Flatiron School

Fullstack Week 3: Failure is a Constant Companion

Three weeks into my time at FullStack, and this place is definitely living up to its reputation as a ‘Bootcamp.’ Every waking moment is packed — we start at 9 AM, I leave at 9 PM with work still to do, and an hour commute bookends the day.

My first week here left me deeply unsettled, unsure whether I would be able to keep up.  Everything felt foreign, from the new syntax to the difficulty of the exercises.  And while I am feeling more comfortable with the content since then, I’ve had to build a much higher tolerance for failure than I’ve ever needed before.

School has always come easily to me, so I never got really good at studying or learning new logical concepts.  Now, I find things reversed as fellow students catch on to concepts much more quickly.  We’re a mixed bunch, some are already programmers, but without much JavaScript experience.  One has a Master’s degree in computer science.  The rest are like me, relative newbies. Even so, all of our programs fail again, again, again.  Sometimes I feel like throwing things when I realized I’ve wasted two hours reworking my code, but the only issue turns out to be an equals sign.

But I keep close to me a piece of advice that Adam from the Flatiron School gave me last November: the best way to succeed at coding is to not give up.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a little smarter than average or a little less smart: the key is to keep trying.

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Stuff Coders Probably Think is Obvious (But I Didn’t Know)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve become elbow deep at The Coded in solving problems that most people probably don’t think twice about.  I feel like a dummy a lot, but I keep in mind the advice of Adam from The Flatiron School: just keep going.

For example, one of my biggest problems has been how to test my code.  I’ve been using CodeAcademy‘s dinky interface to stuff my code in and try to view the results.  But apparently you can use Google Chrome to load local content, even HTML files.  As *ahem* everyone should know.

Then I thought, “But how can I include my CSS, PHP, JavaScript, etc?”

I didn’t know that you can put CSS and other languages into HTML with “<style>” and “<script>”-type tags.

As a result, I now have all kinds of possibilities before me.  I can try to code ANYTHING and test the results.  It’s really quite daunting.

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