How To Launch Your New Career With Codeup During COVID-19

The last few weeks have been challenging for the world as we respond to the spread of COVID-19 and focus on the safety of our communities. At Codeup, we remain hyper-focused on our employment outcomes and delivering excellence to our students. However, we want to ensure we are doing so in a way that maintains the health and safety of our students and staff. For that reason, we’ve moved our classes from in-person to online for the time being. We continue to carefully monitor the situation both federally and locally, and will update our response accordingly. 

The spread of COVID-19 has disrupted many of our daily lives and future plans. As you explore new opportunities for your future, we hope you find that Codeup can still be your place to learn, grow, and invest in yourself, as it has been for our  600+ alumni that have transitioned into new careers with us.

Here are a few updates on how Codeup is responding to the challenges we face today: 

Live Instruction

Screenshot of Codeup students in virtual learning

At Codeup, you’re completing 670 hours of live instruction from our full-time instructors. That hasn’t changed just because we’re hosting class virtually! Our instructors are still delivering live instruction through video calls. One instructor leads the class while another instructor or Teaching Assistant supports, utilizing virtual breakout rooms to help students troubleshoot as they run into questions. We also utilize those virtual breakout rooms for pair programming projects with other students. 

Job Search Support & Student Placement

We have always complemented our technical curriculum with a professional development curriculum – and that’s all still live, too! Our Student Placement Team uses video calls, phone calls, and emails for resume editing, LinkedIn profile building, and job interview practice. In fact, our team just recently sent out best practices for video interviews – check them out here!  

As a career accelerator, we measure our success through our student outcomes. Our number one goal is to get you hired in-field after you graduate. Through these difficult times, it’s been great to see our recent grads still getting hired! You can follow along with their progress on our Alumni Portal

Free Events

Thanks to tools like Zoom, we are able to continue to host all of our events virtually. Whether you’re looking to get your feet wet with programming languages or meet our alumni and staff, we’ve got you covered. The best part is that you can join us from the comfort of your own home! Want to explore our upcoming events? Check out our events calendar here.

Upcoming Classes

We’re still accepting applications for our upcoming start dates, including: 

  • San Antonio Full-Stack Web Development: May 26th
  • San Antonio Data Science: July 13th
  • Dallas Full-Stack Web Development: July 13th
  • San Antonio Full-Stack Web Development: July 20th

We are working towards these classes starting in-person, but our Admissions Team can provide the most up to date information. 

What’s Next?

Codeup will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated. In the meantime, if you’re wondering how to start your career transition journey with Codeup, schedule a call with our admissions team, who is always ready to help!

15 Tips on How to Prepare For Virtual Interviews and Meetings

In response to the spread of COVID-19, many companies are making the switch to remote work – which means their hiring processes are moving remote, too. Our Student Placement Team recognizes that preparing for a video job interview involves different considerations and logistics than an in-person one. We’re sharing the tips they’ve gathered and have been coaching our students around to ensure you’re set up for success!
  1. Use your computer, not your phone for video calls. 
  2. Test audio and camera at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled interview. If sound quality isn’t great, use a headset or earphones to avoid an echo.
  3. Elevate your laptop with books, board games, etc. so your camera is at eye level to avoid staring down into the camera.
  4. Dress professionally—and not just from the top up! Dress the part to act the part.
  5. Make sure your username is your first and last name (as shown on your resume), and it is properly capitalized.
  6. Position yourself at a table, against a plain and neutral background. Avoid positioning yourself by a window and make sure there is no clutter around you.
  7. Check the lighting in the room. Light the room from the front and not from the back.
  8. Close all other applications on your laptop and turn off notifications.
  9. Silence your cell phone and disable vibration.
  10. Have a copy of your resume on hand.
  11. Attach post-its around the laptop screen with prompts and questions you wish to ask the interviewer
  12. Exclude kids, pets, etc. from the room during the interview.
  13. Have a pen and paper on hand.
  14. Have a glass of water next to you.
  15. Have the phone number of the interviewer in case the video connection is lost. 
On a career search and looking for more tips? Our team of professionals is here to help! Contact us to learn more about how Codeup can help you in your career journey!  Many of these tips were referenced from The New Rules of Work by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew. If you found these tips useful, check out the book, and don’t forget to share them with a friend to help them on their career search!

How To Have A Second Career Start With Codeup

 

     A lot of students enter Codeup from a previous career. We encounter diverse professionals from teaching, military service, the service industry, music, and more. From those prospective students thinking about a change, we often hear concerns like: “I don’t have any technical skills or background,” “I’m just a teacher,” “I’m only a barista,” “I’m only a hobby computer person”…”I could never be a software developer.”

 

     The good news is YOU, the people with a wide variety of non-software development backgrounds, are our specialty. At Codeup, you’ll leverage the qualities that make you good at what you already do, to excel in a new field.

 

     If you’re thinking about switching careers, you’ve probably already followed a plan: you listened to advice from a guidance counselor, went to college, developed a skill set, landed a job, and grew in your role. But maybe you found the day-to-day wasn’t what you expected, that what you’re good at isn’t good for you, or even that you want to learn and grow more. Maybe you need a second start?

 

     With over 574 alumni, we’ve heard that story a lot. We’ve also seen some surprising trends in common careers before entering Codeup. If you want a change but worry about the leap, check out some of the wide-ranging jobs Codeup grads come from and how their skills made them successful in the tech industry:

 

Teacher/Educator

  • Deep understanding of how to learn and study
  • The ability to understand someone else’s point of view
  • Experience structuring your time, managing a massive workload, and maximize output.
  • How to move yourself and others past learning barriers

 

Server/Barista

  • A work ethic focused on the need of your customers
  • The ability to think outside the box to find a solution
  • Experience working on a team to accomplish something special

 

Musician/Creative

  • Experience learning, reading, and becoming fluent in different non-verbal languages
  • The ability to build something new based on a set of parameters (a key signature, genre, and instrumentation is a lot like a programming language, functionality, and customer)
  • The skill of using your base knowledge to improvise a tune on the fly

 

     One of the biggest misconceptions we hear from prospective students is that they are at a disadvantage coming from a non-technical background. In fact, your background, whatever it is, is an ADVANTAGE in learning a new skill and entering the tech workforce. There are plenty of CS graduates, but there are very few Marine-veteran-musician-digital marketers turned software developers.

     Want to see for yourself? Hear from our students as they share their career stories, and see how far they’ve gone as developers! 

     If you’re looking for a second start and see yourself in any of the above careers or skills, we’d love to help you find your passion. Connect with our Admissions team to learn more.

 

How To Pick A Coding Bootcamp Curriculum

If you’re thinking about entering a career as a software developer, you’ve probably researched a few different bootcamps. During your research, you’ve probably seen a few different curricula. Without already BEING a software developer, it’s hard to know what’s what. In this post, we want to explore how to think about a bootcamp curriculum and recommend strategies about how to consider the best fit.

Let’s start with some terminology. Full-stack web development integrates work on both the front-end and the back-end. The front-end is the user-facing side that you interact within a web browser. The back-end is the server-side that involves the sending and receiving of data. Consider a restaurant website. A front-end only website would show a restaurant menu with prices, dishes, and ordering information. A full-stack web application would allow you to not only view the menu but place an order and process payment information for that order, interacting with a database and back-end functionality.

Within that understanding, there are a few groupings of technologies:

  • Object-Oriented Programming and back-end tech: This list includes programming languages like PHP, Java, C#, Ruby, and Node.js. These allow you to build functionalities into a web application. 
  • Database tools: Tools like MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, and Oracle let you store, send, and receive information.
  • Front-end technologies: Languages and frameworks like JavaScript, Angular, React, HTML, and CSS let you design a front-end interface.
  • Web frameworks: Spring Boot and Laravel are examples of web frameworks that help you stand up web applications more efficiently. 
  • Testing tools: In production, many companies leverage a methodology called Test Driven Development. This is when developers write tests first, and code second, letting them compare their code against a standard of approval. Common technologies include JUnit, PHPUnit, NUnit, MSTest, Jasmine.

With so many technologies out there, it can be hard to pick what’s best to learn. But here’s the secret: the specific technologies do not matter. The most important thing you’ll learn during a coding bootcamp is how to use these different categories of technologies. Whether you learn PHP or Java, MySQL, or  SQL Server, the important takeaways are the fundamental concepts learned. Many Codeup alumni graduate from our Full-Stack Java program and go on to work in PHP, Python, Ruby, Groovy, and other languages. Ultimately, a loop is a loop and an array is an array. Languages differ, but once you’ve learned an OOP language, the differences become syntactical instead of conceptual. 

This leads us to an important point: the more technologies, the worse! The quality of a curriculum, and thus the value of it, is not defined by the number of technologies covered. In fact, it’s the opposite. Let’s give some examples.

Columbia University is one of the premier academic institutions in the world. They are an Ivy League university with a strong reputation. In 2018, they expanded into the bootcamp space and launched a web development program that covers the following technologies: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap, Express.js, React.js, Node.js, Database Theory, MongoDB, MySQL, Command Line, Git, and more. All of that in 12 weeks. Let’s decode that for you with the terms we’ve already used. This curriculum promises to teach you:

  • Object-Oriented Programming and back-end tech: Node.js
  • Database tools: Database Theory, MongoDB, MySQL
  • Front-end technologies: HTML, CSS, jQuery, Bootstrap, Express.js, React.js

Now let’s look at Codeup. We teach: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Java, Spring, MySQL. All of that, in 22 weeks. In the terms we’ve discussed, that’s: 

  • Object-Oriented Programming and back-end tech: Java, Spring
  • Database tools: MySQL
  • Front-end technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery

The common initial thought is: why spend 22 weeks learning seven technologies when you could spend 12 weeks learning 10? And there lies the misconception. Many bootcamp curricula promise to teach you the latest and greatest technologies: React.js, Angular.js, Express.js, MongoDB, Node.js, etc. etc. etc. That may sound like a better bang for your buck, but it’s all a question of priority. Here is the reality of your choices:

  • Columbia bootcamp, broad and shallow: gain exposure to a wide variety of technologies in a short amount of time
  • Codeup, narrow and deep: gain expertise in software development fundamentals in a narrow scope of technologies

There is no inherently right answer here – it’s all about your priorities. That being said, here’s what we believe: Learning how to learn, learning how to think like a developer, and learning to program is far more important than gaining exposure to the latest web frameworks. When you understand programming fundamentals, you prepare yourself to learn whatever you want. It’s like learning how to work with a car: it’s great to know how to drive an Audi, but it’s pretty different from understanding how an Audi engine works and how it differs from a Honda. 

At Codeup, we focus on crafting you into a software developer. We focus on programming fundamentals, core web technologies, and applied practices. When you graduate, you’re ready to land a job and have the skills to learn any technology. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, connect with our Admissions Team and we can tell you more! 

Click here to hear our Codeup Alumnus, Po Lin’s, story about his journey graduating with a Computer Science degree and how he supplemented Codeup’s curriculum to launch a career into software development!

Your Investment Towards Your Future With Codeup

Codeup has trained over 500 software developers over 6 years in San Antonio. But we’re new to town here in Dallas, so we’re getting a lot of questions. Top of that list is, “Why are y’all so much more expensive than the other bootcamps in town?” In case you haven’t noticed, our Full-Stack Web Development program tuition is an investment of $27,500. But the secret is, we don’t cost that much – we’re worth that much. Codeup isn’t a bootcamp – it’s a career accelerator. Tuition is an investment in your future, and the ROI pays off. Let’s dive into why!

First of all, the upfront investment to enroll at Codeup is only $1,000 – a down payment to secure your seat. The entirety of the rest of your tuition can be arranged with a combination of scholarships, grants, and loans to support the remaining investment. Our dedicated Financial Aid and Enrollment Manager helps you navigate all the intricacies of tuition planning (if you want to get a head start, read our blog about bootcamp funding, explained).

Codeup focuses on quality. While other bootcamps leveraged venture-funding and corporate capital to expand quickly, opening 10+ campuses at a time, Codeup opened one campus. While other programs focused on volume, we focused on quality. We spent five years refining our program before expanding. Here’s the result that you now get to enjoy:

  • A custom-built, high-quality curriculum: other bootcamps have made their instructors build curriculum while they taught it…(Link blog post about our curriculum)
  • Top-knotch instruction: Your instructors have a combined 30 years of software development experience and 10 years of formal teaching experience. Local bootcamps hire 1 experienced instructor for every 5 alumni TAs. 
  • Job outcomes: In 2019, we placed 99% of our alumni in new careers in-field. Even when we operated exclusively in San Antonio, we placed 18 students in Dallas for an average starting salary of $85,000. The Codeup promise is simple: get a job or 100% of your money back.
  • Private ownership: Codeup launched in 2014 with 3 co-founders. After the first class, the company had re-paid initial investment and was cash-flow positive. Since then, our growth has been entirely organic. We’ve never taken outside investment, split equity, leveraged debt capital, or lost control of the business in any way. Our 3 co-founders are our 3 owners. Other bootcamps have been bought, sold, traded, closed…they change hands as assets in a venture capital investment game. What does that mean for you? We focus on your outcome, they focus on their bottom line. Anybody been following WeWork lately? The valuation bubble is bursting, and our students won’t get caught on the wrong side. PS, WeWork owns the Flatiron bootcamp…

If you’re considering a bootcamp education, you’re really considering an investment in yourself. Let’s be really clear – this is NOT school. This isn’t a high school diploma, an Associate’s or a BS in CS. This is a pathway to a career, the salary that will earn, and the meaning it will bring. Put on your investment hat: the upfront $$ isn’t as important as the Return On Investment. Our Dallas-bound graduates have had an average starting salary of $85,000. At less than 6 months long, you still have more than 6 months to work in that year. So what is your ROI? In the same year you are trained, you earn back your money. Within 12 months, you 3x your money.

You might ask, why not use that same math on a cheaper program? The answer is simple: other bootcamps don’t view it the same way. They are giving you an education, you are giving them a return on THEIR investment. Let’s take a more specific look:

Have more questions about your investment? Give us a call – we’d love the opportunity to chat with you about your possible future career in software development!

Financial Aid Options For Your Investment

Anyone who has ever thought about a coding bootcamp has probably run up against this first barrier: the investment. Paying for a bootcamp is scary and confusing because it’s different from traditional education. There are no Pell grants or FAFSA loans. The university tuition center doesn’t process your application 6 months in advance. Today’s blog is here to break down financial aid and tuition funding for bootcamps.

First off, if you want to attend a bootcamp, there are a lot of ways to make it work financially. We recommend starting with the question of “Is this the right path for me?” instead of “Can I afford this investment?”, so you don’t count yourself out before the race starts.

Now, let’s dive into the types of tuition funding available:

  • Self-payment: This is the most straightforward form of payment. Many bootcamps will accept cash, check, credit card, and ACH. Some will even accept bitcoin! 
  • Loans: Probably the most common payment type is to secure a loan through a private third-party provider. A loan is when an entity lends you money that you repay over time with interest. Students are likely familiar with loans from FAFSA, but the bootcamp space is a little different. Traditional degree-granting colleges and universities are accredited and governed under the federal Department of Education. That means they are eligible for federal funding for student loans. However, most bootcamps do not grant credit and are not accredited. Since the emergence of the bootcamp model, we have also seen the growth in private providers who are specifically tailored to the bootcamp model. For example, Codeup partners with Ascent Funding, Climb, and Meritize
  • Grants: A grant is a source of funding paid on your behalf without a requirement to be repaid, most often targeted at a particular mission. Many grants focus on workforce development and unemployment support. For example, Codeup partners with Workforce Solutions Alamo, Project QUEST, Skill QUEST, and Alamo Colleges who have provided grant funding for students to lower their tuition costs.
  • Scholarships: Scholarships fall into two buckets: externally-funded and internally-funded. Externally-funded scholarships are those where a third party, other than the school and the individual, pays for a portion of tuition. Internal scholarships are usually offered as tuition discounts from the school itself. For example, Codeup offers about $27,000 per class in scholarships to women, minorities, LGBTQIA, veterans, and first responders to increase access to tech careers.
  • VA Benefits: The last and least common form of tuition payment is VA Benefits. There are two groups here. Schools that have been in operation for over 2 years can apply to utilize VA Educational Benefits so transitioning service members and military veterans can use government benefits to cover school costs, most commonly with the Post 9-11 GI Bill. The second type of benefit falls under Employment Benefits, through which eligible providers can accept Vocational Rehabilitation, allowing veterans with 10% or more of service-related disability to re-skill. Codeup was one of the first bootcamps to be approved by the VA and offers both of the above forms of benefits. Schools must go through a rigorous approval process and ongoing compliance requirements to accept these benefits.

Now that you have an understanding of the types of benefits for your investment, let’s understand their relative pros and cons. 

                          Type of funding                            

                                    Pros                                 

Cons

Self-payment

No interest

No application process

Full payment due up front

Loans

Deferred tuition payment Loan interest accrues

Grants

Free money! Application and eligibility determination process
Scholarships Free money!

Not everyone is eligible

VA Benefits Tuition and monthly housing stipend

Only veterans and dependents are eligible

What’s next? The remaining problem is that planning your tuition is still a complicated and multifaceted process. You have to explore grant eligibility, apply for scholarships, qualify for loans, and arrange payments. To help you through this, at Codeup, we have a full-time Enrollment and Financial Aid Manager on staff to help you!

Get started at codeup.com/contact to start the conversation around the financial aid you qualify for your future career in tech!

Thinking About a Bootcamp to Transition Careers?

Five Questions to Ask Yourself When Thinking About a Bootcamp to Transition Your Career

When I was researching ways to transition my career from education to the tech field, I wasn’t really sure about the questions I should be asking myself. It’s hard to know what you should be thinking about when it comes to doing something you’ve never done before; the more drastic the transition, the more difficult it is to know! For me, time was a deciding factor because I’m an adult with a family and all of the responsibilities that come along with that role. I knew I wanted a non-traditional path to my new career, and that’s how I found Codeup, a career accelerator in Texas. A year and a half after I started researching my options, I’m a month away from completing Codeup’s Data Science program, and I have a much better idea of what you might want to think about if you’re starting to do your own research.

Here are five questions to ask yourself if you are thinking about a bootcamp to transition your career.

  1. What is my end goal? If like me, you are looking to transition from one career to another, you should be comfortable with the idea that whether you are going into web development or data science, you will be starting out as a junior. I was in education for almost two decades, so when I left, I was at the top of my profession. It’s one thing to think about how exciting it will be to learn and do new things, but the reality can be more jarring than you think. Be prepared to struggle like you haven’t in many years and even fail sometimes. Keep your eyes on the prize, landing that first job in a new field, and cut yourself some slack as you struggle with new concepts and experiences. You didn’t start at the top in your last career, and this one will be no different.
  2. How stable is my personal life? If you’re thinking about undertaking an intensive program to start the next chapter of your life, the last thing you need is to be distracted by a shaky personal life. You’re going to need some type of outside support, so you can focus all of your energy and attention on learning and practicing new skills. The cool thing about an intensive program like a bootcamp is that you are done in a fraction of the time it takes to finish a traditional degree. You will often have to sacrifice your nights and weekends, though, and that can be rough on your loved ones. Make sure to think and talk about those sacrifices before you commit to a program. Remember, it’s only for a short time!
  3. How much time do I need to prepare myself? I took a full year to get my life in order before starting my twenty-week data science program, and that worked for me. That gave me time to complete my teaching contract, save a little money, and complete the intensive amount of pre-work I needed to do for my program. I know most of the students in my cohort did not need that much time to prepare, so the time you need will be entirely up to your unique situation. Be honest with yourself, and don’t let others make you feel rushed. This is a lifestyle change, so build a solid foundation for your future success.
  4. Are my finances in order? This one goes along with preparing yourself, but it’s important enough to deserve its own question. At Codeup, you are strongly encouraged not to work during your program, and there is good reason for that. For a short window, you are committing all of your resources to a goal, and most likely you will need most of your outside time to study and work on projects. This is a huge sacrifice for most independent adults, so make sure you are diligent when answering this question. There were a few people in my cohort who had no choice but to keep a part-time job on the side. Be realistic with yourself about how challenging this new field is going to be for you, about family responsibilities you may have, and plan accordingly for the months you will be without an income.
  5. Do I have a Plan B? You might expect me to tell you here that you should have a good, solid Plan B in place in case you bomb out of your program. Only you know what you really need to be successful, but I will tell you that I had no Plan B, and I used that to motivate me during the most challenging times of my program. There are going to be times when you feel like you emotionally and even physically can’t keep going in such an intensive program. If I had had an easier and acceptable backup plan, there are many times I may have been tempted to take that option. As I head into my capstone project, I’m so happy and proud that I kept pushing myself to meet the challenges I faced along this journey. You should decide before you start if a Plan B will help or hurt you. Personally, I gave myself no option but to succeed.

 

There are so many things to consider when planning a major transition in your life, but asking yourself these five questions is a good place to start. Your answers and your journey will be uniquely yours, so don’t be discouraged if they look different from other students in your chosen program. Even with the growing appreciation for diversity in our workplaces, it can be intimidating to pursue your passion if you have a non-traditional background; trust me, I know! All I can tell you is that there is room for passionate and committed people in every field, so do your research and go get your dream life.

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WRITTEN BY

Educator, data scientist, barre junkie. I work and play in San Antonio with my husband, daughter, and pup. Connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/faithkane

 

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Follow Faith’s blog on medium for more incredible content like this, and click the link above to connect with her on Linkedin!

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5 Common Excuses Keeping You From Breaking Into the Tech Field

Just a few months before starting at Codeup in the Redwood cohort, I was sitting in the football stadium at the University of Colorado at Boulder, pondering what I would do after graduation. The commencement speaker that year was Kate Fagan, a sports reporter and commentator at ESPN. In her speech, something she said stuck out to me: “Try replacing ‘should’ with ‘want’ and, as frequently as you are able, make decisions with that rubric. Life is best when your ‘should’ and your ‘want’ are aligned.” Sitting there in that stadium, I realized that I knew exactly what I should be doing after graduating, which was applying to attend graduate school for the next five years. But the actual truth was, I didn’t know what I truly wanted. Did I really want to jump into something for five years that I wasn’t completely sure about?

With this in mind I moved to San Antonio after graduation, mostly to be closer to my family. One night at the dinner table, my brother-in-law mentioned several eye-catching billboards around town promoting a local coding bootcamp named Codeup. I had dabbled a bit in coding when I was in college, so my interest was immediately piqued. However, there were doubts nagging at the back of my mind. Am I even capable enough to attend an intensive coding bootcamp like this? I’m not really a super logical person… Am I cut out for this? etc, etc. Despite having a ton of reservations about my capabilities and the usefulness of attending a boot camp, I decided to take a leap of faith. And just a year-and-a-half later, I celebrated my one year as a software developer at Armor in Richardson, TX. In some ways, it feels like a dream. The hard work I put in, the days and nights of impassioned coding, pushing through all the excuses… and finally landing a dream job?! It’s a colorful blur.

So that’s why in this post, I want to address five common excuses that may be keeping you from considering a career in technology. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really make sense to let your fears and nagging doubts keep you from the job of your dreams.

1. “I’m not cut out for a career in tech”

This was one of the primary fears at the forefront of my mind when thinking about doing a complete shift to a technology career. And, as I went through Codeup, I heard this many times from my peers. To be honest, it doesn’t ever fully go away. There are days even now at work where I think I’m in over my head and that I don’t belong there (Imposter Syndrome, anyone?). This fear completely disregards the fact that I’m already doing it. The truth is, it isn’t always easy. Technology is constantly changing, creating new problems and forcing those within the field to continuously find new solutions. At my company, even our most senior developers are learning something new every day. We all have our doubts sometimes, but those self-limiting beliefs shouldn’t keep you from pursuing anything you set your mind to.

2. “I wouldn’t fit in with engineers”

Let me ask you something. What does a veteran, electrical technician, and college music teacher have in common? Well, there was at least one of each in my cohort at Codeup, and all of them excelled and went on to become software developers. Other characters in my cohort included a stay-at-home-mom, barista, marketing professional, and a chef. All of these, however, are just arbitrary labels. None of these people told themselves “I’m just going to be a barista forever, because that’s who I am” or “My personality only suits being in a teacher, so I’m not going to try something different.” The reality is, our self-concept is always constantly shifting. There was such a colorful diversity of backgrounds, personalities, and skill sets at Codeup, proving that there’s no one type or mold of individual that can pursue a technology career.

3. “I don’t want to work alone all day staring at a computer screen”

There are days where indeed this is the case for me, just “heads down coding”, but more often than not my days are filled with collaboration and communication with my teammates. When someone runs into a problem they don’t have the knowledge to solve, they track down someone who does. When a few of us are working in the same codebase, we make sure to frequently communicate to make sure we’re not stepping on each other’s toes. On top of that, we get to be a part of producing the product, providing feedback and suggestions. There are very few days where I just sit at my desk all day, boring holes into my computer screen. Although my experience may certainly be atypical, the main point I’m trying to make is that there is a large range of positions and cultures within the technology field. There are also other roles within the technology field beyond coding and data analytics, such as evangelists and solutions consultants. Both of these have lots of interaction with people and clients! Don’t be afraid to try a few different things until you find your fit.

4. “I don’t have enough experience”

Most of us at Codeup did not come in with prior experience in coding. The great thing about coding bootcamps is that they typically take you from 0 to 100 in a condensed period of time. They guide you through the entire process, allowing you to maximize your success, with everything from technical skills, networking, portfolio-building, and resume review. Even with bootcamps aside, there is a plethora of both paid and free resources online that give you the ability to learn a lot of the preliminary skills you would need. There are communities (e.g. Chingu) with the sole purpose of learning and building projects in new technologies. Experience can be gained, so seek out those resources. They’re only a few keystrokes away.

One thing to note about the technology field is that it’s becoming more and more heavily based on experience and not your formal education. Many companies will see the value in someone who has practical experience. The reality is that many companies are shifting towards seeking out individuals that can come in and hit the ground running with practical know-how instead of purely theoretical education.

5. “I’m not tech savvy enough.”

Although basic computer skills are necessary for success, it’s probably not as much as you think. And like I mentioned above, being able to excel in this field is all about embracing change and learning to learn. You may think you’re not tech savvy because you always have issues with your radio or you can’t get your apps to work right or you get frustrated with your computer software for not doing what you want it to – all of these things are valid struggles. Trust me, I’ve been there. The reality is this: Many of these skills can be learned.


As you look into pursuing a career in the technology field, don’t let these thought patterns keep you from getting where you want to be. Instead, ask yourself the real questions: Why do I want to do this? What kind of lifestyle do I see for myself? What am I passionate about? Excuses are excuses, not truths about you and your life. Set a vision and relentlessly pursue it, letting all these limiting beliefs slide off of you. They don’t have to define your journey.


Joyce Ling is a software developer at a cloud security company based in Richardson, TX. In her free time, she sings in a women’s chorus, rock climbs, plays guitar, and currently runs an organization to bring queer women together in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. 

Follow her on Instagram @ironicsushi or read more of her work at The Luscious Word.

Which Program is Right for Me?

To Web Develop or to Data Science?
That is the question.

With our recent program launch, Codeup now offers two technical career tracks: “Full Stack Web Development – Java” and “Data Science.” If you’re a prospective student, you might be wondering which program is right for you! First, we recommend understanding what data science is and what full-stack web development is. Second, ask yourself the following three questions:

PAST: WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?

One key difference between our programs is the prerequisite background knowledge. Our web development program doesn’t have any required skills! Some students enter with no tech experience, and others enter with a lot. Having programming experience is always a plus, but not a must. However, Data Science relies on experience in math, statistics, and basic programming for all incoming students. You’ll need concepts like working with matrices, writing Python functions, and solving systems of equations. That means that you either need coursework in those subjects, self-teaching experience, or on the job training.

Your answer to this question isn’t a simple yes/no, but it should help you determine the ramp-up period to one of our programs and which one fits you better now. If you don’t have any math or programming background, web development may be a better fit. If you have a Math or CS degree, data science may be.

PRESENT: WHAT GETS YOU EXCITED? (WHERE ARE YOU NOW?)

Do numbers get you hyped up? Do you love or hate excel? Do you really like programming? Do massive data sets feel intimidating or exciting? Do you enjoy statistics and math? Do you like being visually creative? Do you want to build web applications? Do you want to focus just on technical work or mix technical and business work?

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it should kickstart your thinking to explore your intrinsic interest in the content of our programs. Try to understand what each profession does day-to-day, and then ask yourself: which gets me more excited? And make sure your answer is brutally honest! Our programs have the same structures, and both career paths are in demand with great opportunity. You’re in great shape either way, but you’ll be much happier with the content that makes you happy.

FUTURE: WHAT JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU WANT DOWN THE LINE?

When you graduate from Codeup, we’ll help you land your first job. From the Web Development program, that likely means a job as a software developer, web developer, or programmer. From the Data Science program, that likely means a job as a data scientist, data engineer, or machine learning engineer. But that’s just the first job! As you move through your tech career, you’ll discover new interests and opportunities, like the following.

Web Development: web developer (alternative titles: web designer, UI/UX designer, front-end developer, front-end engineer, full-stack developer, software developer), programming, quality assurance technician, technical sales, product/project manager, etc.

Data Science: data scientist, analysts of all kinds (data, business, risk, fraud, marketing, web, competitive), customer intelligence, business intelligence, data engineer, dashboard/data visualization developer, machine learning engineer, etc.

NOW WHAT?

You now know what data science and full-stack web development are. You have compared your background skills with our program prerequisites. You have thought about what content gets you more excited! And lastly, you’ve considered what future opportunities you’ll want to open for yourself.

Did you decide which program is a better fit? Awesome, congrats! You can apply here and begin your journey to a career you love!

Still not sure? Let us help! Codeup’s mission is to help you launch your career, and or staff is dedicated to helping you find your fit.

5 Things Codeup Doesn’t Tell You

I remember during my first day of Codeup I began to doubt my ability to overcome the challenges that lay ahead. I soon learned that what I was experiencing was “impostor syndrome.” Jason Straughan, Codeup’s CEO, introduced us to this phenomenon that same day. Thanks to his kind advice I was able to identify, and overcome my doubts. Codeup shared many valuable lessons with me, but some lessons were taught through exposure outside of the Vogue building. If you decide to enroll at Codeup, you will find yourself learning many things outside the classroom. I realized through my own journey that there are things Codeup didn’t tell me. So, I’ve narrowed it down to the 5 main things I had to learn on my own as a newly placed software developer.

You Need to be Multilingual

You need to be adaptable and willing to open your ears to all ideas. They say the best way to learn a different language is through practice. In most of our professional and non-professional lives, relationships will have an assigned lingo to properly cater to that relationship. Furthermore, professional groups and organizations like projectQUEST, H-E-B, and Codeup have their own kind of language. These languages are used to identify and recognize individuals of that group or organization. It is important to keep this in mind before you start ANY application process, or start working with new people.

Even though I did not have a college degree, I still had an interest in developing coding skills. I understood early on in my application process that I was in control of my outcome. I assumed determination contained the key to my success, and soon found myself being referred to ProjectQUEST for financial assistance.I would have never known about ProjectQUEST if the Codeup staff had not offered this vital information. The dedication and support offered by these organizations helped me through the multiple application processes. If you plan to visit projectQUEST or Workforce Solutions to inquire about their grants, make sure you’re determined to learn their language, and earn the money. If you have the right amount of determination you can find the proper channels fueling San Antonio’s STEM ecosystem through a simple Google search. Determination is one of the common denominators all Codeup graduates share, and if you too share this similarity, check out the scholarships offered by Codeup.

People want jobs, but not everyone wants to work.

via GIPHY

Codeup’s mission statement is the following, “At Codeup, we focus on two things: you and your success. Find a job within six months of graduation, or get 50% of your tuition returned.” Let me assure you they deliver in service,  content, and in career guidance. However, the staff cannot force you to either study the curriculum or develop programming skills for you. There are people that come ready to overcome adversity, then there are the few who expect to be fed morning tacos with a silver spoon. If you’re seriously considering Codeup, you need to prepare yourself to manage the beautiful chaos of assignments, interviews, and presentations.

My high school soccer coach had a saying, “Do you think Ronaldo is going to parachute from a helicopter and score for you?” We never expected Ronaldo at our high school practices but that was our coach handing down some of his kind wisdom. He used this as a tactic to build the team up before the start of our shooting drills. Ronaldo is a world star player who plays at a professional level so what coach Ramos was really trying to say was, “Work hard if you want the goal. Don’t expect someone to come and score for you!” You need to have a sense of responsibility before embarking on your own journey and launching your career.

Have a servant’s heart.

Some lessons weren’t coming from a screen or projector and I considered these some of my favorite lessons because they spoke more about human character. A perfect example is when the Codeup staff noticed a need in our community and decided to share their passion for service with all San Antonians. The office staff volunteered to serve at the San Antonio Food Bank. This was one of the unspoken teachings Codeup shared with me – these amazing individuals create an environment where you can grow in skill and as a human being. Kudos to them!

I will iterate once again that Codeup will not force you to do something you don’t want to do. As a newly placed member of this ecosystem and a Codeup graduate I would like to ask Codeup fellows and members of the community to ponder, “How are we contributing to the San Antonio ecosystem?” Having the heart of a servant is something Codeup can’t force you to do, but is a skill necessary to achieve self growth and development.

Don’t eat the tacos!

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Codeup is geared to focus on your professional life, and not your waistline. The Codeup family loves to spoil the cohorts with food, they must know the way to a developer’s heart. The morning tacos, the pizza, and snacks should be enough to lure you into the Vogue building. I loved every bite and sip of these delicious perks. However I do have to confess I gained a few pounds during my time at Codeup. I was also on a budget so the ramen noodle isle at the Walgreens became very familiar. Now that I look back I wish I only had one slice of pizza instead of my usual three.

One of the hardest parts of my Codeup journey was finding time to exercise. Taking care of myself felt impossible in this intense immersive environment, but believe me when I say “It is possible!” This was thanks to one of my colleagues, who insisted on completing daily reps of stairs up and down the Travis Park garage.I felt instant restoration after just a few days of exercise. This simple exercise routine helped me deal with stress and gave me enough time to meditate on the things that pushed me towards triumph.

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

The saying “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” has stuck with me since I was thirteen years old, and made the dumb decision to complain about my job in front of my dad. My dad was not fond of me complaining of the man who signed my checks, so he shared a lesson behind his belligerent words. This made me realize that my ego was blocking my ability to humble myself, and that I needed to be thankful to the people that were trying to help me. His wise words taught me to stay loyal to those who become part of my upbringing.

This saying has stuck with me ever since, and I decided to mark it as a special lesson. A lesson I could only acquired through experience. I realize now the same goes with any organization or relationship that we hold, professional or non professional. We should be able to acknowledge where our loyalties stand, and if we are giving the proper amount of recognition to those who have helped us.

The Codeup staff did everything in their power to plug me into a bigger network of opportunities. Lastly, I was exposed to a network of genuinely loving, and caring people. These amazing benefits make me appreciate the Codeup program so much more. I walked in with the desire to learn computer programming. I am leaving with the ability and skills that say “I am a software developer!”