We Got Coders Spotlight Graduate: Dan Sun

By: The SwitchUp Team
Last Updated: June 12, 2019

Tell us a little bit about what you do in your current job.

I am currently about to start a Masters programme in Advanced Computing Technologies. For the last month I have been contributing code to open source rails project Diaspora* alongside other We Got Coders (WGC) graduates.

Why did you decide to to attend your program?

I decided to attend We Got Coders due to their focus on work experience as well as training. This approach felt most like an apprenticeship, which is what I was looking for.

What challenges did you overcome to get to where you are?

"I honestly think this apprenticeship model is the way to go."

Prior to WGC I had not written an independent line of code, in any language (except through online resources such as Treehouse, Codecademy, etc). Despite this, for 5 years prior to enrolling with WGC I had successfully ran a self-employed business 'building' and hosting Wordpress sites for various SME's, academics, community groups and individuals.

For the 6 weeks leading up to the WGC course I had pair programmed with a friend to bump the Ruby version of open source project FreeHub. We would sit next to a London canal on a Tuesday (synchronously next to a narrow boat called Ruby Tuesday) and go through the process of upgrading the software. Through much of this experience my friend would steer, but I had yet to form the cognitive framework to grasp all the components involved in what we were doing.

These experiences coupled with the experience of running my own self employed business had set the foundations for my basic software writers' tool box; fluency in Vim, being comfortable on the command line, setting up servers, hosting projects, having exposure to testing code and having a self-directed and motivated methodical working approach.

What plans/dreams do you have for the next 5 years?

To keep coding, keep learning, and have some fun whilst earning.

Any advice for students looking to join a learning program like a bootcamp?

My final project was the first time in my technical career where I have had the experience of delivering a prototype that closely resembled my vision. Prior experiences (with Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal) had revolved around finding an 'off-the-shelf' version that was as close as possible to the client spec. The skills developed during the training period allowed me to compose a framework (Rails), with developed functionality (gems), with other systems (external APIs) by gluing them together (with pure Ruby). This is a deeply rewarding practice.

What motivates you in your career?

A love of learning, and constantly questioning how to do things better.

Do you see bootcamps replacing college for parts of the population?

I honestly think this apprenticeship model is the way to go.

What were the people and culture like at your program?

A very diverse bunch. Two female, three male. Between the five of us we represented five different countries, etc. We all shared the desire to become engineers, so a common theme was our drive to make a start in this industry.

Any advice for recent graduates looking for a job?

We Got Coders offers free training for graduates, make the most of opportunities like this to skill up to the expectations of industry!

Dan Sun is a graduate of We Got Coders in London and is a freelance ruby full-stack developer. Read reviews and learn more about We Got Coders on Switch!
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