Once again the folks over at CourseReport.com have put the spotlight on one of our own! This time around, they chatted with current Master Class student, Antonio Raynor, discussing his background, the bootcamp movement, and his experience at Coder Foundry. You can check out an excerpt of Antonio's interview with Course Report below.
Tell us what you were doing before you started at Coder Foundry.
Right before coming to Coder Foundry, I had been doing contracting software development for a little over 2 years. I have a computer science degree from East Carolina University. After graduating from East Carolina, I worked fulltime for a couple of companies, mostly network maintenance work banks. I started contracting to get more real development work. I’m a coder at heart- that’s what I like to do.
What was your motivation in doing a web development bootcamp? Were you interested in changing careers?
Not so much of a career change as taking another road and advancing my current career. I was so intrigued that a bootcamp like this existed. In the interviews that I was doing for my contract work, they were looking for the skill set that Coder Foundry teaches. I couldn’t keep teaching myself this new web skill set while I was working because there was never enough time. That was one of the reasons I was so surprised that this existed right here in North Carolina. I felt like the direction of the industry was going definitely more towards the web and those were skills that I needed. I didn’t have real world experience using it at some of my jobs.
Did you research any other bootcamps or did you apply only to Coder Foundry?
I only applied to Coder Foundry, but I did a comparison of about three other schools. I was looking for a more advanced school, and it seemed like I would get the most out of Coder Foundry.
Is there a lot of lecturing, or is mostly project based?
No, because you learn from self-teaching and projects. You’ve got to put this information into practice if it’s going to stick with you. We get a lecture for about an hour each day. Once you get your hands into it, you run across questions once you start going and Andrew’s right there for us every day. It’s definitely project based. We’re working on our project and we’ve had so far three major projects.
Are the projects assigned or are they projects that you come up with?
They’re assigned projects. We all work on the same project with the same specs or requirements. Right now we’re working on an issue tracking software. We all have a long list of specs and requirements and we have to meet them. Everyone’s projects look completely different but the same functionality is there.
How far along are you? What have you learned so far?
We’re right past midterm. This issue tracker is our midterm project. We started with Bootstrap and being able to lay out things on the web page and place objects and design things because that’s the really big part of our projects because it takes time. From there we went into model-view-controller design patterns. That’s pretty much the first half of the course, model-view-controllers, MVC. It’s a totally new concept in my programming style. I’m used to Win-forms building a form that you double-click the icon and it comes up; those forms and those backgrounds and on top the database is there; so this is a different pattern of coding.
Do you think your Computer Science degree and background has helped you in the Coder Foundry course?
I think it helps me to have that as part of my experience. We have guys that are in there who were tech engineers and they never touched the software side at all. We’re all moving at about the same pace like I said. For example, when we’re talking about object-oriented programming, I had that pounded into my head in my as an undergrad.
How much time are you spending on the Coder Foundry course?
I dream in code, that’s the honest truth. We’re here eight hours a day and when you get home – I can’t say this for everyone -- but I know that I continue to work on it. I work on it a couple of hours more, so we’re doing 40 – 60 hours, plus the weekends too.
Have you done any job preparation or interview preparation?
We started that from week one. We’ve interviewed every Monday, we present the work that we did the week prior. We’re taught interview techniques. That’s instilled in us from day one.
Congratulations are certainly in order as Antonio has already signed an offer of employment letter, even though there are still three weeks left in his course! Way to go!
If you're interested in altering the track of your career, upgrading your skill set to include new and different technologies, or simply looking for a change of pace within the technology sector, we encourage you to submit your Coder Foundry application today. Who knows what new and exciting opportunities our twelve-week coding bootcamp might afford you!