I knew this was going to be intense, but I got my first taste of how intense it will be. And I love it.
My cohort is called the Banana Slugs, and all fourteen of us waited outside the locked doors before class. We introduced each other. Some people I recognized from our Facebook group, others I’d met the night before at a pre-DBC walk to the Golden Gate Bridge. Which, by the way, is stunning in person.
The door swung open and the previous cohort (the Sea Lions) crowded the entrance. They screamed, cheered, and high-fived us while “Gangnam Style” blasted from the sound system. It felt like stepping into the Internet.
We gathered up, introduced each other, and did some icebreakers that had us hugging and laughing with other boots within our first fifteen minutes. A quick breakfast later, the Banana Slugs regrouped in a side room to run through a couple activities go over the day.
And then we pair programmed. I’d never done it before, and it took some getting used to. I’m still not used to it. The way it works is there are two monitors, two mouses, and two keyboards connected to the same Mac, and you work with a partner to tackle some of the programming challenges. Some of the challenges were familiar from the prep work I’d done over the past few months, others were new. (A couple reminded me of Chris Pine’s excellent How to Program).
And just as I was got into a groove, it was time for lunch. Today, they brought us sandwiches, and I was surprised how hungry I was. I’ll need to remember to eat, to drink water, and to sleep. That was advice echoed by the Sea Lions. They’d been at DBC for three weeks and have six more to go. Even though they’re only a third of the way in, the seem like veterans.
We met up as a cohort and went through some logistics with Brick and Anne, two of our instructors. We looked at the nine weeks as a whole, talked about lockers, the kitchen, and how and when to access the building.
And then we went back into pair programming for the afternoon. We picked new partners and dove into the remainder of the challenges. The instructors stick around from nine in the morning to six in the evening, but we’re expected to stick around until we finish all of our core challenges (and have beaten our heads against the stretch challenges long enough until our eyes are mush).
It was tempting to stay late on my first day and dig deep into a particular challenge: write a command-line version of the game Battleship, but as I heard from some of the Sea Lions and all of the instructors, it’s important to pace yourself, especially during the first few days. So I came home, more tired than I’d realized, looked over some of the code my fellow boots had written, now I’m going to bed.
I’m ready for day two!