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 school schooling from scratch, taking primary requirement courses at an Orlando group school whereas working as a server and bartender. His eventual purpose was to switch to the College of Central Florida (UCF) and rekindle his authentic 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 undoubtedly annoyed, 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 method 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 choice 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 primary 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 expertise, protecting his profession prospects as versatile as potential.

“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 could assist me construct up my expertise faster, and it was on-line so I might hopefully preserve working someplace.”

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

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Instructing Himself Tips on how to Study One thing New

“Practically each single factor I realized within the boot camp has transferred to the roles I obtained after finishing it,” says Andrew, reflecting on his cohort expertise. “The curriculum helps you see how one programming language connects to others so as to choose 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 offers you the day-to-day fundamentals you’ll use in an actual job right now. And it opens your thoughts to have the ability to educate your self the way to study one thing new.”

Past praising the curriculum that focuses on related, real-world expertise, 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 workforce developed a meals and wine pairing software. The initiatives obtained us excited to work collectively and apply what we realized.”

For Andrew, one of many boot camp’s most impactful features was its expansive Profession Engagement Community. He appreciated how a lot time his profession advisor spent serving to him turn out to be “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 remembers. “After interviews, we’d discuss via what I did proper and what I might’ve achieved higher. He additionally inspired me to start out a brand new undertaking proper after the boot camp, so I might preserve my expertise contemporary. That was invaluable recommendation.”

Upon graduating, Andrew advisable the boot camp to one in every of 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 for those who’re not using the profession companies, you’re not doing the total 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 appreciated my boot camp portfolio, so that they employed me to design a brand new web site for his or her undertaking. Then they utterly rebranded, so I constructed one other 4 websites. It was nice expertise and I used to be serving to individuals, which actually fueled my ardour. I nonetheless do work for them infrequently.”

With the soundness 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 provided 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 mainly Java with Bootstrap. I see different college students struggling, however I can deal with it. The boot camp offers you confidence in your talents, which spills into different areas of your life. Final yr, my spouse and I purchased a college bus and turned it into an RV (see photographs beneath). Neither of us had prior expertise in constructing something however I used to be like, ‘We will completely do that!’”

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

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

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The Confidence—and Expertise—to Dream Even Larger

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 a wide range of shoppers. “I’d like to design for, like, a soccer workforce in the future and a cool clothes model the following,” he muses. “However critically, I feel difficult myself with totally different initiatives makes me an much more succesful and marketable individual.” 

Extra long-term, Andrew envisions a profession in tech undertaking 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 plenty of alternatives that may flip into management positions sometime. Within the meantime, I simply preserve telling folks that if you wish to make a optimistic change in your life, a boot camp is without doubt one of the finest methods to do it.”


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