How Suzanne Allen Gained Confidence & a New Career

You are looking to be challenged and have the opportunity to move up in your career.
You were worried that a bootcamp wouldn’t give you enough credibility to get a job.
As a Project Manager

After Dojo:
Confidence to solve any problem
She dreams of leading her own team
As a Customer Success Engineer in a robotics laboratory

Program: Three bootcamps in Oakland, CA
Our Career Services Manager was extremely helpful. He guided us through the application, preparation, and interview process over several weeks. It was really helpful.
Please tell us a bit about yourself. What were you doing professionally before the bootcamp?
I am 28 years old. I enjoy being outdoors and love to bike, hike, and visit national parks. I have recently taken up water color. I play the piano, and the violin. I enjoy playing the violin and the piano. From there, I entered the bootcamp.
Why did you choose to enroll in a bootcamp for coding?
I was looking for a career that fulfilled the following criteria:
I wanted to be challenged and forced into learning new things.
I wanted to be able move up in the company
I wanted to be able to offer advice and have the skills to do it. I wanted my time to be billed. I didn’t want my time to be overpriced.
I wanted to be able work remotely or part-time.
My career as project manager did not have any of these things so I searched for a career that did. Coding fit the bill.
What were your fears and doubts that prevented you from enrolling? How did you overcome them?
I was concerned that a bootcamp would not give me enough credibility to get a job. I was also concerned that I wouldn’t have enough knowledge going in and would fall behind. I read many articles and reviews about bootcamps and spoke with people who had been to them. Their insight and advice was very helpful.
What was the secret to Coding Dojo’s success? Why did you choose Coding Dojo over other programs?
I created a list of pros and cons for a variety of bootcamps in the Bay Area. I considered cost, location, curriculum, pre-reqs and so forth. Coding Dojo was the best option for me in all these areas. Best results and curriculum, best location, no pre-reqs. It was also great that there was an open house so I could see the place and learn more about it.
How was it to prepare for bootcamp? How did you prepare for the bootcamp?
I was both excited and nervous. The open house was very helpful. I completed all the pre-course work, and took some online courses/tutorials about HTML, CSS, or Javascript. I had no prior coding experience so I was trying as hard as I could to understand what was happening. I found the pre-course work and the expectations regarding the time required to complete the course very helpful.
Talk us through the first few weeks of the program. Which parts were your favorites? What parts were difficult?
It was a great experience. I loved the material being taught and how much I was learning. It took a lot of time and it was stressful to fall behind. It was manageable. I enjoyed making friends and spending time coding with people. It was great to have a fun group of people. It’s so much more enjoyable to do it with others than at home.
What were your strategies for overcoming the difficulties you faced?
I had a great support system at my home. The admissions representative had told me to make sure that I had great support. My husband was a great support and helped me through. Teachers and TAs were another great resource. They were able help me when I couldn’t solve a problem.
Do you have any funny stories to share about bootcamp? Make friends! Do you have fond memories?
The bootcamp was a great place to make friends. I liked sports day. We would take some time to relax. We started dressing up in the theme of our projects during our project presentations. One team created a website for booking camping spots. They wore camping gear. Another team created a web application to manage ski lodges. They also wore ski gear. It was great fun.
How did you feel about your job prospects and skills as you neared graduation?
I was worried about not being qualified as I didn’t have a degree from computer science. Our Career Services Manager was extremely helpful. He guided us through the application, preparation, and interview process over several weeks. It was really helpful. It was also nice to see how others were doing. It was great to be in it together.
Did the bootcamp provide you with anything other than coding skills?
I definitely