Feb. 7, 2022

The Tech Academy Coding Bootcamp Review (Software Developer and Python Developer)


I invited on 3 graduates from The Tech Academy, a coding bootcamp, to share their honest and transparent experiences - no marketing fluff and no BS. If you're deciding if The Tech Academy is right for you, watch this first. Enjoy!

Robert McCabe (guest):
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/rmccabe62
Twitter - https://twitter.com/macoder62

Rhodri Thomas (guest):
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhodri-thomas

Emanuel Tameklo (guest):
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/emanuel-tameklo

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Transcript
Don Hansen:

Welcome back to another podcast episode where we help aspiring developers get jobs and junior developers grow in this route. This episode, we're going to be doing a review on the tech academy. We're going to be diving into it. I understand that each of you, I think we had like one, you don't we'll dive into it, but I think you guys had different programs you went through. So we'll be able to have different experiences for that. Um, but like usual with all my episodes is going to be honest. No me, I'm not here trying to sell the programs. I'm trying to get real honest reviews and we're going to be critical. I want you to be prepared with the right questions to ask admissions, and I want to make sure this program is the right one for you. So like usual, let's go ahead and do our intros. Robert. Um, I guess I have a couple of questions for you. Um, are what program did you go through? What, um, we'll start with that.

Robert McCabe:

Okay. So, um, I attended there on the full stack, um, software development bootcamp, which pretty much encompasses everything they were offering. Uh, we covered HTML, CSS, SQL, SQL, um, Python C-sharp and.net.

Don Hansen:

Okay, cool. Um, are you currently a software engineer or are you looking for a position? No,

Robert McCabe:

I've been working since I graduated in April of last year.

Don Hansen:

Okay. April of 2021. Okay. We can dig into that a bit. Um, wha where'd you come from, what was your previous industry?

Robert McCabe:

Um, I've been in customer service for about 30 years, um, in different different industries. I've kind of floated back and forth. Um, I enjoyed it, but I just felt like I was meant for something else.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Yeah. 30 years is a long time. Finally decide to make this.

Robert McCabe:

Yeah. And I, I tried doing this back in 2000. Um, I was actually, my first language was visual base can cobalt that's falling. Okay. I've been attempting this for awhile.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Um, cool. I'm definitely interested to hear your experience with the program. Done. Thanks for. Okay. Sure.

Robert McCabe:

Um, so,

Don Hansen:

so to be sorry, in a second, we'll do the intros and then we'll jump into it. Um, probably should have clarified. All right. Roger, what about you? Same questions.

Rhodri Thomas:

Uh, so I did the same thing and around the same time I started in October of 2020 doing the full stack software development course. So same thing, all of the, uh, sort of a web developer. Uh, start our course then moves into the, uh, C-sharp and Python the later on, uh, they give you a brief, yeah, a brief introduction to sequel and, um, then they do, uh, they finish off with the.net development cycle. Very short that net development cycle on a website that they kind of a reset for students to just keep working on.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Um, Are you currently looking for a software engineer position or are you hired as one?

Rhodri Thomas:

I am still, I'm not currently searching. Um, I did find a job not too long after I stopped, but it is not a software development job and I still would like one. So I'm working on my portfolio at the moment. And as soon as that feels ready, um, I'll be back out there looking.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Uh, when do you graduate?

Rhodri Thomas:

Graduated in April of 22.

Don Hansen:

Okay. And what industry did you come from?

Rhodri Thomas:

Uh, same as Robert actually, uh, customer service. I was doing, uh, right at the end of that. Right before I started at the coding at the tech academy. Um, I was doing testing for a website and, uh, it was mostly manual testing, so nothing really to tackle. Um, but yeah, until then had been doing just technical support. Okay.

Don Hansen:

Uh, Emmanuelle, how am I? God, I butcher every single day. No, you're fine. You're

Emanuel Tameklo:

fine. Um, demand. Well, Emmanuel, that's what I

Don Hansen:

thank you.

Emanuel Tameklo:

Um, so I did the Python developer bootcamp, um, and the reason why I chose that was because, uh, I mean, Based off all the research ideas. I mean, I'm sure, you know, you guys are pretty acquainted with it as well, but, um, seems like Python's like really popular. Um, and you can find, you can pretty much find a new job for Python. Um, and so basically it was a, but a four months long process. Um, I went on as a full-time student. So with the tech academy, you can either do part-time or full-time usually part-time will, um, double your time. Um, so I just, I just thought it'd be smart to do that full time, get the four months done. Um, so I started in August of 2021 and I finished in November of 2021. Um, so, uh, and then following that, um, some things that we learned in Python, the Python bootcamp was a SQL Python, of course, JavaScript, HTML and CSS. And so, you know, going into it, I kind of thought that, uh, it was just gonna be mainly Python the whole time, but, um, I'm actually pretty grateful that we learned, you know, like HTML CSS and things like that. Cause those are some of the building blocks of websites and things like that. Um, and on top of that, like not a lot of people know, but you can, you can get jobs just doing HTML. Like if you're really good with HTML, you can create whole websites with each email, you can create whole websites with JavaScript. You can create whole websites with CSS. So, I mean, you don't have to be, you know, dialed into like a specific programming language. I mean, you can do, you can do a lot of the markup language Stu and that can help you also get the job. Um, and right now, currently I'm not doing a programming job, but I am doing like a tech sort of tech job. And so, I mean, it's still kind of up the alley. Um, a lot of what I've learned from the tech academy, I've definitely been able to apply to my new job. Um, but I am currently actively still looking. Um, but right now I've kind of put a hold on. It just mainly working on my portfolio as well. Like Rhodri um, and you know, just trying to get some things solidified, you know, work on some concepts, make sure I really understand like what I'm doing. Um, I'm also learning like algorithms are like one of the biggest things you really need to understand for, you know, trying to land a coding job, um, or programming job. So those are kind of things that I want to really harp on and work on. Um, and then, um, what was the last thing? Yep. So last the industry I came from, um, I've kind of jumped around jobs, jobs, job, um, just because I've, I've always wanted to go into. The tech field. Um, but I've never really had that, that break if I would say. Um, so I've jumped around like sales customer service. My last shower was at, I did, um, I built archery triggers, um, and stuff like that, but it just, none of it really stuck. Like I was, I was just like trying to, you know, really, you know, get into the tech field and whatnot. 'cause, uh, I also joined the military. I'm an army reserve. So, um, I am actually an it specialist in the army reserve. And so basically I was trying to take that expertise that I had there try to get kind of into the tech field and then kind of work on my programming because I was, you know, um, within the it field because coding and programming kind of is under that it field kind of, um, industry. And so, um, After I got out of training with that, I just, I just could not catch a rate. So I was like, you know what? I think I'm going to have to do some things here to kind of speed that up. So I was like, you know, I finally sat down. I was like, I need to start actually learning programming. Um, cause I picked it up back in middle school, but I never quite, um, I never quite like took it on, like I attempted a project. I tried to make a video game cause I wanted to be a video game designer for. Um, and, uh, that exactly work out. I kind of got frustrated with that and gave up on that. Um, which I, which I really bashed myself about just because, um, with, with programming and coding, you know, you really gotta stay, you gotta be patient and you have to really like, you have to drill it. There's the only way you're going to get better at it is you do it. Um, and so it's, it's not easy. And I know a lot of people think there's money in it, which there is. It's it's really, you got to really like master your craft, just be patient and just like learn to, you know, just, you gotta grind. That's that's all it really is. Yeah. That's a little bit about myself. Okay.

Don Hansen:

I wanted to create video games myself. So I started out this entire journey. Um, and I, I failed at that. Um, uh, it is very much is, and I'm glad I did get into software engineering and web development actually. Um, but I might do it as a side thing, but, um, okay. Appreciate the, uh, the journeys. So let's dive into it. Why, why this program, why tech academy why'd you initially choose it? So don't, don't answer like why you think people should join it, but like, why did you initially choose it when you were just doing your initial research?

Emanuel Tameklo:

Okay. Um, do you want me to start and then we'll go backwards.

Don Hansen:

We'll talk over each other a little bit, but anyway, um,

Emanuel Tameklo:

so, so this, this kind of goes back into like the whole like army reserve type of deal. So I got out, um, got done with training in April of 2020, um, and, or no, April, 2020, uh, yeah, April 20. Um, and so I was thinking about going to college and, uh, I sat down and I was like, I was like, okay, well, I'm trying to go to college for mechanical engineering that obviously didn't stick either. Um, but I was going to school for mechanical engineering, so I can go on the fall. And so I sat down and tried to figure out things and, um, and, uh, I was trying to see like, if I could pick up some like programming or something like that over the summer. And, um, so I was actually trying to apply for a job. That's actually how I came across the tech academy. So they had a job opening, um, and I was like, oh, it has something to do with programming. So I wonder if like, I can probably, like, I was like, I have a little bit of knowledge with that. I wonder if there's like any way that I could seep into that. Um, cause I was kinda naive to like, I didn't really understand how. The job market worked, um, and turned out, I actually subscribed to one of their subscriptions. And so I just, like, they just kept wiping out, like hitting me up with emails and we're just kind of like, Hey, like, you know, um, you can always start this, like, you know, you can start the boot camp and stuff. And that's actually when I learned about bootcamp, so I didn't know what boot camps were quite yet as well. Um, so I went through that and I was just like, I sat there and then I started researching boot camps and stuff. Dang, like maybe I should do this instead of college. Cause I was like, honestly, I really do want to get into programming. So I was like, uh, but I was like, you know what, I'm already kind of like dead set on becoming a mechanical engineer. So I'll just come back to that later. Um, and then fast forward to fall, went to college for a semester. Didn't really sit with me. Well, You know, I don't know. There's just something about school. Like, I don't know. I don't really like school. Um, but I love to learn. So it's like, it's weird. So it's really weird, but, um, I love to learn. So I was like, you know, I got to figure out something, you know, because the nice thing about college is like, that's kind of what gets you, the experiences skills you needed and stuff like that for the job market. Um, and it's kind of hard to do when you don't have a degree. Um, but I'm also learning like, you know, in my little time as well, um, How you get to places that you are, you currently are at is networking, you know, talking to people, getting yourself out of there, getting some forums, things like that. Just trying to, just trying to put yourself out there so people can like receive, you know, so people can learn about you, people can know about you. Um, so that's why I was like, I love, you know, the chance of, you know, getting myself out there, um, and, and networking and whatnot, just because like, you're really not going to get anywhere. If you kind of keep yourself, hold up on that. Can you put yourself out there? Um, and then, um, finally I just sat down and just like, dude, I really want to program, this is what I want to do. So I sat down and talked to my wife and I'm just like, Hey, like we're building a program. Like, do you think we can afford this? Do you think this would be a smart financial decision? And she was like, you know what if it's what you want. It's, it's what you want to do. It's what you love to do. Then let's get into it and let's knock it out of the park. Um, worked from there and that's how I started in August of 2010. So. Okay.

Don Hansen:

How about you two?

Rhodri Thomas:

Um, I had a similar, similar story, I guess. I think that probably a lot of guys in their twenties who do a bootcamp also just kind of don't feel like they, like school is their thing. Uh, I was in college for a couple of years and, um, I don't have an associates degree, but it was just a few credits away, but I dunno, I just couldn't really, uh, I didn't feel like I was really going towards anything. Um, I had tried a bunch of different things and, uh, um, jumped a couple of majors and I just, I, I finally, it was starting to think that maybe I was just. Going the wrong direction. And I should try something a little more difficult instead of something that just takes a really long time, like as the result of getting a, you know, a degree and then just waiting it out at the bottom of a ladder and a career, and just eventually in my mid thirties having sustainable income finally, like maybe, maybe I can, maybe I can do something a little outside my comfort zone and, uh, make more money faster. And. I started learning more about programming and I was relieved to discover that I was actually interested in it. Um, I, I didn't start cause I'm like wanting to make a video game or anything. I had no goal other than just, I'm not making any money. And, uh, I don't want to have to wait 10 years before I do that. So, but yeah, I ended up, uh, I ended up really liking it and I, uh, decided to do a bootcamp because after considering another. Two or three years at college to get a bachelor's in computer science, um, or just doing it all a little bit faster and hearing, hearing some positive things about bootcamps. I decided that, uh, I should just try that and if it doesn't work, you know, I can always go back to school.

Don Hansen:

Okay. How about.

Robert McCabe:

Well, um, kind of similar to manuals. Um, I was looking for just another job. Um, I had left my one. Um, I used to be a debt collector or drive by race. Um, and I decided, well, I probably going to be another customer service job. So there's this opening. Online instead of the tech academy. So I thought, well, I'll try that. And, um, they kinda talked to me and they said, well, we're, we're a little looking for somebody that has more, like, at least some knowledge with, you know, technical. Um, you know, technical background, at least in order for this job. And so they can decide, it goes, well, we are a bootcamp. Have you ever thought about coming to a bootcamp? I said, well, yeah, I've been interested in technology for awhile, so I kind of left it there. And I waited a couple of weeks. I did some research, kind of went and looked at other boot camps. And I just saw where a lot of them were. A lot of them were similar, but not really because a lot of them you're kind of on your own they're self-paced which tech academy is also, but a lot of them didn't even have, um, instructors available where, like I said, the big selling point with me was they not only do they have written structures available, but they had several days a week, which is, I'd never heard of. Um, so that's kind of what kind of pushed me towards that. Um, I did start out trying to do this on my own, and I got to a point where I was using free code camp. Um, and I got to a point where I was just getting so confused. And even though I would try to research, I was like, I'm just, I'm just washed. So that's when I made the decision to do this.

Don Hansen:

That makes sense. Yeah. Coding camps bring a lot of structure. Um, They give you more confidence as well. Um, I feel like, so it's interesting hearing your individual stories of like, why you finally decide to execute on that. Um, so I'm going to start with my, a couple of concerns that I have right away. Uh, When you were describing the suffer engineering program, that sounds like a lot of stacks to go through. And you mentioned, um, like with some of those stacks, it felt like you kind of just brushed over it. And so their entire coding, bootcamps, like even just focused on like the JavaScript stack or the Python stack. Right. Um, and maybe this is it. This is for Robert and rod tree, but for the software engineering program, Did you feel like you've got a solid understanding by the end of the program when you kept hopping from stack to stack?

Robert McCabe:

Um, for myself, um, I feel like it was a basis of one. Um, there's lot of learning you have to do on your own after something like that. Um, but we did get, I, we got pretty detailed, one more detailed, I thought we were going to get. Um, but again, there's just a lot of, I'm still learning today. Of course. Um, but yeah, I feel like we kind of went through some of it. Um, but there's obviously a lot more to learn. Um, but when you have a finite amount of time, you really have to be able to do that. I wish it was a little more detailed, I guess.

Rhodri Thomas:

Okay. Yeah. I, I don't want my, what I'm about to say to make it sound like I'm making a judgment of the tech academy necessarily, but, uh, it's I think for me, I did not get a solid basis of the more important stuff which happened right@theendwithcsharpand.net. Um, even through the Python, I feel like I had blown past, uh, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and sequel. And I just sort of started things just started going in one ear and out the other a little bit. And I was just becoming accustomed to, uh, a workflow full of things that. We're totally new to me and that are not totally new because I'd had some background and had looked into this before and researched programming various ways for several months beforehand. Um, but I'd never done any C-sharp, um, nor any Java, which C sharp is a lot like, so I wasn't very ready for that. And, uh, I mean, I can do C sharp stuff. If I, if I pull up one of those websites where they've got like a list of little interview questions, you know, the more problems you can solve, I can, I can make my way through that stuff. And in C sharp, and I can find my way through C-sharp code if it's already written and I'm looking for something. Uh, but I definitely don't feel confident with it. And, uh, I can tell you. I felt way less confident with it back then than I do now after months of practice post course. Um, but again, you know, I, I think that a lot of that is my personality more than the fault of the tech academy. Uh, though I think the way that the course is set up, it, it would lead a lot of people down my path.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Did you get to. So you mentioned itself tight. Did you get to interact with other students?

Rhodri Thomas:

Yeah, there was a, there was a spot at the end of the Python unit and both the, that, both Adam, the C-sharp unit. And I don't know, um, if this was, if it was this way for you to Emmanuel, but. At the end of the Python and C sharp units, we had a live project, which I had briefly mentioned before, where they kind of work you through a live development cycle on a website that they kind of throw together or that you throw together in the case of the Python one, it was really cool because that one you actually kind of do from scratch. I liked

Don Hansen:

so, yeah, I guess I was kind of curious because, you know, if you worked with a lot of other people, you might be. Get a feel for other students. Cause you mentioned maybe it's just your personality, but maybe it's not, you know, so I would argue it's probably more common than you might think. So I'm kinda just like looking at some of these programs and suffer, develop or boot camp it's yeah, 40 weeks. Part-time 22 weeks full-time but then like I look at Python or like let's just even do C sharp and.net. Um, it's like 15 weeks. Full-time 28 weeks. Part-time just for C-sharp and.net. But your program is trying to combine all of these and less hours.

Rhodri Thomas:

Yeah. And I will say a, to your point that a lot of other students that did seem to be, uh, the ones that I had few that I had interacted with, because I was only ever interacting with other students who were exactly at my level of the course. Uh, they, they seemed. Be in a similar, similar vein now that I think about it, so,

Emanuel Tameklo:

okay. I do have something I do want to add to that as well. Um, and so like, you know, when I, when I was looking through, um, the courses as well, I actually wanted to do that. That was actually the course that I wanted to do. Cause I was like, oh, okay. Full stack. Like I'm about to be the real deal. I'm going to know all those languages and whatnot. Right. Um, and so. That's something I really learned a lot through the bootcamp, just like Robert had said was, um, you're learning a lot on your own. I mean, not even just in programming, any technical job, like my job currently right now, like I have to read through a lot of documentation, you know, like I have to learn on my own. So it's like, honestly, it, I feel like, um, programming being in the technical field is more attributed to people that are willing to, to learn because it's really intimidating. Um, it makes you an expert learner, if that makes sense, because I think a lot of people like we, or just people in general, like kind of think like it's kind of laid out in front of you. And so that's why I kind of give a lot of, I give a lot of like praise to like programmers and whatnot, because things are always changing, especially people in the technology field overall, like things are always changing. And I even give props to Robert and Roger too, just because like there's a lot to learn, like even with the. I went through like HTML, JavaScript, all that stuff. That stuff was pretty like, you know, like I blew past that, you know, like that stuff was pretty, you know, straightforward, but like when I got to Python, because all I did was the Python language and the Python language is an actual program language. Cause you can build things from scratch with that using like Django framework. That's what we did the live project offer. And man. It went in one ear, went out the other, so it's like, I'm still learning now. Like, and so I'm sitting down and going back over concepts that I didn't quite understand such as like object oriented programming and things like that. Understanding like classes and stuff, because I mean, at the same time, like I may be able to look at code and be like, okay, I have a better understanding. I feel a little bit more confident, but it's now coming down to, can you write. Can you, do you actually understand the concepts to putting code together? Cause all it is you're creating something. Right. And that's, that's also another thing that drew me to programming was you're like an inventor of some sort, right. You're creating something, you know, you're creating something from scratch. Not a lot of people can say they can do that. Right. So it's like, it's really cool. Being able to go into like a code editor and just type up all this and then just be like, Hey, like, cool. Like, like, Hey, watch this. Like my program can do this. You know, not a lot of people can sit down and. On top of that, like, it's, it's really rewarding when your code works, because I mean, a lot of times nowadays, like you don't really see the fruit of your labor, but with programming, like, yeah, there's a lot of stressful. Hours days, whatever. Like I've had times I wanted to rip up my own hair. Cause it's just, it's just frustrating. It's just like, what the heck am I doing? But it's so satisfying seeing your code actually work or seeing like the projects that they give you when they walk you through the code and understanding what the code does going back through and, and seeing that work and seeing how it all works together and whatnot. So. A lot of it's just going to be learning. Um, and, and so that's for any anyone that's listening to podcasts, like that's something like, I think the three of us would really want to stress is you're never going to know everything. You need to constantly new learning and be willing to learn because you will get left behind all your peers. If you just are a bump on a log, but you claim you want to do programmer coding or anything, technical need to understand. You needed constantly learning because things are costly, changing every day.

Don Hansen:

I want to, I want to move it back to the original topic. I feel like, I feel like you definitely are excited about programming and you show that you kind of illustrate, like, you know, I've talked about this in live streams and other podcasts episodes. I feel like you have a lot of good advice for developers in general, but back to the original point though, and the point that I'm making, like, it sounds like eat and you just shared this as well in your pipeline program. You felt like it even went through one ear and out the other, like you are specialized in pipe and you are focused on Python specifically. Like how do you expect people that go through the software development program, like Robert and Rhodri to like really comprehend when they're just adding C-sharp and other languages to their stack. Like that almost feels. Um, you're just going to get a lot of superficial knowledge, right? So my argument hearing all of you is I bet you, a lot of developers are going to have more success, finding a job if they choose a specific program and not that general software development program, just hearing all of you. That's, that's my opinion.

Emanuel Tameklo:

What are you guys? Yeah, no, definitely. I mean, I mean, if you even, and I'm not going to sit here and say that. The internet can be very deceiving, you know, like, so you can't just go on there and there and be like, oh, what, what should I do? Like, I've done a lot of that. Right. And now my now I'm at that course where I actually want to, um, interact with developers, people that actually work in the field and be like, Hey, like what things can I do to strengthen myself? What things can I do to start preparing, to get into, you know, an actual developer job. Right. Um, and, and. You have a lot of, like, I've watched a lot of YouTube videos. Like there's a lot of really good information on YouTube, honestly. I mean, YouTube has come a long ways. And so it's like you have a lot of developers that will come on there and get really, really good knowledge. They'll just be like, don't be focused so much on the actual programming or trying to learn all these crazy languages. Cause like C sharp is a really good language. Uh, Uh, C plus plus is a really good language Python, really good language. Like you can find a job and all those things, right. JavaScript's really good language. But if you talk to developers, they will always stress. Or you look at any type of like, just. Advice, they will always stress learn one language because once you pick up one language and you can solidify yourself in that one language where you can really understand that one language, all the syntax is pretty much the same, that maybe the way the, the makeup of the program is it's just going to be a little bit different, but all the syntax is pretty much like it all files a general rule. So like, that's why I went for the Python program. And just because I was like, well, With Python, Python, sobers with you can make gains with Python, like ease, PI game. You can make dangle Python. Um, you can get it to AI with Python, machine learning, um, web development, things like that. So I was like, okay, it's really versatile. So I feel like once I can solidify my knowledge on Python, then I can start moving. Like. And C-sharp is good for video game for see the sheets C-sharp receive also it's I don't remember which one. I always get those two confused, but one of them was really good to like video games and stuff like that. Um, um, JavaScript is more, it's better for like, that's a markup language, but that's better for like, um, Like making your websites more dynamic, like more interactive. All right. And then you have, um, and then you have like a Chanel, which is basically the building blocks for your, your website. CSS is just to make your website look pretty. So, I mean, if you can learn just to like, be a master at one of the. Because you understand just one of those languages it'll help you with all the other ones. And so, I mean, even with like Robin Rhodri, I'm sure they have maybe one that they dial in on more than the others. And once they figured out that one, then they're like, okay, I have a good, pretty good understanding. And I've been introduced to the other languages. So now I can kind of just go back over those languages and then just start working on mastering each one of those languages. Yes, like you're saying in your opinion, it is probably better. And probably, probably if you don't want to be as overwhelmed, probably better to take one at a time, but.

Don Hansen:

I'd argue, pick one language. Don't go, don't go back and master because that's going to completely just like, it's going to take so long to go back. Like I haven't even mastered. I would argue, I haven't even mastered JavaScript. I've been a JavaScript developer for a few years or five years. Uh, to me, when I hear this idea of like, man, like master C-sharp master pipeline, master Chubb, I like, oh my God, that's going to be like a 10 year goal. It's

Emanuel Tameklo:

like, yeah. Or at least at least get a good understanding, I guess. I guess that's kind of misleading, like saying master, but like get a good understanding. So where you, you could sit down and write code and then like, you can basically like we can interact with other people. Let's say like we're both Python developers and you're like a senior and I'm, and I'm a junior, right. I can write code and be like, Hey, like what's going on with my code? Did you like to do look over. And see what's going on, you could sit down and talk to me and tell me like, Hey, this is all the things that are wrong with your code. And I could sit there and actually absorb that knowledge, not just do it. I don't know what the heck you just said, but I'm going to go figure it out, you know? So just, I guess, have a good understanding about it to the point where, um, you, you can, you can tackle issues. You can create code, you can write code and whatnot, things like that. Yeah.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. Um, so what do you, what do you guys think about it? I want to give you guys a voice as well.

Robert McCabe:

You mean, as far as the whole boot camp experience, or

Don Hansen:

as far as like being split between all of those technologies, do you feel like because you, I saw you shaking your head, Robert of like you started narrowing down on one, which one did you pick?

Robert McCabe:

Well, the one I, I picked is C sharpened that net, but I kind of wanted to bring something up. Um, when I ran into, when I started looking for work is okay, I'm looking at these job openings. Okay. Each app and an opening for a developer, but I don't know that. So here are you going to try to learn that then I've got the next job open that I see. Okay. It's something else. Now I got to try to learn that. So I had an overview of everything. I mean, to be honest, they told us straight in the course that this isn't a be all end, all your, this is a baby. This is what you kind of need to know to get started. You're going to have to do things on your own. And I have to say that they did come out. They were upfront about that. That's good. So, um, but you're right. It was, it was too much like what I'm doing now is I'm, I'm just learning react now, but I'm going back and reviewing JavaScript because it's been so long since I been JavaScript, you know? Cause that was towards the beginning of the book. That we did that. So you're going from like one, like you said, one thing to the next and the next, but by the time you get to the end, but I've always been, I've always been kind of interested in C plus plus C sharp. Anyway, I kind of gravitated to that in my other, um, when I used to go to school also. So I kind of knew that's where I was going to end up at. Um, the only other thing I'm going to bring up with you when it comes to the part with job searching too, I've had just a few interviews,

Emanuel Tameklo:

very few,

Robert McCabe:

but. I was always under the impression that you should build projects, if you want me to get the job. So that's what I've been doing. But then I get to the technical interview and they're asked to be console application questions, you know, which was the very beginning of C-sharp where, well, this isn't what I've been doing. I've been, you know, I've been building projects.

Rhodri Thomas:

I find myself. Torn between, uh, I, I have, as I mentioned, I'm working on sort of a, when I say I'm working on a web development portfolio, really, I just mean I'm working on one bigger sized website with. Bigger concept, you know, basic building blocks of that were, you know, be required for a website. I want somebody to look at this website and not even need to see my resume really anymore because who's going to read my resume. You know, it, it, it's not a particularly exciting resume. I'd rather just send them a link to this website and be like, Hey, uh, I mean, like I went to a bootcamp I've, I've worked in tech for a little while. I haven't actually done any software engineering, but here's what I can do. And I, and that's kind of where the projects come in, but I'm, I'm constantly thinking in the back of my head, well, I'm actually going to get to these interviews and they're going to ask me to, you know, reverse an array and I'm going to freeze and be like, God, I know that. And yet, here I am in the limelight wondering how to do it. Even though if I was just sitting by myself, I would know how to do this right away. And, uh, yeah. There's all of this, you know, console, application, coding, interview questions, stuff to be done that I don't feel like was covered as part of the course material, not even a little bit. Uh, we were, we were given the expectation that there's a chance you can become one of these people that just goes on to get a, a development position at a prestigious company. I think they had it as a page in the course, they had a. They just had a bunch of logos. If you know, well-known tech companies on it. Like people have gone on to work here, but you know, don't get too excited. It'll be difficult. It's a long road.

Don Hansen:

That's a pro most coding, boot camps are guilty of that. I'm glad you just called that

Robert McCabe:

out under the sales pitch.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. Well, in, in sometimes that sales pitch. I mean, and that's part of, so like you also get a lot of distrust for the coding boot camp industry and co coding, boot camp graduates, and sometimes coding bootcamp. And like they encourage students to, um, sell themselves and a dishonest. Right. And they, um, and sometimes students might even just do that because like, they were promised a lot from the coding boot camp and the coding bootcamp didn't deliver, they were promised a fake job. And the coding bootcamp didn't deliver for 99% of their students. Right. Because they always use those positions to highlight. So I would argue, so I'm a big advocate of go into it with a realistic expectations, because what often happens is when they sell, like you're going to get a job, you're going to get this type of job. And then you get into the program and they're like, well, hold on. Give you some realistic expectations after you already gave us, you know, $15,000. This is what, you know, this is what it's really like, but like, yeah, I, when you do that, people don't financially plan for. Right. And you don't realize, oh wow. I got to look six months. Oh my God. It's been up to a year that I've been looking for a job after I graduate. And it's like that doesn't set your students up for success. Um, and that's, you know, that's really why this podcast started. It's like to give students that transparency, that realistic advice. Um, so yeah, but it, it did sound like they were at least upfront with it kind of. It sounds like brushing on the fundamentals and like really covering a lot of stacks. And afterwards they're going to have to get some more depth into some of this material.

Rhodri Thomas:

Yeah. I think the biggest problem with that, uh, is that I don't feel like I had an idea of what to continue to do. Um, they, there were some information about creating projects and, you know, if you're, if you're wanting to get a different job than when the one you have, and you're in development, work on some bigger projects, we're calling something more difficult. If you're not in development, kind of keep practicing, work on your little things, practice, little interview questions, but general information like that, you know, I can just Google how to get a tech job. That's literally just other list of things I'm going to yeah.

Emanuel Tameklo:

So yeah, no, I know exactly what he's talking about. It's like, did you, you know, like you have that structure for the, the allotted time of the bootcamp, but then after that, it's just kind of like, you're on your own. So I, I mean, I went on my way to do research, to see like what things do. And I've been, I've been fortunate enough to actually interact with, with programmers and stuff like that. Like I know, uh, automation and. That was telling me basically like ways to go about getting a job and things like that. And he was telling me like, cause I was, I was like, Hey, I'm doing this coding boot camp and stuff like that. He's like, it's like, you'd be straight up with you right now. He's like, and that's, that's when it really dawned on me too. Cause I was, I think it was like halfway through it. And he was like, you're not going to get a really good job right out of, you know, doing that. And I sat down, I was like, yeah, like who's going to be someone that's only had four months of programming experience. Like. 60 between $60,000 to $80,000. You know what I mean? And so I sat down and I was like, okay, like, I'm going to try to figure out what the, so another thing you also told me was, um, what you really want to understand is like, so you wanna, you want to do a lot of internships. So like, he's like do about two or three. That'll give you some experience. Now the thing is you're not going to be exact, you're not going to be negotiating price, you know, your wage and whatnot at those points. It's just going to be, you just have to be grateful for the experience and actually working for these companies and whatnot. So definitely doing internships will definitely help because, I mean, you're, that's how you're getting your experience right. Then he said another way would be, if you could go knock one of their coding interviews out of the park and the interview process out of the park, but at the same time, I mean, being a beginning. You're not going to exactly know what's going on. So probably going to go to, you know, 1, 2, 3, 4, or five of those, and then just, you know, just be really, really bad at them. Um, but at least it gives you kind of what to understand. And so that's, that's another thing and they don't really talk to you about, cause I mean, I talked, I had talked to someone before I even started and I was like, like, so does it look like, I mean, I was like, so will I be able to get a good job after this? Like yeah. Now they're not wrong. But I'm thinking right out of the bat. Right. But that's not the case. It's, it's going to be like maybe maybe six months a year, you know, probably even longer, depending on if I'm really trying to stay on top of programming and whatnot, because I mean, they're not holding your hand at this point anymore. Right. So. I totally get what Roger, he was going out with that. Yeah,

Don Hansen:

I would even argue. Yeah, internships are great. The problem is, um, less than a percent of developers will be able to get one of those, especially without being in college. Like, I mean, that's ideal. I would've wished I would have had an internship. I think that's like the golden ticket. A lot of people are looking for initially to, I had an

Robert McCabe:

offer one today, but.

Emanuel Tameklo:

Um, the

Robert McCabe:

offer was just, she was going to talk to me about it. There's a lot of those, there's a lot of scams right now, out there to scan the hoppers, trying to look and find

Don Hansen:

something. Okay. So here's my challenge. Um, instead of building personal projects, was the internship full-time or.

Robert McCabe:

Um, it was just going to be a part time. It was only going to be for like three months, but it was not unpaid. I never really got to talk to her. I kind of said, I thought about it. I know because I've been looking for nine months now. I need something that's going to pay me.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. Yeah. My, I want to push us in, you know, feel free to share your opinions after this. But my argument is, um, if you're going to spend the next three months just working on your personal projects and internship with an actual application, even if it's on. It's going to be better experience, but if you can afford that, that's the, that's the big trick it's like, uh, you know, if you can't afford that, um, that's why I asked as a part-time like, I think a unpaid full-time internship is complete BS. I think like, it feels like it's taking advantage of people that probably need that income soon. So if it's like 10 hours a week or something like that on the side, Telling you that can actually look really good on your resume, but you have to make a smart decision on it.

Robert McCabe:

Right, right. Um, and I'm glad you brought up the thing with, um, the finance, the financial part of it too. Um, and they were, I have to say they were upfront about that. I signed up for the ISA and I'm glad I did because then I didn't have to come up with. You know, whatever it was, 12 grand or everything, but they also let you know that if you sign up for the ISA, you're going to be paying a lot more, which I'm going to be, but I don't have to do that until I actually get a job in that.

Don Hansen:

Okay. I mean, that's essentially what the ISA is designed for. There are a lot of interesting, uh, clauses in the ISA that can trigger that sooner than you expected to. You have to read it, but I mean, that, that's a good thing that you're not, I'm just curious, does an internship, do you know if it triggers the ISA, if you would accept that? I don't

Robert McCabe:

think so. It would have to be paid. You have to make them a minimum amount of money. I think they put me between like 35 and 40,000.

Rhodri Thomas:

Okay. In order, that's what our. Okay,

Don Hansen:

so, all right, well, um, that's interesting. I want to ask you, so I think I actually want to end with two things. I want to kind of dive into some of the positives, cause I'm, I'm super critical, my podcast, um, you know, like it's about being critical of these programs. I want students to be prepared. That's exactly why I do it. Right. So I dive into the critical stuff. Let's dive into the messy stuff. Um, but I also want to dive into some of the posts. As well. So we're gonna ask for positives and then one constructive feedback that you would give the program. Um, kind of just a critical point. We'll do that at the end. So let's take a break from this. What are like, what's one of the best things that you absolutely love about the program?

Robert McCabe:

It taught me how to research. I didn't really know how to do that. And to be honest, I was using the instructors a little bit too much sometimes, but it kind of pushed me to be able to learn how to do that on my own. Where, like, when I first started, I had, I was scared to do it. Where now it's like, it's an everyday thing. Well, I gotta learn how to do this if I want to build this. So I just go out there and do it. I'll go on YouTube or documentation or whatever I need to do.

Don Hansen:

Okay. And that was important for you because you were lost with free code camp. Yeah,

Robert McCabe:

exactly. I know that if I didn't do this, to be honest, I wouldn't have, I would've just given up because I will know what I was doing.

Don Hansen:

Okay. So kind of put that fire onto your button now you're making momentum you're moving forward,

Rhodri Thomas:

right? That is pretty good. That's a good thing.

Emanuel Tameklo:

Okay. I would have to say, uh, same thing as well, researching, um, Uh, the future as well. Like I know for a fact programming and coding is a future. Um, and, and just all the possibilities of things that can happen with it. And just kind of like that's, I definitely want to be part of that light that, uh, that movement, you know? Um, and so that, that's something that really like gives me that passion that drive for doing this. Um, and you know, uh, you know, I have like goals in the future of things that I want to achieve and things like that. I definitely think I can, I can get there with programming and, and whatnot. So, um, those are some things that kind of, I guess, were positive outlooks on the, the tech academy, just because it's like, I was taking that extra step forward, zest that one step closer, even if, even I have, even if I have like a thousand more steps, that's just one step closer. Right. Um, I feel more calm. And programming. I feel like I can actually research. I actually know what things to look at. Um, and just like, I know my way around code a little bit better, even if I can't write code or even if I can't, you know, um, I know I can sit here and be like, okay, I can sit here at the computer for a few hours. I can actually put something together and figure it out. So.

Don Hansen:

Okay. How about.

Rhodri Thomas:

Um, I think one of the big reasons that a coding bootcamp is not a perfect solution for me is because I am not a particularly driven person. Uh, but ironically, that is also one of the reasons that it was good because I am not, I had lost my job at the beginning of COVID. It was just like a, uh, you know, no hard feelings kind of thing where the client I was hired to serve no longer needed us. And, uh, I had the choice between looking for something else or just, you know, pursuing programming. And I pursued that for like two months. Um, mostly fruitlessly just kind of running around reading things and trying things and just thinking, uh, when do I like look for interviews? I don't feel ready. I don't feel like I've gotten any closer. So I was like, you know, maybe, maybe a coding boot camp is the thing I should do after. Uh, did some research and tried it. And what I liked about the bootcamp was that it gave me, especially when I was right in the middle of it, right when I had finished sort of the JavaScript part, um, and had just gotten through HTML, CSS, JavaScript, you know, vanilla web design. I, I had been practicing a JavaScript for like six to eight months at that point. So I was pretty comfortable with it. And, uh, I was able to just. Play for, I remember working on my silly dumb website for like 12 hours in a day. At one point around Christmas, I was, uh, I was like living by myself. My family had all like moved out of state and I was just like hanging out and playing with my website all day for several, like for like a week, maybe a week and a half. And, uh, I had a really good time. And that was like, when. That kind of solidified the course forward for me. And I wouldn't have had that experience if I hadn't signed up for some kind of structured curriculum.

Don Hansen:

Okay. It sounds like it gave everyone the momentum that you need. Um, you know, I say this as well, it's like most coding bootcamps will get you at least 80% of the way. And it's that momentum that people lack it's that guidance, that structure. And usually most coding, boot camps give that even if they're bad coding, boot camps, even if they deceived you, it's like usually they give you some sort of outlines and that. That's also the sad thing it's like, then you realize I didn't need this coding bootcamp. I just had this outlet, you know, I could have learned all this stuff and maybe just talk to like paid a small amount of money to like, get mentorship with a software engineer or something like that, or career services. Um, oh yeah. Speaking of which, before I forget, um, did they have like a career services program? Did they have like

Robert McCabe:

yes. And it's still going on? Yeah. Um, in fact, I talked to her today. They're very good with that. I have to admit, even though I've been out 900. She checks in with me, like at least once or twice a week, seeing how things are going everywhere. I've been applying for 15 jobs, trippy and jobs, um, a day for the last 18 months. So, um, they make sure that

Don Hansen:

you are determined. Yeah. Yeah. Um, okay. D so coat, some coding bootcamp shut that off after six months, which I think is ridiculous. It's like. Help you, as soon

Rhodri Thomas:

as I get a job Nikes.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. Um, did you guys have a pretty good experience with career services?

Rhodri Thomas:

Yeah. Yeah.

Don Hansen:

Okay. All right. Um, cool. Well, I, I feel like it's given me a good feel of it. Uh, I guess what I want to wrap up with is, um, does anyone else have anything to share that you think is important for students with one thing in mind? Like try to keep in mind, um, who is this program for and who isn't this program for? But, uh, with that, with that in mind, what else do you have to share about the.

Robert McCabe:

You have to have a passion for this. Um, cause if you don't, you're just gonna give me like a deer in headlights the whole way through, and then you have to be able to know that you want to do this. Even after all this is over with. And you have to be, as far as the job search, part of it goes for people that once they do graduate is you got to be used to getting rejected because it's going to happen. It's been happening to me for nine months. I've had a total of four interviews and nine months and that's been at, um, so you have you can't and I've been getting frustrated and lightly, but you have to be able to take rejection.

Emanuel Tameklo:

Yeah. I don't even know what to add to that. That's spot on. So

Rhodri Thomas:

as good as, yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that's really, it is that, that what I've discovered about the bootcamp, having gone through it and, uh, it sort of matches the sentiment I found in my research beforehand, which is that there are just a lot of people for whom the boots. Did not, not work. You know, you get a lot of people who are just like, should you do the bootcamp? Uh, it worked for me. And, you know, once I have a job in web development, which. Almost certainly have, you know, with not too much time left, you know, I feel like I'm on a good track and it, it, didn't not start with the bootcamp, this, this path that I'm on. I didn't like it. I think if I, like you said done, if I had had. Sort of framework together of what I should go research. I, and I had the drive, you know, it would have been very easy to learn everything I learned in the bootcamp, just online. I could've, I could've learned a lot more as I would have gone down a lot more rabbit holes than I did during a structured curriculum. Um, but in the end, I'm just going to end up being another one of these guys who's like, yeah. Uh, worked for. Uh, but I don't know if I really recommend it, unless you're sure that you're, you're super driven because it can end up being a financial nightmare. It can end up costing you a lot of time. Um, yeah. You just have to know that you want this and, uh, be sure that this, the easiest way to.

Robert McCabe:

Okay. And a few younger too. It's it's you should make that decision. I'm old. So I'm kind of banging my head against the wall a lot, because a lot of places don't want to hire me because of my age.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. Yeah. That can be a little bit more difficult. Um, and also the idea of like, just frankly, like the older you get, usually the more responsibilities they're going to have as well. Um, it's um, it can definitely be tough. My, my recommendation, so I. I guess I don't want to go deep into this topic, but what I do want to say is sometimes people get like really stuck with things like they try to combat, um, age-ism and discrimination in different forms and what I would be careful of. And I'm not saying you do it, but would I be careful? Yeah. You want to put your energy and focus into things you can control. Right. Um, and I know it's kind of like a set thing to say, but like the tech industry is moving in the right direction, in my opinion. Uh, it's pretty accepting. Um, and you're going to have a few companies that just. Kind of had really bad habits, let them weed themselves out of your life. Put the energy into growing you, right? Put the energy into growing as a software engineer, as a person, build your soft skills. You invest the energy into the right things, um, and not look at those external circumstances, um, that will you're, you're going to grow a lot faster and you're going to find a company that wasn't. For you? Um, because I, it said to say, cause I see a lot of people just with different things on LinkedIn. I know they're frustrated. I know they're trying to apply for jobs and everything. And you know, sometimes their entire Twitter feeds are just like focused on, you know, they just have a lot of complaints about the industry and hiring managers, et cetera. It's like, man, if you just like put that energy into building a complex project and like driving into something that's really going to help you grow, it's like, you're going to be so much better off with it. So, um, Yeah, I think that's my piece of advice with that. Um, that's it? Yeah. I think this is a good CA uh, I can't talk today. I started all throughout my entire life. It's a good conversation. It's a good talk. Um, so I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences. Uh, before we wrap up, let's do our outros. So for our outros, um, go ahead and shut yourself out. If you have social media, LinkedIn, you have a website, uh, we'll start with you.

Robert McCabe:

Okay. So I am on LinkedIn. My name is Robert McCabe. Of course you can contact me there. Um, also I'm on Twitter at, um, capital M capital, a capital C O D E R, uh, 62, which stands for middle-aged coder 62. Um, so that would be the best places to read.

Don Hansen:

Okay, perfect. How about you? Roger?

Rhodri Thomas:

You can find me on LinkedIn. Uh, Rhodri Thomas R H O D R I is how you spell that first name and then Thomas T O T H O M a S.

Don Hansen:

Sound skin. How about you in Manville? Uh,

Emanuel Tameklo:

LinkedIn is you're good. You're good. Um, I would say LinkedIn as well. I don't really do a lot of social media. I mean, I have social media, but I don't really use it to interact. I think weekend is probably. Most productive one. So I would, I would say, um, ever want to reach out to me to be on LinkedIn, uh, Eddie manual, tobacco, last name T a M E K a.

Don Hansen:

Alright, perfect. We'll reach out to them. If you have any questions, um, if you felt what they said was helpful. Let me know in the comments below. Uh, definitely appreciate all the comments. It helps boost a video in the algorithm gets in front of more people, but yeah, stick around for a couple of minutes, but Robert Rodriguez. Yeah. Thank you so much for coming on.