Monthly Archives: December 2014

Phase 2 midterm at Dev Bootcamp.

Dev Bootcamp is letting us out for a couple of weeks for the holidays. I just spent my first day in a long time not coding. Since Phase 0 began in September I’ve been going at this thing with 100% of my time and passion. I’m not tired, though; I’ve been in a flow state the past couple of weeks. I am so, so happy, and I derive a deep sense of satisfaction from what I do every day.

Before Phase 1, I was working 40 hours a week at a financial company and spending 30 hours a week on Dev Bootcamp Phase 0. My mind and time were split between these two responsibilities, and I was suffering from debilitating migraines at least once a week as a result. It’s never been that bad before. I haven’t had a single migraine since I quit my job, though. If for no other reason, this has already been a worthwhile experience.

I just finished up the second week of the second phase of DBC, which some alum and older students say is the hardest single week here. We learn multiple new technologies and techniques every day (e.g. AJAX, JSON, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, REST, and loads more), then move quickly to implement our new skills in pairs or small teams.This week was specifically designed by the teachers to make it tough to keep our heads above water, to teach us a lesson about not being able to know everything. It was really, really hard.

Thursday and Friday’s group project was probably the most rewarding thing I’ve taken part in so far at DBC. We were given fairly open-ended assignments and told that we’d have to present our results the next evening. My team, fortunately, was motivated to begin with an hour and a half of whiteboarding before touching code at all. We developed user stories, schema, wireframes, and decided on what routes we’d use (keeping them mostly RESTful). We took pictures of everything and put it on Github (https://github.com/mreid1130/SurveySapien). The two most useful things we did, though, were deciding to strictly follow a git workflow, and implement a kanban board. Both were sort of eventually ignored during the final push for features in the last hour (“you got infinite scroll working? Push that shit to master!”) to our detriment (“what do you mean your ajax broke the database? How the hell do we revert to a previous commit? We don’t have time, just make a new master!”).

We delegated separate tasks well among ourselves, but made sure not to get distracted by side features and add-ons until our core minimum viable product was complete. We were all working in flow states in harmony, fixing each others’ bugs and approving each others’ pull requests and whatnot. So much fun, so much learning.

I can’t help but think of the migraine thing. Before DBC, I was getting really worried about my headaches; it’s never a good sign to get them that frequently. But that I’m not getting them anymore despite not making an other major lifestyle changes shows that there is some behavioral cause to them. That’s fine and exciting, but it also means that coding is actually good for me as well.

I am, as is the happy norm these days, incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have, and crazy excited for the future.

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