Halfway mark.

Although I’d like to have written something about the Full Stack JavaScript Development Accelerator every week, there just isn’t time.

This weekend is pretty exciting because it is the first one in 4 weeks that hasn’t been overwhelmingly overfilled with work. Which isn’t to say that there isn’t anything to do – for certain, there is. There ALWAYS is. Just that this weekend, the one after our first Project Week, is less filled with readings, homework and catching up than any so far.

I’d like to talk about every single thing we’ve covered so far, but I don’t have THAT much extra time right now. There are SO many things. That is really what makes this class so difficult. Yes, the learning curve is high and the work is hard, but it is really that there is so much work. I had a panic attack on the second day of class – not because what we were learning was “too hard”, but because the reading and assignments for the week had been published and it seemed insurmountable. The first couple of weeks, I think there were at least a couple of readings every day (and some days I think there were more like 4) and it’s not like you just read it and you’re done. After you read something, you have to submit a question and an observation. This is done discussion style, and all your classmates can read what you’ve submitted, so I personally like to think about what I’m submitting before I do it.

On top of that, there’s a week long reading assignment (interactive, so there’s coding to go along with it), and an assignment due every day, with group projects on the weekends. REALLY, NO PRESSURE.

So that is what makes this class truly difficult – the sheer mass of work that you have to keep up with, and the fact that a lot of involves interacting with 30 other people.

That said, I’ve kept up so far. There was one assignment that I turned in late – because we were told that it was okay to do so, as we never covered the material in class. I turned in one other late by mistake (a few hours late), and it doesn’t seem to have mattered (PHEW.)

Because this is a full stack accelerator, we start out with the back-end stuff first. I knew that coming in. Lucky for us, we have a co-instructor who focuses on the front end (I don’t know that previous iterations of this course had that.) Maybe not so lucky, instead of just doing back-end stuff these first 4 weeks, we’ve also had some front end stuff in addition to the back-end stuff. So, there’s that as well.

We had our first Project Week this week, and I feel like I ended up on the team with the most difficult project. Ok, so I chose to be on that team. All of the other projects were dealing with text-based data – analysing sentiment in articles, word games, who said it, inventory lists, etc. I think ours was the only one that dealt with image data, and we were transforming our image data as well (which hearkens back to the dreaded first week, weekend group project, The Bitmap Transformer.) Consequently, it was a bit of a rough week. Overall, I enjoyed it, and learned a lot, and feel like we did a lot with it. I do feel like it could have been better, but that’s an entirely different topic of conversation there. Suffice it to say it was a tough project.

Being done with project week and the first 4 weeks is exciting in and of itself, Getting to get home early yesterday was a bonus. The fact that I am not completely overloaded with work this weekend is another bonus. Next week is Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for that! Not only are we moving into the front end, but we only have a two day week and then a 5 day weekend. No complaints there.

After that, I feel like it’s a downhill slope. After Thanksgiving, there’s only 3 weeks (plus two days) left, and the last week of that is again – Project Week. I don’t feel bad about admitting that I might aim for a project that seems “easier” for the final project. Again, I don’t regret this one at all. It was a great learning experience, and I got to know a couple of people I barely knew at all a lot better, and I am so grateful to have had them both as team members and to have them as peers, now and in the future. And who is to say what an “easier” project is, or that I’ll really end up trying to choose that way? I don’t know. All I know is that I’d like to make a more “complete” project next time.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone – See you in 4 more weeks!

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