My Bootcamp experience so far at Andela

The first time i ever came across something close to programming was back in 2012 some months after i finished high school. My first ever language to learn was HTML. Although it’s not considered a programming language, it was considered a good start for beginners interested in learning how to code. Back then i didn’t own a personal computer, instead i used to head to one of those local libraries that was lucky enough to have internet connection and learn HTML through online courses.

Fast forward to today, My coding experience prior to enrolling with Andela was PHP, JavaScript HTML/CSS. While i can say confidently i’m a full stack web developer , i still feel like i have a long way to go and so much to learn. My goal: be able to understand and build a complex web application.

As i write this article on my bed on a very quiet night, i look back and think its amazing how much i have been able to learn so much in a course of one week. There were interesting people i met who i now can consider friends, amazing people who wouldn’t mind sharing interesting ideas on tech stuff. The coding bootcamp sparked a wish that we, bootcamp fellows were given more time than the intended two weeks so that we could do more awesome stuff and learn more from the bootcamp. Even though some of us might not make it for the final selection, here’s is why I think the bootcamp was worth taking a shot at:

The Challenge

The program’s selective admission is tough. That would mean you’ll have to up your game if you want higher chances of making the final cut. That would mean sacrificing your sweet sleep and free time to focus on learning, writing quality code and meeting or even better, exceeding the expectations of the bootcamp curriculum. In short, one of the most frequent phrases in coding bootcamps is that “you get out what you put in”.

Learning New Stuff

Prior to joining Andela bootcamp I had very little knowledge on Python programming language. I just grasped the basics of it during my free time at college, but nothing too serious. Now i’m confident i can build an app using python. The language is easy to learn, very efficient and it is multi-purpose. More, i learned how to use Git, a version control system that is not only used for software development but other version control tasks. I had know Git for quite sometime but never really saw its use until I joined the bootcamp. Knowing how to use Git and work with it efficiently was one of the things Andela prospects had to know.

Other things i was introduced to was Trello, a web-based project management application and i was also introduced to Slack, a very awesome collaboration tool.

Self Analysis

Getting admitted to the selective bootcamp is a good indication. It shows you have the ability to pick up concepts on your own, the determination to do so for a sustained period of time and the motivation associated with that.

In the bootcamp, you meet different people, interact with different minds. You get to know where you stand. How far you have come and how far you really have to go to reach your desired targets. You get exposed to fellow programmers. Better experienced people will always set the bar high for you. A wise man once said, “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room”. These people will always motivate you to work harder, to raise your standards. You are going to have to struggle with catching up to their pace or risk falling behind but i am a firm believer of Strength through struggle.

Conclusion

While the whole processes of the bootcamp have been very very intensive and sometimes painful I think in the end it has been a very rewarding experience. Like in school, some people will learn quicker while others will struggle. Some people will make it to the final cut, there will be winners eventually but i don’t think there will be losers. Only those who gained nothing from the event will be considered losers.

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