(NOTE: Whoops, I thought I posted this last Saturday, but I realize now I accidentally posted it to the wrong blog! Here’s my post from Saturday in its entirety.)
Well guys, I did it! I survived a whole week of Dev Bootcamp. And so far, it has been absolutely incredible.
One note before we go on: I realize now just how busy I’m going to be during DBC, so I might not be able to update this as much as I’d like. I’m going to make sure I update once a week, and I’ll try to update more than that, but rest assured that if I’m not posting much it’s because I’m neck deep in code.
The first day was pretty wild because there was a film crew covering our entry into DBC as part of a documentary on underrepresented groups in programming, and a fellow cohort of mine is being featured in the documentary. So the nervousness I felt going in was amplified by cameras and boom mics in my face all day long, which was kind of exhilarating and kind of distracting. Otherwise the DBC staff was incredible about making us feel super welcome in the space, and we were greeted by cheers and high fives and, of course–since our cohort name is the Foxes–a blaring round of What Does the Fox Say.
We’ve already been doing so much work this week. Every day we’re paired up with another person in our cohort, and we have to work together all day long on all of our coding challenges. We’ve also started our mandatory weekly yoga sessions, and had a session of what Dev Bootcamp calls “Engineering Empathy”, which you can read about here. Basically, it focuses on training us to be empathetic and open, and to work well with one another and also understand ourselves. It’s also just really nice to take a break from staring at a computer screen! I’ve been regularly getting to the workspace at 7:45 am and leaving around 9:00pm (sometimes later!), which has been … a LOT. But in a good way. I love learning through immersion, and I feel like this is totally immersive.
Among a ton of other things, I’ve coded programs this week that can find words in boggle boards, find all of the prime factors of a number, play a simple racing game, convert arabic numbers to roman numerals, and solve almost ANY sudoku game. That last one was insane.
I think my proudest moment this week, though, was writing two different programs that simulate Samuel Beckett’s play Quad, which has complicated stage directions that involve having every possible combination of a group of actors on stage during the play, but only one actor can leave or enter at a time, and no combination can be repeated. You can read more about it here. It was really difficult to think of an algorithm to solve it at first, and I was able to piece together a patchwork program that created gray code and then parsed through that gray code to translate it into stage directions, but I hated the circuitous way that I was doing it and yesterday I decided to completely scrap it and try again. I ended up figuring out an algorithm by trying to solve the problem by hand, and I was able to re-write the page-long program in only six lines! It wasn’t until today when I realized that I had actually just figured out the way to create gray code by myself, which was a pretty cool realization.
As for how I feel, I feel like I have a really solid foundation to move forwards on. I really love all of the people in my cohort, which is good because I have to spend so much time working with them, and I love the staff and the space and all of the other students and alumni that make up the community there. Next week I’m going to be having a mentoring session with a working programmer, which should be excellent. I think from here on out I’m going to feel a lot more comfortable being in the space since I’ve had a week to adjust and make it feel more like home to be there. I know that the workload is going to get much more intense, but I’m ready to rise to the occasion and BRING IT. And I can’t wait to see what DBC has in store for me!
All of my love to you all!