Mike Brewer
MagariMike Blog


MagariMike Blog

Coding Bootcamp Week 1 - CLI Basics & the Muder Mystery Challenge

Coding Bootcamp Week 1 - CLI Basics & the Muder Mystery Challenge

Mike Brewer's photo
Mike Brewer
·Nov 10, 2022·

3 min read

Hello World! (Sorry I couldn't help myself),

I'm Mike and I'll be your host while your here!

While I have been really enjoying using the #100daysofcode tag, I think it is intended to help build up momentum on your coding journey and more suited to provide a quick snapshot of where you are and what you've been working on.

I've just completed my first week of coding boot camp with Manchester Codes and what I am quickly learning is that there is much more that goes on behind the scenes of that short snapshot to get you there. The frustration and anxiety when things aren't working the way you expect, or you feel like everyone else is way ahead of you. The lightbulb moments when something finally clicks and for a split second you feel like you could literally conquer any task.

One of my fellow cohort Sarah Moran recently wrote a blog post describing the first week of bootcamp as a "Roller-coaster" and that's exactly what it has been!

Our first lectures revolved around setting up the environment and beginning to look at the CLI and how to use it to manipulate directories and files. Thankfully, i managed to work through this with no issues, however i had no idea what was coming. Next came more advanced CLI commands such as grep and piping which took a while to fully wrap my head around and I have learnt that I learn concepts best when I apply them, get them wrong and really get to the bottom of what they are doing and why.

Then came the free fall in the form of...the Murder Mystery Challenge! (Insert dramatic music here)


We were given multiple directories/files with information such as witness statements, car registration numbers, names etc. and we were then asked to use the skills we were learning to try and get to the bottom of it. I managed to use grep to search for keywords such as "clue" and print these to a new file, but I quickly came unstuck when I tried to use more advanced grep commands and using the cat command to join files, rather than just printing them to the terminal.

I spent most of the weekend picking it up and putting it down and each time I would make a small amount of progress. I finally made it to the final step, of narrowing down the short-list of suspects I'd generated, to find the final culprit. It was at this stage that I realized I hadn't generated the right suspects and i was really stranded. Although I felt like it, I wasn't alone and during our next class it quickly became clear that people were getting stuck in a similar place as me. Our tutors are excellent and don't just spoon feed you an answer and after an hour of trying different ideas with my cohort, I was finally able to crack the case!

This week has been full of highs and lows, but I have learnt so much and after all the struggles with the Murder Mystery, I can genuinely say that i am now really comfortable using the terminal! (cat, grep, counting, creating, deleting, reading, permissions, listing, piping) Hooray!

So, there we have it, the first week of my six-month bootcamp journey. I'll be using this space to share my thoughts, things I've learned, frustrations or achievements, along my journey of transitioning into a career in tech.

This week's key points!

  • Practice practice practise - most concepts are only fully understood when they are used.

  • Don't fall into the trap of thinking that everyone else is finding it easy!

  • Know when to ask for help! - There is a fine line between working things out alone and working together as a team to find a solution.

Share this