Learning to Code: My Story as a Galvanize Web Dev Student, (Series) Part Four

This is a series written by former Galvanize employee Dan Beerman on his experience as a Galvanize student in WDI Cohort g70. Read Dan’s first post in the series here.

Back From Break

I’ve just finished week 7. The week before Thanksgiving was a big push for most of g70.  Our major deadline was to finish the first project, which I had done. The break was spent studying and taking a few days off. Now we’ve been back for a week, and the tone has definitely shifted in class for the better.

Shifting Mindset – Group Growth

This past week rung in a new dynamic for me and how I was working. Whether it’s being fresh off Break Week, that I’ve hit some personal roadblocks, or the cohort is getting closer, I’m finding myself spending most of the day working with a group.

I made a tic-tac-toe website, a calculator, and a painting web app with javascript and DOM manipulation. For each challenge I collaborated with Sarah, BJ, James, Bryan, and Ben – sometimes one person would walk the rest of the group through a concept or we would talk  through an entire  app on a whiteboard. For example, I built a calculator, but was stuck on making calculation display correctly. The DOMinators (what this mini-group named itself) booked a conference room and together, we recoded the whole application in an hour with clean, concise code. This group helped me get through a couple of harder challenges last week when I was struggling.

As the seasons change, Galvanize cohorts graduate and a new cohort begins – g75 started last Monday. Kyle’s had to give them some attention because they are using the same new spiral curriculum as my class. No Kyle?! You may think this is cause for alarm, but Kim Schlesinger and Matt Winzer have stepped in to help g70 out (we still get Marlena)! With the instructor support, my class is becoming more cohesive – students working ahead have started answering troubleshooting questions. My group example is one of many from last week. We support each other, self organize, and referring back to the ‘Learning to Learn’ lessons, you don’t really know something until you can teach it to someone else.

Cohort Community

Not only are we helping each other with class challenges, but we’re taking more ownership elsewhere, too. Marlena created a Github Organization called g70-Life, which is a repo the whole cohort contributes to. I mentioned a few ideas I had for this page to Ben and a few others, but didn’t think much past the conversations. Later in the week this group pulled me to a laptop. They’d created a site for all of us to add to. People talked about adding their own blog content, projects, and functionality. For example, Ross wants to add modules with our class’s playlists (we have our own group-curated Spotify playlist of 70 songs). I’m excited to follow up on how this page grows and changes over the following months.

Additional community developments include entrepreneur and student Bryan Novak, who created the g7-11 store. Over the break he bought bulk snacks and has them available for everyone, app pending (there aren’t any vending machines and Denver’s Platte Street is notoriously pricey for those on a student budget). Some g64 students facilitated a Web Dev Immersive-wide happy hour off campus. The Data Science students have set up a weekly Wednesday post-class hangout. I’ve started working on a volunteer project with g46 alumnus and a Galvanize member called Denver Biolabs – more to come on that later. Finally, there are whisperings of a potential “limited edition” g70 wine label.

We’re answering each other’s questions, self-organizing, staying challenged, and the weeks are flying by.  We’re growing continuously together. We’ve got months left to go, and I’m happy to stick with this cohort.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset