ABC – Always Be Coding – Former Salesman, Now Developer Meet Gio Rodriguez

Traditional school, workshops, and bootcamps tend to isolate the classroom from the rest of the world. An experienced and patient teacher will guide you. You are encouraged to ask questions about the things you don’t get. It’s not always easy to adapt classroom work to outside situations. It’s one thing to learn and remember procedures and facts; it’s quite another to put that knowledge into professional practice. Is a classroom really able to prepare you for the “real world”?
After working in the real estate and healthcare industries, Gio Rodriguez was looking for a change of career. He was already comfortable with new technology and wanted to use that knowledge to transition into programming.
I have always been tech-savvy but after graduating college, I decided I wanted to be more involved in sales. After several years of this, I realized that it wasn’t the right path for me. I then went online to research the best ways to make that transition. Bootcamps were on my radar because I know of other people who have had great success stories through bootcamps.
Gio completed some online preparatory courses to get comfortable with the technology education experience. Gio said that he thought that this would be a great starting point. He was able to get a good overview of programming from an online course that Harvard University offered for free. Now he wants to learn more and become certified.
I was very interested in doing an in-person bootcamp. I believe I work best when I am with others. But, the Coding Dojo three-stack bootcamp stood out to me. I am a fast learner and wanted something that would be easy. I didn’t want boredom. I wanted to be able to understand the language and then process it quickly for employers.
Gio was anxious about his first experience at Coding Dojo’s Burbank campus. He was concerned that the pace would be too fast. Gio was more comfortable with back-end programming than the first segment of bootcamp. He had already learned some basic algorithms on his own. Gio was able to grasp HTML and CSS in the first few weeks. “The instructors were very good and I was able to get through it quite easily.
Gio found that his advanced preparation in algorithms gave him an advantage in the logic “challenges”. This was evident from the first few weeks. His pre-bootcamp studies were not only beneficial to him, but also allowed him to help others who were struggling with the algorithms.
It gave me the opportunity to stop and go back to the beginning, and then kind of teach it. This gave me a better understanding of the whole process, as I was not only learning but also teaching it. It had a huge impact on my algorithm development, as I was able teach it to others.
Gio moved from HTML and CSS to his first stack, Python and Django. Gio, even though he was already a good classroom partner, said that his first instinct was to learn stacks in relative isolation from others. This was because he prefers fast learning. He didn’t take too long to change his mind.
I started out wanting to be a little more alone and kind of sat in a corner. This was a mistake that I quickly realized. I was a little ahead, so I decided to slow down and be more present for everyone. I learned a lot more from working with others than I did on my own. Working with others was more interesting than working alone. I realized that I was taking a greater interest in the things I was doing. I was staying longer and learning more when there were other people around me.
Gio was just before he graduated and began his job search. He developed an unusual condition called imposter syndrome. It’s a feeling of intense self-doubt and anxiety about one’s accomplishments and a fear of being exposed in professional situations as an imposter. Gio had extensive programming experience, but Gio wasn’t certain he had the necessary resources to do a 21st-century job. “Even though I learned so many things, I still felt that I wasn’t ready to face the real world.”
Gio realized that he was far better prepared than he thought. Coding Dojo taught him more than code. It was helping him become self-sufficient. He appreciated the fact that he wasn’t being held up to every question or problem that arose during his work. He was encouraged to “strengthen through struggle” which he appreciated.

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