'Twas the night before Boot Camp, and all through the house
you could hear the continuous click click click of my mouse.
My dev environment was set up on my MacBook with care
in hopes that some learning would soon happen there.
Here I sit, alone, nodding off at my screen
while visions of the command line creep into my dreams.
When on my cell phone there arose such a clatter
I adjusted my eyes over to see what was the matter.
Through my new email I read carefully
about all the new challenges waiting for me.
Away to my editor I shot like a gun,
and didn't stop typing until my fingers were numb.
More powerful than lightning was my thirst to learn,
And I yelled out each language for which I did yearn.
"Now, Ruby! now, Rails! now HTML!
On, Javascript! on, jQuery! Let's give them all hell!
Build 'til you bleed! Code 'til you fall!
Don't be afraid! Just give it your all!"
Tired, drained, but still satisfied,
I closed my computer with a short sigh of pride.
I had many more hours of coding to go
but this was a good start, the perfect intro.
And I smiled to myself as I turned out the light—
“Happy coding to all, and to all a good night!”

Tomorrow is the first day of Dev BootCamp, but to be fair, it’s already started. It started for me several months ago when I realized that I needed to do something different with my life. It continued when I decided that I wanted to become a developer, and the goal became more honed when I was accepted into the program. I’ve spent the last several months preparing, and it’s brought me to this point, the actual beginning. Even the official program has already begun, since we got to meet our cohort groups last week and just gained access to our first week of challenges this past Friday. If I didn’t have my job to contend with, I could have already completed my challenges and gotten a headstart on next week before the first week even began. As it stands, I’m still in a very good place, and I owe it to the suggestions and advice I received from countless DBC alumni on how to prepare.

Here’s what’s happened in the past week:

Most of my time has been spent getting to know my cohorts and squeezing in a few last opportunities to learn on my own. I continued through a few more chapters of Hartl’s Rails Tutorial, but nothing to show off yet. Everything I’ve made so far has been behind the scenes changes. Since this is his 3rd edition, we’re now getting into the Introduction to Ruby, so I’m not really looking forward to more review. It will be useful and necessary, but I really want to push forward into new territory.

As mentioned, we gained access to our challenges for this week, and I couldn’t be more relieved to see my preparation paying off. Check it: Challenge 3 is to set up my dev environment, but thanks to Mike Busch’s (DBC Chicago instructor) excellent guide on GitHub, I’m already good to go. We’re also supposed to start tweeting and including @DevBootCamp, but I’ve been doing that since December. This week is dedicated to learning the command line and Git/GitHub, and while I definitely want to practice as much as possible, I was excited to see that the main guide is Learn the Command Line the Hard Way, which is what I read when I first started using the command line! Of course, I’m still looking at it as more opportunity to review.

And it’s not just this week that’s looking good. Next week we get into HTML/CSS. Guess what one of the guides is? Code Academy, my old flame. In the third week, we’ll dive into Ruby, and one of the books we’ll be learning from is none other than Chris Pine’s Learn to Program. Everything’s coming up Edwin.

Again, that’s not to say I can just relax and let the tide roll in. That’s how you end up drowning. It just means I know the punches that are coming and can meet them head on.

2 weeks ago, I wrote that my baby is expected in about 6 weeks. Well, that might be off by a few weeks. Thanks to the archaic methods still used in obstetrics, the voodoo witch doctors seem to believe that my wife’s fundal height is measuring larger and she could give birth in as early as two weeks. While I’m not packing my hospital bag just yet, I am experiencing increased stress at the thought of my baby coming so much sooner. Of course we’ll be happy to meet her whenever she decides to pop out, but for the sake of our sleep and for the sake of my sanity during this very stressful program, I hope she decides to wait a little longer. No pressure or anything.

Surprisingly, I’ve experienced a very strange calm this week. The preparing is done, now comes the real work. I’ve done the best I can, and I can only hope that it’s enough.

This is the last time I write this: I’m not a developer, but I’m going to be.