What was Richard Sheaves-Bein's experience at Tech Elevator?

By: The SwitchUp Team
Last Updated: July 26, 2019

We're pleased to announce one of the winners of SwitchUp's gift card giveaway, Richard Sheaves-Bein!

After studying economics and computer studies during the 80s, Richard had an 18 year career as an IT Application Support Specialist. His former position gave him "experience customizing and maintaining software packages developed in-house in a variety of industries", as well as experience in EDI, data analysis, creative software solutions, requirements analysis, SDLC, software documentation, and customer service.

In pursuit of his goals to become a back-end programmer - where he could utilize problem-solving, and development skills - Richard enrolled at Tech Elevator in January 2019.

During his three months in the program, Richard completed a number of projects:

  1. Vending Machine Application - Automated virtual vending machine, able to:
    • Load inventory from initialization file
    • Accept money
    • Report inventory
    • Confirm purchases
    • Give change
    • Report daily sales
  2. National Parks Camping Application - National Park campsite reservation system able to:
    • Utilize SQL to search database of National Parks
    • Report on campgrounds present within selected park and campsites available within those campgrounds
    • Request reservation details
    • Confirm availability
    • Make reservations
    • Issue confirmation ID
  3. National Parks Weather/Survey Application - National Park weather forecasting system able to:
    • Combine HTML, CSS, and RAZOR to present a provided image of each park, with its location and a short description. Selecting a park gives more detail on the park, including an attributed quote relevant to the park, and a 5-day weather forecast (with weather icons). The forecast for the current day includes recommendations on items/clothing to bring to account for the weather. In addition, the site allows voting for one's favorite park, with a display ranking all the parks that have received votes, in vote order.
  4. Comic Book Collector's Database: Full-scale web-facing application integrating user authentication, JSON, access to an online information database's API, image import for avatars, Vue.js with CSS front end, SQL, database for shared storage, and C# back end.

Overall, Richard expressed having a wonderful experience with Tech Elevator. Check out his full review:

Tech Elevator allowed me to reinvent myself and recharge my career
I have been a software professional for over 20 years, and found myself unemployed at the beginning of 2018. After a few months of re-familiarizing myself with the job market, I found myself getting interviews, but no offers. I did some analysis, and realized that my legacy skills, while good, were not in demand, and I didn't have experience with more modern languages and techniques. So I started looking at boot camps in the Cleveland area. Tech Elevator had a good reputation for curriculum, and the Pathway Program(TM?) indicated a strong focus on actually getting their graduates jobs in the field. They were also acceptable to the Ohio Job and Family Services agency, and I was able to get a partial scholarship through them. The first two weeks of class were, more or less, review for me, as the school assumes no coding background going in, but I was able to help several of my fellow students with things that were difficult for them. Then we got into areas where I had less experience (SQL) and I found myself challenged. After that, we got into the areas where I had no experience (HTML, CSS, Javascript, MVC), and my head (metaphorically) exploded - but I was able to take it all in. Through all of it, we'd been getting sessions on our LinkedIn profile, on our resumes, on cover letters, and mock interviews -- including whiteboarding experience. We also had presentations by various employers who were open to hiring Tech Elevator graduates, and had a set of initial interviews arranged with some of those companies. I was able to secure a more advanced position than entry-level, due to my background, but I thank the TE instructors and staff for all they did to help me update my skills and re-invent myself for today's development world.

After completing his bootcamp in April, Richard promptly found a new opportunity as a Software Engineer, and he says he's excited to hear "cheers from those [he's] enabled to do their jobs in a quicker, more productive fashion."

Congrats Richard!

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