It has been well over two weeks since I began my Hack Reactor journey and here I am writing my first blog post about it. If I were to spit out an excuse, I will say that I’ve been busy and tired, coding and studying for 10+ hours everyday on subjects that are foreign to me. But many of my classmates have already been publishing blog posts and they are doing this program from across the globe, barely seeing any daylight while taking care of their family!! So I really have no excuses. The truth is, I wanted some time to really think about my first impression on Hack Reactor and reflect on my experiences and observations so far.
Well…so far, I love it. Hack Reactor is definitely unlike anything I’ve done before. While the schedule at Hack Reactor is super compact and intense, I surprisingly have a lot more freedom than I expected and time goes by very quickly. Whenever we start learning new materials, hardly any guidelines are given and it is entirely up to me to search for resources and seek help. Everything that I am required to do here has to be a result of proactive learning. This can be difficult getting used to especially if you come from a culture where learning is usually one-sided – teachers lecture and students take notes/absorb/memorize (happens a lot back in Korea). I remember on my third day, when we were given an entirely new assignment, I thought to myself, “Why aren’t they teaching this to me?” But now I know that Hack Reactor isn’t about one-sided teaching. Hack Reactor provides incredible resources and opportunities for you to shape your entire learning habits so that you can become an independent developer and person! And by being provided freedom to explore different resources and options within time constraints (ironically), students are pushed to exercise their abilities to the fullest extent.
Finally, I’d like to add that people here are nice and good to each other. The staff members are helpful, responsive, and really try to make everyone’s experiences as rewarding as possible, and my classmates are incredible and never hesitate to help each other. I am very thankful to be a part of this culture and I am sure I am going to enjoy every minute of this and any challenges to come.