Pivot

I remember it like it was yesterday-I could see the colors of the graffiti lining the entrance of the school, I could smell the classroom I was in and vividly remark on the lovely young faces before me. It broke my heart to know that the very students I was teaching were seeking dangerous outlets to cope with their environment after school. I knew I had to do something, but I was not sure what. Around the same time, I was introduced to the idea of a “startup”-a creative solution to a problem you saw and the bringing to life of said idea through the birth of a business. It was all together exciting to read about how someone with an idea, brought life to this idea and was then able to reach so many. I wanted to follow in those footsteps and shortly after an idea came to mind. What if I could create an application that exposed students to healthy after-school activities in their community? What if I could encourage students to try a cooking class or a drawing class? I so badly wanted to create this application-but I had no background in web development. I attended a hackathon where with the help of incredibly talented developers, this idea came to life. Seeing that happen was a dream come true. Not only did the hackathon encourage me by helping me bring this idea to life, but it also introduced me to the immense versatility of being able to program. It made me realize that you can reach such a large audience through an application, a website, or a startup built around technology. It also helped me realize that programming would be an amazing skill to empower young people and those in need with.

A few months ago I therefore decided that I wanted to pursue web development. Knowing the way that I learn best is in a classroom and in an immersive setting, I decided to apply to bootcamps. I was accepted in to General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive. It is a twelve week bootcamp where you spend Monday through Friday from 9am-530pm learning to program. Before starting the program I was feeling so many conflicting emotions. I was simultaneously excited, nervous, anxious, and curious.

I am two weeks in to the program now and I could not be more happy. Every day I learn more and more. I think the most incredible and inspiring part of the whole program however, is the people. I am surrounded daily by instructors, staff, and classmates who are such beautiful individuals who teach me to apply myself wholeheartedly, believe in the so deemed impossible, and to not give up. I have a sweet friend who moved here all the way from the U.K to pursue this program-a very bold and brave decision that has inspired me to put myself out there in ways I never have. I have two classmates who are known as the “father and son” team who have decided to pursue this program together. Witnessing the way the father supports his son and simultaneously challenges himself to learn these skills has inspired me to be a more encouraging and supportive person. Every individual in my class has a unique story that brought him or her here, and these stories that have brought us all under one roof somehow, have me in a constant state of awe and amazement. I feel truly honored to be surrounded by such great people and I am confident that as a result of them I will grow in more ways than one.

In terms of the technical and actual coding bit of my course-it has been almost like a daily puzzle or riddle that I have had to solve. On some occasions, I feel like the score reads- Computer: 1,567 Melody: 0. On others, I feel giddy at the thought of all the tests that are meant to show whether or not my code is valid, passing. Every day is different and stands out for one reason or another-on Day 5 I learned how to build a game from scratch and on Day 9 I learned how to implement the fundamentals of Javascript to create a simple application. I am learning so much at what sometimes seems faster than the speed of light-but it is a rewarding challenge even when I do not seem to get it the first time around. I feel blessed to be here and am so excited to share more with you as I continue my journey.

xoxo,

Mel

Sample Code from Day 10, All tests are passing on Day 10, Tic Tac Toe Game from Day 5
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