Pinch me, I need to know this is real: Makers Day 1
Am I really here? Have I finally made it? Am I actually stood in this building right now?
Today, a day that felt at times felt so elusive and unattainable that it may never actually happen, happened. With a tentative spring in my step and a nervous soliloquy serenading my stomach, I made my first ever commute in the nation's capital; to 50 Commercial Street. Strolling up to the building, I entered the access code with a shaky hand and made my way up the stairs to the first day of my new career. Scratch that, new life.
After a Covid-era temperature check and confirmation of a negative test, I walked upstairs to greet the first people of my cohort. A puddle of faces met me, and quickly I felt that there was a good chance my nervousness was being echoed throughout the room. Fortunately, this didn’t last long, speedily replaced with excitement and a sense of camaraderie from conversations with equally excited coursemates, as we fell into the familiar grasps of the get-to-know-me conversations.
This first 30 minutes of mingling flew by, and we were into our first socially-distanced sit-down in the workshop as we met one of our coaches. A formal introduction across the board quickly ensued. Listening to the people I would spend the next 12 weeks with, I felt quite grounded as I was reminded of the beautifully unique walks of life we all come from; where our collective uniquity has culminated in us making us the same decision, to be in the same place, at the same time.
Our next activity was a talk from Dana, our Chief Joy Officer. Taking us through our EQ curriculum, emphasising the importance of the Makers holistic approach, setting expectations to nurture ours and our peers' emotions and feelings, the growth mindset, yoga and so, so much more. This talk felt invaluable, and it was comforting to see how much genuine care and support there will be as we progress through this rewarding, but intense journey to shape us into fully-rounded developers.
We then moved onto a small example of a coding workshop with one of our technical coaches. We had a taste of the Makers teaching format, opportunities to ask questions and build up our anticipation for what every student in the room was thinking about — the coding!
Our afternoon opened with a talk and series of group activities enveloping the Makers learning approach. Getting up to speed with tracking our own learning, the expectations that we will be taught to teach ourselves, to be critically thinking, emotionally intelligent developers, equipped for long-term growth, that can make anything.
Our last session of the day was a Q&A with the rest of our coaches, a chance to ask our burning questions, reflect on the time ahead and generally further build our expectations for everything that we will achieve, and become, in our journey at Makers.
We ended day 1 with an hour session to hangout with our coaches and cohort. We processed our day, chatted about our lives and played a little ping-pong.
It’s truly been an arduous journey getting here over the last few years (do pivotal life changes ever feel any other way?) but I can’t wait to get to look back on this very moment, 13 weeks from now, feeling like a very, very different person.