Andela Bootcamp Day 1

Attending an Andela Bootcamp is one of those experiences that remains indelibly marked in anyone’s memory who has ever done so. Me, like hundreds of other hopefuls who had made the cut to the interview which determines who gets an invitation to attend bootcamp waited with bated breadth, day after day, anxiously anticipating any feedback in our emails. Luckily, one week after, I was able to receive a bootcamp offer letter that required me to confirm my attendance. For someone who is always hesitant to open the flood of emails that arrive daily in my inbox, which mainly happen to be subscriptions to e-zines, I didn’t wait even for a minute to elapse before I open that email and confirmed my attendance immediately.

Very early in the morning on Friday 7th October, 2016, I made my way into the Andela Campus to get a first-hand experience of what the much talked about bootcamp is. Since the term bootcamp has military connotations and is dubbed as one of the most challenging learning experiences one can ever imagine, even by Andela itself in their bootcamp invitation email, I expected that I’ll meet a bunch of extremely serious nerds, glued on 19-inch Mac-books, too busy to even give someone a casual greeting. But that was not the case.

I was really surprised since all that I met seemed to go against what I’d expected in the first place. People seemed relax, some of them even running up and down the corridors, making me wonder even whether I’d mistakenly gone to the wrong place, because it didn’t seem like a workplace, the typical ones I’ ve been used to. And to make matters even more interesting, all of us who had attended the bootcamp were called out for “warm-up” exercise at 9:00 am in the morning. As much as it was awkward, to most of us new guys who come from backgrounds where the workplace means clocking in at 8:00 am then doing some routine work before clocking out at 5:00pm, it was full of fun and not only enabled the bootcampers to relax, but also bond with other fellows who also went through the same experience before.

The morning hours started with a lot of introduction from the people who were to take us through the training. All of us in attendance were taken through new learning sessions that were quite different from what virtually all of us had gone through previously in the various learning institutions we had attended so far. The session was more of an orientation that would help us adjust to fit into the Andela culture, a culture that challenges one to defy convention.

As the day proceeded, we were given a learning map of what we were expected to cover each day of the bootcamp and how to submit our work so that our trainers would be able to review it, since the next three days were going to be off campus.

Being the first day, and without any prior backlog of work from any assignments, most of the bootcampers left by 5:00 pm, the stipulated time for leaving the campus, though one is free to extend up to 7:00 pm. I guessed the reason why many left early was because we were still new to each, and hadn’t “broken ice” amongst ourselves. I personally chose to remain behind so that I could get to know the fellows in the program more and get their personal experiences of how bootcamp was for them.

After a session of interaction, I called it a day and left the campus much late at 8:00 pm.