I don't want to gather unsavory attention for reviewing this school with negative honesty yet, I want people to be aware of how this school didn't suit me. So I'll start with this video. I put this in another blog post but what the heck.I think this video will be busted.
To get to the chase, 42school isn't for introverts and beginners, or maybe just people like me.
I signed up for the free 4 week long bootcamp 42Adelaide hosts a few times during the year. The gimmick of the school is that it's all free if you get in. I loved the location of it being right next to the Adelaide central markets (a place with ample food and coffee), so it's exceedingly unfortunate what happened next. Only a few hours into the study I realised this wasn't for me.
So they amp up this school for being focused on peer-to-peer based learning, meaning in this case, your peers review your work. There are no teachers and whatnot to guide you through the complex process learning both Shell and C in under a week.
The expectations were beyond unbearable, yes even in the first few questions. Operating a shell terminal in under a day? That formidable black box I've avoided all my years of using a computer? Whoo-whaaa?
Because there is a buttload of things to learn; the shortcuts to moving around, what will delete files, copy files, create files, edit files. All of that takes time! They were tossing exercises at us that I couldn't even begin to fathom how to attempt.
Yes I felt massively dumb. I surely haven't felt so stupid in my entire life than in this one week alone.
I thought it would be tricky, but not mind-numbingly complex on the first week. I had my Google dad help me with about all of them. Another sign I wasn't meant for this system.
It's not just the exercises being ridiculously tough that did it for me but...
Therefore, social interactions are skewed. Of course dudes wanna help the hotter girls, of course. Okay, whatever you have a friendship or romance going on. That's not a fair way of expecting people to survive, especially underdogs, what I consider myself to be. Therefore, this pedagogy cuts out the underdogs. It says, you aren't gregarious or 'nice' enough so therefore you don't get 'helped'.
Helped. More like straight up given the answer,
that's the only way these doofuses survive. :|
People didn't have the right answers anyway, I noticed that everyone was just making assumptions about what they thought was right.
For example, as I said in the above video, I had a massive problem with my git repo (a method of saving work basically). It cost me my first vital grade and made days of work redundant, yet another reason I decided not to pursue the school. One of the salty mentors slammed around on the keyboard, assumed he had fixed it, stormed off in a huff and hadn't solved a damn thing. I wasn't impressed by this interaction.
I noticed some student had offered up to do a 'git workshop', when I overheard it, I realised she was talking about exactly the same basic shit me and my dad had already attempted! None of it could help me! It seems like verbal Chinese-whispers is only source of help they allow. This approach with preaching about such expertise turned out to be vague and completely useless to those in need of real help.
I would turn left and right, trying to find someone open to talk with me. Nada. Zilch. Zip. It began to get so disheartening as I insistently just turned to messaging my dad. I could not find help from the bustling crowds around me.
I decided at the end of the week before the exam, that this school is not made for me. Luckily, I lost a week of time, a bucketload of mental sanity but zero money. I lost a bit of pride, because of course I wished I could have excelled.
It's sad, because of course I talked to some nice people, I just cant learn and socialise at the same time. It is incredibly stressful on my brain. One half focusing on being non-autistic, (masking myself) the other attempting to soak up coding tips. These sides of myself cannot work at the same time.
I hate to bring the autism excuse into things, but I segment up parts of myself and introversion is my dominant side. The effort spent trying to communicate with a person discussing your or their code is far more draining than getting written feedback from a teacher which I can analyse in peace and quiet. That is what I want. Classical, traditional teaching methodology.
I even left my mouse at one of the computers and am too annoyed with the school to go back and get it. :| I don't know how we're expected to go back and give up the keycards either.
I could beat myself up, tell myself there was something wrong with me, and that I shouldn't pursue programming, or that I'm not smiley and friendly enough, but I know better. I have learnt self kindness enough to accept when something is bad for me. This school is a very bad fit for me. Whether or not this was a sign I am not cut out for programming, I don't know. I pursue what makes me happy.
Instead, I'm turning to Udemy tutorials for my programming fix for now, then heading back to Adelaide uni for Media next semester. I'm also planning on doing a winter film school there, which only goes towards a BA but still sounds enticing. It's best to lean into your strengths. Although programming may not be mine, I wont get discouraged. It just takes a longer time and different teaching style for me to learn.
I want to support my Adelaide, of course, this is just because I enjoy the feeling of commuting into a physical space and working 9-5. It just has to be respectably quiet, otherwise I will go bat-shit-bonkers. Maybe programming must be learnt through online tutorials, natural smarts and dedication alone, and isn't something any school can teach.
Of course, it may fit others. I don't want to attack this school, as I admit the prospect of learning programming in a lively environment had so enticed me to try it. It may be a better fit for people that thrive in social environments. So if this 'peer focused' methodology sounds like it takes your fancy, go for it.