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Andrea Esparza
Andrea Esparza

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My Time At Flatiron School

The past 15 weeks have been a whirlwind. I was, understandably, nervous about starting a bootcamp, but I don't regret it at all. My goal is to dive into each phase of the course and what I learned. While Phase 1 feels like a lifetime ago, I'll start there.

Phase 1: JavaScript

Phase 1 was tough simply because it was first. It was completely new to me, they threw a million different things at us, and it moved really fast. We learned how to write functions and manipulate the DOM in two weeks. Note to self: go back and try that code challenge again. I was lost for most of it, I felt like I was always behind, and the lectures seemed irrelevant. By the time week 3 rolled around and we had to create our first project, things started to click. It wasn't until phase 2, though, when I felt comfortable calling it "vanilla" JavaScript.

Phase 2: React

The moment we were introduced to React, my world turned upside down. I really struggled to understand JS, but now it made way more sense. We learned how to write JSX, update state, and build components. It made such a difference for me during the code challenge and project. During this phase, I really began to appreciate our instructors and their lectures. It finally clicked for me that lectures were one big "putting it all together lab" during this phase.

Phase 3 and 4: Ruby and Ruby on Rails

I'm putting these together because they go together. Similarly to the transition from JS to React, going from Ruby to Rails made a lot of things make sense. In Ruby, we learned about SQL and object relational mapping (ORM), Sinatra, and Active Record. We learned how to make queries and create databases, but it wasn't until we got to Rails that we really took off. With Rails, we were able to do the same stuff as Ruby but faster and more efficiently. Which left room for higher level topics. We learned about user authorization and authentication, RESTful routing, and building a full-stack application with a React frontend and a Rails backend.

Phase 5: Capstone Projects

The phase 4 project was special because it was a) our last group project, and b) our capstone would be very similar in size. Working on this project has been a rollercoaster between "I know exactly what I'm doing" and "what does that mean!?!?!" My cohort has developed a very tight relationship so we have helped each other out. It's been fun watching everyone create something they are proud of.

As I get ready to present my project, I am filled with nostalgia. I said earlier that phase 1 feels like a lifetime ago. My life before that feels even farther. I am so glad I signed up for this program.

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