The first step to a thousand miles…

Life is a journey of constant learning. In this learning process, our guides range from parents, teachers, elders, religious leaders, and our idols- people we look up to. From the day we are born we meet the midwives that usher us to this world. The stakeholders listed above are “mere” guides.

In my opinion, learning is better when an individual is willing to learn. There might be slow and fast learners but, without the willingness to learn, no learning can take place. It is my willingness to learn that made me take up the challenge to become an Andela fellow. The fact that Andela is the only startup that’s harder to get into than Harvard, says it all.

Stepping up

My alarm clock woke me up at 6:30 in the morning, on the 16th of October, 2017. This is my usual wake up time after a 6-hour sleep. I was at a cyber café at 7:30. Looked through the challenges and tasks from my emails and without hesitation I knew I was up for the challenge. A YOYO learning experience filled with collaboration. I started practicing my challenges awaiting the kick-off call from my facilitator, Mr. Kamau Jonathan at 10 o’clock.

The call was to last for an hour. At around 10:20 am, enough members had joined the call. The first session involved introduction and rapport creation amongst the member and communication protocols laid out by the facilitator. The information during the call was important especially in areas members needed clarification. The call ended at around half past 11.

This may sound braggadocios; I am an organized person, but it’s just who I am. The first task I did was read through Challenge one and internalize what my expectations were and deliverables at the end of the day. I would group the tasks into three categories: relatively new, relatable, and familiar. Relatively new are tasks that I had not encountered at any point in life. Relatable tasks are those which one can follow in steps to completion with medium to no difficulty. Familiar tasks are those I have done before, for example creating logical and physical user interface designs and implementing them.

I created the wireframes and class diagram for the application. It was not my first time and therefore did not experience a lot of difficulties. The next big step was to implement the designs using HTML, CSS, and JS. With the designs in place, the little mastery I have in HTML and CSS, the process was fairly smooth except on some bootstrap v.4 classes I was not familiar with. I looked through the documentation online.

I pushed the files and folders to my new repository and branches and committed my changes. Later, I hosted my pages on Github pages. At the end of the day, I had the deliverables that I submitted to my facilitator and to the feedback form.

The self-learning experience at the boot camp is like no other I have experienced. Researching and getting to learn by oneself makes content understanding interesting and at the same time challenging. At the end of the day what counts is ‘willingness to learn’.