October 1, 2020

What I've Learned in My First Week of a Coding Bootcamp: Olivia Hartwig



Olivia Hartwig

We interviewed student Olivia Hartwig after their first week of Coding Bootcamp; here's how it went...

What brought you to BCA?

I came to BCA after the decision to leave my previous career in ceramics. It is a physically taxing line of work and not always a reliable source of income. I wanted to move into a field that would allow me to exercise my talents in problem solving and community building, and coding seemed like a great fit for both!

Reflecting back on your first week, what is one thing you wish you knew before jumping into the world of coding?

One thing I wish I knew before my first week of bootcamp was how clear I would need to be around setting boundaries around my time. I'm fortunate to have a wonderful support network and I have learned the value of balancing coding all day with fun and rest; but at the end of the day, I require much more time to review class materials than I anticipated. Try to prep meals in advance! Ask for help with chores like laundry and dishes! Time is your most valuable resource.

What's one thing you've already learned that you will carry with you throughout your coding bootcamp experience?

A piece of advice that I am carrying with me is: ask for help! Your cohort, TAs, and instructor are all on the same team. The collective brilliance is astounding! It can be difficult to unlearn independent behaviors, but I always learn more and have a richer experience when I lean on my coding community.

Along the same lines, what has been your greatest challenge so far?

Keeping focused when my mind is full of new information and there is still more lecture left in the day. Before BCA I was working full-time in an environment where I could get up, move around, and switch tasks when hitting a saturation point. This is a big transition, and one I am still navigating.

What would you say has been your greatest success?

Asking for help! I set aside my pride and asked for a hand when I was feeling discouraged in class. The class community shared about their own feelings and gave one another encouragement; it was so helpful not to feel alone. The coding I did afterwards was my best that entire week! It's amazing what asking for support can do.

With just under 11-weeks left of the bootcamp, what are you most looking forward to?

I am looking forward to getting to know my cohort more and for the nuances of Javascript to become second nature. I can't wait to become fluent and have the confidence to write programs with ease! 

Interested in taking the plunge like Olivia? Check out of bootcamp course offerings here or set up a time to talk to our admissions team today!

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