Snippets from Fullstack Part One: Junior Phase

First Two Weeks at Fullstack

My first two weeks at Fullstack have certainly been a challenge. After the first day or two, the instructor let us know that if we didn’t catch every bit of info that we had been given thus far that that was okay because we had been taught approximately 2–4 months worth of the content taught in CS programs. But here we are, hash tables, node, promises, algorithms, optimizations, sql, express, postgreSQL, and so much other content later… and I am amazed at how much I have been able to retain.

It’s strange, but it seems that although the concepts and expectations are getting more and more challenging, I am growing so much that in some ways it feels less demanding each day.

Don’t get me wrong — thus far the concepts are difficult, the workload is difficult, the expectations are difficult… but for me the hardest part has been trusting the process. I keep learning lots of bits and pieces and am told we will see how they will all fit together later, but for now it’s rather concerning feeling that I’m learning so much and still can’t wrap my head around the context.

{week before senior checkpoint} at Fullstack

….I’ve seemingly lost track of typical time conceptualization…

I’ve been dreaming in code. I spend almost all my free time studying and practicing…while my husband goes out with our friends. Code is all I think about — well, that and food (planning my meals has necessarily become a far more conscious activity). The concepts have gotten somewhat harder, and the complexity of what we’re doing has certainly grown, but my intuitions earlier in the program were right. What I’m learning feels easier because it has gotten easier to learn. I can see the bigger picture now and don’t have to trust the process purely on faith anymore, which is a much more comfortable place to be. It’s incredible how much I’ve learned in such a short period of time.

At the end of this week, we will take our senior checkpoint, a test that determines whether we can move on (from junior phase) to the second half of the program (senior phase). I performed very well on the about-a-quarter-of-the-way-through checkpoint we took, which mostly covered Express routes and Sequelize. We’ve been working on a fullstack project in our own time as practice for this final checkpoint. I’ve finished the backend and most of the React in front so far, and I’m feeling fairly confident. But I hear that this is a very difficult test, so I’m not getting too cocky!

If we pass this checkpoint, we start on senior phase, which is mostly made up of a series of mid to large projects. I’m hoping the skills I’ve learned translate well to larger, less structured projects like these.

We’ll have to see!

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