Greetings from Austin

I’m three weeks in to what I was told may be the most challenging twelve weeks of my life, and so far, MakerSquare has lived up to its reputation. But while the demands of the curriculum were anticipated, the enjoyment and gratification I am getting in return has far exceeded my expectations. Being that this is my first blog post (ever!), I suppose we should back up a hair to establish some backstory…

I had been working as a Systems Administrator in my home town of Santa Barbara, CA for about four years when I decided to follow my interest in software development. I weighed out my options and within a week I was taking my first plunge into JavaScript and preparing for the MakerSquare admissions process. Fast forward to November 2, my first day at MakerSquare. I’ve quit a good job, left an amazing girl, and moved half way across the country to kickstart a career in a field I only scratched the service of two months ago… stakes are high.

Okay, back to the present. Three weeks in? Feels like three months already! Well, not really… but kind of. In week one we hit the ground running, diving into data structures and time complexities. This was my first introduction to the subject and I found it fascinating, though frustrating at times. This was also my first time programming as a pair, which can be a valuable skill itself. Since then, it’s been a barrage of different concepts, frameworks, libraries, and brain-busters like the famous N-Queens problem. Eleven hours a day, six days a week.

The learning experience at MKS is unlike any other I’ve had. Only a couple hours of the day are spent in lecture, while the rest of the time is spent working through 2 day sprints. This allows one to struggle through, and therefore, achieve a much deeper understanding of a given subject. This is tough, but awesome. There are days when it seems like my brain burnt more calories than I ate and I didn’t get anywhere, and I go home feeling deflated. But that just makes it that much more gratifying when I nail it the next day and it all makes sense.

This is just the beginning. And the stakes are still high, but my confidence in my new path grows week by week along with my excitement for what awaits.

Until next time.