Bootcamp Prep is a relatively new type of course that many selective coding schools, like Fullstack Academy, are offering to help students pass rigorous admissions processes. Sue Roh attended Fullstack for both Bootcamp Prep and the full-time Immersive program.
Let’s start with the present and work back. You’ve just started your career as a developer, last week, congrats! What’s your current position? Do you have a good idea what your job will entail?
Thank you! I’m currently a software engineer for Entrypoint, a web-based virtual reality company which provides a universal distribution platform for journalists, creatives, and brands to easily create virtual reality content. This week, I have mostly been working on one-off advertising projects. Specifically, over the past few days, we created content for Star Wars, incorporating 360 footage with interactive graphics. After this gig, I am mainly going to be working on Entrypoint software (planned to be released in June 2017), which will provide an accessible graphic interface for users with no coding background to create interactive, immersive environments.
In a few words, how would you describe your job search? Did you feel prepared?
Admittedly, I got incredibly lucky in the job search. I only searched for one day before finding Entrypoint and snagged an interview for the day after. Within a few days, they offered me the job.
I felt incredibly prepared for the job hunt given Fullstack’s curriculum. Even though this is primarily a front end job, my interviewer exclusively asked me backend questions, which I could easily answer given Fullstack’s full-stack focus. Moreover, learning relevant frameworks such as React certainly gave me an edge in the job hunt.
Tell us about learning to code. What made you want to become a developer? What tools, classes, etc. did you use to get started and ready for Fullstack’s Immersive Program?
What did you think of Fullstack’s Bootcamp Prep class?
Fullstack’s Bootcamp Prep class was a fantastic introduction to coding. The instructors, Dan and Will, and my classmates were awesome. It was a very supportive atmosphere in which to learn coding with great individual instruction. It definitely prepared me for what was a challenging admissions process.
What was your immersive bootcamp experience like on the whole? What was the culture and day-to-day like? What were your instructors like?
The past few months at Fullstack were a protective bubble that I have not experienced since high school. You see the same people everyday for thirteen weeks, and my cohort became a temporary family for me. We supported each other in the most stressful moments but we also enabled each other's growth by teaching each other new technologies and collaborating on projects. I think that’s what I reaped most from my experience: the people I met. (I include Dan and Ben, my instructors, in this. They completely demolished the instructor-student hierarchy by being approachable yet so damn knowledgeable).
Fullstack taught me so much, but it also brought all of these creative, intelligent people who love coding in one place. The academic stress wasn’t a product from Fullstack but was self-induced stress because we all wanted to learn and create more – It’s a never ending cycle!
What was your proudest moment throughout your entire Fullstack experience?
I think my proudest moment at Fullstack was presenting my Stackathon project, MuseumMe, a virtual reality experience that uses your Facebook photos/statuses and displays them in an interactive “museum” gallery. This was an idea that had been burgeoning in my mind for quite some time and finally, I felt as though I had the skills to create it. It was also the first time that I had built my own app from start to finish, which required independently learning technologies, such as A-Frame and three.js, which I use at work everyday!
How did you manage your stress during the 13 week full-time portion of the program?
Fullstack has a very structured day-to-day, which was helpful in establishing a healthy schedule. I tried to stay on campus whenever I had work and designated my home as my code-free haven. It is easy to get caught up with coding – I was terrible at shutting off my computer – but finding time to do things you love, like watching movies, hanging out with friends, or rock climbing, got me through the stress.
Do you have any advice for those thinking about attending a bootcamp?
I am very happy that I figured out what I loved about coding before joining because bootcamps are time-intensive and expensive. Networking with bootcamp grads was incredibly useful, especially after meeting with people who were doing what I wanted to be doing, so I had a better idea of what I wanted to get out of the thirteen weeks.
Also, get excited! Think of projects that you want to make because after attending a bootcamp, you will be able to make them!
Fullstack is offering a $500 scholarship to all bootcamp prep courses (remote and in-person) with the code switchupinsider. You can learn more and register for these classes on Fullstack’s website. Scholarship will be applied once full-tuition is collected.