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


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

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

“I used to be positively pissed off, as a result of it was going to take me that for much longer to be financially prepared for a bachelor’s at UCF,” he says. “At that time, I needed a quicker approach to get began on that STEM profession I had been chasing for years.”

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

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

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

EDX INLINE Andrew Rodriguez UCF Boot Camper 800x400 - LAPTOP

Instructing Himself Find out how to Be taught One thing New

“Practically each single factor I realized within the boot camp has transferred to the roles I bought after finishing it,” says Andrew, reflecting on his cohort expertise. “The curriculum helps you see how one programming language connects to others in an effort to decide them up quicker every time. With different courses I’ve taken, the applied sciences they educate are barely getting used anymore. However the boot camp provides you the day-to-day fundamentals you’ll use in an actual job as we speak. And it opens your thoughts to have the ability to educate your self easy methods to be taught one thing new.”

Past praising the curriculum that focuses on related, real-world abilities, Andrew additionally compliments his teacher. “He had a number of power and his persona was nice,” Andrew says. “He knew we had been studying some fairly heavy ideas, so he all the time made positive we had been having enjoyable alongside the best way. For one group task, he allow us to create no matter form of app we needed. My staff developed a meals and wine pairing instrument. The initiatives bought us excited to work collectively and apply what we realized.”

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

“He gave me steering on my resume and canopy letter, directed me to a bunch of free profession webinars, and gave me a number of ideas for making use of to jobs,” Andrew recollects. “After interviews, we’d discuss by means of what I did proper and what I might’ve achieved higher. He additionally inspired me to start out a brand new challenge proper after the boot camp, so I might preserve my abilities contemporary. That was invaluable recommendation.”

Upon graduating, Andrew really useful the boot camp to one in all his buddies, who wound up as smitten by this system as he was. He was additionally invited to a webinar of his personal to supply inspiration to different boot camp learners. 

“I flat-out advised different college students that in the event you’re not using the profession providers, you’re not doing the complete boot camp,” he says.

EDX QUOTE CARD Andrew Rodriguez UCF Boot Camp Learner

Regular Employment and a Bachelor’s Program at Final

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Confidence—and Abilities—to Dream Even Greater

Down the highway short-term, Andrew likes the thought of working for a advertising and marketing company, the place he might focus extra on interactive web site design and join with quite a lot of shoppers. “I’d like to design for, like, a soccer staff in the future and a cool clothes model the following,” he muses. “However significantly, I believe difficult myself with completely different initiatives makes me an much more succesful and marketable particular person.” 

Extra long-term, Andrew envisions a profession in tech challenge administration or consulting. “I wish to be a key a part of these strategic discussions,” he says. “The tutorial {and professional} expertise I’ve gained from the boot camp has opened up numerous alternatives that may flip into management positions sometime. Within the meantime, I simply preserve telling those who if you wish to make a constructive change in your life, a boot camp is likely one of the finest methods to do it.”



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