‘Codecamps’ or code ‘bootcamps’ are all the rage right now, partly because, as NPR puts it, it’s only “12 Weeks to a 6 Figure Job” but they are not the answer for all us non-CS majors who want in on the action. I, for example, am tied to a small midwestern city at least 2-3 hours from any daily bootcamp, and due to current family constraints and the wonderfully wretched winter weather (just shoveled the driveway for an hour!) I cannot easily drive/move to attend one.
SO: I am starting my own#DIYcodecamp, as I am calling it, teaching myself how to code using these:
3 Sources of Knowledge, Learning and Goals for #DIYbootcamp
- Resources: online and print,
- Networking and Community: in-person conferences and meetups, and *real-ish* online relationships, and
- Practice and Product: diy projects, examples and results.
- Resources: I had already started using codecademy, and I just recently opened a freecodecamp account, and have been finding tons of other sources, online and off, like Coursera, Udemy, and Skillshare;
- Networking: I went to my first in-person coding meetup -outta town though, I had to drive over 2 hours, but it was fascinating and worth it! – about security exploits, and they gave us free dinner! with several more scheduled before the end of the month, PLUS the free local world IAday conference this weekend is only a couple hours drive away, and I’ve found several other local-ish small conferences for next month, even as I was writing this post! Also, again, my freecodecamp account, which says “Let’s learn to code by building projects for nonprofits” and explicitly addresses all 3 goals of resources, community and practice. I also just recently found codenewbie.org, which, so far seems to live up to its self-billing as “the most supportive community of programmers and people learning to code.”
- Practice and Product: My first projects are to actually populate one of the urls I own as a portfolio, along with making some personal biz cards. Those last 2 are today’s project, which I have meant to do, for a long time, (paying for empty domains=ridiculous!) but the pressure is on because I want to be able to network at worldIADay and have something tangible for my ‘personal brand’. I appreciate that worldIADay bills itself as ‘for professionals and enthusiasts’ – I’m somewhere in there!
3 Reasons Why I’m Doing #DIYcodecamp:
- Career – my skillset needs an upgrade to catch me up to where I should be; I need a ‘real job’ that allows me to earn a good salary;
- Cost – the DIY-ness of it makes it much more affordable than the $5-15K, I have seen advertised for group bootcamps; and
- Challenge – even with my long (since the ’80’s) ‘digitalist’ background, the pace of change in computer science and information technology has been relentless. I have kept abreast of most of it: I taught web design at a community college at the turn of the millennium, worked for a major software manufacturer in tech support, and taught new media, graphics software and html (old versions) at both a secondary and a couple of post-secondary institutions. I *did* take some CS classes at the University where I was an adjunct, but that was almost 2 decades ago, and I am completely out of practice. I missed the boat on some things, like when WordPress became a CMS more than a blogging platform, and my training was limited to languages that aren’t used much any more, other than Java.
3 Challenges: (“The DIY” in #DIYcodecamp)
- Isolation* Challenge: inaccessible, incommunicado, far away, remote, lonely, solitary
- Inertia Challenge; inactivity, inaction, inertness, do nothing, stationary, stasis
- Inexperience Challenge- Knowing what I it is that I need to know, also lack of experience, knowledge, or skill
*synonyms via google
The 3 solutions to these challenges are built-into the method of #DIYcodecamp:
- Networking, and
BONUS: Product (skillset) – web and software development skills, ‘soft’ skills, completion, and a career.
-Wish me luck!