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Reflecting on the first two weeks at CodeClan

Learning a new skill can be daunting, particularly when you sign up to a 16-week intensive coding course alongside a group of strangers.

The seventh cohort of CodeClan students officially began their training on 26th September, following a few weeks of pre-course work at home.

Two weeks into the course, we caught up with five of the 21 students to find out how they’re coping with their new life at CodeClan.

Cracking the puzzle

“So far I feel as if every day has lasted about a million hours but the weeks have flown by in a matter of seconds. I’m constantly having my mind blown and by the time I start to understand something my mind shuts down and I can feel my brain slowly melting. It’s not all bad though. I have learnt so much in such a short space of time I need to give my brain time to properly process everything. But as I found out quite quickly coding is incredibly addictive. I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to give my brain a break, I just want to crack the puzzle and keep going for as many hours as humanly possible.” – Claudia (read more)

A fast-paced environment

“Codeclan’s 16 week programming course is billed as fast-paced and the first two weeks have confirmed that this is not an exaggeration. Whilst I had some previous coding experience it’s not taken long for me to feel challenged. Luckily you never feel like you are on your own. Not only do have the many instructors to call on, but everyone in the cohort helps each other. It’s like having 20 extra instructors! I’ve never felt so supported in a learning environment.” – Alex

Constantly learning

“We’ve been busy learning new topics and concepts each day, and it feels like we’ve achieved a lot in two weeks. I’ve quickly settled into the routine of arriving for 9am, the morning stand up (talking as a group about how we found the previous day), then classes for the morning and labs in the afternoon. I’ve appreciated so much finally being able to work full-time on studying, learning, and practising code. The pace is fast, but our instructors make plenty of time for reviewing topics and going over any tricky spots with us. No-one is stuck in one place for long, which is so reassuring. Getting to know my cohort and the instructors is also a highlight, and I like that we’re rarely working alone; more often we’ll pair up to tackle a problem or talk in a small group about last night’s homework. Roll on week 3!” – Jo

A new way of working

“It’s been a bit of a leap in the dark for me. I worked at the University for 18 years so any change is bound to be personally daunting. But the opportunity presented itself to take voluntary severance, and with part of the settlement package I’ve invested in my future, so to speak. I knew it was going to be hard, but “knowing” what something will be like ahead of time is not the same as knowing it when you are in the middle of it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good kind of hard. The kind of hard when you use the parts of your brain that have lain dormant for a long time. Thinking critically. Analysing. Spotting patterns and recalling patterns. Working back from end product to process. The end back to the means. Anyway, I was going to go into more detail about what exactly we got up to, but it’s late Friday night, and that’s enough for one week. Besides, I’ve got homework to think about, can’t spend any more time on non-coding activities!” – Paul (read more)

An exhilarating journey

“Two weeks in already and the time has flown. A torrent of information has washed over us and remarkably some has stuck. The whole process is daunting and exhilarating in equal measure. Daunting due to immediate fears that you’re just never going to get it and exhilarating when it does finally begin to click. The Great British Bake Off has unfortunately become a way marker for my progress on the course. The first Wednesday night I recall only half watching it as panic had set in that I was never going to get coding. Fast forward a week and I was now calm enough to question why on earth we had to watch the show. Progress I guess.” – David


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