A few months ago, the inaugural Code Academy class held their demo day and someone compared the program to, “drinking out of a firehouse.” I remember laughing it off at the time, but after my first week I think that’s the most efficient way to describe my experience so far. To be perfectly honest, my head is spinning and information is getting thrown at me from 5 different directions…but it’s great! It was encouraging to know that fellow students not only share my sentiments, but also that the class is purposely designed to overwhelm us. I like to think of myself as an entrepreneur in training; I’ve worked at start-ups and have worn many different hats at once, but Code Academy promises to be a completely different animal.
Therefore, the purpose of this post first post will be to lay out my strategy for managing the program, in addition to expressing a few things I hope to get out of the next 12 weeks. However, before I do that, let me provide a quick background on Code Academy and why I decided to learn web development.
Code Academy is a 12 week program, based in Chicago, that is specifically designed to teach beginners how to build web based applications using the Ruby on Rails framework. I applied because I want to build ideas that help solve problems and make a positive impact in our world. Grandiose, I know. You have to love the naivety of entrepreneurs, right? Anyway, I’ve always wanted to start my own company and I think the idea of creating a product or service that other people find valuable is one of the coolest things in the world. So, I started researching ways to bring my technology ideas to life. I read books, listened to podcasts, and watched countless tutorial videos, but none of it seemed to resonate. I knew I needed something more engaging, something where I could actually interact and connect with people that understood where I was coming from. Finally, after nearly reaching a breaking point, I stumbled across Code Academy and decided to take the leap and start pursuing my dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
Now, in no particular order, here are my strategies and goals for the next 12 weeks:
Write: I want to walk away from this a better writer and I plan on doing that by writing every day. Whether it’s blogging, summarizing books/articles, or writing emails, I plan on writing everyday.
Read: consume the right information. There is a lot of information, I am going to try and focus on what helps me develop as a developer and an entrepreneur.
Network: take advantage of the many different resources available to me (mentors, workshops, meetups, etc.) Engage the tech community here in chicago and don’t be afraid to talk about my ideas. I want to leave this program with great connections and the confidence to venture out on my own.
Ask Questions: I will get stuck and I will need help, this is a fact.
Organization: figure out a system that works best for me. Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Become a master of productivity.
Teach: try to provide value to my classmates, whether its programming, business, or life teaching will make me better in the long run. I want to feel like I gave something back by the end of the program.
Make time for friends and family. I wouldn’t be here without their support.
Have fun: Be social and get to know my fellow peers. This will be even more important when times get hectic or stressful.
Learn to program: this is the main reason I signed up and I have to remember to stay focused and not get to distracted by other resources.
So, there you have it, that is how I plan to tackle the next few months. If there is one thing I’ve noticed about Code Academy, it’s their unique approach to teaching. I feel like I’m being taught a new way to learn and there is something very exciting about that! My eyes are open, my cup is empty, and I’m ready to embrace everything Code Academy has to offer.
P.S. this is my first blog post so be gentle … CONSTRUCTIVE feedback only!