Alumni Spotlight: Tom Pruim From Chicago’s First Cohort

Tom graduated from our Chicago Coding Dojo as part of the very first cohort. With his great attitude and ability to constantly push his limits, Tom became a skilled Software Engineer who now works on massive projects involving Java and NodeJS. Read on to hear about his experience in that first Chicago Coding Dojo Cohort.

 

What were you doing before you enrolled in the boot camp?

I was helping run a startup I had just started. Before that, I was managing field perimeter signage systems for major sporting events throughout the US and Canada.
 

How did you get interested in coding?

When I had my idea for my startup, I wanted to also learn how the product we’re developing worked, and how to build it.
 

Why did you choose Coding Dojo?

I chose the Dojo because I could start right away, learning how to write code as soon as possible
 

Which program/location did you attend? How was your experience?

Chicago as a member of the 1st Cohort! I loved every second of it, I’d love to code with everyone again someday.
 

What was your favorite part of attending Coding Dojo?

The “Learning while doing” mentality. I learned how to outcode a lot of CS majors with 4-year degrees in 3 months. When I got hired on my current job, I was paired with other CS majors for some short additional training, which I was actually considered to be one of the better developers
 

What could Coding Dojo improve on?

Going from Coding Dojo to Revature ( who trained my to be a Java Developer, and placed me with Tech Mahindra and one of their largest clients), I saw the benefit in focusing in one stack vs 3. I would say offer an option, where a student can spend extra time with a stack such as Java, NET, or MEAN, and be allowed to get a 2nd Degree Black belt.
 

How was the job hunt?

I landed a position with Tech Mahindra as a Software Developer, who is having me help write software for one of the largest phone companies on the planet.

 

How did your experience at Coding Dojo help prepare you for what you are doing today?

I would have never been able to get where I was today without the strong background the Coding Dojo set forward for me. Learning a fourth stack ( Java), was an absolute breeze. Later this year, I’m going to sit for the Oracle Certified Associate exam, and eventually, work myself up to the Oracle Certified Professional. Because of my upcoming experiences, I anticipate that my next opportunities when they arise will be incredibly lucrative.

 

What was your favorite part of the program?

Everything, I learned a ton and met a lot of amazing people.
 

What advice do you have for those that are considering taking a bootcamp?

Make sure it’s the only thing you do. DO NOT MULTITASK. MAKE CODE YOUR LIFE, AND IT WILL REAP INCREDIBLE REWARDS.
 

“For me, Coding Dojo…”

was the beginning of something much greater than I ever anticipated.

 

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