Student Blog – Josue Plaza
Josue Plaza is a student in our current cohort, codenamed “Badlands.” He has a creative background and writes music for video games. We’re very happy to have him be a part of our class. He recently wrote a blog for us about why he wants to do Codeup:
About two weeks ago, I had spent an afternoon planning my summer class schedule at Texas State University. This schedule had to be well-defined, ensuring I would have enough time to commute to San Marcos in the morning then drive back to San Antonio for my day job. It was a painstaking process, but I had finally cultivated the perfect schedule to fit my needs.
However, the morning I learned about Codeup, I dropped all of the summer courses, scaled back the work hours, and enrolled immediately.
Why? What is Codeup? Why am I deciding to stall my college education to take courses in a bootcamp about programming?
At Texas State University, I spent that last three years working at the college radio station. Eventually, I was hired to become the production director in charge of managing a staff of over 30 volunteers and overseeing the production, implementation, and scheduling of all radio spots for airtime. When my term finished, I realized that deep-down in my heart that I loved working there because of the people, but I did not enjoy the work. Naturally, this terrified me. Here I am, roughly 30 credit hours away from a bachelor degree in a field I no longer have an interest in participating. I needed to get a job out of college. What else could a mass communication degree point me towards?
It’s no secret that the computer science industry is booming. We live in a time where we are witnessing ground-breaking innovation in technology on a daily basis.
This has not only altered the world around us, but also how we interact with it and each other. Thirty years ago, maintaining a business was a primarily brick-and-mortar venture. If you had a dream to start selling clothes, you invest in a shop downtown and work harder to become popular in your city. Today, you can create the business from the luxury of your home and reach an exponential amount of customers. You can use tracking analytical tools to find out what items your customers are most interested in, then place advertisements to better tailor their interests. You can supply niche markets with products and be able to sustain yourself. You can even create your own start-up company to satisfy a new and upcoming demand.
The craziest part about the industry is how accessible is it to break in to. Your educational background comes second to your experience and knowledge about development. Because of the rapidly evolving environment, traditional curriculum cannot keep up with the demand for web development related careers. At Texas State University, the most coding-oriented class offered was basic web design (when I return for the fall semester, a new class known as “Coding and Data Skills” will be available).
Codeup is a full-time course that teaches you web development. Plain and simple. They are not an accredited institution with a traditional curriculum, and everything about them is revolutionary. (Editor’s note: As an independent school, Codeup is licensed and regulated by the Texas Workforce Commission, approved by the Department of Veteran Affairs, and audited by the Council for Integrity in Results Reporting.)
Although the class is made up of about 20-30 students, there are at least 3 instructors per cohort that are available to aid the students whenever they need it (a student ratio which absolutely stomps on my university’s 300+ student-per-teacher ratios). They also provide consistent review sessions every day. If you have someplace to be during the weekdays, you can review with other students on Saturdays, all optional but available for any student that needs extra guidance.
At first, I was extremely hesitant to take part in this unusual course structure. However, after my first week, I have become extremely motivated and even excited to finish and pursue a career in this field.
For me, the most important factors are to feel the magic as I begin my programming journey and realize I could be doing this every day if done for a living. The instructors told us once that successful programmers code because they love it. I can say for me that it was love at first sight.
We are looking forward to seeing how he grows as a developer and what he builds in the future! Good luck, Josue!
Josue is a 21-year old senior at Texas State University. He was the production director for KTSW 89.9FM college radio station, producing hundreds of radio spots while directing a team of 20-30 volunteer staff. Under his leadership and production experience, the KTSW production department received three first-place awards: 2014 Winner for Best Radio Production (TIPA), 2014 Winner for Best Radio PSA (TIPA), and 2013 Winner for Best PSA for Cyber Security Awareness (South Central NBS). He has a strong passion for music in video games & film. In his free time, Josue produces for bands, singer-songwriters, and hip-hop artists. He also DJs and performs as Ex Gratia with singer-songwriter Kimberly Witthaus.