3 Practical Life Lessons I Learned at Web Development Bootcamp

Ask for Help When You Need To

I popped my collar for the first 3 weeks as we covered HTML and CSS. Then we hit Javascript week. I tried to quietly brave the new concepts, but If I can be honest, I gave in to a host of emotions internally; some days I felt empowered and on others, I felt completely stupid. One night, at about 4 am, I cried out of frustration with my homework only to laugh almost historically when my instructor gave me such positive feedback on my work. I quickly realized that playing the “gangster” role wasn’t the thing to do and once I began asking for help, I realized that I wasn’t at all alone in being confused. Everyone was struggling. Well, everyone except for that brilliant guy, George.

Working in a Team Is Everything!

Being the captain of your own ship is cool and all, but I quickly realized how efficient working as a team is when everyone is at his/her best as opposed to working alone. Sure, you’ll have more control over how things turn out and no one’s ideas matter but yours but when you have other talented individuals around you, you grow as a result. See, I have been freelancing for a long time and I could’ve done a lot more over the years with the support and accountability of a great team.

For our final group project, we decided to build out a Stack Overflow clone for questions and support specific to Web Development Bootcamp participants. We had a week to complete it and I am sure that I would not have been able to accomplish alone what we’ve done in that short amount of time. Each group member naturally fell into roles we were great at and that we all felt were necessary. We had a Project Manager, a Q&A process, a back-end guy, a front-end gal (*cough*…me), and roles specific to feature implementation. Poke around and tell me what you think: (Demo User: john@gmail.com Pass: 123456).

There Are No Shortcuts in Life

One valuable lesson I’m sure our entire cohort learned is that some things you can only absorb by actively and repetitively doing and If you want to adopt anything as an earned skillset, you have to be personally invested in it. There are no shortcuts to forming great habits, nor are there shortcuts to learning the foundations needed to solve more complex problems. If only we could git clone EVERYTHING. Well, git over it.

If you’re a boot camp grad, what are some valuable lessons you’ve learned?