Sean is a Thinkful graduate who is now working as a Full Stack Developer in Michigan. Learn more about how he went from working in restaurants to becoming a developer, and how Thinkful helped him get there with our Software Engineering course.
Why did you want to learn how to code?
I didn’t start learning to code until pretty late in life. I had already graduated undergrad with a Bachelor’s in Anthropology and ended up working in restaurants for 2–3 years after graduating. I wanted to learn to code because it aligned with my interest in science and physics and also seemed like an interesting career path.
I started teaching myself first and found that a lot of the concepts came pretty naturally. I decided to take it seriously and enrolled after that.
What did you do before Thinkful?
I was working in restaurants. I always knew that eventually, I wanted to pursue something more fulfilling and meaningful to me. When I began to dabble with code, I found the problems to be fun and rewarding. It seemed like the next natural step, being that I knew I was interested in coding, was to really take it seriously and dive headfirst into some more complex material.
How has Thinkful helped you in your career?
Thinkful helped me jump start a totally new career path. I went from being a restaurant worker with an Anthropology degree to a full stack developer at an interesting company in just about 8 months.
Erin (Head of Student Success) was always responsive whenever I had questions and never missed a call as soon as I started my job search. She offered great feedback as well as helped to keep me motivated when I was getting turned down by over 100 companies.
What was the most challenging part of the curriculum?
The curriculum was really solid. I learned a lot of different technologies while making some pretty fun applications. I also was able to pick up on industry standard and best practices.
The most challenging part of the curriculum was the projects with short instructions. They were challenging but provided a great experience for learning how to do things on your own.
However, aside from actual coursework, the job search was by far the most challenging part!
What would be your advice to aspiring developer students?
My advice for aspiring students is to work extremely hard. The more you put in, the more you will get out of it. Do everything you can without Google or help from your mentor. Take notes on everything. Build as much as you can as well. Find a side project that you’re really interested in, make it bug-free from the start, and continue to add features and edit it over time. Try to get users to get on the app, and then you will have something awesome that you built on your own, which will help greatly in job interviews.
What was your favorite project you’ve built? Why?
My favorite project in the curriculum was the Blocmetrics app. It was cool because it was a nice balance between backend and frontend. It was also great to learn how to open up a connection to another server and make a POST request to it.
I ended up deploying this one to Heroku and still use it to this day to track different events that happen on my portfolio.
Do you think Thinkful gave you a good return on your investment?
I got a great return on my investment. I will earn back everything I spent in only a few months.