Sept. 6, 2021

Woz U Coding Bootcamp Review | Software Developer Program


Where to start.. We dove into so many great conversations around the curriculum, staff, and the most interesting part of their experiences - the group projects.. It sounds like many students had vastly different skill levels when it came time for the final group project. Once they opened up with their experiences with that, a lot more became revealed and we dove into many specific situations that described their experiences vividly. Enjoy!

Host and Guests:
Don Hansen - https://www.linkedin.com/in/donthedeveloper
Jonathan Alaniz - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanalaniz8816
Mailing Delgado - https://www.linkedin.com/in/mailing-delgado-medina

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Transcript
Don Hansen:

Welcome back to another podcast episode where we help aspiring developers get jobs and junior developers grow. We today are gonna be reviewing Wazu. Um, do they call themselves a coding bootcamp? They do the coding bootcamp. Yeah. All right. So we're gonna be reviewing this coding bootcamp and I invited on two graduates to give a full, transparent review, like usual. So let's go ahead and jump right into our intros. Um, it says Hayden, his name's John Hayden's his friend. So John, would you mind introducing yourself? Um, let us know when you graduated. Um, are you still looking for a position or did you find one and what was your old industry?

Jonathan Alaniz:

Awesome. So, yeah, my name's, uh, Jonathan Alana and, uh, I started wa U I graduated in August of 20, 19 of 2020. So that means I went, uh, I started in February of 2020, so I was about like eight months. And, um, yeah, uh, after I graduated from Wazu, I got into freelancing, got into some companies and stuff like that, mainly just contract stuff, but yeah, I'm looking for something like, you know, permanent, like a more high end company. And, um, before this I was working security

Don Hansen:

security for what,

Jonathan Alaniz:

um, it was, uh, at a community area, you know, it was like a gated community. So it was, uh, overnight and that worked out great for my schedule because I was doing graveyard shifts and I was just in a booth. So I would just take my laptop and work on homework.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Really cool. I remember working graveyard shifts can be a hard thing to get used to, but you do have a lot of free time depending on the position

Jonathan Alaniz:

and, uh, yeah, it has benefits . Don Hansen: Okay, cool. Thanks for sharing. Uh, how about you mailing? well,

Mailing Delgado:

my name is Lene Dega. I started at May, 2020. Um, I was supposed to finish around February, but it, it procrastinate a little bit because of my health. I was taking chemotherapy and as soon as I graduated, I, I wasn't able to get into a job quickly cuz I got pregnant. So, and then after that I got like around my, this year I started my master's. So I was, I'm more like focused on chart, sharping my skills more and preparing my portfolio. I just have like my final project that I did with side and I'm right now, what I'm doing is coding challenges and like preparing, um, modules for, for kids in Puerto Rico. Um, oh, there, they don't, they don't use as usual, like react or these kind of libraries or frameworks. So I've been calling the school where I, I did my, uh bachelor's and I'm in a group, uh, in the, in the software engineering group and Facebook, and I was doing some polls and looking like, what is their necessities or what they don't know. Um, and I was planning to start my own, uh, YouTube channel and try, like, try to teach and sharp my skills at the same time that I teach, learn myself a little bit more. Like it pushed me a little bit more to learn and I mentor students over there in Puerto Rico. That's what I'm actually doing.

Don Hansen:

all right. Cool. So why'd you pick this coding bootcamp? And we'll talk over each other a little bit

Mailing Delgado:

in the beginning. Yeah. Okay. So I picked up, um, this bootcamp because since I learned in my bachelor's just HTML CSS. And when I got to look for, uh, work or apply for jobs, I was looking at the requirements and I was like, Hey, I don't know, react. I don't know, angle, what is this? So I was like, what can I do to learn that? So I was looking around and Googling around. I was like, oh, and it popped up boot camps. And I was like, first, I was like, should I get into a bootcamp or should I try to do it alone? I was like, no, maybe I need a little bit of guidance. And I just jump into the bootcamp. Why this one? Well, I like the curriculum. And I was like, it was more flexible for me because of my condition since I was on treatment and I was having all this, uh, health problems. It was like more, more easy for me. The, the due dates for the assignments were Wednesday and Sunday. So they were not conflicting with my treatment or with my daughter's, um, uh, appointments either. So I was like, okay. So that's why I, it was more, more easier for me in this place. Other boot camps that were a little bit more intense, maybe for hours. And I was gonna not gonna be able to, to comply with the, the due dates of the assignments or whatever.

Don Hansen:

Okay. What about you, Jen?

Jonathan Alaniz:

Um, I had been coding for a little while before I had started. Um, I, I started off with Python, um, I, I was really interested in working with, um, these things called microbits. I don't know this. I, I had got this little thing and it allows you to code with Python. So I just started playing around with that. And, um, you know, once you get exposed to things like that, coding and languages, it just, you get opened up to a whole, you know, world. And I saw Wazu amongst the boot camps and all that. I saw that sci was local to where I live. So I just signed up for that. And I really liked the modules. It really made it great because it made it feel kind of like a game, you know? Hmm. You finish some module and you get a little points and those points add up and it, right. It, it shows you the, the progress that you're making. So it was, it worked out for me in my schedule.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Well, yeah, let's I guess, jump right into the curriculum and you could even expand more on that. Um, what do you guys learn? What do you think of the curriculum? Full

Jonathan Alaniz:

stack. I learned full stack.

Mailing Delgado:

Me too. I, I think it was like, it's very friendly and it's very, um, it's very, um, intense at the same time if you're a newbie, but if you have like more of a knowledge of so, uh, software development, it would be like more a continuing education. As I did, I already have like that basic knowledge of coding and it was like reinforcing the basics. And when I jump into the libraries and the frameworks, it was more like more intense for me, but it was good. I learned react. I like more react and angular personally. Um, yes, I already was familiar with sequel and it was the first time that I was see Mongo. Um, But, uh, when I finished my final project, I finished with fire race so I explore by myself, like another thing like that pushed me to learn other languages, always explore other libraries, but it was very challenging, but it was very, very, very great. Yeah. I learned a lot.

Jonathan Alaniz:

Yeah. React was a very important part of that. Um, I remember, yeah, that was, that was very important. Along with Java. They, they focused a lot on that as well,

Don Hansen:

so yep. They mention that, um, you basically learned best practices with an SBA single page application with either react or angular. Do you have a choice in the direction you go with your curriculum?

Mailing Delgado:

No, they, they teach both. Um, and when you do your final project, You pick up, what are you going to, um, uh, do for the front end, if you're gonna use angular or if you're gonna use react. And if you are gonna do the back end, you have to choose if you want Mongo, or if you want sequel or another type of database, but you have that choice when you do your final project when you graduate, but they teach you everything. ACOs, three dogs, everything. Yeah.

Jonathan Alaniz:

You didn't have to like, it's very, the waterfall method they teach you. Like, you know, all of that stuff, how to be agile and everything, a little bit of career services. So they try to teach you like everything that has to do with being a developer or at least a full stack developer.

Don Hansen:

And how many hours per day did you invest in this program?

Jonathan Alaniz:

As much as you can? I think that's

Mailing Delgado:

personally, I, I call it every. I still code every day. And I think that the coolest part and what it was, what captured my eye more is that it was you for life. So you have access to the dashboard for life. And when you, when you gonna do the course with mentors and with instructor, you pick up which language you want. For example, I picked up Java script when I finish and graduated Java script. Um, and once I finish and everything was done, I had a choice. If you wanna add more languages or more modules that there for free, you don't have to pay them and it's for free. So I added C sharp. I added Java and you can add Ruby. and they added that. Those, you do it on your own pace with no instructors, but they have the whole curriculum there. And you just go in, you can do that after you graduate from that language per se. So when it comes to JavaScript, you have, they teach you front end, backend everything. And the only thing when you, when they add those models, for example, for C sharp, or for Java is only front end and backend what they add, they don't add like, um, database or none of that because they already teach you that.

Don Hansen:

Okay. So there's a lot to unpack here. Let's take this one step at a time. Um, I definitely have a lot of questions. So what was, what was the actual expectation? It sounds like it was a little bit self-paced potentially, but I mean, it says 33 weeks. So there is some sort of pace, like what. Was there expect expectation of the number of hours you would invest each week?

Jonathan Alaniz:

They would mention about two hours, 22. They, they would say if you could, yeah. Invest at least two hours a day.

Don Hansen:

Okay. So 22 hours, um, would you say most students would, uh, I guess spend 22 hours per week or spend more than that? I think a lot of

Jonathan Alaniz:

people struggle with meeting, like at least an hour, a day. A lot of times it would be tough for some people, some of my teammates would barely get the code, you know? Are there any, every other

Don Hansen:

day? Yeah. Okay. Are, are there any pair programming sessions or group sessions where you're working with other students

Jonathan Alaniz:

at the end? Yeah. At the end we can work with, well, for me at the very end we have a group. . Mailing Delgado: Yeah. So that's the final, that's the final project. If you have, like, if they pair you with someone that is finishing your, that language at the same is gonna graduate with you. If you're, if not, you do your project alone, but you don't do exercises like a peer programming, the slack is open. If you wanna reach out to anyone, when they, when the instructors put up the workshops, there's what random people come in. And when you're special and whatever, sometimes you can see the names of the person. If you wanna reach out, you slack them up. And, but they don't like pair program. You don't do pair programming per se. Okay.

Don Hansen:

So my concern is, um, John, you had mentioned that some people would barely even be able to invest an hour a day in, right. And so with almost, it almost sounds. Semi self-paced program, potentially like you could end up with people gradu or getting closer to graduation when you end up with that portfolio project at the end, like I can almost see people having different skill levels there being a huge mismatch in people having to carry others. Is that yeah. A reality

Jonathan Alaniz:

that could, that was my biggest problem. Honestly, my biggest problem towards the end was that they didn't allow me to showcase like my project by myself. Like I had to be in a group. So that sucked because I, yeah, I was paired out with people that I felt didn't really, they definitely did not put as much time into it. They themselves admitted that they didn't work as much on it, but we all got the same grade. And uh, you know, I did most of the full stack application, you know, I feel like you agree, right.

Mailing Delgado:

Mainly. Yes, I, I, it happened the same thing to me. Um, It was, I think it was kind of selfish. I was the scrum master of the project. Okay. And it was tough. Like I was, at that time, I was doing my treatments, being pregnant and dealing with my health condition, having two jobs. I was working customer service at that time. Yeah. And I was, you know, helping my, my sister in Puerto Rico too, um, with some stuff, you know, and projects and stuff like that. Um, and it was like kind of hard and everybody was complaining about their time of the, I was at least having the, the, the meetings one, one day of the week and everybody, they were complaining. We were different time zones I'm in Eastern time. So that was kind of a tricky part, but no one was working just one of the girls. I think the, the girls that had two girls at that. She was a little bit more helpful, like, okay, I don't know how, I don't know how to do this. I did it in HTML and I was, I used to take the HTML and translate it and react. And I was doing the backend alone. So I, I got a little bit stuck and I, the end, when they told me, oh, you wanna showcase two career services? I said, no. I was like, I'm not gonna showcase something that is incomplete. If a potential employer were jump in what we're gonna, uh, showcase, I wanna showcase something good. You only have six weeks to do that final project. And I felt that it wasn't complete it. Wasn't doing what I wanted to do. So I talked to another instructor and I said, Hey, I wanna showcase, uh, showcase my project alone. So I, I started to build like a clone. I was watching a. Like a tutorial, how to build clone. So I took that tutorial, but I added more pages. I added, uh, payments and I would build, I build like a commerce app, um, comparing like the Amazon clone, but adding features of my own. And that's what I showcase. So that's where I really did because if not, I wouldn't never do my, my presentation to career services. Okay.

Don Hansen:

It really, I mean, it really feels like you kind of carried the weight a bit, um, at the end there and I mean, kudos to both of you. I think it probably made you quite a bit stronger. I'm sure it required quite a lot of hours. Uh,

Jonathan Alaniz:

that definitely made me feel more confident as a developer. I made a, uh, just a blog so people could, you know, make posts and all that, but they had to make accounts. At to use like eclipse and it was all based out of Java. So I had to do like everything by myself, like the NBC, the back end, that's where I started from. Cause I like using the back end of the database, connecting them. Um, and my teammates were supposed to work on react. That was what my other teammate was supposed to do. And the other teammates, cause there was only three of us. He was supposed to basically help connect all of it together. Right. And just provide support. They kept same thing, kept complaining about, um, their time and all that. And it's interesting. It sounds like we were put in like groups of the same age or same demographic cuz they were all guys that were about my age. Um, I don't know if, how your team was comprised of, but these guys were complaining about time and you know, saying that they couldn't make it. But I mean we're all busy, you know, every, no one has that much free time and you know, they just

Mailing Delgado:

didn't help out. yeah, for me, it was kind of crazy because like, when we had our first meeting, everybody was like, yeah. So I, everybody had a task, you know, like, okay, you're gonna deal with the database. I'm gonna, I'm gonna do the database. You're gonna start working with the front end. So me and such, we are gonna work with the back end and when it, okay, so I'll see you on Friday. So I was always looking at the camp band board and looking at, uh, GitHub. And I didn't know, I wasn't seeing no, no, no one pushing code. No one knew how to push code. So I had to, um, be going into each other's computer to push up the code so they can see that this girl and that girl and the other one were pushing code, but they never pushed the code. It was me. That was like, okay, check your screen. Okay. Gimme. Uh, gimme permission. So I can, so that was the, the, that was how it got done, because like, nobody was, what do you have done? Oh, I couldn't do this. I was like, wow, no,

Jonathan Alaniz:

that happens so often. Yeah, that happens very often where they just, you know, the, the time comes say, you, you, we try to schedule it like almost every, every few days. So, you know, two days off. And then one day we have a meeting two days off and then we have a meeting. Um, and every time that we have a meeting, they just would say that they were still working on it or that there were some bugs, but then they had this, you know, they would just show me what they had and me as a developer. And, you know, everything that I was told is like, look, if it doesn't work and if we can't apply it, then it doesn't even count we're bottlenecked at this point, cuz you didn't actually deliver the deliverable like what you were supposed to deliver. So that was my issue is that I would just get a bunch of like, oh, let's, let's try this. Or you know what let's let's uh, Start from, you know, this other project or this other aspect of the site and we never could be cohesive. It was,

Don Hansen:

yeah, that can, that can be really frustrating. Um, and I would even, I would even, well, I would argue that I hope neither of you ever have to be on a team like that. Um, sometimes it will happen, but, um, it sounds like there was a very different, uh, gap and skill level between, and even just availability and time between what both of you had to do and what others could provide as well. Um, I, I mean, it sounds like, you know, mailing, you really didn't even get the project done on time to be able to present it. And you had to spend extra time afterwards to like really work on it and get it to a point where you actually felt good about it. Um, but I, I wanna expand on this, um, because like I said, there's a lot of things to touch on here. So it was mentioned, um, John, that, so you had kind of built a Java at backend. Was there any chance that people. Could have chosen a different backend language and got to that project work point and not really was able to help you out with anything cuz maybe they learned JavaScript and know JS or did everyone learn the Java at backend or how was that organized?

Jonathan Alaniz:

Um, at the time when we were taking the course, it really, because that's what we learned. It felt like that was the only backend that we could use. You know? Uh, in theory I could have tried using a Java script, but it just wasn't in, in realms in terms of what we had worked on during the modules. Okay. It really felt like they wanted us to use Java in particular, you know? And the thing is like now as a developer it's been a year and I've learned other languages I've worked on like other platforms. I would use a different language now. I, I probably wouldn't use Java cause I'm more of a web developer now, but at the time we used Java, that's what they wanted us to.

Don Hansen:

okay. So it sounds like they're a little bit cohesive with at least trying to prepare you with the similar stack. That's important, um, in terms of the frameworks. Um, so if, if people were actually dedicating 22 hours, at least each week and they picked up, you know, react and angular, um, it's, it's gonna be a little bit tough when you're learning JavaScript and then two different frameworks with Java on the back end. It's a lot to push in 33 weeks. Um, even with like 21, 22, 23, up to 25 hours per week. Um, it's, it's a part-time program. So to cram all of that in, do you feel like the people that you worked with on the projects might, um, might have had their. knowledge spread too thin because you learned react and angular and it was trying to teach you the program was trying to teach you a variety of things to get exposure versus depth.

Jonathan Alaniz:

I think so. I mean, I think that, but then at the same time, I feel like that's just kind of what they were trying to blame it on. You know, myself and my other teammates were saying, we would say that they taught us a little bit of, of everything without really diving in. That's what we said at first, you know, but the thing is once I really like feverishly had to work on this project cause the deadline was coming up, you know, once I was like getting really scared, you know, like the deer with the headlights and whatnot, I crammed that knowledge that they showed, you know, I really dove into the modules and there's more into it. I will give 'em that there's a lot more into it than, than you keep in mind, you know? Cause it's so much information. Right. So that's one benefit is. I mean, you have that information for life, but when you're initially going through the program, it is very difficult, cuz there's just so much information to, to pack, like you're saying. So yeah. That's why most people try to just stick to the database or they try to pair you up with someone that prefers front end because um, they know that it's gonna be tough for someone to make a full stack application. Um, but at the same time, I mean, I, I don't wanna brag, but I did that. Like I said, like I had to cram it in. I don't even remember that day. Cause it was just pure energy drinks and just working and just tutorials and all that. But I made a full stack application and just wanna say, they said that by myself, I would've gotten 94 and with the little extra work that my other teammates did, they gave us two extra points. So it was a 96, you know, but it was just like, you know, it felt kind of bad. I wish I would've just been able to do it. I mean, present to myself, but yeah.

Mailing Delgado:

What I really did. I did a, a new project. Like I didn't, I didn't pick up the old one and like added no, since we were working three people on that one, I respected that. So I did something a whole lot different, I pick up a new project and I took it from there. Yeah. Okay. I

Jonathan Alaniz:

got you. I, I, we initially wanted to do, to do a blog, so I just kept with it, but I get what you're saying. Cause I actually started from scratch. You know, I just, I just started from scratch and I mean, it gets easier right. When you do it over and over. So, but yeah, I did the same thing.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Um, interesting program. Um, it, it sounds like as far as, um, the whole program, they try to keep you at least have consistent knowledge. Um, do you have. um, do you have tests that like tests that you have to pass between modules? Do you say you really don't know enough information to go onto the next section?

Mailing Delgado:

There are like questions of the, is there like little questions that you, you answer the questions and then you have like hands on. Those are the ones that the mentors, um, raise you.

Jonathan Alaniz:

Yeah. Those are like the tests, like the projects that you have to complete.

Don Hansen:

How do people that have only spent like an hour every other day, pass those tests and get to the final project?

Mailing Delgado:

Oh, they can grade you like a, a, B, C, D, or maybe have an app. You know, it's like, it's like the same grading as a school. So if you don't pass, you don't pass, that's it. And you have to retake the model.

Jonathan Alaniz:

yeah, I'd retake it. They'll help you out with that. But people do struggle. I know that some people struggle with even just setting up their environment. Um, sometimes their computer acts up, so there'd be people that just would not turn stuff in, but they're very lenient at first. They would, they would let you like turn in even like, uh, like text, like through like text, uh, code, you know, through like notepad or whatever of, of the code, if you couldn't get your environment to run. So, yeah. Tough.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Um, I, I guess I have one more question. I kind of have a summary. Um, I'm solidifying some things in my head. Um, when you started picking up frameworks, when you started diving into more complex libraries, do you feel like you were able to pick them up pretty quickly cuz you had a good, solid understanding of the fundamentals? How well do they do at teaching those fundamentals?

Mailing Delgado:

well, personally me, uh, since I had an idea, it wasn't that hard, but when it got to framework like with ANR, it was a mess

Jonathan Alaniz:

with anger. Um, yeah, I mean, at, at first I struggled with, uh, with learning like the, like the program, whatnot, but once it, like, I got into it into the habit of everything and just learning the fundamentals, it did become easier. They were pretty good with that. Like stacking the, the modules on top of each other. So that like, once you pass the fundamentals, you know, the kind of how to just keep learning and learning other languages. That was one thing that I remember that my mentor would tell me a lot. He was like, don't focus so much on being a pro at one language or learning everything about one language. The, the goal is to be able to just pick up a language as you go along and just make something out of it, make little changes and all of that. That's, that's the key.

Don Hansen:

I okay. That, that philosophy is true, but if you can't, even, if you can't even get people to like, get a solid understanding of the foundations where they're incredibly struggling with picking up, even just like building something with react on the front end and they can't even keep up with something like that, it almost feels like they're jumping too quickly and the modules aren't very cohesive. Um, yeah.

Jonathan Alaniz:

That's I definitely see that. Yeah. So you would need to do like more, it does fall on the person, because I think the only way to really succeed is you have to go beyond the modules. You have to actually take your time and do more of the projects. And that's the way I succeeded. Like everyone else that was struggling was because they barely did the modules, but it it's like you're saying like any developer that really like has developed project or a website, they know. You're gonna have to, to really go above like test yourself.

Don Hansen:

I, I think, I think I'm trying to, um, I think I'm trying to solidify really what I think of this program. Um, and it, it does feel like, um, people might start getting a little bit lost towards the end. I don't know what's happening during the program for that to happen. I get a feeling it's because they're not, they don't have a hard requirement on the time commitment. That's like, that's really the main thing that I'm seeing. Um, what, what do you think of your instructors and mentors? Do you feel like they give people enough support throughout the program

Jonathan Alaniz:

now that I've like gotten out of the program and I've kind of seen more of the dev, like the actual developer world and cuz I didn't even really know that there were so many boot camps until after I graduated. And I saw that. Right. Right. And, and I saw that it's like a whole business like this, you see that there's a whole bunch of people like me, that they go through these thinking, they, they promise that you'll get a job and all of this, you know, you get out and you don't get as much support. You know, they, they do hype it up when you're in the program and they promise you all this help. But once you do graduate, like I, I just messaged them. This is the third time I messaged them for career help. And, uh, they just haven't responded the first time. I actually got a pretty good job. Um, and that was a contracted thing. When a contract was up, I hit them, I hit them up a second time and they said they got a company. That company actually never called me or emailed me or anything. And then this is the third time I've asked for help and they just haven't even responded yet. And so it's, you know, how

Don Hansen:

long has it

Jonathan Alaniz:

been? It's been about a.

Don Hansen:

okay. It's kind of long. Um, do they, like, if you wanted to get feedback on your resume or cover letters, something like that, would you be able to reach out to them even to check even maybe check your LinkedIn profile? They they're

Jonathan Alaniz:

try to help you with all of that at the beginning. Um, okay. You know, they'll help you with your resume and they try to, but that's, that's the one thing, like when you're going through the program, all you have is the little projects that you've done all the little, like hello, world things, and, you know, stuff like that. It's not, you don't really have much to go off of. And I I've seen that, especially trying to apply for certain companies. Is that like, it's not enough.

Mailing Delgado:

Yeah. What I did mostly too was I was trying to reach out to, to the carrier services they got, uh, to me later, but. I, I got into my stuff. I already had my LinkedIn profile. Right. Uh, built up a long time ago, but, um, it was like kind of hard. And when it got to the time that I was looking and scrolling in the, in the, in the LinkedIn I saw was U enterprise. So when I found about was U enterprise, I was like, let me try to check if they have, you know, maybe some, like, let me try to look by myself. Like, I'm an outsider. And I tried like, to look for, apply for a job. They were like, yeah, like we can help you when they, she was like, when I call and everything else, and the girl like answered me, she was like, uh, you have a bachelor you're overqualified. Even though if you graduated from our program, I was like, what? And she was like, yeah, because it's for, we have positions only for apprentice that only have. Um, associate's degree and whatever it can, you know, or maybe a, a lower, um, maybe a, a certificate or something like that. And whatever hours they do, unless you will be applied as, um, as credit for a bachelor's. So since you already have a bachelor's, I was like, no, and you know, so you're, I was like, what? Yeah, that's messed up. I was like, oh,

Jonathan Alaniz:

that sounds like an excuse, you know, like they were just, yeah, just making up excuses because I mean, you're just because you're overqualified doesn't mean that you don't deserve what you have paid for, you know, and what you, what they, you signed up for that. And that's what they agreed to help you with was to find a.

Mailing Delgado:

Yeah, I, I just, I just, I was like, Hey, you know, I'm overqualified. Can I maybe another position? Or it's like, no, but first they were like, yeah, we have some positions. Oh, but you, I see you have a badge. Or I was like, okay,

Jonathan Alaniz:

no, I don't, I don't really think that they even have, um, positions like they're talking about, or if they do, um, it's just random, random jobs on indeed. Perhaps, you know, maybe that's their leads and stuff like that is, is the same thing that you can get if you just apply on indeed or monster or zip recruiter or any of those, it, maybe they it's the same thing because like at first the job that I got right away and they even sounded surprised that's what was sketchy to me was they were surprised that I got the job. Um, this, this man had called me up asking to help him with an app that he had in mind. And, uh, this, this was sketchy from the beginning to the end. It was. He had an idea for app. So this wasn't a legitimate company. This was just something he had, he had saved up money for. And, um, yeah, they through was U they helped me sign on with him and it was, it was horrible. I mean, it was probably one of the worst, like I've, I've freelanced since then, but that was one of the worst, like contracts I've ever had. This guy was not a good employer. It was, it was horrible. They should have either checked it out more or whatnot, but I was pretty much just getting berated. Like it was, it was a bad experience and it sucked because I, I dealt with it even through like, when I was telling Wazu about like the, the verbal stuff that was going on, it was just putting, it was just a lot, like he was putting me down. He, he himself didn't care for technology though. It was a weird dynamic. Um, and was you, they were at first very supportive saying you're like, um, what's it called when you're like the cover person or whatever, you know, like the poster child or whatever. Like you went through the program, you got top scores and you got into a company that's giving you starting pay 50 K a year. And so they're like, you're like our poster child. And I was even trying to get more people from the school into the company. And when I told 'em about that, Wazu was like, they were talking to me like I was their family or this and that. They even kind of used that verbiage whenever they would email me saying like, oh, we'd love to, you know, video you and put you on our website. Um, so that we can show people your success story and this and that. Well, after weeks and weeks of like dealing with this guy, like he, no matter what I did, I would use Google maps, APIs to help him on his website. I would make icons custom made for him. He never appreciated each of those. He thought it was easy. He thought like it was just a drag and drop kind of thing. He didn't understand that I was using vanilla code to create his custom. and after a while, like, like I just couldn't handle that anymore. And, uh, we just, like, didn't just kind of stopped, you know, it wasn't even a, a legitimate company from anyways and after that was, you just never responded after that. So, yeah, that was all happened.

Don Hansen:

So you're, first of all, I'm, I'm really sorry that happened to you, John. Um, you're describing a situation that isn't super common. But it does happen to aspiring developers that are just trying to get their foot in the door. And it is 100% and it was 100% was U's responsibility to screen that out. If they tried to bridge that gap and introduce you and connect you. Um, I hope, I hope they learn from it because it sounds like when it didn't go their way, they kind of just pulled back and maybe got a little bit salty. I don't know what was said or done behind closed doors. Neither do you. All we can do is assume, but you can, you know, what you're expressing is they kind of pulled back a little bit and that's the feeling that you got. And so that, to me, um, that's a red flag. And I, I think ultimately like the coding bootcamp, when they're gonna charge this amount of money, they, they take, they step up and take the place of kind of your, your coach, your mentor. And they, yeah. You know, if they are gonna be taking that much money from you, they should be with you until the end, until you finally get that job that you're looking for. And, you know, they didn't, they connected you with someone that could have easily tainted your experience. You could have just quit being a developer and said, screw this. Like, I don't, I don't wanna deal with this, you know? And, um, I, I, I do, I do think that's a red flag. I, I hope they take this seriously. Cause I can guarantee you any staff at coding boot camp, they all watch my videos, at least a few of them. Um, Wazu you really screwed up with that one, um, career services and that mentorship, once you graduate, that's incredibly important and yeah, I'm surprised. Um, , I would be curious if other people have stories like that. Um, but this is something that's easily fixable. Um, I'm, I'm just gonna provide some quick feedback. I have a couple other questions, but, um, you know, like it is incredibly important. I think this program is a really important example of when you have, especially the longer the program is when you have so many students going through it and you don't do real checks of where their skill level is to make sure everyone's on the same page, hold more people back. If you need to figure out a pricing model that allows you to do that. But if you don't have everyone on the same page, this is a long program, uh, this many months, um, for them to like, for people to. Uh, struggle this much with the projects and, you know, barely be able to work with reactor angular, front end framework. Um, like if you're saying these things, other students are probably, they had those experiences, most students just don't speak up about these negative experiences. So like a quick fix for this is to figure out a system and maybe it is in your pricing model to be able to accommodate this, to just make sure everyone's on the same page going forward. This is a long program. You don't do that. Like everything goes downhill. Uh, like I've seen this with other programs. This is a huge problem that coding bootcamps need to solve. And if they don't solve it, your story is hardly the only one. It's actually a very common story among coding boot camps. Um, that is, I, I, I think these are easy fixes and I think I would be curious about what the culture is like, because it doesn't sound like they. I, I mean, it honestly doesn't sound like they care about every individual. And I think, um, like for them to put so much attention into you being the poster child and, you know, wanting to do a video with you and all that attention, then all of a sudden that gets cut off. That is a bad culture, in my opinion. That's

Jonathan Alaniz:

what sucks that that's what kind of sucks more than anything. Like if they would've kept it consistent, I, would've not felt, I think as like, you know, upset about it, but it was the immediate shift, you know, between like prai me and wanting to include me and everything they do to just being like later on, I, I had a problem, like there was a company that wanted, like trying to hire. And they sent me a, a problem that was just very, very tough. It was just extremely difficult. So I asked them for help, you know, I, I just submitted it through their slack channel. I, I figured that's something very basic. I hadn't actually never done that before. Cuz I had just been freelancing. I did everything myself, but I figured, you know, that's like, they're supposed to help me with this and it's part of the career services thing. Right. So I sent the problem and all they sent me was all, all they told me was just, um, that it looks very tough, good luck. Like I kid you not like, okay. I mean, if I respect the honesty, cuz it was tough, but I mean, it was like, dude, like if you guys aren't even as qualified, you know, I mean like what's going on? Like it, it was really weird.

Don Hansen:

Well let me ask you this. Were they trying to stay outta that problem because that's on you to solve it?

Jonathan Alaniz:

I don't think so. I really, I really think that it was because like, and I, I'm not saying that I'm super skilled, like it's just that I put a lot of time into coding and I like it a lot. So I would, I was good at it. There was, I could make landing pages almost as soon as I started. And I like, instead of like, for example, when I was working with CSS, I kind of cheated a bit because I used percentages instead of like, like em or pixels, I would use percentages when I would style things a lot. And so it made it reactive, you know, I could go from mobile to desktop. So I would do that from the beginning without being taught. And, um, it would surprise the teachers and they would even say there was stuff that I was doing that they didn't know about. And after I graduated, I was, it made me wonder just how skilled they were, you know, just how skilled my mentors and teachers were. If they thought that, you know, what I was doing back then was impressive. That's actually basic stuff, you know, like, and, uh, and the fact that they couldn't help me with those problems just made it even more. Like it made me just more like upset or just wondering, like, how skilled are they actually,

Don Hansen:

did they go ahead? Mailing?

Mailing Delgado:

it happened to me with angular, uh, with one mentor. And I asked to the director to switch mentors really for another person. Yeah. Because there was another mentor that I was always asking for help or other mentors. Everybody used to answer my questions and I got something in the code that it was okay. And she graded it wrong because instead of putting on, uh, single code, I put double code and when you're gonna do a string, you can do it either with single, with double code, doesn't matter. It, it, string is a string. You, you can use whatever you want for a string. And she was like, no, is that correct? Because you didn't put the, the single code. I was like that the code is running

Jonathan Alaniz:

as far as I, the code is running. Yeah. As far as I remember from what they taught us, is that as long as it's running, that's what they taught us. Cuz stuff like what you're saying, I've heard of that. I've heard of like, you know, best PR I mean like best practices. Right. But they didn't really focus on that as much. So that's weird that they.

Mailing Delgado:

It just be, oh, she was like, she was like, no, like you have to do it exactly as I have it. Like, I was like, it's running, it's running. It is working perfectly what you're talking about. And she granted me a C I was like, what? So I was like, no, you know, I'm not comfortable with this mentor. I need you to switch me to another person like this such and such is, are the people that are helping me either. Either of them, I will be comfortable with it. Um, so, and that's what they did. I, I, I shouted out to the director and she was like, yeah, don't worry. I will place you with someone else. And when I was, and I was thinking, because when I was, uh, talking earlier about the, was your enterprise, that I try to get for a job and I was overqualified, and they're looking for apprentice for the positions. So I was like, oh, that's why, because the apprentice are the ones that are taking the mentorship jobs and they don't really know what they're doing, you know? And they don't, they're not hiring experienced people or maybe people that have a little bit of more skills for, for those positions when you're mentoring someone, you know,

Don Hansen:

I'm just, I I'm solidifying a lot of this. All right. So, um, let me, let me ask you this. Did your original mentor when she graded your application and give you a bad grade because of those quotes, maybe a couple of other things. Did they, did she explain why you needed to use single quotes versus double quotes? Did she dive into why it was a convention?

Mailing Delgado:

No, she just, she just braided me. She just only said I was, I just only asked her like, why I do I have a C if I know that the code is alright, No, because you use double quotes instead of single quotes. I was like, it doesn't matter. It's working. Yeah. But it's wrong because you didn't do the single quotes. You did the double quotes, that's it. She just, I was like, but you cannot grade me because of that, of the single quote is string is a string and it's working. Yeah. And the code is organized. It is. I commended, I always commit my, my code. So I was like, you know, no, it's not, you know, you don't, you can raise somebody a C because if I say, if they were like trying to, um, focus or highlight more that in that, um, certain problem, like what kind of post do you need to use? And da LA that's different, but it was like, build this. And it was building something. It was like a, like a portfolio card. So I built my portfolio card, but since I didn't use the single quote, I did cheat didn't she was like, no. So another person, another mentor, he was like, it's perfect. What's wrong here? I was like, I was, I just only said, uh, I'm gonna send you my code. Can you check if it's okay? Yeah. What's the problem with it. It's perfect. Okay. So my mentor, but why is, is perfect. I was like, I don't know what's going on. Yeah. You know, so I was like, kind of like that, that got me very mad. Yeah. There's like, no, I'm paying for somebody. If I'm paying for someone to teach me and I'm paying 13, you know, $30,000 for the program, I expect. People they're highly qualified to mentor me, you know? Yeah. Not some kid, if I want like a kid to mentor me, I can go to a community and I will learn even a little bit. You know what I mean? A little bit more. So if I'm paying a, a ton of money and you know, what's going on with this, what's going on with that, you know, I got a little bit back of that. And for services first, I had a person that was gonna reach me out. And then another person got in like, Hey, that person's no longer with her with us. Um, so now I'm gonna be your career service manager, blah, blah, blah. So they reached out, um, I have a position as a mentor, but I will let you know. So literally like two months passed and never, I was like, Hey, um, don't get my, my hooks up if. If you're gonna gimme the position or it's not available, just let me know now we'll move on. But you know, usually when you look for a job, it's, if someone, they, the first day they ask you, are you, did you apply it another place or whatever. So I'm, you know, what if they say, yeah, come on and work with me in the other position, you know, I cannot work at two places at the same time. So, so I, I feel that for your services, they need a little bit of more, more, um, yeah. Better services

Jonathan Alaniz:

yeah. And plus it's like you're saying, they, it doesn't feel like they have a real structured grading system because, you know, at first you could get hun like pure hundreds and hundreds from these modules that it's just kind of like, like any other module, like solo learn or hack or rank, or a lot of these modules where it's just a few little like quizzes stuff. And you pass it at the end and then it's just an AU, it's an automatic a hundred, but you know, those hundreds stack up. And I guess once it gets to a part where, you know, you, you get tested on certain things like that, like how you're saying, like little single quotes or double quotes, it's weird because they'll, they'll grade you in a weird, it happened to me too, where like I got a lower grade than what I wanted on something. And they said, well, it's fine. Like you have a bunch of hundreds. So you know, it, it works out and it, it just, it doesn't feel good. Like that's very professional, you know? Yeah.

Don Hansen:

I, um, I think, I think the grading system needs a lot of, I. We we've touched on a few things that need work. I think the grading system, it, it feels like they're leaning on a very strict rubric. I mean, this is where a grading system that grades your growth as a software engineer starts breaking down. When you wanna become a software engineer that becomes a problem solver, you have to break away. Um, and you know, even computer science grads need to work on this. They need to break away and learn, um, kind. I mean, you'll learn how to work on different teams, but you need to learn applicable skills and throw yourself into solving a real problem with a real technical solution and a lot of computer science grads when they graduate, you know, they're all of a sudden realizing I don't really have a portfolio of actual projects to showcase. And like, I don't know, um, up to date skills necessarily. And so, you know, when you're told that you're as a software engineer, when you're growing, you got an, a, you got an, a, you got an, a, you're doing an awesome job. Um, like when you have a, this bad of a grading system, it makes you feel like you are progressing and, you know, getting you to code more and more, eventually you will become a software engineer as long as you don't give up, but right, right. Students need that feedback. Early it's okay. To be critical, but like explain, explain if you're gonna enforce conventions, like the single versus double quote. Just explain it. It's okay to teach you that mailing. But if you're just saying, well, now you just get a bad grade cuz you, you didn't use the double quote or the single quiz like that doesn't help anyone that doesn't teach a software engineer. Why conventions even matter? It's like, yeah. So this is where the grading system like disturbs to breakdown. I think it's horrible. I think software engineers, this is my personal opinion that I'm injecting into this conversation, but it kind of elaborates on what you're saying. Software engineers need to break away from the traditional educational model. They need to apply their skills constantly as they learning fundamentals towards actual projects that solve real problems because that as a professional software engineer is what you do. You are a problem solver, and you mentioned this idea, oh, you should be able to pick up, or they had taught that you should be able to just pick up a language when you needed it. That is true, but they haven't even gotten past that first step of teaching. You know, like, well, what are all like, why do these popular conventions exist in Java? Why do these popular conventions exist in angular? And like really at least dive into a little bit of depth, especially with fundamentals. So you understand why all these frameworks are getting built, what problems they actually solve, why these conventions are enforced. Like, it sounds like they're, they kind of just have, you know, instructors or mentors that are grading based on this arbitrary rubric. And there there's a, there's a separation there that they need to solve for. . Jonathan Alaniz: Yeah, I don't feel they like how, how I was mentioning. They, they make it sound like you're gonna get a job, you know, at Google or something, right after making a, like your little portfolio page and stuff like that. But it's like, you're saying they focus more on just the grades and I guess on getting your hopes up or making you feel like you're really developing, but they don't really throw out usable projects, you know, like making you, like having you make a landing page or, you know, learning how to deploy, learning how to set up a hosting environment, you know, so that you can actually have something that you can share to people. They never mentioned hosting or deployment. They, I never heard of blue host or hosting Gator or any of these hosting providers that would've allowed the us to make an actual website. We kind of just used like AWS, you know, and kind of just made it like instances so we can make like a mock website, but these weren't actual dot coms. So it would've been nice if we learned like real world. Like web development. Well, to be fair, I mean, learning host. So you basically hosted your website on AWS.

Jonathan Alaniz:

Uh, when I went, when we went through the core kinda, yeah, we used something like that. Like some, it was some weird thing. It was, I don't know how to describe it.

Mailing Delgado:

The EC three,

Jonathan Alaniz:

C three, yeah, the EC three. They basically it's like, they paid, you had like $17 in this account. And for every like minute that this fake site was up, it was drawing from that account, but you didn't have to pay for that. It was just was you provided that. Um, and you could, you know, use, you could put this little URL and it'll take you to the actual website, but it was just a string of letters and random characters and that you would put into the URL and it would take you there if

Don Hansen:

something. Okay. So what you're saying is that it didn't really look professional because he didn't help you link up a domain with it. yeah.

Jonathan Alaniz:

Yeah. It didn't like, yeah, it didn't link up a domain with it. It was, it looked more like what they used to test out by websites, but yeah, they didn't, they didn't describe, like, I would've loved if they would've talked more in depth about that. Like how to, when I asked them about that, cuz they just taught us how to make stuff through visual studio code. Right. And visual studio code makes up a remote, um, environment. And when I asked my mentor, how do you actually have a.com? Like say I wanna have my name.com. How do I do that? They had no, they really couldn't tell me they had no idea how to do that. And I had to teach myself how to make my own portfolio on my own website.

Don Hansen:

Okay. What, so I'm gonna ask two questions. Um, and these are the two final questions. What would be one piece of advice that you would give. For people considering Wazu to be successful in Wazu and come out job ready

Mailing Delgado:

code code every day, practice a whole lot. And you have to look for more resources and read a lot, read a lot of documentation. That's the only way. Yeah,

Jonathan Alaniz:

my is. If, if you don't work for tech company already say you're just working a regular job and you've never really coded before and you enter this boot camp. Don't don't think that, you know, within eight months you're gonna be ready to go out there and freelance or go out there and get hired and stuff like that. It, I definitely feel like it takes time and you need to have projects. You need to have portfolios like your picture, your name, your bio, your work, that you've done. Examples of different work that you've done. At least like five good projects, and then that's a good portfolio. Ha you need to have stuff like that before you can even start trying to freelance before you can even start trying to apply to these companies. So, you know, don't, don't listen to any of these boot camps that tell you that it's that easy to get into a, a, you know, a company that has like six figures or a high and five figure salary. Um, yeah, no, that's, you're right. That's not a reality. Okay.

Don Hansen:

I think that's really good advice. Um, I think that's good. I, I think that gives a holistic picture and more importantly, um, it gives people questions to ask. Every person deserves to know what to be aware of. and these are all questions to challenge admissions with Wazu. These are, if they can't even handle these types of questions, you know, like that's, that's a big issue. So I think all of these are really good questions. Um, it does feel like Wazu seems a little bit newer. I couldn't even find them on course report, but I did just look quickly. Um, it seems like they have very few reviews on career karma. I don't know if they're still trying to get their stuff together, but they are charging. Uh, it looks like on career karma. It mentions 13,200. Is that accurate? Yep. Okay. So $13,200. Um, this is a shit show, um, just to put it bluntly. And I say that because I, I care about the students. I, I think they're mismanaging the program. Um, And I, I don't know if they're taking that feedback. Well, I don't know if they're replacing mentors. I don't know if they're, um, you know, replacing career services because you know, maybe the career services they're overworked, maybe they're replacing them because they realize it was a bad hire and the, you know, they're not really helping people, you know, so I don't know what's going on behind closed doors. Maybe they're making an attempt to make this program better, you know, fingers crossed. That's what I'm hoping for. I think that's what a lot of students are hoping for. Um, but it sounds like they have a lot of work to do. And, you know, at a $13,000 price tag, they deserve to hear that $13,000 is a lot of money to ask from anyone. Um, okay. But other than that, um, I thought that was good. Final, uh, final piece of advice. Um, do either of you have anything else to add real quick as we get closer to the end of the podcast?

Mailing Delgado:

Don't have, I think that this pro I think that this program is more focused maybe on people that already have maybe a degree or have even coding knowledge. But if you're a newbie, it's gonna be super difficult. Like when you get to the back end or maybe when you get to even libraries or framework, like react or angular, it's gonna be super tough. Okay.

Jonathan Alaniz:

Yeah. And, um, I just wanna say that if anybody needs a website or anything like that, I'm always open to freelance. The is John Alans and my website is, uh, nuo.tech. So it's N U a D I dot D E C H. And you can see my portfolio

Don Hansen:

right there. Okay, perfect. Um, so we'll jump right into the outros then. Uh, John feel free to elaborate, but, um, if people wanted to reach out to you, where could they reach you?

Jonathan Alaniz:

Um, my LinkedIn is also, uh, John Alans, 8, 8, 16. Um, like I said, you can reach me at, uh, nuat.tech www do.tech. Um, and yeah, yeah. I have a bunch of other websites that, you know, I, I work on stuff like that. I'm very happy that I can, you know, still like help people out through freelancing, even if I'm not in a big company. I, I love working with clients. So, um, that's what I'm doing right now. And if anybody needs a website, let me know, be more than happy to work with anyone.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Sounds good. How about you mailing you muted yourself.

Mailing Delgado:

You can find me on LinkedIn as my full name made Delgado Meina and that's how you can find me. okay. You can message me and you can find me there and I'm open to freelance or. Or whatever you need.

Don Hansen:

okay. Perfect. Well, thank you so much for sharing that and thank you for sharing your stories. Um, yeah. Um, yeah, that's all I have to say. Thank you for sharing. Um, John mailing. I, I think this is gonna be really valuable for people and yeah, , I just have a lot going through my mind right now, but, uh, we'll leave it at that. All right. Thanks. Uh, stick around for a couple minutes, but thanks for coming on.