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Coding Dojo Alumni Success | Joseph Lee

From Delivery Driver to Developer | How Bellevue Alumni Joseph Lee Unlocked His Potential

  • Worked as a delivery truck driver
  • Wanted more out of life and felt he had untapped potential
After Dojo:
  • Works as a Software Developer Apprentice at Amazon
  • Has a strong professional network, which he leveraged to land his current role
  • Dreams of starting his own bootcamp in the future
Program: Three Full Stack bootcamp in Bellevue, WA

The support I got for all my interview prep was amazing. [My Career Services Manager] Chinni went through a lot of practice with me and I was able to ace my interview. Not only ace, but I was told after I was one of the most prepared candidates they had that day.

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

I am a big football fan. I love to hike, run, and I’m also a huge Rick and Morty nerd. Prior to Coding Dojo, I was working as a truck driver. 

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

I wanted more in life. I felt like I had a lot more potential than what life was currently presenting.

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

Well I took a huge risk by leaving my job. I was making a decent living and then I had to prepare to make nothing. So that held me back, but one day I was like, “screw it, how long are you going to wait to live your life?” The next day, I quit and started teaching myself Javascript. That’s until  a bootcamp came around. 

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

To be honest, Coding Dojo was the only one offering classes through Christmas. The one thing that stood out was the Career Services and more importantly, Chinni. The support I got for all my interview prep was amazing. She went through a lot of practice with me and I was able to ace my interview. Not only ace, but I was told after I was one of the most prepared candidates they had that day.

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

So when I came to the Dojo, I had gone to another boot camp so the nerves of the curriculum weren’t there, but I was nervous when it came to meeting people because that is the most important part of the bootcamp. That’s where you grow your network. It starts there. One of the reasons I got this amazing job was because of a reference from a bootcamp. 

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

I liked the instructors’ lectures, especially Sadie’s. She broke down Django in one of the easiest ways to understand. And I gained a really deep understanding of the framework. I struggled in C# at first it was just so hard to grasp at first.

How did you overcome the obstacles or struggles you faced? 

Basically fail and be ok with it. No one in this world is perfect. But the people who rise above their imperfections are people that fail and fail often. When you fail it’s an opportunity to learn and it’s an opportunity to get better. When it comes to code, learn to love failure and learn to love bugs. Just don’t give up and be open to trying new approaches. 

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

I felt like I could conquer anything because of the mindset I developed.

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

It went really well and I ended up landing a Software Developer job at Amazon only a couple months after graduating. 

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

You learn to manage deadlines like no other.

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

If this is something you want to do, why wait? There is this amazing world in tech that is looking for diverse minds. I used to think that because I was a former truck driver I could never do this. Boy, was I wrong. You would be surprised where people come from that make up this world in tech.

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

I envision starting my own coding bootcamp one day! 

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 courses, as well as onsite (post COVID-19) programs. 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.