Nov. 11, 2021

How a Veteran Became a Software Engineer (Advice For Veterans Getting Into Tech)


If you or someone you know is a veteran that's trying to become a developer, or even break into tech, this episode is for you. Sean reached out to me wanting to share his journey of becoming a software engineer (as a veteran) and provide advice for other veterans out there that even just want to break into tech. This is packed full of advice. I hope this helps!

Host (Don Hansen):
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/donthedeveloper

Guest (Sean Gil):
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanhgil
Website - https://seangil.com

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Transcript
Don Hansen:

Welcome back to another podcast episode where we help aspiring developers get jobs and junior developers grow today. We are gonna be talking about veterans getting into software engineering and in tech in general. So Sean actually reached out to me, um, talked a little bit about a story of becoming a software engineer and, you know, attempting to transition into civilian life. Um, I think he has an interesting story. So we're gonna go ahead and share that and hopefully share some advice for any other veterans that want to break into. Software engineering, coding, or just tech in general. So, uh, Sean, welcome how you doing?

Sean Gil:

Doing well. Thank you. Um, thanks for having me again and, uh, really excited to be here. Um, just as a basic control. Um, I'm Sean, I'm a full select developer at a startup based in the east coast and I'm also a us army veteran. I served for eight years and yeah, I thought, uh, Don's platform would be the perfect place to talk about. Becoming a software engineer or getting into tech because the first thing that intrigued me, as I mentioned before at a ton, was that on his YouTube banner, it says no BS advice. And I feel like that's something that I needed. Um, and that's, I think that's something that will, you know, go well with a lot of veterans out there.

Don Hansen:

I hope so. Um, we've definitely invited some other veterans on that have gone to coding boot camp graduates. And it feels like many are very honest and upfront candid. So I get to have really, uh, I like those kind of conversations, but, um, yeah, let's just dive into things. So, you know, you had a whole journey of, uh, getting outta the military and, you know, finding your way and becoming a software engineer. Can you share that with us? What was your journey? . Sean Gil: Yeah, definitely. So I began my army career in 2011. Um, and my contract was until 2019. Um, but the majority of my contract was actually in the reserves. So I had the opportunity to, um, you know, be a civilian, um, by day and then kind of part-time military. And, uh, when I first came back from my active training, I had a very like difficult time deciding what I wanted to do, especially, um, When I, I tried going to university and, uh, I found that I didn't feel purpose in a lot of the classes that I was taking. Um, and I, I feel like that's. Very relatable to a lot of err ends. I have heard this from a lot of my friends in the military, um, and it definitely applied to me. So, uh, from there, I just decided to start my career and start working somewhere. Um, and I naturally used my credentials from the military to the private sector in the army. I was a human intelligence collector. I worked, um, in the intelligence community and. The private sector. I started working as a private investigator and from there I began doing, uh, financial type due diligence investigations. And, um, eventually what made me get or start exploring tech was funny enough, the co COVID 19 pandemic. Um, I know it was very, it was a tough time for a lot of people across the world, but, um, the silver lining for me anyway in that was. I really began to evaluate like what I wanted to do with my career. Um, as I began working from home. Um, and thankfully I had a lot of friends in the tech industry already that were already software engineers. So I had that advantage and they kind of put me on the right path to check out development, um, with free resources online, like free code camp or a code academy, just to test the waters. And after doing that for a couple months, I actually really loved it and, um, decided to fully commit I'm the type of person that has to fully commit themselves to something to really, um, succeed, I guess. So I quit my job. Um, that was kind of a tough decision. Cuz I have a wife, I have a mortgage, I have bills to pay. Um, and. I was also a senior vice president at my old firm. So, uh, I felt like at one point I had made it, but definitely wasn't satisfactory, especially in comparison to coding, like writing just a few lines of code was more satisfying than my entire day at my old job. So, um, I quit my job put in my two weeks and then began a coding bootcamp. I know there are a lot of different routes to becoming a developer. Um, but I chose a bootcamp because for me, since I had, I didn't want to keep the financial burden, uh, on my wife for too long. And I wanted to learn like ASAP. So I chose. Um, a bootcamp that started right away or it started the soonest while I was doing my research, which I kind of regret because I feel like I could have done a lot more research and done it more methodically, but, uh, it worked out, um, it was harder than it needed to be, but it worked out and, um, glad I did it. So yeah. Now I'm working as a full-time, uh, full stack developer and I love it so far. That's awesome. You mentioned, um, you mentioned that you went to college. and you said that you didn't feel like you had a purpose, like many other veterans. I think that's what you said. Can you elaborate on that?

Sean Gil:

Yeah, for sure. Um, so. in the military, you're in a very like purpose driven, mission based environment. Everything you do has a purpose, even if it seems dumb, like we have a specific way we hold cups. Um, when we're eating and you learn later on that, every little tiny thing that seems ridiculous has a purpose. And, uh, yeah, that since coming from that environment and then me going to college right away. Just didn't mix. Well, because I wasn't used to the autonomy and freedom that I received in the civilian world, like coming back. And, um, we, this, this happens to a lot of people in the military and this happened to a lot of my friends too. There's just a phase where you come back from active duty and you just don't know what to do now for me. I immediately began going to, um, college university and started taking classes because that's sort of what my parents just wanted me to do as you guys tell I'm Asian. And like, they're really serious about that. But, um, for me, I always knew for myself anyway, that I liked doing things with my hands or doing things that I felt like I'm, um, contributing to something. um, to my demise, I decided to take a bunch of like weird, uh, random courses at college because I thought it'd be easy, but yes, there were easy courses in theory, um, or the subjects were, but, uh, it was very difficult for me to show up and put in the work to succeed in those classes. So, yeah. Yeah. That's

Don Hansen:

um, That's really interesting. I didn't know. There was a certain way you would hold a cup in the military,

Sean Gil:

but it's yeah. It's like this it's really weird. Okay.

Don Hansen:

yeah. So everything has a purpose and it like, the emphasis is on, you are told that purpose. You don't define it for yourself. Right. And so you're coming out as a out of the military. And you don't really know what to do. Um, I mean, just civilians in general, most people have trouble F I guess, finding that fulfillment, finding that purpose in their life that drives them. You, you mentioned this idea of, um, Like your college course, you wanted it to be easy. So you took all these easy courses that seemed easy. Um, but I, I think you realized what, you know, just a lot of people in general realized the things that are easier, things that you love doing that you're passionate about, that like that's gonna drive you to get to the finish line. So, um, I mean, that's just advice for anyone, military or civilian going to college. Um, if you can find that purpose, that's when you're gonna be successful in college, but, uh, that's interesting. what, I guess I'm kind of curious. I wanna dig into this a little bit. Uh, what other frustrations or hurdles did you have to overcome kind of branching into civilian life? And we could even, like, I guess even with the, uh, I guess the focus would be finding your purpose, finding out like what you need to do. What, what were some other hurdles. . Sean Gil: Yeah, so, uh, I think back to the civilian world is different. Um, in my particular case, uh, it was the fact that I was still super young. I, I think I was like 21 or 22. And, um, and going back to the whole purpose thing in school, uh, a lot of the times, um, I feel from what I've seen college students, even though. They are taking courses or majoring in something, and that doesn't give them purpose. They still find some purpose in community, um, at their universities to their friends or, um, clubs or whatever it may be. And for me, it, it was just difficult to get that regular college experience, especially cuz I was a lot older than a lot of the people. Um, I was taking classes with, um, So that was, I guess, one of the hurdles. And then, um, on top of that too, I coming back home, um, I did have the option to just move out right away and be more autonomous and like figure things out on my own, but I thought it was better for me to stay home with my parents at the time and, uh, save money. Um, and it just, the lifestyle change was just two different. Um, especially, I don't know, in, in the military, you learn how to be yourself and, um, take advantage of your strengths and like, know your weaknesses. Uh, but back at home, it's too easy to become comfortable. And then you forget all the, you not forget, but you just put aside all the things you learned about your, your strengths and weaknesses, and then you, for me, I, I tended to, um, take more advantage of my parents versus take advantage of what I learned in the military. And. Um, that proved to be pretty detrimental. Cause I did end up wasting a lot of their money and a lot of the time. Um, and it wasn't until, you know, later on where I had to learn the hard way and just grow up and figure it out. Um, cuz it came to a point where, uh, my parents were getting so frustrated that I didn't enjoy going to school or didn't like show up to my classes that, um, they told me, you know, either. Go to school, work hard and deal with it or drop outta school, um, and start working and work hard in that. So at least you have some direction in life or you could get outta my house. Um, so I, I chose to work and, uh, I think that was the right decision for me. Cause I learned so much more about myself in my, uh, as I started my career, um, working as a private investigator. Yeah, I, that was, that was for me internally. That was the main hurdle. I appreciate you sharing that. it feels, I mean, a lot of what you're saying. Um, cause I have cousins that were in the military experienced very similar things. They didn't become software engineers, but like that lack of that lack of purpose and how easy it was to kind of just like, let yourself go when you don't have someone telling you what to do. I, I know they experienced that, um, quite a bit, so yeah. You. So when we were talking before this interview, you had mentioned this idea that there's like, there's certain things that you could potentially do in the military to prepare yourself. Um, I, I mean, so actually I want you to correct me if I'm wrong, but. My, my cousins, they, they were promised that they had all this, all these training opportunities in the military. And then they said, yeah, you're welcome to do the training, but you still have like a 12 to 16 hour shift. So you gotta figure out when to get this training in. That's not like for your main position of like what, whatever you're doing, whatever you're working, uh, on in the military. So I. I guess, are there like serious training opportunities in the military, if you are truly interested in tech that you can actually take advantage of?

Sean Gil:

I would say if you're active duty, um, your best bet on getting any technical, uh, training or experience is to actually switch your job completely your MOS. Um, and the reason for that is kind of like what you said with your cousin. You're if you're in the military, you're pretty much like on call 24 7 and your normal Workday is from like 5:00 AM till 6:00 PM. So realistically, even if you did have the time and opportunity, you're gonna be so burnt out that it would be it it's kind of impossible to make that time. Um, OB it it's still possible of course, but it's really difficult. So your best bet if you're active is to just switch jobs. Um, And my suggestion for that would be to try to get into the cybersecurity program that they just stood up. Um, it's a, it's brand new it's across all military branches. Uh, but the arm, I know the army is heading it and, um, it's a longer training. Um, but it's worth it because I think, I believe you do get like, uh, legitimate certifications such as the com CIA and, um, other certs that are relevant, but that's the best way there. Um, if you're a veteran or you're about to get out of the military, there is a program called the transition assistance program, and that is something that's mandatory. So you'll do it anyway. Um, it's like a mandatory thing they do before you, you know, receive your. Goodbye later. And, um, I went through that and that it's not really a technical program. Um, it it's just a program to kind of warm you up into getting back into the civilian world. You know, they teach you how to talk to people. Normally, um, they teach you, uh, like employ. Skills, you know, how to interview, how to write a resume or put it together. Um, and they also go over how you can transfer your military skills over to the civilian side and translate that language. Um, and yeah, that's that they do help with like some financial planning too, but that's pretty much it there's no actual like technical specific or job specific training for it. So. Yeah. If, if you're still in, um, just try to switch Moss to a more technical role. Um, and that's your best bet full time. Um, if you're a veteran, there are a lot of other opportunities, um, both through the government and through like private companies. Um, one of my favorite ones that I actually still use is called the shift.org. And it's an organization that actually, they actually run cohort. Um, similar to a bootcamp, um, but it, it's more of a community type thing where they help you with, uh, job interviews and preparation. Um, those types of cohorts versus like technical training. Um, but if you do want like technical training funded by the government, there are, you can use your GI bill for certain programs for certain schools. Um, but that really depends on the state that you live in. Um, And it also depends if that school is accredited and will ha um, implement that GI bill program. Um, if not, there is something, another program called, uh, vet tech, which is really popular right now, um, because what vet tech will do is the, if you are eligible, the government will fund up to a one year of, um, schooling, like a boot camp. Um, Or even formal education and they will give you housing assistance money too. So it, that, I think it's a really good opportunity, but the, a caveat off that is that vet tech is, uh, a program with finite funds. Um, so if you don't jump on that opportunity, as soon as the window opens, then it'll probably get filled right away. So you gotta be really like proactive on, uh, applying for.

Don Hansen:

That's interesting. I never heard about vet tech, so it's

Sean Gil:

a pretty cool program.

Don Hansen:

Yeah, it sounds like it. Um, what, so when you were searching for coding boot camps, how did you figure out what programs offered the GI bill in which you didn't?

Sean Gil:

Yeah, so, um, what I did was one of the resources that I utilized was career karma. I'm sure you've heard of it before. Um, it's just like a community. Helps people transition careers from one to another, um, and they list boot camps and they match you with boot camps. And there are, um, several, I think there are several filters. If I remember correctly, that help you look through programs that offer the GI bill. Um, but your best bet is to, uh, do research on different boot camps. Yourself and then go into their website and look and see if they have that or not. Um, because even if they do have it, you might still not be eligible based upon the state that you live in. It, it really depends. Um, it's really weird. So, um, you have to check the, you know, what. Will work for you in the state that you're in and based upon whatever bootcamp you're in. So it could be a tedious process. You have to take the extra step, but in the end of the day, it's worth it. If you're gonna do the program. Okay.

Don Hansen:

So you mentioned. Preparation, you're still in the military. Ready to get out. You take kind of, um, a class that helps you prepare for civilian life. It's not technical training, but it, it kind of like integrates you to becoming a civilian again. And you mentioned this idea of, uh, different types of fundings that you can take advantage of. Um, some government, some private and. Do I, I guess, does the military, or are there other opportunities, do you, do you find other options to get like job search assistance or anything like that?

Sean Gil:

Yeah, definitely. Um, there are, uh, again, government, uh, funded job assistance websites as well as private ones. Um, I think one of the more popular ones is called hire our heroes. And, uh, they do a pretty good job of getting, obtaining your information. And, um, you're able to, it's a whole like platform where you're able to go in and apply directly to these employers that are looking specifically for, um, veterans. Um, and then there are other, I guess, private ones too. Um, and I think the most effective one that. That I connected with where the, the groups, uh, existed on LinkedIn or other social media platforms. Um, because you know, you could directly access real people or real recruiters. Um, as long as you get, um, accepted into the group, if you're a veteran, you'll, you'll be able to join and then look through and people post jobs there all the time. Um, and oddly enough, the jobs that have. Um, going up on those veteran groups have been all related to tech, which is awesome. So, um, yeah, those, that was one of the main places that I went to. Okay. Really

Don Hansen:

cool. Um, yeah. I, I think people are gonna really appreciate those recommendations. So how long did it take you to get a job when you graduated? You're coding.

Sean Gil:

yeah. To get my full-time job. It took me three months, like on the dot three months,

Don Hansen:

what do you think was like the main thing that made you stand out and get that job? Um,

Sean Gil:

man, that's a really good question. Um, Of course like outside of the military stuff. Like I know that it's a advantage that I have, but I really think what made me stand out was, um, my willingness to just put myself out there. I think LinkedIn is a really powerful tool and I know that there are like those cringe posts that people talk about nowadays and whatnot, but, um, I would say. Don't be afraid to reach out to people on LinkedIn and don't be afraid to post your projects, um, or your website. Cause that is what gets a lot of traction and shows passion with action versus just your words. Um, so one of the things that I did that was the most beneficial in terms of finding a job was. I would connect with software engineers on LinkedIn, and then I would actually reach out to them for, um, informational interviews or, um, ask them to review my code or my projects or my resume. And obviously most people will probably say no, but I did get several responses back and they were super helpful in terms of making my resume attractive and, um, Yeah, I, I didn't write many cover letters, but I did write like personalized messages to, um, InMail using, using InMail to reach out to recruiters or, or different engineers that worked on different teams. And through that, I got like, that's where I got the majority of my interviews. So cuz I applied, I actually kept track. I kept the log and I applied to, um, around 230, uh, jobs. I all the interviews that I did end up getting were through utilizing LinkedIn, um, you know, sending messages, asking for feedback. Um, and yeah, and I'm, I'm honestly a pretty introverted guy. Like I don't do that normally, but, um, my logic behind it was that it has to be worth it. Right. If, if, if it ends up with me having a job, then it'll be worth it. So. I'll do it. So, and that, that's how I did it instead of, I

Don Hansen:

mean, that's a good reason to put yourself out there and I know it probably did feel uncomfortable, especially if you're an introvert. Um, a lot of people are introverts until they realized they're not, or they realized they don't always have to be. Right. Um, but you know, like you said, it was worth it in the end. And I think that's what a lot of people need to realize. It can be very daunting. It can feel hopeless. It can feel like the effort that you're putting into reaching out and socializing. Um, is, is that a waste of your time? Should you be coding? Should you be working on projects? Should you be doing this? There there's so many things you could do to grow as a software engineer. And I think the people that do network and do get their jobs faster, that way it's usually. Usually have to do it, to realize why it's so important. And it takes, sometimes it takes several messages. You said like several people didn't respond back, but if few did, and that really helped you. Um, and at the end of the day, it's like, how many applications are you putting in? All you need is one application and one offer that you want to accept. Um, so sometimes it is a numbers game, but I'm glad you did put yourself out there. So we also, uh, had talked about even before this interview, uh, kind of like a security clearance, you mentioned there are some advantages to having a security clearance and going into the civilian life. Can you talk about that?

Sean Gil:

Yes. So in the military, on all branches, uh, certain Moss, certain jobs in the AR in the military require a level of clearance for you to do the job because, um, that job would. you know, be involved with some kind of sensitive material, um, that could only be seen by people that have that clearance. Um, a lot of, since I was in the Intel community, in the army, uh, all my peers basically had a secure clearance. I had a top secret clearance. Most of my peers had top secret clearances and then there's like different levels too. Like there's just regular secret clearance. There's like top secret sci. It's like a whole bunch of different clearances available. And. Um, surprisingly enough, a lot of jobs in the military outside of the Intel community also requires security clearances. So if you have one of those, even if you're in a combat job and you have one of those, it's super. Advantageous to utilizing the private sector because to obtain a security clearance, there has to be a really long thorough process of making sure you're cleared, making sure the background check is good. Um, making sure that you have no connections to foreign nations, whatever, all the, all the stuff that. Process is really long and really, really expensive. And I know for a fact that there are jobs, uh, at government contractors, such as Boeing, um, SpaceX, even to a certain degree, um, uh, Northrop Grumman, a lot of jobs like that, where a security clearance is required. From my understanding from what I've heard from my seniors in the military, it costs approximately between 300 K to 800 K to obtain a sec one security clearance per person. Wow. And normally those companies like Boeing or, um, NASA, whoever, when they're looking for, to hire someone. if they already have a security clearance and they don't have to pay for it the, to themselves, then you're already like golden to them. You don't even have to know the job. And, but you'll already be at the top of the list because you have that clearance. Um, and they're, they're willing to train you on the job. Um, cuz if they try to bring, um, somebody else on that doesn't have a clearance, then one they'll have to. First hire them and only train them up to a certain point where they could do things that don't require a security clearance. And then they have to wait and spend money until that security clearance comes in. And that process could take like up to two years even sometimes. So. For a lot of these employers, they'll be bringing people on and just sitting around, waiting for it, to get cleared by the government. Um, and then they're just paying tons of money to this person. And they're not doing much at work. So if you're, if you already have one, um, through the military and you could take it over to one of those companies, then you can start working right away. They'll train you on the job and you'll be highly attracted to them. Um, especially in terms of retention too, because. The military will continue to pay for that clearance versus the company. Um, so yeah, I think if you have a secure clearance, use it to its maximum capacity. I wish I used it a lot more than I did. Um, but it it's a really useful asset to have. Yeah,

Don Hansen:

it sounds like it that's, uh, that's a huge advantage. You said like 300,000 to 800,000.

Sean Gil:

Yeah, per person. Um, it really depends on the level, but it's it's yeah, it's really expensive and takes a long time. That's

Don Hansen:

huge. Um, well, okay. So I, I feel like we've gone over a lot of good advice, um, and how to kind of take advantage of, you know, what you've received from the military, what you can do in the military, what you can do out of it, but you also mentioned. Coding like it, it gets you excited. It gets you, it, it feels fulfilling. You, you like it a lot more than your previous position. So what about, I guess, okay, so I'll ask a personal question and then something else. What about coding? Do you absolutely love that? Like, like you actually chose to get that position because when you talked to me, um, even when you approached me, you, you were really excited about coding. What about, yeah. What am I trying to say? What do you enjoy about coding and I almost blank for a second. What do you enjoy about coding? And do you feel like there's any connection with you being in the military and how it kind of like prepared you even like the habits and the routine that you had to learn? Um, let's talk about all that. Can you expand on that?

Sean Gil:

Yeah, for sure. So I truly believe that people in the military can naturally take their soft skills, um, that they obtained and implement them in the tech industry. Um, and also hard skills as well. Uh, but one of the main points is like your ability to problem solve and promise solve on the spot. Um, that was something that I did a lot in the military and we had to just figure. Solutions to the craziest problems. Um, even if it didn't make sense, but, um, at the end of the day, it was all of us working together to meet a certain mission or goal. And, um, that problem solving skill kind of directly correlates with problem solving. Um, when you're developing, especially if you're, if you're developing on a team too, you know how to you're able. Work with other people to solve this problem together. Um, and if you're, if you're coding alone or working on your own project, um, I think it's still relevant because since you you're most people in the military come out, pretty tenacious. They have a certain level of grit in my opinion. And, um, I think a. Of, uh, new developers have a problem with giving up too early. Maybe they give up on a project cuz they couldn't solve an issue or one line of code. Um, but as long as you're able to push through that, you can create like pretty amazing things. Um, and then for me personally, uh, the reason why coding was so enticing and so fun was because, uh, of the, of those reasons as well of, you know, being involved with problem solving constantly, but also because in my. Uh, career as a investigator, um, uh, in my career doing financial fraud investigations, I moved up so quickly in both companies that I worked for in that industry that, um, I eventually became an executive, right. And my career trajectory from senior vice president to anything else was super, I. It felt, I felt very boxed in, um, there wasn't much else more to offer in that industry. Other than me becoming more of an expert in that subject matter. Um, and doing my own private consulting or becoming like a C level executive and staying in that world, um, it's a pretty niche field to in finance, especially. So everyone kind of knows everyone and everyone has the same clients. So we're all just fighting for the same, um, thing. And. Uh, I did enjoy it. I, I loved the companies that I worked for. Um, but for my own personal growth, insanity, I, I knew that I liked working on things that had, uh, like unlimited potential for growth or education. Um, I, I know I mentioned that I don't like college. I don't like school. Um, I've always been this way since, uh, elementary school. I was always good at the subjects or enjoy the subjects, um, that I was, uh, into or passionate about that I found, uh, practical value out of, um, versus, uh, you know, doing things for the sake of doing things. So, uh, with coding, I learned that if you become a software engineer, you're dedicating yourself to life of education because it just moves so quickly. And, um, did that. Kind of the main reason why I want, I wanted to, you know, bring myself to it. Cause even as I was learning in the beginning and just, um, making tiny little projects here and there, like a month later, something will change and I don't have to change in my code base or I don't have to adjust something in my backend, uh, to, to not break the code or break the project. So, um, Yeah. I, I that's, that's primarily my personal reason why I enjoyed it so much and I love, um, being a developer. Okay.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. I think that sounds relatable. Um, and you touched on a key thing. It's unending education. I'm someone that gets bored easily. I'm someone and I mean, I've, I've jumped around a lot, but I, I do get bored easily and I need something. To constantly challenge me and I find myself teetering and, and getting distracted if I don't have that, um, software engineering, um, will definitely give you that. Now there are, there are stacks there, languages where you're only gonna learn so much. And I, I would argue what you can kind of get yourself in a rut and rut, like not just with. Job, but your, your current stack with where you're not really growing a lot, you know, the whole code base. And sometimes it just means switching positions that offer new challenges, but you're always gonna have that. And then when you do experience a new code base, new problems to solve, you have a lot more to learn. Um, so I can completely understand that. All right. I think I have a good feel for, you know, what got you into it. Um, you gave tons of good advice with all the advantages with it. Um, Is there anything else that you'd like to add before? My last

Sean Gil:

question? Um, let's see. I, I think if I was to add one thing before is just mention that, you know, as a person. That's transition careers. If you're trying to look into getting into coding or, uh, getting into tech in general, one thing that I learned is you're really only gonna get what you put in. Um, and that goes for my military friends and my civilian friends, um, across all industries. And I had the fortune of having a lot of close friends. That were already software engineers at like Google and other huge companies. So I had that like advantage that a lot of people don't have, but one thing that they all told me. Uh, this was a theme throughout all of my different friends that don't even know. Each other that told, told me was that you're really only gonna get what you put into it. So I had to, I, my original thought going into the bootcamp was like, all right, cool. Like, I'm gonna do this bootcamp. It's gonna be pretty chill. I'm gonna get a job right after I I'm gonna be able to kill it. It wasn't until I was in the middle of my bootcamp where I realized, like, I really need to have some kind of supplemental. Time outside of my bootcamp, time to really become successful. Um, cuz I am no genius that I can't, I'm a slow learner. Um, or in terms of coding, I was a pretty slow learner. So, um, the way I was able to. Feel success was by really putting in a ton of extra hours outside of my bootcamp. And I feel like this will play to both veterans and non veterans or anyone, um, looking to get into tech, uh, just be prepared to, um, you know, have some grit, grind it out and have the end goal in mind always. And you should be okay.

Don Hansen:

I love that that's really good advice. And you actually answered my last question. My last question was what's one final piece of advice, uh, that you'd like to share, but, um, I think, um, I guess I wanna emphasize just one thing there. Um, you mentioned you're a slow learner with coding. Um, so many people feel like that. I feel like. So when you get, when you meet people at coding, boot camps, a lot of people that are probably gonna be successful at coding boot camps were very, very smart people to enter it before they entered it in the first place. A lot of people are career transitioners and then they get there. And, you know, they've been able to succeed and, and kind of just like float through things in life so easily. Like you said, you moved out very fast in the military, probably gave you a lot of confidence and then the coding bootcamp in general is just a different experience. And you realize you can't force the learning. You can't speak through it and it's. Frustrating almost because sometimes just like putting the code down and getting a good night's sleep or giving it a week for it to resonate. Like that's how you get past that moment, right? Yeah. Um, and you have to, I mean, you have to have grit and patience to even get through something like that. So, um, yeah, I don't, this is all really good advice. Uh, Sean, I really appreciate you coming on. Um, so before I forget. if people wanted to reach out to you, um, especially like any veterans that might be struggling right now to get an attack, uh, find a job where could they reach?

Sean Gil:

Yeah, for sure. So, um, again, Don, thanks for having me. Um, anyone can feel free to reach out to me, um, through LinkedIn or I also have a podcast where I talk about like, Nerdy techy stuff like Linux and whatnot. But, um, you could kind of go ahead and check that out, but yeah, please feel free. If you have any questions, especially if you're a veteran and you need help or some guidance to get on the right path, just hit me up on LinkedIn, or you could D me on Instagram. If you go to my website, just Sean gill.com um, on the contact section, you'll be able to find all that stuff. So pretty simple, but I have a, I really love. Helping people and especially veterans, um, get into tech. It's super exciting to me. I feel like tech, uh, is never ending and it's gonna play an obvious, huge part in our future. And the more like good developers that we have in this world, uh, the better society can be actually believe that. So it's super corny and cheesy, but I really think it's true. So, um, if you have, if you want to talk, just hang me up anyway and no.

Don Hansen:

I love it. What's your podcast name by

Sean Gil:

the way? Oh yeah. Um, my podcast name is called go podcast. It's like gig G O O M and goom means dream in Korean. Um, and I named it go podcast or dream podcast because I thought of. Podcast idea when, um, I was really unsettle about my well previous job. And I was like, oh, what is the American dream even mean? Like what, um, do, what can people do to like achieve their dream? Or how does dream, how do dreams change for people as they grow older or mature? Um, so that was the original thought, but I just kept the name and it's become like a tech discussion or life career development type discussion place. Yeah,

Don Hansen:

I like it. Okay. Well check out his podcast. Uh, if you haven't come across it already, I definitely, I don't think I've heard of it. So I'm gonna check that out as well, but, um, yeah, seriously, Sean, this is super helpful. Um, I feel like I learned a lot and yeah, I appreciate you even just like reaching out to me, not you'd be surprised. Um, a lot of people don't take the initiative to, to reach out to me or they'll send me like a really, really simple, basic message. I don't even know what they want, but like you took time, like you obviously are passionate about helping. Uh, veterans and that wanna just, not just become developers, but get into tech in general. So, yeah. Thanks for coming out.

Sean Gil:

Yeah. Thanks for having me really appreciate it. Everything.