Disclaimer: Coding Dojo cannot guarantee employment, salary, or career advancement. The experience of this alumnus/alumna may not be representative of all students.
- Worked in a UPS warehouse and did audio engineering side jobs
- Discovered his love of coding while attending community college
- Wanted to accelerate his learning path into the tech industry
- Works as a Programmer at Lockheed Martin
- Learned the skill set to work in a remote environment
- Aspires to continue growing his software engineering skills
Program: Software Development Online Full-Time
Graduation Date: December 2022
“I left with motivation and confidence in my technical skills to go along with my already honed soft skills and communication skills….I learned how to work in a team in a remote type job environment. I also built a network from scratch with all the people I’ve met at the bootcamp and gained new friends to share my endeavors with.”
Tell us a little about yourself! Age, hobbies, passions, where you grew up, where you live now, and any other fun facts!
I am 28, I grew up in a family with musicians and healthcare workers. My hobbies include reading, music, and gaming. I’m passionate about tackling new experiences. I grew up in California for most of my life and now reside in Sunnyvale, CA. Fun fact: being a choir boy throughout high school/university, I had the opportunity to perform at Disney Concert hall as a musician by age 22, and collaborated with the choir director who later directed the choir for Marvel Studio’s latest black panther movie.
What were you doing professionally before bootcamp?
I was working at a UPS warehouse while working on audio engineering gigs on the side.
Tell us why you enrolled in Coding Dojo? Were you unhappy with your current role? Yearning for a change in career path?
I enrolled in Coding Dojo after experiencing my 1st year in computer science at a community college. I found my love for coding, but the timespan to finish a bachelors vs a bootcamp to get my foot in the door in the tech field was a huge tradeoff. I decided to take the leap and committed to a coding bootcamp for a chance at a better job and infinite growth opportunity.
Why did you choose Coding Dojo over other bootcamps?
The career services for life was a huge plus for the bootcamp. Having someone to check on your progress and give advice, edit resumes, and expand job search methods after the bootcamp is crucial in landing a job. I felt this alone made Coding Dojo stand out to me personally.
What were your thoughts going into bootcamp? Were you nervous? Excited? All of the above?
I was nervous once the bootcamp started because I was surrounded by talented individuals with more experience than I was expecting, but I thought of this as an excellent opportunity to learn from talented individuals as my cohorts. I was excited to see how much I’ve progressed after 1-2 months into the program, talking about my experience with my friends and seeing their astonishment at my growth in real-time.
Did you face any obstacles in bootcamp? If so, how did you overcome them?
I faced huge imposter syndrome whenever I hit bugs and errors that gave me headaches for hours, while some of my cohorts breezed through the curriculum with ease. I often had many nights where I questioned whether I was good enough to make it as a software engineer. I overcame these worries with persistence and tenacity for the sake of growing myself and making sure I was a better engineer than I was yesterday. This growth mindset alongside likeminded cohorts were the key in my success today.
What was it like during your first few weeks in bootcamp? What did you enjoy? What did you struggle with?
The first few weeks were pretty much a review from what I learned in my 1st year in computer science, but upon entering the 1st full-stack the program definitely shifted gears and I found myself struggling. I definitely fell behind during 1st full-stack because I underestimated the curriculum and if you aren’t working to stay ahead, you will definitely fall behind and create more work in the long run. Because you are introduced to new technology and concepts for the 1st run of your 3 full-stacks, the first few weeks will naturally be the hardest, but it does get easier over time. The morning algo’s will always be a challenge for me, and even by the end of the bootcamp I had to consistently work on my problem solving skills to challenge this type of thinking. I did enjoy the cohorts I made along the way.
What advice would you share with others considering bootcamp? What about those currently in bootcamp?
If you have the time and resources to do it, I recommend joining a bootcamp. It’s a good way to build solid learning skills to help you develop good habits for coding. From day one, I recommend making commits to Github(version control) and building your network from the ground up with LinkedIn. For those currently in the bootcamp, I’d recommend reaching out to friends and family who have potential networks that’ll connect you to possible referrals for your next job. Most of my interviews have been through referrals through mutual friends at their companies, and I would have never gotten the opportunity without them. Without connections, your best bet would be to build a portfolio that solves actual real world problems rather than google searched portfolio project ideas. It’ll be tough after your graduate, so keep in touch with some cohorts and do daily standups to keep yourselves accountable after graduating and keep those applications going.
Do you have any fun memories to share about your time in bootcamp?
One of the activities during the bootcamp was to get into a group and build out a simple turn based game. In my group, we had a ton of discussions of how the game mechanics should interact, while incorporating the knowledge we’ve just learned to deliver a satisfactory result. Honestly, this experience shed light on how collaboration can feel amazing and how passionate engineers can team up together and really create something fun.
What was your favorite stack, project, or module to learn? Why?
As graduation approached, how confident were you in your new skill set?
I was confident I could produce quality work with my new skillset, and that anything I didn’t know I could learn on my own. By the end of it, I could tell I had the perseverance to learn anything I set my mind to.
Aside from credentials, what else did you leave bootcamp with? (soft skills, motivation, confidence, etc.)
I left with motivation and confidence in my technical skills to go along with my already honed soft skills and communication skills I’ve gained through years of experience of customer service and warehouse. I learned how to work in a team in a remote type job environment. I also built a network from scratch with all the people I’ve met at the bootcamp and gained new friends to share my endeavors with.
How did the job hunt go? Where did you end up working?
I landed a job offer with Lockheed Martin Space, and the job hunt was pretty difficult for the first 3 months. I was getting constant denials from companies that wanted 3+ years of experience and a bachelors degree for entry level jobs. The only 1st round interviews I received were from referrals and companies that wanted to hire you with binding contracts and insufficient pay. I definitely would have lost hope if it wasn’t for my amazing Career Service Manager Tilda, she always kept my focus on improving my resume and skill set. When I finally got through the 1st round interview, I put my all into the 2nd round interview with late night studying and interview prep before I landed the job.
What did it feel like to receive your first job offer? Or to get that first paycheck in tech?
Receiving your first job offer was a huge weight off your shoulders. When they told me I got the job, I actually cried because I was already less qualified than my competitors, but honestly I couldn’t believe I even made it that far and believed I failed my last part of the interview. Having all your hard work pay off in the end is the best feeling in the world. It goes to show that manifesting your success is very real and if you keep trying your best, there will be a time when luck meets opportunity, you just have to be ready when it happens.
What are your goals and dreams for the future? Career or otherwise.
My goal now is to learn even more and become the best software engineer I can be. I’ll get to work on even more amazing projects the more my skills grow and I can’t wait to contribute to new technology that may change our lives in the future.
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.