Here's what I have to say.
Can you learn full stack web development in 12 weeks?
You can't.  It's so adorable that they sell it as if you can and you believe them.  You can't.
Coming from zero background (and yes, zero background means 50-60 hours on codecademy - that's what we covered the first couple hours here), you cannot learn full stack development in 12 weeks. That's insane.
This week, just this week alone we covered mongoose, mongo, node, node.js, express, back-end, LAMP vs. MEAN stack, server.js vs. app.js, SQL, schemas, 'rubber ducking' , robomongo, it goes on and on. Just this week.  Last week was a similar dosage of material and the week before.

Is it all bad news then?  Two people have already dropped out that had no tech background.  The only people seeming to 'succeed' are the ones who've done this before.
But.  No, there is hope.
First of all, I am learning.  It's slower than others because we've covered more databases and libraries than I even knew existed a couple weeks ago. And when you consider that, I've actually learned a ton!  I can use my terminal. I can upload repositories to Github. I can create full-fledged, live, online sites. I can build a fully interactive, 2 player game.  I know the terminology of the front-end and back-end and I could describe it to you in detail.  I am learning.
And more than that, I'm becoming used to the feeling of being completely overwhelmed.  There's no checklist of things you completed for the day. There's gigantic projects that you have to work on for four hours and maybe get 10% through and that's OKAY.  It really is.
We're learning how to ask for help. How to know how to ask for help, how to ask the right questions or how to google them in a way that will help solve our problems.  I've heard repeatedly since I've been here that junior web developers spend 80% of their day googling how to solve problems. So it's not that you know everything, there's too much!
As my instructor said, 'We're preparing you for jobs that don't exist. By the time you get to your job, everything will have changed.'  It's pointless to try to 'master' anything in this business because by the time you master it, they've come out with a new and better language.

So it's not measured by the success of what you normally would consider an 'accomplishment'.  It's learning how to work in this tsunami of constant information and change and be flexible.  Learn quickly. Ask questions. Constantly stay humble and vulnerable.  You cannot sit in your little corner and whine because you don't get it.
And I really am learning so much about how proud I am. I am so proud.  I hate being in a position of weakness and guess what?  Even if I make it to be Senior Developer someday, I have to learn to stay open and willing to change constantly. That is this business.  And that's why even though every day it feels like I'm floundering, I'm actually learning the vital skills it takes to be software engineer in this insanely, fast-paced world we live in today.  And it's totally worth it.

I spin it off as if I think like this every day. I totally, totally don't.  But, I'm trying. And it's stretching me as a person in really awesome ways.  All we can do is our absolute best.  That's all I can do.  And if I'm doing that every single day, I'm becoming a better software engineer every single day.


  1. Wow, that sounds so-SO incredibly hard and crazy. But it sounds like you are picking things up quickly and are doing really well. I'm So Proud of yoU Lisa!! :) xoxo!

  2. Good for you pressing onward, knowing confidently that you will succeed!!! You are, "out of the boat!" and you are learning to swim and to walk on water in humble faith!


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