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Daniel Gruitt
Daniel Gruitt

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Northcoders Week 2: Shut up and take my money! πŸ’·

So another week has gone by and I somehow survived it. When I initially decided to do a career switch, I knew that it would be hard, testing all aspects of my sanity, but this week was something else. I have had the most intense sense of imposter syndrome, coupled with days of absolute joy and the odd tear thrown in for good measure.

So without further ado;

Week 2

The week started with a really interesting lecture about TDD (Test Driven Development). I actually knew of this practice before I started the course because @thekimmykola (my plan is to mention Kim in every blog) had introduced me to it very early on. Interestingly I have since spoken enthusiastically to lots of programmers (no names shall be given) about this and they have not used it which speaks volumes to how thorough Northcoders are being. πŸ‘πŸ»

<< _computer fan intensifies_ >>

I have mentioned before about how I love problem solving, and the very nature of using TDD is all about breaking a problem down prior to even writing code. It's great, and suits my workflow perfectly. I picked this up quickly and now have a strong sense of how to utilise the red / green / refactor to help me code better, and cleaner.
I also love green ticks; βœ… it's the endorphin hit I need and will never get tired of. Also, Jest conjures happy images in my mindβ€”also a win.πŸƒ

<< _screen flickering intensifies_ >>

We moved through the week looking at how each data type is referenced in memory and this was initially a daunting topic as I assumed I didn't understand the inner workings of my computer, that's just a bunch of wires, right? But actually this turned into a great lecture about how Javascript specifically deals with references, inputs and outputs. Cool stuff! I felt like a real computer wizard by the end. πŸ§™πŸ»

<< _computer randomly crashes_ >>

The idea of pure functions was the topic later that week, and the concept seems simple now that we have covered it. I know that Javascript can come across a bit obtuse sometimes and I'm sure that idea will become more apparent but I appreciate the specificity of how javascript handles its functions. I’m curious to see how this idea will evolve as our code gets longer and more complex.

<< πŸ’€_computer death_ πŸ’€ >>

That's right. My computer died, right at the start of a coding bootcamp, you know the course that relies entirely on computers.

To put this into perspective, I need to explain a bit about money. πŸ’·

Doing a bootcamp is not free, that much is probably obvious. But, I did get a government funded scholarship to do this course (huzzah!). But that covers the cost of the course offered by Northcoders, that's it, not the surviving 4+ months part.

I have saved as much money as I could, and I have just enough to survive without borrowing any money, but it does mean I basically have no money spare to have any real fun with or for damage control. This may seem like a risky move, but I believe in myself to do this and so I am β€˜risking it for a biscuit’ where a biscuit is a job in tech that pays money, and I guess I could buy biscuits with said tech money. πŸͺ

I do feel that what the government offers is great to get started in tech, but it would be great to have access to a fund to help with living costs as it's a constant source of anxiety. But it is what it is and now I have to solve this dead macbook problem.

I eventually had to borrow money from myself to get a refurbished macbook pro that should last me a few years. Clearly my ageing 2015 macbook has a vendetta against me, in its defence I was bad mouthing it just last week. I will have to just swallow the cost somehow and push on.

I stayed up way too late making sure the new one was ready for the next day and reinstalling basically everything, luckily I'm almost entirely cloud based now so files are not lost, and also thanks github and northcoders for telling me to push everything everyday, you saved me! I did have to spend a bit too much time with Oh My ZSH so that my terminal was pretty again, something I take VERY seriously. In the end, it’s all done, I can now actually have a multi monitor setup without my macbook's fan disturbing my colleagues on other floors of the building.

+1 for productivity, -1500 for my wallet.

The end of the week was Higher order functions and… closure. Yeah, that. If you don't know what closure is then good for you, you are free, if you do then hopefully you will understand my pain. This was hard, and it's a real jump in complexity. I was broken for the best part of a day and a half. I could probably tell you, with diagrams what closure is, but I might look like I've lost the plot a bit. What I will say is that if you are struggling to understand it, then try using a sketched out execution context diagram. It helps massively to visualise what's going on, but even then it can be a real mind bender. This is the first time I realised how complex programming can get, naive possibly, but if you had explained to me this is what I would have needed to know months ago then maybe I wouldn't be writing this blog today.

I finished the week feeling very broken, sad and drowning in imposter syndrome. This tested my ability considerably, but the tutors reassured me at every step that my progress, and also confusion was totally normal. I chatted on zoom to my class about my experience of the previous days and was somewhat reassured to see that my classmates felt very similar. I'm pretty open about how emotions affect my learning, so I often volunteer to talk about it openly, making it relatable for those who may find it difficult.

I did get to end my week with a Christmas party πŸŽ„ at my co-working space, although I really struggled to switch off the code in my brain so had a few conversations with colleagues with a kind of matrix code in my peripheral vision.

Top tip:
Go outside and see nature, 🌳
it helps massively.

I hope this has been an enjoyable read, it felt horrible to experience but is a more lighthearted reflection. I may be financially poorer than in week 1, but a tiny bit wiser, and that's called...closure. (shudders 🫠).

As always, happy coding and you can find me on LinkedIn where I still don't post enough.

Top comments (1)

thekimmykola profile image
Kim Diep

Im glad you got your laptop sorted out in the end! Sounds like you had a rollercoaster of a week! You are doing amazing!! Keep going!

Ooo…thanks for the mention :)

P.S. I also like the green ticks too!