Day One

I got lost.

Terribly lost, dizzyingly lost, as I drove to my very first day of Codeup’s programming class.

At this point, I know what you are thinking.

“Haven’t you been there before?”

Answer: Yes.

“Haven’t you been there several times before?”

Answer: Also… Yes.


So my terrible sense of direction coupled with near crippling excitement and anxiety combined to create a spectacular fail on the highway.

I missed my exit… by a long shot.

Thank goodness for my iPhone.  It took me by the hand and led me slowly in an almost infantile way back around to the proper road.

A sense of relief washed over me when I saw the familiar building.

I had made it!

I even managed to still be on time! My stomach doing flip flops… I got out of my car to pay for parking.

It was exactly 7:53am.

I took the elevator to the 10th floor and that old familiar thought came again… unbidden.

What the hell are you doing?  You don’t know anything about computers!”

I fought back that negative, although true statement as the elevator doors swung open.

Arming myself with a faux confident smile, I headed down the dark, serpentine hallway into the class room space.

And even though I was an hour early for my orientation, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that other students were already seated in the classroom.  I’m not sure why that comforted me but it did. It was time to begin.


I missed orientation on Friday.  I had to finished up the school year and move out of my class room.  So the reason I was an hour early was to get the software that I missed.  Lucky for me, I didn’t even need an instructor because one of the students that did attend the orientation on Friday loaded the software on my computer for me!  I was so happy to have this crucial step out of the way before the instructors even arrived.  Now I was ready and in the same place as the other students.

We began with a brief summary of things we would need to know.  Things like, where the coffee is stored, where the bathrooms are, and where to go for lunch.  Next was introductions.  I particularly enjoyed this because we had to share one interesting fact about ourselves.  It was nice to get to hear fascinating facts about my colleagues.  We are a talented group!  From opera singers to trombone players, we have it all in this Codeup cohort!

Brass Tacks

We started learning by discussing the development environment that we will be using.  Apparently all that software that I downloaded onto my computer included the creation of a virtual machine!  I love how futuristic and fictional that sounds!  I am proud to say that I can now run Ubuntu Linux along with my OS X Yosemite operating system!

Next we reviewed the terminal (command line) and several useful commands.  I was very happy that I had reviewed Shaw’s tutorial CLI The Hard Way.  Because of that work I put in before camp even started, I felt that I had a pretty good grasp of the terminal.  I was able to move around with ease and only a few reminders.

Once the class was feeling comfortable using the command line, we went straight into HTML.  We reviewed the structure of an HTML document, the syntax and began exercises creating our own mini webpages.  Again I was very grateful that I completed Codecademy’s  HTML/CSS track before class.  It really helped me keep up and feel comfortable with the swift pace of the course.

The day was over before I even knew it!  It really went by like a flash.  I learned more in that one day than I have probably learned in the last year!  Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but I still felt like I gained quite a bit of knowledge.


By the time I got home that evening, I was in a very reflective mood.  I kept thinking about this enormous decision that I have made and the consequences it has already had on my life.  I still feel a very strong anxiety about all of this, but actually attending class has put some of that anxiety in check.  Some, not all. I still worry about the future.  Will I truly be a junior web developer when I “graduate” from Codeup?  Will I truly find my place in the realm of tech?

Well, the gauntlet has been thrown and I am answering the call.  All I can do now is persevere… and continue to hope.


6 thoughts on “Day One

  1. Comgratulations, Sounja.
    It’s been fascinating following your journey, and now you are there.
    You even got there on time, despite being lost.
    All that hard work to prepare yourself has paid off.
    The end doesnt matter. Following your heart is what matters, and doing something you have long wanted to. This is an inspiration to us all

    Look forward to the rest of the journey.
    Control, Alt, BELIEVE! x


  2. Yay you! I do wish I had more study time before I started than after, but it is amazing how much you learn in this time. I can program relatively well, which is huge considering I did really comprehend as much even with the study before the camp started. But I feel like I needed to learn more. Though I can tell you I learned more on our team project and individual projects that we had to figure out on our own from concept to as finished as we could be in the the time alotted than the week or two before. I wish you luck and I’ll keep you in my prayers!!

    PS. I always use my GPS on my phone or the car, even if I have been there before. If I use Google and have my location on it will tell me if there are accidents ahead. Might want to try that and you definitely will not get lost again and maybe able to detour around an accident. 🙂



  3. I’m following your entries with much interest. I have a son who is programming in the game environment at Sony, and most everything he tweets/posts is over my head, by several fathoms. It’s learning on the periphery for me. Tech is fascinating to this reporter/editor. Thought I’d let you know you have one more interested follower. Congrats on your journey! I have a feeling you’ll do well!


  4. hey Sounja: we havent heard from you for a while. I’ve been wondering how you are going. I thought maybe my wordpress subscription thingie mail was lost in spam. so decided to come here to see if i had missed out on anything. where have you been? are you knee deep in code? how have you been?
    come back, Sounja. “pretty please?” 🙂


  5. Hey! Haven’t seen anything from you in a while. Hope all is going well. I hope you learned plenty from the camp and are on your new career. Let us know!!


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