How Online Alumni Billy Ding Broke Into the Tech Industry

As an office assistant
Before dropping out, I briefly studied computer science in college.
He wanted to quickly start a career as a technie and thought a bootcamp would be a good way to do that.

After Dojo:
Afterpay Software Engineer
He loves the tech industry and his newfound technical and soft skills
Aspirations to become a Technical Lead and Architect

Program: Full-Time Online Bootcamp
If this is something that you are interested in, you should do everything you can to learn as much as possible. A bootcamp can help a college dropout without any work experience to land a great job in less that 9 months. This includes the time from the beginning of bootcamp to landing the job. There are many high-paying tech jobs available and they are hiring more than ever.
Please tell us a bit about yourself. What were you doing professionally before the bootcamp?
Hi! I’m Billy. I am 25 years old. As a child, I was active outdoors and didn’t like tech. But, I became obsessed with college. I was a freshman in college and wrote my first line. However, I quickly lost interest and failed the class. In fact, I failed many computer science classes in college and was forced to drop out. It was hard. It was hard. To be able to go from that point to being a professional software engineer is proof that anyone can learn this stuff, regardless of their background. I love my job and the tech industry. It’s an exciting roller coaster ride and I am constantly amazed at how fast technology advances. My hobbies include watching basketball and playing pingpong. Prior to the bootcamp I was an Office Assistant.
Why did you choose to enroll in a bootcamp for coding?
I wanted to be a techie and I wanted it to happen as quickly as possible. Because they offer a focused curriculum and lots practice, I liked the idea behind coding bootcamps. A coding bootcamp was a chance for me to prove that I was more than my poor college showings and that I had what it took to break into the tech sector.
What were your fears and doubts that prevented you from enrolling? How did you overcome them?
I wasn’t sure if I could afford the financial and time commitment. I saved up and took out a loan to overcome it. I was able to quit my job and fully commit to the bootcamp because of that.
What was the secret to Coding Dojo’s success? Why did you choose Coding Dojo over other programs?
Coding Dojo was something I chose because of the encouragement I received from my friends.
How was it to get ready for bootcamp? Were you nervous, excited, etc.? How did you prepare?
About a month before the bootcamp began, I had already started full-time studying. I reviewed the prepared materials. Next, I went over the prepared materials and then I watched some YouTube lectures on computer science. I then coded as many programs as I could from those lectures. I gained a lot of knowledge and practice in coding, and felt very prepared for the bootcamp.
Take us through the first few weeks of the program. Which parts were your favorites? What parts did you struggle with?
In the first few weeks, I was constantly learning new tools and concepts. I loved the way we would create small programs every day. It gave me a sense of accomplishment. Many of them seem very repetitive until you realize how small design differences can lead to new techniques. It was difficult to set up my computer for development and debugging. This is what the TA’s, instructors are there to help you with.
What were your strategies for overcoming the difficulties you faced?
I was helped by my TA’s and instructors. I was able to have one-on-one meetings with my instructor and code reviews whenever I needed them. I was always able to find the right person to help me.
Do you have any funny stories to share about bootcamp? Make friends! Do you have fond memories?
I enjoyed the way projects became more competitive as our skills improved with each stack. It motivated me to continue improving my projects even before I presented.
How did you feel about your job prospects and skills as you neared graduation?
There were so many topics I wanted to spend more time on. I went through all the topics and decided what I was most proficient at and what I needed to spend more time on. This was crucial for me as it gave me a guideline for my future studies and job search.
How did your job hunt go? How did you land a job at your current job?
It was a hard grind. I was either excited or depressed depending on whether I had an interview scheduled. My job search was prolonged by my inability to manage my time. I once was afraid to apply for jobs because I didn’t want to fail the interview.