Immersive Learning: Lost in Coding
The immersive learning process in a bootcamp format can be scary at first. Here is what you can expect and how to succeed in the first few weeks of learning.
This article on immersive learning is part of the Content Collective series, featuring tips and expertise from Flatiron School staff members on topics ranging from program success to the job search. This series is a glimpse of the expertise you can access during your program at Flatiron School.
Starting the Flatiron Software Engineering program can feel a lot like traveling abroad.
At your first Flatiron School class, you’ve finished the program’s prework and maybe even done some online lessons. You might be feeling prepared and eager, as well as a little nervous, with the feeling of entering a fantastic new adventure.
This is not dissimilar to how it would feel to travel to Spain, for example. Maybe you learned a few basic words or sentences before heading to the airport. You’d likely be getting off the plane excited to experience a new culture, surroundings, and language.
What’s more, the learning path for picking up Spanish abroad and coding at an accelerated bootcamp are also very similar. How can this be? One word: immersion.
WEEK 1: Fumbling With Fundamentals
“You can access the information in the object through bracket notation or dot notation. Bracket notation will allow you to use the value of a variable rather than the literal characters typed to access the key. Dot notation is limited to the literal characters typed as the key”
“Uh, I heard variable and object!”
Tips For Success
Be active in the learning process! To get yourself used to applying code to a blank file you should set up your replit and follow along with the lessons in the curriculum. When you are done with a lesson try changing the code in your REPL environment and try to predict what will show up in the console. This will help you get more comfortable with producing and thinking in code.
WEEK 2: Practicing In Pairs
Much like starting to use basic Spanish phrases in conversation, this week will challenge you to create things on the spot and respond appropriately to your partner.
Tips For Success
Moving into the “use phase” of week two can be intimidating. Take it slow and try not to stress during pair exercises. If you stumble over the logic, the driver is there to help you.
WEEK 3: Conversing In Code
As the end of Phase 1 of the Flatiron program nears, your fluency with the language will have grown to the point you can code independently. At this point, you can take on the challenge of tackling the end-of-phase labs that put all the concepts you have learned together.
This translation will be taking someone else’s words and turning them into code. From now on it will feel like each new piece of information fits into an existing framework. Even new languages and frameworks in the next phases will feel easier to pick up.
Relating back to our Spanish analogy, this is the point where you no longer feel lost on an alien planet. You know the fundamentals, can hold a dialogue, and partake in normal conversation! Though there will be new words to learn, you now understand how to fit them into the language.
The end-of-phase labs will likely take a lot of time. At first, completing one of the comprehensive labs might take you a full day of work. But, with each successive lab you engage in, the time it takes to complete will diminish.
Tips For Success
Focus on taking the end-of-phase labs one step at a time. Fully engross yourself in one lab at a time. Move on to the next only when you’ve completely finished the first. By the time you’ve completed a few of the labs, it will begin feeling like coding has “clicked”. You’ll be able to see how everything fits together and would be translated from the “deliverables”, or the description of what the code should do for the user.
After Flatiron School’s Immersive Learning Bootcamp
Flatiron School will immerse you in coding, and your job is to let yourself be lost. Lean into the learning curve, engage, and try to converse. While immersion is scary at first, it gets results. If you embrace the process, you will learn new skills faster than you ever imagined!
About Joe Milius
Joe Miius is a Software Engineering Technical Coach at Flatiron School. He has previous teaching experience and has been helping Flatiron School students understand coding concepts for 2 years. He loves problem-solving and takes on each new problem or question a student presents with vigor and curiousity.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of June 15, 2023. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.
The Data on Barbie, Greta Gerwig, and Best Director Snubs at the Oscars
Was Greta Gerwig snubbed for the 2024 Best Director Oscar nomination? How do you quantify the Barbenheimer effect? What are the biggest Best Director snubs in the history of the Oscars? Let’s explore how data science can help us understand some of the inner-workings of Oscar nominations.