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How a Coding Boot Camp Helped This Learner Upskill Quick, Kickstart His Profession, and Get Again on Observe for School

Andrew Rodriguez Betancourt has felt the rising pains of beginning over—a number of occasions over.

Initially from Venezuela, Andrew was pursuing a level in Engineering there when civil unrest within the nation compelled him to hitch his mother in Florida. He quickly found his credit wouldn’t switch within the U.S., so he needed to restart his faculty schooling from scratch, taking primary requirement lessons at an Orlando neighborhood faculty whereas working as a server and bartender. His eventual objective was to switch to the College of Central Florida (UCF) and rekindle his authentic main. However then COVID hit, he was let go from his job, and Andrew discovered himself set again as soon as once more.

“I used to be undoubtedly annoyed, as a result of it was going to take me that for much longer to be financially prepared for a bachelor’s at UCF,” he says. “At that time, I wished a sooner strategy to get began on that STEM profession I had been chasing for years.”

In exploring his subsequent steps, Andrew found the UCF Coding Boot Camp. This system’s intensive full-time, four-month cohort possibility appealed to him, as did the notion of attending a boot camp from a college he trusted and deliberate to enroll in for his undergraduate diploma. Again in Venezuela, he had taught himself primary web site design for varied freelance tasks. However he knew the boot camp may give him deeper publicity to each front-end and back-end programming abilities, conserving his profession prospects as versatile as potential.

“The boot camp felt like my finest subsequent transfer, as a result of it promised to show me a ton of various applied sciences,” he says. “Plus, it was nice cost-wise, it will assist me construct up my abilities faster, and it was on-line so I may hopefully hold working someplace.”

Although the pandemic saved Andrew from discovering new employment immediately, the additional time at residence enabled him to focus all of his energies on the boot camp and finally obtain the outcomes he hoped for. 

EDX INLINE Andrew Rodriguez UCF Boot Camper 800x400 - LAPTOP

Instructing Himself Be taught One thing New

“Practically each single factor I realized within the boot camp has transferred to the roles I obtained after finishing it,” says Andrew, reflecting on his cohort expertise. “The curriculum helps you see how one programming language connects to others with the intention to decide them up sooner every time. With different lessons I’ve taken, the applied sciences they educate are barely getting used anymore. However the boot camp offers you the day-to-day fundamentals you’ll use in an actual job at present. And it opens your thoughts to have the ability to educate your self tips on how to study one thing new.”

Past praising the curriculum that focuses on related, real-world abilities, Andrew additionally compliments his teacher. “He had numerous vitality and his character was nice,” Andrew says. “He knew we had been studying some fairly heavy ideas, so he at all times made certain we had been having enjoyable alongside the way in which. For one group project, he allow us to create no matter form of app we wished. My group developed a meals and wine pairing software. The tasks obtained us excited to work collectively and apply what we realized.”

For Andrew, one of many boot camp’s most impactful elements was its expansive Profession Engagement Community. He appreciated how a lot time his profession advisor spent serving to him grow to be “not simply employer prepared however employer aggressive.”

“He gave me steerage on my resume and canopy letter, directed me to a bunch of free profession webinars, and gave me numerous suggestions for making use of to jobs,” Andrew remembers. “After interviews, we’d speak via what I did proper and what I may’ve performed higher. He additionally inspired me to start out a brand new mission proper after the boot camp, so I may hold my abilities recent. That was invaluable recommendation.”

Upon graduating, Andrew really helpful the boot camp to one among his buddies, who wound up as keen about this system as he was. He was additionally invited to a webinar of his personal to supply inspiration to different boot camp learners. 

“I flat-out instructed different college students that should you’re not using the profession companies, you’re not doing the complete boot camp,” he says.

EDX QUOTE CARD Andrew Rodriguez UCF Boot Camp Learner

Regular Employment and a Bachelor’s Program at Final

Quickly after the boot camp, Andrew landed a distant part-time contract as a web site coordinator for a nonprofit in St. Louis. “They had been constructing farmers’ markets to assist small companies within the space,” he says. “They preferred my boot camp portfolio, in order that they employed me to design a brand new web site for his or her mission. Then they utterly rebranded, so I constructed one other 4 websites. It was nice expertise and I used to be serving to individuals, which actually fueled my ardour. I nonetheless do work for them occasionally.”

With the steadiness of a brand new job, Andrew was lastly capable of switch to UCF and start taking lessons towards a Pc Science diploma. He discovered that the boot camp supplied advantages for his new studying journey, too.

“Having that prior information has helped me tremendously with my bachelor’s,” he explains. “Like, I’m taking an object-oriented class proper now, which is mainly Java with Bootstrap. I see different college students struggling, however I can deal with it. The boot camp offers you confidence in your skills, which spills into different areas of your life. Final 12 months, my spouse and I purchased a faculty bus and turned it into an RV (see photographs beneath). Neither of us had prior expertise in constructing something however I used to be like, ‘We will completely do that!’”

And the success saved coming. A 12 months into his work with the nonprofit, Andrew landed one other distant job—this time as a full-time software program engineer for a payroll companies firm in Winter Park, Florida.

“They employed me for my full-stack abilities but in addition wished to coach me on particular software program they’ve, which is a database program that makes use of SQL closely and likewise some Java,” he explains. “The work I do now includes taxes and deductions and strikes sooner day-after-day—however I’m maintaining, making good cash, and persevering with to make use of the abilities I realized within the boot camp.”

EDX INLINE Andrew Rodriguez UCF Boot Camper 800x400 - SCHOOL BUS

The Confidence—and Expertise—to Dream Even Larger

Down the highway short-term, Andrew likes the concept of working for a advertising company, the place he may focus extra on interactive web site design and join with a wide range of purchasers. “I’d like to design for, like, a soccer group at some point and a cool clothes model the subsequent,” he muses. “However critically, I believe difficult myself with completely different tasks makes me an much more succesful and marketable individual.” 

Extra long-term, Andrew envisions a profession in tech mission administration or consulting. “I need to be a key a part of these strategic discussions,” he says. “The academic {and professional} expertise I’ve gained from the boot camp has opened up a whole lot of alternatives that may flip into management positions sometime. Within the meantime, I simply hold telling folks that if you wish to make a optimistic change in your life, a boot camp is among the finest methods to do it.”



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