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How I Utilized My GI Bill(r) Benefits to Launch a Career in Coding

How I Utilized My GI Bill(r) Benefits to Launch a Career in Coding

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the Winter issue U.S Veterans Magazine by Cody Baermann, a Bellevue graduate.
I was a section leader in infantry for the U.S. Marine Corps for 4 years. I was responsible for training a 20-member team, identifying and correcting any deficiencies in the unit, and was a direct advisor to senior management. I was stationed behind a machine gun in Afghanistan. It was a completely different world. I was a full-time college student right after I left the Marine Corps. I was constantly moving from one job to the next and couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. I switched my major three times, from chemistry to electrical engineering and biology. All three majors required basic coding classes. My wife and I discussed the things that I loved about school. All things pointed towards coding. The best thing about coding is the freedom to create what I want. My daughter was young so I had to rely on my family. It was a situation where everything was possible. I believed in my abilities and knew that we would succeed. Coding Dojo offered an introductory platform, which included learning basic algorithms and the syntax of code. We then built programs, which was a completely different level of programming. To get the programs to work, I did the “follow-alongs”. The biggest hurdle I faced was understanding the syntax of the C# track. If the material doesn’t make sense immediately, you will need to put in the hours. Coding bootcamp is extremely condensed. You have to put in the work if you want success. It was a lot of repetition and reworking the same assignments until I had the material firmly in my head. Coding Dojo had a 20-minute rule: If you have a problem, stay with it for 20 minutes and then ask a partner to help. If you and your partner can’t solve the problem within 20 minutes, ask an instructor. This rule encourages teamwork. This skill is essential once you are able to work in software engineering and development. We never felt that the coursework was too difficult because we always had someone to turn to for help. I was anxious about graduation. With a family, I wanted to find employment as soon as possible so I put pressure on myself. I sent the same resumes to all companies – which isn’t the best strategy. It is important to look at the job description carefully, note the language used, then adapt some of your projects to fit that job. It is important to have multiple projects that you can use in your resume. You should list more than one Python project if you are applying for a Python developer job. It shows how proficient you are in the language. Everything took off the moment they made contact. After a Chime interview, I received a call with the job offer. It was a great stress reliever to receive that call. You can wake up whenever you want, and do whatever they ask. You are responsible for your success in coding bootcamp. You must get up and do it. To succeed, you must be accountable for your actions. It’s easier to get a job if you know more. To improve your life and the future of your family, you’re going to coding bootcamp. There will always be self-doubt, and challenges. It is not easy to squeeze years of learning into a few months. Once I started, there was never a moment when I thought it was impossible. You just need to persevere and be mentally strong. This is the nature of coding. -Or, if your goal is to learn how to code and have a better life for your family, Coding Dojo bootcamp has accelerated learning programs that will transform your life. We offer online and onsite courses. We offer scholarships, financing options, and other tuition assistance programs to help with financial barriers. There is no better time to invest in your future and yourself than now! Click this link to schedule a 15 minute exploratory session with one our Admissions representatives.

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