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Coding Dojo Alumna Success | Kristin Caras

From Construction to Coding | How Online Alumna Kristin Caras Charted A New Career Path

  • Studied Mechanical Engineering and worked in the construction industry as a Project Engineer
  • Had minor coding experience and wanted to learn more to build personal projects
  • Was self-teaching but needed a robust program to fully immerse herself in coding
After Dojo:
  • Works as a Launch Engineer for Recharge Payments
  • Has boosted confidence and is amazed how much she learned and grew in such a short amount of time
  • Can build full-stack applications and looks forward to continuing her new career in tech
Program: Part-Time Online Accelerated Bootcamp

I was really amazed at how much I grew in just four months. I went from being able to code very little to presenting a full stack application that I built entirely on my own. The curriculum here is really great to be able to accelerate your learning and teach you so much in such a short period of time.

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

I am 26 years old, and my main passions are traveling, reading and yoga. Prior to the bootcamp, I graduated from college with a Mechanical Engineering degree, and ended up working in the construction field as a Project Engineer for four years after graduating. 

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

I had a little bit of coding knowledge from my engineering classes in school, but none of it really stuck with me after college. After working for about three years after graduating, I heard of a local coding bootcamp and was really interested in enrolling to be able to work on some personal projects I had in mind and possibly change career paths.
This was right around the time when the COVID pandemic began, so I ended up using the quarantine time to really practice coding on my own and see if it was something I enjoyed. I ended up really having fun with it, and decided to join Coding Dojo to elevate my skill set, because there is only so much you can teach yourself. I think it is impossible to learn on your own as quickly and as comprehensively as Coding Dojo can teach you here. 

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

I enrolled in the Part-time Online Accelerated program, and I think my main fear was that I wouldn’t be able to juggle working fulltime and the bootcamp work. I ended up making a rigorous schedule for myself at the start of the bootcamp and stuck to it all the way through, and I think this was a major contributor to my success. I tried to put in about 2.5 – 3 hours of coding every morning before work, and then a little more in the evening afterwards.  While the schedule became important for me to follow, I was finding myself putting in even more hours towards the bootcamp after work and on the weekends, just because I enjoyed it so much – it really never felt like a chore!  

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

The part time, online flexibility was what really sold me on the program, along with Coding Dojo’s reputation. 

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

I definitely took advantage of all of the pre-bootcamp assignments that Coding Dojo provides and dedicated a lot of time to getting through all of it before the bootcamp started. This really helped prepare me and get familiar not only with code, but with Coding Dojo’s learning structure and course materials. 

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

I had a fantastic experience in the bootcamp from start to finish. Each assignment we covered would give you one big step forward in becoming a software developer, and it was a lot of fun to continue building off your skills throughout. 

How did you overcome the obstacles or struggles you faced? 

Any parts I struggled with in the bootcamp, whether it be in the beginning or towards the end, were overcome by sitting with a TA or instructor and reviewing my assignment I was struggling with.  This 1:1 time was a big reason I felt confident choosing Coding Dojo – you aren’t just a number in the class, everyone really cares about your success and wants you to do well and will make the time to explain concepts until you really get it. 

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

I mostly enjoyed being around people who were at the same point in life as I was, trying to learn to code to continue on and be a software developer. After trying to learn on my own for so long, it was really great to meet people who were on the same path and had the same interests. 

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

I was really amazed at how much I grew in just four months. I went from being able to code very little to presenting a full stack application that I built entirely on my own. The curriculum here is really great to be able to accelerate your learning and teach you so much in such a short period of time. 

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

Almost exactly two months after graduating from Coding Dojo, I accepted a position as a Launch Engineer with Recharge Payments.

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

I think the bootcamp boosts everyone’s confidence in themselves. It really takes a lot of your time and effort to be successful here, but it shows that if you give it your all, you can really change your life and career path in just a few months. 

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

My main advice is there is no substitute for the time you put into the bootcamp. For me, I spent almost all of my free time working on my coding projects, and I think that was a big contributor to my success. 
I’d also say don’t be afraid to ask questions! This is a place to learn, and it is hard to pick back up when you fall too far behind. Everyone here is invested in your success and wants you to do well at the end of the day and would be happy to help you.

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

I would really like to be continuing on my coding journey in some capacity, and continue to be employed in the tech field. Although I have just broken into the industry, it is really a fun and exciting place to be!

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.