For years people have been telling me I should write a blog. They do not mean that they’d like to read my blog. They mean that humanity would be more productive if hearing me was optional.

It seemed like a great time to finally take the advice because last week I began a journey which could come to be career, if not country defining. (Well I could probably remove that if statement there but “one must handle the edge cases” is what I always say. “You’re wrong” is what others always say right after I always say that. An interesting correlation.)

On the 28th September 2015 myself and five others began an intensive bootcamp course to become working Ruby on Rails full stack developers in 3 months. (Ok, there are probably more than five others in the world who did this but I don’t know them. I mean, there were also probably at least 3165 people who on 28 September finally found an anti-perspirant that doesn’t make them itch. It’s important we don’t forget those people. In any case the five lovely ones I know and spend all my time with are Marvin, Chris, Simon, Patty and Jon.)

danspice, simonspice, adamspice, Marvin , chrisspice, jonspice, pattyspice

It’s called We Got Coders and damn it took some work to get into. There are lots of web development bootcamps in the UK but this was the only one I could find which offers a paid work placement as standard. And not like one of those “go on give em a little money for sweeties and the bus” apprenticeship type deals but a normal entry-level developer salary.

Better still, the teacher:student ratio is at least a three times nicer than the other bootcamps despite the upfront cost being the same. Finish up by setting the scene in an idyllic countryside retreat where for a reasonable rent, you get a hotel room, all your delicious weekday meals served up by the onsite chef, a lake, a river and your own swan. It looked like this had to be a con or at the very least a timeshare sell.

There’s my Terrence on the left

So, after visiting for the interview and being shocked that the place was even nicer than the photos I started entertaining thoughts like these:

“I know it’s super unlikely, but surely someone in the world has to get conned by a 32 year old guy with some coding skills showing some suckers round his friend’s Dad’s mansion and paying his weirdly diverse friend circle to pretend to be happy alumni, each with convincing backstory, foreign accents and fake coding knowledge…so why shouldn’t it be me?”

Well the breaking news is that unlikely things mostly don’t happen! Yeah! It’s been two weeks of insanely fast paced learning and constant, constant ruby coding with not the slightest web page yet in sight. No magical rails doing the work till we’re well drilled in the fundamentals. If I’d known I could learn this stuff so fast I wouldn’t have kept programming tonnes of business logic in pure SQL for years.

Cameraphone smiles through blurry tears of gratefulness for time spent with Simon and Patty in their habitat.

So yay! …or am I just one more of the growing battalion of professional actors on the payroll of mastermind, Dan Garland ? None of us could ever know. Certainly not me. That genius man probably wiped my mind. Either way, I’m a happy empty jug being gratefully refilled.