a great way to learn from another who most likely have different fortes as well as skill sets than me. I also enjoy using GitHub more extensively since there are 2 people on the project.

Project 5, a Solo React project using Firebase or Axios. At this point, I’m really starting to feel the fatigue setting in as well as slightly burned out. The commute has become a pattern where I have rough naps during each of the transfers, sometimes woken up at the final stop by caring strangers. Coffee has also become a stable drink that made it to the necessity list. Productivity was going down and self doubts appearing more often. The bootcamp staff did emphasize a healthy dose of breaks and good work life balance so…

Tip for anyone learning anything, have one or a set of activities to do when your output declining. It is important to make sure that the activity is either effective in bring you back on track or at the very least good for you physically, such as meditating or jogging.

Project 6, a group React project using Firebase or Axios. Working in a group is not easy, especially coordinating and delegating the work load. If the project is more modular than it would be more obvious, but it’s not so much without at least the skeleton of the application completed. Communication is also crucial as usual particularly when remote work is possible. The best way to come out with a completed project is to start with a strong and concise plan that will be supervised by at least one member of the group.

That is my 2 cent on my 7 weeks of bootcamp. Without a doubt, the one aspect that any successfully achievement is made is through strong work ethics. Hence, it is important to figure out how to achieve such a work ethic for yourself. You have the carrot in one hand and the stick in the other, but the best approach is never to take one or the other, but rather neither. The idea is to find things that are at least somewhat enjoyable to you, but is still beneficial to you in someway or form. Of course, there’s always a place and time for the carrot or the stick, but that depends on the individual and their situation. It is strange, but to be the best of yourself, you have to first behave your best.


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Web Developer, functional, object oriented, responsive.

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