| ||Josh Yang ||I started We Can Code IT knowing little to nothing about web development, coding, or networking. For me, jumping into the boot camp was a blind leap into the depths of the unknown. I made the decision to leave my safe and familiar customer service job to pursue a new path, and to date it has been the best decision I've ever made.
We Can Code IT is surprisingly thoughtful. I expected a high intensity and moderately intimidating environment where the instructors and students were all business and the weakest links would be left behind. This couldn't be farther from the truth. All students, regardless of their experience or how quickly they learn, are given a great deal of nurture and support by the instructors and staff. Every morning and every afternoon, the instructors check in with each student as a group to get a handle on how they're feeling, what they're enjoying about the program, and what things they need help with. As a heavy introvert with an innate fear of the spotlight, this scared me for about a week before my classmates became familiar faces and the fear of public speaking disappeared. We Can Code IT also provides an emotional roadmap for what students generally feel during the course, and the instructors try their best to let the students know that what they're feeling is natural and that they are capable of incredible things if they set their mind to it.
We Can Code IT also has a career services component that teaches you everything you need to know about applying for a job as a developer. A multitude of topics are covered, like interview etiquette, networking, how to search for jobs, how to write a good resume, and how to sell yourself (all things that I had absolutely no idea how to do beforehand). You learn the do's and don'ts, you build confidence, and by the time you graduate, you feel ready to take the next step in your career. Frankly, some aspects of the career services experience were uncomfortable and nerve-wracking (mock interviews and reaching out to strangers on LinkedIn to name a couple), and to my detriment I avoided them. Taking this next huge step in your life is meant to be scary, but I think I could have used a little more positive affirmation over being nudged off of a 10 meter diving board. That being said, finally making that jump isn't anywhere as bad as I made it out to be and I wish I took more advantage of the things WCCI had to offer, like the opportunity to schedule as many one on one meetings with career services as you think you need.
The curriculum is intelligently laid out. The different modules all build off of one another without putting too much stress on the students. Every step of the way, I was learning something new and fun. WCCI also provides extra instruction time Wednesday afternoons immediately after the instructional period, which helped me learn the things I was struggling with. By the last third of the cohort, I felt like I had a solid grip on web development fundamentals and had nothing but excitement for my future.
Then covid happened.
With a little bit more than a month left in the cohort, a somber and uncomfortable meeting was had on the last day that I would go to the WCCI campus explaining that classes would be indefinitely moved to virtual instruction. All interactions with WCCI staff and students, including lectures and team work sessions, would take place by video call from home. This caused a great deal of unrest and stress with some of the students, myself included. I personally learn much better in person, as my brain kind of turns off some switches when I'm staring at a computer screen. To that end, I'm thankful that we only had half of a module left to finish by the time we made the transition. Through no fault of the program itself, this period of time is where I remember the least amount of information, and my confidence in the material I learned is substantially lower. A silver lining to virtual instruction, however, is that while the pandemic is still going on, most places of employment, including the office where I currently work, are also virtual. Learning how to use the technologies to stay connected and productive with your fellow coders is an extremely valuable skill these days, and potential employers will see the potential behind hiring a developer who already knows the hoops you need to jump through to work from home. In retrospect, it was very helpful that we transitioned to virtual when we did, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Overall, I highly recommend We Can Code IT if you're ready to put in the effort. It's a program that requires a lot of learning and unlearning, but they give you all the resources and help you need. Coding-wise, I feel like WCCI covered all the bases I need for my career future. In addition, everything I learned outside of coding has made me more confident in my ability to make big changes in my life and take initiative, two things I desperately needed. We Can Code IT was a positive experience for me, and I hope it's a positive experience for you too.
Just a brief word of advice: don't forget your semicolons and make sure everything's capitalized correctly. |