Coding Bootcamp: From Loving Classes to Hating Fractals

These past two weeks have been a rollercoaster. Did I say the same in my previous article? Oh well, I guess that is the life of a programming student. But I don’t mind it: I am enjoying the ride.

On the third week of the bootcamp, we learnt about data structures and did some exercises involving Arrays, Arraylists and HashMaps. Was it fun at first? Definitely not. Did it get better with time? It did. Will it be useful in the future? For sure.

So, at first, looking at an exercise with six entries like this…

… and with these instructions…

“Display the following things: Who has got more candies than 4 / Sum the age of people who have less than 5 candies”

… was completely puzzling. But, as the days progressed, solutions like this started to feel natural.

But my favorite part about the past two weeks was definitely learning about classes and objects. Do you know those words you see in Java code, like “public”, “private”, “static”, “void” and so on? For the first two weeks, we were told to just write them without caring about their meaning. It got very confusing to me. But when we finally learnt about classes and instantiating objects, it felt that, finally, I could put in order the messy knowledge in my head. And it felt great to be able to solve some exercises with a “story” behind them. We created ships full of pirates, farms full of animals and petrol stations that fill up cars’ tanks just by calling a method:

fillTank();

It’s fun! And let’s not forget about the Pokemon!

But not everything was great these two weeks. In the first one, we started drawing in Java. Things like this…

… or this…

But then we had some challenges I could not accomplish. It got even worse in the following week, after we learnt about recursion (which is cool, by the way, and not as frightening as our mentors made it sound). Putting together our drawing and recursion knowledge, we were supposed to draw fractals like this:

Well, it did not happen in my case. I could only manage to do some weird lines and shapes. Nothing like what the final thing was supposed to look like. Let’s just call it abstract art…

For now, I will leave it for a few days and wait for implicit learning to do its magic. Hopefully, with some time and a broader knowledge, I will manage to accomplish something like this later on.

In the next two weeks, we are going to deepen our knowledge of object oriented programming, learn about testing and create our first game! Everything sounds exciting except for the other thing we will also have to do: our first exam.

Even though I am enjoying the course, I find it very intensive and demanding. It would be great to have some days to rest. So, as I am writing this on a Saturday, I can only wish for one thing…

A recursive weekend!

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