From Mechanic to Mobile Developer | How Silicon Valley Alumni Timothy Foltz Turned His Furlough Into A Future-Proof Career

  • Worked as an airplane mechanic for a local flight school
  • Was furloughed due to COVID-19 and decided to enroll in a bootcamp instead of going back to school
  • Had slight familiarity with coding due to tinkering in the early 2000s with Myspace 
After Dojo:
  • Works as an iOS Mobile Developer for a large investment company where he is modernizing their iOS application
  • Overcame Imposter Syndrome and realizes he knows much more than he was giving himself credit for
  • Has a newfound ability to learn new topics quickly and confidence in his skills
Program: Three Full Stack bootcamp in San Jose, CA

When it came time to graduate I did recognize how much I had learned since starting. I remember how I felt when I started the course, and acknowledging how much I knew at graduation was impressive to me. I never thought I would be able to learn so much in such a little amount of time.

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

I love being outdoors, hiking, camping, and being in nature. I love being with my family, and they are the reason for my career change. We play board games when we have time, and love being together wherever we are.

Prior to the bootcamp, I was an airplane mechanic for a local flight school.

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

I had planned on going to school, finishing my degree, and leaving aviation after almost 20 years. By the end of 2020 COVID had finally hit my company and I was furloughed. I had been seeing ads for coding bootcamps, and decided that was the time to check it out. I was able to use my GI Bill® to pay for it, so I figured it would be worth trying while I was out of work. I had always been interested in computer science, and this seemed like the logical path to take. 

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

I couldn’t enroll in such an intense program while still employed. Because I was furloughed, it seemed like this would be a good opportunity to try something new.

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

I was excited. I didn’t know what to expect, but the outlook for the industry was promising so I took the leap.

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

The last time I had done any sort of programming was back in the early 2000s when Myspace was still a thing. So coming back and having JavaScript and CSS was a nice surprise, but it meant I had to learn more languages all at once so I was ready to take my first full stack. I don’t know if I would pick one thing I struggled with, the whole course was rough, but I dedicated my time to learning and it paid off.

How did you overcome the obstacles or struggles you faced? 

I knew the bootcamp was only temporary, and that meant I only had a short amount of time to learn the languages before I was let out on my own to make something of myself. I told myself that I would be able to have weekends when I was finished, and so I worked on the course work as much and often as possible.

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

Every stack presented me with new opportunities to make new friends and learn new topics. I enjoyed all my time with my cohort, including the late nights trying to figure out the next assignment. I have been in contact with some of my classmates since graduation, and have shared success stories with each other. 

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

When it came time to graduate I did recognize how much I had learned since starting. I remember how I felt when I started the course, and acknowledging how much I knew at graduation was impressive to me. I never thought I would be able to learn so much in such a little amount of time.

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

I was about to give up on the job hunt and just go back to school to finish my degree, when a company called me up and wanted to set up an interview. I aced the interviews, and now work as a consultant at a large investment company, modernizing their iOS application. I had never worked with iOS before, but landed the job and they were willing to let me learn.

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

I understood that I probably knew more than I thought or felt I did. The imposter syndrome was strong while I was in the bootcamp, but there were always these times when my cohort-mates needed help and we would come together and figure it out. It really gave me the confidence that even if I was nervous, I probably knew more than I thought and to just work through the problem.

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

Going through the bootcamp gave me the confidence that I could learn a new language quickly. I had never worked with iOS (Swift), but I got a job making iOS applications. It’s not all about what you know now, but how you learn, and how confident you are in yourself.

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

I don’t have any specific plans. I want to continue to work in the industry and see where I go. I am sure I will try different roles through the years and maybe I will love one of those more than just writing code.

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.

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 *