- Winter is coming -

26th November '18

Day 29

As I said in the last blog, I'd had this epiphany where I realised... hey, you've been doing it all wrong. You've been doing things backwards.

I shouldn't have been skipping breakfast everyday like I had been.

I'm waking-up at 6am everyday anyway, then feeling sleepy all the way through until lunch.

The bootcamp finishes most days after sunset. And to keep my body in sync with its circadian rhythm (probably), I shouldn't be eating then anyway.

And what's the point in eating before going to sleep? Why do I need a rush of energy when I'm just going to be lazing around my room and then sleeping?

My brain needs the energy when it's going to have to do a lot of thinking. And an empty stomach is good for exercise, as it brings-out your hungry lion mentality of physical sharpness, where you work off instinct.

But imagine a caveman. He's not going to need to be physically active on a full stomach. That's the time he's going to be more inclined to forget his instincts and undertake less active, more mentally demanding endeavours.

So it makes sense to load-up on calories in the morning, after any exercise if I want to do any, but before doing anything mentally challenging. And then fast once the sun's gone down and my body doesn't expect anything more.

Right?

I don't know, I'm making all this up as I go along. I try to react to how my body feels though, and this approach seemed to make more sense to me.

So on getting up the morning after writing the last blog, that was exactly what I did.

I got a smoothie bowl and a smoothie at my favourite smoothie bowl shack for breakfast, before going to the bootcamp.

Then I got lunch, finishing eating at 1:15pm. And that was it. That was all I ate all day.

I didn't technically fast from there, still drinking green tea and coconut water until the mid-afternoon. But that was it in terms of the food that I ate and...

In terms of energy, I felt great.

I didn't feel tired once. I felt a little hungry come the evening, but that's to be expected seeing as my body's got used to eating dinner everyday after the bootcamp.

In terms of my energy levels though, I felt so much better.

I can't believe that it took me five weeks of doing everything backwards to realise this.

So it was a great day, right?

If you remember the last blog, the last couple of days had gone really well, and I'd got my confidence back after a poor couple of days of coding before them.

Well... I suppose it'd be good to have a day to bring myself back down to earth then.

When you're a teacher and you've got a student who needs your help, you've got to make a judgement call on how much you help them. Because helping them too much is as bad as not helping them at all.

Just telling someone the answers doesn't serve anyone well.

You've got to find that middle-ground where you help someone just as much as they need in order for them to understand what's going on, but not so much that they don't figure it out for themselves. And that line's not always easy to find.

When you need help at Le Wagon, there's a ticket system, whereby instead of putting your hand in the air and asking for help like you would at a traditional school, you log a ticket from your computer, where you explain your problem. And although you can choose a specific teacher to come and help you via this ticketing system, I never bother seeing as some tickets can take a long time to solve. And if you're waiting for one particular teacher and they get hung-up on their previous ticket, you can be waiting for a very long time.

Like most people, I just get help from the first person available.

And where I'm going with this, is that on that line of how much help a teacher should give a student, there's one teacher who flirts with it very closely.

Most will come up and tell you exactly what's wrong with your code and correct it for you, so even if you don't understand what was wrong, your code now works.

This guy is much more abstract, and often just points you in the right direction by asking a you a couple of questions.

Sometimes that's enough, but at others, he leaves and you're still sat there without a clue what's going on, and because of the formality of this ticket system, you feel awkward putting in another one right away, so you just spend the next thirty minutes feeling as stuck as you did before you put your first ticket in.

And because this guy gets through tickets so much more quickly than other teachers, he is the one who comes to help you, probably 50% or more of the time.

And the way that I'd sum-up this day, was that I was feeling very lost and frustrated, and on continually getting this guy when I put in a ticket, I didn't feel like I was really getting enough help to understand things.

And when you're in that position where you're completely lost, staring endlessly at your computer screen with no clue what to type, by the end of the day it'll... piss you off.

But the end of the day I was pissed off.

I needed help and felt like I wasn't really getting it, and was just fed-up come the day's end. Tired of seeing error messages on my screen and being unsure how to fix them.

This was the first day of a two-day project, and I didn't want these errors hanging-over me all night, so I even skipped the daily live code, for the first time this bootcamp, to instead sit outside by myself to try and fix them.

Skipping dinner as intended, I then went home, and now in a different setting, spent three hours more, looking at my code, trying to understand my code. Until finally, after a long, hard, day of struggle, when it was already past my usual bedtime and when I hadn't eaten or really taken a break for over nine hours... I finally got it.

I fixed everything.

I understood my code, I understood why it wasn't working, I understood what I'd done wrong, and most importantly I had learned a valuable lesson in how to not make these mistakes again.

And therein lies the impossible art of being a teacher. It's why I've always said that there's a big difference between being a good teacher and being a popular one.

If you'd asked me throughout the day how I felt about this guy who was continually answering my tickets, I probably wouldn't have had too much to say that was positive.

But at the same time, if he'd just come out and told me what was wrong with my code, and I'd changed it and it had worked and I'd got on with my life, would I have understood it?

Perhaps on the surface. If someone explains brain surgery to you, you might nod along, understanding everything that they're saying. That doesn't mean you're then fit to start performing operations.

I had to go through that pain, and that stress, and that frustration, and that struggle, to really understand what was going on. To really learn.

And after all the stress of the day, I eventually went to bed with a feeling that hey... I really learned something today.

Day 30

This day was very similar to the one before.

I got up and had breakfast. And then the last food I ate for the day came at lunch, sometime after 1pm.

And it was another day so frustrating, that once it was over, I again came straight home and coded right up until bed.

I didn't enjoy it as it was happening, but once it was over, thanks to the struggles that I went through and the extra time I put in, I couldn't help but think... man, I might not be enjoying it, but I am learning a load more this way.

Today was the second and final day of the project that we'd started yesterday, which was to build a cocktail app.

I'd got most of the back-end done in my struggles the night before, so today was more about trying to make it look pretty.

The idea was that by the end of today, everyone would have an app built that they could put online and send around to each other.

In actuality, only three of us from this bootcamp of nineteen had an app online by the end of the day.

I certainly wasn't proud of mine. It wasn't exactly professional looking (and it's also on a free server, so expect it to load slowly), and there's no kind of login, so anyone can amend the cocktails and ingredients (which might mean that by the time you read this, someone has decided to go on there and delete everything).

That being said, I was semi-happy that I was able to make this app in two days, with very little teacher-assistance.

And that's the most important thing.

It's not like I have to remember every line of code I'm ever going to write.

I'm never going to be without Google, and Le Wagon gives us lifetime access to a fairly hefty set of resources we can use.

I'll have those when I leave.

What I won't have, in two and a half weeks once this course ends, is a teacher I can call for help every time I get stuck. So I was happy to have been able to build this app without much assistance.

It includes a database of the cocktails and ingredients. The back-end seems to be working, so... it's progress.

Rome wasn't built in a day. And for however basic it looks and however badly it functions, it's... something. It's a start.

I was able to build and put online a functioning app in two days, and was one of only three people to do so. I was happy with that.

Day 31

I said in the last blog, how on my iPhone pilgrimage, I'd got caught in the rains that marked the start of the rainy season.

Well that was a bit of a false alarm, because we had a couple more dry weeks afterwards where, just like every other day since I arrived here, the weather was nothing but blue skies and sunshine.

Well a couple of days ago that all changed and the rainy season started for real.

I'd been lucky in that the times I needed to be outside, it was thankfully dry, usually stopping right before I went out, or starting right after I arrived somewhere.

This morning my luck ran out.

Having not eaten since lunch yesterday, and now trying to eat breakfast everyday before the bootcamp, it was my intention to go to a restaurant on the way to the bootcamp.

It was raining lightly already, but literally the moment my foot stepped outside, it started raining properly.

'Well this sucks,' I thought to myself.

My own well-being isn't much of a concern of mine. I'm waterproof and I don't mind getting wet.

What is a concern, is the £1,500 laptop I carry around in my bag.

And sheltering whenever necessary en route, going to a restaurant five minutes away, took about twenty minutes, and I still arrived there soaking wet.

'Thank fuck, I made it,' I thought to myself.

So I wandered in. The door was open as usual, and inside were four members of staff, all in uniform.

'I'm sorry sir,' one of them said to me, 'we're closed until 11am for a ceremony.'

But... what do you mean?

It's not even 8:30, the doors are already open, and you're all already here, in uniform. What do you mean you're closed until 11am?

This seems to be a thing in Indonesia. They seem to just have random ceremonies on a whim.

If you remember the last blog, I talked about a trip we'd all been on to go to immigration.

We were supposed to actually have gone a week earlier. Everything was arranged already, but then the day before, the trip got cancelled because immigration had suddenly decided that they were going to be closed for a ceremony.

I now didn't have time to get breakfast anywhere else. So soaking wet, I had to just go straight to the school.

And for all that I've said about Canggu being vegan Heaven, do you know the one place that isn't?

The restaurant of the hotel in which my school is located, is frustratingly vegan-unfriendly. I don't think there's even anything vegetarian on the menu, which is a bit of a pain, because it precludes me from the convenience of just ordering food as I work through the day.

So... that was a fun start to the day. And it meant that I ultimately didn't eat anything until lunchtime, so it turned into an almost 24 hour fast.

To brighten the mood, this day marked the end of the buddy system.

Thank fuck.

From this point onward, we were going to be working only in our project groups. And before getting onto the main project, the next few days were going to be about working together to build an Airbnb clone.

That's the big project that I always heard about before arriving here. Come to this bootcamp and you're going to learn the skills to build a website, just like Airbnb.

It didn't have to be specifically for homes to rent. As we were told, it could be for anything that we liked. Space ships, unicorns, dragons.

As a group, our first idea was an Airbnb of toilets.

It started off as a joke, but actually seemed like quite a good idea.

How often are you out somewhere, and you need to use a toilet but you can't find one?

Imagine if you had an app, where you could find someone nearby who would let you use the toilet in their house for a small fee.

I eventually vetoed the idea, because I just didn't know if I could face looking at endless pictures of toilets for the next few days.

For all the functionality of web development that we'd learned about over this course, the one thing that hadn't got lost on me, was the simple value of making your website beautiful.

One big, beautiful image on the homepage, downloaded in twenty seconds from Google, can entice someone in more than days worth of back-end functionality. And I didn't think that pictures of toilets were going to have that wow factor.

So what we ultimately settled on, kind of poignantly, was renting web developers.

You need someone to look over your project or to teach you things? You can rent a web developer for the day.

And we worked pretty well together as a group.

At the end of the day, three of us talked amongst ourselves and kind of agreed that we had to make sure that our fourth team member was... always pointing in the right direction.

He has a tendency to just do things, without really communicating, and not necessarily in the 'right' way.

And what I mean by that, is that if you just wanted build a single webpage, it's easy. I didn't need to come on a bootcamp to do that; I've had this website for the past ten years.

The problem with this website, as I've found many times, is that even though I wrote all the code myself and know every character of it, it's such a struggle to update anything.

If you look at the navigation bar at the top of the screen, for example, it's hard-coded on every single page of this website. Thousands of pages of this website.

If I wanted to change anything on there, for example if I wanted to change it from 'Blog' to 'Travel blog', I would have to update it individually on every single page, one-by-one, and upload each page to the Internet again.

I actually did that a few years ago.

I can't remember exactly what the change was I made, and I found some tools that could find and replace text in multiple pages at once, so it only took me a few hours.

But still, it was a few hours of work, just to change one or two words.

This website is a perfect example of what you'd create if you didn't have a clue what you were doing.

What we want to be creating, is web apps that, even if they grow to thousands of users and tens of thousands of pages, are still simple and easy to maintain. Instead of having to change something on every page, you can just change it on one page. And there was a collective fear among the rest of us that this guy, might be a bit prone to... not exactly doing things the right way.

It's a good group though. I'm happy with the people that I ended up with.

We all seem dedicated, open to suggestions, and of a similar mind to the approach we should take. And even if we often disagree on what the final product should be, it's never been anything that a civilised conversation can't solve.

At the end of the day today, there was another talk by a guest-speaker.

If you remember back to before I came to this bootcamp, my biggest fear was having uncaring peers, and over the initial week or two, I thought I'd been kind of blessed in that regard. Everyone seemed to be really motivated.

Since then, my fears have been realised as people seem to care less and less.

There's a group of five or six people who leave hours early everyday, and it's something I just don't understand.

As one of my group-mates regrettably told me, we're paying roughly £100 per day for this bootcamp.

When I got home I got my calculator out, and if you only include the "working" days, it's actually more than £120 per day, so there's something I wish that I never knew.

But the point is, if you're paying that much for something, wouldn't you want to gain from it, every possible thing that you could? Every second of expertise that you could garner?

Well apparently not.

And it's also just... how can you expect to work in this industry once the bootcamp is over, when you can't even last more than six hours per day at the school now?

I came here willing to sacrifice my health if need be, losing-out on sleep and gaining weight, to get as much from this course as I possibly could. And that's in very stark contrast to those who can't even be bothered to stay here for a full day of study.

I suppose that it's their choice, and the less people at the school, the better for me, because the more personal teaching I can get.

But when we have a guest-speaker, who has come here just to talk to us, and who the bootcamp manager has gone to the effort of organising, and who I'm sure isn't coming for free, so whose expertise you already paid for, then why wouldn't you want to come to hear him speak?

The reality was that out of nineteen bootcamp attendees, only six or seven stayed for this evening talk, of which I think the bootcamp manager was a little embarrassed.

I don't blame him. In fact, I was a little embarrassed.

If for no other reason than the manners of staying here long enough to hear the words of someone who's come here to speak to you.

And now that I've said that, I'll eat my words a little bit by saying that this talk wasn't actually very good.

It started off being very inspiring because it was by a guy who'd overcome cancer when he was told at one point that it might be incurable.

And after failing in other endeavours, in his thirties he found himself living back in his parents' house that he'd moved out of when he was seventeen.

The talk was basically about how he made himself pretty damn rich, just by doing some online marketing.

And I didn't really enjoy it, because firstly, it kind of sounded like being recited a text book.

"You need to focus on search engine optimisation and to have a social media presence..."

But secondly, even though this is the real world, I wish that it wasn't.

What I mean by that, is that I live a utopian existence in my mind, where I just get to create great products and make a living from them.

That's not reality. The reality is that if you create garbage but spam people enough with emails and social media, and focus on appearing high on Google rankings, you're going to be richer than someone who makes something amazing but doesn't market it.

That's the reality but... I choose to ignore it.

If I can get a job as a developer, I don't want anything to do with the marketing side of things.

I'll create your website, but I don't want to be a part of spamming people's email accounts.

And this guy didn't really speak about what he does or about what value he creates. To this moment I still don't understand why people would give him their money. He just talked about how he writes his spam emails to get the greatest response, and how he lulls users into parting with their money, and how he has over 150 different Instagram accounts, just to manipulate social media to his advantage.

And I get it. If you're not willing to go that route, then someone else is and they're going to make more than you.

That's why I said that I know that this is the way the world is, but I just wish that it wasn't.

The bit that made me really uncomfortable, was where, as a cancer survivor himself, he talked about how as someone with authority in the field, he really targets the after-cancer market, and that's where he makes a lot of his money.

Spamming cancer survivors in order to make yourself rich?

Well that seems morally acceptable.

Day 32

I didn't realise it beforehand, but today was going to be quite an eye-opening day.

I'd had a couple of days working with my group by this point, but it had mostly just been about design. This was going to be our first day of collaborating. All working together to write code for a single project and...

Yes, I'll describe it as eye-opening.

If I had to describe it in one sentence...

In truth, I think that I'd have made more progress on my own than we did as a team of four, because there was just so much waiting around for someone else to complete something that was essential for what you needed to work on, and there were bugs that other people created and...

This is the real world. If you want to work as a web developer, then you've got to work in teams, so I'm happy that we got to go through these growing pains now. But it was still eye-opening.

I'd secretly been thinking to myself, if I'd been able to get my cocktails app online within two days by myself, then working on our group project for the better part of two weeks in a group of four would be a piece of cake.

This was the rude awakening that actually, it won't.

I mean first off, the range of personalities was a challenge in itself.

My own personal approach is that I like to go at things like a bull in a china shop. I don't like to plan, I like to just get stuck in, and what will be will be.

I was now also well embedded into the philosophy that the work at the bootcamp wasn't enough.

I was only taking a thirty minute lunch break everyday, and no longer needing dinner in the evenings, I was coming home and coding for another three hours before bed.

I was taking that same enthusiasm into this project, so when two of my team members took a 90-minute lunch break today, it...

It was the kind of situation where saying anything wouldn't have helped, so I just smiled through it. Inside I was a bit annoyed that I only took a thirty minute lunch break in order to work on our project, and they both fucked-off for an hour and a half, but... well I prepared for this.

I talked about this exact thing in the pre-bootcamp blogs. How I couldn't come here expecting to get grouped with people of the same level of dedication that I have, and there's no point lamenting what you have no power to change.

And the way that I was smiling through this kind of thing, was just thinking to myself that in truth, this Airbnb project really doesn't matter. And apart from being something to point at when applying for jobs, even our final project doesn't really matter. None of us have any intention of launching them for real.

All that matters to me, is how much I learn from this bootcamp. And if I'm the one here, working while others aren't, then I'm the one learning the most.

So although this day was eye-opening in how frustrating everything will be come the project weeks, I've just got to remember why I'm here.

I am here to learn. And the harder I work, and the more I work on, the more I learn. The attitude of my team is, frankly, irrelevant.

It was a similar story at the end of the day, when I was there for more than an hour after the rest of my team had left.

As for the personalities in the group... well there's me.

Then there's the team leader, who's pretty knowledgable and laid-back. A little too laid-back; he has less sense of urgency that I'd like.

We're definitely the stronger coders of the group.

The next guy is the Welsh guy and... he tries really hard for sure, but he just worries so much.

There were a couple of moments that he looked like he was having a nervous breakdown, where we had to give him a little pep talk to bring him back up.

He was paranoid about how little he could contribute, feeling lost and worried about fucking things up.

And then the last guy, the American, he's... kind of tough to work with.

He needs to be mentored through absolutely everything, and can't really make a decision or write anything without asking someone else.

He's very weak, so it makes sense. But at the same time, when you're trying to work on your own code, and every ten seconds someone is asking you what to do or what to write... it did become a bit of a struggle by the end of the day.

Everyone was kind of ignoring him in the hope that someone else would answer his questions.

And what we had to show for a day of planning, and then a day of coding together was... shameful, I think would be an appropriate word.

The growing pains of working in a four made progress slower than had I just done everything myself. I had more to show after a day working by myself on the cocktail app than we had to show from today.

Getting four minds working as one, it's...

It's why I'm here I suppose, to learn to do things like this.

Day 33

I've often talked about how you go through phases in your life, where for a while you're happy, and you don't really know why you're happy. And at other times you're discontented, and you can't really explain that either.

Out in the real world, these "phases," so to speak, go on for a month or two at a time.

Maybe a couple of months where you feel really good, and positive about life, but then a month or two where you don't. And you can't really explain that mood change; nothing else changed in your life. It's just that sometimes you feel good, and sometimes you don't.

In that sense, this bootcamp is an emotional microcosm, because here you go through this cycle of emotion every couple of days.

Just when you feel positive about everything, and are all... I got this, you have a shitty day and get brought back down. And just when you're starting to feel in over your head, suddenly everything starts making sense and all the code you write starts working.

I've just come to expect that over the last six weeks.

It doesn't really matter how I feel waking-up, there's a good chance that I won't be feeling the same once I go to bed again. And this was a low day. I didn't enjoy it at all.

It was the second day collaborating as a team. And it got off to a rocky start, which was probably my fault.

The guy who I mentioned yesterday was very nervous about what he'd be able to contribute, called over a teacher to get some help on something. And in his slightly comedic, bung-nosed voice (which is his normal voice), he said to her "I don't feel like I understand... anything."

I wasn't really paying attention to him, and hearing this over the top of my computer screen, I thought that he'd said it as a sarcastic joke, so I started laughing.

Turns-out it wasn't a joke, and he retorted with an angry sentence along the lines of "laughing about it really isn't going to help."

Ah, well this is awkward.

I didn't react at all, and that was the end of it, other than it made it one Hell of an awkward atmosphere for the rest of the day.

Myself and my team-mates fell into almost silence until the early afternoon, with the realisation that laughing and joking might be met with anger.

And when you're collaborating on a project, you need people to feel free to speak their mind and open-up and to have some camaraderie among the team and this just sucked it all out the room.

What happened instead, was that everyone just clammed-up in fear of offending this guy, who was visibly sitting on tenterhooks and feeling stressed.

Although no one said it, I think that it was a relief to all of us that he had to leave early today, because he was flying to Singapore to see his girlfriend.

Once he left, the mood immediately eased and we were able to collaborate a little more freely again, but this was one reason that it wasn't an enjoyable day.

Another was that I just got completely stuck on one feature.

The product that we were making, was this Airbnb of developers, where you can hire a developer for the day to help you work on a project. And being like Airbnb, the database we're working on is kind of complicated.

Every developer is a user, but not every user is a developer. Every developer has one or many skills, each assigned a level of expertise. And our team leader had the brilliant idea that the cards that displayed each developer, change their appearance based on which skill they have the greatest level of expertise in.

"Would you mind doing that?" he asked me.

...

Sure.

...

How the fuck do I do that?

So I then had to figure it out. Which I did... by the end of the day.

I spent the entire day on it though, mostly tearing my hair out and getting more and more stressed.

And having spent so long on this mild aesthetic change, it kind of felt like the project moved-on without me.

And... I just didn't enjoy it. I didn't enjoy being stuck on this one feature.

And now it's done, it's great. It looks great, and now I know how to do it. Which is great. That's how you learn and that's why I'm here, so in that sense... great.

It doesn't mean that it was a fun journey to get there though.

And after what had been a highly stressful and thoroughly unenjoyable day, I felt the need to make amends... with myself, so whilst most other people went out for the evening, after a quick visit to the beach and a coincidental dinner with one of the teachers, I came home and coded right up until bed.

The weekend

This was the first two-day weekend for three weeks. But the line between free-time and work-time had become so blurred by this point, that it didn't really seem cause for celebration.

I did get up and go for a long run along the beach, which was nice. I will miss that when I leave here.

But it wasn't long after that, that I was sat in front of my computer again.

My morning run did help to lift my mood, still ailing from the day before.

The last thing that you want when you have a bad day though, is an entire weekend before you can strive for redemption. And my fear at this point was that my initial ecstasy of getting put into the group that I did, was entirely misplaced.

I assume that things'll still turn-out ok, but having one guy who's so far been unable to work without guidance, and another perennially on the verge of a nervous breakdown, isn't exactly filling me with confidence.

You've just got to... adapt to it though, don't you?

Nothing you can do will change their personalities, so you've just got to make the best of it. Work around it.

After my Saturday run, it was a pretty inactive weekend by my standards, which I think is exactly what I needed.

Some time just... doing nothing, to allow my mind to focus on things other than this bootcamp.

And admittedly, I did still spend most of the weekend coding, but I still felt more relaxed and positive come the end of it.

The frustrating thing about having to collaborate on a project, is that even though I wanted to maximise how I used the time that I had here by working through what would have otherwise been free time, I think I was an anomaly in that regard.

I doubt anyone else from the bootcamp did any coding at all over they weekend, but I can say with certainty that no one from my group did, because when collaborating, you see exactly what other people are doing. In fact an unwritten rule is that your work has to get approved by someone else before getting added to the main project.

And because I was doing so much work, and none of it was getting merged into the main project seeing as no one else was at their computer this weekend, I quickly found myself in a situation that was unworkable, because I couldn't really add new things with the status of the code I'd already written being up in the air. So I actually spent most of the weekend adding to the cocktails project of a few days earlier (the changes of which never made it online, so aren't reflected in the link above).

It would have been preferable to instead work on the project of which we had an upcoming deadline but... as I've said a hundred times already, I can't expect my peers to have the same dedication that I have, so I can't expect them to want to work on their days-off. And when that's the case and we're on a project where we're collaborating, I'm kind of hamstrung in how much I can do. So I had to work on my own project instead.

As a means of activity more than anything else, to break-up my day of coding on Sunday, I went to a restaurant a couple of kilometres away down the beach.

On the way back I got an impromptu haircut, which was a nice reminder that I'm of the age where I have to get my ear hair trimmed when I go to the barber's now.

That was a fun way to end the weekend.

Day 34

This was going to be a key day.

At the end of a stressful week last week, we hadn't progressed so well together as a group, so it was going to be important that things gelled a little better now that everyone had had a weekend to rest, otherwise there really would be no hope.

I say rest, I spent most of my time coding, but you know what I mean. I'd at least had two days away form the school.

And there was a slightly ominous start as we were all... umm, why's there only three of us?

The guy who'd gone to Singapore was noticeably absent, leading us to draw the only logical conclusion: He's dead.

Turns-out he wasn't.

Having got delayed on his outbound flight, he'd changed his return flight to a day later.

I understood that part of it. It was a little peculiar that he'd chosen not to tell anyone though.

The school's manager was trying to contact him and was asking if anyone knew where he was staying so that he could call his guesthouse, and the ones of us in his group had to start the day with three people when we'd been expecting four.

He wandered in, in the mid-afternoon like nothing had happened and... well I guess we just get on with it then.

Apart from that, things went a lot better.

Once he arrived, this guy was far calmer than he had been before the weekend, and by his own admission, had been crawling around inside his own head at the end of last week.

Those are my words not his, but he said something similar.

The guy who last week had been suffering an inability to work on his own, today proved more independent as well.

Mostly because with only three of us for much of the day, he was sitting on the opposite side of the table to the other two of us, and we just put our earphones in.

That meant that he produced some interesting code.

When I was reviewing it and asked him to explain it to me, his response was that he'd looked it up on Google and copied it from there.

Ummm... ok.

I think that all of us at this bootcamp are guilty of writing code that works, but we don't fully understand why it works. We just know that we need to write it.

I think for most of us though, we're at least doing so within the remit of what we've been taught.

I didn't really see the benefit of copying and pasting code that you don't even understand, from Google. Up to him though. It's better than continually asking people what he should be doing I suppose.

He was also the first to leave at the end of the day, going more than an hour before the rest of us.

I realised very early on that he always finds an excuse to go for lunch and to go home earlier than anyone else does.

Apart from that though, he was working much better. The stressed-out guy was far more relaxed for the time that he was here. No one took any 90-minute lunch breaks. It was a much better day all around.

There's hope for this group yet.

After eleven hours at the bootcamp on this day, I then came home and coded for three more.

I was now accepting that this would be my life for the remainder of my time here.

I had twelve days left to make the most of this environment, so for me it was now basically sleep, eat and code.

What I came home and worked-on, was the code to display users' profile pictures at various points around the website.

It was a pain to get done, but I eventually did, only to close my laptop and close my eyes to go to sleep, and lay there awake for at least two more, suffering major Tetris effect, as I couldn't relax my mind, and code was just running over and over and over in my head.

As someone told me the next day, that's why so many programmers smoke weed before going to bed, because it's the only way to calm their mind enough to sleep.

Day 35

This was the final day of the Airbnb clone.

It was supposed to have been a calendar week; Airbnb week. But with the way the course is here, compressed into eight weeks instead of nine, our named weeks, like Airbnb week, don't actually fit so perfectly into weeks.

So we were finishing Airbnb week... on a Tuesday.

And having had a good day yesterday... well you know the routine by now.

It started off well, because now well entrenched into my routine of having breakfast and lunch, then stopping eating for the day (something that I wish that I'd done from the beginning), I went to an organic cafe at 8am and got a Mezze Platter for two and a chocolate smoothie.

That was a great way to start the day. It went downhill from there.

My main grievance lay with the weakest member of our team.

I don't want to sound too mean, and I'd love for him to prove me wrong, because he's a nice enough guy. But I just don't think coding's really for him.

He just doesn't... get it. He doesn't seem to have the right aptitude for coding.

He spends much of his time exasperated at his computer, like it's his computer's fault that his code isn't running properly.

If you remember back to the last blog, I talked of how I thought that the algorithm that determined the groups we were in, was rigged to spread people out by ability, because if you considered the five weakest people at the bootcamp, there seemed to be one of them in each of the five groups.

In that sense I was just accepting of... well every team's got to have a weak member.

Despite his obvious impotence, he always wants to undertake the most challenging tasks, which I haven't yet decided is admirable because he's determined to improve, or out of a complete ignorance for how weak he is.

Either way, what I'd done last night, was get profile photos displaying correctly all over our website.

It had taken three out-of-hours hours to do, and I'd suffered a couple of hours of insomnia as a result. But I'd got it done.

At the moment we were using a stock photo (which just so happened to be a photo of me). What we needed to do now, was to allow users to add their own photos.

The basic code was all in place. All that was needed was to replace these stock photos with user-uploaded photos.

That's not as easy as it sounds, and I know that because I'd done it on my cocktail app a week earlier and it'd caused me some problems.

Before leaving the night before, this guy had volunteered to add this feature.

Knowing how hard it was, I had asked him "are you sure? I've already done it once, so I'm happy to do it again."

He was sure.

Not filling me with any confidence, he was going to "go home and watch some YouTube videos on how to do it."

That seemed peculiar in itself, because we have enough material from the bootcamp to get it done, in the way that they've taught it to us, but... well if YouTube is the way that you want to go, then so be it.

He'd said he was going to do it last night. I knew full well that he wasn't. Like I said, he always finds an excuse to be the first one to leave at the end of the day. He's just not a person who's going to spend his evening coding once he gets home.

That was why I'd so confidently added profile photos all over our website the night before, knowing full well he wouldn't be working on something that would conflict with. And if I got that base of code done, it'd be so much easier for him to implement the photo uploader.

Or so I thought.

This was where my frustration for the day really stemmed from.

In not really understanding what was going on, he, with a lot of help from the teachers, eventually managed to implement this feature, but in completely the wrong place.

One of the teachers had told him that as he was doing it. I'd told him that as he was doing it. But guess what, he'd done it anyway. Which is why I think he pushed it for approval, and quickly darted-out of the school to get lunch.

And when I saw it, I said to the guy next to me, that if we implement this code it's going to break a lot of things.

Kind of out of exasperation, we decided that it was better to implement this highly-flawed code and fix any problems that it caused, than for someone else to start the entire thing from scratch in what was already the afternoon on the final day of this project.

So that's what we did. And it turns-out we were wrong.

It basically broke everything that I'd spent the evening before working on, and it didn't even work. You couldn't even upload your own photo.

I spent about an hour trying to fix it before just giving up.

We had the deadline of the presentation looming, which we just had to do without profile photos being displayed in some key areas of the website, and it just pissed me off.

I spent three hours the night before getting that working.

He then, on ignoring the pleas of both myself and a teacher, spent three or four hours adding this feature in his own way, and just broke all of my code, and didn't even replace it with anything that worked.

I then spent an hour trying to fix it, but to no avail, and was just... are you kidding me? Why? Why did I stay up late last night writing code, only for this guy's tunnel vision to implement an entirely flawed feature, to completely break it.

As I said a few days earlier, this Airbnb project was eye-opening. Eye-opening to the challenges of collaboration.

Considering the problems, our presentation was actually... ok. Of the five websites on show, ours probably ranked around average, which was about the best that we could have hoped for considering the problems. And when it was over, I said to the two of my team-mates who were sitting nearby... ok, we need to make sure that for the main project, which was starting tomorrow, that we get some things set in stone.

I was basically referring to things that had been added whimsically through the week to this project, and allowed fuck-ups like this one to happen.

It had not been my intention to start a full-blown meeting, but for perhaps twenty minutes after everyone else had left, the three of us just sat there and discussed the things that we needed to do differently.

Our fourth team member had as usual darted-out of the school at the earliest opportunity, so unfortunately wasn't around for this impromptu meeting, but it was actually very encouraging that the rest of us could see the flaws in how we'd worked already, and wanted to improve them.

I tried to hide my frustration towards our fourth member, but didn't do a very good job of it.

I was very frustrated that I'd spent my entire evening the night before writing perfectly working code, only for it to get irreparably broken by his lack of understanding of the project we were building. And I needed to get that out of my system.

This Airbnb week hadn't been a lesson in coding. It had been a lesson in the challenges of collaboration. And even though this might sound strange to say, I was glad it had gone so badly.

You don't really learn if things are going well. And I think that we'd all learned a lot of valuable lessons from this smaller project, that we could now take into the final project with us.

So perhaps because of how frustrating I found it, I was cautiously optimistic going forward.

We made Airbnb more complicated than it needed to be, and were able to create a presentable, if buggy product, in five days.

On paper at least, our final project is less complicated, and we have twice as much time to do it in.

Things never pan-out like that. I'm sure that three days from now I'll be pulling my hair out. But I was cautiously optimistic.

With this project done and the next one not starting until tomorrow, and my brain completely fried, I made sure to have a code-free evening; probably my last one of the bootcamp.

Instead I went to the beach by myself, and lay there looking up at the crescent moon of the incoming night's sky, listening to the sound of the waves.

I should really do more impromptu hippy shit like this to keep my mind clear.

Especially as a little over two weeks from now, I'm going to face my first Winter since early 2015.

That was in China, and since then, the coldest temperatures I've had to deal with have been London in August.

Apart from that it's been t-shirt and shorts weather every single day in Bangkok or Bali. And I resultantly don't know how much unnecessary time I'm going to be inclined to spend outside in the cold, dark, short days of the British winter.

I don't even own any winter clothes anymore.

Day 36

This was the first day of the final project.

We were into the last ten "working" days of the bootcamp, and this project was the big finale. And the first day of this big finale was... kind of underwhelming.

We didn't really get any coding done, it was all just talking about and visualising our design.

Our fitful team member, who'd been great ever since getting back from Singapore, had a mini-meltdown when he was standing at the whiteboard we were working on.

We were all being kind of jovial, and the American guy made a completely nonchalant joke. I laughed at it, and he got all upset, saying how he wasn't going to do this if people were laughing at him.

It can be a challenge having to work with someone like that.

You want the atmosphere to be fun, but with his temperament, you never quite know when he's going to get upset at something, so you also find yourself biting your tongue. Which you really don't want people to do when they're trying to be creative.

He had the sense to go outside and take five minutes for himself, but it still wasn't really the same for the rest of the day.

Regardless of that, I found it a frustrating day, largely because as I previously said, I don't like pissing around. I just like to get on with things.

And I know that's not really feasible when we're working in a group of four, but we didn't do any coding on this day.

I was chomping at the bit to get started, but instead we were having long discussions about whether the search bar goes on the left or the right, and what colour the background should be.

And don't get me wrong, I know that it's important, and I'm not complaining that this was what we were doing. The more unified our vision is as a group, the smoother the project will be.

It doesn't mean that I have to enjoy it though.

Being a fairly independent and free-thinking person, I'm probably not someone who's best-suited to working in teams. Although if I want to work in this industry, then I guess that I'll have to get used to it, so I suppose that it was good practice.

And even though our team at times seemed disjointed, I don't think that we were alone in that regard.

Two of the five weakest people that I previously identified as getting spread-out over the five groups, spent the entire day working alone, away from their teams, and from what I could tell, not really contributing at all.

The guy who only shows-up at the bootcamp when he feels like it was absent for more or less the entire day, so that group only had two people that were actually working together.

Our weaker team member spent most of the afternoon looking lost, and I feel a bit bad for him.

Every time he opens his mouth, he seems to be talking about something completely different to everyone else. Like he hasn't even grasped the topic that we're debating. And it's kind of got to the point that whenever he suggests something, there's just a short silence like he didn't even speak, whilst everyone waits for someone else to respond, until eventually, on completely ignoring his words, someone will just talk about something else.

Even the teachers have got like that now.

And he spent most of the day not really understanding what was going on, continually asking people what he should be doing.

On this day I could actually sympathise with him a little bit, because there really wasn't much going on. But his lack of ability to act independently, and to figure things out without being told, has got a little cumbersome.

At this point there were ten days left until Demoday, and I really didn't think that I was going to enjoy them.

I was expecting them to be long, stressful, and not very rewarding, until hopefully come the end of it, as a group of misfits, we've somehow collaborated together to create something amazing.

I did something very uncharacteristic on getting home, and for the second day in a row, broke from my usual routine, this time to have an impromptu workout. The first non-morning exercise I'd done, apart from yoga, since getting to Bali.

That meant I then had to break from my now usual food routine of just having breakfast and lunch, because in the health hierarchy that lives in my head, eating after exercise trumps having a thirteen hour fast every night, because why would a caveman exercise?

Sure, there might be brief spurts of activity to fight off a predator. But sustained activity would be in the pursuit of food.

Perhaps he wouldn't always be successful in that pursuit, but in the main, the natural order of events would be activity followed by consumption.

And if I were determined to keep to that rule, as well as having a thirteen hour fast every night, what I'd ultimately find is that even having the time and desire, I wouldn't exercise in order to keep my own self-imposed nutrition rules satisfied, and that's something that I really don't want.

For how little I am exercising here, and for how out of shape Bali is making me, I really don't need any incentives to not exercise.

Plus, it's nice to have a degree of spontaneity in my life, because God knows that's something that I'm not very good at.

That meant that for what was a surprise second night in a row, I didn't come home and do any coding. Until right as I was going to bed, I just thought... ah, I'll just have a look at this quickly. Until before I knew it, three hours had passed and this had become one of the latest nights I'd had since getting to Canggu.

It then meant that I had trouble sleeping, not helped by the raging thunderstorm going on right outside my door.

It sounded like lightning was crashing into my pool. And then, still laying there awake at 1:30am, with the storm so loud that it felt almost apocalyptic, the room started shaking. And it's amazing how quickly you become comfortable with things like that.

Without any sense of shock or fear to accompany it, my thoughts were just 'oh fuck off you fucking earthquake. I'm trying to sleep here.'

It lasted for maybe ten or fifteen seconds, and before the room had even stopped shaking, I'd already closed my eyes and was trying to sleep again.

Day 37

I'd set an alarm for all 36 "working" days prior to this one. This was the first time that it actually went off, such was how hard I'd found it to actually get to sleep.

And ok, we've had a day of planning. Let's get on with building this app now. After two days working alone, I had my cocktail app online, so with four of us, let's really get on with it today.

Or... instead we could just spend this day not really doing anything useful as well.

I'm fully aware that my bull in a china shop style of working isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. So on this project with three other people, I wanted to remain as open and as passive as possible towards the ways that other people wanted to work. But this day drove me up the wall.

Our team leader wanted to spend another day working on the visualisation of the project, and researching the API that we were going to use.

What... what are we going to learn today that we didn't learn yesterday? And it doesn't take four of us to make a visual representation that probably won't end up looking anything like the final product.

The group conversation about whether our background should be 2% or 4% blue almost had me jumping off the balcony.

We can change that later, with literally one character of code. It doesn't fucking matter.

I'd started this project so motivated and determined. Yet by lunchtime on this day, I was just dejected and like... what the fuck are we doing?

This is day two of a ten day project. Come the end of the day, we're going to be 20% of the way though, and apart from what I wrote last night, we haven't written a single line of code yet.

It just put me in a really bad mood, because it seemed so ridiculous.

This is a coding bootcamp, and we're not doing any coding. Other groups already have functioning websites.

I looked in envy, as another group celebrated making their first (mock) transaction.

They already have a working website, and we're sat here discussing whether our background should be 2% or 4% blue.

Eventually our team leader decided that we'd learned enough to start our project. But with four people in this group, spending more than eight hours yesterday, and another five today, totalling more than 52 man-hours, we had a few notes about an API and a very nice but probably unnecessary visual representation of our website.

And when he suggested, based on no good reason whatsoever, that we delete the code that I'd written the night before, just so we could all start again from scratch, that was the point that I moved into the realm of not giving a fuck.

"Just do what you fucking want," I responded.

By this point it had got ridiculous.

I know that Germans like to plan things, but fuck me. What a complete waste of time of the four people in our group.

I was so thankful when it got to 4pm and the weekly yoga class.

Not because I really wanted to do the yoga class, just because I wanted to get out of that fucking room.

I just wanted to do something and build something and use all the things I've learned at this bootcamp, which is exactly what this final project is supposed to be a showcase of.

Instead I was just looking at the ceiling in despair thinking why... why are we wasting our time like this?

As has been the case so many times over this course, it turned-out that yoga was what I really needed.

I returned much calmer, and finally, after two almost entirely wasted days, we'd done enough research, whatever the fuck that means, to satisfy our team leader so that finally we could start coding.

And now that things actually started moving, I enjoyed this part of the day.

Alright, time to rid my mind of these past two days. Let's just focus on what we need going forward.

We're going to sink or swim as group, and we only have one shot at this. There are no do-overs, so let's get on with it now and make up for lost time.

Before the yoga class had even finished, the American had already left for the day... unsurprisingly.

On this occasion I couldn't really blame him. In my mind we could have achieved in two hours what we'd spent two days on. But his desire to leave meant that he was absent when our project finally got off the ground, which didn't bode so well for his future contributions.

We also kept the code that I'd written the night before, seeing as it was perfectly good code. So I just put to the back of my mind the ridiculous suggestion of our team leader that we start from scratch.

These are called the project weeks, because on the standard nine-week Le Wagon course, you get two weeks for this final project.

We now had eight days until Demoday, so I certainly wasn't thrilled with the start that we'd made, nor with the decisions or leadership of our team leader, but... like I said, I had to move past that.

Every group is going to go through growing pains as we learn how to collaborate while coding. Let's just assume that we got all of our struggles out of the way early.

Day 38

I was praying that this day would be better.

It wasn't.

I was hating every second of these project weeks. The main problem I think, was that we'd all learned to code individually, and now we were being asked to do it as a team, and it was just failing. Badly.

For example, if you know that someone else is working on a page or on a certain problem, then it more or less precludes you from working on the same thing, because then your code is just going to conflict with theirs.

I was aware of this, so was trying to push my code (make it available for everyone), as regularly as possible. Maybe every hour.

Other people just weren't getting it though, and one of my team members had been working on something for more than 24 hours by this point, meaning that entire parts of the website had basically been off-access for more than a day.

Being the third day and so far yet to contribute a single line of code to the project, the American was determined to partake today. And seeing his feverish drive, I gave him the thing that I'd been planning on working on.

I'd been expecting it to take me thirty minutes. An hour at most. And it was kind of important. There wasn't too much else available to do until it was finished.

Six hours later, he still wasn't done. So I basically spent these six hours looking at the ceiling.

Not literally, but there wasn't anything especially useful that I could do.

I was making minor front-end tweaks and changing little things here and there. But I was basically doing nothing, except growing more, and more, and more frustrated.

And when he eventually finished, it of course conflicted with what little I had been able to do today, so half of my changes were wiped anyway. So it felt like another total waste of a day.

In fact I never thought for a million years that this would be something that I'd say during the project weeks of this course, but I started working on the plans for my own project that I could do on the side, just because of how frustrating I'd found doing nothing meaningful for this project.

I'm here to learn to code, yet for the speed that other people are working at, I'm effectively locked-out of this project for long periods of time because there's nothing I can do that won't clash with what they're doing. So just so that I had something meaningful to actually work on, I started the plans for my own project.

We were moving so slowly, that I felt that I was forgetting more than I was learning, and if I'm not learning from this... well I may as well work on something where I am.

From my perspective, it was turning into a bit of a disaster.

This was the big finale where you got to put into practice everything that you learned from the course. And I'd spent three days, 30% of this project, feeling like I'd done nothing meaningful.

The stats disagreed. They said that I'd contributed more code to this project than any of my peers. It certainly didn't feel like it though.

Day 39

After a slow opening-day to this group project, I'd gone into the next two, optimistic that things were going to be better, but fool me twice, shame on you, fool me thrice, shame on me.

I went into this day, more of the mindset of... well this day's going to fucking suck.

Maybe playing a little reverse psychology on God would have things going a little better.

And it worked.

It didn't start so well, as the day's lecture didn't start until 9:07, which will be an eternal frustration of mine.

After that though, the project had grown enough, and we were organised enough, to all actually be able to work on different things.

I'd voiced my concerns/frustrations in the morning meeting, and just airing them made me feel better.

Irrespective of that, just having a project big enough for four people to work on made such a difference.

I was working on some front-end things, which wasn't exactly what I wanted to be doing because... well I'm already rather good at that.

It was what the project needed though.

The way that you get assistance from a teacher at this bootcamp, is by putting a ticket into the system.

Today was Saturday. I now hadn't put in a ticket since Tuesday.

And although you could argue that seeing as there will be no teachers to help once the bootcamp's done, then that's a good habit to get into, I would counter by saying that it was simply because I hadn't found anything challenging in front of my since the group project had started, and instead it was proving to be a bit of a waste of these last ten days of help on hand, as I need it.

I'm sure that as soon as the bootcamp's over, I'll be getting stuck every second, so that too was a little frustrating.

I wanted to be challenged. I wanted to be frustrated by what I was doing. That's how you learn.

Instead I was finding it all rather easy.

It was though, a far, far better day than the previous three. In fact, it was the first day that I actually enjoyed since the project began.

I wasn't willing to waste another day, and fully intended to start on my own side-project should this day have not proved worthwhile.

Luckily that wasn't necessary, and at the end of the day, each group had to make a presentation of their progress. And however flawed it was, on this day we were able to present a working version of our website.

That night, the manager of the school was having people over to his villa for a barbecue.

I went along for a few hours, and it was nice to break my routine a bit and hang-out with people in a non-coding environment (even if the conversations did predictably turn to coding with frustrating regularity).

This meant that I got back to my room far later than usual.

Since I stopped eating dinner, I'll leave my room for breakfast at about 7:45am every morning, and most days get back at something close to 7pm.

As I've said in previous blogs, my own stressful and sometimes hectic lifestyle here is in stark contrast to most of the people in this town, who're here in vacation mode.

That includes in wake up times and sleep times, hence why I've barely seen any of my neighbours in the adjacent rooms since I arrived here seven weeks ago.

There were two German girls in one of the rooms now.

I'd coincidentally just got back the beach when they'd first arrived, and having washed the sand off my feet in the outdoor shower, was sitting outside waiting for them to dry, when these girls burst through the gate to rather loudly announce their arrival here.

Already being sat there, I then spoke to them and got to know them for a while.

It was probably the only real conversation that I'd had with any of my neighbours up to that point.

And I couldn't have told you when that conversation was. Maybe a day or two ago now.

Anyway, I got back from this barbecue, and they were both sat there, outside their room.

"It's been such a long time since we've seen you," one of them said.

"Yeah, what are you up to?" I responded.

"We're just leaving," they replied.

"Already?" I asked.

"Yes, we've been here for a week."

It was at that moment that I realised how phased my mind was, and how warped my sense of time had become at this bootcamp.

It felt like they'd arrived yesterday. But the last week was such a blur, that I hadn't really even noticed the world going by.

In fact, these seven weeks up to this point were just... what has even happened? It had been such a head-fuck.

I could tell you that I'd been here for seven weeks, simply because I knew that it's an eight week course and there was one week left until Demoday.

But apart from looking at a calendar, the complete roller-coaster of emotions from doing this course had completely robbed me of my sense of reality.

It's going to take some serious perspective to wrap my brain around everything that's happened.

In fact, I'm sure that if I re-read the first blog that I wrote after getting here, I'd read 50% of it and just be like... I don't remember that happening.

Sunday

Having felt that much of this week had been a waste, I wanted to spend my Sunday coding to make up for lost time.

The dilemma I faced was whether to work on our group project, which is where I felt that my priorities probably should lie, or whether to work on my own project, which I had now planned-out and would probably be more beneficial to my learning.

And I could say with 99% certainty that none of my team-mates would be spending this final day-off working on our project, so it wasn't like by doing my own thing, I'd be letting the team down.

As situations dictated though, I didn't actually have to make that decision.

As has become customary for my rare days-off, I woke up and went running along the beach.

Having got to bed later than normal after going to this barbecue, I then woke-up later, so it wasn't until about 8:30am that my feet were on the sand.

That is significant, just because of how quickly it gets hot here in the mornings.

I don't really like to set myself targets when I run nowadays either. I just run for how long, how far, and how fast I feel like on that day. But given the heat, and how un-firm the sand was today, I didn't think that it was going to be an especially long run.

As I was running, I got close to 5km, and thought that would be a good point to turn back, so was regularly checking my watch for the moment that I got there.

But when I did... ah, maybe I'll turn around at 5.5km instead. Make it an 11km run.

But then 5.5km came and went.

I can't even really put my finger on why, but every time that I thought it would be good to turn around and go back, I just kept on running.

6km came and went. Then 7km.

By 8km I was at the point of... do you remember how I said a while ago, that I wanted to run to the airport and back before leaving Bali, and that would be roughly 23km?

Well I didn't want to get so close to doing that and not make it, so by 8km, I just decided to keep on going until I reached the end of the beach.

Of which I was disappointed to find wasn't actually at the airport.

A couple of kilometres shy of where I was expecting it, the beach turned into a concrete boardwalk. And running barefoot whilst carrying my flip-flops, neither of which were suitable for running on concrete, this was where I had little choice but to turn back.

That moment came a little after 9.5km, meaning that by the time I was back where I started, it had been an almost 19.5km run, which really wasn't easy going.

The sand really wasn't great for running today. There were many stretches where it wasn't firm, and my feet sank with every step.

It was hot as well. 31°c by the time I got back to my room and not a cloud in the sky, nor any shade on the beach to protect you from the sun. And I perhaps don't help myself by not even owning a hat or sunglasses and never wearing any sunscreen.

Having shaved it off a week earlier, my hair was no protection either, so I was fully at the mercy of all that the sun could throw at me.

The beach threw-up various other challenges as well. Like this long stretch of hundreds of fishermen.

I didn't really get what was gong on. There was a stretch of beach of maybe a kilometre, where all these fishermen in matching t-shirts were standing on the shore casting their lines.

I don't know why they were all there dressed the same.

But instead of standing right at the water's edge to do this, many of them were selfishly standing maybe 20m back.

That obviously meant that you had to pass by behind them, so as to not run right through their lines. And that far back, away from the water, it was just chopped-up dry sand of absolutely no firmness.

So for this 1km stretch in either direction, it was that much harder going.

Many of them were smoking as well, which didn't help as you were gasping for air.

Like with any exercise, when you run you don't really know how much you're hurting until you stop for a while and let your muscles relax.

I could feel that I was tired by the time that I finished this run, but I couldn't tell quite how tired and...

Yeah, it turns-out that it had been more brutal than I perhaps appreciated as I was doing it.

I hadn't eaten anything by this point today, and nor do I take any water when I run. I just chug some before I leave, but in this heat, I'd since run-out of sweat.

My usual schedule differs from most people, so I tend to not run into people I know too often, but on this journey back from the beach to my room, where I felt as close to death as I've felt in a long time, everyone seemed to want to talk to me.

First there was the woman sitting in front of a cooler on the beach, who wanted me to buy a beer.

It wasn't even 11am by this point. What kind of person do you think I am?

Then the manager of the bootcamp went by on his motorcycle.

Then I got back to my room and the cleaner was there.

I rarely see her, because I spend most days at the bootcamp.

I just come home everyday and my bed's been made and my room cleaned.

But she was talking to me.

"How are you? What are you doing today?"

And with her right there, I couldn't walk through my room with sandy feet, so washed them in the outdoor shower, only for the guy in the room next to me to come outside as I was waiting for them to dry.

He'd been here for about a week, although I hadn't really spoken to him yet. But I guess that the German girls told him about me, because he came out wanting to talk, saying "I hear you're from England. Why are you in Bali? Tell me about this bootcamp. Why did you decide to do it here?"

I'm not sure where he was from; possibly China. And I humoured him for a bit, but lighting a cigarette next to me as I was standing there feeling like death was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Fuck I've got to get away from all these people trying to talk to me.

Once I got back into my room, I looked in the mirror and I didn't quite look as bad as I felt, but I still looked pretty terrible. Completely drawn-out after the run in this heat.

It was almost like no one else could notice that I was only half there. The other half of my mind was off floating around in the stars by now.

I needed a shower, and with that done, food was of equal importance, and I did that thing that I do sometimes, where I went to a restaurant, had lunch, paid, left, and then walked straight into another restaurant and had another lunch.

I was running such a calorie deficit by this point that I figured I could justify it.

The thought of doing any programming on this day though, was now completely out the window.

This run had killed me. I was completely out of commission.

And in my experience of running, food and water is usually sufficient to make you feel better again. And if you're still feeling hazy, then taking a nap usually does the trick.

I did that too, but even waking from my nap I was in no state to be doing anything physically or mentally active.

I'm not sure if it was the distance while running on sand, the heat, the dehydration, or perhaps a combination of the three, but this run had absolutely destroyed me.

Apart from going out later for one more meal, I spent the rest of the day lying uncovered on my bed in my underwear with the air conditioner set to 18 degrees (its coldest setting), and still feeling hot.

On the plus-side, it saved me having to decide whether to work on the group project or my own project today.

Day 40

Back before I left Bangkok, I was meditating loads.

Then for the first month here, it had been the same.

Since then though, it had more or less disappeared from my daily routine.

And lying on my bed staring at the ceiling while feeling semi brain-dead the day before, I'd stumbled upon the epiphany that hey dummy... maybe that's part of the reason that you've struggled so much mentally through this group project. Unable to really be happy, or to look on the bright-side of what you're doing.

I made sure to test that theory this morning, by setting aside some time before going for breakfast to just focus on my mind and some of the things that I have to be happy about, that I'd perhaps forgotten over the past couple of weeks.

It's hard to know if that was the reason why, because I could equally point at simply having had a day-off with no coding, or I could point to the run that I'd had, which more or less killed me, but as a result completely reset me both physically and mentally.

When you break yourself down that much, you kind of have to rebuild and start again from scratch, so it was maybe that.

Maybe it was just that I'd had such a bad week last week, that I was due a good week this week.

Or maybe it really was the morning meditation. But this day went far better than the ones prior.

A lot of that was in my mind I think. I just approached this day with a far more positive attitude.

But I actually did something that I wanted to do today, and that I felt was actually a key contribution towards our project. And that was to create all the back-end for a follow button, so that you could follow other users, kind of like on Twitter or Instagram, although in many ways a little more complex.

On our website, profiles exist for users who don't, and users don't have to have profiles, so there were a lot of different conditions and outcomes for pressing this button.

And on the plus-side, I was able to get this button working properly in all situations, by the end of the day.

The downside was that it was quite possibly the worst working code, ever written.

As I've found, my mind isn't very good at doing things the way they're supposed to be done. I'm not very good at remembering the "proper" way of doing things.

What my mind is good at, is figuring-out these long, complex, roundabout ways of doing things. So I do in fifty lines of code, what other people do in three.

That's not really a good thing, but I enjoy problem solving. And when I have problems where I don't know the answer, for example if I have some code to write and I don't know how to write it, I try and figure it out myself without asking for help. And that does take me on these quite long coding journeys that eventually get the desired result, just in a way that no one apart from me, and sometimes including me, can really understand.

Day 41

I'd finally had a good day working on this project. I'd turned a corner. From here things were really looking up.

Lol.

I've got tired of saying that I had my worst day of this bootcamp, because I seem to have had about twenty worst days of this bootcamp.

But this was the worst day of this bootcamp.

It started well.

I was awake in time to do another meditation practice, and then get a decent breakfast.

And I had quite grand plans for my coding today.

I wanted to start by refactoring the code that I'd written the day before, which worked, it just wasn't written well or working exactly how you might want it to work.

And then I had loads of things planned to do after that.

Just to get some clarity on how best to refactor this code, I planned on putting in a ticket and asking any one of the teachers for some help. But they're all really good, it shouldn't take them more than a few minutes to get it sorted.

Lol.

I put my first ticket in immediately after the morning lecture. The last lecture of the bootcamp in fact; from here all our focus is solely on the projects.

And one of the TAs came to help me, which she did for maybe fifteen minutes before getting called away for some kind of meeting, where all of the teachers unhelpfully left the room for a while.

And when she left, she told me "I'll come and help you when I get back."

Except at almost the exact moment she got back about thirty minutes later, my team decided the we needed to have a meeting.

There are things that I wouldn't be opposed to talking about as a team. Maybe starting with not submitting buggy code.

These ridiculous meetings about minor front-end decisions were driving me up the wall though.

I don't care what shade of blue the background is, or whether we're using a pie chart or a bar graph.

After thirty minutes (not an exaggeration) of this meeting, where the guy who seems to really care about the front-end had hooked his laptop up to the projector and was asking us all for our opinions on some thing that I couldn't care less about (design has never been my strong suit, so I'm happy to defer to people who have a better eye for these things), myself and the American guy just got up and walked away.

I just couldn't stand it anymore. There are so many more important things that we could be doing.

Four of us sat in this meeting for thirty minutes. That's two lost hours of coding.

Anyway, I went back to this TA to get her help again.

Lest I remind you that my code was working, badly, at the start of the day.

Well whatever this girl and I had collectively done by this point, it wasn't now. And right up until lunch, at around 1:30pm, neither she nor I could get it to work.

After lunch about an hour later, I put in another ticket, and this time got a different TA.

I don't know how long he was sat with me, but it was again hours. And he too, just couldn't get this code working.

It looked like it should work. On the back-end everything acted as you'd want it to. It just wouldn't work.

We tried all kinds of things, including merging-in the code of other people, which was his choice, not mine. And that didn't go well.

As I insinuated earlier, certain people on my team aren't very good at testing their code before they submit it.

In fact sometimes they seem to merge things that simply don't work, and just break the entire project.

Already at my wits' end by this point in the day, I then had to spend two more hours fixing and overcoming someone else's broken code.

It was close to 6pm, and I had literally spent the entire day on one thing that I thought would take me a few minutes.

I just wanted to refactor my already-working code, to make it a little more concise. No part of me thought that this late into the day, I'd have actually gone backwards.

I'd had hours and hours of teacher assistance. None of them could figure it out. I couldn't figure it out. It just wouldn't work and no one knew why.

Until suddenly, it started working. This follow button that was now the bane of my very existence, just started working. And to this moment I still can't explain to you exactly what I did. It just... worked.

That sense of relief was scant consolation for what had been an absolutely horrible day, the latter portion of which I'd spent shrouded in anger.

Partly due to the frustration of not being able to figure my own problem out, and partly out of frustration with my team-mates, who by submitting such shitty code, were at times compounding our problems.

I'll reiterate that now a week since we started this project, I genuinely believe that I'd have got further had I been working alone. Having only one mind to consider, knowing exactly what I was doing, not getting held back by these pointless meetings, not having bugs added into the code.

It was very frustrating to think that I got my cocktail app working in two days, and it was more impressive than what we had to show here after a week.

I'd have been able to look past that reality normally, by seeing this project as a learning experience. But after the day I'd just had, where my own problems were compounded by the code of my peers, I was so angry. I had all this pent-up frustration inside.

My mind was gone as well. I just didn't want to be there. So for the first time, I was the first member of our group to leave.

I just needed a way to exorcise this unwelcome energy, so I went home to have a workout. And man I needed that.

If there's one thing that anger is good for, it's exercise.

You have all this pent-up frustration, and feeling more sadistic than normal, you relish the pain of exercise so just push yourself that much harder.

I wouldn't say that my mood had greatly improved by the time that I finished, although I didn't really have the energy left to be angry afterwards, so I guess that by default it did.

This had been a day where, in terms of productivity, it was my worst day of the bootcamp. It was just a day of endless frustration.

And to take a step back for a moment, that's not a bad thing.

You learn more from things going wrong than from things going right. And although this is perhaps a bad attitude to have, I don't really care about the final product that we create.

I don't think that any of us have any intent to release it for real or expect it to ever make money. It's really just a means to an end of this bootcamp.

And in that sense, the only real advantage of having an amazing product to show off, would be to show it to potential employers and say... hey, I was part of building this.

I don't think that would hold as much value as what I'm able to build on my own, so I really didn't see the purpose of building an amazing app, other than it gave us an ambitious target to aim for.

All that really matters to me is how much I'm able to learn from this project, and by God it's going badly, but by God I'm learning a lot in the process.

I've learned more about the struggles of working in a team over the last week, than in the rest of my life combined. In my opinion, that's probably what they wanted to teach us by having us do this final project.

We can all code to some extent by now. But in the real world, at least as an employed developer, you don't often get to hide away in your own little box. You're going to have to collaborate with other people. And boy have I learned about the challenges of doing that.

I'd also had some great lessons in the frustrating realities of coding. Sometimes your code just doesn't work. And that fucking sucks. But it's what you signed-up for by doing this.

This had been a shitty day for my productivity, but I learned a tonne by watching these teachers trying to fix my code and the methods that they used.

I think that every group had been through their struggles, but some were definitely progressing better than others, and will perhaps have something better to show for it on Demoday.

But did they learn more, when everything went right?

Probably not. And that's why we're here.

Sure I'm frustrated. Sure I'm pissed off. But I'm definitely learning.

Day 42

I was due a better day today, because... well it couldn't have been any worse.

And it was better.

The code I wrote worked today, and I didn't have any bugs that I was unable to solve, meaning that I didn't have to put in any tickets again today.

I'll concede that by this point that's probably a good thing.

There are only three more days until the end of this bootcamp and until the end of help on demand. And I seem to be one of the only people who's developed the ability to fix things on their own.

That stems from, I think, doing so much after-hours work in my own time, where there is no one to help me. I've had to learn how to problem solve in order to make any progress, and most people haven't got there yet. For most people, it's an instant reaction to put in a ticket whenever something goes wrong.

This day went much better, although I was still fairly fed-up come the end of it.

Partly this was due to the continued struggles of collaboration, which I maintain are slowing us down to the point that the four of us as a group, are being less productive than me working alone.

It's four steps forward and three steps back, where half of the code that someone writes doesn't get implemented because it clashes with someone else. And that's just tiresome.

Other people in my group also have laser-focus on things that I just don't think are important.

My goal is to learn as much as possible. I genuinely couldn't give a fuck about Demoday.

If we have an amazing Demoday presentation, but I didn't learn anything in the process, then what's the point in having it?

I'd rather present garbage but understand every step of how we got there. Which is why the endless tickets that my peers put in are a little cumbersome.

If we don't understand the code that's in our project, then what's the point?

I'll tell you: It'll make the Demoday presentations better. And as I'm realising, the school cares a lot about them. They're a great marketing tool, where they can show prospective students 'hey, look what our last batch of students was able to build after only eight weeks.'

There had to this point been two rehearsal presentations, with more to come, and the feedback was never about how the website could be improved or how the code could be written better. It was always about how to make the presentation better.

Don't turn your back to the audience, speak more slowly etc.

And sure, that's a useful skill. One that I acquired long ago through teaching, so maybe that's why it bothers me that it's getting so much focus, because it's just not something that I need to learn.

Everyone else is getting really into it though, and allowing it to dictate the code that we write. It's not about 'how can we build a functional product that works well and that teaches us as much as possible?' It's about 'how can we get our website looking amazing for the presentation?'

I'm just not interested in that.

The impending Demoday had also reignited the dilemma of it I wanted to drink again, because I've long thought about the end of this bootcamp being a worthy reason to break from my almost four years of untainted clarity.

But at the same time... do I really want to drink again? I really don't miss it. And despite spending the last two months hunched-over a laptop, I still feel like a relatively healthy person.

And with my lack of excitement for how these last few days were being conducted, with the focus being on presentations ahead of learning, I didn't really know that I'd be in the mood for celebration.

My plan after the bootcamp today, was as usual, to come home and code for three or four more hours before bed. But when I got home and I looked at our project, I just couldn't face it.

Disregarding what I've said about this project being about what I learn, not what we produce, I still couldn't face spending four hours coding something that would get 70% discarded in the morning, because it clashed with someone else's code, or it wasn't quite inline with our vision.

How much wasted time can you dedicate to one thing?

Before I came here, never once in a million years did I think that three days before the end of the bootcamp, I'd have time for anything other than the group project that I was a part of.

I was still intent on coding, but I just couldn't face our project, so instead I started my own one. And spending more than four hours working on it, I had to tear myself away form my laptop in order to go to bed.

It was the first coding I'd enjoyed since this group project had started.

No collaboration, no code clashing, no competing visions. Just me, creating what I want to create.

And I know that's not the reality of an employed programmer, so you don't need to point that out.

My hope is that reality lies somewhere in between the disorganisation of this group project, and the freedom of doing anything that I want.

I would hope... hope, that in the real world, there is more structure and a clearer vision.

In a way, this is a good demonstration of how I see my life going from here.

I even drew a graph to make it clearer:

As I see it, the trajectory of my life is about to drop off a cliff.

For the past few years, my existence has been very steady.

Not a very high ceiling in teaching. Not really too much that you can achieve, but you never fall too far either.

Your existence is fairly steady and lacklustre.

I think that the potential highs of coding are limitless.

In terms of satisfaction, in terms of learning, and in terms of money. There is great potential for all of them.

The road to get there is going to be tough though. I'm expecting, maybe the next two years to be absolutely horrible.

A lower quality of living than I'm used to as I start-off in low-paid positions.

Struggle and stress everyday, as I first try to claw myself into a job, and then as I learn and struggle to find my feet in that job.

Things will slowly get better. But I expect it to take a couple of years of discomfort until I come out the other side, at which point I'll not only be able to command a comfortable salary, but I'll also have the freedom to choose my own path.

People make an absolute fortune from freelancing once they know what they're doing. And those who stay in work make a healthy living.

I'm just going to have to go through a lot of stress, and a lot of pain, and a lot of struggle until I get there. And that's how I see my future.

In the short-medium term, it's going to be hard. I don't expect to enjoy my life too much for the next couple of years.

My hope though, is that once I make it out the other side, the opportunity and the potential in front of me make it worth getting out of bed every morning.

That's why I'm doing this.

Rather than having the mundanity of relative comfort by teaching for the rest of my life, I've instead swapped it for possibility and potential. But potential means nothing if you don't realise it. And these next couple of years are going to be about attempting to do just that. And that's probably going to mean reaching lows that I haven't reached for a very long time.

But I'm aware of that, and I'm ready for that. And hopefully... hopefully in the future, it will have all been worthwhile.

Day 43

Based on how disillusioned I felt from yesterday, I started today in a foul mood. I didn't want to see or speak to anybody, and I've never been someone who's very good at hiding their feelings.

Actually, that's not completely true. I woke-up at 6am and spent more than an hour working on my own project and I really enjoyed that. And it frustrated me that I had to stop to go to the bootcamp.

For the early part of the day, I really didn't do a good job of hiding my disdain for how things were going.

I didn't say anything directly, but I don't think that I looked overly enthusiastic at our daily meeting to discuss what shade of blue we were going to use.

The American guy seemed equally rebellious today as well, as I think that he too was frustrated by how things were going.

He's still very weak, and like me is more interested in learning than of making something that looks good for a presentation.

I'd rather have a rusty old Ferrari than a polished turd.

In this morning meeting, our team leader had a list of the things that he thought we ought to be working on today. And he asked me, "can you implement Pundit?"

To translate, Pundit is a piece of software that limits actions that you can undertake on a website. For example, it'll stop you from being able to change the profile picture on someone's profile other than your own.

In a complete reversal of roles, I protested that this offered no value for the upcoming presentation, and would just cause us problems, because the way Pundit works, is it blocks every page of a website by default. You then have to individually allow access to the pages that you want people to be able to see.

It sounds simple when you say it like that. In reality, you can run into no end of problems as you can find yourself unable to grant access to some key pages. And at this stage of the game, do we really want to be adding this Pandora's box of issues, that'll provide us with no benefit for the presentation?

The only way that anyone would know that Pundit even existed on our website would be if it blocked something that we didn't want it to block.

He was adamant that it was necessary, and seeing as I'd been able to implement it successfully in our previous project, he asked me to do so again, despite the protest of the American that he wanted to do it because he was 'here to learn' and he'd never done it before.

Being as weak as he is, this isn't the kind of thing that you want to give to someone that has the propensity to fuck it up, because if it gets fucked up, it will fuck up your entire website. So despite being openly willing to let the American take this task, I got stuck with it anyway.

I got through it without too many issues, just needing teacher help for a couple of minor things. And on those two occasions, they both asked me with bemusement, 'why are you installing this today? It adds nothing to your project and will just cause you problems.'

'Yep, I agree' was the only way I could respond.

That had become the story of this project, really.

You write code, and half of it disappears because it clashes with someone else. You implement a feature, only to be told it's pointless.

It just wasn't an environment oozing with motivation.

As I said previously, this website just wasn't big enough for four people to be working concurrently on. That had been the main root of my frustration the whole way through.

It annoyed me that this was the case, and it annoyed me that the teachers were encouraging us to keep our project so small.

I looked on in envy at other groups, whose sites didn't look very good, but that had a litany of pages and features.

I just looked at them and thought... I bet they've learned so much.

There isn't much lipstick on their pig, but who cares? That stuff's easy to learn once the bootcamp's over.

When it got to sometime after 5pm and I'd done about all I could for today without stepping on other people's toes, I looked out of the window only to think to myself... why am I stuck in here, when I could leave and go running on the beach as the sun sets?

Which I did.

It was perhaps the earliest that I'd left the bootcamp on any day, but I didn't want to stay stuck inside just for the sake of it.

Either on this project if there was something to do, or on my own project if there wasn't (and it turned-out to be the latter), I was going to be working right up until bed anyway. May as well take a bit of a break and do something fun.

So I left and went on probably the most scenic run I've ever been on. It was beautiful.

Day 44

This was the penultimate day of the bootcamp, and was really about just adding some final polish to our project.

We were told that everything had to be finished by 3pm, which I took way too literally, because if you know me, I'm never late.

I'd stopped working by 2:50pm, only to find myself twiddling my thumbs for two hours until we actually finished.

I thought about leaving because there were only presentation rehearsals to go from here, but simply to give the impression of being involved and enthusiastic still, I hung around until 7pm when they were all over.

I wasn't part of our presentation. It needed just a presenter and a technician.

I'd have been happy to do either, but our team leader wanted to present, which was fair enough seeing as it was his idea, and the Welsh guy was desperate to be the technician.

So I didn't really have any reason to stay for this rehearsal. I begrudgingly did anyway. And I didn't really enjoy it.

Other people showed such excitement for this bootcamp coming to an end and what they'd been able to achieve. I just didn't share it with them.

As far as I was concerned, nothing was coming to an end.

This is only the beginning, and now that the bootcamp's over, I'm going to work even harder.

Nor was I especially proud of our project.

Sure, it looked good. But I think it was lacking compared to what we had the potential to achieve.

If we'd wasted less time, I think that we could have produced something so much better.

Day 45

This was it. The final day of the bootcamp.

In truth, it had already kind of finished in my mind.

I'd sat through the presentations yesterday, everyone had got excited when they were over, and afterwards I went home and worked on my own post-bootcamp project.

In my mind it was already over, although the one thing I was anxious to go to today, was a workshop, put on by two of the teachers, about what to do and how to progress post Le Wagon.

After so few people had attended the marketing talk by a guest speaker a couple of weeks earlier, they'd cancelled what was supposed to be the third and final guest speaker, and I think the workshop on this final day was to make-up for that.

This was probably more valuable to be honest. It was well worth attending. It illuminated how we should proceed from here, how to get jobs, how to continue to improve our education and what resources to use.

The thing that they stressed the most, was to keep on coding for several hours per day, because you'll forget all you learned in these eight weeks as quickly as you learned it.

I'm way ahead of you, I started my next project four days ago.

If anything though, they recommended so much to do, so many ways to improve, so many resources to use, that it would take me years to get through all of them. And I hope to find a job in months, not years. So I took away from it more the aged philosophy of 'Do something.' Just make sure that you're learning and improving everyday.

And one of the teachers even told us that even though you feel green now, if you do go into freelance work, you should still charge a minimum junior developer rate of €25 per hour.

Excuse me?

You think I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn't charge someone €25 per hour for my services?

Ummm... that's quite a lot. But apparently that's now what I can command for freelance work.

I'll believe it when I see it.

It was well worth attending this workshop. And before we all went to lunch together, they wanted to spend yet another hour rehearsing the presentations, which was getting ridiculous now.

It's just a presentation.

Our team leader came up to me before the workshop started, and said "I've put some more things online that we need to work on."

What?

"Right now it isn't really something that we can send to an employer, so I've put online some more things that we need to work on."

Oh... wait, you mean that you're expecting me to keep on working on this project now that the bootcamp's over?

I tried to feign enthusiasm, but I don't think that I did a very good job.

I was glad to see the back of this project and to move onto my own thing. Which I may regret in a couple of years if this idea's worth billions. But I had absolutely no intention of writing even another line of code for this project.

One thing that I've noticed since coming here, is that in the tech industry or at the very least, among people that attend programming bootcamps, I find myself as far less of an outlier.

If I say to most people in the real world that I'm going to starve myself for sixteen hours per day, they think I'm crazy. Here though, a much more likely response would be "oh yeah, I do that too."

In Bangkok my attitude towards exercise and pushing myself as hard as possible, even when going running in 40°c, would be completely unmatched.

The people that I worked with in Bangkok might take offence to this, but although there were some people who exercised a lot, it was never anything especially intense.

I felt like an anomaly for walking everywhere and going running in the middle of the day.

Here I feel lazy.

The manager of this bootcamp does ultra marathons. His longest was 270km I believe. Other people were at this lunch talking about the triathlons or Iron Man's that they do, which puts to shame me running down the beach to the airport and back and getting tired.

Many people here were vegetarian, many listen to the same podcasts I do.

These were all things that in Bangkok and at other times in my life, I found myself a complete outlier for. Here though, what might elsewhere be perceived as my unusual habits, were very normal. And I kind of hope that translates over into the rest of my tech career. If I have one.

Throughout this bootcamp we'd been trapped in such a bubble.

Seeing the same people everyday, doing the same thing everyday.

There was no perception of time, or of reality. And it was so weird to sit here at this lunch and think... this is it. This is the end of this bootcamp.

I looked at my calendar and it was almost with shock that I realised I'd be back in London in just five days.

It was almost like my mind hadn't moved-on at all from when I left Bangkok. So to me, London was still miles away in the future. Months away still.

I kind of had to slap myself a bit and be like... no. Winter is coming.

Five days from now, you're going to be out in the cold. Both literally and figuratively.

You're going to be faced with your first winter temperatures for almost four years. And you're going to be out on your own, with no job and no income and no structure in your life, just trying to... make it.

Kind of in a mess, torn between applying for jobs and trying to build a portfolio, and maybe even looking for freelance work. Unsure where to really go, but back in a rat-race that you were pretty much shielded from when teaching English.

It's both terrifying and exhilarating, and it very suddenly hit me that no, this isn't some distant reality. This is happening. Five days from now.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the last time I'd faced a winter was also the last time I'd drunk alcohol. Now less than three months away from my four year anniversary of last having a drink, I wrestled the entire day with whether or not I was going to break my sobriety to mark the end of the bootcamp.

It's been a very uneasy commitment that I've made for these past four years.

I definitely don't miss alcohol, and even less miss the hangovers and the wasted money.

If I'd been partying in my time in Bangkok, I probably wouldn't have had the savings to do this bootcamp.

But at the same time, for four years my social life has been very baron, just because as I've found out, meeting new people and socialising in general, is not that easy without alcohol.

Almost everyone I know drinks for fun.

And while I don't miss the alcohol itself, just to be sociable from time to time, I sometimes wish that I didn't have this monkey on my back of such a long streak of sobriety.

Nowadays, ever drinking again has become such a big deal in my mind, that I can't sit down and have just one beer with someone. Or just go for a drink to relax at the end of the day.

I can't do it.

And the end of this bootcamp had long seemed the perfect time to say hey... you're never going to see these people again after tonight. You've worked bloody hard, you've learned a lot. Why not get this monkey off your back and enjoy yourself for once?

It was compounded by having an open bar at the hotel for Demoday. For that part of it at least, I wouldn't have to worry about spending my own money.

But then... do I really want alcohol back in my life?

The bad hangovers, the forgotten nights, the vomiting in the toilets. Do I really want to welcome that back? Because once this streak's over, once that internal pressure to not drink is gone, then it probably won't be another four years of sobriety.

As I arrived back at the school in the evening, I realised that Demoday was a far bigger deal that I'd anticipated.

I was expecting just the rehearsals that I'd seen multiple times by now, with perhaps a couple of girlfriends here watching, and a camera set-up to document the evening.

Turns-out I completely misjudged.

There was an open bar, there was an open barbecue, there was a live band, rows of seats, teachers wearing shirts, and more people attending than could fit into all of them.

Wow, I didn't know this was going to be such a big deal.

The pomp and circumstance was a definite marketing ploy, as at the beginning and end of the presentations, the manager made a speech telling people how amazing the bootcamp was and what they could learn in just eight weeks.

They were hoping to convince those in attendance that they should be in the next batch.

As for the presentations, ours was last. And for however disappointed I'd previously felt, I actually watched with a lot of pride as my two team-mates presented our website.

They both did a phenomenal job presenting. And I was watching almost as a spectator, realising that hey... we did implement this feature. And we did implement that feature. This actually is something that we can be proud of.

When I'd been working on it everyday I'd been too close to the trees to see the forest. But actually having it spelled-out to me what we'd done... it actually was something to be proud of. We actually did manage to come together as a group, and build something special.

Or Buidl something special.

As the Welsh guy pointed-out to me afterwards, they couldn't have picked four more different people. But in the end, for all our differences, it eventually did work.

It really did now feel like the end.

As I've said so many times through this blog, this bootcamp was one long blur.

If you'd told me that I'd been going to that school everyday for two months, living in this room for two months, I'd have told you you were crazy. It didn't feel anything like it. And it was sad, that this group of people would never share that room together again.

We're all going to go on, we're all going to do different things. But I think for everyone involved, these two months were special.

That's how it felt. Now it was over, and we could look back at it, it felt like we'd been a part of something special.

There'd been a lot of highs, and perhaps even more lows.

People didn't always get along, and they definitely had their differences. But that was part of what had made this such an amazing experience. And I think everyone suddenly had a feeling of... I can't believe it's over.

One night to celebrate, before we all go our separate ways.

Post-bootcamp

Now I remember why I stopped drinking.

It was a crazy night-out from what I can remember of it. But my plan to code from the very next day went completely out the window as I spent all day in bed with a hangover.

For that reason alone, I was glad that I hadn't done as many people had, and booked a flight out the day after the bootcamp finished. I had a couple of days to relax.

The first of those I stayed in bed. Then today I wanted to write this blog. After more than ten years, perhaps the penultimate blog of my travels.

It's so strange for me to think, that in just three days from now, I'm going to be hunting for a job in London. Le Wagon, coming to an end. Jethro as a teacher, coming to an end. Bangkok, coming to an end. Ten years of travelling, coming to an end.

Three days from writing this sentence, I'm going to be back in England to try and pick-up where I left off ten years ago.

That's such a head-fuck.

The truth is that I really don't know what the future holds.

I'll go where there's a job, and if that's not in London, then so be it. I'd go to Europe or back to Asia or pretty much anywhere else to be honest.

I also haven't completely ruled-out freelancing.

My rationale is that learning from a senior developer whilst employed would be better than trying to go it alone right away. To get a couple of years experience at least, I think that being employed would be the best thing for me.

Maybe after that I could start freelancing, and with that regaining the freedom to live where I pleased.

I certainly wouldn't say no to living in Bangkok again, and just speaking to my ex today it saddens me that I don't know when or even if we'll ever meet again.

So I guess all I can really say is that I'll go with the wind. But I imagine that's going to leave me in London.

And talking like I'm home already, it's almost like I don't have one completely new country to visit before I get home.

Tomorrow I fly to Singapore, a place that's never really appealed to me if I'm honest.

It does have an Apple Store though, and my iPhone 6 battery has slowly been swelling up more and more as this bootcamp's gone on.

Now it's pretty obvious just by looking at it, that my phone has a swollen battery (which can be a tad problematic).

Hopefully that doesn't give me problems when boarding the plane.

And so my plan is to land in Singapore, go to my Airbnb, and then walk to the Apple Store, where iPhones are cheaper than in London.

That's almost a little sad, that the last stop of this trip that started ten years ago when iPhones were barely known gimmicky gadgets, is to buy an iPhone.

I'll see what I can of Singapore too obviously, for the day and a half that I'm there. And that's how it's going to end.

My £176 flight to London offers neither seat selection nor a vegetarian choice of meal, so I'm anticipating being stuck between two people on a cramped plane while hungry for perhaps the worst fourteen hours of my life.

Worth it to save the money, but that won't make it any funner. And that will be... it.

The end.