Week 7 - Ruby On The Beach Bootcamp

Written by chicceo Published in
Week 7 was a really fun week, but we are all exhausted!!
We all worked on our own personal projects this week. The instructors were available to help us as we navigated through our own ideas rather than assignments - a definite push in momentum and our brains were stretched. 
In addition to our personal projects, we were tasked (if we wanted to tackle it) creating a Twitter bot that used Twitter’s API to look up certain hashtags in order to follow, or message people who used it. There are so many things you can do with their API that allow you to speak to their platform and users. We also did the same for Instagram. 
I really cannot believe that on day 1, I had zero knowledge of coding in any sense of the word - and now I’m able to build a little bot that can talk to Twitter. How did that happen?!? 
This experience is by far the most difficult mental challenge of my life - apart from 400 level Music Theory. (Dr. Cherry, you still make my brain hurt.) Learning something brand new in such an accelerated format leaves holes and doubts, yet builds a strange and confident knowing. A knowing that you have the scaffolding to build and the skills to ask the right questions. 
I really loved this aspect of the bootcamp, and I assume it’s true for other bootcamps as well. This knowing that you aren’t going to fully and deeply understand every concept, and if you stop and try - you’ll get left behind. What I like about this is the personal responsibility to your own learning. I know very well, that there are things I didn’t learn, things I still don’t understand and I’m committed to furthering my learning far after these 8 weeks to make sure I do. 
I know way more than I did on day 1 and we’ve been assured that we know more than most jr. developers do today - although, that’s hard for me to believe! As a class, we’ve been equipped with the building blocks to become programmers and the ability to ask the right questions in order to solve a complex problem. 
Yes, this was a bootcamp to learn how to code Ruby on Rails, but it was also an exercise on learning how I learn. I was confronted with my own limitations and that is never fun. But it forced me to get clear on how I learn best:
1) I need it explained to me, so I can ask questions. 
2) I need to be shown how to do it, so the logic in my head lines up with the practical application of it 
3) I need to try on my own. A LOT. 
Rinse, repeat. 
Eventually, it clicks - but certainly not right away. Is that frustrating? Damn right. But it’s also a predictable process I go through, so no use getting upset, as I know the process comes to a close in my final understanding.
My challenge to you: define your personal learning process - and don’t define it by the typical standard “I learn by doing.” “I learn by listening”, etc. - really dig in to the actual process. Do you read, then talk, then question, then do? Do you do, then read, then question, then do again? Dig in, figure it out and watch yourself transition through it to completion. 
It will really open your eyes. 


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