DICT Digital Jobs PH: Enrico’s Bootcamp Story with Zuitt’s Full Stack Web Development Training

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Luzon Cluster III partnered with Zuitt Coding Bootcamp to conduct a Full Stack Web Development Training for a number of aspiring web developers nationwide. – a collaborative project for its DigitalJobsPH Program.

“Digital Jobs PH” is a program under DICT, previously known as “RIS” or Rural Impact Sourcing Program which helps to capacitate provincial Filipinos. This aims to provide livelihood opportunities in the IT industry through education and training.

Enrico, a Senior High School teacher, was one of the lucky boot campers chosen for the Full Stack Web Development Training in February 2022. He recently graduated from this program bagging two Best Capstone Awards. 

This is his Bootcamp journey with Zuitt.

(Interviewed by Adrianne Saldua)

An SHS Teacher with a Developer Career Dream

—— Introduce yourself to the Zuitt community.

Hi! I’m Enrico Silvano. I am currently a teacher. I was once an aspiring beginner Programmer. Thanks to Zuitt and DICT. I am now a Full Stack Web Developer.

—— What is your work background before Zuitt?

I am currently an SHS Teacher handling subjects such as Science, Physics, Chemistry, Research, Empowerment Technologies, and Computer subjects.

—— Why did you choose to pursue the Bootcamp training?

When I first saw the post from Zuitt and DICT, I thought to myself that I’m going to take this chance. I won’t let the opportunity pass. I have always dreamed of creating programs and coding websites. It has been a dream of mine for the longest time. 

—— What are your expectations before you join the Bootcamp?

I wanted to be well-equipped with web development knowledge. One of my expectations before joining Bootcamp is to land a job. Although I’m currently employed as a teacher, I aim to have a full-time developer job soon.

—— Do you have a coding background? Did you try to self-study?

I tried doing self-study, through books, the internet, and other code camps. Compared to Zuitt’s Bootcamp, these free resources don’t provide a personal guide. What happens to me is when I try to start studying, even though there is consistency, I always end up stopping. I get confused about what I do, I’m not sure which topic I’d choose next, and I really didn’t have a clear path. What I only know is that I have something to study. That’s it!

—— What’s good about training in a Bootcamp? How would you differentiate your learning pace between doing self-study versus doing the Bootcamp training with Zuitt?

What’s good about Zuitt is I was really able to finish it all. Unlike in self-initiated study, no matter how strong-willed I am, I really don’t know where to start. I always see and read about Javascript, Node.js, Express.js, and React.js. Developers recommend aspiring ones to study the MERN Stack. I don’t know how to start. It’s really intimidating. If you ask questions on the internet, or if you watch videos on Youtube, it takes a lot of time.

In Zuitt, the pacing is correct. Their curriculum is well-made. I also have a nice instructor – Ms. Thonie. You won’t feel scared or feel bored in her class. Aside from that, even if we’re around 30 in our class, the instructor makes sure she accommodates everyone. Instructors are considerate. They know that not everyone in the class is a veteran or has any experience in programming. There are newbies, career shifters, and some college students in my batch with different backgrounds.

—— How well did your instructor handle a class of 30?

It was not hard to communicate when you are having a hard time or if you can’t follow in class. It’s okay to ask because the instructors are willing to guide and help you. They even ask you to do screen-sharing just so they can help you with your codes. Everyone is accommodated and given the same focus and attention. That’s what’s good about learning in a Bootcamp, your questions are accommodated and answered right then and there. Instructors in Zuitt are very professional.

—— Tell us about your overall Bootcamp training experience.

It was hard learning on my own. In Zuitt, it was taught to us step-by-step. We code along with the instructor.

In every course, we have what we call the “Capstone Projects” so we have a total of 3. I enjoyed capstone project 1 because here we created a webpage portfolio. I never thought I would be able to create something like this. And then, when we started with the back-end classes, it was hard for me because I did not have any background in coding and it was my first time. Creating your back-end application takes a lot of planning. It was intimidating. In the front-end course, you’d have to simply do designs that were okay to start with but when we get to the back-end course, it was more on logic. But Zuitt did not fail to explain the concept to us in a way that we would understand. Their instruction was polished. 

We had daily activities which help us apply what we learned. Zuitt Instructors are very particular about these activities, they make sure you understood by checking your activity outputs. Then, you’d know if you pass or failed it. It was such a good practice because you would know if you learned something or if you applied it correctly. What’s also good about these activities is there is continuity. All the activities are interconnected until you get to the final output. It’s good because you won’t get confused and won’t wonder what the activities are for.

Instructors are very considerate. They understand if you are late or have poor internet connectivity. No boot camper gets left behind in the class. Just like in DepEd: “No child gets left behind.” You’ll never feel left out because there are lesson notes uploaded in boodle. In my experience, my classmates are very helpful. We even have a group in discord where we share experiences. Everyone’s considerate and willing to help. Our learning environment was really good.

For our Capstone project 2. We were asked to create an e-commerce website with a backend server. It felt good seeing our chatbox full of positive feedback from my peers saying they made it. We weren’t expecting that we would be able to do the things we didn’t know how to do before. And it’s such a great experience to be able to understand how to set up the products, the validation, and the login. It’s an achievement. It’s a good feeling for us! Even our veteran classmates, they also get to feel that sense of achievement.

For our Capstone project 3, since we already have front-end and back-end knowledge, we were taught how to make a website from scratch using react app. When I was studying on my own, this is one of the topics I can’t understand easily but with the help of Zuitt Instructors, it was taught to us step-by-step and little-by-little and I ended up realizing how easy it all is.

Because of my new knowledge, I rekindled my past project ideas. I have always wanted to be in the EdTech field. Joining the Bootcamp is a big step forward toward achieving that goal of mine. Even after graduation, I still work on my capstone project 3 and kept polishing my work.

—— Any tips to share about Back-End?

For Back-end, if your website is not secured, there is a possibility for your data to be hacked. There will be a problem in terms of security. You also have to think about optimization and think about how you will make your codes more efficient. Don’t be short-sighted. Your back-end operations must be optimized. You have to have clear thinking about these things.

—— What is the most memorable moment in your Bootcamp training?

During the capstone project creations, my classmates and I had a lot of eureka moments. There were mysteries that we were able to solve. And seeing that my codes are working was a memorable moment for me. 

—— Any struggles during Capstone 1 to 3? How did you handle it?

It was more of a time conflict with my work schedule. Also, I had trouble with my laptop. Sometimes, it was laggy and I had to be patient. I had to catch up sometimes. And to handle that, I listen carefully to the class and check which parts I missed. 

I also had trouble with my internet connection. I am from Sorsogon and we have an unstable internet connection. We usually have to endure countless brownouts. That’s why lesson notes uploaded on boodle were really helpful for me to catch up.

—— Despite all these struggles, you still managed to bag the Best Capstone 2 & 3 Awards.  Tell us about your capstone project.

Honestly, even at the time when we are only tasked to do various activities, I was already thinking ahead about what I will do for my capstone project. It took time before they gave us the hint (that the theme will be an E-commerce website).

You should already have something brewing in your head. When you do programming, you have to look at everything. You have to look at worst-case scenarios. I try to consider different possible scenarios for an e-commerce website.

I look at it in the eyes of the customer, and in the eyes of a developer. Also, I look at it in the eyes of a problem-solver. You really have to look at it with user-oriented thinking checking every angle and any foreseeable problems.

—— What’s the best thing about studying at Zuitt?

The best thing about Zuitt is that you would really learn something. You get what you pay for. Your time, effort, and investment will be worth it. Zuitt will make you feel like what’s impossible is possible. I was able to create a website. I learned what I need to learn step-by-step.

You won’t feel left behind or feel alone. I liked learning with peers and instructors. Zuitt Instructors are easy to reach. Even if it’s not class hours, they make time to answer your questions. They’ll take care of you.

Zuitt will help you become ready for a developer job. You will be proud of yourself after your Bootcamp training. 

—— After the Bootcamp training, how did Zuitt help you to jumpstart your career as a Developer?

Zuitt and DICT gave me a big opportunity, not just in terms of knowledge, but also in skills. I also want to mention how hands-on Zuitt was. I thought we are on our own after the Bootcamp, but with Zuitt, it’s different.  Zuitt gave us tips on where to go and what steps we should do next. They taught us to create a LinkedIn profile. They gave us a list of what to study next. They shared with us some of the success stories of previous Zuitt boot campers for inspiration, tips on creating a developer resume, how to conduct ourselves in an interview, what to ask and what questions will be asked to us, and things you need to consider when looking for a developer job. Giving us career guidance is such a huge pushing factor. It was one of the decisive points why I really wanted to pursue web development as a career.

A Gratitude Message from Enrico

—— What is your message to DICT? 

Super thank you, DICT! After my training with Zuitt, I share all DICT’s posts with all my friends on Facebook. When I answered Zuitt’s feedback survey, I gave them a 10/10 (no joke or any dishonesty). I always tell my classmates and my co-teachers to try out the Bootcamp in their free time so that they can gain a new skill like I did.

I always share every training that DICT has with my students and my co-teachers to the point where I became a patron. They always have new training webinar opportunities. I always join these things. I am thankful to DICT! I love their program so much. 

—— What is your message to your ZUITT Instructor? 

Thank you for your patience, understanding, compassion, and professionalism. I wasn’t bored at all in your class. I was pressured sometimes but the way the lesson was delivered made me feel comfortable. Thank you for making us feel that it’s okay to ask questions when we can’t grasp a concept easily. All the encouragement you have given us all throughout the Bootcamp was really helpful. 

You made me feel that it’s okay if I’m having a hard time catching up in the lesson sometimes. And also, thank you for understanding that sometimes my laptop is not working okay. Thank you for giving us the confidence to continue. A big thank you because I was able to do what I wanted.

—— What is your message to your Batch mates?

Thank you all for the good and fun times. I will always remember our short break times. Thank you that you guys are all helpful to the newbies. Thank you for sharing some resources. Shoutout to my friend, Eddie! I hope you’re okay!

Commencement Exercises

Enrico’s Batch Commencement Exercises were conducted last June 14, 2022. 

Special thanks to Dir. Cheryl C. Ortega (DICT Regional Director – Regions IV-A and IV-B), Merlin N. Fabricante (DigitalJobsPH Project Management Team Lead), Dr. Maria Graciela R. Bucad (Technical Operations Division Head – Region IV-A), and Tomohisa Kato (Zuitt CEO) for joining this momentous occasion.

DICT Luzon Cluster III – Director Cheryl Ortega’s Welcoming Address:

“Good afternoon and Happy National ICT Month to everyone. First and foremost, please allow me to extend my greetings to Mr. Tomohisa Kato, the CEO of Zuitt, and to Mr. Merlin Fabricante, our digitaljobsph, project management team lead, to my dear DICT colleagues, to Dr. Maria Gracia Bucad, our COO for Technical Operations, to our Regional 4A (Calabarzon) digitaljobs project team, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant afternoon to one and all.

To mention the month long celebration of the National ICT Month with our department’s direction, towards an advancing Philippine digital agenda, we are into highlighting the importance of keeping the fire transformation a place as we create a viable environment for growth and continuously strive for a digital economy. And with the Philippines heading towards becoming a more ICT-enabled country, your DICT has found the necessity to capacitate Filipinos, especially in the countryside for livelihood opportunities in the digital world and in other ICT-related industries aspires to more ICT-capacity or development under the digitaljobsph program. 

And supplementing this initiative, it has always been our honor to have partnered with Zuitt in this Full Stack Coding Bootcamp for our aspiring web developers. Undergoing an intensive screening process and around 268 hours training program, I am best believing that our training completers, are now fully equipped with relevant skills to work as web developers and are now ready to build their career in this industry. Having this success and for partnering with us, in giving our fellow Filipinos for opportunities for growth, I am once again extending my deepest gratitude to Mr. Tomohisa Kato and to the Zuitt Team. I look forward to having more trainings of this kind to be offered to more Filipinos in the countryside with our collaboration.

And to our dear completers, congratulations and may you consistently pursue and go after your growth because as what Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson once said, and I’d like to share that to you, and I quote: “Success is not always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work gains success and greatness will come.” And with that, again, congratulations to everyone and good afternoon!”

Congratulations to all the successful boot campers of DICT Digital Jobs PH Bootcamp training!