I'm pleased to announce that I've been accepted to MakerSquare in Austin, for the cohort beginning June 27th.
While I considered other code schools - and indeed, there were a few others who were seriously considered - I really think that MakerSquare will both be the best fit and where I'll learn the most. The curriculum, based on their parent company, Hack Reactor, is also very well regarded.
Ultimately the goal is to make myself not just a professional coder but one who can best solve tough coding problems dealing with a variety of web technologies. I'd also like to host more Austin-area hackathons here in Austin, TX, much like Team Democracy does in San Francisco and the Safra Center does in Boston. While I'm sure any code school would help, it is specifically MakerSquare's emphasis on "full stack" development and a combination of different web technologies that will help me not only to code, but to help lead other coders.
What surprised me about the interview process is that the technology wasn't the hard part. What was really interesting was that while I could clearly do the work, I was unsure of myself - at one point I spent about 5 minutes looking for flaws in an implementation of Array.reduce that was essentially perfect - but I couldn't believe I hadn't left something out. My journey to code school isn't just about learning the technology, but also building the confidence to take on ambitious projects, learning how to communicate with other people in a team, and working towards a common goal.
As my interviewer, David, said: "We usually get two types of people that come here: People with a social-skills background who need to learn to think technically, and technologists (like yourself) who need to work on soft-skills." To me, this seems like a very good fit.
The cohort starts on July 27th. It would be great to raise the money by then. If not, I have a backup plan. Remember: even if the tuition to put me through code camp is raised, anything over and above that will start going into the fund to put others through code camp as well.