WDI Study Hall is over…the Real Thing starts Monday

General Assembly WDI

Two weeks ago, I was accepted into General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive program. 12 weeks, all day, everyday. I spent a week cramming 70 or so hours of Ruby, Javascript and CSS prework into my head (Learn Ruby the Hard Way, I hate you – but I love you), and then this week was a an intro/study hall week with some light lectures and warm up exercises so we can all hit the ground running on Monday when the real thing starts.

What am I in for?

40+ hours a week in the classroom (emphasis on the ‘+’). Homework every night. Projects every weekend. Mega projects every few weeks. I love coding, but I have a feeling that love is going to be tested over the next 12 weeks.

Why Do a Learn to Code Bootcamp Type Thingy?

Reason #1 – I love it.

I’ve played around on the fringes of this web development for a long time — working code into my day job wherever I could, freelancing, taking night and weekend classes at General Assembly. And with every little, euphoric breakthrough, my love of coding snowballed. I’ve given myself over to chasing the dopamine soaked high of problem solving.

Reason #2 – I lost all passion for marketing.

My old day job…meh. I got to a point where I wasn’t interested in learning anymore about it. There was no spark left. Sorry, marketing. It’s not you, it’s me. A career without learning and growth is akin to a slow death. I spent all my free time making googly eyes at web development anyway.

Reason #3 – I’m not going back to a University.

Sorry college, but I wasn’t too fond of your classes the first time. You taught me a lot, but very little of it was in class. I’m too old to waste two or three years and tens of thousands of dollars only to find out that when I’m done, I don’t have the skills I need to gain employment.

Reason #4 – Because who in their right mind would try to become a programmer at age 37?

Programmers are really smart. Am I really smart? Am I smart enough? Is it too late to make a change like this? If I don’t do this, will I be able to look at myself in the mirror in 10 years knowing I could have given it a shot, but I didn’t? These questions drive me. The specter of my own lifeless eyes looking regretfully back at me in the mirror a decade from now drives me.

Happy 4th of July everybody. Next week, shit gets real.

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