Coding Boot Camp: The first day of the rest of your life

Have you ever heard someone say “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” If you answered no, you are kinda lucky. Because when someone tells you this, it can make you question everything you are about to do. It can put the big decisions you are about to make up on a pedestal and it can cause you to overthink the next steps you are about to take.

I have heard this quote recently, but I didn’t know the true meaning of it or know why friends and family members use it whenever it seems like they are excited to support your potentially life-altering decision. When a friend said this quote to me recently, I thought, “shit, am I about to ruin my life?”, “Is what I am doing the right thing?”, “Am I negating all the things I have done in the past, and starting over?”.

These thoughts are pretty normal so don’t worry. My tip, learn to quell the anxiety by replaying the quote in your head to the tune of your favorite emo band from the 2000s.

I think it is helpful to acknowledge the fact that the whole world might be thinking along with similar thoughts, especially for this year 2020. It is as if we all feel like things are broken and there are so many problems we have never solved but this may be the right time to solve them. We need to think about how the problems arose and break the problems down to solve these huge problems so we can comprehend how to approach creating solutions. I think as we practice this, we are learning about who we are, who we want to be, how we want to treat others, and how we want to be treated.

After developing this new thought process, I feel like there’s is a new beginning coming. It is like the end of an era, and we are entering the Zeitgeist of the 2020s. When I hear this quote now, I am less dubious about my decisions and more excited about what comes next. I hope you feel that way too!

All of this is to say that now is a good time to focus on your self, whenever you’re reading this, now is the best time. Now it is time to reflect on what you have done in the past, and take the first step towards the next decade of interesting things. For me, it is the starting of my shift to programming by starting the Software Engineering Immersive boot camp at the Flatiron school.

Why did I choose a boot camp?

For years, I have wanted to learn how to program. I have tried many courses over the years like edX.org Computer Science 101, Codeacademy’s web-development program, and Team tree house, etc. The list is so long! I tried multiple times, but couldn’t balance a full-time job and self-paced learning with no structure except a browser IDE and some text explaining things. I needed a firm “Hey, you need to do this assignment like now.”

There are a lot of resources out there, and it could cause a bit of decision paralysis forcing you to spin your gears losing the battle to choose your first step. I mean, you can learn in many ways like:

  • By Googling your way through writing scripts at your job to help automate a task.
  • Asking some engineer friends (if you don’t have any, I highly recommend making some, they are pretty cool peoples) for help.
  • You could get books from the… library and read them. (lolz no one is doing that)

The options are there, but if there are too many, check out the boot camps! I highly recommend reading through the Course Report. That's how I figured out the boot camp I wanted to go to. I looked for the values of location, cost, graduation rate, and community. I saw videos on youtube from the Course Report of finished products and I was hooked!

Background

I am from Long Island, NY. I studied Electronic Media and Music at SUNY at Albany. I did some interning after school at a sound design studio for a short bit and then began a lengthy 5 years at Apple as a ‘Genius’ technician in Grand Central Terminal. After Apple, I joined a startup called Enjoy in NY as a Project Coordinator. The startup brought me to SF for what felt like a forever 4 years. After the startup, I worked as a contingent employee in IT at Facebook, and that didn’t work out for too long, and after this, I had worked as a Program Manager/Scrum Master with a dev team in IT at Uber building internal productivity tools. In this role, I made a lot of engineering friends. I even started dating one and found a pretty awesome partner in crime. They helped fuel the passion I had for Software Engineering and subsequently prompted me to apply to a boot camp — the Flatiron school. I owe a lot to the relationships I’ve made in my career. After starting the boot camp prep work during the COVID19 pandemic I moved back to NY, finally got a good slice of pizza, and started a new journey while making some new friends along the way!

The school has been awesome so far and is super intense. I wouldn’t change a thing and if you read this far, I hope it helps with your decisions and inspires you to take on a new challenge and do some cool shit.

Padawan Software Engineer

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