We are now entering the 8th week of the bootcamp. In some ways I’m amazed at what I’ve been able to do. If I had been studying on my own I wouldn’t have made it this far. Not that it’s easy. There have been times when I’ve felt completely lost and after getting help from one of the teachers, discovered I never would have gotten to the other side of a problem on my own. One thing our cohort is famous for is isolating ourselves. There’s a little bit of competitiveness and a natural tendency to work alone that’s been getting in our way. We’ve slowly but surely started to reach out to each other, both for help and to help. The teachers always encouraged us to work together. I wish we had listened to them earlier. In any case, we are beginning to gel as a group, finally.
Working in a group is not new for me. I’ve worked on teams as a prepress tech, web designer and as a video editor. But in those jobs I was always hired for my expertise. I always expected to be able to start a project, or at least my part, and take it all the way to the end without needing any help. I might need clarification at times but never assistance with actually performing the job. Well it turns out, especially as an entry level developer, I’ll be expected to check in regularly with my manager to make sure I’m on the right track or, gasp!?, ask for help! That was the kiss of death on my other jobs. I was hired because I was supposed to know what I was doing. Now, it seems people won’t have that expectation. Though, it will still be my responsibility to ask for help and guidance. This is a new concept for me. It’s not an impossible adjustment. I like accomplishing things on my own, but I also like finishing projects.
So what’s next? Well now the cohort that has just started working together voluntarily will have no choice but to work together to some degree, as the next assignment is a group project. We’ll be put into groups and we’ll have to work with one another to successfully finish the project. To continue my Wizard of Oz theme, I’d say this is the part in the movie where the whole team has been assembled – Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tinman and the cowardly lion. Now, as a group, we’ll keep each other company and help each other out as we make our way down the yellow brick road to meet the wizard.