From Education to Engineering | How Amanda Torres Risked It All For a New Start

Pre-Dojo:
  • Worked in the higher education industry as an Assistant Director of Operations
  • Wanted a a safe and constant space for learning and growing
  • Was afraid but also excited to risk it all for something new
After Dojo:
  • Works as a Customer Support Engineer 
  • Dreams of moving into a leadership position or Diversity Equity & Inclusion position within a tech company to help empower and diversify the community
Program: Online Full-Time Three Stack Software Development Bootcamp
Testimonial:

The Career Services workshops you have during project weeks are dedicated time to your resume, LinkedIn, and interviews. Be fully invested at those workshops and do the work during that time. Once you graduate, you are ready to go find a job with all the tools and can just work on bettering projects.

Tell us a little about yourself. Age, hobbies, passions, and what you were doing (professionally) before the bootcamp?

I love being outside, going for long runs, exploring national parks, going to sporting events of any kind, being an advocate and ally for marginalized communities.  

Prior to Coding Dojo, I was working in the operations department in the Higher Education industry. 

Beyond the desire of learning how to code, why did you decide to enroll in the bootcamp? 

I felt for my skill set and work ethic I wanted to pursue a safe and constant space for learning and growing. Coding and web development is that, in all ways, shapes, and forms. My reach and impact as a person of color can affect so many people in the industry as everyone touches code in one way or another daily. 

What fears or doubts were “holding you back” from enrolling? How did you get over them?

The risk of diving all in. Not knowing how I would come out on the other side with a job or with nothing to show. It was the support of my family and friends from all the different professions I have been in. Everyone believed in me without fail and I leaned into that. 

What sealed the deal on Coding Dojo? Why did you choose us over other programs?

Accessibility and dedication to veterans. I am not a vet myself, but the fact that Coding Dojo is one of the only schools that helped out vets. I have a lot of family and friends who served, so honestly that was a big inclusivity piece I saw from Coding Dojo vs other boot camps.

What was it like getting ready for the bootcamp? Were you nervous, excited, etc.? How did you prepare?

I was just excited. To risk it all for something new. There were always moments of, “What am I doing? Am I going to be OK?” but I really just kept learning as much as I could and how to practically apply it. 

Walk us through your first few weeks in the program. What were the parts you liked? Parts you struggled with? 

I loved the lectures with our instructors. I was always asking questions. At times I struggled with concepts and how quickly we moved on. But if you are proactive with TA’s and aren’t afraid to ask questions, those struggles are addressed quickly. 

How did you overcome the obstacles or struggles you faced? 

Support. I would address problems quickly and fast. I would not go more than a few hours on a problem and ask right away. 

Do you have any fun anecdotes to share about your time in the bootcamp? Make good friends? Fond memories? 

Connect with people. Teach others concepts you understand. Ask all the questions in lectures. Use the chat! Just keep connecting always. 

When your graduation date was approaching, how did you feel about your skills and job prospects?

I was very nervous, but the Career Services workshops you have during project weeks are dedicated time to your resume, LinkedIn, and interviews. Be fully invested at those workshops and do the work during that time. Once you graduate, you are ready to go find a job with all the tools and can just work on bettering projects. 

How did the job hunt go? Where did you land a job?

It took me a solid month to get interviews, but applying to jobs now is so easy on all the job platforms. I would just sit on my phone and apply to lots of jobs in minutes. Once I got a solid week of applications in, I began to see recruiters reach out and interviews line up. It took me 2 months of job searching to receive offers, 2 during the same week. Just keep applying through all the rejection. 

Beyond the coding expertise, did the bootcamp give you anything else? 

The Career Services workshops gave me the baseline prep for going into the field. Those brought everything together. 

What advice do you have for others who are interested in coding bootcamps or who are just starting one?

Work on projects for things you love! It will be easy to explain what you did with recruiters and they will see your passion for something you already love! I think that was the easiest part of the interviews, was explaining my why! 

What are your goals/dreams for the future, say 5 or 10 years from now?

Hopefully in some leadership position or Diversity Equity & Inclusion position within a tech company to help empower and diversify the community. I obviously hope to be still coding, but I would love to see this space with more people of color and equity for all. It’s an amazing community to be a part of and would love to see it grow! 

If you are interested in learning how to code and upgrading your career, Coding Dojo bootcamp offers accelerated learning programs that can transform your life. We offer both part-time and full-time online coding courses, as well as programs training you on Data Science, Cybersecurity, and UI/UX Design. We also offer financing options, scholarships, and other tuition assistance programs to help you with financial barriers. 

If you want to invest in yourself and your future, there is no better time than the present! If you’re interested, use this link to schedule a 15-minute exploratory session with one of our Admissions representatives today.

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