The Challenge of the Bonfires

I did it. I completed the Free Code Camp Bonfire challenges as part of the Basic Algorithm Scripting section. And I felt ecstatic, as these almost caused me to quit FCC when I first struck them.

“Basic” is a bit of a misnomer. You essentially go from very simple lessons that make you feel ‘wow, this is easy!’ Then a couple challenges in, you are thinking, ‘holy shit what have I got myself in for?’ It’s almost akin to having a few basic driving lessons, and then being given the book of road rules and a car manual and told ‘go and drive’.

Now having completed this section, I can see the reasoning — you are forced to think for yourself. Behind this is the great rule Read-Search-Ask. If you get stuck, Read the documentation, do a Google Search, and only then ask for help if you get stuck. I found that I only sought help once, and that was more for morale than for specifics.

I felt stretched by virtue of needing to research the reasoning behind a method for solving one of the problems. Even where I found an answer, it wasn’t a case of copy-and-paste; I could not cheat myself like that. Rather, I read the documentation and experimented.

So with the Bonfires complete, it’s on to the Ziplines. Yes, the Bonfires were hard, but the Ziplines are even more challenging. At some point you do need to let go of the hand that fed you and fend for yourself; you’ve got to take the driving wheel and operate the vehicle on your own. The brain will make the necessary connections with persistence and consistency.

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