DBC, Phase 1, Week 1

On the first day of DBC I learned something very important that all new students should know – bring dinner! They will provide breakfast and lunch for you, but dinner will come around and you’ll feel torn between staying to code and leaving to feed your rumbling tummy. And I don’t have dietary restrictions, but those who do were left thinking that they should have emailed beforehand to inquire what food would be available they the could plan accordingly. So, if you’re reading this series because you’re interested in attending DBC as well — You’re Welcome.

In other news, I’m so tired, all the time. I think this is due to the long days spent trying to shove as much information in my brain as possible, and the constant feeling that I’m not working hard enough and I’m not going to make it to the next Phase without being held back. This is an area where I’m really struggling.

The days generally have two blocks of coding, 10:00am-12:30pm, and 2:00pm-4:30pm. The rest of the time is spent on things like lecture, breakout (a chance to ask questions to instructors in small groups), standup meetings with the entire program, writing feedback for our pairs and the program, and group standup meetings at the end of the day. After 6:00pm there are presentations/lectures we are encouraged to attend, and all of us try to figure out how much longer we can force ourselves to stay and code/read before we reach the Point of Procrastination and are wasting our time. Actually, the last decision I make at the end of the day is how long I can stay until I am getting home so late that I won’t get enough sleep.

I think I’m not alone in feeling very tired, but simultaneously feeling like I’m not spending enough time coding each day. It requires a lot of trust in the program. They can see my input and my output, they will let me know if I’m not keeping up (their goal is 100% graduation rate, 9-weeks onsite for each person). All sorts of people graduate from this program, get great jobs, and then write blog posts on Medium about their fantastic experience. I can get there too, but I’ll need to trust in the process to make it happen.

The reason I can trust in the process? Dev Bootcamp’s culture and support system is top-notch and from the first hour it’s obvious that they’ve put in a lot of effort to create a flexible program with very specific goals. I feel like the staff cares about me as an individual, that I have plenty of places to turn when I’m having a hard time (either with grasping something they are trying to teach us or am dealing with something mentally as a result of participating in the program), and that along with the coding education there is a space provided which encourages me to spend some time exploring who I am as a person and what I need to address to be an even better version of myself by the time graduation day rolls around. I’m tired (I know, you get that already) but very happy with this decision.

More in the coding/DBC series….

Why Coding?
What is Coding? (And what I like about it)
The How and Why on Dev Bootcamp
DBC Weeks 1-4
DBC Weeks 5-9

One thought on “DBC, Phase 1, Week 1

  1. I was thinking of your last two posts during my darkroom class this week. Sounds like you’re in a good place in terms of approaching the learning process, and that class reminded me that finding that flexible approach to process is not always easy! As adults, we spend most of our time doing things that we already know how to do. It feels weird to step out of that sphere of competence and become a beginner at something new.

    In my case, I can be a perfectionist, so it was challenging to produce prints week after week that were just one or two flaws away from the result I wanted. I just wanted one really good picture from a particular roll from a summer trip, and that goal seemed both so tantalizingly close and so impossibly far. Finally got there, but not till the very last print on the very last of 8 weeks of class.

    Not to compare my little photo project with your grueling schedule and future career hanging in the balance. Just wanted to say that I have a small inkling of the mental struggle it may have taken to get to that happy spot you’re in right now. Good for you. Rooting you on — hope one way or another, this process helps you find work you truly enjoy.

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