Before Thinkful, Dominick was a Director of Operations at a coworking space. It wasn’t a purely technical role, but it did allow him the opportunity to dabble in web development.
That experience helped Dominick realize that he wanted to change careers and become a developer full time. In order to build the skills necessary to make the transition, Dominic enrolled in our Software Engineering bootcamp.
We recently chatted with him to see how Thinkful's flexible tech education, 1-on-1 mentorship, and what he calls our “secret sauce” helped him land a Customer Support Engineer role in San Francisco.
Tell us: what were you doing before Thinkful?
I have a bachelor’s degree in Business and a master’s degree in Fine Arts for Film Producing. I’ve worked as a news producer and right before Thinkful, I was the Director of Operations for a coworking space.
My previous role allowed me the opportunity to learn and grow as I took on more web development-type tasks. That’s when I realized that I could spend eight hours a day banging my head against the wall and still leave with a sense of accomplishment.
That realization is ultimately what led me to want to build my technical skill set and enroll.
What made you decide to enroll at Thinkful specifically?
The part-time, remote learning helped me with the decision to enroll since I was working a full-time job. Thinkful seemed to be the most well-rounded, truly full-stack education.
Describe your learning experience. Was the Software Engineering course what you expected?
The mix of learning on your own time within the pace of the program with guided mentorship was an exact fit to my learning style.
I also enjoyed how seemingly complex ideas were broken up into manageable chunks. We were given the theory behind why something works. Then we were given an example.
Finally, we got to implement on our own. That allowed me to internalize the knowledge rather just using memorization.
How was your mentor relationship beneficial to your learning experience?
I definitely needed my mentors. Roadblocks occur at different points for different people. Being able to bounce my ideas off someone else or explain where I was getting stuck was more valuable than I could have imagined.
My mentor was truly a calming presence for me. She got me out of my own head into the problem/task at hand so that I could create something from start to finish.
What has been your hardest challenge throughout the program?
Organization. While Thinkful breaks everything down piece by piece, keeping track of those pieces does get a bit daunting. I had to try several methods to keep myself organized, and ensure what I was learning and doing was moving me forward.
What was your favorite aspect about the program?
My favorite aspect of the program has to be the secret sauce — whatever it is that takes you from learning how to write a few lines of code to having the confidence to go out into the world and write more code.
It’s a mix of the curriculum and the mentors showing you different paths, and the newfound confidence you gain from learning.
Describe your new role.
Currently I’m a Customer Support Engineer. The role is a little bit of customer service mixed with development. I get to learn a unique product from the ground up and work with companies using our product.
There is a lot of debugging in the console and custom configurations that the customers use, so I’ve definitely gained strong experience to see what doesn’t work and how to fix it.
Do you have any advice for prospective students?
Keep working, learning, and trying new things. Don’t get complacent, because even though the technology does get easier the more you learn, that also means the problems get bigger, and you have to stay ahead as best you can.