A Tool For Objective Self-Discovery

“And I used to have a little book called the bug book, where I’m the bug and I’m studying the bug called Jim.”

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In his interview on The Tim Ferris Show, business author Jim Collins talks extensively about his journaling practice, inspired by a mentor who suggested that he study himself like a bug. I tried out Jim’s journaling approach, and benefitted greatly, so I built BugBook.

The purpose of Bug Book is to help users discover and learn more about themselves. In Jim’s words, “We struggle in our 20s to get clarity about how to deploy ourselves in the…

Drinking from a Firehose, on a Rollercoaster, Through a Whirlwind, and Other Clichés

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You thirsty? — — — Photo by Michael Jeffrey on Unsplash

It’s honestly pretty difficult to believe that I’m already nearly a third of the way through my software engineering program with Thinkful.

Just two months ago, I was drilling FreeCodeCamp and CodeWars. I came into bootcamp with what I thought was a fairly solid grasp of basic JavaScript and HTML. And I definitely did.

But man, has the past month been like drinking from a firehose.

In the past 5 week’s I’ve:

  • Exponentially increased my JavaScript, HTML, and CSS skills
  • Learned jQuery
  • Got comfortable with jQuery
  • Built a Shakespeare Quiz application
  • Learned how to use APIs
  • Created a Bookmarks application

The process behind my first major bootcamp project

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Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

We went from zero to web app REAL fast. This project began in the middle of our second week of class, so we’d had only seven days of instruction before hand. Our assignment was to, with a partner, create a simple quiz app, with at least 5 questions, and we we had two days to do it. Well, really one and a half, since the morning of day one was taken up with our usual lecture and pair programming assignments. All we had learned at this point was basic JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and jQuery, so that’s all we used.


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Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

Enrolling in Thinkful’s bootcamp was easy. All it took was one $12,000 click of the mouse, and that was it. The chips were down, and I definitely felt a strong sense of “failure is not an option”. I needed to set myself up for success as best as possible and attempt to learn as much as I could on my own before my first day. I needed a plan.

The problem was…there. is. so. much. to. learn. I wondered what to focus on. Should I just drill basic JavaScript? Become as comfortable as possible with HTML and CSS? …

The first step on my journey from Shakespeare to software

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Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

When COVID hit, I was working for a small talent acquisition firm as a recruiter. After the initial stress of an abrupt switch to work-from-home wore off, I felt like I was able to find another gear. I was setting personal bests week after week on the majority of performance metrics that we tracked. With two hours worth of commuting cut out of my day I was getting more sleep, spending more time with my partner, and felt happier than I had in a long while. With ironic thanks to COVID, I’d hit my stride.

Then I had my quarterly…

Andrew Coleburn

Big ‘ole Nerd. Student in Thinkful’s Software Engineering Immersion Program. Follow me on Twitter @ARColeburn

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