Week Seven – Getting To Grips

The first week of my online coding bootcamp was, in a way, a ‘breeze’ – plenty of revision, and I felt quite clever when I was able to quickly solve questions that my classmates were only just learning to understand.

Of course, that feeling can’t last forever, and week two brought me some new challenges that I had to learn to face. Not all of those challenges, however, were code related…

Admitting my weaknesses

Week two presented me with a simple homework assignment: writing code to find the area of some shapes.

As I said…’simple’.

Except it wasn’t. Not for me.

I have always had a bad relationship with math. As a child, I didn’t quite ‘grasp’ it, yet due to my high grades in all of my other subjects, I was always expected to provide good results.

In High School, the level of maths you studied was decided based on how well you did generally at school. I was a high-achiever, which meant I was put in the top level for math, as well. In class, I struggled to understand even the basics of what was going on – as a result, I was told that I was just not trying hard enough.

“We know you can do it, you do well in everything else.”

Sometimes, I would ask a parent for help with my homework. My dad would explain how to get the answers using simple techniques, and I would feel confident that I had finally grasped the concept.

Then, when I handed my homework to my teacher, she would loudly lecture me for not using the method she had taught me.

The same happened when I ended up getting a tutor to pass my mid-high school maths exams.

Thanks to my tutor, I did manage to pass that exam with good results. However, the entire experience had soured me against the subject, and I decided to drop it at age 14.

Essentially, I haven’t studied math in over ten years, and this week I realised that it might put me at a disadvantage.

The course-load grows

A part of me is very interested in eventually studying computer science as a second degree, so it’s necessary to improve my mathematics abilities.

For this reason, I have signed up with KhanAcademy, and I am now slowly making my way through their entire catalog of math courses in the hopes of reaching at least Calculus 1 level by the end of my ‘Year of Code’ challenge.

Of course, this means even more for me to study per week on top of my coding and full-time job. Last week, I mentioned that I have been working hard to create an efficient schedule – this week, however, that schedule has become even busier, and I am definitely feeling the effects on my daily life.

It’s hard to stay awake in the evenings after 9 hours of work and some pre-job mathematics, so my code becomes sloppier.

My job is hectic and often seems to demand overtime, which I try to complete in the mornings instead of the evenings – this results in less mathematics and homework time before work starts.

There are days when I wake up feeling as though I haven’t slept at all, but I know that it will all be worth it if I just keep going…

Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash

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