Your Journey Into Tech: Week 1 - Immersion, working together and scrambled brains!

Mar 25th, 2019

We asked our latest cohort of returners to share their experience of the 'Your Journey Into Tech Programme' here Jackie shares her thoughts on Week 1

I'm relaxing with some chocolate to celebrate surviving Week 1 of Tech Returners. Here's my thoughts on the week.

Day 1

I had a mix of feelings starting the course - excitement about learning something new and meeting new people and nervousness about whether I'd been able to cope with the demands of the course. On the first day everyone was so welcoming, it was great to meet like-minded people from a broad range of backgrounds. It was good to have a social event on the first evening of the course where we could continue to get to know people and also meet people from previous cohorts, who shared their experiences. I think the support of all these people is so valuable.

Command line training – I last visited the command line/Unix at this level of detail at University in the 1990s! (This was also when I attended a talk from Tim Berners-Lee about a new-fangled invention called the Internet, but that’s another story). One of my former Tech career colleagues from the 00s is also on Tech Returners with me, it’s good to catch up with him again. A few reminisces from the past today!

Day 2

What a difference it makes learning with other people. I've tried to brush up on coding skills on my own through online learning but I think I am benefitting so much more from face-to-face learning. The knowledge of our tutors and working together with other people in our cohort through pair programming and discussion means I've probably learned more in a few days than I have in many hours of distance learning. The course is challenging and it's a rollercoaster between feeling overwhelmed then feeling more confident and happy when we've been able to complete tasks.

I went home tonight feeling a sense of achievement and I spoke to many others who felt the same. Exhausted because my brain has had such a workout!

Day 3

Loops/Conditionals - the pair programming is helping me so much. I'm normally such a worrier when working on my own, I always fret about being too slow compared to the rest of the class - imposter syndrome and similar feelings. Working in a pair and with other pair groups has helped so much because we can discuss our work and help each other, I think we all felt more confident and comfortable today. I'm pleased because I feel very motivated by the course and by the enthusiasm of the people I've met on the course. The time seems to have gone so quickly today.

Day 4

Today was a tough day, with topics in the programming fundamentals that I expected that I would find difficult - objects and arrays. I always seem to get so confused with these, especially when we deal with arrays within objects or objects in arrays - this results in a scrambled brain for me. Getting started with the exercises was a struggle today. Glad that I was sat with 4 sets of pair programmers and we could work together.

It was inspiring hearing from Laura from one of our course sponsors, Manchester Airport Group. The roles at MAG looked very interesting and varied, something to aspire to and something to keep in mind at tough moments during the course.

I think some of my previous Tech experience is slowly starting to come back to me too! Version/Source code control is a reminder to me of systems that I used previously and good to see which software is in use now and to recap on how to use these types of software.

I can't believe we only have one day of the immersion week left.

Day 5

I am seeing curly brackets and arrays in my sleep.

Just when I thought I was getting the hang of some of this….Friday was a “one of those moments” day for me. I struggled to get my head round classes and objects, which we introduced the previous day, and needed a lot of help with the exercises. I need to practice these. Good to have another version control session to give me a bit of a break. The Personal Development session was also well timed, with a reminder to me to draw on growth mind set ideas. I was drifting towards a fixed mind set today!

It felt sad saying goodbye to the daytime lecture people this afternoon as the two groups of evening/daytime probably won't see each other quite as much as we have during this week. We aim to keep communicating between the two groups and try and meet up as much as we can.

That's it from me, I have a busy weekend ahead and I need to fit my homework in around a lot of things including spectating at the Arsenal Ladies v Liverpool Women’s Football game on Sunday

BUT I'm looking forward to the next step of the "Your Journey Into Tech' programme.