Blockchain Bootcamp: Chapter 1

Talking about my experience with Chapter one of Consensys' blockchain bootcamp.

Let's start with some admin stuff. I foresee writing about this a lot so I'm going to start calling it "BB" because "Blockchain Bootcamp" makes the titles extremely long. Anyways back to why I'm here...

I've recently gotten through the bulk of chapter 1 in the bootcamp. It's all about the fundamentals. Technically at the time of writing this it's suggested everyone be on chapter 2, but I had some setback. I want to talk about those and how I handled jumping back in.


I first want to point out that I started chapter 1 early. Not sure why but as soon as the orientation was done I just right in and I'm glad I did. Since the beginning of the month I've been dealing with autoimmune issues. I've been constantly swelling (hands, feet, arms, legs, wherever) and could barely type. I even had to take off from work for 2 weeks because I was in so much pain.

Also during this time it became harder to sleep, focus, and be motivated. You might be wondering why I'm telling you all this. I'll explain in the next section, but these things made it really hard to jump back into this course on good days (I've had 3-4 now). This is not material I want to half-ass (sorry for swearing). This isn't just another programming language where I'm just learning syntax. This is a whole mindset shift for me. I'm already not a web developer and blockchain somewhat combines web with a completely new set of rules and ideas.

Bouncing Back

How did I bounce back? I don't think I did. See...having a month of being at the mercy of your body can really get to you mentally. I'm a person who codes and stuff for fun so not being able to do that made me really sad. I decided to figure out a way to make these new life changes work for me in the event it ever gets bad again.

That being said I study in the morning before work. I'm writing this at like 7:30/8a (gross).  This allows me to avoid the foggy brain, unfocused feeling I have as the day wears on. As my hands allow I type my notes after work. Lastly I have made a effort to at minimum catch office hours or the talks. I wasn't doing this at first because I misjudged the schedule and I was just wallowing in pain. Now I play things in the background while working and then when it's added to the course I can go back and take deeper notes as needed.

What am I doing about the swelling? Nothing really. Continued dr appointments and such ya know. The thing I had to realize is that I need to work with my body and within it's issues v trying to fight it. If I can't type, I can't type. If I can atleast click some things then we watch videos and read until I'm in too much pain. Simple yet was very hard to accept.

What I learned

You might not have cared about anything and wondering what all I learned during this chapter. Well I learned time management, accepting that this is not as easy as I thought it would be, and the basics of the blockchain.

The most interesting to me was understanding the security around the block chain in detail. From consensus to validating blocks to validating user identity. I've know from the start that the blockchain ledger is public, but I never understood how that could be without doxxing someone. Now it makes sense and I'm able to piece together experience with the lessons.

I think that will be my biggest advantage during the bootcamp. I do a little crypto something here and there but I can't say I ever truly understood what was going on beneath the hood. Now I'm getting a bit of a better picture and I hope that in the coming weeks I can break it all down so anyone can understand.