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STARTING OUT: My First Day at a Bootcamp.

Innocent Ezama 16

Photo by Lagos Techie on Unsplash

Like many of you who might stumble on this article, my first day at a programming Bootcamp wasn’t my first-day learning or trying to learn how to code. I’ve been on this potholed journey, on and off, for possibly a combined period of three years, during which I came across several articles urging readers to “just start.” A simple task but not an easy one for a newbie experiencing all or most of the psychological and visible challenges starting to learn how to code can throw at an individual from a lack of resources to imposter syndrome. I must have “just started” over five times during those three years. Towards the end of the third year, I realized what that simple-sounding phrase might have meant.

I think it meant that there’s no perfect time to start. Challenges will always befall us whether we like it or not. It is not meant to be easy but with the slightest bit of grit, determination, and time, it should become more straightforward. With that in mind, you’ve got to figure out which learning path works for you as an individual. Just like those “just start” articles, I’m sure most of us have come across many other articles comparing self-teaching to learning at a Bootcamp, usually titled “Self-taught versus Bootcamp.”

It is impossible to pit these two modes of learning against each other. They are both viable forms to seek knowledge based on the individual. It took me longer than it should have to find out that self-teaching maybe wasn’t the best for me. By the time I decided to concentrate on web development using JavaScript, I had tried out a bunch of languages. So much time seemed to have gone to waste. It did, however, lead me to where I am today.

That brings me to my first day at Outbox-EDU, https://outbox.co.ug/outbox-edu , a full-stack web development Bootcamp located in Kampala, Uganda. It is primarily an online program hence the onboarding interview and orientation sessions were delivered via zoom. From the devotion of the facilitators to the affordability of the program to the structured syllabus to the collective interview process to the orientation, I felt like I’d finally found the “right” mode of learning for me, not forgetting the prospect of a three months internship at the end of the five months curriculum. I liked how general questions were posed to us during the interview, with everyone taking turns to respond. I enjoyed listening to the other students’ differing responses that showed you a glimpse into their different journeys to where they are now. I liked how easy it was to engage the facilitators during orientation, how everyone was guided through downloading the technologies we shall use, not to be a teacher’s pet but I welcomed the notion of an assignment on the very first day as well. I also found it very interesting that the application process included a personality test. I can’t wait to see how the results of which determine the way classes are conducted moving forward.

Like everyone else in the class, I wish to do my best to kick start a career in tech through this timetable. I don’t have many expectations going in, nor am I nervous to start, just heaps of excitement, the source of which I wouldn’t be able to tell you if I tried. Maybe it’s the promise of a structure or the support it comes with or the need for community after a series of pandemic enforced lockdowns; I’m not sure yet. What I’m sure of is that I honestly can’t wait to dive into this program with all I’ve got. Another thing I’m sure of is that I hope for this to be the last time I “just start.”