We had a chance to sit down with Latonya Rodgers, an entrepreneur and recent grad from Devry Bootcamp, Colorado.
LR Rodgers is a technology aficionado, author, innovator, entrepreneur and mentor. Her passion for helping others to establish small business strategies and develop technology solutions is a driving force in her enthusiastic style of coaching. She is always expanding her knowledge base in order to remain relevant to the people who seek her out for wisdom and strategic direction. We got ask her a few questions about her bootcamp experience.
Tell us a little bit about what you do in your current job. – OR – what will you be doing (or want to be doing) in your next/new job?
Previously, I was the technology director at a large church. My responsibilities included everything from basic help desk duties, to full-scale system migrations. That role was new to me – since I did not come packaged or educated in IT or network management. However, I love a challenge and am always interesting in expanding my learning capacity.
Why did you decide to attend the DeVry Bootcamp Web Development program?
Web management was part of my duty set as the technology director – however, I did not have the tactical web language skill set. I wanted to learn, understand and be able to execute some of these capabilities myself. Initially, I began with self-learning through online courses. But, the Bootcamp opportunity afforded me the access to an accelerated and guided educational experience. I believe with the web-based language foundation that was established through the Bootcamp, I can continue – with greater confidence – on my self-learning journey.
What challenges did you overcome to get to where you are?
I attended the Bootcamp while also working a full-time job. The balance of those responsibilities along with the rigor of the Bootcamp was challenging. Also, the intimidation factor of learning a new competency in a short period of time was daunting. Nonetheless, the experience was worthwhile and the skills acquired will certainly be advantageous to me in the future.
What plans/dreams do you have for the future? How do you plan to utilize the skills you gained during the course?
My plans are to build the first of a few companies that I want to establish. The first may be a consulting firm that specializes in establishing technology strategies for small businesses as well as small business coaching. I also want to charter a non-profit for girls who exhibit higher than average aptitudes for business, science, technology, creative competencies, government and leadership. I am currently working on the foundational groundwork for that vision.
Any advice for someone who wants to learn how to code and is considering a learning program like a bootcamp?
Go for it! If you are truly interested and have the capacity and patience to learn something new – jump. Don’t let the pace and amount of material you will consume overwhelm you. Bootcamp experiences are effective and doable if you have realistic expectations for what you can accomplish.
What motivates you in your career?
Helping people and assisting them with achieving their business or career goals are great motivations for me. I love technology and writing – so whenever I get the opportunity to fuse those together – I’m all in!
What was the learning experience and instruction like? How would you compare it to your college experience?
The learning experience was fast-paced, but the instructor was solid – which made the learning experience much more palatable. I prefer this faster paced learning environment with a relevant, immediately actionable curriculum versus the pace and time investment of a traditional learning experience.
What application did you create for your final project? What inspired you to make it? What tools and skills did you use to create it?
The application I created was a customizable playlist for Spotify. I love Spotify, but one of my main grievances with using it was the difficulty in making customized playlists. It was possible – but it was a manual and time-consuming process. I wanted to make an application that could build a customizable Spotify playlist in a matter of seconds. And so I used the full MEAN stack to develop M34S (Make My Mix for Spotify).
What were the people and culture like at your program?
We were a small cohort (7 learners) all with varying backgrounds and experiences. This made for a lot of creative ideas and lively learning atmosphere.
Any advice for recent graduates looking for a job?
The career services component of this Bootcamp was seriously engaged with the students who are seeking employment upon completion of the program. But, even if you were like me (looking to explore and expand), the availability of ongoing career assistance is abundant for program graduates.
Out of 5 stars - how many stars would you rate your bootcamp?
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