7:45 a.m. – I’m already late. I know I’ve pressed the snooze button at least 4 times again.

8:15 a.m. – Rushing out the door, I balance an omelet sandwich in my right hand and a jumbled set of keys in the other. Already at eight of twelve weeks into the camp, we are learning to write uncomplicated, manageable code when building complex web applications using JavaScript.

8:40 a.m. – I can see sirens on the side of the highway and I resist the urge to groan as I sit impatiently in another traffic jam. The California sun illuminates the dried landscape in a gorgeous golden glow, and I take a moment to enjoy the view.

8:53 a.m. – I’m just in time for the 9:00 am algorithm session. It is my favorite part of the day, when the other students and I work in teams to solve data structure problems on whiteboards. I pair up with a former state trooper and an environmental engineer to figure out an efficient method for creating a linked list. I enjoy discussing our thought processes on finding the solution, sometimes listening to their interpretation, other times explaining my ideas.

10:30 a.m. – Gathering my notebook, I eagerly sit at the front of the room for lecture. Many coding courses are online, but I appreciate the in-person classroom structure where I can easily ask questions about confusing topics. The teacher is clarifying overarching concepts about the flow of instructions through the computer. The lopsided stick figures and feeble diagrams always amuse us, but they do refine my understanding of the subject.

Flow of requests and responses in a typical web application.

11:45 a.m. – “McDonalds?” someone asks, and we give him a look. It’s nearly time for lunch, so some of our classmates head towards the fridge in the kitchen to heat up leftovers, and the rest of us decide where to eat. Compromising on a good lunch spot has proven surprisingly complicated – but quite a useful skill. There’s always a vegetarian, someone who doesn’t like specific foods, someone else who’s already eaten at a place we finally agreed on, and plenty of other variables that can’t be factored into a simple Calculus equation. It feels more along the lines of –

How choosing a place to dine really works.

We end up eating at four different restaurants.

1:00 p.m. – The best part about going to an intensive coding bootcamp are the people. “What do you see as the future of your marketing agency?” “Do you think renting out rooms of your apartment was a good decision?” “How would you recommend negotiating salary?” On our way back to the camp building, I ask my classmates a plethora of questions about the working world, listening to their complaints about housing and tips on building up an enjoyable career life.

2:00 p.m. – We work together on a JavaScript group chat assignment to solidify the learning from morning lecture. I talk with my classmates on which external libraries to use, pair-program the complicated structure of files, and bicker about who changed the code that crashed the app.

6:00 p.m. – As evening ensues, we decide to fuel our minds with soup and sandwiches; despite our mental fatigue after a long day of work, dinner is a pleasant affair.

10:00 p.m. – My partner and I have steadfastly worked the day on our JavaScript online store to sell diamonds, swords, and Lego mugs. It’s gotten late, but I’m still burbling about the features we have yet to code. As I head out the door, keys swinging on my forefinger, I’m already excited for tomorrow – another day to learn, another time to grow with new friends, and another adventure to enjoy.

Advertisement for Lego mugs on my JavaScript online store.

Advertisement for Lego mugs on my JavaScript online store.

Post by Anika Radiya-Dixit, ECE/Comp Sci 2017