Recently, we posted Kelsey’s take on her Zip Code Wilmington experience. This week, we’re learning about Sujatha’s experience at the Zip Code Wilmington boot camp. She attended the boot camp in September of 2016.
Sujatha and her husband emigrated to the United States from India. She had worked as a developer in India, but as the spouse of a visa holder, the law at the time required a multi-year waiting period before obtaining work privileges. As her family grew, she became occupied with those obligations. Sujatha ended up with a 7-year gap in her career history that proved problematic once she was again eligible to look for work.
Q: How did you first hear about Zip Code Wilmington?
I found them through Google. I was in a phase where I was so frustrated at not getting any jobs, despite searching everywhere. I applied for so many full-time jobs, but since I had a 7-year gap in my career, no one would consider me. A random search in Google brought me to the Zip Code Wilmington page. I also saw their Facebook page and read all their reviews there. That’s how I got to know about them.
Q: What motivated you to apply for the boot camp?
It was the testimonials and the videos of the alumni. They were from so many different backgrounds that were completely unrelated to the software industry. They came into the boot camp, got trained, and are software developers now. That got me interested.
Q: What was boot camp experience like for you?
It was amazing. I learned computer engineering in India and worked there for 3 years. I was comfortable with Java, so learning Java wasn’t the problem. It was the exposure to the people that I enjoyed. It was welcoming for me, it was more than welcoming. I loved the people. They just embraced me. Every morning, I loved going to Zip Code Wilmington to see the people.
Q: What was your favorite part of the boot camp?
We used to have a daily assignment every morning. It was so hard, but we’d be expected to finish it in one hour. That trained my brain to work under pressure. I never knew that I was capable of that. Initially, that was hard for me. Later on, I got so good at it. It made my brain work faster.
Q: What was the most challenging part of the boot camp?
We were asked to do a lot of things in very little time. We would get 10 to 12 assignments over the weekend and then we wouldn’t be able to finish everything. Even people who knew how to code couldn’t finish it. We were always running and always had our plates full. An actual working environment is not as complicated as the things we encountered at Zip Code Wilmington. At the boot camp, you were coding, coding, coding all the time. And you had to get really good at it.
Q: What traits do you need to be a good coder?
There are so many varieties of people who get into Zip Code, but they all land in a job that is suitable for them. People who are outgoing and good programmers get into a job like a business analyst. People who are nerds get into full-time developer jobs. Anyone can learn to code. If you can solve puzzles, you can ace coding. Coding is all about logic. If you can think logically, if your analytical skills are good, then you can master being a programmer.
Q: Did the boot camp lead to a new job for you?
Yes! I had a lot of interviews and multiple offers. I am now working for TD Bank in Mount Laurel. Many people hear that and think it sounds too good to be true, but believe me! I didn’t believe it until I saw the instructors face to face. But it’s true, it’s all true. I’m a living example.
Q: What advice would you give to others thinking about learning to code?
I would tell them to just try it out. Few of us know what we are capable of. First, fall into the water. Only then will you know if you can swim. It might be for you, you never know. It’s not for everyone, but I say try it and see if it is a good fit for you or not.