Why Dev Bootcamp Rules – A Study in Three Parts


Here’s why Dev Bootcamp rules:

Our cohort’s main instructor has spent the entire phase tweaking the curriculum to match our pace, speeding things up and slowing them down as we master key concepts. Through ten days of CRUD, Sinatra, ActiveRecord, JavaScript, and AJAX, Nate has guided us with a steady hand and an empathetic heart. He really wants us to do our best work, and he’s willing to spend extra time writing clever challenges to bring that work out of us.

At the start of the week, Nate devised a totally new challenge designed to prep us for Phase 3’s group project gauntlet while simultaneously giving us an expanded review of learned material. The plan was for us to start it on Friday and work on it for a whole week, practicing Agile development habits and refining our fit workflow as we struggled to create a mobile Gmail clone, complete with a homemade API.

But then mock assessments happened, and a lot of us Bobolinks stumbled on the CRUD basics. Building a simple app to create, read, update, and delete data isn’t a terribly hard task, but it’s complicated and time-consuming until you’ve had a lot of practice at it. We weren’t practiced enough, and our instructors saw that.

This is where the Dev Bootcamp path splits off from the traditional educational model and heads somewhere way more awesome. In a typical school, if you fall behind, it sucks to be you. The more prepared students leave you in the dust, the teacher moves to the next item on the syllabus, and if you ever manage to catch up, the journey will certainly be a lonely and painful one. With lessons to cover and work to be done, who has time to reach back to help someone who didn’t get it right the first time?

Well, our instructors do. They convened and decided we would benefit from a weekend review of the basics. We’ll start the email app on Monday. Until then, we are strongly encouraged to spend the weekend building app after app after app, until muscle memory takes over. The real assessment next week might not be as hard as the group challenge that precedes it, but it’s timed. You can’t get much done in three hours unless you’ve done it before, again and again, until you can bang out a hidden PUT input field in your sleep. 

So many educators see students falling behind and blame the students without asking what can be done to help them get back on track. Once you build a curriculum, it’s hard to swallow pride and alter it when circumstances change. Nate and the Phase 2 instructors are listening to feedback and refusing to leave anyone in the lurch. It’s humbling and inspiring and deeply motivating. After seeing what our leaders are doing for us, watching them proudly build awesome challenges just to shelve them because the time’s not right, we are pushing ourselves harder than ever before. And since we feel so supported, the pushing is fun and engaging.


Here’s why Dev Bootcamp rules:

My cohort is incredible. We gelled during week one and we’ve only grown closer over the last month. We laugh, we joke, we stay late coding, we arrive early to code, we tell “TWEET TWEET” like we own the place, we watch movies on Sundays, we eat together, we check in with each other, and our stronger members are alwYs available to help people who struggle, whether they’re in our cohort or not. We want to see each other succeed, and it shows, and it makes us all even more awesome than we were when we got here.

Example: every three weeks, it’s pitch day. The whole camp gets together to hear boots deliver one-minute app pitches for Phase 3’s consideration. Some of the pitches become final projects. All of the pitches inspire us to reflect on why we’re here and what we’ll be able to build when we’re done.

We decided to motivate and inspire one another today. Why? I dunno, just because we rule like that. At the end of lunch, we circled up to share pitch ideas as a group, to practice timed public speaking and pick each orher’s brains about our ideas. So many awesome ideas. The Bobolinks are going to make some really cool stuff when the time comes. And thinking about that time is a stirring reminder to take care of the present for the sake of the future, working hard I’ve the weekend so we can all pass the assessment together and get ready for the final phase.


Here’s why Dev Bootcamp rules:

None of this is special. I mean, it’s special in real life terms, but here, it’s just how things are done. We’re encouraged to do things that help each other get better, like reaching back to previous phases with help and advice, or writing core challenges that get the most out of a cohort’s potential. We’re expected to find new and creative ways to make this space our own, experimenting in a safe environment to discover new ways to find excellence in each other and develop our skills at breakneck speed. We’re invited to jump into the fray and set a tone of mutual engagement, encouragement, and support. It’s just what’s done here.

And it happens every day. I’d give more concrete examples, but this is a daily blog. The stuff I’ve talked about all happened in the last 16 hours. No big deal. There will be more of this open, collaborative, implacably awesome atmosphere to dive into tomorrow.

Here’s why we’ll rule as developers:

We’re coming from Dev Bootcamp.



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