How Seattle Alumni Stephen Holmes Changed His Career

As a library technician
You yearned for a career change but don’t have the time or money to go back to school
Wasn’t sure if the bootcamp structure was right for him

After Dojo:
Newfound self-reliance and problem solving skills
As a Front End Developer
The dream of building information systems from a technical and social perspective.

Program: Three Full-Stack Bootcamps in Seattle, WA
It was a great way to learn coding by having to struggle with the material and then working together to solve it.
Please tell us about yourself. Your age, hobbies, passions and what you did (professionally) before joining the bootcamp.
I am a native Seattleite, 36 years old. I love to bake pizzas, and my favorite is the Hawaiian pizza with caramelized pineapple. I also enjoy playing guitar. Before the bootcamp, my job was as a librarian technician. This involved customer service, maintaining the physical collection, and making sure that the online catalog was accurate.
Why did you choose to enroll in a bootcamp for coding?
I was interested in a career change. I had some coding experience, and knew I wanted to change careers. I was disappointed by the time-consuming and expensive process of researching post-Bachelor degrees. Bootcamps offered a way to learn technical skills in a fraction the time.
What were your fears and doubts that prevented you from enrolling? How did you overcome them?
I was not sure if the program was right for me or if it would teach me the skills necessary to pursue a career as a technie. I did some research on the Seattle bootcamps and read about people’s experiences with job hunting after graduation. It seems that bootcamps are about how hard you work.
What was the secret to Coding Dojo’s success? Why did you choose Coding Dojo over other programs?
Open House was a great opportunity to meet students and instructors. I found the atmosphere welcoming and friendly, and was impressed by the student population. I left the Open House feeling happy and excited!
How was it to prepare for bootcamp? How did you prepare for the bootcamp?
I signed up right before the deadline, so I was trying my best to get everything in order. It’s not easy to organize for bootcamp. The weekend before the start of the bootcamp was spent doing pre-course work. This included some reading, coding exercises and an introduction to algorithms. It was like preparing for the first day at school. I did some “back-to school” shopping and bought a notebook, pens, and a pencil.
Talk us through the first few weeks of the program. Which parts were your favorites? What parts were difficult?
The first few weeks were all about getting used to the program and improving my coding skills. I was often the first person to arrive on campus. This allowed me to get used to the schedule and helped me transition into the day, especially for the interactive algorithm sessions, lectures, group work, and group work.
The hardest thing I faced, especially at the beginning, was learning and remembering everything. It was difficult to grasp and apply everything. You realize that there is some code you can internalize and others that you need to conceptually understand.
What were your strategies for overcoming the difficulties you faced?
Failure. Every instructor stressed the importance of failing when learning code. The Dojo encouraged failure and made it acceptable. Working together to solve a problem was the best way for coding to learn. You either found a solution or consulted with an instructor so you didn’t waste time trying to figure out what the solution was.
Do you have any funny stories to share about bootcamp? Make friends! Do you have fond memories?
Students are encouraged to take a break from coding on Thursdays at Bellevue’s campus. There was always a game called Werewolf. Although I only played it a few times, it was interesting to see the reactions of the players when they accidentally killed a villager or found a werewolf.
How did you feel about your job prospects and skills as you neared graduation?
I felt confident in my abilities towards the end of the bootcamp. I was uncertain about my job prospects because I hadn’t spent any time researching company websites or job boards.
Did the bootcamp provide you with anything other than coding skills?
The most impo

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.