April 11, 2022

Coding Temple Coding Bootcamp Review


I invited on 3 graduates from the coding bootcamp Coding Temple to share their experience with the software engineering program. As usual, my goal is to get past the marketing BS and hear the REAL experiences of graduates. We dove into the pros AND the cons. Enjoy!

Guests:
Russell Anderson - https://www.linkedin.com/in/russell-anderson-5201a7159
Sydney Romero - https://www.linkedin.com/in/sydney-romero
Eric Jiang - https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-jiang-855a16107

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Transcript
Don Hansen:

Welcome back to another podcast where we help aspiring developers get jobs and junior developers grow. We are focused on another web development, coding bootcamp. This is going to be the full stack program that they offer coding temple. We're going to dive into it. I brought on three real graduates. Again, the whole point of this, get past the marketing BS at coding boot camps, obviously spread out and listen to real stories. That's the whole goal of this, right. Um, so hopefully at the end of this, you'll figure out if this program is right for you, but like usual, we'll go ahead and start with our intros. All right. So a few questions for you, Russell. Um, when did you graduate, where you at in your job search and what industry did you come from?

Russell Anderson:

Uh, I graduated in the second week of January, January 10th to be, uh, to be exact, um, this year, this year, this year, you know, just, I just went through, I started it at the end of the. Um, my job search has been rough. Say the least it's been very bumpy. Um, I thought I was going to have more time to look and I didn't quite, so. I, I, uh, I, I can't name the company. I ended up taking a job with one of the, uh, with one of the, uh, software engineering mills that, uh, you have to sign a contract for. I didn't want to, but I just ran out of time as far as my own personal finances. Um, and then, uh, I came from the service industry. I'm a trained chef. I, I trained five-star at a sea island resort and then I also was a manager for, uh, for toys R us for many years. So both the restaurant and the end big box retail I have done. So I'm a career changer for sure. All

Don Hansen:

right. Cool. Thanks, Russell. How about you,

Russell Anderson:

Sydney?

Sydney Romero:

Yes, I was from the. I was in the July to September cohort, uh, not including the pre-work that I was doing as well. Um, and the job hunt right now, actually, um, I was able to receive a couple of offers down the line. I think it was a mixture as well as I have it on my resume. And it looks really awesome that I was able to go through a full stack pro program, but I was also a data analyst for two years before that already. However, it wasn't the data analyst role. I think I wanted, it was mostly Excel, some VBA and I was missing all those sequel Python shops that everyone likes. So I think a mixture of the, those two things, my previous experience and having, uh, coding temple help, uh, right now a little bit, a little bit burned out. So I'm taking my time finding the next role. So doing a little bit of a, uh, Uber eats who were driving, just trying to find out the, the actual roadmap I want to do.

Eric Jiang:

Okay, cool.

Don Hansen:

Um, all right, Eric.

Eric Jiang:

Uh, yeah, my I'm also from the July to September cohort. Um, I previously came from a mechanical engineering background. Uh, so not a little bit of familiarity with, uh, coding, but not too into, to delve into the, um, totally languages. Uh, I agree with Sydney, I think for me, I have gotten a few offers. I'm currently working for the city of New York. Um, and I just signed a full-time offer with a consulting company. Um, but I think what really, for me, what really stood out was, uh, you know, the data analysts borrow a bunch of projects that coding temple really makes you do. Okay.

Don Hansen:

So what's the title that you were offered? Uh,

Eric Jiang:

I was offered a software consulting analyst role. Okay.

Don Hansen:

What's a software consulting analysts

Russell Anderson:

do. No, that's a very cool question. I will. I'm about to find out when I work, but yeah.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. All right. Um, well, congrats on that new position. I think I'm ready to dive in. So, um, like usual, we're going to talk over each other a little bit. I, it usually evens out like the first 10 minutes feel free to respond to each other. But first question, um, why did you choose coding temple over other programs? I think

Eric Jiang:

for me, it was very straightforward. I, uh, it was money, a coding template. I had a guarantee money back guarantee. Uh, within three months of graduating, um, there were, you know, the fine lines. I didn't really read, but it was the offer that, you know, if you graduated and then within three months, if I still have. I can get my money's back. Right. That was what really entice me

Don Hansen:

to it. Do you think prospect students should read those fine lines? Oh, absolutely. Okay.

Eric Jiang:

Okay. How about you

Russell Anderson:

two?

Sydney Romero:

I would agree with Eric. Yeah. Um, I did have a, a pretty long spreadsheet of different, um, different coding boot camps. And for me, the biggest thing was how can I sustainably, still do this while working full time? So I took the part-time course as well as the cost benefit with time. Like how long will this program take and how quickly could I use these skills? Um, and does the, I was dividing the, I was dividing coding temple by the amount of weeks and how much each week would cost that. That's how I did it at the back of my head and how much that would cost if I would take time off of work. So for me, I saw the big, the best value for that for the least amount of time and focusing. It was a very specific stack with Python. So that, that was the biggest allure for me.

Russell Anderson:

Okay. How about you Russell? Well, for me, um, I coding temple had some of the best reviews out there overall, um, that I saw, I actually was, I was close to going to the Georgia tech offered bootcamp. Um, Georgia tech has their bootcamp is really good and it's a little bit cheaper. Um, the timing didn't match, um, for me, uh, but as I, I did feel like what's the, what's the most diplomatic way to put this. Once I called coding temple, they hunted me down and they were one of the only ones that did that ever. I had conversations with other boot camps where they backed off, they make the, they may call me, they may give me an email within a week of coding, coding temple. Then the, the process of signing up with them was much quicker. They were much more. And some of the other people that I had spoken with during my evaluation process, cause I took about a good three weeks calling people, trying to gather information before I signed up with somebody, coding temple was the Mo more aggressive of all of the code of the bootcamp that I had. Okay. That's not a positive or negative statement. That's just, that's kind of how it's laid out

Don Hansen:

for me. Well, yeah. And some people might see that as negative, but I can see how some people would think like, okay, they want me in.

Russell Anderson:

Right. Okay. And then, and their behavior, I, their behavior, as far as how it started the whole lead up, they were very supportive after I signed, they checked in with me. Um, I did the full, I did the full, or I did the a 10 week program or the 10 week during the day program. So I wasn't working. Um, and, uh, I wish I would have followed Sydney's lead and done part-time and, and continue to work in full time. Uh, just because it can be all it can take over your life. Like it took over my life for 14 weeks. Like it was longer than the actual bootcamp itself. It was the pre-work party was after. So, um, it can become, it can become engrossing beyond just the actual coursework itself. Like you get, you get really deep with it. Okay.

Don Hansen:

All right. So let's jump into things. Um, what did you think of the program? We're going to go over the good and the bad. We're going to dive into both. And I actually want to provide some context cause I'm interested what you guys think of this. So even thinking about the curriculum 10 weeks, full-time, it's very short compared to a lot of other programs. Um, that's one, one difference I noticed and I would argue a lot of coding. Bootcamps will a lot of students in people that would go through programs that are like three months long would feel like that was not enough time. That's like a major consensus that I hear from other programs that are low. Um, so with that context, some, you know, keep that in mind. I'm curious how that affects your experience, but yeah. What'd you guys think of the program?

Russell Anderson:

I

Eric Jiang:

think right now, uh, when I took it right. I thought it was kind of a mat program. Uh, just because, you know, you're going in, like you said, it's a 10 week program, so it's a very intensive program. Uh, it's a very fast paced too. So if you're not able to understand that source material, then you know, it's up to you to seek help, uh, granted the RTAs who offer, uh, to support you throughout the way. But I do, I did have classmates who did not end up, uh, meeting the criteria is at the end and not graduating with us. Um, another thing was, uh, I noticed in the bootcamp that they started offering a kind of prep kinda interview prep questions, um, every day. And a lot of the issues in my cohort was, oh, we weren't offered that when we graduated. Right. If we had that, it would've been mainly benefited us to.

Russell Anderson:

Okay. Um, I mean, I thought the 10 weeks wasn't enough personally. Um, if your light, if your coding light has not gone on God or turned on that, you're, you're, you're going to have problems as you come out. And though it doesn't, it, whether it be fun, a job getting comfortable in that job, and that's not necessarily coding couples fault per se. But, um, for me, because I know I wasn't the greatest of college students, I was a competent college student, but I wasn't always on my game. I knew that I was in for a tough 10 weeks, which it was very difficult. There was times I had to stop studying. I was studying so much, there was times I had to stop working cause I was overworking myself. I felt like the more time I put in the better I'd be. And that's not really how it works. As far as your understanding is. And so, um, I do understand how it's not long enough and I've gone through a process afterward where I've kind of had to rebuild how I work at it because without having that class five days a week, without having the projects out in front of me, without having all that, you kind of get lost in the shuffle a little bit, especially if you haven't found your niche. So, because my capstone was in react and I'm still shaky a little bit with some of my problem solving skills, as far as that's concerned, I did not come out of the bootcamp strong in my problem solving skills. And again, I'm not blaming them, but with, if I had, I did ask questions, I used all the resources. I did everything I could to try and get as, as, as competent as I could. And I just couldn't come that extra mile. Part of that I think is because I didn't have the math problems problems on skills before I came in and had to rebuild that. But, um, 10 weeks is not enough for the expense that you pay. And then, um, if you separate that into data, I know we had about five data guys out of my 13 people in the code. It was only three, it was two and a half weeks of data. And so depending on what you were, what you were looking to do will really depend on how much affluent structure you got, whether, and, and I, and that's a real slippery slope with the asthma.

Sydney Romero:

Yeah, I would agree. Um, the part-time one I think was a little bit different. I think it was 12 to 14 weeks at the time. I think I'm looking at the website right now. There could have been some nuances, some changes, but, um, I guess the reason for that was to try to separate that from let's make it a little bit longer from the full-time program since it's part-time so trying to get the same time allocation, I think, uh, I still think it wasn't enough time. It was definitely I'm sure. And from what I heard on this podcast, drinking out of the fire hose, maybe four of them, um, yeah, not enough

Russell Anderson:

time for sure. Oh, well, if you think about it, what's your learning for some of us. I know with Eric having a mechanical engineering degree, he already has the muscle memory for that. He already can speak the language before he shows up. Um, I was learning German, Spanish, and Chinese all at the same time while trying to re re, teach myself how to type while trying to learn how to, uh, absorb the documentation. And so the advice that you get as far as how to get better, it's great advice, but it doesn't apply universally. And so, um, we all learn at different paces and with coding I'm I will listen to one of your podcasts about the, uh, you can't do it for money. You can't do this for money. You can not get into this for money period estimation. There has to be something that you will use. You have to pull something out of it for yourself and other than the money, because you're not, you're not gonna be able to sit there for seven hours to code some furs, a hundred thousand dollars. He's just not, not at the level that they need you to, not at that professional level. And that's one thing I respect out of the interview process. Cause that's what they're trying to weed out in the interview process. They're trying to weed out the guy who's coming there. Who's memorized all the formulas and who can just roll it off the back of his hat. And can't really exactly participate in the actual, um, process of collaboration. And so, and, and coding Tablo attempts to try to teach that and to end, they, they, uh, encourage that, but that's not something that you can teach either. Um, and I found that was lacking as well. There really wasn't a big effort out of the students and that's something that coding table can't really force, but, um, But, I mean, it's hard to teach coding. It's not something that you can necessarily teach to everybody. And that's really the way we're setting up these boot camps and we, and some of us need more information in order to make that decision. If it works for us, I know I fall into that camp in, in some ways I, I kinda, I worked my way out of it towards the end, but at the beginning, I didn't know what I was getting into. Even though I was prepared, I thought I was prepared for it mentally and boy, once I, once the door was open and I had to walk through it, it was a whole different story as far as how I handled that down the line.

Eric Jiang:

Yeah, for sure. I think, uh, some of my classmates were also making the same, uh, same statement. Right. Um, what, one thing I wanted to bring into attention is most of the time, a lot of people coming each the cohort, at least with my classmates, most of them. Uh, friends or family members who already work a software, energy engineering degree. So they already have people that can help them outside of class. And I feel like that's also what contributes into the learning process. Um, but to, you know, the other colleagues like Russell ripe, uh, Mo the main complaint I get is why not add a couple more days, you know, per lessons for the, for everybody to kind of catch up and learn, uh, you know, the source material, because again, 10 weeks is very fast

Don Hansen:

paced. Yeah. I feel like, well, what was the application process like? Do you feel like they had a rigorous technical screening to make sure everyone was on the same page getting in?

Russell Anderson:

Hmm. I wouldn't call it rigorous. I mean, basic math skills, basic logic skills, but. But the logic skill, the logic skill test is not even on the level of what you're going to need to actually be successful. The understanding of how to solve lots of problems, how to break it down. Um, nothing, nothing apart that was, uh, like that was a part of the test. And then the pre-work was the pre-work was good, but I can't say I didn't get, I didn't get the full three weeks. I got four days of the pre-work and so I had to cram eight chapters of Python, um, and then CSS and HTML in four days. And I mean, it was, I, I still can't access the Python in my head because it just was got in there so quickly. It was not organized. I did not get the practice in a way where it was layered in my mind. Um, and that's hard, uh, especially if you don't have that type of background, that's going to give you the foundation to not have to, to not need that extra preparation, but they don't mention that either. That's not something they mention either. And, um, even though they do have really good communication. Through slack and other channels and they have good support. Um, there are some, they do leave. There's some vital information about what, uh, what skills you will actually need in order to be successful as you move forward in the bootcamp.

Sydney Romero:

Yeah, I would agree with you too there. I think, um, I was able to do some of the pre-work I had about four weeks ish family emergency happened. So I was only really able to do it in two weeks or so, but I think level setting that expectation, this is actually going to take your boat. I would say 40 plus hours. I think the 20 hours allocation, they recommended actually after doing it was it wasn't sustainable. And I was like, this is not, this doesn't seem realistic, especially if you're learning, it's not just passively. You're going to have to question it and go back, test it. Um, I would definitely say the pre-work giving it a more realistic approach or at least the range of like 30 to 60, 30 to 70 versus 20 hours seems to be an average. I don't know how they measured that. I'm a slow learner. Um, but once I get a concept down, I'm, I'm pretty quick with it. So it was like, Hmm, this, this something doesn't seem measured correctly, at least on the pre-work. So give yourself some grace on that one.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. Well, I mean, that's important. So for prospect students, would it be good advice to tell them don't trust that their technical screening is going to make sure that you are ready? Give yourself more time than what they're saying. You should give yourself for that pre-work so that you are better prepared.

Russell Anderson:

Yes, yes, yes. And you have to, you have to put almost as much effort into pre-work as you will. Some of the concepts that you don't understand, just because the one thing I will say, the one pot, the one really good, positive about their pre-work. They give you exactly what you need to build a foundational skills to then move forward in the bootcamp. But if you're not comfortable with those really quickly, as they get into a, once they HTML was my first week, and then we got into. If you aren't comfortable as they talk and talk about Python, and then you go into that second week of Python, where they go to the intermediate, intermediate and expert skills, you're going to be lost. And it's going to be hard to get caught back up because they teach you how to, how to really understand loops and how to understand how to ma, how to, uh, use those different Python processes to your advantage. If you come out of that and not understand, and you move into now Java script, now you're moving into more logic based. You have to solve these functions and methods. If you don't have that skill already, you're going to be completely lost. And then you're not going to be able to keep up with your homework. And so, um, it really is a cascading effect that that pre-work has. And I would tell any perspective student, if you don't feel comfortable, I would say after the first two weeks, if you're, if you're a week out and you don't feel comfortable, you really need to think about what you need to learn, what help you need, because it's really going to be hard to get caught up. I got behind. And once I got behind, I was always fighting to get caught up. I'd be getting the Saturday night, Sunday night or Sunday morning. I'd be nervous about Monday because I knew I didn't have what the closing week organized and set. And so, and it's really important in bootcamp to focus every day on what they're talking about, because they're really talking about something every day to talk about something important. They don't tell you anything in depth. They just show you everything from a wide scale, not understanding the basic foundations of coding really puts you at a disadvantage to be able to absorb that scale and then do the language or code the language. Excuse me. Okay.

Don Hansen:

How big were your cohorts?

Sydney Romero:

The question is 8, 8, 8 to ten two, I think, uh, I would say it was about 10 and then pandemic style working remotely life happening. They gave us some flexibility. So some people, one person dropped out, but then two out of those people ended up learning on demand. I guess that's a new phrase. That's been very popular, kind of learning on your own pace. Um, I may, I should have probably done that route, knowing what that really meant and knowing the full amount of effort that it would have been taken, but yet ten one dropped out and then the rest was just a very small group due to on demand learning. They never came to the, um, to the cohort lessons. So from five 30 to nine, they weren't there. It's just on their own time.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Then, uh, let me rephrase the question for Russell and Eric. Um, how many people were in your cohort and how many people finished with you guys? How many people graduated.

Eric Jiang:

I think for my cohort, uh, from what I was told, it was one of the largest ones I think we had about 14 people. Don't take my word on that. But from what I've heard, it's because there were a few students who could not make the other month of the cohort. So they kind of just, uh, pushed everybody together. Um, and I guess that was sorry to get off topic, but that was one of the complaints again, right. It was there's too many students, not enough TA's to kind of help everybody go through. Um,

Russell Anderson:

uh, yeah.

Don Hansen:

Okay.

Russell Anderson:

How about your restaurant? Uh, we had, we started with 17. We finished with 13 and from my count, from what I can tell from the capstone, the last capstone class, cause Mo there was some people didn't show. So max nine people got the surgery. At my max nine people. How many

Don Hansen:

instructors and TAs did you have for each of you? Your cohorts?

Eric Jiang:

I had one instructor and one

Don Hansen:

TA for the

Eric Jiang:

class, but we also had availability to two other instructors outside of class,

Russell Anderson:

the same, same here, but with the, with, uh, going full-time you really had, you had about, you had access to the teacher during class, during class. He didn't go to, he didn't go to, um, the study halls, but we had access to the TA for probably an extra, I'd say 10 to 20 hours a week outside of the actual classes. And then just like everybody else. And like the whole, uh, tutoring system has even become more robust up of late. They have even more tutors now than they did before. Like when I first started the first week I started, there was still. By the third week they had six. And so they're growing at a very quick pace. There's more resources available to the actual students themselves. Um, but depending on how good your, in my opinion, depending on how good your instructor and your TA were really depends, really, I thought was a driver for the cohorts. My instructor, my TA were both really good and enthusiastic, so it really helped out. And I helped, I talked to some other students or some other instructors that were a little bit more drier and their personalities are a little bit more serious, whatever the case may be. Um, but I, I, and I can only speak from my experience. As far as that concern, Derek was wonderful. He was amazing. Uh, and then Lucas was brilliant Lucas. One of those brilliant people I've ever been around. And he was one of the only reason why I stayed in, uh, because I was thinking about leaving. If it wasn't for Lucas, I probably would've left, but his, his, uh, his knowledge was really a driver.

Don Hansen:

Okay. So what were your experiences? Sydney and Eric, uh, instructors antiques.

Sydney Romero:

I had a great time. Um, I actually, I do believe that the instructors really cared for us. Um, I mean, there were a couple of times it had a tumultuous, uh, last two quarters for 2021 family situations, my garage and my gazebo burnt down in my house near the end of my, um, cohort. So it was very much a. I need to focus on this and I need to focus on some other issues, but they were very flexible. I'm always there to ask, uh, you know, not just like how I'm doing on work. Like, how are you doing? You need, uh, you know, any extra space or any other resources. Um, they also gave me some resources. Where is there a way that maybe I'm not helping in the best way? I know you're big into you, your Demi or some other places here, some other resources that may help you maybe better than me at this time, since you're doing a little bit of on demand or, um, or just so you could catch up. So they were very, always there to look out for me. I will always give them that.

Eric Jiang:

Yeah, I, I would agree. My, uh, my instructor was also very supportive. Um, and the TA as well, you know, we, after class, we would have, we will host another hour of, you know, study sessions together to. Work on the homework. Um, I, although I would say for a lot of the TAs, it is appointment-based and I'm not going to lie. I was a student who booked an hour, every single, you know, every, every single session, but going back, right. It's it is difficult because there's so many students, uh, in different cohorts, everybody's trying to fight for that one. Really good TA. Right. And I don't know if it's changed, wrestle, like you said. Uh, but hearing that there's more TA is going on now. I don't think that might be a problem, but it was certainly a problem during my cohort

Sydney Romero:

and also to, to shine some light. It wasn't just the instructors and the TA. I forget if they call it go student success manager, the ones that are there to really help the students as well. Not just on project work or coding. Um, she did an amazing job. She helped me through the entire process too. Um, so not, it's not always just on the technical part of it, but I think those soft people skills and how to manage and like, Hey it's okay. Maybe we can buy you some more time. Flexibility. So she did an amazing job and I think it made everyone else's job a lot easier. So I'd like to always give kudos out to her for making everyone's job easier.

Eric Jiang:

I think we're talking, oh, I'm sorry. I think I know who you're talking about. Cause I had a classmate of mine who had a mental breakdown during the cohort and that person was there to support her and give her more time, you know, reassure her that everything's gonna be okay.

Russell Anderson:

So

Don Hansen:

that's, I mean, there is some coding boot camps that take the complete opposite direction with that. And I think that is important, right? Coding bootcamp, even if it's part-time, it can be intense. Right. It challenges you, it challenges your confidence in yourself and like you're going through all these other life issues sometimes. And having that support from staff at the coding bootcamp, I think it's crucial. I think it's important. Like, and if you're paying this much money, they better deliver on this. Like it's like one of the crucial things I think coding boot camps sometimes do lack. So I'm glad to hear that with

Sydney Romero:

that coding tumble, if you're listening, please give her a raise. She's amazing.

Russell Anderson:

Yeah, they do. They have wonderful support though. Wonderful support. Like now the alumni support channels growing. Um, and so they have weekly, uh, videos for the alumni, um, weekly workshops for jobs, things like that. So, um, that's a one, that's one thing. That's the one reason why I'm not necessary. I have my own personal qualms with what happened, where, where I'm salty about it. But overall, I'm overall happy with the experience. And mainly because of that, of how the, uh, support staff and how they, how they speak with you and them being. So they're such good people. It's hard to whatever personal experiences that I didn't get out of. It. It's hard for me to hold it, hold it against them because of that. And that's, and again, when you set it down, that's really important. It's, it's a really important aspect of it.

Don Hansen:

Well, I want to dive more into it. I guess we can kind of jump into the career soar services and that kind of support. Um, do you mind sharing your experience Russell?

Russell Anderson:

Well, um, I have to, I mean, because of my own personal issues with some of the problem solving, that's where that's the problems that I've had in the career part. I don't necessarily trace that back to coding temple. What I will say though, is. And this is for all people looking for software engineering jobs, what you think the process is going to go like is not going to go. And people will be like, yeah, I know that, uh, everybody's different. And then because of the technical interview, um, I was a good interviewer in another life, that technical interview, not so much, I've had to relearn and, uh, relearn and rebuild my interview skills, um, which goes with the problem solving and coding temple has not been able to help with that. They've had good advice about it, but you can't personalize that that's not, you know, unless somebody is going to be my life coach and hang out with me for the next three months and really helped me get to the bottom of what am I problem solving is problem solving issues are, there's not much they can do for that. And so that's one thing that a coding bootcamp, and as you go through that process, you really have to be careful on and understand yourself and what skills you may lack that you can't see down the line. They can teach you how to code, but if you don't have the soft skills. Um, if you're not good in the collaboration, you're going to struggle, which is why I ended up in the place that I'm at because the react developer jobs I was looking for, if I got past the technical part, I would get to the group, um, interview with the senior technical people. And that's where some of my, um, some of my weaknesses were exposed and they, a lot of them were really nice to me in the end. Hey, we were really considering for this job, but this is what you lacked coding temple was not going to help me rebuild, rebuild those skills. That was something, those are skills that I needed that I needed to be revealed to me during the process beforehand. And so, um, I'm not sure how they fix that. Um, because, uh, I think that's a deeper thing with each individual. I know there's some people in my cohort that have jobs already. So, um, and again, my personal experience, I don't blame them for that, but I wish that I would have had a little bit more guidance ahead of time. So I kind of had my eye on the ball as I came out of it, to understand that there were some things I was going to be working on, that I was going to have to work on. It took me about a month to kind of, for the light to come on. And I was like, I was like, okay, I'm going to have to rebuild my interview skills in order to be able to really be seriously considered for some of the jobs that I was applying to. So a little disappointing, but at the same time, the resources available to them helped me get to that point where that light went off, because I started to see people around me that whether they were better than me or not, I was like, okay, this person is getting interviews. Why am I not getting interviews? Okay. This person's getting pretty far. Why is this not working out for me? So I had to do a little soul searching to get there, but, um, it would have been better if I would've been aware of how deep the interview process is in software engineering.

Don Hansen:

So I want to share one skill that I to build up. And I don't think I built it up right away in a coding bootcamp. I had trouble taking feedback initially. Like I always took it personally. That was, that was just something, it was a weakness of mine. I've been working on it for my entire life. I've gotten better, but in the beginning going into a coding position, you're getting a lot of feedback. I mean, it's a challenging position. You're surrounded by a bunch of brilliant people. So that's a skill at a buildup. Um, and I can think of ways how a coding boot camp could help build that up. So if you mind Sharon Russell, what was that like? What was one main skill that you felt like you really had to work on that changed that experience of the interview process?

Russell Anderson:

Speaking out how to solve problems in a way that other people, other than yourself can understand. And so coding temple, we D we would solve a problem for it before every class. And so this is, I realized this during bootcamp, but it didn't really hit me until after, because. Because I struggled so much with problem solving. I didn't participate as much during these coding challenges as I should have. Um, and even though they didn't warn us about, you know, I'll give them credit for that. They didn't warn us that that was a tricky part of the technical interview. But, um, and I'm still struggling with it. It's just, it's how to speak in a group that everybody can pick up on, would rubber ducky in it. And I didn't even know a word for it until the last two months, until, until being in a tech tech point of view, somebody explained it to me, um, in, in America, in America or anonymous. I don't like to say that in school, when I came up, you got so used to solving stuff on your own, especially in math class, um, solving, um, group math, problem, solving it together was not something I was accustomed to. By the time I got to college, um, college algebra is, you know, that, uh, is that bugaboo in some schools? I know my school, it was like, it was like a 40% pass rate in college algebra. So there wasn't a lot of group work in college algebra and at my college. So. Getting over that hump has just been so difficult for me. And the funny thing is, if in it, if it's a dark room, I can solve a pretty difficult coding challenge by myself. But if we're talking about it together, I start stammering and stuttering. And I can't remember this method. I can't remember that method. And so part of it is the lights are on and I have to do it with the lights on and that's not something we really worked on. And so, um, I, you know, to your point, Don, I, I know about it. I'm aware of it, I'm working on it. It's really hard to get over that hump for it to become a strength rather than a weakness. And that's not something that a boot camp is going to be able to teach you. That's just each of us be in India. So

Don Hansen:

here's where I'm going to challenge it. I think a CA a coding camp can prepare you better for that. And here's how you had mentioned. That you went through these challenges, but you kind of like distanced yourself from it. Right. But they allowed you to do that. And what I would recommend, I've seen this with some coding, bootcamps, stay, hold you accountable. They have someone there to give you that personalized feedback. They don't let you push away or pull away. And sometimes that means dipping into their budget a little bit to provide that person, to be able to do that. But I've seen coding, boot camps solve that specific problem. And I would argue your skill is something many people need to work on articulating that, especially like I'm telling you I had this dream job. I want to work for Twitch. I was a Twitch streamer for years, and I got to the interview. I knew react and it was testing me on react. All of a sudden, I didn't know, react and interacting with this person. I like, I just build that anxiety up and like forgot even out a pass for amateurs and like our properties. And I just. I blew it. Like I completely blew it and like, it just snowballed into something worse. Right. But that practice, what I did in the coding bootcamp and my full second academy is I was also that person that kind of stepped back and I didn't participate in engage as much as I should have to actually get something real out of it. And they let me do that. They didn't hold me to that. So I would argue if coding temple could focus a little bit more on holding their students accountable, that they probably would help more people that have a very similar problem to,

Russell Anderson:

and I think you're right and focusing on it, I think is important. And, uh, you, you, you did change my mind a little bit there because to your point, um, they do, I was, I was very active in the whole cohort and that was the one thing I wasn't active in and no one pushed me on it and no one pushed me at all on it. And I am, you know, the interview practice. I was dominant interview practices before I even left. And so my problem was right in front of me right there and the me and the TA Lucas, we talked about it in the lead up to the end. So, um, my issue was right in front of us the whole time. And, you know, I didn't react to it in time personally. And I didn't and you know, the, the things that they did did offer, I didn't take advantage of. And to your point, if somebody probably would've been like, okay, Russell, this is the one thing you're struggling with. Let's step up and do this. Get in here, get, get wet, get dirty, be wrong. Um, it's okay to be wrong. It's okay to say the wrong things. And that's the, I know for me, that's my issue. I've been trained to all only be right that and like that my whole career, I only speak up when you're right and that's not the way software engineering works. That's not the way collaboration works. I

Don Hansen:

can already tell you've grown a lot from that. That's a really good observation.

Russell Anderson:

I would

Eric Jiang:

also add that would mean contribute to also the class size. Cause again, for me during my time, 'cause my whole group was 14 people. Uh, everyone went once every two weeks. Right. And also you mentioned you had like 17 people, so it is more difficult for you to get the spotlight for you to, you know, for you to be the person to do, you know, the coding challenge for that day. Um, so I guess that's another critique I would have would be the lesser people. The more opportunity is for you to face the coding challenges at, um,

Russell Anderson:

that's good feedback.

Sydney Romero:

Yeah. I would agree with you too, Russell LUN. Um, for me, I actually, I actually went with a third party. I didn't know that we were going to have that much amount of, uh, health. The interview process, or even with our resumes, those soft skills. Um, I went with a third party company that, and this was just for me, um, like first-generation immigrants. I might, I can't relate to my parents. How do I apply for jobs? I'm the first in my family to go to high school graduate from fifth grade. Um, so it was specifically a program that helps people like me. Um, how do you get into the job industry? How can we improve your S your soft skills, which I think are like, Technical skills are great, but if you can't relay that or if you choke up kind of like what we're all talking about, we can't, we can't show for that. So I went with the third party just to help me with that, with my resume. And that's kind of, what's also been helping me on my side, not just from the coding skills and the technical skills that I've learned, but I think like what you mentioned, Don kind of integrating that, can we dip into the budget to give more valley wet? And it also makes our students more attractable to other parties. We're making them, if anything, it's a great case study most are we have a higher rate of successful students that are at these companies. And by that little ROI dipping into our budget and providing those soft skills and helping them a little bit more than that would be awesome. Unfortunately, I stuck with that third party and they've really helped me, um, just for my own needs, but I think you're right on that done. Um, yeah, really improving on that, not the technical skills, but the human skills. If we can't communicate, how can we work together? So.

Eric Jiang:

Yeah, exactly.

Don Hansen:

I get this feeling. I'm actually going to toss it up. They claim make it, they claim that 97% of graduates and correct me if I'm wrong, anyone in the comments, but I think 97% of graduates get a job within six months. Would you say that numbers, would you trust that number to be accurate

Eric Jiang:

for me?

Russell Anderson:

Sorry. I think that, I think it's in the ballpark. I, I would give them a, I would give him over 70. I'm not sure about over 90. Um, I don't, I D I just don't think it's realistic. I don't, uh, especially in the current climate with weight, with the way software engineering jobs are interview. I don't, I, I don't, I

Eric Jiang:

think it would differ. I would differ from that. I would say 9 97, but maybe 95. If we're looking, looking into it from a cohort, uh, per cohort basis, then I would kind of understand that percentage because the majority of my cohort members didn't get jobs within six months, right. There were maybe one or two of them that didn't. Uh, but if we're looking at every buddy, you know, throughout the whole program in one research purpose, then maybe we're also, maybe you are right. Maybe 70% would be more accurate. Uh, but for me, I would say it would have to be 95. We're looking at it just

Russell Anderson:

based on one.

Sydney Romero:

Okay. Maybe it's the data in me. Um, technically they could be correct where 97%, maybe the job wasn't related to technology or software at all. So it technically is true if it's, it's true. If it's not wrong, um, I could have had a gig economy job after that in the next six months, would that contribute to the job? Um, maybe it did get one in seven months. That was a tech-related job. But just seeing it from that standpoint, I don't see any asterisk unless you know, of any dumb, but they could be right. Just happens to not be in tech

Russell Anderson:

to Sidney's point earlier, he was talking about how stuff was happening outside of the cohort. I had a bunch of stuff happening outside of the cohort two that was really distracting. And so the one reason I don't think that 96% 96% is true is because 10 week, whether you're going full-time or part-time, you have to deal with. At the same time. And I know I had everything set up, I had all my finances set up before I started everything seemed to be going right. And then as probably about a week and a half, two weeks into the cohort, all of a sudden, all this extraneous stuff in my family, all this other stuff starts going on. It's just practice. And I can't say that happens for everybody, but when I, by the time I got out, I got refocused on finding a job. Then you start thinking about what happened in the last 10 weeks. And that's one of the reasons I think I've had struggles in the interview portion is because the whole 10 weeks is a blur. Like I got information out of it. Um, I w I am a much stronger, healthier, um, thinker, but, um, part of the reason I can't access a lot of that stuff is because of all the other stuff that was happening. Like I clearly went through that cohort, but I really struggle with the fact that I'm saying, yeah, it's 96 now because, and I've been around and I've talked to some people in my cohort, the people that I thought were going to get a job real quick did not. And then some other people who got a job really fast. You know, I just, I think it's a slippery slope. I, 96%, I think that they could say that a one or two cohorts, but all of them, because even mine, we only had 10 people graduate. So how could add an out a 96% of that number, get a job. So if people aren't getting a certificate and they're putting it on their resume, are they saying, I just went to the bootcamp and didn't graduate. Are they telling the employers? So that's, I don't know. I th I, I think every, what everybody's saying is valid, but I just think it's really hard to prove.

Sydney Romero:

I completely agree with you. I only mentioned that because it sounds like the marketing side, no BS marketing. Well, what does that sound like? Like, I agree with you. It should be lower than that, but I just see it from that marketing standpoint, how do we make it as attractive as possible? Because that's what got me hooked line and sinker.

Russell Anderson:

So, yeah, and I mean, there's something, one of the reasons I went to the bootcamp is because all of them advertise it, you'll get a job. And coming out of the service industry, the one thing I wanted to avoid is I wanted to work for a company where everybody wanted to be there and wanted to work on it. I just, I was tired as a leader, working in a box where everybody's there for their paycheck. That's okay. But nobody wants to do what they're supposed to do because I'm just there for my paycheck. I just I'm over that. I'm over working on teams that are like that. So that's one of the reasons why I wanted to come to software engineering because the collaboration being able to work with others is so vital to being able to move whatever you're trying to do forward. That's something I really wanted to be a part of. Um, but the actual, you can't teach that in a bootcamp either. You can't do the agile scrum process in a bootcamp. You're they're, they're not, that's not the way they're approaching it. So there's still even more stuff you're going to have to learn as a coder, as a software engineer, as. Coming out of it, that, that, uh, the bootcamp can prepare you for. And so, um, and that's one thing that's, uh, that's another part of the interview process, but I was surprised to hear is, well, are you, are you working on being a scrum master? It's like, well, nobody told me I was going to have to do exactly what does that mean? And so, and again, that's not necessarily coding, coding Temple's fault, but being a software engineer is more than the code you're going to, and the soft skills, the problem solving skills, the community, the communication skills. What can you, what can you contribute in the virtual space as a contributor? Like if you can't, if you can't do the get process, I can't, you can't, you can't contribute. So there's so many other little things that go along with it that make up being a good software engineer. Good. That's really hard to see when you're in bootcamp and you know, they might mention it, but then when you, when the lights are on, you need those skills. Okay. Now I got to go learn this.

Sydney Romero:

So I'm so glad you brought up the, the scrum master part. Um, th this relates a little bit to, I think, to the, to the last, uh, YouTube video. Uh, have yours done where someone mentioned having the TAs and the instructors, having them be recent grads, it's kind of a blessing and a curse where like it's all fresh in their minds. You know, what it takes for you to be successful. Um, however, they also went through this. Have they been in a job where they've already experienced this? Can you tell me what the real world experiences of being of a scrum master? I only happen to know that from sometimes talking to development teams like, oh yeah, agile. We had our sprints this mornings. I'm like, are you exercising every day? I have no idea what you're talking about. So they're like, go on you to me, Google it up. There's certificates for this. But I wouldn't know this. If it wasn't talking to other experienced people versus sometimes the TAs and instructors may not have been in that environment. How would we ever know about it or even ask about it? So completely agree with your Brussels where, um, I was blindsided by a couple of these questions in some of my interviews. And I had to ask my developer friends, what is sprint mean? Agile, scrum, scrum master, um, which is apparently a requirement, especially for development. So I think

Russell Anderson:

to add on,

Eric Jiang:

uh, from my experiences applying to jobs, right, I've kind of come to the conclusion that a lot of jobs in the end is it's very based on RNG, right? Like, like Russell, you mentioned, there are people who you never expected, who you expected to get jobs so quick, still don't have jobs and vice versa, right. It can be a RNG type of style where maybe they have more connections. It can also be that, um, from, I guess that's another thing I've kind of wanted to point out that one of the reasons why coding template and all other boot camps kind of give you a little bit of edge into getting a job is because they have connections date that people working there. They know people who, if you're really desperate job, right. They can give you context or you can maybe reach out to alumni. They can say hook you up with something.

Russell Anderson:

Okay. Well, one of the major reasons I agreed to do this is because, um, I enjoy coding temple. I really did. I enjoyed everybody and part of it, but I, as I watched was watching some add-ons podcasts. I started to think to myself, it really hit me. You know, I thought I did a thorough search process for my bootcamp and then hearing some of his podcasts and then hearing some of the other guests and some of their experiences. And I started to think to myself, you know, I probably didn't choose correctly for what I was looking for. Personally, becoming a software developer is hard. It's not. Unfortunately, and I'm going to tell on the male gender, a lot of men say, oh, it's easy. I've heard a lot of men say that I haven't heard the state come out of a woman's mouth and that's not to differentiate. That's just my experience so far. And I think that's just because it's more guys that you guys are used to just sitting down and coding and, and, and the women in the bootcamp situation have to do a lot more to kind of stand up, stand ahead. And there's a lot of guys where I just do this. I just do this at night, you know, for fun. And so doing it for a job is much different. It's much different. It's a, and when I was practicing these languages and I was trying to learn how to do it, I really had, I really developed profound respect for the person that loves it and it's core just because I, I found myself getting more into it as I got things to work. But when I hit a wall and the wall lasted, I really found myself getting so frustrated. And I couldn't even look at the. I couldn't even go sit down and figure it out. And, and that's where the natural coning ability I think stands out. And as I've gone through the interview process, and as I've rebuilt my love for coding, I've had to learn how to love it in a way that's going to help me professionally and not me, uh, getting so into it that I can't even do it like, um, I'm not gonna, I'm never going to be the guy that sits in coach for 16 hours a day. I have to have a plan. I have to have a project. I have to have a direction in which I'm heading. Um, and that's the difference between somebody who loves to do it and somebody who's just doing it for. And, or, and that's why I would tell anybody, coming to a bootcamp, you can't do this for money. Cause I, cause when I signed up, I was doing it for money and I've said it twice. I was doing it for money. And as, as I've come along, I've had to learn how to do it as a professional. And that's something completely different sitting down to do this. Professionally is completely different. Um, and practicing do, being a professional at this is completely different. Like just doing a silly project is not something that a professional does. A professional does something, a project for a reason. And that's a whole different ball of wax, a whole different approach to this. And it's something I don't think you have to teach yourself this, if you know, going in, you can, you can do different things to get yourself to that point quicker. I didn't know, going in. And so I've had to go through a whole learning process in hoody camp, after boot camp, um, before interviews, after interviews. So there's a lot that goes along with this, that, um, that was really, it's been a profound experience for me as a person. Um, and I thought it was just going to be a professional experience and it's not, it's been so much more. I appreciate,

Don Hansen:

I definitely appreciate you guys sharing this. It's a lot of good, just personalized stories and just how you've even perceived your experiences in the software engineering industry. In general, I feel like we dove into a lot of details about that. Um, actually after the pod, it, like I said, stick around after the podcast, but I actually have a question for all of you afterwards, but I want to just try to save everyone's time. Um, so. I think my last question. So I feel like I have a good feel. You talked about the instructors to TA's, um, really went into detail about, you know, why it was a good fit or where you struggled based on essentially who you were. I think all of you have done a really good job at that. And I think that's going to be really valuable. What that does is that resonates with similar personalities to you as well. And I think a lot of people just try to match up their personality, like, um, alright. Um, Eric seems like, you know, the kind of guy hanging around with like were similar, like if he did it, you know, I can do it, right? Like sometimes people are just looking for that and to be able to relate to some of my guests on the podcast. So I feel like a lot of this is going to resonate. We went over a lot of details. I have one last question. What did you guys think about the capstones? The final projects.

Eric Jiang:

I, I loved my capstone project. I kinda kind of was talking with my instructor about it. It kinda came from a area of passion. Uh, I don't, I'm a very TTG card game kind of player. So my, my, uh, capstone project mainly focused on kind of comparing prices of cards, similar to like Robin hood, showing stocks like variation prices to history for buyers and sellers. Uh, and that mainly came from the fact that I was just sitting on disk or with my friends and complaining about the market. And I loved every experience. I actually learned a lot through my expense alone, working on it. Um, just cause, you know, obviously there are, you can contact the instructor. You can talk to TA's for help, but for me it was sitting down and because I, because my project was something I had passionate, I wanted to find the solutions to fix. Okay.

Don Hansen:

How about you two?

Sydney Romero:

Yeah, I can go for my capstone. Um, Actually, I really enjoyed that part of the capstone and to give a little bit of transparency, like, um, I went into the, into coding temple specifically because they were advertising. They were a little bit more on the data analyst, more, more in the data science heavy side mat lab using more Python, more like two, three weeks for data science, scraping that really awesome stuff. I come from that field. Right. And I want to learn more about it. It didn't really end up being as much of that. They kind of shifted it to let's make the last couple of weeks, lots affair, ad hoc, whatever, whatever best works. So that was a bit disappointing. Um, but the capstone I thought was the best part about it, where, um, it's been a passion project of mine to create a CRM tool that, that helps people apply for affordable housing. Uh, the, the current situation, it's all very paper heavy. You, you scan it, you put it in a file. You email it hope for the best, um, very manual. So I want to do something about it, but that capstone, um, I really liked it. I didn't really finish doing the capstone with them. I actually ended up going with an incubator and working with a couple of people outside of it a lot from the skills that I've learned with them. So to a little bit to their credit, and also to like, I think I'm actually downplaying the work that I'm doing here, but some of the awesome skills that I've learned here. And also now I know what, I don't know. I want to work with people that know the stuff that I don't know. So that way we could use our strengths together, which was the best part of it. Like I came from a data side, I don't want to create stuff. I want to work with the people that create stuff, to use our strengths together, understanding that approach of like how to work as a team. I think that was the best takeaway from, from coding temple and to continue my capstone somewhere else. And we're still working on that project together. So the capsule I thought was amazing as catalyzing. I want to continue this. Now I know the skills that I don't want to have because my strengths are somewhere else. And that's, I think the best takeaway that I had from coding temple apart from a lot of the breakdowns and panic attacks and breakdowns, like why isn't JavaScript working? Oh, how was using the dif the wrong syntax? Nevermind. So best takeaway. Let me know what my strengths were, my weaknesses, but now I don't want to continue on my weaknesses. I want to use my strengths and work with people that those are their strengths. And now I know what to call it. Now I know what stacks to work with, um, and really kind of catalyzing the work that I want to do. Okay.

Russell Anderson:

Yeah. For, for me it was, uh, simultaneously a disaster and wonderful. Um, I didn't really have, I had a plan in my head when they, when they assigned it, but I was so immersed in trying to learn JavaScript and react. I didn't do a good job of actually putting that plan to paper. What ended up happening was is as we got closer to the actual. Um, I just got filled with more and more anxiety and I wasn't getting too far on it because I just didn't have a clear path that I had written down. And that's why it was a disaster because I really didn't know how, I didn't know what I didn't know at the time. And so right before a coding temple, I give them kudos for this. They gave me extra time to do my capstone because it wasn't ready the last day. Um, and that's where the beautiful part came out. I just scrapped the idea that I had, cause I didn't really, I wasn't going anywhere fast. I ha it was a bunch of ideas in my head that I couldn't get into my code. And so I was able to, I reverse engineered a, uh, a U Demi course and it actually worked out perfect. I learned more doing that. Um, I learned more in the week doing that than I did the whole time doing my capstone. So that's how it turned out, turned to be in a beautiful thing because it really forced me to, uh, to really learn how to code, um, all my. Um, and that's not that that wasn't coding. Capital's thought they did a really good job of teaching me, but I really had a real tough time jumping out into the pool with coding. Um, just because I wasn't sure of myself and I wasn't sure what was right and what was wrong a lot. So when I was coding alone, um, and I hit walls, I really struggled to get past those walls and doing the capstone and reverse engineering that you Demi, um, react course was really, I mean, it just, it didn't turn the light fully on for me, but it just, it really opened my eyes to the power of coding and how, if you really understand what you're doing, and you can have a feel of what you're doing, you can solve your problems. And that's something I really struggled with in the 10 weeks. And the capstone really opened my eyes when it came to that. And it really helped me kind of move my coding forward. So, I mean, I think it can, I think it actually could be really horrible for some of that for some of the bootcampers, because there's a lot of stress. It's a whole lot of stress I lost. The last three weeks on that capstone. And it did have anything to do with, um, what my actual skill, it had everything to do with just finishing it. Um, and it, it was for the money that I paid looking back on it. It was really unnecessary in my opinion, I still finished the bootcamp, but I didn't really need all that extra stress in my life. But, uh, but I'm, I am glad I went through it. It's not a regret per se, but considering I paid for that privilege, I paid to be in pain for that last three weeks. Like real physical, mental anguish, like waking up in the middle of the night nightmares. Like, did I waste this money because I can't finish this ridiculous capstone. And is this going to define this 10 weeks? That's something that I do. I'm not happy with as far as a personal decision that I made, but, um, but it did extend my skills. Um, and I do, I do appreciate that's a one day they do hold people accountable on if you don't, if you don't have an acceptable capstone, you're not going to get that certificate, which seems kind of. But it is a culmination of what you've worked on for the whole time that you've been there. Okay.

Don Hansen:

I think that's, um, I think that's a great thing to end with. So feedback that I got from that is you're paying for pain. You choose a coding bootcamp, um, realize that, understand it, expect it. And we'll, we'll wrap it up with that. So let's go ahead and jump into our outros Russell. If people wanted to reach out to you, where could they reach you?

Russell Anderson:

Uh, Russ Russell. Oh, I think it's Russell Anderson at LinkedIn. Oh man. That's terrible. I don't know my LinkedIn by heart. Um, but I'm on LinkedIn. I'm, I'm hopping around LinkedIn. Um, I'm on mama. I'm on Twitter. Russ bought two 50. Uh, but I don't, I'm not in time, not active, active cause uh, cause I have a life, unfortunately.

Don Hansen:

All right. How about you Sydney? Where can people reach you in anything and anything else you guys want to

Russell Anderson:

shout out?

Sydney Romero:

Yeah. Uh, anyone can reach me on linkedin.com. Slash in slash Sydney dash Romero, otherwise, uh, my website, Sydney romero.com. Uh, I learned from, I decided to not use GitHub as much. My skills are more data. So put it on my, all my portfolio work on my website, Squarespace, a little plug in there. Um, but yeah, um, no, I think this was a great experience and I think, uh, you're right on paying for paying. Um, but to your role. So you're, I think you're in my unfiltered voice on this, but you, Demi has been such a great thing. Every single thing that I learned from a coding temple, I bought all those courses on sale only on Udemy and they've, they've actually helped me kind of backfill that stuff so much. So having that on-demand stuff with different types of instructors that are already experienced, um, you're right on the dot on that one. So he definitely has helped me a lot on that stuff. So I would highly recommend for anyone to supplement how they learn.

Don Hansen:

All right. How about.

Eric Jiang:

Um, very simple. You can find me on LinkedIn. Uh, Eric Jane is the name, uh, and that is my new Facebook. I'm always on there. Feel free to hit me up with questions.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Sounds good. Well, I appreciate everyone for coming on. Um, if you are watching this on YouTube, I want you, if you completely disagree about the message of don't or that you, if you think that you can just do software engineers. For the money. I've gotten many disagreements on this. I am with Russell a hundred percent disagree in the comments. I want a whole story. I want actual valid points. Plus it boost my video in the algorithm. So please do that. But Russell Sydney, Eric, thanks so much for coming on.