Andela bootcamp, day one

6:22 AM. The time I arrive at 525 Kindaruma for the Andela bootcamp. To someone not accustomed to my selective punctuality, they can conclude that I am pretty psyched up for the bootcamp, and boy am I psyched. From the guard at the gate, the tarmacked road leading up to the buildings, everything looks and feels so familiar. Except, the basket ball pole is out of order. I can only imagine the pain pole had to bear when someone really heavy tried dunking on it. Anyway, back to bootcamp. I get to the room and patch up a few lines of code before hunger gets the better of my concentration. A couple of guys have began streaming in and we exchange pleasantries.

We get some coffee and my intestines thank me profusely. Although the coffee would have been more complete if accompanied by something solid. I tell my intestines to suck it up and get ready for warm ups. Now if you had no idea what they are, warm ups are short group exercises and games designed to foster camaraderie between groups and especially so new people. I somehow think I will have an upper hand because most of these games are familiar but it seems my reflexes conspired to have me lose almost every one of them.

The clock keeps ticking and 10 a.m. is with us. Time to start our classes. We shuffle back to the bootcamp room and even though I screwed up in most of the games, I wish we continued for some 10 more minutes (high school anyone?). We introduce ourselves and have to say something fun about ourselves. Now, just so you know how hard this is for me, eating chapatis is really top of my interests. But how do you break that to a room full of young, talented and ambitious programmers without you losing your reputation as an equally if not more able programmer? A fun fact about me, I belong to the elite 1% of humans who believe God invented chapatis to reward hardworking men. Enough about chapatis. The introductions come to a close and our awesome trainer explains to us that we are here to have fun. I think he meant chapatis but for the love of chapatis, I let it slide.

A quick glance at my watch and it’s 11:47 a.m. My intestines can’t keep calm now that lunch is 1 hour 13 minutes away. I try to concentrate but my mind tells me there is a 20% chance they might serve chapatis today. I say a short prayer and try to come back to class. We discuss why python (the programming language) is cool and a ton of features are explained. I offer my answer so as to not give the trainer a clue as to how eagerly I am waiting for lunch.

We break for lunch and there are no chapatis. To distract me from my heartbreak, I join some fellows playing poker at an adjacent table. Except, I have no clue how to play the game. I try google for some tips under the table but for some really weird reason I am out of bundles (thank you safaricom) so I decide to come clean and admit I do not know how to play. I am quickly taken through and we enjoy a game. I think I grasped most of the rules but what I can not get my head around is why some guy (name withheld for security reasons) always banged his cards so hard on the table.

The afternoon quickly flies by and we learn about list comprehensions, how to reverse strings, how to convert numbers to words in python. It is really fun even though my pc keeps overheating (despite running the coolest language I know). I call it a wrap, get ready to go home and remind myself that maybe, just maybe, there is a 20% chance they shall serve chapatis tomorrow.