A letter to my “first day of coding bootcamp” self

puts “Hello World” 👋🏾

Today, I am writing my very first blog ever after attending Flatiron School for two weeks. I have chosen to write a letter to my “first day of coding bootcamp” self to give her insight and advice about what’s to come. Now I know this seems a bit premature for someone to do after only being in a program for two weeks, but let me give you some perspective here. In the past two weeks, I have invested at the very least 120 hours of my time to class and studying. I have been taught Ruby, SQL, Active Record and have taken my first coding challenge. I also had about 75 hours of pre-work before school started, so I feel pretty equipped to write this letter at this time. Here gos!

Dear Cat,

Today is your first day at Flatiron School and I’m here to tell you to stop freaking out! You are about to go on an emotional rollercoaster, but it will be very fulfilling. Below is a list of pointers I’ve put together for you:

The first thing I want you to know is that you do belong here! Self doubt is going to creep in just about every morning after lecture because you’ve just been taught something you think you’ll never understand and you’ll start to question if you should be here. Don’t let that bring you down though. By the end of class you’ll feel so much better about it because you’ll get to practice during pair programming. Your confidence will be right back to where it needs to be. 😉

You’ll learn the hard way first! This course is thorough and wants you to know what’s “under the hood” before starting the car. Knowing how things work will give you a much better understanding and appreciation for them and you’ll have the tools you need in case your code doesn’t work as intended in the future.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to your peers. Many of them are feeling the same way you are and are great at helping. You’ll make some really good friends from this and the built-in support will start to make you feel more secure.

Be sure to get enough rest 💤 . If you’re running on “E”, you won’t get anywhere. You can absorb more and work way more efficiently when you’re well rested. Set time boundaries at night and on the weekends for studying and schedule personal time as well.

On that note, this is a good time to tell you that you will dream about code! For a period of time, coding will become your everything. This is an immersive program and it will be on your mind all of the time. So get used to waking up in the middle of the night thinking you are on a zoom session at Flatiron, or trying to get some tests to pass in a lab. It will happen more than once. Just take a deep breath and go back to sleep.

Finally, Each, Map and Select don’t all do the same thing. Stop just picking one and using it!

  • Each iterates through all the elements in an array and returns the original array.
  • Map returns a new array of the same number of elements from results of the block.
  • Select returns a new array from a truthy value of the expression run in the block . A comparison operator is often used with select.

Gaining a better understanding of these will help you get through your labs and the code challenge much better.

I hope these pointers help you in the coming weeks to handle this overwhelming experience. Just remember that you are strong, capable and have support from your cohort. I’ll be rooting for you girl!


Cat ❤️👩🏾‍💻❤️