My experience at the boot camp has been enjoyable, with one of the highlights being the opportunity to collaborate with brilliant minds.The training has been intense, with having to learn new things every day and lots of practice with the assignments. I find the environment very conducive to both learning and working. The training was very well structured with lots of hands on time for us students, as we were given plenty of opportunities to work on any weaknesses or weaknesses we may have. I have to say that it is one of the best things I’ve ever done. Here are some of the things I have learnt so far:
It is standard practice to read the project documentation during the web scraping exercise.Reading the documentation can take up to 30 minutes and will help you narrow down exactly what you require.Working on a project before reading the documentation would consume time because I would Google for solutions to a particular problem. I would try every solution available; some would work, but if something didn’t work as expected, I would spend 2–3 hours on the same platform trying to figure out what was wrong, only to find the solution clearly stated in the documentation.
As an example,We were introduced to Web Scrapping on Day 2 of the boot camp, a topic I’d heard of but had never given much thought to.I was very excited because I was now getting a chance to learn more about it. We were given a simple task: enter a Twitter username, and the web scraping program would return the number of followers.We did research on how best to approach the problem. The group members had brilliant ideas based on those ideas. We looked for libraries that would help us achieve our goal. We settled on a few and we tried them all. We kept making errors in the final step. Every method we used, we found an error. We eventually conceded defeat and requested assistance from our administrator. However, it turned out that we were so close to a solution that if we could have read the documentation, we would have noticed that, for the specific case we were dealing with, some of the libraries we had chosen as the best fit were unable to handle the type of data we had. That’s something that would have saved us 1–2 hours if we just took time to read the documentation.
Working in a team is extremely beneficial because it helps to reduce the work load. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. This makes one learn faster because you get to learn first hand from someone who has met the problem before and knows how to tackle it. During brainstorming, a team gets to hear and understand new ways to solve a common problem.