- Was laid off from his job as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Consultant
- Served in various leadership roles in the U.S. Army
- Desired a challenging and meaningful career, not just any entry-level job
- Works as a Application Express (APEX) Developer at Oracle
- Has confidence he can speak intelligently during an interview regardless of the language he’s pursuing
- Dreams of moving into Senior Developer roles + giving back through mentorship or instruction
Program: Three Full Stack Online Full-Time bootcamp
After learning 3 full stacks, I was confident that I could speak intelligently during an interview regardless of what language I was pursuing.
Tell us a little about yourself. Age, hobbies, passions, and what you were doing (professionally) before the bootcamp?
I’m 35 years old, an avid pro wrestling fan, I enjoy helping others through technology. I was an ERP Consultant prior to attending the bootcamp.
Beyond the desire of learning to code, why did you decide to enroll in a coding bootcamp?
I was laid off from my role and I was in search of a new role in IT. I enjoyed helping customers learn new software, and I decided that being able to build applications was the next challenge I wanted to clear and get some job security.
What fears or doubts were “holding you back” from enrolling? How did you get over them?
I was in leadership roles for many years from the Army to multiple jobs after I got out. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to restart from an entry-level role in my mid-thirties. I realized I wasn’t getting actual self-fulfillment in my previous roles because I wasn’t being challenged as much. Looking at software development and the IT industry as a whole, there are so many paths to grow into that will always be challenging.
What was it like getting ready for the bootcamp? Were you nervous, excited, etc.? How did you prepare?
Getting ready for the bootcamp, I was excited and I had some coding experience before so I wasn’t overly nervous. Prior to the bootcamp starting, I looked up different coding languages to try and get an understanding of what I was about to learn.
Walk us through your first few weeks in the program. What were the parts you liked? Parts you struggled with?
The first few weeks were great! I was able to pick up most things quickly and was able to help my classmates when they struggled. I struggled mostly through algorithms and data structures.
How did you overcome the obstacles or struggles you faced?
I spent (and still spend) much of my off time going over data structures and algorithms. I bought the book Cracking the Coding Interview and a Data Structures course on Coursera. I still work through those to get better and be a better developer.
Do you have any fun anecdotes to share about your time in the bootcamp? Make good friends? Fond memories?
We discovered there was a Zoom time limit. The day before, the instructor kept the Zoom session open and gave hosting privileges to one of us night owl students, all so the students that were working late could collaborate. Instead of completely closing out the Zoom session, we kept it open through the next day. In the middle of a lecture, without warning, Zoom kicked everyone out, completely shut down, and we discovered that Zoom actually has a time limit of 30 hours.
When your graduation date was approaching, how did you feel about your skills and job prospects?
By graduation, I felt my skills were a lot more advanced than when I started. After learning 3 full stacks, I was confident that I could speak intelligently during an interview regardless of what language I was pursuing.
How did the job hunt go? Where did you land a job?
The job hunt felt brutal, honestly. For a couple of months I wasn’t getting any interviews or call backs. I reached out to my Career Services Manager and we revamped my resume and strategy. I had a lot more interviews and calls almost immediately afterward. I eventually landed an Application Express (APEX) Developer role with Oracle.
Beyond the coding expertise, did the bootcamp give you anything else?
The bootcamp gave me better skills to work and collaborate with a team while 100% remote. It also taught me how to get your favorite search engine to work for you when you need to work through some issues.
What advice do you have for others who are interested in coding bootcamps or who are just starting one?
- When things get tough, don’t forget why you started and look how far you have actually come. In less than one week of work, you will have already gone farther than you realize.
- Abide by the 20 minute rule! If after 20 minutes you are still stuck on a problem, ask for help. I did not follow this rule at first, then I started to fall behind. You lose a lot more when you’re behind because you’re not able to focus and participate in lectures, and if you wait too long, you lose time on project week.
- Learn to push to GitHub and push often. After graduation, don’t stop. Some companies judge you based on the amount of commits you have and to see if you have kept practicing after you graduated.
What are your goals/dreams for the future, say 5 or 10 years from now?
In 5 years, I want to be a Senior Developer and in 10 years I want to be able to turn around and give back whether as an instructor or a mentor.
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.