There is a fear most people have of moving out of their comfort zone. I had to get over that. I now like going into to a new environment, confronting new challenges and having the satisfaction of achieving what I had thought impossible.
When I heard about Andela I thought, how hard could it be. Trust me, you will sacrifice your sleeping hours, not because your have to, but because you want to. Sleep only comes when you are satisfied with what you’ve done and when you think you’ve done well. But then, just when you are about to close your eyes, there’s that voice at the back of your head telling you haven’t accounted for something. And just like that you are back on your keyboard coding again. And the cycle continues.
I had to adapt to this lifestyle. Usually i was used to doing things at my own pace, getting enough sleep, but the previous week at bootcamp had other plans for me. I had to give myself multiple crash courses, from making a command line interface, to TDD, using the super function for inheritance in OOP and a whole load of other things. In short I had to get one year’s experience of coding in one week.
There is a bright side to this, you are not in on it alone. We had to get used to using some collaborative tools such as Slack to get work done, where members of the team would guide each other. I had an eye opener and was very impressed at what an individual can accomplish while in a team as compared to working alone. I sincerely wouldn't have learnt a number of concepts if I was alone.
The other thing that i was never used to but had to learn, was working under pressure. You are given large amounts of workload with a ridiculous deadline, I’m not complaining, If i was, i wouldn't be writing this post. The trick is just to keep calm, compose yourself, plan out your work, make your own mini deadlines and work at them. I know the keep calm part is hard but we all have our tools that help us relax, for me, I use some cardio workouts, that last less than an hour. Basically you shouldn't panic, because once you do, everything you did before start falling apart.
The bootcamp is challenging i won’t lie, but what’s life without a little bit of challenge. In January all i knew about python is that it was named after a circus, the other day i was teaching a friend of mine how to use some Python functions. I moved out of my comfort zone, and had to get used to a new form of learning. I had to get to learn python language, while the only knowledge of programming I had experience with was that of Pascal. All i can say is, move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.
The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears. ~Dan Stevens.