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Coding Dojo Alumni Success | Matt Nothdurft

From Advisor to Analyst | How Matt Nothdurft Jumpstarted His Career Change

  • Worked as a Mortgage Loan Advisor
  • Wanted a second chance at a career
  • Had a fear of failing in bootcamp but overcame it by researching various bootcamps’ approach to teaching and ultimately decided Coding Dojo was the best fit
After Dojo:
  • Works as a Systems & Software QA Analyst at Bank of America
  • Developed close friendships throughout the program and expanded his professional network
  • Determined to climb the leadership ladder in his new career
Program: Online Full-Time Three Stack Bootcamp

By the end of each stack, it was amazing to see where I got to compared to where I was when I started. There were plenty of obstacles, but “strength through struggle” will really go a long way for your growth as a developer. 

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

My name is Matt Nothdurft (Nor-duft) and I am from Scranton, PA. I am 25 years old and my favorite hobbies are spending time with my family/friends, golfing, and singing. I am developing a passion for coding, but it still needs debugging.

Prior to taking the program, I was working as a mortgage loan advisor.

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

I did research about coding and regretted not pursuing it from the start. Luckily, a family member told me about coding bootcamps and that it’s never too late. I wanted a second chance at a career that I felt coding was a better fit.

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

The fear of failing out from a bootcamp was something definitely in the back of my mind when deciding whether I would give it a shot or not. I overcame it, by researching each bootcamps’ approach to their teachings and which one I felt would fit best with how I learn. 

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

The fact that it was in a classroom setting with teachers and assistants. Coding is far from easy and I felt the most comfort seeing that I would learn from another human instead of a pre-recorded video. 

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

Pursuing this bootcamp was my attempt to turn my career into something I wanted for myself, so I had a lot of nerves building up to the first day which didn’t go away until I finally saw my name on the certificate. I researched what to expect from the bootcamp and tried to learn as much as I could in the 2.5 week span from when I decided I wanted to pursue a career change and enrolled, to the first day of the program. The pre-bootcamp work that Coding Dojo provided was the main source I prepped from. 

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

I appreciate that we all start the bootcamp with Web Fundamentals. Learning HTML and CSS wasn’t too challenging so that really helped my confidence. I consider myself artistic, so being able to design the front-end was fun. Being brand new to coding, even the simplest of code had me “oooo” and “aaahh”-ing. The JavaScript portion didn’t come to me as seamlessly. I am much more confident working with algorithms now, but it was quite a journey. After receiving the yellow-belt, I moved on to the next stack Python. The first couple weeks of Python and learning Object Oriented Programming were humbling.  

How did you overcome the obstacles or struggles you faced? 

I strongly emphasize two things: 

  1. Get comfortable with asking your instructor or TA(s) for help.
  2. Form a group with your classmates.

They really helped a lot when I had trouble understanding certain concepts. It was also really beneficial when I had opportunities to help my classmates. Just because it’s just your name on your certificate, doesn’t mean it’s encouraged that you get through the bootcamp alone. It is quite the opposite in fact. 

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

An instructor I had for two stacks had a tradition of using video filters on Fridays, which was always entertaining. I also made plenty of friends that I still keep in touch with frequently. Lots of fun discussions, which were refreshing and stress-relieving. One day before a lecture, I held my ground against the other 20-30 students for 10 minutes to argue that Twizzlers were not bad. I was Captain America and they were Thanos’s army. It’s important to still have fun when both coding and taking breaks. 

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

After web fundamentals, I asked my instructor when they felt confident that they could do this professionally. They responded, by the third stack. Now graduated, I can definitely vouch for that. Unless you had experience going into the bootcamp, the first stack is a different beast. However, by the third stack you realize that the concepts are all very similar and the only difference is the syntax. By then, I felt confident that I had the capabilities to make a career out of this  – everyone can if you put the time in. 

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

The job hunt was one of the hardest parts of this whole process. It really tests how badly you want it. It involved A LOT of networking, sending applications, getting rejections, and preparing for interviews. To be transparent, it was overwhelming at times. However, you keep fighting because all it takes is one “yes”. I am now proud to say that I will be joining the Bank of America family as a Systems & Software QA Analyst! 

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

Luckily, I made the most of my experience. I graduated with not only a certificate, but also another family. I’ve been told I could be a reserved individual but I really didn’t want that to be the case going through this bootcamp. I’m glad I made that push. Thankfully, I met a group of people that are important to me and I can’t wait to see how far they will go too! 

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

If you are truly interested, then I encourage you to take action on it. I look at it as an investment with a strong return on it if you stay committed and give your very best! 
If you are just starting one. My advice is to be patient, work a lot with your instructors and classmates, and trust the process. The first couple weeks of Python, REACT, and Java were humbling experiences. By the end of each stack, it was amazing to see where I got to compared to where I was when I started. There were plenty of obstacles, but “strength through struggle” will really go a long way for your growth as a developer. 

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

Recently being offered a position with Bank of America, my goal is to be the best I can be for them and to climb my way up the ladder in terms of leadership. I want to prove to myself that enrolling into this bootcamp was one of my smartest investments. 

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.