The hardest thing to overcome in computer science is intimidation. When you try to enter the field as a beginner, it feels like a foreign territory. I remember thinking “I would love to learn programming.” I also remember thinking “Do I belong in this field?”, “Am I good enough?”. I spent so much time wondering instead of actually exploring. The more I wondered, the more anxious I got. The people I talked to randomly threw around terms I was not familiar with. Every time I looked at someone who knows how to code, I would just assume they are smart. I imagined the field as a skyscraper with no stairs. Thinking I needed to jump in and land on top made it impossible. Granted it’s an exaggeration, but that was how I felt.
Thankfully, that anxiety was not strong enough to stop me. I had a chance to be mentored by amazing professionals and friends who honestly shared their stories. They showed me what their stairs look like. I saw how they kept on climbing them. Then, I started to set up my own stairs. This process is still supported by everyone around me. The network I have is very significant to my growth. This is what I want to give the students who will be joining the OHBD Computer Science Bootcamp.
The CS Bootcamp is more than a space for learning technical skills. It will prove to students that it’s is okay to be a beginner. It is designed in a way that will allow students to make mistakes and learn from them. I am so confident this will happen because I am witnessing this within the creation team which is made up of professionals with years of experience and scores of students. Everyone genuinely believes that each one of us has something important to contribute and learn. Everyone is a teacher and a student. Being a product of this dynamic team, the CS Bootcamp is going to be a place of growth.
The definition of growth is pushing limits and the bootcamp is going to do exactly that. The students will go on a six-month journey using website and app development skills to solve community-focused problems. I learned from my personal experience that the only way to be comfortable and even a little bit excited in the face of a problem is to work through many of them. This is why the CS Bootcamp is going to be rigorous. By the end of the program, we will have skilled web/app developers who know how to apply their skills in business, education, sociology, etc.
The intimidation and fear come from thinking, “I have to know it all.” Computer science is a field that requires constant learning. It can stretch as far as our imagination takes us. This is why the only way to feel at home in the field is to be willing to leave our comfort zones. This is why the bootcamp graduates will replace the intimidation with excitement; and the fear of jumping with the passion of climbing.