“Checking In” is the first in an occasional series of posts. We’ll catch up with students about how they’re doing in the iOS bootcamp.
I’ve been in the IT industry in Canada for 15 years managing business strategy, project and program management, and business requirements in the financial industry. My last job was consulting in the U.S. for Blue Cross Blue Shield, helping them implement Obamacare. That was stressful.
In the second week I’m feeling good, though I do feel overwhelmed at times. I feel like I’m aligned on the right path. Sometimes I think I should be doing more, but after the challenges I’m so beat I don’t have any energy left.
The first week I thought was easy, until the last stretch of the weekend challenge. That really killed me. We got through it, but I thought, "Oh oh. I’m not sure I’m getting it." Then on Monday we did Tables, and I just could not get through anything. Monday night, my husband said, “You’re talking code in your sleep!” Well, I was thinking about it a lot! But today I woke up feeling better. I had met my mentor Monday, and she reassured me that Tables are one of the hardest parts of Objective C, and that really helped. Now I just feel comfortable being uncomfortable about not knowing.
I taught English in Korea for a year, because I thought it would be a great way to teach and see another part of the world. More recently, I was an Expert in an Apple Store in Minneapolis.
I’m feeling great. I’ve understood all the concepts we’ve been introduced to, as far as should be expected, or maybe more. Especially not coming from a programming background, I feel very good about how fast I’ve been learning things. It’s a good level of being pushed and challenged. There’s always something new that I’m learning every hour, every day.
A while ago, I was recuperating from knee surgery and so I worked through the Team Treehouse videos for iOS dev. Then I got to a point where I thought, "I’m learning this and I like it, but there are so many things I don’t understand.” I decided I really needed a program and someone to talk to, to get to that deeper level where I can actually use this and make it into a career.
When you learn a language in the classroom, say you studied Spanish for four years in high school, you can’t speak a lick of it. Then you go to Spain for a week, and it all starts coming back to you, those four years of work start making sense and you think, “Oh, I’m really glad I did that.” The foundation work I did preparing for the course helped me catch on to the concepts more quickly. Mobile Makers Academy is my Spain. Now I’m speaking code 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, and all that prep work really counts.
It’s like when you ride a bike for the first time, you don’t know why you have to go at a certain speed or when to pedal or brake, then later, when you’ve done it several times, you know exactly why and when to make certain moves.
One thing I’ve learned is that stepping away really helps. I’ve been here from 8:30 in the morning to 8:00 every night without leaving the building or even the room, not going out for lunch. Today was the first time I went out for lunch, and I’m going to do that more. It really helps to clear your mind.
I’m having 10 aha moments a day. That’s the way the Mobile Makers curriculum is set up, where something may be beyond me at this point, but the next day we go through it together as a class, and I get it. Everything is building on itself, like a staircase where it’s a really steep climb and then a plateau when those pieces start to come together. And then it’s a steep climb again, and another plateau. It’s frustrating but rewarding. It feels so much better to overcome a challenge when it’s hard.
It may not show because I’m concentrating so much, but I have never been this happy in my entire career since I started here.
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