For 5+ years, I was an ESL teacher to Chinese students
Looking for a long-term, sustainable career?
Was worried that coding would be too difficult for her
As a junior email developer at Covetrus
We discovered a new approach to learning and new collaboration skills.
Future as a Senior Manager
Program: Full-Time Online Three-Full Stack Bootcamp
I’ve told people that the bootcamp taught me a different way to learn. In my traditional undergraduate program (a literature major), I was almost entirely responsible for my papers/homework. However, the bootcamp allowed me to do a lot of collaborative work. It helped me get out of my comfort zone with solo work, and I’m grateful for that. It was sometimes difficult to ask for help from others, but it was a positive experience.
Please tell us a bit about yourself. What were you doing professionally before the bootcamp?
I am 35 years old, and will turn 36 in October. As a hobby, I enjoy creative writing, reading books on Kindle, and reading and participating with various forms of social media. I follow #AestheticFemales on Twitter. I am active on other social networks as well. I am now able to travel the world and have an income, which is something I really enjoy. I enjoy animal/pet content and follow many travel blogs and Instagram accounts.
Prior to the bootcamp I taught English as an Additional Language (ESL), to students in China for five+years.
Why did you choose to enroll in the bootcamp, other than the desire to learn how to code?
Market changes meant that my former job was not sustainable long-term. It was also a gig job with a capped salary and limited growth potential. Software development was something I was drawn to because it offered opportunities for growth and learning, and a market that was very lucrative. I have always assumed that I could not do tech work. My attitude changed when I started to see it as a skill that I could learn like any other skill. Although I still have much to learn, I’ve discovered that I enjoy coding.
What were your fears and doubts that prevented you from enrolling? How did you overcome them?
Before I entered the bootcamp, I had never done much with HTML/CSS or JS. I was worried that I would find it too difficult and/or not enjoy coding. The truth is that once I commit myself to something, it’s easy to develop my interest. I therefore kind of banked on my ability to keep the momentum of my enthusiasm once decided that I was going to make this career change. There were some concerns that I had, such as, what if it’s not right for me?
What was the secret to Coding Dojo’s success? Why did you choose Coding Dojo over other programs?
I did some research on coding bootcamps, and compared them. Coding Dojo seemed like it taught more material in a shorter amount of time than other bootcamps. Coding Dojo’s thoroughness was what attracted me to the bootcamp.
How was it to get ready for bootcamp? Were you nervous, excited, etc.? How did you prepare?
I was very excited. Although I wouldn’t say that I was naive about what I would face, I was still excited. I am more professional and weathered now. You could say that I was a bubbly genius. I received the news of my acceptance while on vacation. I can vividly recall clutching the packet and gushing with friends as we hung out at a beachy area. It was like a new era was about to begin.
Take us through the first few weeks of the program. Which parts were your favorites? What parts did you struggle with?
In hindsight, programming basics and web fundamentals seem like a fun game. They are far less challenging than the full stacks. I had a lot of fun with the basic stuff. It was difficult to absorb all the information I was learning. There are still things I learned in Coding Dojo, which I would still say I need to review or develop.
What were your strategies for overcoming the difficulties you faced?
The Python stack was the first time I faced real obstacles. After I failed the test, I reexamined my approach to the stack and made some adjustments. I made a decision to work faster on my homework and to eat shorter meals. I was more proactive in reaching out and contacting TAs, instructors, and peers. I was very assertive when I needed help with a question that I couldn’t answer. I became more collaborative with others over time.
Do you have any funny stories about your time in the th