How Justin Christian Charted His New Career Path

As a one-man video production business, as well as in marketing & sales.
He was expecting a child and knew he needed a better job to support his family.
Had little coding experience with HTML and CSS

After Dojo:
As a Lead Frontend developer, he joined Homebase and has since been promoted to the position of Director of Product Management. He oversees all products, feature strategy, and roadmap prioritization.
Will continue to work on innovative ideas from diverse perspectives and experimentation in order to build the future for living.

Program: Three Full Stack, Full Time Bootcamp
My life was transformed by three months of hard work. You can do the same for yours if you put in the effort.
Please tell us a bit about yourself. What were you doing professionally before the bootcamp?
I am 30 years of age and am a Coding Dojo alumnus from the spring 2016 class. I have over ten years of experience in the startup industry and am passionate about personal development, tech, and family.
I have a journalism education. After graduating college, I set up a small video production studio that I ran for three years. After three years of struggling to make ends work, I had a brief stint in sales and decided to switch to software development.
Why did you choose to enroll in a bootcamp for coding?
Before Coding Dojo, my fiance, now wife, and I discovered that we were going to have our first child at the age 23. This unexpected news forced us to make big decisions about our lives. I could have been offered a job as a marketing intern, but that would have been enough for us. I didn’t want this for my family, and that wasn’t what I wanted for the rest my life. I knew I could do better.
I was in marketing at a startup when I was in college. This is where my passion for code was ignited. It would take me four more years to pursue it. While working at the startup, it dawned on me that innovation is actually the responsibility of the development team. While creatives may have their ideas, developers are the ones who bring innovation to life. This is why I decided to learn code.
What were your fears and doubts that prevented you from enrolling? How did you overcome them?
Living in Kansas City was the biggest challenge. In 2016, Kansas City didn’t have any coding bootcamps that were worth putting my family’s future in jeopardy. I had a baby and wanted to be able to get the best bootcamp experience possible.
I wanted to be accepted into one of the most prestigious programs in the country. Coding Dojo was the right fit for me. Coding Dojo had just opened a Tulsa branch. I didn’t want the hassle of moving to a new campus so I decided to travel to Coding Dojo headquarters in Seattle. I would be gone for my fiance’s entire second pregnancy. Although it was a difficult decision, I can see that it was the right one.
What was the secret to Coding Dojo’s success? Why did you choose Coding Dojo over other programs?
It was crucial that we had enough time. We had a baby in six months. Coding Dojo is a well-known bootcamp that is intense. This is because you can learn three stacks in three months. I could have attended a six-month bootcamp in Chicago or Denver and been closer to home, but my child would have been born by the end of my graduation. I needed a bootcamp that could help my achieve my goals quickly. I didn’t mind that I would have work twice as hard. I had something bigger than me I was working for.
How was it to get ready for bootcamp? Were you nervous, excited, etc.? How did you prepare?
Coding Dojo was my first introduction to HTML and CSS for email campaigns. I had no experience with other marketing functions. This helped, but HTML/CSS was only the tip. Because Python was my first stack, I learned it through YouTube and other online platforms. You have to learn the basics and also learn a new language during the first month. It’s why it’s so difficult. It is important to learn as much as you can before starting the program. The first month at Coding Dojo is significantly more difficult than the rest.
Take us through the first few weeks of the program. Which parts were your favorites? What parts did you struggle with?
It’s not something I will sugarcoat. The first few weeks of bootcamp can be very difficult. The curriculum allows you to build skills incrementally. What you learn the day before can be applied to what you do the day after. Coding Dojo’s greatest strength is their ability to encourage students to work with each other. If you’re stuck, you can ask for help from students sitting next to your. If you are still having trouble understanding your problem, you will be asked to work with students next to you.

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