Thursday, July 31, 2014

How I finally got to go to a coding bootcamp...for FREE!!!

OH MY GOSH!!!  I don't know how I didn't find out about this till just this week!  You know how I taught myself to code and got hired at ZipList this past year and my life has been great ever since :-)

That is true, however I have a lot of knowledge gaps.  It has always been my dream to one day be able to attend a Coding Bootcamp and fill some of those coding knowledge gaps.  I have never been able to make that dream a reality do to having a family, overall cost, and not being able to make an income to pay for me bills while attending the Bootcamp.  I have heard countless horror stories and sad tales of Coding Bootcamps, so I have always looked into new coding schools carefully.

I have done my research and found what in my opinion is the best Coding Bootcamp in the world: Hack Reactor.  The "Harvard" of Coding Bootcamps if you will.  I have never heard anything bad about the place, I've talked to one of the founders Shawn Drost, and have decided that it is without a doubt the best Coding Bootcamp there is.  Hack Reactor is not cheap, it is one of the most expensive bootcamps out there, and I think they are justified in there tuition costs.  When you leave Hack Reactor you walk away as a full blown developer.  They don't simply make you a junior level developer.  That is the main difference with the school versus any other Coding Bootcamp out there.

Now, for me, everything has changed.  I finally found a Coding Bootcamp that is actually recommended as the "next best" option by Hack Reactor's co founder @shawndrost.  If someone who co founded the best Coding Bootcamp in the world recommends it, than I have to check it out!

The name?


The cost?  Extremely affordable!  The founder of Epicodus @michaelrkn is almost running it in my opinion as a non profit :-)

Here is the truly amazing part, Michael Kaiser-Nyman is SO nice, he puts up the entire Epicodus course work online for anyone to go through for FREE!  I can't tell you how many people have gone through cheaper online Bootcamps paying somewhere between $3,000 - $6,000 dollars and come out on the other side not being able to land a job.  I always tell people to stay away from most Bootcamps and to learn it on your own.

Well now, there is no excuse!!!  I can't figure out why the entire Internet is not blowing up over this Epicodus boot camp???  I have stopped doing my other courses and am dedicating myself to doing the entire Epicodus coursework. The Epicodus course is 40 hours worth of work for 16 weeks.

My goal is to study 2 - 3 hours per night 7 days a week.  If I can study between 14 - 21 hours per week on top of working and family, I should be able to complete the entire coursework in 30 - 45 weeks.  The earliest time frame would put me at March 1st 2015, the second best completion time frame would be June 15th 2015.

I am finishing my 3rd day of doing the course, I am not skipping anything I don't care if I think I know it or not, I am going through the entire course no exceptions!  I have put in 5 hours 10 minutes of studying time in the previous 3 days, so not too bad if I can keep it up :-) 

I don't know if down the road Michael Kaiser-Nyman founder of Epicodus will take the coursework down, I hope not.  Anyone who wants to learn how to code would be stupid to not do the entire Epicodus course work.  Better yet go to the school itself.  Here is where you can go to do the Epicodus course work: 

                                              Epicodus Coursework

I hope I can help to in some small way repay Michael Kaiser-Nyman for his amazing course and generosity by putting his site permanently on this blog. I want to help to get the word out about the Epicodus course, I will let you all know how it is going with updates about the program coursework.

From just the few online videos I have done on the Epicodus course material:

I have been absolutely blown away by how incredible Michael's teaching style is.  If I could compare him to any other course or coding instructional tutorial I've ever taken it would be closest to Mattan Griffel of One Month Rails.  His teaching style is phenomenal which is why I can't believe how awesome this opportunity is!  Anyone and everyone who is trying to learn how to program and than get hired on an engineering team, should take the course!

OKAY...I will stop rambling, I am in cloud 9!!!  My life is good.  In other news, I am still doing the ambidextrous hammer and non dominant cursive writing training.  I'm still pair programming with my brother Cody every Wednesday till around 1am  :-)   I Shot my lowest golf round ever a 103, I even had 1 golf drive that went just over 270 yards!  Life is good my friends!

Keep coding peeps  =-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pair Programming

There is nothing like pair programming with someone else till 1 a.m. in the morning!  Magical things seem to happen when you are up that late trying to learn more about coding :-)

It's so much better to be hired and be able to practice coding than to simply be reading about it and studying on your own time.  For example, when I took an online Rails SASS Berkeley course on EDx, the course talked about Agile methodologies, User stories,  3 week coding sprints, and software life cycles.

I passed the course, got my grade and felt good.  The truth is I didn't know anything about Agile or how it worked.  When interviewed I mumbled something I had heard in class about weekly Scrum meetings being important.  I still don't know much about Agile and don't pretend to.  However as ZipList ( the company I work for ) ZipList just launched the new website yesterday, a project that just started when I was hired on in August.  I find all of the Agile terms meaning so much more to me and not just something to say in an interview.

I am loving learning, loving this whole coding thing!  I still have a LOT to be desired in my skills and abilities, which brings me to pair programming.  Every Wednesday evening from 7:30p.m. till usually 1a.m.  I pair program with my brother Cody.  I love that after every coding session we both walk away just a little bit better in some way.  There is nothing that will help you learn faster than pair programming with others at least once a week.

I am fairly good at Haml and Scss, and Git.  My brother is a coding logic savant.  He eats tough coding challenges and laughs whenever I get stuck :-)  In fact after I showed him Project Euler he went home the next day and decided to easily complete problem 168 without much difficulty.

I help him with his front end knowledge and he helps me with coding logic, a perfect match.  Find someone to study with.  You will have a lot of fun, help each other, and grow your coding knowledge like you are on steroids!

In other news I am re-doing my entire book "No Degree, No Problem".  It needed A LOT if editing and grammatical cleaning up.  I am also adding several more chapters that I think will help people learn how to code and get hired much faster.  Hopefully next month the book will be done and re-released :-)

Keep coding peeps, it gets addictive after a while  =-)