The first two weeks at Codesmith…

Two weeks ago I embarked upon a journey. A Journey to change my life for the better, and become the absolute, best version of myself possible. Now, obviously I know that this is a process. Seemingly one that never ends as every day you become better than the previous, or at least that is the goal, but for purposes of this article, I’ll leave it at that. The decision for this journey was not selfish one, in fact, quite the opposite. You see, I want to be able to help others… Well, better than I can currently. I want to build things that will inspire, and incinerate change. I want to make the lives of individuals easier… Amongst other things. And I haven’t the slightest idea how, (well, technically I do have a few ideas, but for “IP” purposes, I’ll leave that alone) anyhow, I know that I have taken a step in the right direction.

What is that direction you may ask? I began my cohort at Codesmith. Codesmith, (for those of you who don’t know) is a 12 week, fully immersive, software engineering Academy located in Los Angeles California, that teaches full stack web development with JavaScript. I’ll add links below so that you can get all the information that you would like to in reference to that. Before I enrolled here, I spent approximately 8 months up to a year researching, researching and researching other “Boot Camps” and not only in California, but also New York and a few other places. In my findings, have only found two other places that are held in such high regard.

They are as follows:

1. Codesmith

2. Hack-Reactor

3. Fullstack Academy

To jump into the topic of why I am even wiring this in the first place is to tell you about my experience thus far in the first two weeks. I knew going in that this program was going to be beyond intense. Six days a week, 12 hours a day, (I’m usually there for a solid 14. Just to do as much as I can to keep up) and copious amounts of knowledge presented for your digestion. A feat on its on which is remarkable in itself. Knowing that going in, I assumed that I had a pretty good grasp on what to expect… Boy was I wrong. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The curriculum is far more in depth than I could have ever imagined and I am extremely thankful this is the case.

The first two day unit ( every two days there is a new unit ) was a refresher on the pre-course that one has to complete before entering. We basically re-built a bulk of the underscore and lo-dash libraries from scratch. Well, all of the core functions anyways. The second two day sprint is Object Oriented JavaScript with an in depth dive into closures, the prototype chain and scope. Wrapping up the week we journey into computer science fundamentals and this is exactly when I knew that I made the proper choice. We recreated all of the major data structures (Trees, Linked list, Queue, Stack, Hash Tables, Graph, etc.) also all of the major sorting algorithms ( Merge sort, bubble sort, insertion sort, etc.) and finally learned about recursion and time complexity / Big O notation. My brain actually hurts as I re-read this and think about it. I won’t go too much into the second week except with the small summary… By the end of the week we created a snake game in our browsers, had our first hackathon, presented the projects from said hackathon to everyone, created our class chat and calendar with vanilla JavaScript then refactored and re-built it with React.js, and also have built tic-tac-toe in the browser with react.js.

Now keep in mind that this is only 12 days into the program. I can’t even begin to fathom what is to come and how rigorous it will be. Please know that I do not mention that maliciously, but out of excitement and determination because I do know that when I come out on the other end, I will be forever changed. I will have gained a new set of tools as well as a thinking pattern and approach to different problems that I will tackle.

That being said, I do have to mention that even though I feel this is the best program out there, the program is HARD. There have been times where I feel as though I know absolutely nothing, and that I can not retain anything. I do know through struggle, is realistically one of the best ways to learn and advance. It is a mentality that I am all too familiar with given my background, so I know that I will come out on top and I will succeed no matter what. Partly because I know that my tenacity and determination will get me through anything I am facing, but also how wonderful the staff and instructors are here. After finding myself struggling, I talked with the CTO Will Sentance and he immediately stopped everything he was doing to go through and help me arrive at a solution. He stayed with me two hours after everyone else had already left to make sure that I had a better understanding of what I was working on. Not only did he leave it there, he texted me to check in and see how I was progressing later on that night. How incredible is that? I haven’t ever had any teacher go to those depths to help me. I’m not saying there aren’t any who haven’t, I just haven’t experienced it. This is another thing that has reinforced my decision of Codesmith.

Not only are these things immensely important, but (and I forgot to mention this earlier) I also must talk about my fellow classmates… These people have become extremely close to me and we all look out for one another. This is becoming like a large family and I really appreciate it. I hope that we can all continue to stay close and build wonderful things together from here on out. I hate to do this because I have so much more to say, but I must study and get ready for the start of week 3 tomorrow. I will keep everyone updated as to progress…. Thanks for reading. :)