Does Hack Reactor Make You Smarter?

December 22, 2014

The Daily Routine

2014 12 22

Every morning, I wake up at 12 a.m. My alarm clock helps me start my day with the goal of becoming a software engineer. As a remote student in Hong Kong, I'm 16 hours ahead of San Francisco time. Adapting to this time difference hasn't been easy. The course material only adds to the complexity, covering topics like recursion, hash tables, pseudo-classical inheritance, Backbone, and Express, among others. So, what am I gaining from this experience?

Learning to Think Critically

Professional software engineers create exceptional products not just because they are skilled coders, but also because they have the right mindset. How proficient they are with a particular framework is just one factor. They are also fast and consistent learners, effective and empathetic communicators, and motivated, inquisitive problem solvers. These skills can't be learned from books or online videos alone; they come from hands-on practice, observing how instructors approach problems, and learning from mentors.

Learning from More Knowledgeable Peers

The coding bootcamp attracts many intelligent individuals, setting it apart from other learning platforms. I often ask myself, "Am I smart enough for this prestigious institution?" The feeling of imposter syndrome is real. Interacting with smarter people can sometimes be intimidating and make me feel inadequate. However, it also pushes me to be more comfortable with making mistakes, failing, and thereby learning at a faster rate.

Does Coding Make Me Smarter?

I believe it does, and what we believe often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Working with intelligent people enhances the way I approach and think about challenges. There is always a better, more effective, and simpler way to do things. The smarter the people you surround yourself with, the more you are likely to learn from them, consequently becoming more intelligent yourself.

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Victor Leung, who blog about business, technology and personal development. Happy to connect on LinkedIn