CalvinTorra
Ironhack Full Stack Developer Bootcamp Week 1
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I recently started a coding BootCamp with IronHack, It’s a full-stack javascript course…. and it’s in Spanish.

The plan for the next few videos is to kind of sum up the week I’ve had on the course and create a library of programming notes for my future self in video format.

I took copious notes while learning python and the information recall was so much easier compared to my non-note-taking javascript journey, so here I am going back and doing the work again.

Re-learning this stuff from the beginning again isn’t so bad because I’m pretty much up to speed with a lot of the curriculum at a surface level. I just need to learn the terms and industry vocabulary used in Spanish.

If I was a complete beginner with no self-taught experience, trying to do this in a second language, I’d be dead.

The classes are too fast-paced for my level of Spanish to digest the concepts.

I was already having a decent amount of interviews for a self-taught coder, my cv was getting me into a lot of conversations, seniors were saying some really positive things about my stuff, but the moment that we started to discuss experience, everything fell apart.

  • What team experience have you had?
  • Have you worked with Agile before in a team?
  • What project management software have you used with a team?

It all just went downhill, so here we are.

I blasted the prework in about a day, just a couple of front end tasks, some basic javascript puzzles and then I took a break, got married and went on my honeymoon.

In the first week of the course, we’re just being introduced to a couple of javascript string methods, data types and intros to HTML and CSS.

Pair Programming is pretty cool.

The only experience I’ve had with pair programming was with my sister while teaching her basic python, we’d do some code wars online together after work for about 4 months, but in the BootCamp, I just paired with the person sitting next to me and we had to knock out some code wars styled puzzles, like reversing strings, putting a string in all caps etc. Nothing heavy.

I say not heavy, but my partner was stressing out, firstly one of the keys on her laptop wasn’t working which was bugging her, by causing accidental typos.

Looking at these puzzles, I had already solved them in my head because I’ve done a bunch of these in the past, but I wasn’t the one typing – I was just contributing verbally in a second language.

This was pretty challenging and one of the reasons I chose to do this in Spanish rather than the remote English BootCamp.

Not only am I growing my current knowledge, but I’m also going to be learning a lot of new stuff and then translating all of that into Spanish in my head – so yeah, kinda stressful.

My partner was also visibly frustrated when the code didn’t run as expected. They were huffing, puffing and getting agitated, and I know exactly how that feels but over the last two years, I’ve just become comfortable in sticking with a problem until it’s done. Asking myself key questions;

  • What am I missing?
  • If I can’t find the right answer, am I asking the right question?

But pair programming, you don’t want to give the person the answer or solution- you want to guide them to their own solution and you can see the feeling of achievement on their face when they crack the problem.

And that’s just it, if you are new to programming, it’s frustrating, it keeps me up at night, pondering how to fix something that’s holding me back, but I know I’ll find the answer – if I just ask the right questions. I’m confident now that I can solve most problems with time and patience, and so can you.

With more training, the amount of time it takes will just shrink away, but the training has to be done.

Strategy for learning over the next 6 months.

So how do I plan to get the most out of the next six months? I don’t know exactly.

Firstly:
While I’m still comfortable with the curriculum, I plan to help as many people as possible in my class who are earlier in their learning journey than I am. That’s going to expose me to a range of problems that I might have already solved but are going to be slightly different for each person and I’m going to have to do it in Spanish.

That’s basically me just going to class and getting in my reps, repetition over and over.

Secondly:
Once things get a bit more complicated, maybe I’ll seek out the people ahead of me in terms of knowledge, get to class early, see where they sit and just casually slide into the seat next to them.

Maybe they’ll take pity when I’m struggling with backend stuff and they’ll give me a hand.

Thirdly:
This, creating content around all of the tiny things that I know I’ll probably forget If I don’t make the conscious effort to articulate it into content. I’m basically doing a favour for my future self by getting this stuff either into a blog or video format. So I can come back to something that I know I knew, refresh myself and move on.

Lastly, I think I’m going to start using flashcards. Within 2 classes, about 9 hours total, I’ve got a whole page of vocabulary that I didn’t know. Things like Loops and square brackets, curly brackets. The way they refer to APIs in Spanish…lost me for like 5 minutes.

So for that, I’m looking at an app called mochi, I’ve played around with Anki app, but for speed and a better UI feel – I’m considering just paying for mochi. Not only is it going to help with Spanish, but I can also create some JS inspired questions for myself on the fly. If you have any better flashcard apps then let me know below.

anyway, that’s enough, I’m gonna wrap this up. check out my stuff, let’s talk front end, back end, through the middle, blockchain, react, redux, reconnaissance – whatever.

Until next week – peace.