Happy one month of coding or how the Makers’ pre-course felt to a complete noob

I wrote this post yesterday night. Did not post it. Forgot about it. Completely. Now I am making a conscious choice of not editing it to bring it to today. Because if I have learnt anything yesterday, it was that I should spend my energy carefully. So here’s yesterday’s post:

The actual Makers Academy bootcamp started today. I feel so tired, my fingers are actually crawling on the keyboard. And, apparently, I can get truly poetic when tired. But today’s post is not about today, which was great and exhausting and a bit overwhelming, to be honest. See Paula’s experience of today, she’s in my cohort and I can totally relate.

Today is about a month of coding and how interesting it is to grow while being aware of it. And what I would do differently in the pre-course, now that I know what it is.

First, the nightmares! Oh, dear! It’s red and it’s an error and you try to figure it out, but it’s a loop and you can’t get out of it. That’s why for’s are better than while’s. But my nightmare doesn’t know. It goes in infinite loops and I cannot seem to be focused enough to see the mistake. From time to time, one of my cats needs attention and meows or jumps in the bed, so I wake up. But as soon as I go back to sleep, the infinite loop continues. Because it’s freakin’ infinite. And there’s noise and yelling in my head. Nothing makes sense, yet it is all very vivid. By morning, I am tired as if I would have ran a marathon. But hey, let’s code!

Second, the things getting easier — or you getting more comfortable with learning new stuff. I am definitely in a much better shape, brain-wise, code-wise and self-awareness-wise (is this a valid construction in english?) than I was before. Just an example: my last week of pre-course did not go as planned so I did not achieve my 5 kyu on codewars by Friday. Yesterday I started working on that. I started at 44% 6 kyu level, at about 11.00 am. I had lunch and a siesta and watched a Get Down episode. By 10.00 pm I was at 5 kyu. This is not to brag and really, if you can do it at whatever a normal pace is to you, it’s a lot better than rushing like I did. But the point is that well, I had a problem and I looked for a solution. So I just googled how to rank faster in codewars. And learned that if you do a 4 kyu kata, you get there a lot faster. Well, I did not manage any 4 kyu katas, but I did some 5s and 6s and it worked out. The second point being that I did not give up, despite wanting to several times.

The last week of pre-course was not as expected. I felt guilty the entire time. We traveled to Brittany and I should have worked from there. As it happened, the architect, the contractors etc., we did not have electricity in the house. So we improvised accommodation-wise, which meant a lot of moving around. So I did not work all that much. I only paired twice. I did not quite get the rspec and TDD. I did it, but in a panicky mode — omg, I really really have to do this and understand it. That did not work well. Therefore loads of guilt. And I am someone diagnosed with anxiety, I do not take guilt easily. Then yesterday came and I realized that I am well rested, that I have an ocean energy supply and that the fact that I had days in which I did not code much (although guilt is quite energy consuming too) was not all that bad. Eventually, by the end of the day, I got friendlier with TDD and I would even dare to say it might make sense to use it.

So the pre-course was a good introduction to what the bootcamp will be, but likely far less intense. I was mostly solo and wondering if I am doing fine. Still don’t have a clue. But I should have not kept freelance projects for this month. I should not have planned going out of town. I should have slept more. All in all, you can do the pre-course with 50% of your time, but that’s exactly how much you’ll get out if it. It’s all passed now, so I’ll give 100% in the bootcamp. In the meantime, enjoy my instants from beautiful Bretagne:

Saint Malo