The End: Transitioning After a Full-Time Bootcamp
Four weeks sounds like a really long time when you’re coming from working 20 hours per week into a course that promises 50+. Not to mention a commute that, while still not bad, is three times as long (in each direction) as what you are used to. But in the blink of an eye, it was simply over.
Don’t get me wrong—deep into Weeks 2 and 3, it seemed like a long way to the finish line. Everything changes in Week 4. On Friday of Week 3, we’d grouped up for projects, and over the weekend, we prepared our proposal.
The whole atmosphere of Week 4 is completely different. There’s no morning class. Even though morning class was shorter than afternoon lab, it always seemed longer. While I didn’t really mind the Easy classroom downstairs despite the lack of windows, it was still a hard place to stay awake. And no matter how fascinating the subject matter, it’s hard to sit still for that long. Afternoon labs are a lot more interactive. They are above ground and include natural light, and since you’re primarily working on your own, it’s no skin off anyone’s nose if you get up to go to the bathroom or get something to drink or just get up.
Week 4 is all lab. No class downstairs—you just get right to work. And we did. My teammates were fellow Bootcampers Kelsey Brubaker, Ryan Carney and Benton Green. We handed in our proposal first thing Monday and got straight to work. We had team meetings two to four times per day and were constantly researching, creating, problem solving, etc. It was non-stop during the day, but we managed to keep our focus such that we didn’t let our project get out of scope and so we weren’t working on it after hours. This likely kept our productivity high, not only because we weren’t burnt out, but because it kept our workflow clean and tidy. We were very strict about following our protocol for new branches, with only one person pushing at a time after making sure that the whole team was aware of it. Sure, we had a couple of minor glitches, but overall, we didn’t waste more than a few minutes total on GitHub issues. And because we kept our focus, we avoided wasting too much time on any one thing, and ended up with a really nicely balanced end product. Best of all, we managed to keep it pretty much error free (when we ran
eslint, we came back with some errors, but almost exclusively either trailing white spaces or double quotes where there should have been single, that sort of thing. Easy fixes.).
The Final Day
Suddenly, it was Friday and we were done. Waiting for it to be time to give our presentation was hard, and it probably could have gone a little better, but it went well enough. And then…it was just over. Everyone left and I said my goodbyes and got on the bus. And realized that the next week, I wouldn’t be getting up to get to the bus anymore, and there’d be no more morning walk downtown, and I was going to miss my teammates.
And I do. While it was great to get some extra sleep this morning, it’s weird being here at home. I have so many things to do, yet it’s hard to feel a sense of purpose (at least for now, some of my daily life things have to pre-empt code for a few days).
Which reminds me—I had to make a pragmatic decision mid-last week to not finish the code challenge for the Front End Development Accelerator that started today (or yeah, I’d be there right now!). I realized on Tuesday (? I think it was Tuesday) that with the amount of time I had to spend on it each day, I wasn’t going to get it done to my satisfaction in time. It was too stressful, and going back today would have been too stressful. I need some time to get some things done, and prep for the class. Not to mention I had no idea where I was getting the money for it. I’ll probably feel the same way in October, but at least I’ll have some time to deal with it on whatever levels I can in the meantime.
Being home is weird. Again, so much to do. I feel like I can’t be domestic anymore. That stack of dishes over there is mocking me, and the laundry is just kicking my ass. I literally hadn’t swept the floors in three weeks. UGH.
I’ll be trying super hard to find a good balance between coding and house/yard work. I had really intended to get caught up this weekend, but we had a brunch Saturday that turned into an all day thing (in a good way, but we were out of the house all day) and a lunch on Sunday that was also basically an all day thing (which will happen when you have to spend 3 hours round trip just traveling there and back.)
Before I can do any coding, I probably need to clean up my computer (and decide if I need to keep all the downloaded images that didn’t work out and other things that I may or may not use again) and my bookmarks. I bookmarked so many things during class (even more than usual, as I am a big bookmarker, but I generally keep them really well organized, which I think I failed at during class) and I need to go through and see if I can discard any, and get them all in order and maybe even read some.
At least when I go back for another course in a couple of months, I’ll know more of what to expect. Hopefully, I can be more prepared, not just for the class itself, but for how to manage balancing life and school as well.
Bootcamp was one of the best times of my life. As much as it is good to feel a sense of achievement because it is over, I almost wish it would never have ended.
This post is republished with permission from the author. Read more about Isabella’s time in class on her blog.