When I tell people that I’m in a programming bootcamp, and their response is usually something like this:
Ooooh, I’ve heard about those. How’s it going? Aren’t those like, really hard?
Yeah, well, it’s hard. It’s kind of designed to be hard. There’s a lot of information that has to be processed in a very short amount of time, and that’s hard, no matter what. But there are different kinds of hard, and for me, the hardest part isn’t the mental gymnastics.
Unfortunately, with my being basically a robot when it comes to feels, bootcamp’s morning stand-up makes my blood pressure spike because I am expected to share my feelings. I don’t have feelings that get shared with other people. My biggest breakthrough was admitting that I was “slightly nervous” on the day we had to do “math stuff” (wow, so eloquent, way to go, Tori). We’re also asked to share our goals for the day each morning, and I can never think of a goal. My goal is to finish bootcamp and get a kickin’ job with health insurance. How do I break that down into a daily thing?
The other bit that I struggle with is that I really, really like whiteboards. We have whiteboard tables and I love having a marker and drawing all over the table while I’m figuring something out. If we’re partnered up, I have a tendency to run away with my marker and leave my bewildered partner staring at my scribbles as I blather on, three steps ahead of where I’ve lost them. I also tend to talk pretty fast, especially when I’m talking through problems or, even more disastrously, solutions. This has been a problem since elementary school—my brain gets going and I forget to slow down. It’s not that other people are slow, or stupid, or anything like that—my classmates are all wicked bright, otherwise they wouldn’t be there, and I very much like them as people. It’s just that I get carried away, and then I worry that I’m coming off as an insufferable know-it-all.
So yes, bootcamp is hard. I have no doubt that for some people (most people?) the hard part may be the sheer amount of information presented in such a short length of time, or learning how to think analytically, or acclimating themselves to the syntax of whatever computer language is being used. But even though those are the kind of things that come easily to me, bootcamp is still hard—just hard in a different way.