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From Valet to Data Engineer Intern | How Chris D Pivoted and Took the Leap to Accelerate His Career Path in Tech

Disclaimer: Coding Dojo cannot guarantee employment, salary, or career advancement. The experience of this alumnus/alumna may not be representative of all students.


  • Worked as a valet and was attending college for a psychology degree
  • Was passionate about psychology, but wanted to start a career path in a shorter time frame
  • Knew he could still make an impact with his passion for psychology in other ways down the line

After Dojo:

  • Works as a Data Engineer Intern
  • Dreams of leading either a data science or data engineering team in the future

Program: Online Part-Time Data Science

Graduation Date: June 2022


“Aside from credentials, the main thing I left the bootcamp with was motivation to continue because I knew that I was one major step closer towards attaining the lifestyle that I have always wanted.”


Tell us a little about yourself! Age, hobbies, passions, where you grew up, where you live now, and any other fun facts!

I am 25, I was born and raised in San Diego, CA, and I still live here today. In my free time I love gaming (currently into Diablo 4), cycling, and basically anything outdoors. I also have a new, slight obsession with spiders and I plan on adopting some new pet spiders as soon as I move into a larger space with my new job 🙂

What were you doing professionally before bootcamp?

Before Coding Dojo, I was attending college for a psychology degree and helping to run a valet operation in downtown San Diego.

Tell us why you enrolled in Coding Dojo? Were you unhappy with your current role? Yearning for a change in career path?

Although pursuing a career as a clinical psychologist was my passion for a while, I decided to enroll in Coding Dojo because it is more important to me at the moment to get started in this new career path to achieve the lifestyle I knew that I wanted. The years required to pursue a career in psychology would have set my life back much further than I was willing to wait with my age, and I know that I can still make an impact with my passion for psychology in other ways down the line.

What were your thoughts going into bootcamp? Were you nervous? Excited? All of the above?

Going into the bootcamp, I was definitely a bit nervous with not knowing how manageable the workload would be, but I was mostly excited to finally get a start towards my new future.

Did you face any obstacles in bootcamp? If so, how did you overcome them?

The only obstacles I really faced in the bootcamp were errors in my code, but I was able to overcome them by taking the time to problem solve on my own as they taught us to do. When there were times that I was too stuck to figure it out, other students and teaching assistants were always very happy to work together to figure it out.

What was it like during your first few weeks in bootcamp? What did you enjoy? What did you struggle with?

My first few weeks in bootcamp went fairly smooth. I was very happy with the structure of the courses and the layout of the Learn program, which made the only struggles I had related to errors in coding (something normal to run into) rather than the course itself.

What advice would you share with others considering bootcamp? What about those currently in bootcamp?

The main advice I can share with people considering bootcamp is to put in the hours to learn. For those currently in bootcamp, take the extra steps that you can to try and solidify what you are learning as best you can and do things to refresh what you’ve learned when you’re done with the course because the job search can be quite a long process afterwards, which leaves a lot of time to forget things if you do not have a strong foundation. At the same time, do not stress yourself out too much for not fully understanding the more complicated topics if you are okay with starting at an entry-level position like I am – many companies will have programs to help you ease into their workflow and environment.

Do you have any fun memories to share about your time in bootcamp?

One of the best memories I have from the bootcamp was getting to present my project to the class as if they were shareholders of a company. It helped me realize that the work you do in this industry can have a huge impact on a company’s course of actions, and I know that it will be very satisfying when I get to see the real impacts of my efforts one day.

What was your favorite stack, project, or module to learn? Why?

My favorite module in the data science course was the machine learning module. Designing and tweaking the models to produce better scores was fun to do.

Aside from credentials, what else did you leave bootcamp with? (soft skills, motivation, confidence, etc.)

Aside from credentials, the main thing I left the bootcamp with was motivation to continue because I knew that I was one major step closer towards attaining the lifestyle that I have always wanted. Especially after getting the news that I was hired for my internship, the possibilities of the things I want to do and achieve in my life started to feel much more in reach, and that has been a great feeling.

How did the job hunt go? Where did you end up working?

The job hunt was a bit rougher than I anticipated. It is definitely harder to land your first job coming out of a bootcamp compared to getting a degree (and it can be difficult even with one). The most important thing was to stay motivated and remind myself that I spent significantly less time and money earning my credentials instead of a degree, so extra time spent searching for a job felt much more worth it than sitting through college courses that are not directly related to my future jobs. I ended up landing an internship with the financial tech company C2FO with the help of a friend who works remotely there as a software engineer.

What did it feel like to receive your first job offer? Or to get that first paycheck in tech?

After many months of job searching, receiving my first interview and job offer through this company felt absolutely amazing. Once again, it made me feel just that much closer to reaching my goals.

What are your goals and dreams for the future? Career or otherwise.

My goals for the future are to first, land a full-time position with C2FO after the internship is over. Ultimately, I want to lead either a data science or data engineering team one day as well. Outside of my career, I aspire to buy a nice ring for my girlfriend, buy my first house, and travel the world while being able to work at the same time as some of my friends have been able to do with this career path.


If you are interested in pursuing a new career path, Coding Dojo bootcamp offers accelerated learning programs designed to help you learn the skills you want. We offer both part-time and full-time online coding programs, as well as programs training you on Data Science and Cybersecurity. We also offer financing options, scholarships, and other tuition assistance programs for those who qualify.

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

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