Lambda Bootcamp - One week later
I decided to go the boot camp route, and ended up applying for Lambda School a little under a month ago. My reasoning behind this was to learn in a more structured environment. However I've been 'self learning' for the past 9~ months, and will undoubtedly run into a lot of things I already know - this isn't an issue though assuming I already know what we're learning I'll be able to complete that days project, or the weekly sprint rather quickly while also obtaining the best grade possible. I will even go on freecodecamp at least once every week and redo entire sections I've already done in the past just to keep reinforcing the techniques used to solve problems.
So let's start again, I decided to go the bootcamp route to be in a more structured environment, reinforce already known concepts, learn new concepts, and build onto new skills. These skills may include career development, resume perfection, networking within the field, and working in a team.
Objectives of week one
- Learn what HTML is used for
- Learn how to apply semantic html tags when marking up a page
- Understand the main concepts of CSS, and be able to apply them to an HTML page
- Understand why a developer should use the CLI
- Learning your basic CLI commands -
- Learn the basics of GIT - Forking, and cloning a repository
- Git flow - Learning why version control is so important in the professional world
- Version control - Using a new branch to submit a PR
- Git CLI commands -
git add .
git commit -m "Howdy, I'm submitting a bug fix."
git push -u origin <branch name>
- Pull requests - Our class after learning the basics would have to submit a pull request for each project daily, and add our team leader as a collaborator
The daily process
Every day at 11AM EST we would have slack ready, and exactly one hour to read over the days objective. As a student of Lambda School you have a training kit you're able to access which will have all the materials you'll need for that days project. Having an hour to look over this wasn't enough time for some students but personally I would just skip to the end, and start on that days project. Using that hour to get a head start was always preferable since I felt confident enough in knowing this weeks curriculum well enough; this may change in the future when we're getting into
At exactly 12PM we would start a zoom call with all of the web34 students, and team leaders. A selected senior team leader would then present her screen and go over the course for today while applying the concepts. I found this method pretty neat because she would give proper examples of how to apply those concepts in a real world situation. Every 25 minutes we would alternate to a slido(question application) to address any questions the students may have. This would go on until 2PM where we would take lunch.
Coming back from an hour long lunch break we would then get started on our daily project. This would be what you do until 7PM unless you had a one on one scheduled. The projects they offer were things like marking up an entire page with semantic HTML tags, and applying proper CSS to style those pages. Then after you're finished with your daily assignment you would make a pull request from your
branch to the
main branch of your repository for your team leader to approve.
Anywhere between 5-7PM we would schedule a one on one with our team leader to go over the daily project in detail while explaining why we used the methodology chosen to complete the project. This would include explaining the daily objectives in fine detail to show our team leader if we needed to get extra help, or not. They would also give you a daily grade for the project as well - this could be a
1/3 which would signify you need extra help, a
2/3 which would be passing, and a
3/3 which met you REALLY knew your stuff, and excelled. We had stretch goals for each assignment that was not necessary to complete but if you did choose to complete them you could get the 'going the extra mile' grade which was a
3/3. Hint: I obtained 3/3s everyday including my sprint day ;).
At the end of the day around 7PM we would get ready for our daily stand up in zoom. We would meet with our team leader, and 7~8 team members while discussing what we learned today, how we applied those concepts, and if we had trouble with anything. If we did have trouble with somethings a fellow team member could jump in, and give a helping hand live during the stand up which I found to be pretty cool!
The Lambda Slack
The lambda slack is pretty neat we have a decent amount of channels you can participate in ranging from! Including some more interesting ones:
career_help A channel specifically designed to help you further your career inside the tech field. This would include getting assistance from people already working in the field to go over your resume, portfolio, linkedIn...etc and let you know what would be best to improve on and change.
hired A channel where an bot would make posts on any lambda students who would obtain a job. I found this channel to be extremely inspiring because I'll usually see anywhere from 8 to 15 posts a day! That's so motivating to see how many students are finding jobs in tech related organizations!
Web34_TL_Channel A channel designed specifically for your team to assist each other.
Web34 The main channel you'll be in as a full stack developer at the school. This channel will have updates from any TLs on what you're accomplishing for that day, questions related to the project from any of the students, and overall valuable information relating to that day.
PairProgramming An interesting channel where you can pair up with any of the students to tackle on the daily project. I've only paired up once so far with a group of students and it was a positive experience! I've never really worked in a team when programming so it taught me about working as a team to accomplish something.
There are many other channels in the slack but I found the
hired channel to be the most interesting overall, and the ones I listed above also pretty awesome.
Every Friday is when you'll be tackling a sprint. A sprint is a timed project where you must complete as much as you can, and also if you are quick you can complete stretch goals for that sprint as well. These are graded the very same day by your team leader in a one on one. During the one on one you must explain everything you implemented, and why the implementations worked.
This specific one wasn't rough for me personally but I know ahead when we get to the more complex study materials that these will be an extreme challenge. We had four hours to:
- Semantically markup a homepage, and about page.
- Use CSS to decorate those pages to match a wire frame example.
- Focus on using flex box while doing so
- Make a branch under your forked repository
- Make a PR to submit the project
Now none of this was too difficult for me but like I stated earlier when we get to the more complex things like state management with react...etc I know these will prove to be a challenge. I'm all for a challenge though.
Overall I'm excited for the future, and hopefully being able to hone my skills into an actual job with a decently sized company. I've happy thus far with the way lambda approaches teaching, and how they organize the training kit for the students. I'm also satisfied with the open communication we have at our fingertips with slack and zoom. I've already networked with a few like-minded students that I can tell are as excited as I am and will be continuing to do so in the future! Also this will give me yet another thing to blog about :) So that's awesome. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day/night!