Andela’s Bootcamp Challenges: a Stepping Stone too High to Climb

Stephen Okpalaononuju
3 min readApr 24, 2019

Andela Technical Leadership Program is a four-year paid program designed to shape an individual into an elite software developer. Through your training and work with top global technology companies, you will master the professional and technical skills needed to become a technology leader, both on the continent and around the world. The curricula span the following programming languages: Ruby / Ruby on Rails, Python / Django, PHP / Laravel, MEAN Stack, & Mobile Development (Android and iOS).

The program application process is broken down into four parts: Application & Aptitude test, a self-study course, in-person interviews, and a two-week Bootcamp. Once applicants have passed the four levels of the application process, they will be admitted into the four-year program. As an Andela Fellow, you are also eligible for continued training and employment with Andela for four years. After the four year program, Andela Fellows can be expected to start technology companies, work directly with client companies as employees or continue to help train software engineers at Andela.

I saw the Andela’s Bootcamp as a stepping stone for me — one that can take me to the next level of achieving my aspirations of becoming a world class developer. So for that reason, I embraced it with all my heart, giving it my best effort, cutting off all extraneous variables (including UEFA Champions league!) and keeping late nights (yes, sleep became a luxury that I couldn’t afford) just to complete my pivotal tracker stories.

Furthermore, I started learning new technologies — technologies that I never knew even existed — and all the hidden intricacies of software development. These actually served as a very helpful eye-opener because I never knew developing software could be this complex and sophisticated. But in all, I was glad that I signed up for the Bootcamp program.

Since starting the Bootcamp, I have forgone so many things. Firstly I came to the Bootcamp from a faraway land (yes, I spent up to 18 hours in a bus to Lagos) for the program and so, as a stranger in a strange land, I needed to be cautious of activities around me. This was a problem to me in the first week, but with time, I became familiar with my environment and was able to adapt and adopt some other environmental variables (e.g, the horrible traffic in Lagos).

Attending the Bootcamp also affected other parts of my life, like my job, where I have to be able to balance the Bootcamp challenges and tasks assigned to me at work. So balancing these two important activities made a whole day (24 hours) seem pretty little to me. At first, it was extremely difficult that I have thought of quitting the program and re-applying whenever I have a full time to focus. But with time, I adapted, balancing my coding time with my work time, allotting to each of them a particular portion of my time in a 24-hour that have become so little.

In conclusion, the Bootcamp challenges have been gruesome, brutal, frustratingly interesting, challenging and overwhelmingly accomplishing. I have learnt things I could not have learnt on my own and is now more exposed to more software development concepts than I could ever imagine. As we advance more into the second week of the challenge, I hope to garner more knowledge and enlarge my portfolio with more helpful tools that will propel me in becoming a world-class software developer.



Stephen Okpalaononuju

Software Developer | Amateur Story Teller | I play too much