An excerpt on My first day at the Andela Bootcamp

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts — Winston Churchill.

22hrs 38mins. That’s how long I went without food, water or sleep. That’s by no means an extraordinary feat, but for me, that was the equivalent of weeks’ worth of dry fasting. What led to that? I’m glad you asked. All aspiring Andelans were required to be on site by 8:30 am, as no one would be let in after that. Punctuality has always been a value I hold dear to me, so I had to leave home pretty early. Problem was, it was my first Monday in Lagos. I had Heard stories about “Gidi traffic” on Mondays, so I wasn’t planning on leaving anything to chance. I didn’t have the time to grab a breakfast, but I had a feeling we’d be given time to go have lunch. After all, no be food carry me come Lagos. If only I had known.

8:17 am. Traffic wasn’t so bad as I made it to the site well in time before the Bootcamp officially kicked off. Met with a few aspiring Andelans and everyone were in high spirits. We got split into teams and met with our LFAs in person for the first time (at least, for me it was). Our Bootcamp project was reviewed and carefully scrutinized while we were given feedback to be implemented. At the time I was done receiving feedback from my LFA, it was just a few minutes past noon.

12:04 pm. It’s been 12hrs and a few minutes without food or water. I Wasn’t really feeling the hunger pangs since we had already been promised lunch by 2 pm, another two hours wouldn’t kill me. So I set out to work on the learning outcomes for the day. Watched a few modules videos and wrote a medium post on my boot camp experience so far. We were required to submit the learning outputs for the day by 4:30 pm. At this time, it was nearly 4 pm and Victoria (a learning facilitator at Andela) had come in to apologize on behalf of the caterers.

4:00 pm. 16 hours gone without food or water. Working on a project is one thing. Working on a project on an empty stomach is another. Working on a project on an empty stomach and a close deadline is something else entirely. One of the two required outputs we were to turn in before the end of the day was a program written using Test Driven Development (TDD). That meant writing tests first for our programs using Mocha and Chai. A brief interruption as the facilitators looked to brief us on some things while the food arrived. When they were done, it was a few minutes past five.

5:10 pm. 17 hours without food. Food finally arrived, and it wasn’t enough. Bloody caterers!! The first time that would happen in an Andela Bootcamp, and it had to happen on the day I decided not to eat before leaving home. Oh well, time to get back to working on the program. Tests weren’t working, the program wasn’t passing all edge cases and this developer was famished.

7:30 pm. Tests were finally passing, the program adhering to a few edge cases. LFA walks in and gets a peek of my test file. “Are you supposed to use assert or expect for your test?” He had asked a similar question earlier, and it was a rhetorical one. “Ummm. The requirement said expect,” I replied hoping I was wrong. “So, why don’t you use expect?” I felt all the hunger and tiredness rush into my head. I had been struggling to write tests that passed, only to have them passing and I was told I had to change it. Omo, I no fit cry. To make matters worse, LFA said we had until 8:00 pm (he had been gracious enough. Deadline was 4:30 pm) to turn in our programs. Refactored the test and added 10 test cases, which were all passing.

20:17 pm. Done refactoring the tests. It was time to push my code to Github using the recommended Git workflow. For some bizarre reason, I couldn’t create a separate working branch and I dared not push with the master branch. I had to leave now. The journey back home would last around an hour and thirty minutes if traffic was forgiving. My phone had been buzzing all day as my caretaker wanted to know where I was. “I’d push to Github in the bus abeg,” I thought to myself. With that, I packed up my gadgets and hurriedly made it out of the room and to the elevator. Boarded a bus, and knew immediately I wouldn’t do anything until I got home.

21:45 pm. Finally got home. Everyone was worried because it was my first day out in Lagos alone and they had been worried sick something might have happened. Not like I was particularly bothered about them being worried. I had to do what I had to do. Told them I had not eaten since morning and someone scampered out to go get me bread and coke. Wasn’t going to eat though until I had successfully pushed my codes to Github.

22:38 pm. Finally found my way around making use of the Git workflow. Also had to make use of .gitignore file since I couldn’t push the node modules I had made use of in the project. All seemed to be in order. Popped open the coke and took a huge bite of bread. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. The day wasn’t over though. On the contrary, it had only just begun.