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This Alumni Spotlight is different. We’re not just meeting one alumni to share their experiences, but four! We met up with Chicago Dojo graduates Melvin Wright (Aug’18), Elliott Chen (Sept’18), Addison Narter Slezak (Oct’18), and Kirill Yaantikov (Mar’19) to discuss their experiences after bootcamp as well as the launch their new mobile app Refer’d.
To tackle the challenges of job hunting, Melvin, Addison, Kirill, and Elliot joined the founders at Refer’d. After being on both sides of the hiring process, Chris Luong and Allen Kong realized that modern hiring processes did not fully utilize the hiring team. The four founders formed the company.
Dojo graduates built the solution Chris & Allen envisioned: a peer to peer hiring platform, complemented by a machine learning algorithm that empowers employers & employees in today’s modern-day hiring process.
Research has shown that referrals have the highest ROI, even when used for outside-of-network referrals. This results in an average cost savings of $7500 per hire. Referrals are also faster to hire, produce better work and have lower turnover rates. Referral programs have only been used by 20% of software developers.
Refer’d helps candidates and hiring managers match their skills and experiences using their peer-to-peer platform.
Refer’d matches potential hires directly with potential colleagues or hiring managers, so they can refer candidates to their recruiters and HR departments. Refer’d uses the “swipe-to-match” user interface where job seekers can swipe through available roles to find career opportunities. Future team members can also swipe through candidates to find matches. This simplified application process allows teams to vet candidates directly and connect the two parties as a traditional referral.
Refer’d was launched today. We asked the team how they got the platform built, what they learned from our program, and what their future plans are. Enjoy!
Please tell us about yourself. Age, hobbies, and what were you doing professionally before joining Coding Dojo.
Elliott: I am 26 years of age and enjoy reading, playing video games, and hanging out with friends. Before joining Coding Dojo, I had spent some time researching financial career options.
Melvin: I am 29 years old. Before I joined the Coding Dojo, I was unemployed and in a very hopeless job.
Addison: I am 25 years old. I started Coding Dojo right after college. Cal Poly SLO awarded me a degree in Biomedical Engineer. I had some exposure to coding, but not much. I am also a passionate Fantasy Football player, and have won 3 league titles.
Kirill: I’m 24 years old. I love music and sports. Before the Dojo, it was my fourth year at community college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career. I have worked in restaurants and warehouses, but I never felt fulfilled with this type of work.
Why did you choose to enroll in a Coding Bootcamp? Why did Coding Dojo win over other programs?
Addison: My main reason for joining Coding Dojo was the chance to grow professionally. Although I learned a lot in college, the opportunities that I had after college were not what I wanted. Coding Dojo provided a real-world environment to develop my skills. The full-time work environment was the most appealing aspect of the program when I was applying. The bootcamp allows you to work on projects in the same way as you would at a real job, with reasonable deadlines and projects that can be applied to real-world applications.
Kirill: When I decided to make a career out of it, I enrolled in the bootcamp. Coding Dojo was the best because they had a wide range of languages that allowed me to choose the style I liked most. JavaScript is flexible. TypeScript now allows us to have the flexibility of JavaScript while still keeping the safety of strongly-typed languages.
What parts of the bootcamp were you most difficult to master and how did your efforts overcome them?
Elliott: The most difficult part of the bootcamp was the algorithm/data structure exercises in the second half. I felt less confident in my ability to absorb the graph material and tree material than the first half, which was heavily focused on singlely-linked lists. This was rectified by individual study.
Addison: The hardest thing for me was learning how to work with others and how to use a team of people.