Giveaway Winner Spotlight: Jesse Patch, Claim Academy
We're pleased to announce one of the winners of SwitchUp's gift card giveaway, Jesse Patch!
Jesse is a graduate of Claim Academy, who previously completed a Bachelors in chemistry and embarked on a career as a lab technician. After deciding that lab work wasn't for him, and desiring to find a more challenging career path, Jesse set out to develop programming fundamentals. With help from Claim Academy, Jesse is now employed as a software developer and he feels like "the sky's the limit".
We sat down with Jesse to learn more about his career change, what he loved about Claim Academy, and his new role as a software developer!
Tell me about your background. What was your educational experience before joining Claim Academy?
Before going to Claim Academy, I had gotten my B.S. in Chemistry and I was working as a laboratory technician. I had no experience at all with coding before going into bootcamp.
What made you decide to pursue a career in tech?
Lab work wasn't really cutting it for me. I found myself doing repetitive and boring work consistently. More than anything else, I wanted to find a job that would be mentally stimulating and challenging.
Why did you decide to attend Claim Academy? What were your goals for the program?
I decided to go to Claim Academy because I knew I wanted to change my career path, but teaching myself was going to take longer and I had no idea where to start in terms of a programming language, or what a job might be looking for in a programming candidate. I wanted to have a solid starting foundation that I would be able to branch off of and build on for the future.
There are an increasing number of available bootcamps. Why did you decide to choose this program over others?
I picked Claim Academy mostly because it was an in person class. I wanted to be able to meet people and learn in a more structured environment than just taking an online course.
For you, what were the pros and cons of attending a bootcamp?
The biggest and most important pro is that I got a job that I love out of it. I also got to make friends that I still talk to to this day.
For cons, it was definitely a large time commitment. I missed a lot of time with friends and family due to class being late or working on projects or homework. It was definitely worth it in the end though.
Tell me a little bit about the course structure. What did you like best about the environment and teaching style?
My class was Monday-Friday for 9 hours a day. 3 hours of lecture, 3 hours of pair programming, and 3 hours of mentoring. It usually wasn't structured that strictly though. I liked most that there was always someone available to answer your questions. The instructors were good about not just giving you answers, but letting you learn through struggling (with some guidance).
How did this program prepare you for a career in tech?
This program not only taught me how to code, but most importantly for me, we did several mock interviews and mock presentations which really helped me gain the confidence to walk into an interview and feel like I could succeed where that has always been my greatest fear.
What challenges did you overcome to get where you are?
The biggest challenge for me was staying motivated. Part of me wanted to take the easy way out and just go back to my old job where I wouldn't have to give presentations or do interviews or run into constant error messages. But with the encouragement of the staff and my classmates I was able to stay motivated.
Tell us about what's next. How do you plan to use your newfound skills as you build your career?
Well, I got a job as a software developer, which is already a dream come true. Now it truly feels like the sky's the limit. I just want to keep learning and growing as a programmer and now I have the tools to do it.
What advice do you have for people who are interested in attending a bootcamp?
My advice to people interested is that you need to really want it. It's not enough to just show up. You have to put in the work and give it everything. It's not easy, but it is so rewarding when you achieve your goals.
Are you a bootcamp student or alum? You could be our next giveaway winner! Write a review of your program, and you'll be entered to win an Amazon gift card.