From Promotional Products to Phenomenal Programmer | How Orange County Alumni Michelle Tanzil Changed Careers

Pre-Dojo:
  • Worked as a Sales & Marketing professional
  • Wanted a better career to utilize her critical thinking skills
  • Had an interest in web development & was spending time to learn it as a hobby
After Dojo:
  • Works as a Developer Support Engineer
  • Confident that she has great starting point in her dev career
  • Aspires to work for FAANG companies and/or be admitted into the Microsoft LEAP program
Program: Three Full-Stack Bootcamp in Orange County, CA
Testimonial:

As it came upon me, I dreaded the graduation date. By the end of it, I did not want to leave the Dojo and grew comfortable where I was. I was enjoying myself too much and it was hard to come to terms with the fact that the bootcamp had to end.

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

I’m a 27 year old who moved to Sunny California 11 years ago and have stuck around ever since. I’m a foodie, nerd, and gamer. I love exploring all kinds of food, especially spicy food and travelling to a few conventions here and there such as San Diego Comic Con and WonderCon. 

I also used to be a huge gamer – MMORPG & MOBA were my poison. Nowadays, I’m still a casual gamer playing ARAMs on League of Legends. I’m also a big fan of Critical Role: “Spread the love!” 

Before the bootcamp, I was a sales & marketing professional including marketing, account management, and sales support. I specialized in the promotional products industry (branded products) where I learned about PMS colors, decorating methods and teamwork skills.

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

After a stint in the financial services industry, I took some time to self-reflect on my current career path and found I was not satisfied with what I was currently doing. I felt that I could do more and wanted a career where I utilized my critical thinking skills. I had always been interested in web development and I was already spending time on the side to learn it. Eventually, I decided to make it into a career.

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

My biggest fear would be the time commitment to the bootcamp. The advertised 70-90 hours/week schedule was definitely daunting, but eventually I decided to commit to it.

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

I had four options to choose from and I took the time to research each of them. I went to each bootcamp’s meet-and-greet events and took a look at the pre-coursework. Coding Dojo’s 3 full stack program and the competitive pricing then sealed the deal for me.

What was it like getting ready for the bootcamp? How did you prepare?

It was nerve-wracking waiting for the days to count down the start of the bootcamp. I prepared by letting my friends and family know that I would not be as available for the next 14 weeks and I would like their support as much as possible. That turned out to be the right choice when the things were tough and I could call them to relax or vent my frustrations.

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

The first few weeks of the program felt intense. Getting to know the lay of the land and keep up with the material made it a bit difficult to adjust. I enjoyed meeting my cohort and instructors. I think I struggled on the days learning SQL as I felt there was not enough time on it. 

How did you overcome the obstacles or struggles you faced?

I had a good support system with my personal family and friends. The instructors and my cohort definitely helped me through the process – having teachers who care and comrades who were going through the same exact obstacles as me were a great way to get past these struggles and bond with them.

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

The way I would describe my time in the bootcamp would be – “It was the best of times but also very challenging.” I met a lot of great friends that would last a lifetime and I reminisce about the memories often. However, the journey was also a trial and made the end bittersweet.

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

As it came upon me, I dreaded the graduation date. By the end of it, I did not want to leave the Dojo and grew comfortable where I was. I was enjoying myself too much and it was hard to come to terms with the fact that the bootcamp had to end. I felt there was still a mountain of things to learn but I was also confident that I had the great starting point for my dev career.

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

I started my job hunt before I graduated from the bootcamp and that ended up cutting down the time between bootcamp and landing a job to a month. The job hunt was terrifying and felt like a marathon. Networking, technical interviews, and job applying is it’s own full-time position.

I managed to land two job offers and now work as a Developer Support Engineer for Shoutpoint, Inc. 

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

Figure out your learning style first. Attending a bootcamp is not only a time-consuming effort but it’s also an expensive one. I found that the structure and classroom-ish learning style suit me the best. Before the bootcamp, I learned on my own which was difficult for me to grasp the concepts and I couldn’t stick to a certain schedule, which made learning the material ineffective.  

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

I met great friends and minds alike, who were all looking to be a developer, who will last for a long time. It also inspired the drive and opportunity to be a developer.

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

I hope to enter one of the FAANG companies in the future as a Software Engineer. For now, I am aspiring to admit to the Microsoft LEAP program.

If you are interested in learning how to code and starting the path to land your dream job, 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.

dojo guide

Looking for a Career in Web Development?

Read our quick-start guide to becoming a Developer

  • Includes exclusive insight from a seasoned Web Developer
  • Uncovers the top career misconceptions holding you back
  • Highlights the must-have qualities all employers require
  • 89,615 downloads to date

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *