Ted started exploring the world of web development during his free time while working as a Personal Trainer. Bit by the programming bug, he decided to work towards changing his career with our Software Engineering course.
Ted is now working in Ohio as a Web Developer after finishing the program. Here's more about Ted and his experience breaking into the world of web development.
What was your favorite part of the curriculum?
My favorite part of the curriculum were the mentors. Having them really changed learning for me. I never had any prior experience with a mentor who knew how to code. So having someone who not only had experience but was extremely proficient at coding helped me with my confidence tremendously.
What’s the most challenging part of the curriculum?
The most challenging part of the curriculum were the projects. But at the same time, that is where I learned the most. Building things is where you get to finally test out what you think you know. Having to workout a build process and then implementing it really tests your knowledge. Then you have to fix all your bugs and make sure that you are completely happy with the product you are putting out. It was by far the most challenging but rewarding part.
Walk me through your favorite project. What was it and what was your process?
My favorite project was the Jams project. I have used Spotify quite a bit, so seeing how it gets put together and then being able to take it from vanilla JS to jQuery to finally AngularJS was an amazing experience.
My process was to take the outline that was put into place and break each task down to as small a task as possible. Breaking down large tasks really makes it easier to see the big picture but at the same time not overthink what you have to do. Just thinking I have to build a Spotify clone can be intimidating, but just thinking “ok, time to build a navigation bar” isn’t as overwhelming.
What are you most excited about in your new role?
The thing that I am most excited about in my new role is that I finally get to use the skills that I have been working on so hard. I have put in so many hours into learning how to code and building projects that being able to work for a company that wants to use my skills is very rewarding. I get to do the thing I love as a job. Not many things are better than that.
Did you find that Thinkful offered a good amount of support throughout your program?
Thinkful's support throughout the program was amazing. Whether it was the mentors answering emails or having a billing question, Thinkful always responded in a quick and timely manner. I had numerous times where I would have to freeze my program for various reasons and it was never an issue. The mentors would make sure I had things to do in the off week and Thinkful was always very supportive and understanding when I had to freeze.
How was your experience with Career Services?
Thinkful's career services was spectacular. They checked on how I was doing after the program quite frequently. They looked at my resume, portfolio, and LinkedIn to make sure I had everything as optimized as possible. They gave me tips I never would have thought about for my LinkedIn and resume that definitely made it look more professional. Career services was amazing.
Looking back, is there anything you’d do differently during your time at Thinkful?
Looking back, there were times that I got frustrated and would think that I wasn’t talented enough or that I would never understand these concepts. So the only thing I think I would do differently is just remain more confident. The mentors that I had did a great job or working with me to keep my confidence high and taking me through things that I struggled with slowly.
What were your mentor sessions like?
Mentor sessions were great. I had two different mentors and they each had their own unique style of teaching, but I think that was more beneficial to see how multiple people approached coding to help give me my own style. We would first do some basic small talk about life and how things were going. Then we would dive into that weeks work and see how I had been progressing and where I was struggling.
If I ever had questions, they did a great job of helping me wrap my head around complex ideas. They never made me feel like I couldn’t do it. They would also give me other resources to check out to help accelerate my learning.
I was a big fan of not only doing the Thinkful curriculum, but reading books on the topics I was covering to help supplement my process. My mentors always had great recommendations and motivational tools to help me through.
When did you know you wanted to learn how to code?
I knew I wanted to code when I started doing some self teaching. I had looked into basic web site building when I was younger and enjoyed it but it ended up taking a back seat to other things in my life. A couple of years ago I had more free time than usual so I started looking back into coding. My free time would fly by because I would be so engrossed with my learning. That’s pretty much when I knew.
It wasn’t something I had to do but something I wanted to do.
What attracted you to code?
What attracted me to coding was that you get to solve a puzzle every time. I am big on puzzles and challenges and every time you build something you get to challenge yourself. You are always having to learn and keep up to date on your knowledge so you can conquer the challenges. Just because you are creating an application or a web site that you have done something similar before doesn’t mean you can do the exact same thing.
There are so many small details about coding that you always get to learn something new and constantly grow.