My toughest, most-rewarding 10 Weeks comes to a close

I'm sitting at a desk in the middle of Dev Bootcamp surrounded by the torrent of activity. Employer day is in full swing in the Dev Bootcamp office, with dozens of employers interviewing my fellow bootcamp graduates. It's finally hitting me that it's over and looking back it's hard to find a time in my life where my perspective about the world has changed more dramatically. The only time I've been with a group of individuals who were all pushing so hard in the same direction was during my time on the Stanford swim team when we had a singular goal each year to win an NCAA championship.

Going into Dev Bootcamp, I specifically remember Shereef sending an email telling that this would be the "some of toughest and most-rewarding 10 weeks of your lives. I can say without a doubt that Dev Bootcamp held up its end of the bargain. The last ten weeks have been all about execution and there's been little time to look back on the progress we've made. Finally, last night, after all of us had pitched our final projects while I was walking home, it began to occur to me just how much I had learned and how much my approach to the world had been altered.

Just 10 weeks ago, we were struggling over basic problems in Ruby. Yesterday, my team, after 9 days of work, had a working prototype of Optifridge, a food management system that made use of OCR technology to log food items off of grocery receipts.

What made this past 10 weeks so transformative? To put it simply, I can say YES when someone asks me if something is possible. I've learned a lot of code specific details over the past 10-weeks, but the most valuable skills that Dev Bootcamp has instilled in me having been at a more fundamental level.*Breakdown problems to their smallest possible chunksWe all know this one conceptually, but it's an entirely different task to actually learn and practice this. Each ensuing project at Dev Bootcamp required more complexity and at first, I found myself overwhelmed which each new challenge. No longer. At some point my viewpoint shifted and the problems began to break themselves apart.

Program to solve someone's problems

My desire to program is directly related to related to my passion for solving someone's problems with software. Design your software with people in mind at all times; create solutions that involve real behaviors and anticipate what your users will expect or desire from your product.

Programming isn't about Languages.

So often you hear people making decisions about engineers based off of their expertise in various computer languages. This is absolutely the wrong way to find engineers. A good programmer is above a specific language (although he or she probably has their favorites). I like Ruby and Javascript a lot, but I'm not going to box myself in. It's just some syntax and methodology. A skilled programmer knows that these are simply the tools used by the master craftsman and that can be different tools for a specific task.

Surround yourself with Passionate people

No. 1 thing I've learned from Dev Bootcamp. The magic of Dev Bootcamp was that everyone was pushing in the same direction. It's easy to put in 12-14 hour days learning, coding and building when you have a dozen compatriots all huddled around your table doing the same thing. I was incredibly nervous about the intensity of the program going in; I just didn't think I . The part I didn't count on was the immense amount of energy that I received from the rest of the group day in and day out.

Thank you Sheeref, Jesse, Robert, Tony, Anne, Tanner, Marcus and all my fellow boots for 10 weeks weeks of incredible learning and growth. I will miss you all!