From VPNs to Veritable Programmer | How Liam Desmond Chased His Childhood Dream & Changed Careers

Pre-Dojo:
  • Worked as a VPN Technician for a few years
  • Wanted to get into software development since he was a kid, but never had the means to do so
After Dojo:
  • Works as an Associate Software Developer at Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Has a great foundation and knowledge-base for each stack that he learned
  • Dreams of becoming a Microservices Developer in 5-10 years
Program: Online Part-Time Three Stack Bootcamp
Testimonial:

The 3 stacks that were offered made it the best choice overall.  Learning more than 1 language/framework really makes you a more well-rounded developer as it gives you a better overall understanding of software development, different approaches & a wide variety of tools as how you might go about building something or solving a problem.

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

Prior to the bootcamp, I was a VPN Technician for a few years, which has no similarities to Software Development – so it didn’t come in handy at all.

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

I definitely wanted a career change, but I wasn’t aware that coding bootcamps even existed.  I’ve wanted to get into software development since I was a kid, but never had the means, resources, or connections to do so.

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

The 3 stacks that were offered made it the best choice overall.  Learning more than 1 language/framework really makes you a more well-rounded developer as it gives you a better overall understanding of software development, different approaches & a wide variety of tools as how you might go about building something or solving a problem.

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

Nervous & excited.  I basically prepared by going over the pre-bootcamp material, pre-bootcamp algorithms & looking things up online to help see what I was getting myself into.

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

Web Fundamentals was fun.  I liked that we started small, learning about structuring a web page with HTML, styling it with CSS & adding functionality with JavaScript.  I struggled with (and still do) Flex, it’s been plotting against me since day 1.

How did you overcome the obstacles or struggles you faced? 

By putting the time in.  LONG hours, lots of trial & error, print statements, coming at the problem from different angles, Google, etc.

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

I made a lot of friends here, some of which I got to work with on a group project which was a lot of fun and a great learning experience as well.

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

I had been constantly building small projects that incorporated what I had learned so far between each stack as well as new tools & uses for each language/framework that I had looked up on my own to further my skill sets.  I was very comfortable with everything I had learned up to that point.  I felt that once I got my foot in the door at a job, I wouldn’t come in as a complete novice as the bootcamp had prepared me with a great foundation & knowledge-base of each stack that was offered.

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

The job hunt was a lot of work and I had sent out a few hundred applications.  I usually set aside an hour at night to just apply everywhere that I thought I would be a good fit for.  I landed a job at Blue Cross Blue Shield as an Associate Software Developer about a month after graduating.

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

This isn’t the answer most people will want to hear, but learning software development/coding takes a lot of time, work, problem solving (a lot of times your own problems) and frustration.  But in the end, when you finally solve that problem or make that thing work that you had been struggling with and see all your hard work finally pay off when an application you created from scratch works, it’s a great feeling.  So this isn’t something that you can just pick up real easy right away, you’ve really gotta put the work in.

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

I’d like to be a Microservices developer.

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 coding courses, as well as programs training you on Data Science, Cybersecurity, and UI/UX Design. 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.

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