We solved Sudoku! It took us all day, we ran into dozens of dead ends, but we actually got it and it felt incredible.

Instead of starting today with a lecture or meeting, we were divided into groups and sent to the Friday check-in, which includes students from all four phases (current onsite students and recent graduates). We were each given some time to voice our feelings on how the week has been going, and it didn’t have to be specifically related to the program or learning. Since that’s all I’ve been focusing on this week, I pretty much stuck to talking about the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on this week. The first three days were successful, but Thursday was frustrating because it didn’t end with functioning programs, so I was feeling some trepidation about getting through the Sudoku challenge (arguably the hardest challenge at DBC).

After check-in, our cohort got back together to hear a lecture on how to go about solving Sudoku, which mainly consisted of ways to pseudocode everything. We grouped up and talked strategy for nearly an hour, then went to it. I feel like my planning group had a really good grasp on what needed to be done and in what order, but it was still pretty nerve-wracking to actually get started. We got the board built properly and were able to insert the puzzle into a blank board. Then we went about figuring out how to find the row, column, and box of each cell that was empty. This was probably the hardest part of the day. Once we had that, it was all downhill to compare the three values, find what was missing, and place the correct number in the cell. Seeing that completed board pop up on the screen just released this huge weight from my shoulders and I felt like I could actually enjoy the evening. It was especially satisfying because we were told that usually, only about 25% of students actually solve Sudoku, but I think about 75% or more of our cohort walked away with a solution.

Every third Friday is game night, a chance for students and recent graduates to hang out and relax. I stuck around for a couple hours, chatting with graduates about what they’re doing now, what they felt were the most important things to learn at DBC, etc. Some of my cohort talked about wanting to get together tomorrow to chat about the week’s challenges, maybe rebuild Sudoku into something more efficient, or even just work on getting better understanding of some concepts. I’m planning to join them, but only after some serious sleeping in.

Overall, a wonderful end to a stressful week. My name is Edwin Unger. I made it through Phase 1 week 1, and I’m still a web developer in training.