Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dev Bootcamp Phase 2 Tips

I made a post with some Phase 1 tips so I thought I should try to do the same with phase 2.

Embrace that you will feel like you're drowning with so many new things all at once. If you realize that everyone is struggling and that slowly it will get better, it won't seem as bad early on. I feel like the phase before me did a really good job preparing us for the worst so then it didn't seem so bad. But I mean it was really hard to learn so much all at once it just wasn't as bad as I was expecting.

Don't constantly compare yourself to others.  This is the same as my tip for Phase 1 but this time,  I was thinking about some people with prior front end experience. Sometimes I was paired with them and was constantly comparing myself to their level of knowledge and then thinking I was behind. I had to put it in perspective that they already did it before. 

Don't kill yourself to complete an assignment.  This is more true in Phase 2. There was pretty much no way anyone was finishing all the assignments. Just make sure you are learning and doing something with each topic. 

Sleep. Don't be afraid to sleep on the couches at DBC during lunch. I may take your picture, but the rest will be good.

Check in on people in Phase 1. The break from Phase 2 work actually helps you figure something out when you sit back down. You also get to brush up on your Phase 1 knowledge while helping.

Utilize the Pairing Sessions with Teachers. Sign-up for a 30 minute pairing session each week with the teachers or TA. If both have slots, sign-up for both. You will learn more in that 30 minutes than 2 hour struggling on your own. Or you will discover that you might have actually retained some information over the previous week even though you kept thinking you might not really know any of it.

Pair for part of the day on solo optional days. I think talking through a problem helps versus sitting alone. I would struggle longer when alone. If I was with a pair for some reason if we were both stuck I was more likely to ask versus if I was just stuck myself.  Many people seem to like to pair for half a day so it works out perfectly.

Utilize part of each solo day for portfolio challenges. You may not get through all the core assignments for the day (or you won't for sure). But if you spend some time when TAs or teachers are around to ask, it is really beneficial. I didn't do this as much as others and then on the 2nd weekend, I was at home struggling with a few that probably could have been sped up if I asked a question at some point.

Have fun with your programs. If you like to make something a little prettier with css do that because it will make you have a little more fun when completing your program.

Get the MDN chrome extension. It's helpful on all the css assignments. (While you are at it, download the extension for Ruby docs too. It's awesome to type MDN space into the address bar and then just type what you want to search for. 

All of my tips for Phase 1 still hold true too.

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