My Experience in Andela’s Bootcamp so far — ups, downs, and lessons learned

Mike Attara
4 min readMar 14, 2019
Photo by Jake Hills on Unsplash

It is popularly said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. This is very true. My journey to join Andela began in early 2018 after joining ALC 3.0 as one of the learners in the Google Africa Challenge. I was so much impressed with the mission of Andela to raise the next generation of technology leaders in Africa. Immediately, I made the decision to join the Andela Fellowship. Later in December, I applied again after my failed first attempt earlier. Among 4000+ applicants, I am privileged to be among the 71 people invited for Andela’s Bootcamp, which is the final stage of the application process. I was super excited when I saw the invitation email after the interview. This has been a very interesting journey spiced with challenges and opportunity for growth.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

So the bootcamp officially started on Monday, 11th March 2019 with an onboarding exercise. However, two weeks ago we were sent a project, known as the Andela Developer Challenge (ADC) to work on. The project is in four parts. We were expected to work on Part 1 and Part 2 before the bootcamp and Part 3 and Part 4 at the bootcamp. Unfortunately, my laptop broke down so I could not start work on the project as scheduled. This has put me in a very tight position because I have to work extra hard to meet the mark. I saw it as not just a challenge but an opportunity for growth. Below are some of the lessons I learned from the experience working so far.

  1. Do not set too high expectations for yourself: I initially set to finish both Part 1 and Part 2 of the challenge in 3 days. I later realized that It was very unrealistic at my current skill level. This has had a negative toll on me. I worked day and night with little progress. This is partly due to my lack of rest. Everyone needs some rest to revitalize the mind for effective work. I made a lot of mistakes that could have been avoided if I had relaxed and worked at a realistic pace.
  2. Planning is very important: It is often said that when you fail to plan you plan to fail. Always have a plan. This cannot be overemphasized. Having a plan has helped me to keep my calm and motivate myself when I get down.
  3. Never stop learning: Every situation gives us an opportunity to learn. I have personally made a commitment to learning something new every day. This has always encouraged me to look out for opportunities to learn. Through this bootcamp, I have met many brilliant developers whom I have learned a lot from in a very short time.
  4. Commitment and hard work are necessary for success: There are moments that you may feel down. It does not mean that you are not good enough. Keep pushing and never give up. It only takes hard work to achieve real and long-lasting success. Be committed to stay the course and do the hard work. It will definitely pay off.
  5. Enjoy the journey and not the result: Success is more memorable when you appreciate the learning experiences over the end results. This includes celebrating your small victories. Every challenge must be seen as an opportunity to become better. When you focus so much on the result you miss the lessons and experiences that come with them.
  6. You need others to be successful: This is often overlooked in many situations. But no one has actually achieved success by themselves alone. There is always a team of people who support them along the way. You must be ready to ask for help and to also help others on your journey to success. I am very grateful to my teammates and most especially my Learning Facilitation Assistant (LFA), Orji Ikechukwu who has been very supportive.

This has been both a challenging and fascinating journey for me. I have learned and continue to learn day by day. Thank you for taking the time to read, connect with me via Twitter and also share your experiences with me.



Mike Attara

JavaScript/Typescript Engineer | Passionate about mentoring and solving problems