Hack Reactor-First impressions

So if you haven’t read my previous post about me, you should, but I you really want the TL;DR version, I’m from Venezuela, 25 years old, suffer from crippling anxiety attacks that I can’t really control and decided to attend Hack Reactor, which requires me to push my limits on a intensive course for 6 days a week, 11 hours a day.

So I’m gonna throw something out there, I took the interview for Hack Reactor three times, got rejected twice and then got accepted on the third and last attempt.

I got the precourse done, struggled with it, and then I move all the way to San Francisco from Venezuela. It was pretty intimidating.

Day 0: Just before starting the course, we got emails from our cohort counselor, every cohort has one and the one that we got assigned happens to be one of the most approachable guys I’ve met, so I decide that I wrote an email to him and let him know that I’m prone to anxiety attacks and that I’m feeling nervous about my future and overall performance in Hack Reactor, he reassured me and told me that he would keep an eye on me to make sure things are going well for me, which was great.

Day 1: This is so scary, even though it was just a review from the precourse, I was so nervous that I started to scratch a little mosquito bite I had on my chin until it started bleeding. But I made it through, at the end of the day I was so tired that I barely did anything other than fall asleep at the end of the day.

Week 1: So the week finished pretty well, I finished all my sprints, managed to get my self-assessment fixed because a little problem had me not pass the tests assigned to it, and I was feeling better, the first Sunday after starting the program feels taking a breath after being underwater for way too long, One thing I’m thankful of is that people from my cohort were also pretty nice to me so it wasn’t awkward for long. We did a sprint(two-day long assignations) for review, and then we started on a four-day sprint about data structures that were challenging but felt manageable.

Tip: Go home at 8, this is gonna be 12 weeks long and you need to ease into the routine of being all the time at HR, if you overexert yourself from the beginning it will impact your performance, I promise, also, if you suffer from anxiety, or even if you don’t, but you feel like you are scared, talk to your counselor, let them know how you feel from the beginning and they will make sure you get the feedback you need to set yourself for success.

Hacking Tip: Practice recursion and data structures, they are not always part of your day to day but they will help you in situations and having a good grasp on them is the best way to make sure you are being as efficient as possible, Trees and Hash Tables are the ones that will really help you on real world situations in my experience.