My First Day at Origin Code Academy

Strap in, this will be a long one.

I remember from grade school that first days are usually an intoxicating mix of excitement and anxiety. I'd have thought that being 30 would put me past that, but my lack of sleep last night proved me wrong.


I'm known to lag in the morning so I wanted to start a routine early on (this becomes a recurring theme with advice from teachers and students in the other cohort). I woke up, checked my bicycle's tires, showered, cooked a filling breakfast and pedaled off.

a Google Maps route for bicycles from Hillcrest, San Diego through Balboa Park to downtown San Diego
Google Maps elevation change corresponding to the previous image, descending 276 feet over 3.2 miles
Upside- it's all downhill in the morning. Downside- it's all uphill at 5pm

After parting with the largest check I've ever written (though still a bargain in my opinion), I met all of my classmates. There's 25 of us so it's bigger than a cohort normally is. What's cool is how diverse everyone's backgrounds are, though most share a lack of a technical background. As we went around introducing ourselves, I heard car salesman, aerospace engineer, chemist, interior designer, casino floor worker, electrical engineer, and a few retail/servers come up. We played two truths and a lie to break the ice, which is a favorite one of mine. Here are the three things I mentioned:

  1. I've been able to grow a mustache since I was 12.
  2. I guessed on my SATs and got a 1300 out of 1600
  3. It took me 30 hours to be born.

I'll probably talk more about my class mates as the course goes on.

The other trait everyone shared was hope and faith that Origin Code Academy will help them change their lives. Since our instructor Cameron Willby mentioned that changing lives is his favorite part of working at Origin, I'd say our faith should be well founded.

a shirtless bearded man at the beach, flexing and pointing off camera
This is the clearest picture of him I could find

Cameron focused today's instruction on getting us to be in a frictionless work environment: teaching us Scrum, setting up time tracking to do burn-down charts, helping us get Sublime Text, Node, Git, and Slack in place. I've lucked out a bit and had all of those installed, so I helped some students get theirs setup too. I've been enjoying that for the same reason I started this blog: teaching is the best way to learn something.

Speaking of which, I got picked to deliver the first lightning talk. My topic: Scrum methodology.

whiteboard marker writing on the inside of a skyscraper window with the quote "It's not how fast you code, it's how well you code, fast" and "We love Git"