- Pitches, glitches and not enough b... reaks -

4th November '18

Day 17

I'd taken heed of the lessons of last Friday, where I'd spontaneously broken from my routine, just deciding to get up and go running on a whim, and afterwards having by far... by far, the best day of my week.

I was just happier and calmer and able to process thoughts better.

So from this day forth, I was going to try and add a bit more spontaneity to my mornings and to my days in general.

Some days I'd get up and meditate. Some I'd get up and go for a run. Some I'd just laze around in bed. Some I'd maybe even have breakfast.

I just didn't want to make the same mistake again of doing the same thing, day after day, to the point it was affecting my mood.

And on this day I... got up and meditated for 30 minutes.

Alright, I know that was the same as last week, but it was what I felt like doing this morning. I'll do something different tomorrow.

I was also starting to pay attention to how much dehydration was affecting my mood and... well it's a little worrying how long it's taken me to make this connection.

The sport that I most closely follow nowadays is MMA, and a big part of MMA is cutting weight in order for fighters to make their assigned weight-class, mostly by drawing huge amounts of water from their bodies.

And despite the endless videos I've seen of fighters cutting weight and looking horrific, or talking about weight-cutting in interviews and saying how terrible they feel and how it affects their mood, for some reason I'd never made the connection to minor dehydration and my own mood.

Somewhere last week though, I just realised that even if I don't feel thirsty, even if it's very minor, on days that I drink less water, I just feel worse.

I started to think back to Bangkok, and I had a lot of bad days there, especially after my last boss took over. And although I had a strictly-followed rule whereby I'd drink 3× 1.5L bottles of pure water every, particularly on days when I'd work split shifts or have lots of classes, although often even on days that I didn't, I'd often drink the majority or even all of those 4.5 litres, right before bed.

So I'd rehydrate myself at the end of the day, but would perhaps be minorly dehydrated for most of the day before that.

Another thing I've learnt from watching videos of fighters weight-cutting, is that if you overload your body with water, if you drink 4.5 litres of water in a very short space of time like I would, then your body, expecting to continue being flooded with water, will flush it all out as quickly as possible.

To me it's become a normal thing that I'll get up to pee at least a couple of times every night, but sometimes up to five, just because I drink loads of water right before bed.

And because your body's flushing-out water like this in expectation of receiving more, you ultimately end up more dehydrated than had you not drunk as much, or had you at least drunk it at a more sensible pace.

And I just started to realise that, even if I don't feel noticeably thirsty, on days where I'm less disciplined about drinking water consistently, I just feel worse. I feel moody.

Day 18

Do you ever watch or read mainstream news about a topic that you know a lot about, and hear endless inaccuracies in the reporting?

I don't have too many topics of expertise, but when mainstream media starts reporting on MMA for example, as happened recently for the Conor vs Khabib fight, I read articles on the BBC, where the inaccurate reporting just made me cringe.

When that happens, you suddenly realise that wait a minute, if they're reporting on this so inaccurately, then it's likely that every other topic they report on, is also filled with inaccuracies.

That's what this day was like for me.

Today we started front-end development. And for the uninitiated, back-end basically means the under-the-hood part of a website that you, the user, never see. The stuff that goes on behind the scenes when you press a button or fill-in a form on a website, for example.

Front-end is the stuff that you can see. The part of it that you, the user, interact with.

Up until this day, the entire course so far had been about back-end development.

Today we started front-end, meaning HTML and CSS and... ah, a topic that I actually know a thing or two about.

If you remember, up until I bought my MacBook in January, every single character of code on this website, which consists of thousands of pages, tens of thousands of files, and something close to three million words in this blog... every single character of code on this site, was written by me, in Windows Notepad, which is as basic a text editor as a text editor can be.

No colours or highlighting to indicate different tags or different parts of your code; everything is black and white. No shortcut buttons; everything is written one character at a time. No spell-checker; I would read everything manually.

For almost a decade until I bought my Mac, that was how I built and maintained this website.

Once I did buy my Mac, I wanted to continue in the same manner, but couldn't even find a text editor so simple, so had to upgrade, and quickly became more comfortable using keyboard shortcuts to write my code and having colours indicate where tags opened and closed etc.

But the point I'm making, is that for thousands of photos and for millions of words of blogging, I wrote the code for this website in the most primitive manner possible, which I realised on this day, turned me into a bit of an expert.

Not in design. This site looks terrible, and I'm acutely aware and actually quite proud of that. And not in the sense of utilising the tools available to me.

But in terms of writing raw HTML and CSS code, and knowing what works and what doesn't.

I know as well as anyone, that as a teacher, when you get asked a question of which you don't know the answer, you can get away a few times, with just coming clean and saying... yeah, I don't know the answer to that. I'll look it up and get back to you.

To do that is better than bumbling through some answer that you're not sure about, or even worse, guessing an answer that turns-out to be incorrect, and getting called-out for it.

Your leash is still pretty short though. There are only so many times that you can admit that you don't know the answer to a question, until your credibility as the 'expert' in the room starts to wane.

I think that every teacher in the world is guilty of speaking confidently about something that they're only 60% certain of. And in this particular group of students at Le Wagon, there are a small number that ask endless, often irrelevant, and often obvious questions.

Questions aren't a bad thing, but to the extent that they're being asked here, they're becoming a bit annoying.

And on this day, when the topic just so happened to be the one part of this course where I have some knowledge, the curtain got pulled-back a little bit as I knew answers to questions that the teacher clearly didn't. And as I did many times in my teaching career, she answered with feigned confidence about something that she obviously didn't know, because on about five occasions, I just sat there silently saying to myself... yeah, that answer was wrong.

I obviously kept that knowledge to myself. I can sympathise that as a teacher, the last thing you want is a student undermining you.

Your only tool to assume authority is the aura of expertise, and if that gets undermined, then it's not a comfortable position for you to be in.

And I just want to really stress that I'm not having a go at the teacher here. I think that the teaching has been excellent throughout this bootcamp. And if I got stumped by questions of the English language, something that I've been using everyday for the last 33 years, then I sure as Hell can't expect a teacher younger than I am, to know every single nuance of HTML and CSS.

The teacher today was maybe mid-twenties, so might have only just become a teenager when I wrote the initial code for this website, and I've kept-up with regular blogs for more than a decade since.

I just found it amusing that... ah, so if you've given five incorrect answers today, on the one topic that I actually know about, I can assume that you've given five incorrect answers on every other day too.

Fortune had dictated that on this, the one day that I probably could have skipped, fifteen of us were bundling into a van and going off to immigration to undertake some ridiculous bureaucracy for extending our visas to the sixty days that we needed to complete this course.

Despite the fact that an agent was handling the entire process for us, our presence was needed for a photo and to take our finger prints, because apparently my appearance has changed that much since I came into the country three weeks ago, that I need a new photo.

So for what literally took us about sixty seconds each, we had to drive for an hour to get there, queue up for while, and then drive for an hour to get back, taking almost three and a half hours out of our day.

The school did everything possible to accommodate us so that we wouldn't lose any learning time, including ordering sandwiches for us to eat in the minivan so that we wouldn't also have to take a lunch break, and having teachers stay late so that we could continue working for longer than normal once we were back.

Fortunately for me though, despite missing about four hours from my day (because that sandwich wasn't enough so I got another lunch anyway), I still finished all of the day's challenges way earlier than normal, even having the time to go to the beach and play frisbee at sunset.

And what we'd been doing today, was using the front-end stuff that we'd been taught in the morning, to create a profile page about ourselves as a way to practice HTML and CSS. And then we put them online.

And as I was leaving, I just checked-in with the teacher, who replied "you can send the link to your family. You can show them that you have something online and that you're a real web developer."

I just smiled and nodded.

Day 19

At this bootcamp, as with most things in life, on some days, for no reason at all, you're just pissed off.

This was one of those days.

There was a little bit of new stuff being taught. After all, if you remember back to the very inception of this blog, I taught myself HTML and CSS in early 2008, from a book that'd been written in 2006.

It was back in the days that books still existed, that's how long ago it was.

A lot of new features have been added since then, and I haven't really kept up, so there was some "new" stuff on this day.

I say it like that though, because it was all included in the pre-course work.

I could tell by the reactions of some of my peers, than many of them hadn't bothered to do it.

I had done all of the pre-course work, perhaps at the expense of getting an app onto the AppStore before coming here, such was the time that it all took me.

And it was a little frustrating to realise that pre-course work was largely unnecessary, as I still had to sit through the lectures aimed at, and the questions from the people who hadn't bothered.

So this was another frustratingly easy day.

I wanted to be challenged; that was why I was here. And this just wasn't doing it for me.

And I can't really complain about that. It's only from attending this bootcamp that I've come to realise quite how much front-end stuff I already know. And on this course for beginners, I can't be upset that they're teaching it from the beginning.

I guess what frustrated me the most, was that despite being a day that I knew I'd find easy, and where I could probably skip it altogether and not fall behind at all, I still found that I was one of the most dedicated people.

Arriving on time, not ordering food during the lecture, actually listening and not just looking at Facebook...

As I knew would be the case long before I ever booked this bootcamp, the attitude of some of my peers was becoming frustrating. And it bugged me even more that I was more dedicated than some of them, on a day that I didn't even need to be here.

We're going to rise or fall together, and it was frustrating to me that I wasn't seeing more from them.

Day 20

Normally, just by going to sleep for the night, you wake up with a new mindset.

I was now so embedded in my irritability though, that I didn't wake-up feeling any better-off than when I'd slept. So I made sure, before going to the bootcamp, to take thirty minutes to meditate and really clear my head, and to really think everything through. To ask myself some fundamental questions.

Why are you here? Why are you studying at this bootcamp? How do you get the most out of being here? Why are you so pissed off? What is pissing you off? Is that really something worthy of being pissed-of about? Does it help you letting these things annoy you? Are you still a healthy person? Are you still a free person with the means of supporting yourself? How many people are there in the world that would give anything to swap places with you?

I just really went back to some fundamental thoughts, to really try and reset my brain, and to make sure that on this day, I wouldn't again let irrelevant things annoy me again.

If something is irritating, just take a step back and think about if it's really worth letting it bother you. Or can you just smile and let it go?

And it worked wonders. I arrived at the school in a far better state of mind. And anytime I wanted to get annoyed, I'd just take a moment to think it through. And so on this day, I was able to keep my spirits up a lot better.

For the third day running, I easily got through all of the challenges for the day, despite only having until 4pm in order to make time for the weekly yoga class.

Having to focus on my mind like this to keep my mood up, I think really just points at doing something, attending this bootcamp, for more hours everyday than can really be healthy.

Even though I'm trying to break-up my own routine where I can, the bootcamp itself follows one of morning lecture, daily challenges, and evening live-code. And each day feels a little like Groundhog day. And we weren't even halfway through the course by this point.

This was also the day where I had to make a decision about whether or not I was going to make a pitch at tomorrow's pitch-night.

I'd been sitting on the fence about whether or not to do so all week.

I almost felt like I had a duty to, just so it seemed I was making the most of this bootcamp and really getting from it what I could. But at the same time, if there's one thing that I don't need practice at, it's standing in front of a roomful of people. And in not really having any ideas that I was passionate about, I ultimately decided that it wasn't worth it.

I'd rather get an early night than stay up making slides to present.

Although I wasn't really anticipating my peers coming up with anything more original, all of the ideas that I thought about pitching already existed in some form if you put a search into Google.

I thought about an errand-running app, where if you're too busy to do everything in your day, you list them on this website and for a fee people will run these errands for you.

They'll collect your laundry, buy your groceries etc.

It already exists.

I thought about an app where people can advertise themselves as local tour-guides, displaying their skills (such as cooking and driving), their specialities (what areas and things they know a lot about), and where users can review the guides so that new tourists in an area can browse and find tour-guides through the app, rather than just having to spot one on the street.

Already exists.

I thought about a service to find nearby people to play sports with. Say you're on vacation and need a tennis partner.

Already exists.

I thought about a service for Bali, where if you drive your motorbike out for the evening (because apart from me, that is how everyone in Bali gets around) and have a bit too much to drink, then you can call a chauffeur to come and drive you home on your motorbike.

Not for Bali I don't think, but in other places that idea already exists.

I even thought about an app where one-legged people find other one-legged people of the same shoe size, and they swap unneeded shoes with each other.

I'd call it Sole Mates.

It already exists (with a different name).

So even though I wasn't really expecting anything more original from my peers, I was happy to let them do the pitching tomorrow, while I'd have an early night.

For me, I honestly didn't care what product I'd be working on. It'd be a very similar process of designing the back-end and a database and building the front-end of a website, no matter what it was.

To me the most important thing was who I'd be working with. I just wanted to be with people of similar mind, who had a good attitude.

And although it was frustratingly unclear at this point how the pitch process would work and how teams would ultimately be determined, I figured that if I presented a pitch that got chosen, then I'd get stuck with that idea and whoever was chosen to work on it.

If I wasn't working on my own idea though, I'd probably have some say in choosing which idea I would work on, hence I could choose the pitchers that would be better to work with.

At this point I had no idea if that was an accurate assumption of not, but that was my thought process.

Day 21

I woke up on this morning and went on an impromptu run, because when I'd done so a week earlier, it'd worked wonders for my mood.

I say an impromptu run, but last week this had happened on a Friday too, so maybe my body was sneaking into a routine behind my back, but whatever.

All I'd had for dinner the night before was a smoothie bowl. And I'm yet to have a pre-bootcamp breakfast for the entire course, and I didn't have time for one here either.

'Ah, I'm used to it by now,' I thought. 'Burning a few more calories by going out for a run first won't make any difference.'

Bzzz, wrong.

Bali had been very hot for the last few days.

Not Bangkok hot, admittedly, so it's nothing that I'm not used to. And I'd started my run on the beach before 7am, so it wasn't too hot at this point.

For some reason though, this run just completely drained me. And through the morning lecture, and then through my attempt at the daily challenges before taking lunch, I was almost woozy. My brain was just swaying to and fro inside my head, I felt so depleted.

My partner for the day was one of the better people to work with, although he was having some technical issues in the morning, so I took that opportunity to go for lunch about an hour earlier than anyone else.

I got a big lunch, then chugged a couple of large bottles of coconut water. But now with my body trying to process all these calories, I still couldn't think.

I had to go outside and crash on a bean bag for a while longer.

Finally though, my body started to reenergise, and my mood really perked-up, and I had a great afternoon.

It had taken me close to 2pm to get to this point. And 2pm was the deadline to put-in your pitch to present this evening.

Despite feeling comfortable in opting not to do so the night before, in my befuddled state, I'd been umming and erring over my decision all day.

And on looking at the pitches that were already registered at this moment, at about two minutes to two, fifteen of the nineteen attendees of this bootcamp were presenting an idea.

Ah fuck it, if everyone's doing one, I guess I should too.

I had no desire for my idea to get chosen, for the reasons I gave earlier. So I decided to go with Sole Mates.

It was basically a joke pitch.

I put all of two minutes into putting together a slide show... of one slide. And that was the last thought I gave it for the rest of the afternoon.

Come five o'clock, people were getting excited for the pitches.

Every teacher, even those on their day-off, were here to watch.

Ummm... I think I might have underestimated how seriously I was supposed to be taking this.

I heard one guy saying that he hadn't done any of the day's challenges, because he'd spent the entire day working on his pitch.

Other people had hugely elaborate slide shows and presentations.

Here was my one slide:

What made it worse, was that of the computer-generated order of presenters, I was last.

I was going to have to follow fifteen other people, with their pitches planned for days and elaborate powerpoint presentations, with my one slide and nothing planned to say.

Ah, this is going to be such fun.

There was a lot of unknown about how this pitch-night was actually going to be run. But as you should perhaps expect from a programming bootcamp, it was very techy.

Everyone had to sign-into the system, and as pitchers were talking, you'd grade them out of five stars on different categories. And in what seemed a somewhat ruthless turn, the scores were immediately collated and shown on the projector, so you publicly got immediate feedback of what people thought of you.

Luckily, if there's one thing I'm good at, it's standing in front of large groups of people and talking. I've got six years of practice.

The pitches were all three minutes each, and the one guy I felt really sorry for, was the one who I said earlier, hadn't done any of the day's bootcamp work, in order to focus on his pitch.

He had twenty-five slides for his three-minute pitch.

He got through about ten of them, and I still had no clue what his product was.

Other people were clearly as confused, as his scores were...

I just felt bad that he'd taken it so seriously, for that.

I had to follow him and fourteen other people by going up and sheepishly pitching my idea, making it up on the spot with no script and nothing to really say. But it surprisingly went down very well.

I wasn't rated at less than three stars on any of the categories. I got four stars on some of them. And in the back of my mind I was now... fuck I hope I don't actually get chosen.

We were given a short break to talk to each of the pitchers. And then we were given the opportunity to amend our rankings, which were currently based on the scores we'd given each person.

Like I already said, the people that I end-up working with is far more important to me than the product that we're woking on. So I put some decent ideas to the bottom of my table, and some lesser ones at the top, more or less ranking each of the people on how good they've been to be buddies with over the course of the bootcamp.

There wasn't really much need for the pitches in that regard.

Way back when I'd done a video interview with the manager of this school, he'd told me that project groups would be formed by an algorithm. And from that moment until this, I'd been very sceptical this was actually the case.

I thought that this "algorithm" was just an excuse to create some distance between the manager and the groups that were ultimately selected, because in the reading that I did about bootcamps before coming here, for many attendees, getting grouped with the wrong people ultimately ruined their bootcamp.

I was very aware that it could do the same for me.

And if the manager was able to say that "hey, I didn't choose the groups, it was the algorithm look," then it would just be a way for him to create some distance from any unpopular decisions that he made.

It turns-out I was completely wrong. There really was an algorithm, and once everyone had been given a moment to amend their lists, the 'Generate groups' button was pressed, and based on how everyone had voted, in what was a very tense moment, after about ten seconds of seeing this program working, the groups suddenly appeared on the big screen.

I don't want to over-exaggerate this, but for me, this was the biggest moment of relief that I've felt in years.

Not only had my idea not been chosen, but I was with my first choice of projects, with a very solid group. I was so happy.

Based on my experiences of working with everyone through the buddy system for these past four weeks, there were three people that I was desperate to avoid.

There was the one guy who I find to be endlessly obnoxious. There was the guy who at the start of a two-day project had just said to me that 'I think I'm going to try flying solo on this one.' And there was the guy whose ability seems to far exceed that of a person who should be taking a programming bootcamp for beginners, but who is similarly undedicated and unmotivated, only even bothering to attend when he feels like it.

I just didn't think that those three people would be a good match for me to work with, so if I could avoid all of them, I'd be so, so happy.

And I had done.

In fact, the three of them were all in a group together, with one other guy.

I wish them the best, I really do. But if I was the fourth man in that group, I'd have walked into the sea.

As for my group, the... team leader, I guess you'd call him; the guy who'd pitched the idea, is a very personable German guy.

Very competent, got his head screwed-on right, very down to earth, and I think pretty bright, so I was happy to be working with him.

He had also pitched what I thought was the best idea.

I won't give away too much of what we'll be working on, but it's going to be a cross between GitHub and Linkedin.

There was also the Welsh guy who I've always got along with very well.

He's perhaps not the most technically able, but that doesn't really bother me. He's easy to get along with, and I think that's more important.

None of us are experts, that's why we're here. We're here to learn together, and he gets that.

And lastly is an American who... he's a fascinating guy if I'm honest.

Based on the way he thinks, it's almost like he was frozen in the mid-nineties and just woke-up.

He's one of the weaker people at the bootcamp, often seeming lost in what we're doing. But he's a funny guy, and easy to get along with.

And in truth, I don't think this algorithm was entirely based on how we ranked the pitches.

If you asked me who the five weakest people at this bootcamp were, one of each of them is in each of the five different groups, so I think it might have been rigged a bit, to make sure that people were spread-out by ability. And assuming that's an accurate assumption, I couldn't have been much happier.

Do we have the strongest group?

No.

Will we make the best product?

Probably not. I couldn't care less, that's not why we're here.

We're here to learn as much as possible, the final project is just a means to an end to do that. And I think this is a group of people who it'll be easy to work things through with, and easy to learn with, so I was very happy.

I hadn't appreciated how much it would be before hand, but this had been a very tense and exciting evening.

Even though this final project is only built over the final couple of weeks of the bootcamp, we now knew our groups and what we'd be working on.

Day 22

One thing that had surreptitiously happened to me over the course of the last week or so, was that my bedtime had got gradually later.

I'm not even really sure how. I was still following the same routine of getting dinner after the bootcamp finished, then coming home and hand washing my clothes from the day, before getting onto my laptop and doing my flashcards and any other coding or anything else I wanted to do.

Where as in the first couple of weeks, I'd been getting to bed sometimes before 10pm, now it was happening closer to midnight, but unfortunately my wake-up time hadn't followed suit. And this was the day that this gradual lessening of sleep really caught-up to me.

Most people had gone out for dinner after pitch-night, and keeping up with my record of being sociable at least once per week, I'd gone too, which made it an automatically later night than usual.

I still woke-up at about 5:30am though, and just couldn't snap-out of my tiredness through the morning.

It didn't really help that the morning lecture started eight minutes late; something that will be an eternal annoyance to me.

Most of my peers seem to come to the bootcamp very reluctantly on Saturdays, despite it being pretty clear from the outset that working on five Saturdays was a requirement of this course.

Presumably to accommodate all the late-comers, the teacher then started eight minutes late.

Well fuck me for coming on time then.

And then he started the lecture by saying "We've got a lot to cover today."

Well why'd you start eight minutes late then?

That frustration probably didn't help my brain in getting awake and engaged. But as I'm starting to find, tiredness in the morning is nothing that a big lunch can't fix.

I'm starting to question the logic of skipping breakfast everyday when this is how I feel but... well we'll see.

From there it was a pretty good day though.

They sent around feedback surveys for everyone to complete.

Despite the complaints I've made in this blog, I've been more than happy with the course so far.

I didn't expect it to be perfect, so it's probably exceeded my expectations, so I was pretty kind with my words, other than leaving a note about starting the lectures on time.

And one about getting paired with people who only want to work alone.

Today was a long lecture, because we were starting a new language: Javascript. And despite the struggles I suffered, I was so happy about this.

It was kind of like going back to the first week of the bootcamp, where you felt completely lost and had to figure-out the code that worked, which could lead to endless frustration. But when it did finally work, the rush or adrenaline was addictive.

Maybe that sounds a little sad, getting a rush off code working properly, but when you've been stuck on a problem and suddenly figure it out, there is such a sense of relief.

Front-end development up to this point just hadn't been like that.

I already know that when it's time for me to find a job, although I'll probably be desperate enough to take anything that's offered to me, I want to do back-end coding.

Designing the appearance of a webpage just doesn't have the same satisfaction.

So for me it was a welcome return to the stress and confusion of the earlier weeks.

And such was the complexity of this new topic, that unlike on our previous six-day week, there was no chance of finishing earlier on this Saturday. So it was a long, hard day to ring-in our one-day weekend. But after gaining my wits at lunchtime, I'd enjoyed it.

On leaving for the day, the manager of the school, who'd really praised my pitch the night before, pulled me aside to tell me that he'd done some research on it, and my idea for Sole Mates does already exist, but the problem extends far beyond one-legged people.

It also affects people with mis-sized feet, meaning that if they have one foot that's size nine, and one foot that's size ten for example, they still have to buy two pairs of shoes just to get ones that fit for both of their feet. So they also suffer from unneeded shoes.

He seemed oddly passionate about the whole idea, and was telling me how much he hoped I ended up building the website anyway.

I mean... it's possible I suppose.

I'm going to have to think of something to build in the portfolio-building stage that's going to come post-bootcamp/pre-employment.

He just wouldn't accept that I'd made this pitch without any sincerity that I wanted to actually build it though.

Sunday

The roller-coaster of emotions from doing this bootcamp has been pretty extreme,

Not just for me; many people have said something similar.

Every couple of days you'll go from enjoying everything and loving being here, to being frustrated and dejected. Then a couple of days later you'll be happy again.

I was flying-high after the day that I'd just had, so it didn't bother me too much when the guy in the room next to me, who I'd describe as an alcoholic disguised as a surfer, brought a load of people back after a night-out and was drinking with them outside my room until daylight.

I did hear some other people complaining; presumably those in the third room here, seeing as there are only three rooms.

There was a couple staying their first night here.

I hadn't actually seen them yet, but could tell by the flip-flops that they left outside that it was a man and a woman.

And although I was in a good mood, so was very accommodating to these drunks in the sense of... ah, let them have their fun, these other people didn't seem to be.

I heard the alcoholic justify having this party until the wee hours, by telling them "I've been here for two months and this is my last night."

Ok, that's strange logic. Why does it being your last night justify keeping awake some people that you've never met all night?

That was the fascinating thing about living next to this alcoholic surfer.

He was American, but his sense of logic seemed from another planet compared to mine.

Anytime that he made noise that bothered me, he would apologise saying how he's trying to be quiet.

Well you're not.

That's like those people that say that they're trying to quit smoking but keep on going to the shop to buy cigarettes.

If you were trying to be quiet, you just wouldn't make noise.

This wasn't a terrible night's sleep for me though, I guess because I'd got used to it.

And to be fair to these people, they weren't actually being that loud. It's just that it's a small compound with very draughty doors. You can't really socialise here without disturbing other people.

I slept pretty well considering. And I was in a good enough place mentally, that any lost sleep didn't bother me.

I saw the couple from the other room in the morning, and they looked thoroughly pissed-off and exhausted so... well I guess it did bother them.

On leaving the school the night before, I'd asked to borrow one of the yoga mats that they have.

They have enough there for every student to join the weekly yoga class. But this week, with the slowly dwindling numbers, only four of us had attended. So I figured they wouldn't miss one of their mats.

And the reason I wanted it, was that mirrors are not my friend right now.

This day marked a month since leaving my Bangkok condo, so a month since eating anything other than restaurant food.

And restaurant food followed by hour upon hour sat in front of my laptop, just isn't a recipe for staying in shape.

I'd been doing the weekly yoga classes, and by now I'd gone running three times since getting here. But that was all the exercise that I'd done, other than walking everywhere, so I wanted the yoga mat to be able to do bodyweight exercises. To actually use my muscles for a change. So this was how my day started.

I followed it up with quite a long excursion to top-up my phone, which had been out of credit for several days by now. And Indonesia is right at the top of my list for how retarded their mobile services are.

They're so complicated.

You have local data and national data. So I have a quota of data that I can use in Bali, and a quota of data that I can use outside Bali.

You also have a data balance and a call balance.

When I finally did find a shop, several kilometres from my room, that would top-up my phone, I topped it up with about £5 of data, only to be asked "Do you want to top-up your call minutes as well?"

The fuck does that even mean?

I figured that like every other country in the world, I could top-up my phone and would be able to use this money to buy a package, but that doesn't seem to be the case either. They just automatically assigned it to a package.

It was so confusing.

I went out again a little later in the day, and as I was going out of my room, I ran into the alcoholic surfer from the room next to me, just as he was leaving for the airport.

Seeing as we'd been staying next to each other for an entire month, it was amazing how little we actually saw each other.

Or perhaps not, seeing as I spend all day at the bootcamp.

But as had been almost every conversation we ever had, he said "sorry about making so much noise last night," to which I responded "don't worry about it."

This time he continued "I'm leaving now, so you won't have to worry about me making noise anymore."

It was music to my ears. Or not, in this case.

Determined to keep active on my one free day this week, I was going to a falafel restaurant a few kilometres away.

This was another reminder to be thankful that I ended up in Canggu, because even a short walk down the beach, Bali deteriorates rapidly.

To the best of my understanding, Bali as a tourist destination started down by the airport, and like a cancer it's slowly spreading all over this island.

Apparently three years ago, Canggu was little more than rice fields, and look at it now.

I think that I arrived here at that sweet moment in time, when it's developed enough to have everything that I need, but it hasn't yet become infected with the types of people and things that the lure of tourist money can bring.

Case in point, both my guesthouse and many of the restaurants that I go to here have been open for less than three months. And the Bali branch of Le Wagon is less a year old.

On the assumption that the cancer continues to spread, I fear what I'll find if I return to Canggu a few years from now.

On top of my morning workout, I ultimately walked over 20km on this day, exhausting me enough to put a dent into my plan of doing a few hours of coding today.

If you remember back to the last blog, I'd got into the habit of putting in a lot of extra time, outside of the classroom. Once front-end started though, I didn't really feel the need to do so anymore.

For what new stuff there was for me in HTML and CSS, I could learn it during class time.

But now we were onto Javascript, so I really could've done with putting some more time in, so tiring myself out so much today probably wasn't the best plan.

It did mean that I got a full day away from coding though.

I finished the day by extending the stay at my guesthouse for a further two weeks, meaning that barring anything unforeseen, I'd be staying here for the entirety of my stay in Bali.

I probably would have done anyway, but with my noisy neighbour now gone, I wanted to lock-in being able to stay in my room, and not have to worry about someone else taking it.

Day 23

I'm not sure if my survey had anything to do with it, but on this day, class started at 9am, on the dot.

It was a nice surprise to not have to sit there twiddling my thumbs waiting for once.

Then once we got onto the challenges, the teacher today was very proactive in making sure that buddies were actually working with each other.

That wasn't exactly my suggestion.

I can't remember how I phrased it on the feedback form, but I'd said something more along the lines of only pairing-up people that actually want to work in pairs.

I'd rather be alone than with someone who's being forced to work in pairs against their will, but still.

Luckily it wasn't an issue for me today, being paired with one of the better people to work with.

And after a couple of good days, I was fearing that I was due a bad one. But this day actually went very, very well, with one caveat.

As had been the case for the last few "working" days, especially during the morning lecture, I just really suffered from morning lethargy, for a reason that I really couldn't pinpoint.

I thought that it might be because I wasn't eating in the mornings, but that's never been an issue before. It wasn't for the first two or three weeks here either.

Not eating in the mornings also means not drinking any green tea until after lunch, because green tea on an empty stomach just makes me feel nauseous. But I've never been reliant on caffeine and there's so little in a cup of green tea anyway. It's always been something that on some mornings I have, on others I don't, and I feel the same regardless.

I thought that it could be due to dehydration. I know that I haven't been keeping myself as hydrated as I should be doing.

As well as green tea and intermittent glasses of water, I get by on a couple of large bottles of coconut water per day at the school, and a smoothie or juice with my lunch and dinner, and chug a load more water at my room in the mornings and evenings.

I'm not drinking as much water as I was in Bangkok, but I wouldn't have thought it would make me tired enough to struggle to stay awake through the lectures.

It wasn't like I was sleeping badly either.

My bedtime had slowly got later, with my wake-up time not really changing. But I'd feel fine after lunch, working on the challenges rather than sitting through a lecture.

And to be fair, my body was sore, having had my first workout in over a month the day before. But that wouldn't explain why I was feeling tired on other days.

I couldn't really put my finger on it but... I had to do something. So instead of staying up to the early hours working on Javascript like I'd like to have done, I chugged a tonne of water, and was in bed by ten o'clock.

Day 24

I still woke-up at 6:30am, but it was the first time in a while that I'd slept for more than eight hours, which is very uncharacteristic for me.

For years, eight hours has been my minimum but... I guess I'm getting old.

Or it's the first time that I've ever lived in close proximity to a rooster. Either one.

Then I chugged a tonne more water before leaving my room, and got these granola/cashew/fruit (and it turns out, a lot of sugar) snacks to eat through the morning, seeing as I'd already finished my thirteen hour fast.

And through all of that, the lecture was much better. I didn't feel tired at all.

I'm not sure whether to thank the extra food, water or sleep (or perhaps a combination of all three), but it was a much better start to the day. One that again started at 9am, on the dot.

Regrettably, my day didn't continue so well.

For other people as well, the exercises today were just very frustrating.

You spent ten times longer figuring-out what you were supposed to be doing, than you spent doing it.

This bootcamp has largely been very well organised. But this day felt totally disjointed.

For example, as the challenges were written, we were supposed to be using an API from Google Maps (that basically means that Google has written code to allow other people to use Google Maps in their own projects and websites). But as was found-out by the teacher only the night before, because Google now charges for this privilege, we couldn't actually use the API without signing-up with a credit card.

So instead we were using some other map API, and it was just infuriating trying to figure-out how to use this code.

I spent most of the morning jumping around the pages of their documentation trying to figure it out, and learning absolutely nothing.

There was a lot of frustration and a lot of stress, but very little coding to accompany it.

And once I finally got through that challenge, the next one was equally disastrous.

I was at fault for that, but coding is something that you can't do almost right. One stray character can break your entire program, and sometimes finding the issue isn't such an easy thing.

I spent most of my afternoon looking for tiny bugs in my code, and not actually writing anything new.

It was just a very unenjoyable day. Probably the worst that I'd had at this bootcamp.

Another reason that it had felt so disjointed, was that the lecture in the morning had been irrelevant to the challenges that followed.

Normally the challenges are about what you're taught in the lecture, but today the two-hour lecture was about various Javascript tools, none of which were used in the challenges, or of which I think we're going to use again this bootcamp.

So just listening to someone talking about these tools, but not actually getting any practice using them ourselves, the knowledge had mostly gone from my brain by the end of the day.

But then the flash cards were about these tools. But half of the stuff on them hadn't even come up in the lecture, so doing the flash cards was just trying to memorise things that I didn't really understand.

I got through a few of them before just deciding they were a waste of time.

I tried writing some code instead, but my brain was having none of it.

For perhaps the first time at this bootcamp, this entire day had just been disjointed and unenjoyable.

Day 25

I woke-up partly motivated by the need to break my routine, and partly motivated by the monthly Apple Watch challenge, where this month, the challenge was to do 1,920 minutes of exercise over the course of October.

That doesn't specifically mean working-out. Your watch records a brisk walk as exercise, for example.

But on this, the last day of October, I woke-up 108 minutes shy of reaching this target.

That may sound a stupid reason to do something, and I understand that perspective. But I use the motivation of closing my Apple Watch rings, and these meaningless challenges, as a means to an end of staying more active.

And so the first thing that I did, was get up and go for a run along the beach.

And after doing that on an empty stomach, for the first "working" day of this bootcamp, I then got breakfast before going to the school.

After the travesty that had been yesterday, I really could've done with a day of redemption. A solid day of coding to build-up my confidence again, because as I said in the last blog, good days seem to invariably follow the bad.

Unfortunately, this was the only day of this 45-day bootcamp without any coding. Instead we were creating the designs of our projects. A visual representation of what we'd be building. So this was the first day that our group would work together, as a group.

And it started well from my perspective, because for the third day running, this time with a different teacher, we started at 9am, on the dot. And I definitely got the feeling this was my doing, because she literally quoted what I'd said on my feedback form.

"Let's get started. It's not fair on the people who were here at 9 o'clock if we start late."

"Hey, that's exactly what I wrote on my feedback form," I thought to myself.

Despite a fairly exhausting run before coming, I felt great all day.

I was still making a very conscious effort to stay hydrated, I'd again gone to bed early the night before, and by going running and having breakfast, I'd broken-out of the monotony of my usual routine. And one or more of those factors means that I just felt alert and awake.

As for the day's collaboration, I'd say that it was mostly positive.

A lot of deliberation and discussion on things that, in truth, probably don't matter.

The product we're creating isn't really being built to be launched. It's more about just using the skills that we've learnt up to this point in the bootcamp to work on and create something that we can ultimately present on Demoday.

I suppose that it was more about just getting our visions in sync with one another, so we're all working towards actually creating the same thing.

But with the amount of discussion and different views that were already there, after realising how slow progress was going (our first task of the day was to define our product in two words, and that took roughly two hours), I mostly took a back seat unless I really felt I had something worth interjecting, because we didn't need even more opinions to deliberate.

I'd have been content no matter what we'd decided to build. I just want to build something and use everything I've learnt; I don't really care what.

And I'd say that surprisingly, we were all of the same mind of let's start small, and if we can finish something basic, then we can build on it from there.

It had been a worry of mine that there would be someone in the group determined to recreate Facebook. But no, we were all appreciative of hey, we've got exactly a month of coding experience at this point, and we're going to have two weeks to build this website. Let's be realistic about it.

So I'd say that it was mostly good.

A productive day, but fuck I was looking forward to getting back to coding again.

Day 26

On this day I went back to half an hour of meditation, no breakfast, and getting very dehydrated.

The former two of those were intentional, the latter not so much.

I mostly use the large bottles of coconut water at my school to stay hydrated during the day, and they cost 20,000 rupiah (about £1) each, and there's an honesty jar on top of the fridge.

I only had 100,000 rupiah notes with me today, and usually that's no problem because there's enough change in the jar to break your notes.

I guess that it had just been emptied or something though, because I went to get a coconut water and there wasn't any change and... oh, I'll come back a bit later.

I came back a bit later and... oh, there's still no change. I'll come back later.

So I came back later, and before I knew it we were halfway through the day and I'd barely drunk anything.

I didn't really notice it as it was happening, but as I've said already, I am appreciating that there is a definite correlation between mood/productivity, and hydration.

So it probably wasn't a coincidence that I was really struggling to grasp what we were doing today, and that I was pissed off about it, and the fact that there had been no change in the coconut water jar.

What really got my goat on this day though, was that I went for lunch before most people.

That's pretty normal. I hadn't eaten anything yet all day, and I just find that after the morning lecture, it can be hard to focus on what you're doing while you're also thinking about food.

I find I just make much better progress on the challenges, after taking a lunch break.

So I went for lunch earlier than most people.

The problem with doing that, is that when you arrive back at the school after your lunch, there's no one around to help you because by that point the teachers are all on their lunch breaks.

If you're progressing by yourself then that's fine. But today was a new, very important, and very challenging topic. And a lot of people, of which I was no exception, needed a lot of help.

I'd just failed tor really grasp some of the concepts from the lecture, and that made working on them on my own a near impossibility. I needed help from almost the moment I got back from my short lunch-break.

For this exact reason, it's always been a slight annoyance of mine that the teachers all take their lunch breaks at the same time. I don't know why they can't stagger them a bit so there's not this dead hour every afternoon where no help is available, but... whatever. That's the way it is.

If I'd thought about it at the time, I'd have put that on my feedback form as well.

What really frustrated me today though, was how long their lunch-break was.

Mine is typically thirty minutes or less, because the more time I'm having lunch, the less time I'm coding.

I wasn't there when they went for lunch, but the manager (who usually goes for lunch with the teachers) sent a message to the WhatsApp group at 12:58, saying we're at this restaurant if anyone wants to join us. So I can assume that they left at least five minutes before then.

They didn't get back until almost an hour and a half later, and that was just... really? You're taking ninety minute lunch breaks now?

You've got nineteen students who're struggling to learn one of the most important things that we're going to do this entire bootcamp, and you're taking ninety minute lunch breaks?

Why does someone study at a bootcamp?

There are online courses available that teach similar things to what we do here. So why spend the extortionate money to come to a bootcamp?

It's because, as I found when trying to learn Swift, there are moments when you find yourself completely stuck, and no amount of Googling can help you. And in those moments, you need someone you can just ask to look at your code, or to explain something to you. You are here, for the help, as you need it.

And when that help takes a ninety minute lunch break it...

It wouldn't have bothered me if I was progressing nicely. In fact, I probably wouldn't have noticed it.

It probably wouldn't have bothered me if I was better-hydrated and in a better mood. In fact, I wasn't even in the school to know for sure that they all went on their lunch breaks at the same time. With the benefit of hind site, there's a possibility that I completely misread this situation.

As it was though, I'd got stuck from almost the moment I returned from my lunch. And sat there in absolute despair, there was an hour where no one was around to give me any assistance, and I just got more, and more, and more frustrated.

I wasn't coding anything, I wasn't really learning anything.

I was trying, but I didn't know where to look. I just didn't understand what was happening.

Maddened to the point that I perhaps wasn't even thinking clearly, it was just very, very frustrating. Almost to the point that I skipped the weekly yoga class because I was just feeling that... after losing one hour of coding already, I can't afford to lose another one.

At the last moment I changed my mind though, and I was glad that I did.

The weekly yoga class is the one thing that I actually look forward to and feel entirely relaxed and enjoy doing. And today was no different.

I needed it.

But it did mean that I didn't have the chance to do any more coding all day, because immediately after yoga we went straight into a live-code, which by this point in the bootcamp had just become a lecture.

I'm not entirely sure why they got away from the format of earlier in the course, where people worked in small groups to solve a problem, because even though that wasn't ideal, I always found it more beneficial than just watching someone code on a big screen, which was what it had now become.

From the live code, there was a talk with a guest speaker on search engine optimisation. I got dinner after that, then came home again to wash my clothes and do my flash cards and get straight to bed.

There was no more time to code, meaning that it had been three straight days, where I just didn't feel like I'd coded well.

Yesterday because there had been no coding, and the other two days just hadn't gone my way for whatever reason.

I'll be honest, that was a little concerning this far into the bootcamp, but tomorrow is another day.

Sitting around feeling sorry for myself isn't going to make things any better.

Day 27

With a night to sleep on it and straighten things in my head... ok, time to rectify this.

You've had a couple of bad days. Now is your redemption.

No more excuses, no more feeling sorry for yourself, no more lamenting things that're out of your control.

This is your life and your future that you're playing with, and you're the one who's going to have to live with the outcomes of this bootcamp.

Time to focus, time to get yourself back on track.

That was my mindset going into this day. And it was a much better day for a couple of reasons. Not least of which was there was change in the coconut water jar.

I had a really good partner today.

Not strong at coding by any means, but just someone who's very easy to work with.

We helped each other when we needed it, we talked things through when they weren't clear, and I can't emphasise enough the difference having a good partner makes.

I realised that very early on, which is why I've found it endlessly frustrating to get paired with people who just want to work alone, 50% of the time.

I also... got it, today.

In my continued attempts to understand my body, I've realised that if I want to be active, for example if I want to go for a morning run or to walk 20km, then doing so on an empty stomach is great.

Like a hungry lion hunting its prey, you feel unstoppable.

Unfortunately, as I'm finding, that sharpness doesn't seem to translate to mental activity. And on this, a day where I had no breakfast, I finally came to appreciate that hey... this isn't the best thing for you.

I just didn't feel mentally sharp.

Hungry lions don't often have to stop hunting to sit in front of a computer, coding.

I realised how much I was struggling to think, pretty early today so again got an early lunch, and from there this day was great.

No longer with the hungry lion anxiety of thinking about food, I was far calmer and able to focus on what we were doing.

It was very hard, but I slowly got it.

As happens almost everyday here, I sat through the morning lecture feeling like I understood everything, only to then have to do the challenges myself and realise that I didn't know a damn thing.

But throughout the day, I slowly got it. It slowly started to make sense.

And it's bad to say this, but one thing that made me feel better, is that at the live-code in the early evening, the teacher was doing a lot more picking on students and asking them questions than normal.

I wish they'd do that more to be honest, not least because that was exactly how I used to teach.

It keeps students sharp and focussed, if they know that they could be picked-on at any moment to answer a question. It'd keep me sharp. Plus it's a good way for the teacher to gage what people are understanding and what they aren't.

If you're just standing at the front of the room and talking at people, you don't have a clue what they're actually taking on board or not.

And on this occasion it served me well because I realised that I'd understood things quite a lot better than some of my peers, who seemed clueless about even the most fundamental of things from today.

I said in a previous blog, that comparing myself to my peers isn't a wise thing to do, as we're all here with different goals, and with different amounts on the line. Perhaps to the people who didn't understand things today, the outcome of this bootcamp isn't very important.

But still. It gave me some confidence to realise that hey... I know more than that guy. And I know more than that guy. And I know more than that guy.

Day 28

I woke-up to a dilemma where what I wanted to do, directly contradicted what I felt obligated to do.

I wanted to get up and go running.

As always, I'd woken-up in time, and I felt energetic and strong.

But I felt obligated to finish the flash cards from the night before which, after what had been described to us as the most important day of the bootcamp, had been numerous and difficult. And I'd got home too tired to satisfactorily work through them last night.

Ultimately I had to concede. Are you here to learn to code, or are you here to learn to run?

So I spent the morning before going to the school to sit in front of my laptop, sitting in front of my laptop.

It was worthwhile though, as this was a pretty good day. I now felt like I was out of the rut that I'd found myself in a couple of days earlier.

It had a peculiar start, as about ten minutes into the lecture, someone asked a question, to which the teacher responded "I'll give you a minute to think about it," as he ran towards the door saying "I think I ate something bad last night."

After the rupture of laughter that erupted, that gave everyone a couple of minutes, of which most people just stayed in their seats. But after he returned, for reasons still unbeknown to me, this teacher proceeded to do the rest of this two-hour lecture without a break.

Every morning until this one there had been a break about an hour into the lecture, so why there wasn't today I'm not sure.

For just the second time during this course, I'd got breakfast before going into the school, having completed my thirteen hour fast thanks to an early dinner the night before.

And my rule when I do these nightly fasts, is that I take nothing into my body other than pure water.

No tea, no coconut water. Not even water infused with lemon. Nothing but pure water for thirteen hours every night.

That can inadvertently lead to dehydration sometimes, seeing as the glasses next to the water cooler in my school are frustratingly small. So apart from the water that I chug in my room in the morning, I won't drink anything significant until after I've had my first food for the day.

Having got breakfast on this day though, I'd opened the flood-gates, so on top of the water that I chugged before leaving my apartment, I'd had a cup of green tea, a large bottle of coconut water, and some fruit-infused water that the hotel provides for us.

It was definitely the one day I could have done with a toilet break mid-way through the lecture.

It got to about ten o'clock and I was all... fuck I need to pee.

No worries, there'll be a break soon.

Then it got to ten past ten.

No worries, there'll be a break soon.

Then it got to twenty past ten.

No worries, there's be a break soon.

I didn't want to leave the room mid-lecture. As a teacher, I know how disruptive that can be, especially seeing as I always sit close to the front, and it's just kind of a rude thing to do. But where's this fucking break?

Eventually it got to 10:45, and having not listened to a word of this lecture for forty-five minutes, instead thinking only about how much I had to pee, I just said fuck it, I've got to go. So I took a quick unsanctioned break.

Perhaps for different reasons, I wasn't alone in that lecture going over most people's heads. As someone else said to me, you just can't focus on someone talking about something for two straight hours. Especially something as complex as programming.

What the reason for not having a break was, I don't know. But I think for most people, the second half of that lecture was a complete waste, and most people just looked agitated and distracted by how long we'd had to sit there.

Ignoring that little hiccup though, it was a pretty good day for me.

I progressed quite slowly, but at no point did I really feel lost or like I didn't understand what was going on.

My buddy for the day was off sick, so I didn't have anyone to work with, but that's ok.

When you don't have a partner to talk things through with, you have more of an excuse to bug the teachers with questions anytime you get stuck. It's when you have a shit partner that it sucks.

And the bootcamp to this point has been a blur.

I can tell you from looking at a calendar that it's five weeks in, although if I didn't know that, I wouldn't be able to tell you if I'd been here for one week or for six months. It's just a complete blur, of which only three weeks remain.

Three weeks from today, my group and I will be up presenting our product to the world on Demoday. After which, there will be no teachers hanging around to ask questions when I get stuck. Three weeks from now, I'm out in the world on my own and... holy fuck that's daunting.

You're telling me that in just another 21 days, I'm going to have to understand enough to fix absolutely anything that goes wrong with my code?

Well that's not scary or anything.

As had been the case the day before though, the evening live-code built-up my confidence in the sense of... well there are other people a lot further behind than I am, and a lot more confused than I am.

I know that's not how I should be measuring myself, but it does something for your confidence to know that you're far from being the worst person in a room at something.

Sunday

I had an accidentally unhealthy dinner last night, making the mistake of thinking that if I go to a vegan restaurant, I can order anything off the menu with impunity.

Then it was sat in front of me and I was like... that's just a lot of fat a salt.

Vegan fat and salt, but fat and salt, none the less.

So when I woke-up this morning, I didn't feel strong and energetic as I'd done yesterday. I felt lazy and sluggish.

Out of the principle of missing out yesterday though, I still dragged myself to the beach for a run but... I just wasn't feeling it.

It was high tide. And for some reason, not all wet sand is created equal.

Sometimes you run on wet sand, and it's so firm it's almost like running on tarmac. And at other times, it crumbles beneath you and with every step your foot sinks fifteen centimetres.

High tide wet sand is the latter, so beyond just not feeling like running today, it was hard going on the beach, so I didn't make it too far.

I then walked about a mile to get breakfast at a restaurant attached to a yoga studio to replenish my spent energy, before settling down in front of a pirate stream of UFC 230, which took me into the early afternoon.

I wanted to get this blog written today, but it's turned-out to be longer than I anticipated, so I took a break to get a slightly late lunch, and suddenly realised that I've been doing it all wrong.

I shouldn't start my fast after dinner each night, and then skip breakfast.

If I'm feeling depleted morning until I get food, then I should be eating breakfast and lunch, but not eating anything more after the mid-afternoon.

Just thinking about a caveman, hunger's going to lead to a propensity for physical activity, as you're going to need the energy to hunt or to forage for food. So of course you're going to want to be active when you're on an empty stomach.

The time when you're not hungry is going to be the time to plan and to think. To conserve the calories that you've eaten and to focus on your own preservation.

So if I want to exercise, it should be on an empty stomach. If I want to think, it should be after eating.

Perhaps this was just me fitting logic into my afternoon, because after this late lunch, I didn't want to have to go out again for dinner, and this justified it but... well, it's worth a shot.

So I'm skipping dinner tonight, with the intention of getting breakfast tomorrow instead. And I wonder how that'll affect how I feel in the morning and how much I'm able to think.

And that takes me up to where I am right now; the moment that I'm sat here writing this blog.

There's been a lot of ups and downs in this bootcamp already, and the project weeks are still to come. But I think... I think that it's going pretty well.

As I think I said in the last blog, I'm not going to know for sure until I'm out in the real world by myself. That's when I finally get to find-out how much I've learnt.

But for all the struggles that I've had, I honestly wouldn't change any of it.

If you're not struggling, if you're not stressed, if you're not confused, then you're not learning anything.

There would be no point me being here if I was finding it easy.

I think that I'm probably in the ideal place. Struggling along, but not lost. Not like some people are.

So I feel positive, I really do.

I'm not sure how much that's been conveyed in this blog; when I write day-by-day like this, it's hard to really paint a complete picture.

And I won't really know the success of this bootcamp until six months from now, when I'll either be successfully employed and working as a programmer, or I'll be teaching English and hating my life.

But at this juncture, at this exact moment... I don't regret it.

I'm glad that I'm here, and there's very little that I'd change about how this bootcamp is going. And now, to be honest, the fun really starts.

As we get onto first building an Airbnb clone, and then moving onto the project weeks, we're going to be putting together everything that we've... supposedly learned.

So this is where we're really going to find-out. Which is exciting, but also kind of nerve-wracking.

If it gets to building things and it turns-out that my brain is kind of empty then... well that'll suck. But hopefully it's not. Hopefully some stuff has stuck in there.

Either way, we're about to find-out.