The Story of Chicago Alumni Patty Flores

As a dental assistant
You are looking for career security in an innovative field?
She feared that her lack of technical background would hinder her ability to succeed.

As an Application Analyst for Relativity
She was motivated by the skills and knowledge she acquired.
You dream of a career in software development or product management.

Program: Three Full-Stack Bootcamps in Chicago, IL
It was a great motivator. It was very motivating and encouraging to keep going when I got past an obstacle or speed bump. I feel like I have gained many skills. I learned to adapt. I learned to be comfortable even when uncomfortable.
Please tell us about yourself. Your age, hobbies, passions and what you did (professionally) before joining the bootcamp.
My hobbies include singing, hiking, and trying new cuisines. I enjoy sight-seeing. I haven’t lived in Chicago in almost 20 years so it’s nice to be back. I was born in Chicago, but I grew-up in the suburbs. It’s been so long since I was here, but it has been wonderful to see Chicago from the outside. Even though Coding Dojo was located in a beautiful area, it was still there. It was always nice to walk to Coding Dojo every single day.
Before Coding Dojo, my college education was full-time. I have a non-technical experience in the dental industry. I was an Orthodontic Dental Assistant for 10 years and also did accounting work.
Why did you choose to enroll in a bootcamp for coding?
I wanted a secure career path. Although I love the field I work in, this was not an easy decision. I wanted more. Although I was passionate about it, it was becoming a very small industry that prevented me from growing.
So I decided to find something more secure and financially sound, but also as innovative as the dental industry. The orthodontic field is innovative in the way people straighten their teeth. They’re constantly coming up with new technology. That was one of my favorite things about the field, and it was something I was looking for in a career path.
What were your fears and doubts that prevented you from enrolling? How did you overcome them?
My lack of technical background is one of my main concerns. I had heard that those who enroll in these types bootcamps have some technical background or may have earned a bachelor’s, associate’s, or master’s degree in Computer Science. I didn’t have any exposure to either of these things. The bachelor’s degree I’m currently pursuing in Business Administration is what I feel intimidated by.
I was also concerned that I wouldn’t enjoy this new field since I was going to a bootcamp and was investing my time and money into it. What if I didn’t like it or it wasn’t for me at the end? This was the most frightening thing I felt before I went in.
These concerns were overcome by talking to people. Ultimately, I decided to go for it and try something different. I realized that I wouldn’t know until I tried it. Even if it didn’t work out, I learned some new skills, even if they weren’t used.
What was the secret to Coding Dojo’s success? Why did you choose Coding Dojo over other programs?
My research wasn’t as thorough as it should have been. Although I did a lot of research, what ultimately made me decide to join Coding Dojo was that I attended a few on-site intros. They introduced me to the bootcamp as well as explained what it is all about.
At the time, I was still living in California’s Los Angeles area. I was a member of the Coding Dojo Open house and loved the atmosphere. I liked the instructors. It was like I could thrive within that type of environment. It was a very encouraging environment. It was very positive. I also met many people from diverse backgrounds. It was also very motivating to know that if this was something I wanted to do, I wouldn’t be doing it alone. There would be others who could relate to me.
How was it to prepare for bootcamp? How did you prepare for the bootcamp?
Before enrolling or even starting, I was very busy. I ended up moving from California, to Chicago, so that I could be with my family during bootcamp. There was a Coding Dojo in Chicago. I was unable to fully prepare for the bootcamp as I switched from full-time work to full-time school. I started the bootcamp within days of finishing my full-time semester.
It’s something I wish I had done when I was younger.