Our trainees were in for a surprise today as they got to hear from some programmers who are currently working in the IT industry. Coming from the pioneer coding bootcamp by RareJob, the speakers talked about their experiences as first-time programmers, the challenges they encountered in the training and many more.
To guide the talk, we prepared questions in advance for the alumni to answer then allowed the current trainees to ask them questions if they have any.
Our speakers today are Dan, Mae and Jan. To start, they introduced themselves by telling their name, course and something interesting about them.
Dan studied BS Electrical Engineering in UP Los Baños. Something he likes to do as a hobby is build gunpla and join competitions related to it. Meanwhile, Mae has a degree in BS Mathematics in UE Manila. One of her idiosyncrasies is getting the prime factorization of vehicle plate numbers while out on the road. Lastly, Jan studied Bachelor of Secondary Education major in Math in UP Diliman. He tells us that in order for him to sleep, he drinks coffee!
We then proceeded to the first question.
- What made you decide to apply in the IT Coding Bootcamp?
D: I used to code micro-controllers in my previous job. I enjoyed doing it and because of that, my interest in coding grew. So now, I want to pursue it and expand my knowledge in the IT industry.
M: I had a perfect job prior to the bootcamp but did not thoroughly enjoy it. Being a data analyst, I enjoyed tinkering with Microsoft Excel formulas which led me to the realization that coding is what I love and should be pursuing.
J: Actually, my primary reason for learning how to code is stocks. I’d like to be able to create scripts that would analyze stock trends for me.
- What was the most challenging part of the training (Did you ever think of quitting)?
D: The most challenging part would be not having access to the internet and relying only on the resources given to us. It helped me in a way because it made me realize that I can, in fact, figure out solutions on my own. No, I didn’t think of quitting.
M: Same with Dan and no, I also didn’t think of quitting.
J: Mostly logic problems during the first few weeks. The backtracking problems were really hard to solve but no, I also didn’t think of quitting; Actually, it even gave me more motivation to perform well.
- After the bootcamp and landing a coding job, what were your thoughts? How did you feel?
D: On the job, you are required to work on some new features for your company’s current system. It’s scary at first because your company’s reputation is on the line. However, I learned not to be consumed by this fear and just do my best. Also, never stop learning because learning doesn’t end at the bootcamp.
M: The bootcamp equips you with fundamental skills you need in a coding job but when you’re already in the position, you may feel overwhelmed in some areas that weren’t covered such as the actual business process etc. Just take it in, continue learning and eventually you’ll find yourself comfortable with your task.
J: When I landed the job as systems engineer, of course I felt happy and proud. Sometimes, I feel stressed out but since I love what I’m doing, it doesn’t get to me and I’m okay with it.
- What adjustment/s did you have to make or do after the training, in order for you to perform your job?
D: If I encounter a bottleneck on a certain task, I try my best not to search for a solution online right away; instead, I try to tackle it first on my own. That way, my problem solving skills will get better. Other than that, I also have to learn about the company’s tools and software used.
M: I think the first thing I had to do was unlearn what I learned from my previous job. Since I’m now in a different industry, I have to learn new systems, business processes, dynamics, etc. Also, I had to develop a mindset wherein leeway for errors should be limited.
J: In terms of the company, we have to be familiar with the current system being used, business processes and the code base. Other than that, I just really put more effort into studying the things needed in my work.
- Lastly, what advice could you give our students?
D: Always be curious on new technologies. Don’t limit yourself to one programming language or version; you should always be dynamic.
M: If you’re looking for a career change right now, don’t be afraid to go all in. Don’t hold back. Continue learning, expand your knowledge and have respect on the websites you see today.
J: Aside from what they said, just try to make your code clean and readable for others because you’ll be working with teams a lot. Knowing that your team can read your code makes code maintenance easier. Lastly, work with the end in my mind.
M: And also, read Clean Code.
J & D: Yes, read Clean Code. It will improve the way you see and write codes.
M, J & D: by Robert Martin.