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Kevin Woodside

Student Project Spotlight: Paupa | Kevni Woodside’s Expense Tracker Inspired by His Late Father

Project Name: Paupa
Cohort Start Date: 11/8/21
Program: Online Full-Time
Solo or Group Project: Solo
Stack Project Was Built In: MERN
  • Broadcast video editor for 10 years
  • Burnt out from making other people’s ideas come to life and had no energy to do anything for himself
  • No computer science background but a desire and hunger to learn
After Dojo:
  • Would love to work as a full stack developer with a React front-end/Java back-end focus
  • Plans to continue working on Paupa to help people who are grieving after a loss and need help organizing their finances
  • Dreams of leading projects for huge brands and being able to fund and create all the things he wants to do with his new skillset


Why did you create this project? 

A huge reason I joined the program was because I was in such a depression. Two years ago, my dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer and passed away a month later. He was the biggest part of my life and my main sense of support. I was instantly lost without him. I look back at my life since he died and I know he’s dropping signs and guiding me. If he hadn’t passed away when he did, I’d still be at my dead-end job, just living to pay bills, and I wouldn’t have made all the friends I did at Coding Dojo. I created Paupa as a ‘thank you’ to him and the program for all they taught me. My dad was always in my business and the cheapest man on earth, so I used all the knowledge that the program, and my amazing teacher, Heidi, gave me and made a task/expense tracker so that he could always know what I’m doing and how much it cost me to do it.

What’s your intended audience for this project?

Paupa was originally intended to be a task/expense tracker for anyone who lost a loved one to help them through the funeral process and beyond. I wanted to incorporate that aspect later and focus on the functionality first though. So right now it’s intended for anyone who needs help remembering things, as well as business owners and freelancers who need a way to track their expenses, especially if they deal with multiple currencies. 

What are you most proud of about this project?

The fact I can look at it and see my dad in it and know that he would be proud is the best feeling ever. This is the first thing I’ve made in years that I didn’t look back at and instantly hate. Not even my Imposter Syndrome can tell me I’m not a cool full-stack developer after this.

What challenges or obstacles did you run into while developing this project? How did you overcome them?

That chart will haunt me for years to come. I could not get it to map my data correctly forever! But, it also symbolized my biggest turning point in this program. I had gotten my first ever algorithm right that morning and then that afternoon, I created one 5x more advanced than my previous one, and it worked! That was hands down the exact moment I became addicted to coding and started really having fun. Now, I even code in my dreams!  

Do you have plans to continue working on this project?

Absolutely. I want to expand upon this resource and continue to help people who are grieving after the loss of a loved one. This has been a mission of mine ever since I watched my mom go through a really tough time after my dad passed trying to get everything together for the family. I’d like to clean up the CSS so that the site can be responsive, and hopefully make it available in the App Store for purchase.

Why did you choose to attend coding bootcamp?

Honestly, I had nothing else. I was a video editor for 10 years, working with NBC, TMZ, CNN, etc. After a while, I became so burnt out from making other people’s ideas come to life that I had no energy to do anything for myself. When I was in the darkest place in my life, by chance, I ran into an old college friend and he told me he had just graduated from Coding Dojo and is now traveling the world and setting his own hours, all while making well over six figures. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a risk taker. But I knew my life needed a dramatic change and I saw all the incredible reviews past students gave the program so I gathered my life savings and took the huge risk of signing up, without having any computer science background. I’d say the risk is paying off!

What sealed the deal on Coding Dojo?

At orientation, there was a woman who said, “next to military bootcamp, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.” She was honest and the things she was saying would make anyone not 100% committed to this program run away. That’s when I knew Coding Dojo was serious about making sure we all learned from the program. At the time I didn’t quite believe her, but then I was introduced to Python and instantly knew what she was talking about!

What has been your favorite part(s) of the bootcamp so far?

The confidence boost, hands down. I have never felt smarter in my entire life after feeling like the dumbest person in the room for so many years. “Big Bang Theory” actually makes sense now! This is an environment meant to push you to your limits. You’re learning four years of knowledge in three months. I look at my code when I’m done now and know the person I was on day one would be shocked at the things I can do today. I’m horrible at taking compliments, but I can say, without a doubt, I gave this 100% and I love it.

Did you have any technical experience prior to Coding Dojo? If yes, please explain.

None! I thought being a video editor would help me, but NOPE! I failed the very first test I took in this program and realized I needed to take it more seriously. I made a comeback and got a perfect score on my next test, and the rest is history. Don’t let a lack of computer skills stop you – anyone can learn anything if they put their mind to it!

What are your career goals and aspirations after graduating bootcamp?

I’d love to work as a full-stack developer with a React front-end/Java back-end focus. I want to lead projects for huge brands and solve complex puzzles with the tools I was given. I also want to be able to fund and create all the things that I want to do in my life, and feel like I finally have the means, and the skill-set to do so. I haven’t felt this good about my future in years and it’s all thanks to Coding Dojo! 

If you are interested in learning how to code and building amazing projects like this, 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.