MY BOOTCAMP EXPERIENCE SO FAR
It was 11pm, late on the 22nd of August 2017. I sat on the chair again for the hundredth time. After some minutes I stood up restlessly again. The suspense was becoming unbearable as I waited for the Andela invite mail for Bootcamp.
My phone beeped and I rushed to it, my heart completely in my mouth. What would the mail say? would I be invited or rejected? I had heard countless stories of how difficult it was making it to Bootcamp. Getting into the actual programme was another new level, but that did not bother me yet as I had promised myself I would do everything humanly possible to become an Andelan fellow ( everything, legally of course!). I checked the message and it was from WhatsApp Andela Nairaland group. Another person had just said he got a “thank you for applying mail” My nervousness tripled. I had done well in the in-person interview and code review but appeared a bit nervous.
The mail did not arrive until very late in the night. later than 12pm and there I was, waiting impatiently for it. I made it! Yeah. It was a welcome to bootcamp message. That nights sleep was indeed peaceful even though I knew so much awaited me in the following weeks to come. I was added to various slack channels were I met people in the same boat and had helpful suggestions on how to complete my work.
Bootcamp Day 1
The bootcamp started on Monday. I was very early like the typical me as I waltz into the main building happy. why would I not be? Andela was an organisation that personified my values. A real dream job. I was determined to bring that dream to reality.
And then we started. We were addressed about Andela core values, and then introduced to our Learning Facilitator Asisstants where I met my kind understanding LFA. Our templates on a previous assignment was reviewed while we were given feedback.
In less than no time, we started the days challenge where we were asked to write a function and tests to validate those tests.
I struggled with the new test driven development idea for even though I had read about those software development techniques during the home study, that was all I knew about it. Theories and theories. Now I was required to practically use it.
After some time that seemed to take like forever I wrote my tests and hurriedly wrote a blog post that constituted part of the day’s expected output.
I realised that I had to level up my knowledge of programming and I had to do that fast. Reading and understanding was not usually my problem but the time frame was short and the technologies needed to be learnt or at least grasped to a basic level was numerous. I stayed back to read until well past 8pm before I left for home. I knew Andela would be stressful but I never expected it to be this stressful not to mention tough. Not even my undergraduate Bsc project could match up with this. I had to survive one way or the other. I still had to read and code till 12pm after a very stressful day. Did not even know when I finally fell asleep. I apparently had continued coding in my sleep as my mum asked me the meaning of “Git” when I woke up.
If I thought bootcamp day I was tough, I had not seen anything yet as day 2 was even tougher for me. I left home very early that morning as I headed to the Andela headquarters. I hoped to use the power supply as its supply in my area was really bad. Even more important than this I hoped to gain insight from my colleagues who just may have answers to my nagging problem.
I arrived on site, started work on my templates using materialize css framework. One of the many technologies I was hearing about for the first time in my life but had to quickly learn and use in a couple of hours. It was either that or …(can’t even imagine the consequences of not levelling up.)
Being at Andela has not been easy in any way and that leaves one wondering how the real thing would be like. However, It is easy to get comforted knowing that there is no obstacle faced that cannot be surmounted at least in this context. There is no limit to what I can achieve.
Bootcamp has opened my eyes to a whole different new world of learning and self development.