How Bellevue Graduate Richard Lee Upgraded His Career in the Cloud

As an Aircraft Engine Mechanic in U.S. Army
To become a dietician, I enrolled in college
After his service, he longed for a financially secure career.

After Dojo:
As a Cloud Network Engineer at Microsoft
He loves to code and plans on automating many of his tasks using Powershell & Python.
You dream of being an architect who can plan, test, and build complete networks using the latest technology

Program: Three Full Stack Bootcamps in Seattle, WA
Coding Dojo was my first step to a new career. Everything clicked for me and I was eager to learn more.
Please tell us a bit about yourself. What were you doing professionally before the bootcamp?
I am a veteran of 34 years. I enjoy camping, powerlifting, and snowboarding with my wife and two daughters. Prior to Coding Dojo I was an aircraft engine mechanic in U.S. Army.
Why did you choose to enroll in a bootcamp for coding?
I just separated from the military and was planning to go to college to become an dietician. I still had four years to go, so working as a dietician would have been more of an obsession than a financially sound career. One of my friends mentioned his job as a software engineer to me and told me about Coding Dojo. He attended the Coding Dojo bootcamp. He said that I would be very proficient at coding. I started the pre-course algorithms and was hooked! It was financially more profitable, and I found that my time disappeared when I sat down solving technical problems. It was so enjoyable that the 70-90 hour work week felt like a normal week.
What was the secret to Coding Dojo’s success? Why did you choose Coding Dojo over other programs?
Although Coding Dojo had a friend who graduated with a very high Software Engineering position, I still researched other bootcamps in the region. The three programming languages Coding Dojo taught was what sealed the deal. I figured that more languages would equal more job opportunities.
How was it to get ready for bootcamp? Were you nervous, excited, etc.? How did you prepare?
Coding Dojo was a great opportunity for me. I was only doing the pre-course work. I also watched a lot on YouTube about Software Engineering, Coding Bootcamps, and technical interview.
Talk us through the first few weeks of the program. Which parts were your favorites? What parts were difficult?
Coding Dojo was my first step to a new career. Everything clicked for me and I was eager to learn more. There wasn’t enough time in the day for me to learn everything I wanted. Apart from Coding Dojo I also purchased a few udemy courses, and worked to complete them. I loved learning code and was thrilled to have found this new field.
What were your strategies for overcoming the difficulties you faced?
I believe that my military experience gave me the ability to learn new things. I had many friends in the class, and was open to asking for help if I couldn’t solve the problem. I wanted to ask for help once and never ask the same question twice. I would learn from the problems I couldn’t solve and work to ensure I can solve them next time.
Do you have any funny stories to share about bootcamp? Make friends! Do you have fond memories?
I made a few very good friends at Dojo. It’s been almost a year since my graduation and I still keep in touch with them every week and go out for pho whenever we are free.
How did you feel about your job prospects and skills as you neared graduation?
I felt like I was learning more each day. Because you learn more and discover that there is so much that you didn’t know existed. I did get imposter syndrome, so I had to study a lot outside of class to make sure that I was prepared. In the end, I believe that being nervous and working harder were valuable in getting the offer.
How did your job hunt go? How did you land a job at your current job?
The job search was difficult because the Covid19 pandemic had shut down many companies’ hiring two months prior to my graduation. I attended an additional program to prepare service members for technical positions at Microsoft. After both programs, I was offered a job as a Cloud Network Engineer at Microsoft.
Did the bootcamp provide you with anything other than coding skills?
Coding Dojo is my main reason for coding. Although I chose to attend Coding Dojo’s additional training program, the technical skills and the way everything was presented at CodingDojo were unbeatable. I don’t know if I would have loved the opportunity to code as much as m.