Blog about my DBC experience

Post-Dev Bootcamp

I’m not going to talk about what I’ve learned in DBC or my incredible experiences there. Instead, I’m going to talk about life after DBC because, really, transitioning out of DBC in to the real world (yes, you are not in the real world while at DBC) is actually a lot more difficult than transitioning in to DBC. Below is a list of practices that I believe have helped me extensively after the program.


Sleep in all day. Watch a movie. Go to the park. Walk your cat. Sleep in again. Without a doubt, Dev Bootcamp is exhausting. If you’ve ever heard about the hours of investment bankers - think that. Only difference is, we enjoy what we do (peace, Ashwin!). Nevertheless, no matter how much you enjoy and love what you do, you will get burnt out. 

So take it easy on yourself, you’ll be coding again in a few days.

Get an Accountability Buddy

Honestly, I was surprised to how effective this really was. Get someone you trust to be honest with you. Set goals for each day or week and tell your buddy about them. Check on each other to see if you’ve attained those goals. Appreciate each others work. 

There were some days where I just felt lazy, but since I knew that I had to show that I’ve actually been working towards my goals, I was motivated to do so. And even more so, knowing that on the other end, my buddy was working equally as hard or harder. If you know that there is someone out there looking out for you and expecting stuff from you, you just tend to work harder.

Go to Hackathons/Meet-ups/Conferences/Anything

Meet people. Share your story. Listen to theirs. Build crazy and outrageous things with them. I’m an introvert, so you have no excuse. 

Here are the facts: 

  • Only about 15-20% of job openings are listed on ads
  • Only about 5% actually get jobs from applying to those ads
  • 62% of all statistics are made up. Just kidding.

That’s about less than 1% of total jobs being secured online. Sure, it never hurt anyone to actually apply online; I highly recommend it. Just don’t expect to be one of the lucky 5% that do get jobs. Instead, look for events that interest you, go to them, and build friendships. Don’t explicitly ask to be recommended, but do let it be known that you are looking for opportunities. Even if you don’t get a job this way, I’ll bet that you’ll come away from it a better person with a lot more knowledge and friends to boot. 

Build Something on Your Own

Dev Bootcamp is all about pairing - and that’s great. But chances are you won’t be pairing when you get a job. There will be no one to cover your weaker areas and no one to give you instant feedback. 

Working on your own will show that you are not dependent on others for your own success and also shows that you are self-motivated. It’s also a good way to learn new languages and/or frameworks. Hey, you might just build the next $19 billion app by accident.

Build Something With Others

Just because you’re out of DBC doesn’t mean that you have to severe ties. Get together with other people and build something - anything. Learn from each other. Teach them all the new cool stuff that you’ve learned on your own. 

If you didn’t like working on teams in DBC then it’s time to get on it. I haven’t heard of any company where you don’t work on a team. 

Have Fun

Just because.


Look at these professionals!

(Source: ninidbc)

Phase 1: Day 9

I just read my last few posts and cringed at my structure and grammatical errors. Oh well… As long as it’s still readable.

Sherif, one of the past teachers at DBC San Francisco (and soon to be DBC NYC teacher - you lucky bastards) came in today and gave a talk on MVCs and a speech on the purpose of DBC. With the 45 minute lecture that he gave, I can honestly say that he is one of the best teachers I have ever had. His way of explaining things in a simple and no-bullshit manner while making sure to highlight the important parts just made MVCs so much easier and interesting to boot.

He also touched on what DBC was trying to accomplish. Most of us who have applied to DBC expect to get something in return for the amount that we paid. We expect to go through the program, learn just enough coding tricks to impress employers, and that’s that. The thing is, why would interviewers hire us over other people who went to Ivy Leagues or have undergraduate or graduate degrees in computer science? What could we possibly have over them? It basically just boils down to one thing - learning, or more aptly put, learning to learn. 

Coding is a craft. 

The first time we see a painting, we have no opinion of it; it is simply just a painting, whether it is the Mona Lisa or some school project of a preschooler. However, once we have seen thousands of paintings, we start to form opinions. Only then can we distinguish the style or appreciate the skill of the painters. Similarly in coding, when just beginning, all we really see is syntax and how it translates. But as we continue to code, we start to see that it’s not just about what the best programming language is or about the latest framework we should be using - it’s about understanding how code is structured (I’m not sure if that’s the best way to put it, but you get the picture). 

Tying up everything that I just said… at DBC you will be pushed to your limit and maybe even further - not to learn how to create wonderful web apps, but to be incredible learners. DBC is a lot more than just coding.

Phase 1: Day 6

Key takeaway of the day: Learn how to test code without getting attached to it. 

I was expecting week 2 to be an even harder week 1, but today was a really laid back day. My pair and I were able to finish all the challenges plus a stretch challenge before 6pm, which was awesome!

In our morning meeting Shereef (yeah, the big boss) showed us how to do solve hard Sudoku boards in 10 minutes. I was utterly awestruck. We were able to solve easy boards after a whole day of coding and here he is happily typing away and suddenly, boom… Solved!

Of course, this was because he had years of experience. He gave the analogy of a chess master vs a regular chess player. Regular players tend to look at the whole board and try to analyze every piece on the board. Chess masters just look at specific areas in the chess board. They are such experts that they know that other parts of the board don’t require much attention and can focus on the important spaces and pieces. In programming, experienced programmers can easily identify pieces and strategies of code that are appropriate to certain situations, while newbies like myself just don’t get it yet.

He also had a couple of insights that were incredibly interesting. He was using methods before even writing the code for. It made sense seeing him do this in action. Why code a method before you even know what it does? You can’t even be sure that you would have a use for it. By implementing a method in your code, you know exactly what you want it to do. 

Another insight he had was the miscommunication between computers and humans. In the example of sudoku, humans have intelligent ways of solving it. Computers, on the other hand, aren’t that smart, but they can do certain things really, really, really fast. So, the proper way to use computers is to think about its capabilities and not the way we would do things.

Phase 1: Week 1 Weekend

The weekend was actually pretty chill. It’s such a relief not having to rush in the morning. We did go to DBC late in the afternoon and stayed for until 11pm, but even then I didn’t feel as stressed out as I was during the week. That also meant that I got little done. I did spend a lot of time helping people which I actually enjoy more than finishing my own challenges. For me, explaining code was just a better way to learn. 

Sundays…It’s like my body just knows to be physically tired; it pretty much shuts down. Buuuut… there really wasn’t any other time to do errands. DO NOT GO TO CALMART FOR GROCERIES; GO TO TRADER JOE’S, unless you feel like paying double for everything. I also went hiking with Bo and Alex and that was pretty much it for the day.

Phase 1: Day 4

Ruby Racer!!! I love games and was really excited to be programming my own. Although, one thing that you run in to when pairing will be pairs who aren’t feeling up to the task. It could be because they might be having some problems, are mentally or physically tired, or just simply don’t enjoy doing the challenge. Unfortunately, I let this get to me and wasn’t as passionate as I wanted to be doing the challenge (engineering empathy?).

In the afternoon, we revisited two different challenges on boggle board. The first challenge was setting up a board, were you would shake the board and it would land random die in place with random faces - just like the real boggle. (read #ljust)

The second part was making a boggle solver, which is just shiiiiiii. The main problem we ran in to was when checking a word would end up in a dead end. We couldn’t figure out how to go back to the previous letter and try different paths. This is obviously solved by recursion, but recursion..so..lolz.

Phase 1: Day 1 - 3

I really wanted to post starting from day 1, but everything has just been crazy. I’m gonna try and sum it up in 5 minutes and definitely try to be better about my blogging habits after today.

Day 1

Came in lacking sleep, which I’m 99% sure was from excitement. I was feeling tired the whole day, but a good kind of tired - where I was still motivated to do challenges. 

I really want to write more, but with 15 hour days for the past 3 days and with 10  minutes before class starts, I’m just kind of blanking out with day 1.

Day 2

The thing I was really looking forward to was actually yoga. I had only arrived the night of Saturday and I had still been jet-lagged and my body was tense, especially in the neck area. While, we’re here to learn how to be coders, it is extremely important to take care of your health first.

Yoga was reallllllly relaxing. We focused on stretching and releasing tension in our shoulders, back, and neck areas, which are usually the areas that people who type in to a computer all day have problems with.

Day 3

A bootmate said something I found interesting. While DBC is only 9 weeks, it is actually more like 18 weeks - what, with all the hours we put in. Days are long and fast at the same time. You’re mind is really stretched to its limit. At times, you will feel mentally incapacitated and other times it will be your body giving up on you.

10 minutes is over.

Long Time No Ruby

The past few weeks we’ve been diving in to SQL, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Because of this I have been missing Ruby terribly. I appreciate it’s simplicity and elegance more than ever, especially after working with the likes of JS. 

During our cohorts weekly meet-up, I was introduced to this nifty website: Ruby Warrior!

It’s an old Ruby game created by Ryan Bates where you have to input commands to get through each level. But this one is even better since it was remade with graphics. Although, it is a bit harder since it only accepts if statements for the most part. I’m currently on level 8 and my code looks like something only my mother would love; it’s a bunch of nested if statements all over the place.

Phase:0 Unit 3 - Week 9 (JavaScript)

Week 9 already…wow! If this were actual DBC class, it would be our last week and we’d be expected to be ready for junior web development jobs. Although I have learned way more than I could ever imagine, I definitely don’t feel confident enough to take on a web dev job. 

I did the Codecademy JavaScript tutorial way back in October, so when I tried the challenges, it wasn’t a surprise that I couldn’t remember anything; what, with all the languages DBC has been throwing at us thus far (Ruby, HTML, CSS, SQL). So, I’m currently retaking the tutorial and am consciously being biased now that I know quite a bit about Ruby. 

In Ruby, the last expression in a method is implicitly returned - no need to explicitly type “return” before the line of code.

In JavaScript, this isn’t the case. You have to explicitly type “return” other wise it won’t work.

Long Overdue

Yeah, so I’ve been really bad about blogging. Another New Year’s resolution that has not been resolute. I really wanted my blog to have entries that we’re detailed, easy to read, and helpful - which is probably why I haven’t been posting anything. Blogging isn’t quite as easy as I thought. That’s why I’m going to take a step back and just post snippets of what’s been going on - like a paragraph or two and maybe a gist thrown in there for fun. Baby steps.

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